If you can’t handle me eating before sunset, don’t fast

Published: August 6, 2011

How immature do you have to be to require me or anybody else by law to respect your fasting?

If you are one of the spineless, weak-willed people who cannot handle seeing other people eating and drinking while you fast, you should probably not be fasting.

The infirmity of your faith is not my problem, nor anybody else’s, and does not deserve to be protected by the law.

Under the Ihtaram Ramazan Ordinance of 1981, two men were arrested in Sargodha on charges of eating in public. Yes, you read that correctly: eating in public – for the month of Ramazan at least – is a crime in Pakistan.

To those that support this law, I would like to pose the following question: how immature do you have to be to require me or anybody else by law to respect your fasting?

I have fasted every year for the entirety of Ramazan since I was 11 years old and never once have I had a problem with anybody eating in front of me. I am fasting this year as well, driving around all day and feeling thirsty and I still don’t have a problem with people drinking water in front of me while I am parched. My faith is not stronger than anybody else’s. I am just an adult who realises that not everybody lives the same kind of life I do and that not everybody has the same circumstances.

That this law is without logic should be self-evident to anyone willing to step out of their conspiracy theory cocoon for a minute. For instance, why is this law applied only during Ramazan and not during any other time when a large number of people are fasting, for example, the 10th of Muharram? Does the government keep track of how many people fast every day? And does it have a cut-off percentage before this law will be invoked?

Oh, and have we considered the fact that a very large percentage of this nation’s women don’t fast at least some days every year because of their menstrual cycles? Should none of them be allowed to buy food during the day?

I would, however, like to defend the right of people not to fast without any excuse. Why should the government have any right to tell me to fast or not to fast? And if I am not fasting, why should any private business be prevented from selling me food while others fast? Because some hypocritical bigot can’t handle it? I am sorry, but that is not a good enough excuse.

So to those who don’t fast, please eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want during the day. I, and the rest of this country’s adults, have no problem with it. It’s time we did away with this nonsensical legacy of the Zia era.

Do you think eating in public should be a criminal offence during Ramazan?

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farooq.tirmizi

Farooq Tirmizi

Head of business reporting at The Express Tribune. Tweets @FarooqTirmizi

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Tee

    Oh, I loved reading that. You spoke my mind. Thank you!!Recommend

  • B

    Okay then.Recommend

  • you’resohypnotizing

    But it looks baaad, i mean if someone’s fasting obviously they’re starving & eating in front of them is very rude.. it’s like you’re tempting them to break their fast. You can’t justify eating in front of a person who’s fasting, lets be more considerate about other people.Recommend

  • http://ayeshahoda.wordpress.com Ayesha Hoda

    Good one! Completely agree.Recommend

  • faraz

    There is no such compulsion in Quran or Hadees to prevent people from eating in Ramzan. Such ridiculous laws only make a laughing stock of the country and the religion. Recommend

  • Amna Jahan

    Zia’s Islam has ruined us. I agree with you 100%. I would also like to point out that this law applies to EVERY citizen of Pakistan including minorities. Why should they not be allowed to eat in public? Ramadan has nothing to do with them! People need to think logically.Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    Absolutely!!Recommend

  • Domlurian

    I have a question, should pregnant women and babies also fast during Ramzan? What about people who have fasted half-way through Ramzan and then catch diorreha or dysentery? Will they go to heaven or hell after they take some electrolytes? Please clear up these questions, they are very important you know.Recommend

  • Choas A.D

    SUNNAT KA AHTERAAM KARO!

    nah, that’s just the eejits shouting. Good point, my friend. Religion is a personal, free willed choice, not the state police. Ramadan mubarak to all, both fastee’s and nonfasting. Recommend

  • Sohaib Saeed

    The state and religious affairs should be kept separate. I completely support your argument. Neither i nor does any person fasting has or should have a problem with other people eating as we are not the judge of their faith. People living in multi cultural communities like USA or Malaysia dont have a problem with others. Alot of people also have exemption from fasting due to circumstances, does this mean they should be put in jail for doing so. No sir, we have to abolish our double standards.Recommend

  • Sajid

    Brilliant. I wanted to write about the exact same thing but good thing that you put it out on time and well versed.

    Banning eating and drinking during Ramazan beats the whole purpose of Ramazan to begin with. Whatever happened to the plight of poor and building restraint and tolerance? If one actually wants to benefit in that sense from Ramazan then he should try fasting while others eat and drink and smoke around him, that is when he might feel SOME plight of poor, that is when his tolerance and restraint will be tested. Banning food because fasting people are “mouth waterred’, idiocy. Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Look its no big deal if anyone is not fasting.. I mean fasting along with Namaz, Zakat, Hajj, are personal thing so I think we should do away with this law for good. Who know those who are eating may not be Muslims that will be atrocious. Recommend

  • waseem

    if it is about maturity then people should be allowed to have sex in public as it shouldn’t provoke ”mature people” as well as alcohol should be allowed publicly as wellRecommend

  • san

    During my college days in ramadan few christain students having lunch and a muslim student who just came from his prayer asked those boys to leave the place but they didn’t. A teacher was passing nearby even told to go and eat in some hidden place. In front of that teacher and student i called them to come to my room and have their lunch. I never have problem with anyone who eat or drink during ramadan infront of me. But the amazing thing was the shocked face of that student and teacher. Teacher was almost having heart attack and that student never talked to me whole two years. The teaher cannot do anything because college was missionairy and its principle was christian. Everybody need to be COOL AND CALM DURING THIS MONTH.Recommend

  • huma

    So if I go by your logic, alcohol, prostitution, gambling, they all should be legalized right? I mean, we’re all adults and we know the drawbacks of these acts. And to top that, we’ve been taught since probably grade 1 that all of these are prohibited in Islam. By the age of say 18, we should be left alone by the law. We are responsible adults and can make our own decisions right? We won’t indulge in any of these acts because we’ve been friggin taught to stay away from such acts since childhood! Why don’t they get it? Put the liqour on the shelves and I bet no one would buy coz we have strong faiths dude! Like seriously give us a break already right? And for those who want to drink and get the ladies, let them do it man, it’s a free country.. If people can’t stand others drinking in broad day light in a public place – screw religion! People should have faiths strong enough to see others commit prohibited acts and not indulge in those! Jeeez! Recommend

  • deedee

    Bravo!!couldn’t have said it better!! :)Recommend

  • Raj

    @author : Your thoughts represent hope and justice . Waiting for a day when voices like yours will get appreciated from all corners of Pakistan. That day will mark the birth of a great nation.Recommend

  • huma

    O and the govt does not monitor the Muharram fasts because they are voluntary acts of worship – not mandatory (farz) like the ones in Ramadan .. Itsy bitsy difference there.. So much for the conspiracy theory hunh?

    And maybe you’d like to write about the muttawa in saudia? Scary dudes, don’t even smile when they force you to go pray! So what if maybe half the people only pray because of the routine enforced by the muttawa (let’s conviniently ignore what works for the masses and talk about the educated, independent, opinionated elite like me).. Adults don’t need to be told what to do and religion is a personal affair! Like seriously dude what is the world coming to?!Recommend

  • ali

    It was back in 2006 in peshawar. I was leaving for uk and it was 1st of ramadan only in nwfp as predicted. I called my friend from nearby public booth. I took some fags from the same shop and start smoking outside his shop. Then i went again and called another friend and in the mean time I noticed the behaviour of shop owner very strange. He was in his late 40′s. I asked him he got any problem and then he started ‘keh tum ne wajib roza kha liye’. He wasnt finished and I started ‘keh tumhara emaan kamzor hai’. Then i came outside and lite up another fag.Recommend

  • Aijaz Hussain

    Very well expressed. I was going to spout something to the same effect, but now there is no need. Totally agree with what you say.Recommend

  • AnisAqeel

    Thank you Farooq Tirmizi for such a daring article that carry a lot of weight in your arguments. I am sorry to say that where whole nation is bearing retorted Islam, who is going to listen. Religion is a personal bond between God and mankind but everything started in the wrong direction with the illegitimate government of Ziul Haq who sought holy approval in exchange for mullah’s support. Now it has gone so deep inside ‘das crore gadhays’ mind that mullah says either my Islam or no Islam. It needs a lot of cleansing and education so that general public should realize how they have been fooled by fanaticism.Recommend

  • zzzz

    BravoRecommend

  • Rehan

    Mr. Tirmizi, meet your newest, biggest fan! :)
    Regards,
    RehanRecommend

  • shahid ali

    I agree that there should not be a law that eating before a fasted person is a crime, but according to the teachings of islam you should avoid eating before a fasted person. As in case of Nmaz (you can’t force a person to pray Nmaz by law but to advise him)Recommend

  • Khushi Muhammad

    I live outside Pakistan, in a country with over-whelmingly non Muslim population. Almost non-existant Pakistani/Muslim community fasts here every year and they have absolutely no problem with fellow citizens eating and drinking freely. Many a time they offer food to us too but we politely inform them about our fast and they understand.
    Your article is on the dot. I hope our lawmakers develop more sense.Recommend

  • faizan

    Finally someone using logic and talking with some sense. I totally agree with the writer that
    fasting is supposed to be a test of your faith and if you are so weak as to have a problem with ppl eating around then you should not be fasting.

    We really have to get rid of not only this but many other zia eras laws so that our society can move forward and start using more logic than emotions in their arguments.Recommend

  • Ajmal G. Khan

    The ghost of Zia haunts us.
    He really was Hitler’s protege.
    Goebbels, Goering, Ribbentrop, Himmler, Hess and Speer.
    All rolled into one tight joint.
    Why doesn’t the national bar association,
    overhaul all the ordinances drawn up by that napak,
    and get rid of these onerous burdens on our society?
    Is that too hard to do?Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Brilliant article!

    The point of Ramadan is to help people understand the pain felt by the poor, as they carry on their day-to-day activities without food and water.

    It’s a month where daily productivity falls tremendously because people are afraid of getting too hungry or thirsty. In a puerile “if-we-can’t-play-you-can’t-play” attitude, they impose their beliefs upon others…lest the sight of people practicing their most basic right – right to eat food – kills their own flimsy faith. Some people would call that fascism. I’m not saying me…but some people.Recommend

  • http://raup-kj.blogspot.com/ The Man @ The Temple

    you took the words right out of my mouth.Recommend

  • Maria Babrawala

    Its true if u can’t handle fasting simply opt out!!! it is awesome piece of writing. Recommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    such a lame law, nobody can be forced to not to eat… Recommend

  • Boo Hoo

    Loved the piece. I agree 100%. The tolerance level in this country is falling and is at its lowest. Can someone confirm, that this 1981Ordinance actually does exist and it’s not created by some blogger. Recommend

  • blah

    Spot on! good readRecommend

  • http://www.abdullahsyed.com Abdullah Syed

    Thanks for talking some sense. Recommend

  • Zafar

    Your article makes more sense … That news just freak me out and for a moment I ended up thinking how insensible were those who made it a law. They have not served the religion contrary to their belief. Instead it has raised confusions and objections on Islam. At least I as a Muslim would object it strongly. What has the state to do with my personal affairs? In this way all foreigners, investors, businessman, diplomats, trainers, researchers and almost everybody who comes from abroad to work in Pakistan should leave for one month. That’s really ridiculous. This implies Islam is against globalization. It is quite laughable to see what our forefathers have left for us to proud on. Shame on all of them. This seems to me stem from the same Zia ideology whose followers are Talibans that we cherish now a days alas. Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Farooq tirmizi for presidentRecommend

  • Yasir

    Don’t want to comment on the law but eating in PUBLIC during ramadan is a matter of ethics for non-fasting-Muslims. Yes, we don’t need laws to enforce ethical behavior, but it doesn’t mean the absence of law should be exploited in such a way that one forgets how to pay respect to something.Recommend

  • H.S.Gilani

    @you’resohypnotizing:
    starving within one day? it takes some time for that. also has anyone ever kept it in mind how the poor feel when people munch away at restaurants? thats worse. ramadaan is so that one can appreciate that fact too; what would it be like to not have and want.

    not eating for one day is just being hungry; starvation is something totally different.
    and it is a month of tolerances as everyone so gladly puts it, but if a person dosent have that much strength that watching someone eat is tempting them and they have them thrown into prison? that makes logical sense?Recommend

  • Adil

    Mr tirmazi ..i am sorry but as a muslim i just want proof from quran and sunnah about your logic. And as some others pointed out if we apply your logic then why should not we allow drinking and all other things in public?
    and for all others donot connect islam and zia ul haq.Why you connect your religion with a person who was an american puppet?if we all have guts we should correct the bad things ourselves that zia ul haq did..just sitting in your rooms and saying crap about your own religion when you dont know alot about things is some thing very common now adays.
    none of the readers or the author brought any claim from the quran and hadith but just started following their own logics without religious knowlegde.Islam is not what me and you think about some thing.
    So if you have proofs from Quran and sunnah about this particular knowledge then come up with them so that it can be help ful to all muslims including me.Other wise with incomplete knowledge please donot come up with things relating to islam as they can be misguiding for alot of others.Recommend

  • http://www.ParadigmHouse.net Shazia

    Bravo!!! Loved each and every word of your article. Paradigms need to shift drastically and people need to wake up!

    Well Done!Recommend

  • IZ

    Well said. This is a ridiculous law and if we had greater faith and confidence in our religion, it would be done away with.Recommend

  • H.S.Gilani

    @huma:
    legalizing something wrong is one thing, but making a law that people cant eat in public during ramadan if they arent fasting is totally something else.

    as for being forced to pray and all that; does it even count if you have to be legally bound to do it? if your heart isnt in a prayer they say its better not to pray. it is actually worse if you are standing there just doing the actions and thinking about other things, and that is what happens when you are forced to do it.

    ‘(let’s conviniently ignore what works for the masses and talk about the educated, independent, opinionated elite like me)’
    for an educated elite person your argument is very volatile.Recommend

  • Nadia I

    @ Author : So you’re article to the point of law is spot on. The incorporation for such an ordinance beats logics. However people who are not fasting, have been given the very freedom to eat as they please but its better suited to do so out of public eye, not because their tempting the fasting people but because by the end of the day we are a Muslim state with minorites among us. Someone commented how people in America tend to do well coping with it. They don’t have a choice, nor is it weak of us in Pakistan, again America isn’t a muslim state. The etiquettes to the holy month sort of don’t exist.

    Secondly a few commented on fornication and alcohol, and got kudos for it. People tend to forget that they weren’t brainwashed or they weren’t toilet trained religion. Its the personal morals that keep you from doing what you want. By all means no one can stop you if your choice is to be drunk and nude on streets, clearly that’s what you want :). Lighten up folks its 30 days of non public eating, and 30 days of seeing a few people eat while you choose not too, ease up and give each other a break.Recommend

  • Noble Tufail

    A great piece of writing Farooq. with you completely. The Pakistan like yours is the shared vision. God Bless you. Recommend

  • Syed Sami

    I guess you will also support the “freedom of speech”, like anyone can come and say something about Prophets?? May be you would support the sale of alcohal openly?

    Brother it is not about testing of faith or something. In a islamic society we should not atleast encourage the people who make fun of Allah’s commands with their actions. You sounded too surprised that this is the thing which is happening in Pakistan. But the same law applies in UAE and KSA also. There are more non muslims living there than in Pakistan. It is about letting people know that they should atleast respect the religion of the state. Please do not criticize everything that is happening in our country, appreciate what little we are doing for religion as an Islamic republic.

    It is mentioned in the Quran that Allah guide those who have a will and urge towards His guidance. Many people are leaving the fast because of their weakness of eman. By proposing the abolishment of this law, you are actually appreciating such people and thus closing the paths for any embarrassment and repentance. Its not about testing the faith of the person who is fasting. Its more about to discourage people to make fun of the rituals of the religion of the state and come to the right path.Recommend

  • Samar

    *At Prophet’s time even non-Muslims refrained from eating in public places In the Holy month of Ramadan, this is your disrespect towards the religion that’s all your showing……..on one hand a question was asked by a community what can be done to save the country from political n social chaos……..u will be surprised almost 80% said Islamisation is the solution n here u ppl don’t even wana respect one tiny thing that is eating in public places *Recommend

  • Moazzam Salim

    @huma: Applying your own logic to your argument; I would say that all the acts mentioned by you are designated as offences under the religion. However, eating during the time of fast is not a crime. In fact you will find that the religion gives quite a lot of leeway to the sick, physically weak and travellers in their obligation to fast. It would only be logical that these, if not fasting, must be eating during the time that others are fasting. Lets not try to add to the religion for it is Allah’s word and we do not know more than Him. Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    As a non-Muslim Pakistani who grew up there, i’m a tad surprised at the comments of some people here who say ‘so what if it is or isn’t the law, they should at least respect the fact that we are fasting’.

    Um, I for one don’t remember any incident where non-Muslims go in public out of their way to eat in front of fasting Muslims during Ramazan. We are not insensitive, inhumane people who are oblivious to the fact that you are fasting. Remember, we fast 40 days as well, and we KNOW what it’s like.

    In fact, when we fast, you do realise that there is no law in Pakistan making it mandatory for Muslims to respect us and keep food-consuming-people out of our view. Yet, we manage.

    That last sentence was not to say we are better than you. No, I meant that we know what it feels like.

    While we respect your religious requirement to fast and will go out of our way to accommodate that (whether by law or by conscience), we do feel like we are prisoners in our homes sometimes, where we can only eat inside our four walls.

    Isn’t the whole point of fasting to INCREASE your willpower and draw you closer to the Lord? If you take away all temptation – by law, might I add – under the pretext of ‘respect’, isn’t that going against the whole point?Recommend

  • aiesh

    @huma:
    The people who are saying allow gambling, prostitution, sex, drinking and what not in public because we are mature enough to realize they are wrong and we won;t follow them. Well, firstly, there is a hell lot of difference between eating when one is not fasting and doing something immoral which is corrupting society. If someone is not fasting, it could be because of health reasons or because they are not old enough or simply because they are not religious or are not Muslims. As for gambling and prostitution goes, they are considered wrong by even the people who are not religious. And those things are not prohibited (of course in reality just publicly) because we have to respect others faith but because they are wrong acts and breed chaos in the society. Eating by someone who is not fasting doesnt really breed any immorality in public. The world won’t come to an end if we fast ourselves and not force others to fast with us. If I am not fasting because I have stomach issues, should I eat only in washroom, lets say? because I will be a law breaker if I eat in public.

    And btw by forcing someone to do sth either pray or fast wouldnt make you a jannati nor anyone more pious than they really are.Recommend

  • KolachiMom

    @huma:
    Do you not care that there are people in your country who do not follow your religion? Are you saying they’re worthless, and should have laws govern them, and prevent them from drinking so much as a glass of water in public so you may be able to follow what YOUR religion says is mandatory for YOU? Are you incapable of following your religion without national laws supporting it? Seriously? You’re comparing prostitution to food consumption? Really? What you’re really saying is you INSIST the entire country follow the dictates of your religion. Shame on you!Recommend

  • Ben

    Who will dare to rationalize the non-sense law?Recommend

  • Muneeb

    Great piece! Took the words right out of my mouth. Wasn’t the purpose of fasting to teach you patience and make you sympathize with the plight of the poor? Isn’t it worse when people are devouring down their food at public places in full view of the poor? In that case they cannot afford to eat food. In the case here it is a voluntary choice of the concerned person to fast or not. If you feel so bad when your fasting and someone eats in front of you, just try and imagine what a poor person may be going through. It defeats the purpose of fasting if you can’t bear someone eating in front of you. In that case your only fasting because its compulsory to, not because there might be some good out of it. Recommend

  • twilight

    a very daring article, espeically by a person who regualarly observes fast. But i’ll tell you, the government wont understand. If it would, then some group would get up against it calling it a conspiracy. The point is that many a times people are sick or cannot fast due to a medical condition, but they cannot eat or drink without the sconrful glares of those around them. They’d rather starve unnecessarily than create a scene for themselves.Recommend

  • Asim

    @huma:

    Comparing eating (man’s physiological requirement) with gambling, alcohol and prostitution is like comparing apples and oranges. Jesus woman give the dude a break. All he is saying is not to bring religion into everyday affairs. Those that you are talking about are social vices NOT acceptable in most civilized societies. Religion seems to have rotten away people’s rationale.Recommend

  • Afifa Jeelani

    you spoke my mind!!
    nicely written. fasting or not fasting is a truly personal affair and the state shouldn’t intervene!!
    sad but true- we love to misunderstand our religion!!Recommend

  • Khuldun

    The blessing of the internet – uninformed people are allowed to post blogs! In Dubai for example, it is a punishable crime to eat in public, its a country which has a majority of non-muslims, yet, they not only try to avoid eating in public during that time, they also respect our fast and try to accommodate and help in every possible way. If non-Muslims are understanding, why are the Muslims, on whom fasting is obligatory are so god-damn adamant? Recommend

  • Talat Haque

    Very well said ! Recommend

  • http://natashasuleman.wordpress.com Natasha Suleman

    It’s about showing respect for me. And this ‘respect’ is not restricted to Ramadan. I would not eat in front of ‘anyone’ fasting any time of the year.

    The law however is stupid. Arrested for eating in public. Come on I mean. Hardly any laws get followed in this country. Im surprised how these are followed.Recommend

  • Rabeea

    Agreed.Recommend

  • Abhi

    I am suprised with the comments!Recommend

  • Jahanzeb

    Finally, some someone who thinks ‘maturely.’ I do not understand the logic of this MAN MADE LAW. For the immature pro-Zia-version-of-Islam-reader, I would simply ask, when you take away the temptation from the Muslim how is he rewarded. It all makes it so easy to fast. I remember last year I had terrible gastroenteritis and was dehydrated. On my way back from my university I had to take my antibiotic and the only shop open was hidden behind the staircase of building. And when I asked the guy if I could have water, that look, that judging look he gave me was enough for my thirst. I mean couldn’t I have been a NON MUSLIM. Why do we assume that the next person we meet has to be MUSLIM. Its taken for granted. I am so disgusted by the mentality of our people. Most of us have the soft corner for religion and take the defensive side whenever face with such issues. I do not understand why and when we lost the dream of our Qaid, Mohd. Ali Jinnah, “your religion has nothing to do with the business of the state.” And this is where we stand today as a nation. Recommend

  • parvez

    Excellent article. Almost everyone agrees with you but no one has suggested a way to correct this wrong. We as a people have descended to a level where one would be afraid for his life if he initiated a dialogue to correct something like this and it would be done in the name of religion. The more religious we claim to get the further we distance ourselves from our faith.Recommend

  • http://www.usmanfarooq.com Usman Farooq

    I second you on this but its not us who are the governing authority, we are responsible for whatever we do and what we do is our right… i second you on your post..Recommend

  • tanya

    @ Huma
    “So if I go by your logic, alcohol, prostitution, gambling, they all should be legalized right?”
    so you equate eating with all the above?Recommend

  • Truth Prevails

    Corrupt souls have got no right to even speak less they desire to eat in Ramadan … Don’t worry, their annihilation will be assured with strict accuracy. Recommend

  • ak

    @huma:
    Err..your argument is screwed honey. Prostitution, drinking and the other sins you mentioned DON’T have relaxations like fasting. The old, sick, children, pregnant & menstruating women, can NOT fast and ARE allowed to eat in public according to Islam (but not our govt.)

    Do you go around berating & then locking your dadi up in a room if she dares eat in front of you? :D

    Mothers who fast feed their children with their own hands don’t they? Or do they leave their toddlers to feed themselves??

    What about the pakoray wala in your neighborhood? They don’t whine & complain about how they spend their day making mouthwatering pakoras, samosas, rolls, jalebis & other goodies while FASTING !!

    What is wrong with you guys?? Grow up and learn to practice the patience & tolerance that Allah meant to teach us through fasting. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/GandiSoch Adil Mirza

    Well Writtenn..Recommend

  • Imran

    As everybody has got every right to do everything according to rule of ‘personal matter’. Actions of Taliban are all well supported by millions as they consider everything ‘Personal’

    Remember. Taliban speak millions minds and they are second by millions …Recommend

  • Zahra Baray

    Agreed.. i always did wonder why this law existed… we have non muslims living in the country as well..and for Muslims who don’t fast, it should not be legally binding on them to not eat but more of a moral choice….
    To add on….women cook in the kitchen too during Ramzan..prepare Iftari… there r stalls selling Iftar items on the road too.. Shouldn’t that too tempt you to eat?Recommend

  • Haq

    It looks like all the secular minded people write blogs at tribune from rabyl’s gay right article , usmani’s education matter and now this tirmizi mian’s article on ramazan act.

    let me answer this so called knowledgeable person. even though in Pakistan the islamic law in not implemented in its essence but still People here at Pakistan do care about islam except for few like you ( the so called seculars )

    Eating in front of a fasting person, not makes a sense for you so does passing by in front of one who is praying makes a sense for you ? I mean What he has to do if some passes him from front. You will qoute a hadith. but you dont place your arguments on hadith or Quran you place it on logic. so reply with logic ? I know you have no answer!

    secondly you said why only check in Ramazan not in other days when people keep fast.. Dear friend , get older and learn about islam .. in Ramazan we have Fasting as farz compulsory. so compulsory means you have to keep it anyway. ( except for allowed cases)
    where as in other days its nafl or sunnah means no compulsion so no check in required . got it ..

    let me clear you and your fans more on it. if we think as a true muslim, a same act should be there for namaz and other compulsory act of islam like zakat etc. because its a sure responsibilty of Govt ( according to hadith on the day of judgement everry nigheban is responsible for doing for people under his supervision or control. like parents for children , husband for wife, and govt for this people) to make all muslims to follow islam. and ( there is no jabr in deen before accepting it but after accepting islam as deen Quran says poray k poray islam main dakhil ho jao ) so brother think in the right way ..

    moreover I have never seen that a women or kids have be arrested under this ordinace. kids can buy their food etc anytime, same goes for women. only healthy men are supposed to be arrested if found ( not for eating in front of fasting people because of not keeping the fast that is what ehtram e ramazan ) and I have already explained logically why its important to not to eat in front for someone fasting like passing by a person praying.

    if you like we can discuss more on this .. as i have emailed you the same. Recommend

  • Rehan Rana

    so if i m walking NAKED on the street………. should i write the article saying “IF YOU CANT HANDLE ME NAKED…….. CLOSE YOUR EYES”

    Putting in words nicely does not make the article relevantRecommend

  • DSlayer

    OK! But your point is as lame as this law!! Everyone knows police and they can “Fit” anyone in any kind of charge anytime they want. So this is another attempt to secularize our nation, and its already on its way. Moderate media is soon going to present bikini hostesses talking about ISLAM and WHAT A GREAT RELIGION IT IS..

    My question to everyone in here is: What will save you from Azab-e-Elahi???

    See the fact of the matter is, IT DOES NOT MATTER IF PEOPLE LIKE YOU FAST OR NOT. ISLAM WAS COMPLETED 1400yrs ago.. So ISLAM DOES NOT NEED YOU – YOU NEED ISLAM!!

    Recommend

  • sam

    this is pathetic!!!
    muslim country mei rehtay hue at least ap itna to kar saktay ho na k sab k samnay na khao or public places pe b…
    its more about the honour and respect of ramazan than self control of rozaydar!Recommend

  • Ovais

    By your logic Mr. Tirmizi and your supporters, I guess Public display of affection towards your spouses and nudity should also be allowed.
    By the way no one is forcing you to fast, government is only refraining you to no to eat in public. What ever you do in your private life is your own issue. Also I guess its against social etiquette to have food when at least 70% of people around you are fasting. If not for the sake of religion or law that we all almost ignore, at least for the sake of social etiquette please do not eat in openly in public. Recommend

  • Belal Khan

    @ Waseem, Sex is public nudity,its not allowed like that in Islam
    Alcohol,again.Not allowed in Islam. Fasting is allowed ,and not fasting during ramadan is not a crime. Person’s faith has to be really,Actually Nothing if his/her fast is based on what others do.Recommend

  • The Beyonder

    @you’resohypnotizing:

    Fasting is not just about starving and not eating or drinking. Please check your religion again. If you cant control yourself then you may as well start eating, There is no point in just starving. And it looks bad? Rude ? Cant justify it ? Right.. seems like you could never live abroad ! Fasting in this month and just starving are 2 different things. If you cant FAST, please dont starve just because you are expected to because you live in Pakistan (which is not quite Paaak-istan ! ). Please get your religion right. Peace. Recommend

  • Syed Kashan Ali

    @Domlurian:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HTSVC0NIRE&feature=channelvideotitle

    Kindly have a look on it. It will ans to you question that who are not obligatory to do the FAST.Recommend

  • Murtaza Ali Khan

    Religion is a belief that stems from the heart, it is not forced or compulsed in you. This is the point of being ‘ashraful-makhlooqat’ and we’re given a right of freedom. It is upto the person how to use or abuse this freedom.

    The extreme religious fanatics and lawmakers need to realize this basic fact of Islam and stop creating an unfriendly and extremist atmosphere.Recommend

  • Sohaib

    Farooq Bhai,

    See it is not as simple as you portrayed. I totally adore the democratic principles of freedom or expression and freedom of speech, but in every society you will find a limit to it. For instance in UK it is ban to give Azaan so do u think its right???? or in France its ban to wear scarf…. see I am not saying that this ramadam ordinance is right or wrong…..wht I am saying is thr are clauses in every constitution which we think are bad or against our will but they are thr……I do not know may be you have written some thing on the current banning of scarf in France and the body scanning devices in UK, if you have its a great thing….but if you have not kindly write on those matters too…

    I hope i made my point clear. Recommend

  • Sohaib

    thanksRecommend

  • Hassan Nadeem

    @ Huma and @ Waseem. There’s a huge difference between Allah’s stated Haram and man made rules of Halal and haram. Things like alcohol, prostitution are forbidden by Islam but eating during Ramadan by anyone who is not fasting is not forbidden in any Islamic law or Fiqh. Allah tests your faith, tolerance and patience with what?? simple by resisting temptation.

    Also for you kind information sale of Alcohol is Higher in Pakistan than in UAE or Malaysia, hey we even beat many non Muslims Alcohol boozing nations. Till 1975 Alcohol was sold openly in Pakistan, since banning it sale increased not decreased. We are hypocrites who practically do every evil thing if it profits us and advocate the Highest and purest standards. We are a nation who’s Police arrest fasting law violators but don’t even bother to stop killings, robberies, which is taking place every min in this so called Islamic Republic. We remember Islam at smallest issues and forget it at the most crucial stages.Recommend

  • ohgeez

    farooq, thanks. your article is spot on. Recommend

  • Azam

    Murtaza Ali Khan an hour ago
    Religion is a belief that stems from the heart, it is not forced or compulsed in you. This is the point of being ‘ashraful-makhlooqat’ and we’re given a right of freedom. It is upto the person how to use or abuse this freedom.
    The extreme religious fanatics and lawmakers need to realize this basic fact of Islam and stop creating an unfriendly and extremist atmosphere.

    You hit the nail on the head here. Very well said.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Sam,
    “muslim country mei rehtay hue at least ap itna to kar saktay ho na k sab k samnay na khao or public places pe b…”

    Would you give a burqa-wearing woman in France the same advice? “non-Muslim country mein rehay hue at least ap itna to kar saktay ho k sab ke samne burqa pehen ke na phiro!”

    Muslims whine about freedom in non-Muslim countries, but refuse to offer the same to non-Muslim subjects in their own lands. Isn’t that convenient?Recommend

  • Zain ul Hassan Khan

    Listen Dude , The Name of this country is Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Unfortunately this country was never meant for People like you,
    Unfortunatley the masses that forms the basis of country wont have the necessary means to express their feeling on such modern forum, Internet and Education is only limited to the elites Everything got messed up and now we have the new elite genetaion which is not ready to accept these things. (I wont go into the details that why majority of elite is like this and what their forefathers have done that there generation is like that)
    So this country is formed on some Principals. I respect your personal feelings and I have similar feelings but their is difference between what we think individually and what is healthy for a society as a whole.
    If religion is such a personal affair as stated by majority of viewers then there was no need of a seperate Pakistan and India. Wish our leaders of that time knew that and we could have avoided the large killing of peoples at the time of partition.
    But this country was formed on the basis of Islam and if you are not fasting then you should atleast respect the holiness of this month.
    Just to make my point clear let me ask you some thing Do you know that why after Asar prayers its not encouraged to offer your Qaza prayers in Mosque?
    If you know this you can understand my point of view. If you dont know the Answer then its better to study the religion about which you are making the comments (Being born in a muslim family does not make one understand the Islam and gives the authority to start giving the rulings to the things which one think as logical).
    If you wanna change this law then please first change the name of this country as things should be done in proper order. Recommend

  • Anny Marri

    Agreed 1000%. Roza is all about tolerance and about resisting temptation – NOT removing all temptation! Where’s your test as a rozedaar, if you can’t withstand the temptation of having people eat in front of you?! We become particularly intolerant and sanctimonious when we fast – as opposed to what we SHOULD become.Recommend

  • Muhammad Raza

    If you think about it, the law is for the rich. Poor people who haven’t had a proper meal in days can see us enjoy and at times waste food through out the year, and when it’s time for us to feel what they go through everyday, we make such a law? Thank you, writer for bringing this to my knowledge. My respect for the lawmakers actually went down today. Mind you, I didn’t think it could go any lower.Recommend

  • Heena

    Your article has wizened me to munch and munch and munch whenever I feel like it. Im a nursing mom and not obligated, but made to feel obligated by such ridiculousness..Recommend

  • hammad

    huma…!! u were brilliant n absolutely rite…..!!
    Farooq get a life man……u r soooo much confused!!
    ppl who agree wid farooq….plz answer huma..!Recommend

  • maliha

    I agree with the writer in that the law needs changing. There is no Islamic basis for such a law. Islam teaches us tolerance and respect, so if people for whatever personal reasons choose to or can not fast and are eating it is not a crime, in the eyes of God or anyone else.

    However I feel the writer got distracted somewhere along the length of the article. Firstly the two men in Sargodah were arrested for eating in public, not buying food. So the whole argument that private business suffer is completely unapplicable. Many places in Karachi are open during the day and cater to people who are not fasting. And for those who arent open , it is for the ease of their employees who will no doubt be hard at work during sehri and iftaar times. I mean we all enjoy these sehri and iftaar all you can eat deals, where do you think the people who serve us come from? Cant have the best of both worlds, can we? And at the prices these deals are at one can hardly say these private business are suffering!

    In regards to the law on fasting and why its not implemented any other time of the year the answer is simple. The fasts we keep during Ramadan are farz. Any other fast kept during the rest of the year comes under the category of sunnah or nawafil. Its fairly easy to understand really.

    As a muslim female living in Pakistan I enjoy my God given right to not fast during certain days of the month. However I choose to do it in private since my menstural cycle is no one’s business but my own. And no I do not feel wronged in any way!

    To conclude I think its ironic really that the writer repeatedly refers to himself as an adult when throughout the length of the article one cant help but get a sense of frustrated almost childlike sense of sulking. Recommend

  • responsibility

    huma ftwRecommend

  • Kamran Ali Hakro

    Ofcourse infirmity of ones religion, i must say infirmity to fast, is weak. Why should other be restrained to eat. Given that, I ask those who support eating in publich should be prohibited that What would you do if you were in non muslim state and you were fasting and other people not. Infact it is the actual test, when someone eats and yet you fast to please Allah.Recommend

  • http://awaisaftab.blogspot.com F

    Regarding those who’ve presented their ‘brilliant’ counter-arguments to this article, I can’t help but think:

    Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
    –Elbert Hubbard

    Recommend

  • http://www.accidentallyhuman.com Sanya Shiraz

    Very well written! This was an issue that had to be highlighted. I see so many people everyday dramatically sighing when they see someone with bottled water. They stare, and then glare. And then, unable to hold themselves anymore ask, “Rozaydaar kay saamne bhi? Sharam nahi aati?”.Recommend

  • The Beyonder

    @Zain ul Hassan Khan:

    FYI.. Pakistan was not actually made an “ISLAMIC REPUBLIC”. It was later changed to this. Get your history right mate. Recommend

  • Wasif

    Here in Dubai, there is a majority of non Muslim residents and tourists. they are not allowed to eat or even smoke publicly. In this city where bikinis and alcohol is normal routine, ramadan is respected that way. and what i believe is, most of the muslim countries have these rules. saying that, in ISLAMIC republic of pakistan, religion should not be a private thing between human and God. The govt of ISLAMIC republic pakistan has to make sure that all the muslims are abiding the islamic laws.

    btw this law is not about spineless, weak-willed people. this is about respect of holy month of RamadanRecommend

  • Anthony Permal

    Wow. I’m going to blatantly say it: the anti-author people who are going on and on are simply stupid and absolutely incompetent at understanding basic logic.

    You are actually saying you need a LAW to be in place for us non-Muslims to RESPECT Ramadan? Recommend

  • Asna

    its not about people eating infront of you, its about maintaining some respect for the month in a Islamic state atleast!Recommend

  • maestro

    So well spoken and written. With writers like these of these opinions, there is hope for Pakistan – peace to all – those fasting or not fasting, muslim or non-muslim. PEACE and TOLERANCE. May God save Pakistan – ameen. Recommend

  • Syeda Zunaira Zubair

    Totally agree with you sir… I would like to ask, what about the time when we see beggars begging around and we keep on eating and drinking stuff in our cars. Aren’t they humans? We might get tempted if someone eats in front of us during our fasting time, but eating in front of those who can’t afford is more offensive!
    Plus, what about the people who belong to minority groups? Why we always try to change their lives according to our laws, events and festivals???Recommend