way of Life
grandmother would never be seen without her prayer beads.
As soon as she reached a certain age, for some reason she
would always look at the sky and probably count the number
of days she had on this earth. Sometimes, I would catch her
smiling to herself and nod up at the heavens, oblivious to
everything and everyone else around her. I guess I was too
young to understand it then and had assumed her actions to
be just another sign of old age. But now, I sometimes think
that maybe she had reached a phase in life, where she felt
a firm attachment to her religion and God. According to family
members, it seems that the last thing that granny did right
before she breathed her last was look up at the sky and mumble
quick prayers, moving her lips, weary with age.
approach to religion is probably not a very uncommon scene
in Bangladesh or elsewhere. Once people reach their prime
age, somehow the universal concept of mortality hits them
and they realise the significance of religion in their lives.
They let in a sudden rush of changes in their lives, starting
from the way they dress, how they eat and how they behave
in front of other people, to how they move their eyes, speak
and express themselves. Women suddenly become adorned in black
and white, complementing their grey hair and wrinkled hands.
Men suddenly have new sets of panjabis and a permanent embellishment
of their heads with various kinds of prayer caps.
ones, in turn, 'wait' for this age to hit them, so as to transform
themselves into this pious version. 'Why demolish your life
now and trap yourself into the claws of religion?'
'We'll have nothing to do when we are 60 anyway, so why not
preoccupy ourselves with religion then?' In some ways, maybe
the youngsters are right, and I guess the senior citizens'
actions and attitudes towards Islam can also be justified.
sometimes wonder if religion can be viewed in yet another
way. I wonder if I can claim Islam to be a cool religion.
It might take a while to wipe out the relation certain people
have created between terrorism and Islam, but I still wonder
if the whole concept can be approached in another way.
scholar had once said that 'Islam is for those who are educated,
for those who want to accept changes in life for the better
and appreciate the creations of God with a clean heart and
a sound mind.'
I found out that the idea of praying five times a day is really
not all that complicated as many make it out to be. It's as
simple as brushing your teeth every day, a habit without which
a day would never begin and as necessary as taking your daily
now I don't see why certain people flaunt and make a big deal
out of praying and have to miss out on the many fun times
life can offer by merely 'getting into the clutches of religion'.
is really not the end of everything. It does not define not
going to the movies in the weekends, eating sandwiches at
get-togethers and chatting online with your old friends until
3 in the morning. Islam does not stop you from appreciating
a good piece of art, tapping along with your favourite tune
or simply smiling at someone you think you might like once
you get to know him. It is just another way of life. It might
strengthen your belief in yourself and probably put a little
bit of faith in you to have in the people around. It might
just give you more self-confidence to go out and face the
world all by yourself. It might give you courage when you
feel all left out and helpless and drive you to reach your
destination in life, when quitting becomes a better option.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004