certifired_img

Books and Documents

Islam and Politics (11 May 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Ramazan as Ramadan and Namaz as Salah, Suhoor Instead Of Traditional Sehri Are Glaring Example of Islamisation or Arabisation of Muslim World


By Murtaza Shibli

May 11, 2019

Prior to the commencement of the holy month, it has now become almost a ritual to get drawn into the simmering debates, mainly over social media, on how to rightly articulate its name. In my childhood, it was almost always called Ramazan. Having studied in an Islamic school up until matric, I can say with certainty that our learning of Arabic was in the Kashmiri accent and nobody ever thought it was any less ‘Islamic’ or inferior.

Long after we’d left the school, about two decades back, the elocution underwent a gradual but definite change, when emphasis was placed on reverting to ‘original’ Arabic delivery. Therefore, Ramazan became Ramadan and Namaz was increasingly described as Salah. It was only during my stay in the United Kingdom when the original Arabic terminology became the standard; more because amid various cultural and linguistic communities of the faithful, Arabic words became the authentic and acceptable way for a majority. Besides, the new generation of Muslims – those born and brought up outside of their parents’ socio-cultural geographies – preferred to use the terminology that asserted their faith as their salient and new cultural marker rather than their ethnic background.

I happily embraced the change. I would start my fast with 'Suhoor' instead of traditional Sehri. This brought the attendant feeling as if the decades-old practice of praying on a jai Namaz was perhaps a little inferior. Therefore, from then on, I had to negotiate my prayers on a Musalla. There was some exception though. Working in East London, the holy month was overwhelmingly called Romjan – under the irresistible influence of a large immigrant population of first-generation Bengalis who refused to comply with the new format of piety.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also displayed his partisanship, albeit a subtle one, on the debate. In 2015, on June 16, he talked about ‘Ramadan’. Extending his warm wishes he tweeted: “Spoke to President @ashrafghani, PM Sheik Hasina & PM Nawaz Sharif to extend my best wishes at the start of holy Ramadan on June 18”.

Some of his followers pilloried him for what they blamed was a glaring example of Arabisation. Obviously, Modi Ji has since moved on – and by miles. In this election season, where he has been accused of fanning Hindu extremism to suit his electoral victory plan, he has quietly moved back to the Indian vernacular describing the holy month as Ramazan as depicted by his tweet earlier in the week. “Greetings on the start of the holy month of Ramazan. May this auspicious month further the spirit of harmony, happiness, and brotherhood in our society”.

The lexical war on Ramadan vs Ramazan debate is often laden with tensions and what is disconcerting is that it is being unnecessarily escalated as some sort of a clash between progression and regression. The change in the delivery of the terminology is being obdurately contested by a dedicated bunch of people who would like to designate themselves as liberals but won’t tolerate any attempt by their lesser educated countrymen to recast their religio-cultural identities. Such attempts are made to contain a so-called Islamisation or Arabisation movement. I have heard some gleeful narrations from people who are ready to display pride at their children speaking foreign languages like natives or even mimicking their practices but any attempts to interchange Arabic words for local jargon is loathed. On balance, the other side also seems to be dedicated in their efforts to nullify the vernacular expressions of faith or its identity.

The other exciting aspect of Ramadan is the sighting of the moon or, if one is more technical-minded, the appearance of the crescent. Of late, this has become such a deeply contested practice that one can divide Muslims on the basis of their opinion on the issue. As Kashmiris from the Indian side, we have traditionally been accustomed to deciding our Ramadan and Eid on the basis of the moon-sighting by Pakistan’s Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, as communicated by official Pakistani radio or television. Much to the chagrin of the Indian establishment, the practice has continued despite the government’s efforts to prop-up local ‘muftis’ or ‘mirwaizs’. Bashir-ud-Din, a self-designated ‘Mufti-e-Azam’ of Kashmir who passed away sometime back was often blamed for deciding the advent of Ramadan or Eid after listening to news reports on Radio Pakistan. Bashir Ahmad Bashir, Kashmir’s first news cartoonist with mass appeal, had once in the mid-1980s made a highly controversial cartoon depicting the Mufti-e-Azam delivering his verdict on moon-sighting while receiving updates from a tiny radio transistor fitted hidden inside his ear, tuned to Radio Pakistan.

It was only in the past few years that we learned that Pakistan does not have a consensus on the issue, despite an official body dedicated to harvesting the sighting from the vast skies. Armed with an array of long telescopes that almost prod the sky on the designated occasions, the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee headed by Mufti Muneebur Rehman makes little impact on his lesser known but more powerful Mufti from Peshawar.

One cannot fail to pay profuse tributes to the most powerful vision of Mufti Popalzai for winning where technology often fails. He has created an indelible record of creating moon-sightings even on occasions when it is virtually impossible to do so by the most advanced equipment. To be fair to him, this lunar division is not confined to Pakistan. Muslim communities in Europe, and in particular in the UK, have often been divided on the issue. This has caused widespread confusion as Muslim communities in a locality have ‘celebrated’ the arrival of Ramadan or of Eid on varying days. This has diluted their demands for a holiday on Eid as they could never arrive at any consensus on its date. This sounds quite regressive at a time when employing a little bit of time-tested scientific know-how could solve this issue, once and for all.

In this backdrop the recent announcement by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawwad Chaudhry to form a scientific committee to decide on the lunar calendar is a welcome step that could save a lot of agonizing and disagreements.

Source: thenews.com.pk/print/469670-ramadan-ramzan-and-the-crescent

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/murtaza-shibli/ramazan-as-ramadan-and-namaz-as-salah,-suhoor-instead-of-traditional-sehri-are-glaring-example-of-islamisation-or-arabisation-of-muslim-world/d/118566





TOTAL COMMENTS:-   6


  • But one wonders about the reasons for the shift in the spelling from ‘z’ to ‘d’ OR ‘dh’ in the Indian subcontinent. Part of the reason is the ‘neo-Salafi’ and Arabised Muslims’ desire to shun the composite Indian culture and align with the highly textualised Saudi version of Islam. At the same time, the shift from ‘z’ to ‘d’/‘dh’ is a by-product of globalization. And undoubtedly, if anything has benefitted most from the globalization, it is the Arabisation of Islam across the world. For instance, we write the letter ष in the Hindi script but don’t pronounce it as in Sanskrit. In practice, the sound of this letter has merged with that of the letter श in Hindi. Similarly, the Arabic letter ض, has two different pronunciations: ‘d’ and ‘z’ depending on the context. While speaking in the Arabic language, we better say ‘Ramadan’ or ‘Ramadhan’, but it is best spoken and understood simply as Ramazan in Urdu/Hindi. Thus, what the writer has put it here is tenable: “The lexical war on Ramadan vs Ramazan debate is often laden with tensions and what is disconcerting is that it is being unnecessarily escalated as some sort of a clash between progression and regression. The change in the delivery of the terminology is being obdurately contested by a dedicated bunch of people who would like to designate themselves as liberals but won’t tolerate any attempt by their lesser educated countrymen to recast their religio-cultural identities. Such attempts are made to contain a so-called Islamisation or Arabisation movement”.
    By GRD - 5/13/2019 3:58:45 AM



  • What the writer has put it here is tenable:
    “The lexical war on Ramadan vs Ramazan debate is often laden with tensions and what is disconcerting is that it is being unnecessarily escalated as some sort of a clash between progression and regression. The change in the delivery of the terminology is being obdurately contested by a dedicated bunch of people who would like to designate themselves as liberals but won’t tolerate any attempt by their lesser educated countrymen to recast their religio-cultural identities. Such attempts are made to contain a so-called Islamisation or Arabisation movement”. 
    But one wonders about the reasons for the shift in the spelling from ‘z’ to ‘d’ in the Indian subcontinent. Part of the reason is the ‘neo-Salafi’ and Arabised Muslims’ desire to shun the composite Indian culture and align with the highly textualised Saudi version of Islam. At the same time, the shift from ‘z’ to ‘d’ is a by-product of globalization. And undoubtedly, if anything has benefitted most from the globalization, it is the Arabisation of Islam across the world.   For instance, we write the letter ष in the Hindi script but don’t pronounce it as in Sanskrit. In practice, the sound of this letter has merged with that of the letter श in Hindi. Similarly, the Arabic letter ض, has two different pronunciations: ‘d’ and ‘z’ depending on the context. While speaking in the Arabic language, we better say ‘Ramadan’ or ‘Ramadhan’, but it is best spoken and understood simply as Ramazan in Urdu/Hindi.


    By GRD - 5/13/2019 3:57:02 AM



  • Aayina sb, 
    is it good to use such language, "The fraud started by Usman 1400 years is taking it roots." 
    And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers.  Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not." (Quran)

    By Sahil Sharif - 5/12/2019 12:37:43 AM



  • Perhaps Muslims are the only people among all communities of the world who are lost in an ever expanding labyrinth of polemics that is taking them to innumerable paths away from the upright path of their faith. As the commentator stated many years ago in this column "Muslims are tenaciously clinging to their theological roots and turning a blind eye to the core, universal and humanistic trajectories of their faith, which fortunately for them, is preserved in the Qur’an. As a result, they are going round and round like the oxen of a medieval oil Mill – in the poetic imagery of Altaf Hussain Hali [19], debating exactly the same thing century after century and never moving forward – as polemics overwhelm the mind and prevent any advancement of thoughts."
    By mohammed yunus - 5/11/2019 9:06:23 PM



  • The fraud started by Usman 1400 years is taking it roots. 
    Good to see that the " The phrase that "Not single word of Quran is changed" it's taking its creepy root to micro level.
    It will be no far from language other than Arabic will be Satanic languages 
    Good luck with killing and arrogance machine invented by Usman.
    Sad about how fellow Muslim humans are treated by Muslim leadears as animals that cannot be allowed for any variation.

    By Aayina - 5/11/2019 6:58:03 PM



  • Slavishness to Arabism is silly. Islam has no official nationality..

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/11/2019 12:00:44 PM



Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content