This Eid when I woke up to get ready I was in a somber mood, the news of the babies killed by Pakistan last night, the images fresh in my mind, I knew I wasn't going to the Aqsa mosque (the central mosque) where there would be thousands of people and the sweet smell of perfume would make the cool morning air even fresher, all that seems like a distant memory now and a younger generation is already here that hasn't seen an Eid like that ever.
No Those days are gone now. When we used to go to our mosques (places of worship) without the shadows of guns. I was going to the mosque just a few houses away from my house due to terrorist threats to the main mosque and why have I been denied this joy? only because of my religion... only because I choose to believe what I feel is right and which is a matter between me and my God... Only because I choose to call this country my home even if I am called a minority, even if my forefathers gave their blood to make this country a reality.
The last Eid we had in the Aqsa Mosque (the central mosque of out city called Rabwah) was more than 8 years ago, due to the terrorist threats we don't gather there in large numbers any more. Seems like ages ago, a whole generation has grown up now, who do not remember what it was like. I remember hurrying up to get good parking for my car, getting the children ready and then waiting for ages for the wife to get ready.
There would be a river of ladies and children which would continue even after the khutba and the prayers. The happy faces of children all eager to get home and start collecting their eidies.
Only prayers and happiness is what I remember. No fears and no ill feelings. When we would finish our Eid prayers a sea of people would get up and roar towards each other and greet one another. Love. all one could see.
Those who have taken away this pleasure should be aware of the punishment of Allah the Almighty. Still we pray for the misguided that may Allah save them, save our country. All I ask is to think. Think without prejudice.
Although persecution of Ahmadis started when the Ahmadiyya movement began but it took a deadly turn when Zia's famous ordinance had been enforced, I remember that day when they said you cannot do Adhan in your mosques and you cannot call your mosque what it was,I was 5.
I remember the prayers where my father and brothers and sister and others would cry and one could hear the cries of lament that emanated from their souls.
Soon news started to arrive of arrests being made, their crime? "posing as a Muslim" and I would wonder how can I be any other way, I am a Muslim that's all I know how to behave like... Will they come for me too?
The Ahmadiyya Jamaat is among the most peaceful communities in the world with hardly a single crime or hostility which is reflected by our motto "love for all hatred for none". No one else in the world would tolerate the animosity and persecution which we face everyday, even when 86 of our brothers were butchered in lahore and now women and children. Do you see us protesting on the streets, burning cars or property? After all the persecution and everything that has been done to us, our only weapon is prayer we will not bare arms and we will not retaliate. Our weapon is the pen and knowledge. But that does not mean than there will be no retribution. We believe in a living God our Mola, the almighty Allah, who listens to the prayers of the oppressed and comes to help them, and when his wrath comes no one can stop it & all those who boast and revel in the high of power are blown away, leaving behind not a trace of their existence. We have seen it happen before & we will see it happen again, Inshallah.
What Pakistan's people should ask themselves is at what cost? You allowed extremism to flourish to the very roots of your society and then why are you shocked that it has come back to bite you. First it was only Ahmadis that were targeted but now all minorities or even those that are not minorities. Now belonging to a particular sect or group is enough to warrant murder and destruction.
All of the problems that Pakistan faces can be traced back to one fatal mistake and that is when it made religion the state's business. Pakistani society gives known liars and thieves the highest pedestals and celebrate brutal murderers. Its upholders of law loot and plunder and the so called ulema destroy mosques.
As I write this I truly feel that Pakistan is beyond repair now. Its people have crossed all limits of inhumanity, barbarity, I don't know when the punishment will come or how, but I see it coming, for there is always Fajar (dawn) after a long & dark night.
Parts of this post are taken from my earlier posts
Under shadows of guns - Eid in Rabwah
A Childhood under Persecution