Vol. 5 Num 717 Sun. June 04, 2006  
Letters to Editor

Allah/ Khoda Hafez

This letter is in response to the letters written by Jamsyd Osman and Moniruddin Ahmed on 26th May on the above mentioned subject. Interestingly, 'Jamsyd' is a Persian word and ''Osman' is Arabic! I happen to know both the languages.

One is at liberty to say anything as parting salutation as long as it causes no harm. But harmful is the way and the motives behind introduction of 'Allah Hafez' by the General Ziaul 'Haqaites'. 'Allah Hafez' and 'Khoda Hafez' divided the Pakistanis and contributed to the Sunni-Shia internecine killing in a Muslim country. Many innocent gullible Muslims of our country succumbed to the hidden evil designs and agenda of the 'Ziaul Haqaites'.

The answer to letter writers' insinuations is hidden in their own letters.

Culture and traditions are the fundamentals of any society, community, nation and country. Culture and traditions existed long before any known religion came into being- be it in Asia or Europe or Africa or America. Every religion incorporated local culture and traditions in the edicts of that religion - be it Islam or Judaism or Christianity or Hinduism or Buddism or Sikhism etc. Namaz or Salat, Roza or fasting, Hajj are all pre-Islamic rituals. The norms were modified and codified though divine revelations in Islam to fit the needs of society. Later on, Islam was propagated mainly by the tolerant, moderate secular minded "Sufi's to other countries, as opposed to fundamentalist 'Wahabis'.

Khoda Hafez is neither a false nor wrong tradition. On the contrary, it's an age old tested secular tradition. The present debate and implications are purely political.