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    Volume 12 |Issue 09| March 01, 2013 |


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Star Diary


He was shivering all over as he stood there, drenched to the skin by the rain that showed no sign of stopping. As people passed by, hurrying away under their umbrellas, he extended his small hand towards them, begging for some money. Yet hardly anyone looked at the little boy, around eight or nine years old. Everyone was busy returning to the safety of their homes. So there he stood, on the road, in front of the mosque in his shabby clothes and bare feet. The skin of his hands and feet were wrinkled from standing in the cold rain. All the beggars that would normally have been clustering around the mosque were gone, driven away by the downpour, except this poor little child. I noticed him when I was about to go out of the mosque after prayers but could not as I had brought no umbrella with me. People walked past me, opening their umbrellas and stepping into the rain. I watched them as they went out of sight, one by one. Occasionally a car or a rickshaw would pass on the road, splashing water from the small pools formed on the road by the rain. The boy still stood there.

I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked around and saw an old man smiling at me. I recognised him as we have spoken several times before in the mosque. “Didn’t you bring your umbrella with you?”, he asked with the smile still on his face. “Na, chacha, it wasnt raining when I came out from home. So didnt think it was necessary.” “It's good to carry one during these rainy days”, he replied and stepped out of the mosque onto the road. I looked for that boy but he was gone, as if he was a phantom.

I walked back into the mosque and sat down on the floor and waited for the rain to slow down a bit. There were people around me praying, some others were talking to the Imam and some were sitting, like me, but mumbling prayers silently. The boy in the rain kept coming back to my mind. I wondered where he had gone, whether he had parents and whether he would catch a fever after being out in the rain for so long. I remembered how much my parents cared for me when I was his age, how anxious they would be when I caught a cold. Suddenly, I felt fortunate for all the blessings God has given me in my life. I forgot my recent discontent about the amount of weekly allowance from my father. I felt blessed and happy but at the same time, as I reached into my pocket, I felt guilty that the few notes of money I had were still there- they would have been of better use if I had given them to that little child. As I was thinking all this, I noticed the rain had stopped and I stood up. I walked out of the mosque with a mixed feeling, wishing I were a better person who could do something for the poor around me.

Mamun David Ebne Ahamed
Via email

Staying within the Limit

Yesterday (Friday 22 February), I went to a mosque in Dhanmondi for my Jummah prayer. As the Imam proceeded with the Friday sermon, the Shahbag protest and subsequently the alleged offensive comments by Rajib Haider against Islam on blogs came up. It was rightful for the Imam to speak about what Islam's stances are in case of those who make offensive comments, such as hating such activities, keeping out of their companies and not replying with further offence or violence. He was right to observe that Muslims are not allowed to hold funeral prayer for self-declared non-Muslims [Quran 9:84]. But his remark to dig up and burn Rajib Haider's body does not go with the tolerance Islam teaches. The prophet Muhammad [pbuh] said all enmity ends as soon as a person dies; a dead body cannot be mutilated for revenge [Muslim, Book 19, Hadith 4294]. The latter comment flared a dispute among the Muslims inside the mosque. It shocked and saddened me to see that an Imam, who is supposed to advise people to be patient, could not exercise patience and made such remarks that ruined the mosque's discipline.

Raihan Zaman

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