Azan, shisha and convenient hypocrisy

Published: March 23, 2012

I am all up for mixing modernity with religion and bringing religion up to par with modern standards, but what about mixing religion with culture and conditioning? PHOTO: AFP

There is a cafe near my university which is frequently visited by students. It has groovy music and plenty of shisha. From the very visible public display of affection to the “immodest” dressing of students – it is a conservative’s nightmare. 

I am sure you can picture the place in your head by now. So one particular day while I was there with my friends, a waiter suddenly rushed towards the sound system and switched it off.  One of my friends joked that maybe the Taliban had finally heard of this place and attacked.

However, that concern was rapidly waived as girls sitting in the room scrambled to set their dupattas (head-scarves) straight and cover their heads while the more scantily clad ones looked around sheepishly. Even the guy sitting across from us, who was periodically making smoke circles, put down the shisha pipe and sat up attentively.

It was Azan time.

Within a matter of seconds, the general outlook of the room had changed, smokes were put out and girls were sharing dupattas to cover their hair.

Before calls are made for my head, I must say there is nothing wrong in showing reverence for the Azan, in fact that is what most of us have seen our parents do. However, somehow I am sure that when our mothers covered up for azan they weren’t sitting in a cafe smoking shisha and holding hands with their boyfriends.

I am all up for mixing modernity with religion and bringing religion up to par with modern standards, but what about mixing religion with culture and conditioning? For me, the putting out of cigarettes and covering up for Azan has more to do with tradition rather than religion itself. What about the fact that the Azan is just a call for prayer and the actual way of respecting it is by saying prayers and not by pushing the mute button on the remote control?

However I digress, and just so I am absolutely clear, whether you pray or not is completely your own business.

I am sure all of you would have noticed how during Ramazan our television show hosts turn into born again Muslims. There’s this great competition to prove who’s the holiest Muslim of all and the participants also include morning chefs, comedians and singers, all trying to wear their religion as overtly as possible.

Tolerating the likes of Amir Liaqat is hard enough on odd days but to see him hold our television hostage for an entire month while mixing ostensible peace messages with genuine hate speeches is strictly a regurgitating experience. The most ironic thing is how straight after iftari (breaking of fast at sunset) on chand raat (night before Eid) the prayer caps and the long white dupattas are magically transformed into revealing latest fashion trends.

Maybe the devil is really unleashed at the end of Ramazan – or is it just a Zionist conspiracy. I don’t know, you tell me?

The point that I am trying to make is that these little contradictions breed hypocrisy and can lead to an identity crisis. How can we forget the curious case of Ali Azmat, our lone true pop star, who jumps from jihad to Zionism to capitalism and finally to Sufi music all in one sentence.

The worrying thing is that this pattern is reminiscent of a significant portion of our youth. The youth that talks fondly about the likes of Mohammad bin Qasim and Che Guevara and thinks that a democratic caliphate will solve most of our problems as true democracy is just something that liberals talk about to tease Uncle Zaid Hamid.

The alarming thing is that it is in this confused youth that our revolutionary leaders find their greatest political capital. It is only because of this paradox that people like Imran Khan continue talking about nonsensical terms like an Islamic welfare state, and get applauded rather than being questioned as to the specifics of it.

Switching off music or saying “Allah Hafiz” instead of “Khuda Hafiz” is certainly not the disease, but only symptoms of one. The disease manifests itself when these little quirks turn into discrimination and prejudice.

Somehow, I am convinced that between a non Khuda Hafizian and an I-don’t-care-how-you-greet-me person, the journey towards bigotry is much convenient for the former as compared to the latter.

Read more by Omer .

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly cited Ali Zafar, where Ali Azmat was referred to.


Omer Kamal Bin Farooq

An economics student from Lahore with a keen interest in sports, theology, politics, and, anthropology.

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

  • Ovais

    and i never got the point of the aritcle … I just appreciate that someway deep down we still have that morals to respect our religion… Its sad state with liberals when they denounce everything in islam as extremist and dont respect a society as such …. anyways ur article was confusing Recommend

  • Nadia

    what was your point??Recommend

  • naveed khan

    Lie,cheat,commit fraud,steal,do corruption and then just perform religious rituals and all of society will hail you as ”kitna acha,shareef,namazi,rozaydar” insaan hai.
    it’s sad that in our society exhibitionist religious rituals and symbolism are hailed as the marks of a good person.Be as horrible as you want,but if you wear a hijab,burka,pray,fast and ridicule gays,atheists,liberals you will be treated as the saviours of pakistan.Recommend

  • Bilal

    The author seems to be either confused or scared to explain his thoughts explicitly. Recommend

  • asad hammad

    Yes,this hypocrisy continues unabated.The religious fanatics are the ones who most aggressively condemn the West and its culture,but they are the ones eager to migrate to america the most.
    while at home they scream and shout against secularism,LGBT rigths,gay marriage,atheists and agnostics and they wail how the evil amreeka allows all these things in its country,but they are so hypocritical that they want to settle in amreeka for the dollars and benefits they get there.Recommend

  • sarfraz paracha

    Watch porn,try to ‘set’ as many girls as you can,never pay income tax,beat up your wife,do whatever you want,but as long as you have a beard,say words in Arabic at the end of your sentences,abuse and rail against liberals,you can be a good muslim in our country.
    It seems that one has can do whatever one likes just as long as one is publicly homophobic,misogynistic and shows off the performance of religious customs and practices then our public is happy to celebrate you as a good muslim.Recommend

  • Kashif

    Simply Brilliant. Recommend

  • ….

    Alright people do a lot of “wrong” and “forbidden” deeds. Ok this is wrong, but does that mean that people stop following the remaining Islam as well. No matter what they do, one must not stop and discourage them from following a little what they follow and act upon. Alright people stop sins in the month of ramadan, so you want to say that they shouldnt??

    When someone with beard do something wrong, listening to music for instance, people say “yaar darhi rakh k aesy kaam karty ho”

    But when someone with no beard, with modern mustache do some good deed which Islams says to do so, no one stop him and say “yaar clean shave ho k aesa karty ho yeh to sirf molvie k liye ha”

    And you are here blaming others for hypocrisy?
    Calling yourself muslim and doing nothing even close to practice of Islam is not hypocrisy? Recommend

  • Tooba

    Islam is simple and easy. Dont complicate it.Recommend

  • Salman Parekh

    The author is most probably trying to tell us that actions without meaning in them have no good outcome! This is the same Islam has taught us that “Aamaal ka daar o midaar niyyat par hota hai.”Recommend

  • ls

    good article – pakistanis suffer from a split personality – one one hand wearing their religion on their sleeves, and giving that holier than thou attitude, while on the other hand – doing everything
    “westerners” do (you know, the “bad stuff”) . Recommend

  • Qaisar

    I never understood who do we refer as liberals and fanatics? Being a good “person” is something more than this hypocritical symbolism. Is this the time for us to keep religion apart and start being a good human who is contributing positively towards society and why should one care about what I do on AZAN time?

    Religious respect and hypocrisy is something that should be left to Allah to decide. Newaz, very disturbing thoughts are put together in this single piece of writing which is confusing. In any case, you can at least say Food for thought. For me, all these issues are extremely personal and about Imran Khan, lemme warn you that PTI troll will be on their way to take you on! :) cheers…Recommend

  • Glaedr

    I’m sure you meant ‘Ali Azmat’ when you said ‘Ali Zafar’.Recommend

  • RJ

    I have to agree and disagree with you at the same time…I agree at the hypocrisy shown by some in the name of religion…However I do disagree that not everyone who turns off the music or covers their head or stops doing what they are at the time of prayer call is a hypocrite. I pray everyday, I do cover my head if I have a duppatta or scarf when I hear the Azan, I do turn down music or the TV when I hear the azan. Am I religious or a hypocrite? I’m neither! I think we as humans need to focus on our own actions rather than point fingers at other, especially when their actions aren’t affecting us in a harmful wayRecommend

  • SN

    whats with the mass confusion here in the comments section? The author’s point is simple: hypocrisy is ridiculous. If you are pious, be pious all the time, If you aren’t, don’t pretend to be SOME of the time for society’s benefit or for assuaging your own guilt. In other words, stop being two-faced!Recommend

  • sidjeen

    @ author most of the times i say the same things as you and all my friends call me communist i think you get that label quite a lot too. lolRecommend

  • Amna

    …these little contradictions breed hypocrisy and can lead to an identity crisis.” I think they’ve, already. I went through quite different emotions while reading this article. It’s like I’m not even sure if I’m conservative or liberal. Desperate times! Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid

    Instead of Ali Zafar you should have mentioned our great bald headed follower Ali Azmat who has excelled in conspiracy theory by claiming that all the musical instruments in the worls were set to a destructive frequency by the zionists after second world war.

    —Zaid Hamid “conspiracy waley”Recommend

  • Ali

    Hypocrisy of Pakistani nation at its best.

    morally bankrupt Indianized Pakistanis!!! what else one can expect from them?Recommend

  • Mahis

    I think what the author means by hypocrite here is someone who smokes shisha with their boyfriends in a cafe and then covers their head during Azan.If you don’t do the former, then why would you be a hypocrite?
    That is the thing in our society! Follow the west in terms of shisha and boyfriends but only do the little things that are convenient. Like covering our heads during Azan for example. This is not just harmful to us and our souls but also a disgrace to Islam.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The point of us practicing ‘ form over substance ‘ where religion is concerned has been nicely and forcefully made by you. The more religious we think we as getting the more religiosity we are actually displaying and distancing ourselves from what religion teaches.
    I completely agree with @Tooba’s comment and it holds good for any religion.Recommend

  • junaid jawed

    well i think this article is a bit contradictory as it doesn’t make a clear point it is just criticizing not offering any real soloutions .
    In my opinion if someone is just showing respect by putting off music or girl’s taking dupatta’s on their head is not a bad sign at all and we can’t claim it purely as cultural or religious act !!! If anyone’s showing respect for azan let them be that way sooner or later they will either be on one side .
    yea there’s a lot of things happening in morning shows , other tv shows , newschannel they go with the wind– do what sells so calling them hypocrite is fine (but that’s their style of doing business) .
    Not only youth our whole nation is in a dilemma of being religious or secular but with the passage of time we will be able to identify and structure our lifestyles and categorzie things in a betterway and find peace in our hearts and mind . But thats not hypocricy it is just the way things are. Recommend

  • trollol

    of course contradictions do breed hypocrisy..when you take something that is clearly fallible and start thinking of it as the ultimate truth then hypocrisy becomes institutionalized..Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    This is the quite natural for a society where the moral worth of a person is measured not by thoughtfulness of his actions, but by the length of his beard.

    It doesn’t matter how courteously a person has been treating you, or how sincere and well-mannered he is. Unless he has exhibited his religiosity by pestering you to go offer namaz, or delivering a condescending sermon upon your lack of interest to do so, then he’s simply not good enough.

    We’ve allowed complex pseudo-morals to replace real moral values.You’re not doing mankind any favours by not eating pork, denying yourself physical intimacy, spending the entire day performing religious rituals, or any of the other restrictions you believe make you a moral person. It’s things like being nice to others, not invading their privacy, helping the poor, respecting others’ freedom, that truly you moral. This is what actually matters.Recommend

  • lala land

    I didn’t get it.
    Firstly, I’ve NEVER EVER seen a girl who’d be smoking sheesha and holding hands with her Boyfriend & when the azaan goes off, she becomes a satti sawitri. Nope, never saw that happening. If she was so considerate about azaan, she wouldn’t be doing these things in the first place.
    Secondly, even if she was smoking a sheesha and she did stop for azaan, why is it bothering you?

    You’re contradicting yourself, don’t you you think?
    whether you pray or not is completely your own business. It’s their own business, why do you bother writing a blog? :sRecommend

  • Sanity

    When you are comparing the liberals with the Islamists, it would have been better to compare liberalism with Islamism. What is wrong in thinking that “Islamic welfare state” is the right solution for Pakistan? What is so great about west and its civilization that the liberals idealize? In fact western civilization is rotten and further deteriorating day by day. I feel proud in the fact that in Pakistan, we still love our religion and pay respect to the core values. Good and evil is part of every society and every system. A few bad people aren’t the proof of a system’s failure. If we follow the path that Hazrat Muhammad P.B.U.H showed us, we will definitely be a great nation. Recommend


    as usual the author…a typical macaulian prototype, is exhibiting his lack of islamic education. the way to respect azaan is to answer it by repeating the words and making dua afterwards. then you go and pray it in the earliest possible time.
    the author simply chose the latter part of this ruling and ignored the former part as it would implicate him as well. the point is not to skip answering the azaan, the point is to not go to places or do things that would make you a hypocrite when the azaan is heard.
    liberals should attempt to study islam with a teacher and then attempt to give their ‘precious’ opinions. its like a 5th grader is criticizing a PhD’s research on quantum mechanics. please.Recommend

  • perplexed

    though the authors attempt and the subject chosen are great i feel ( and its just my opinion which im entitled to have) that the author was scared to really say out loud what he believed or wanted to say thus making him sound confused. Its not necessary to be politically correct all the time and its okay to have your own opinion too even if it differs from the masses.Recommend

  • modern guy

    most of us are hypocrites…….no doubt in that.2.islam is code of life…so if ur life is not according to islam if u r in (gf/bf stuff)..,,3.all the values of islam have to be respected at all costs..4.if ur brother/son is gonna fall in a ditch,wud u let him go saying “its ur personal matter”..likewise if u r not praying,it isnt ur personal matter….tribure, stop polluting young minds by these half desi/half wilayati writers.

  • Huma

    didn’t get what writer wanted to say…. was obscure ..however topic was good…a confused hypocrite youth or ppl…it isn’t just give reverence to religion but its instructions should be followed,it isn’t limited to put duppatta upon head while hearing Azan ..I’m bewildered sometime why do youngsters mix two words flexibility and modernity when they talk about modernity….there’s lot of difference between flexible thought and modern one.Recommend

  • ALi

    I am living in usa and you have said everything correct. These(inferiority complexed Pakistanis) ppl idealize immoral and immodest activities of hollywood/bollywood and find it to be very cool. The moment they will come out of Pakistan they will miss everything. Azaan is one of those things which I miss everyday 5 times of Pakistan.

    modernization does not mean fashion-immodesty and immorality.

    morally bankrupt Indianized Pakistanis!

    why have Pakistanis never learned the good aspects of Indians & Americans? why only vulgarity/nudity drinking gf/bf culture etc?

    the more we will watch bollywood movies the more shame/modesty will end from ourselves. Recommend

  • ALi this american christian woman explains what modesty is. I am ashamed to see that Muslims have forgotten modesty. Thanks to bollywood!Recommend

  • ALi

    @Loneliberal PK:
    Girls and Boys cuddling each other having Shesha wasting (time n money not doing anything effective) to bring change even in their own lives is a Big great task to help the society.

    Go live in USA if you have to waste a life like this. 3 world countries can’t afford youth/young generations like these who waste time n money like this while religious elders like Abdul Sattar Edhi are doing wonders by reading Namaz, having a Beard and bringing a change in the state of Pakistan. And btw he has been nominated for a nobel Peace Prize. Recommend

  • Fatima

    Agree with you absolutely. Which is why when the azan starts I crank up the music louder. Recommend

  • Zohaab

    I did get what the writer is talking about, because there was a time when i felt the same way about things, this culture that claims to be Islamic but is not what it is. This hypocritical culture which we and before us our parents inherited, it makes you confuse and dizzy. If someone would for once try to read that book which we all keep in our houses on high shelves covered in beautiful silk cloths. If you actually read our Holy book and try understand what it says, you might find the right answers. This generation just see things judge them and comment on it. May be if you scratch the surface and dig a little deeper into things you might find that missing faith, which most of us claim to have and try show to people with those acts that we do in public. plz read the Holy Quran, try to find right sources and try to find right people who can guide you, you will find all the answers there. InshAllah
    May Allah guide us and have mercy on our souls.Recommend

  • Naveed Buzdar

    Even though I am not a regular Namazi, but I do all these thing, which you have mentioned. Its not the culture infact it is the way we have been trained. If we can’t offer our prayer regularly it doesn’t mean, that we have no respect for Azan… This shows the despite of so many odd things, there are people who smoke Shisha, and respect the Azan, because this is the way they have been trainedRecommend

  • Loneliberal PK


    “Girls and Boys cuddling each other having Shesha wasting (time n money not doing anything effective) to bring change even in their own lives is a Big great task to help the society”

    Maybe so. But at least they’re not pretending that their activities make them morally superior to others, which cannot be said for many religious people. I’m not saying all of them, but most of them develop a self-righteous attitude that, “Because I never drink, cuddle up with a girl, or eat pork, I’m better and more ethical than you.”

    It’s like me saying, “Because I don’t eat ladyfingers, and never leave my house without washing my hair in diet coke, I’m a good and moral person.” No, it doesn’t matter to anyone whether I do or don’t do those things as they have no practical value. They’re just pseudo-morals.

    On the other hand if one says, “Because I treat all people well regardless of their religion, creed, gender or sexual orientation, I am a better and more ethical person than you are.” Now that would make sense!Recommend

  • hina

    author has really tried hard to show us the picture of new youth world we belong to!This is something which is suppose to be acknowledge rather being criticized!!!! Recommend

  • Silas

    He is not denouncing it as extremism, he is talking about hypocrisy. Har cheez may “liberals want to attack islam’ na ghusa diya karo.”Recommend

  • ….

    The Azan is a humbling experience. For a minute 5 times a day it diverts the attention giving the mind and soul an uplift (at least its this way for me). I do not cover my hair but do so during Azan and for that moment sit silently in peace. It is my way of giving it its due respect just as I would stand up for any country’s national anthem. For the other stuff in your blog, please let them be! At the end of the day good or bad we are all answerable for only our own deeds!Recommend

  • Adeel S

    its the zionist’s conspiracy…… no need to fight.
    we are so innocent…..k bas ab kia kahun….Recommend

  • ALi

    @Loneliberal PK:

    “Maybe so. ”

    Really? You want to be in a state of denial its up to you. Yes girls in our society/culture specially in Pakistan cuddling with boys freely and vice versa(boys with girls) is considered immoral. Don’t look everything from hollywood’s point of view. This is Pakistan & not America. Our media wants us to be next america but its not healthy in any way or form.

    read this if you have time. Also click on the moral crisis and you ll see the reality of america. If you want Pakistan to be like what America is today then your doing a good job. Will it help Pakistan? NO!

    ““Because I never drink, cuddle up with a girl, or eat pork, I’m better and more ethical than you.””

    To the extent of what they are avoiding all the haram activities. For them its Jihad e Akbar. Nafs ka Jihad. But if their manners are bad and they feel arrogant from that point of view they are doing wrong no sawaab. Be in the context don’t be in the general mode.

    I gave you the example of Mr Edhi and that makes sense, but why in the world anyone would say it will be considered arrogance and its not allowed. Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    I think the real nightmare is you using the word “groovy”.Recommend

  • What were you doing?

    An in depth article truly appreciate it, but it’s not clear what your trying to say.

    What were you doing in that sheesha bar, if you knew it was time for azaan? Hypocrisy starts here when people be judgemental and care not to think about there actions. Im only saying this because you, yourself is being critical about there actionsRecommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    May I share an observation with you? I have seen some good friends descending into radicalized mindset and one of the surprising reasons for that has been this kind of attitude of people on the other side…which is they make people who are mildly conservative feel so guilty by calling them hypocrite over and over again that such people end up on the other side altogether…and then one day they come back with an even more rigid self-righteous mindset…because deep down this is how most human beings behave…if they have not been forgiven for their mistakes…they will not forgive your for your mistakes (whatever it be in their view)…so please let the people be as they are…having seen a lot of women from different cultures…I still think putting dobatta at azan time is one of the most unique and beautiful thing about Pakistani women…Recommend

  • alina

    you cannot generalize the two groups of people. Whether your a person who smokes sheesha, mixes with the opposite sex,speaks english or is a fully bearded man who goes against other teachings of the west.
    It more about a person’s personality, mindset, values,a connection to what is actually happening in pakistan and what i can do to contribute to society.
    Now if you see, there are flaws to both of the type of people. So who is correct? do you think it’s a mixture of these two, so that we can actually compete with the west, keeping in mind our values?
    If yes, then that would be a perfect mixture, and hypocrisy would end.

    Also, smoking is not against our religion. It’s more of a cultural trend now in pakistan. I don’t see it as a part of hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    It is the Hypocrisy within each one of us… We don’t obey our Creator but our Desires!! What we feel good we offer it leaving apart the other Guidelines.
    Allah says;

    O believers enter into Islam COMPLETELY and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan, surely he is your clear-cut enemy. (2:208)Recommend

  • OM

    How true … and the ones who question it are probably the ones who scramble to share scarves and stop blowing smoke circles. Recommend

  • Hajra Noreen

    gasp there is certainly more to life than being bothered about “oh-look-she-covered-her-head-now”. I hope you find a better argument and theme to discuss ! All the best !Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    At least there is an effort and realization which will bear fruit one day … I appreciate all those who at least show there respect at Azaan … better than what the author wants everyone to be !!!
    deen aur duniya saath saath !!!Recommend

  • Schaad

    What a waste of time. Saying Allah Hafiz instead of Khuda Hafiz is a personal matter, the problem is the interference of the State in such matters. Please don’t draw wrong conclusions from NFP’s articles. And respect for others feeling is still welcome by liberals what is unwelcome is forcing it on people..Recommend

  • Ozymandias

    You don’t mean Ali Zafar. I think you mean Ali Azmat.Recommend

  • Naveed Zaidi

    Wonderful job Omer. You have identified a real problem. Simply brilliant article and I conform it.Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    Agreed. I wanted to write about it too. Hypocrisy is the problem!Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    @Schaad: I adore NFP’s style of writing. Not that I agree with everything he says. He is a writer par excellence. Recommend

  • Ali S

    Agree with most points. But never got why saying “Allah hafiz” instead of “Khuda hafiz” upsets liberals, or how is that a sign of any ‘disease’. There’s nothing “overt” or “exhibitionist” about it, you’re just being too picky about anything remotely Islamic.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK


    The reference you provided is not credible enough. I would prefer actual scientific studies, not right-wing websites.

    It is false piety. You’re no better than me if you reject physical intimacy with a girl, while I don’t. You need to stop being self-righteous about that. This kind of “immorality” is based on your religious and cultural views..

    It’s like me believing that because I don’t eat french fries, I’m more moral than you are. And to support my belief, I can speak about how fries can raise blood cholesterol, cause heart disease, obesity…which is a pandemic and a far more serious issue than anything that can be caused by me simply cuddling with a girl.

    At most, I can say that I’m making a healthy decision, but not an ‘ethical’ one.Recommend

  • amokcsilin

    Brilliant piece! I hope all the senseless people above get your point. Its hard to accept the truth when you know that it might turn against your beliefs! Recommend

  • Paras

    What exactly is the point that you are trying to make? Should we leave the ‘respect’ part of the religion also that is the only thing which is left in us?
    You sure have a very confused opinion of what you are saying. Make a clear point.Recommend

  • ALi

    @Loneliberal PK:
    lol.Go read the article again. There is nothing wrong in reading it. Just wanted to give u a glimpse of what you don’t see on hollywood and dying to be like them.

    I am and will always look from my religious point of view. If your not looking for any religious point of view then its not my fault. I am a Muslim and I will do what I follow. and I gave a whole article telling about those who are into physical intimacy and the future is bleak. If you cannot see this now you ll see it after few years.

    One can only see from outside. For e.g. a person is into all that crap. The reason he/she is not seeing from where I see it is that he/she is part of that act. Its like I am a smoker. And I know its wrong to smoke it will kill me or give me lung cancer etc but I still smoke. Until I quit smoking or I have never smoked I won’t see the difference. People have credible scientific studies on “smoking kills” but still its being promoted and ppl do it because they have to fulfill their desires. The best part is that liberals (supposedly more knowledgeable than who reads namaz, does hijab or has a beard) even know that passive smoking is so harmful but still they don’t care about the society. The reason is we all are selfish to an extent and don’t care about how our actions have a negative impact on the society.

    If you feel proud of doing something not ‘ethical’ or unethical fine. Ignorance is not a bliss!

    Same way me and your are different. Recommend

  • Zainab

    Salaam u alaikum wr wb, I undertsand and agree with the point of the article. But, it is not all about what out mothers used to do. The main source of Islam is Allah and His Messenger SAW. While our parents may also have good knowledge of Islam, there may be a lot which they dont about either. “The path to seeking knowledge is the duty of every believer.” (Muslim)Recommend

  • Nizamani

    “What about the fact that the Azan is just a call for prayer and the actual way of respecting it is by saying prayers and not by pushing the mute button on the remote control?”

    So by the very logic of it, if I don’t want to offer Salah I should keep listening to music, instead of turning it down even though my religious humility (whats left of it) wants me to? because thats just a call right? even better if I don’t get to hear the azan in the first place? than I won’t even have to respect it by offering the prayer..

    Azan is a reminder..the minute you turn down your sheesha and put on your dupatta, you are respecting it..Recommend

  • Nadia

    Its not necessarily hypocrisy. There are social norms in each society and people try to conform to those norms – not necessarily because they agree with them or because they believe in them but because there is pressure to do so. whether they do whatever they do out of respect or to fit in is another question and i think its naive to make generalizations and judgments about people by observing them just once. theres a lot more to a situation and to a person and this black and white sort of thinking doesn’t really help us understand why people behave the way they do. Recommend

  • Pink

    None of us are perfect Muslims, we’re not even close to maybe being considered a Muslim besides the fact that our parent’s gave Azan in our ears when we were born. What you have stated happens, and it will continue to happened whether we like it or not. Look at the bright side, atleast at least they had the courtesy to turn off the music and turn out the smoke and cover their heads. It all comes back to who should we follow, what should we follow? Yes,we have been given the best of the best examples of Prophet Mohammad PBUH, but how many of us really follow in his foot steps? The so-called “janati” maulvis aren’t the right ones. Who will bring about the change? Religious institutes will certainly not because all they do is turn towards the most extreme outcome possible. But then what do we do? If your intention is clean and pure, and you’re doing one thing out of ten, that’s much better than not doing anything at all. We are very quick to judge others before looking at ourselves. Awareness is the key to quite a number of things in Pakistan, but we don’t have that. Women’s dressing seems to be a big issue for a number of people, but why isn’t anyone pointing fingers at men? WHY? Men are no saints, but women, we’ll all go down the worst road to trash a woman for how she’s dressed. Modesty or no modesty, they made their choice. Our job is to present the truth and spread Allah’s word and not judge ANYONE. May Allah bless us all. (Pehlay apni fikar tou kerlo, phir baki duniya ki bhi kerlena, humnay apna jawab dena hai, dosron ka nahi, haan koshish kerlo agar dosray ko samjha saktay ho bus)Recommend

  • Pink

    I’m pretty sure the author didn’t mean we stop becoming “Muslim” during the month of Ramadan, he’s probably trying to say why do we become Muslims during Ramadan, and then forget anything ever happened after that? Recommend

  • Pink

    Smoking shisha, or having a boyfriend is their business, not ours, in our society we will take someone down no matter what. God know’s each and everyone one of our intentions. Yes, having a boyfriend doesn’t become right, nor does smoking, or drinking, or dancing, or partying, or wear revealing clothes. I must agree with you on the point that we love copying the west, but guess what we only like to copy the “cool” stuff not the good part. What happens is wrong, but noone is strong enough or confident enough to even touch such a topic to get the right message across. The Maulivis, or the ladies at the religious centers, our parents, our teachers? We will never listen to any one of them. Islamic nation, but not quite Muslim. Recommend

  • Sana

    The shisha and azaan example is not so convincing but TV anchors turning muslim during Ramadan is a brilliant example. If they believe covering their heads is the right thing to do, then it should not be limited to a month but done throughout the years. Yes tv are foestering hypocrisy and I totally agree with author. Good job, keep writing!Recommend

  • Adeel

    Why criticise someone for doing something good? Its like saying someone shouldn’t pray just because they don’t have a full beard and trousers above their ankles or wearing a full ninja burkha in case of a women or a thousand other things. No one’s perfect but when they do something nice, I would consider appreciating them for their actions rather than calling them a hypocrite. If they do something wrong, that does NOT cancel out their good deeds. Yes, hypocrisy does exist in our society specially when it comes to religion but not the kind mentioned by the author.
    As for the Allah Hafiz vs Khuda Hafiz debate, I myself plead guilty to saying Khuda Hafiz more often than not but religious scholars are unanimous on the fact that saying Allah Hafiz equates to more “sawab” so why not use that term or are you so pious that such trivials do not matter to you?Recommend

  • Mahima

    @Ovais: The article was not that confusing. The author did not disrespect Islam or people who follow bits and pieces of islam in any way. you are right to say that we should respect our traditions and culture but not at the cost of being a hypocrite…which as the author said leads to an identity crisis and let’s face it, our youths identity crisis today is only leading to more manipulation by the Government than anything else. I don’t think this had anything to do with extremism, at all.Recommend

  • alia

    As Pakistanis we are still searching for our identity…by looking up for a role model in America, India or Saudi Arabia…while we cannot wholly conform to any one of them we are picking and choosing things that do not violate the norms of our class…as there coexist now different versions of culture and religion based on which class you belong to….and then the inconsistency of our behaviour is a natural outcome when we move in and out of these groups and classes. Having said this one cannot deny that truth is one and evident. The Muhkamat (explicit commands) of Quran are beyond compromise, they are hard to follow so we always look for ways around them like Jews did and we are asked to seek refugee from such behaviour by proclaiming :Ghair-il -Magzoob alaaihim….last ayat of sura alfatiha. As a nation we lack consistency and practice extreme degree of opportunism…where it benefits us to display religion we display where it will show us as conservative we refrain. And the severest admonishment in The quran is for these swingers..the munafiqeen, whose behaviour is inconsistent with their belief. What brings genuine peace inside( and I would not like to use the term happiness as it is elusive and relative in its connotations) is the true path. And that journey to truth and peace starts from the desire and intention within and that asking yourself before EVERY action ‘who am I trying to please” a human, a group or ALLAH…then surely you will find the answer if you are right or wrong…All— the self righteous and the hypocrites…..Recommend

  • Hypocrisy indeed

    I think many people didn’t quite get the point of his article. He’s not denouncing Muslims or liberals, he’s denouncing hypocrisy. The fact that so many youngsters indulge in wrong doings and activities prohibited in Islam yet continue to feel some misplaced sense of satisfaction that they are good Muslims on the highway to heaven.
    Sure it’s great that they at least have respect for the Azan but no good is coming out of it. If the argument is that they’re following a little bit of Islam and that will soon become a big bit is stupid. It’s just creating a bunch of sinners who think they aren’t sinning!!! Misplaced sense of morality people!Recommend

  • Aqdas Muzaffar

    completely agree with you :)Recommend

  • Chulbul Pandey

    @Ali: morally bankrupt Indianized Pakistanis!!! what else one can expect from them?

    Clap clap clap!!! I salute you sir. You found seemingly impossible way to criticize and hate Indians.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK


    Perhaps this discussion would be a little more fruitful if we all learn listen to logic and reason first, and religion second. Blind faith in anything is not a virtue.

    I look for facts, and draw the logical conclusion. You draw a conclusion first, based on your religious beliefs, and then find facts to support it. That’s not a rational approach.Recommend

  • ALi

    @Loneliberal PK:
    My religion is based on Logic and that is why I look from that point of view. If one doesn’t see that way its not my problem. You have not yet backed any of your argument with any logic. I have and gave examples. Now I can see you have no counter argument so your coming of with this lame argument of religion vs logic. Recommend

  • ALi

    @Chulbul Pandey:
    Indians or Pakistanis? When one can call westernized Pakistanis doesn’t mean that a person hates west but a person trying to tell a Pakistani about his inferiority complex. Same goes with indianized Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Halima Sadia

    as much as i agree with the author about how we should follow either one completely instead of being hypocritical, it has unfortunately come down to the point where if we choose to do that we will probably end up losing even the little amount of respect and value we have for our religion because of the constant fast moving media-influenced world we are living in. for me, people who cover their head for the azan or read the jummay ka namaz is not a sign of dying religion but of a religion that is still somewhat present in us that will inshaAllah one day be a greater part of our lives. obviously it would be better if we actually responded to the azan and then went to pray but if it’s not that then i dont think a better alternative is to crank up the volume even more.Recommend

  • Salman

    The writer should bring some originality to his posts. This one seemed straight out of a Nadeem farooq paracha’s article!Recommend

  • kamran zahid

    Maybe the devil is really unleashed at the end of Ramazan – or is it just a Zionist conspiracy. I don’t know, you tell me?
    its a Hadith…Shall I tell You, what Hadith is ? because from your writing, you dont seem to be….
    –> Hadith is what Rasool-e-Akram (Holy Prophet (PBUH) [of MUSLIMS] said.
    in a Hadith, Nabi Pak (PBUH) said that Devil is closed down in Ramadhan.Recommend

  • Azaad

    It happens in today Muslim societies but atleast they do respect their religion….


  • Munzir Zafar

    Even though I can understand where the author is coming from, I respectfully disagree to his analogies and conclusions.

    The various contradicting behaviors that the author pointed out such as “covering up for Azan”, “becoming pious in ramadhan” etc is indicative of the fact that there is a contradiction between the emotions and thought of the people. While most people in Pakistan are emotionally attached to Islam, their minds have been corrupted through mass media, education and a hypocrite leadership.

    So hypocrisy, is not really the disease, but again a symptom of the disease. The disease being intellectual bankruptcy of people and their lack of confidence on Quran as the only source of intellectual leadership.

    This will be revived when people with enlightened thought revive the general confidence of the public on Islam as an intellectual leadership, take over the government and subsequently the power over mass media and education, and act as a leadership that consistently rules with Islam and solves the problems of people with Islam.

    Once this is achieved, there will harmony in the thought and emotions of the people. And the apparent hypocrisy will come to an end.Recommend

  • Hamid Zaid

    Even though I can understand where the author is coming from, I respectfully disagree to his analogies and conclusions.

    The various contradicting behaviors that the author pointed out such as “covering up for Azan”, “becoming pious in ramadhan” etc is indicative of the fact that there is a contradiction between the emotions and thought of the people. While most people in Pakistan are emotionally attached to Islam, their minds have been corrupted through mass media, education and a hypocrite leadership.

    So hypocrisy, is not really the disease, but again a symptom of the disease. The disease being intellectual bankruptcy of people and their lack of confidence on Quran as the only source of intellectual leadership.

    This will be revived when people with enlightened thought revive the general confidence of the public on Islam as an intellectual leadership, take over the government and subsequently the power over mass media and education, and act as a leadership that consistently rules with Islam and solves the problems of people with Islam.

    Once this is achieved, there will harmony in the thought and emotions of the people. And the apparent hypocrisy will come to an end.Recommend

  • Zainab

    So are you really modern and still being judgemental ?Recommend

  • TMohsin

    So if you think that smoking sheesha is an “unreligious” thing to do, what were you doing over there with your friends? Does’nt that make you a hypocrite too??

    Apart from this, your article has a good point. Maybe you were not able to convey your message hundred percent. Recommend

  • kamran zahid

    NON-JUDGMENTAL attitude is a MYTH !
    How can one be Non-Judgmental ? I mean, its ironic !Recommend

  • Viqas

    The author is trying to project a confused and bi-polar society, quite rightly but he himself seems to be the victim of it. Recommend

  • Amir Ali

    salute bossRecommend

  • Sane

    Very truly author has narrated Hippocratic society. Great write.Recommend

  • sana

    I am so sick of hypocritical behavior. Take for example facebook pictures with a ton of MashAllah comments written on them. What is the point really ! People are enjoying their materialistic /consumerist lifestyles – dresses as unislamically as they want yet the comments on their pictures are full of MA ( MashAllah which literally means God willing ) It is just so nauseatingly hypocritical. Go ahead and do what you want but then leave God out of it. Recommend

  • ALi

    The best part is we don’t even realize we are hypocrites so who will be improve our weaknesses when we are not accepting our faults?Recommend

  • Serenity Pearls

    I think I get the tone of this article… hypocrisy is there, that’s what I used to reason when I would deliberately not put the dupatta on my head whenever adhaan was called. But later I realized hypocrisy of others is not a valid excuse for one’s own actions.
    These days you cannot really mix society with religion because our society is far on another end of the spectrum. And as far as mixing modernity with religion goes – well one must first define what modernity is? A person can follow Islam thorough and through and still be open-minded, tolerant and accepting of new knowledge and technology.
    The only thing that differentiates a moderate muslim from a staunch muslim is that the latter is going to stop when his imaan is at cost, or where he has to give up his islamic values. He would have his priorities set straight: if he has to choose, he would choose prayer over other worldly mixing, modesty over shame, and honesty over cheating for a little amount of money. The moderate Muslim may not be able to draw this line. So while weighing others on our judgment scale, we should really ask ourselves: where do we fall?Recommend

  • Raz

    Nice article. The people who have not grasp of the things mentioned may have weak perception quality of mind. Some deeper things are not for all. One have to hold a clear point of view to understand things. In simple words, which type of software have been loaded in your brain, that matters. Therefore, one has to be more perceptive and equipped with the right skills to understand things and most of all have the clarity of mind.Recommend