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Wasting Away Eid at the Zoo Lake

Faizel Patel-
Eid at the Zoolake Eid at the Zoolake

As the blessed month of Ramadan draws to a close, some people will sigh with relief that’s it’s finally over.

Ramadan has become a burden for many people who claim that fasting and Taraweeh is unmanageable and just a waste of time and flout the command. Eating, smoking and missing days of fasting and Taraweeh with no care at all.

While I’m apprehensive in mentioning these massive shortcomings, unfortunately it is the truth no matter how much we want to deny it.

We’ve seen over and over how people who are extricated from Islam and the principals of a Muslim society re-join when Ramadan begins. They want to be part of the ‘in’ crowd only to fall of the bandwagon shortly after the horse drawn carriage has moved off.

Some others who are resolute remain on the splendorous journey for the duration of Ramadan and even thereafter to continue with the path of salvation to become better Muslims and even better people.

The final rays of Ramadan which sets in the distance also sprouts new life or life that was dormant with a new zest and vigour of a new-born baby with the bounties of the world spread out.

Energy levels are up, motivation buzzing and there’s tons that needs to be done and you as a person can’t be in the way to stop the crusade. The journey to freedom along with Shaytaan after his release from his shackles.

It happens in many towns and cities across South Africa and in many suburbs, like Lenz, Fordsburg and many other surrounds serving as prime examples of the moral decay of Muslim society.

The congestion in the CBD’s or up market shopping malls like Sandton and Bryanston for people that want to stock up for the festivity or celebration of Eid is amazing and nothing short of record breaking.

Tempers flare as there is so much to do in so little time. Shouts of ‘move’, ‘get out of the way’ and ‘I got more to do than you’ take precedent as the day of Eid draws ever close.

Mind you it’s not only the ladies in the massive 4 x 4’s which they can’t get into never mind drive. With camel hump and sunglasses on the head, they shop from designer boutiques until the credit card is maxed or until the cash runs out. Thousands spent in a few minutes with just one swipe.

At the same time the elderly men some who have a midlife crisis’ are zooming around in their sports cars at speeds that would put a starting grid of an F1 race to shame are parking in disabled spots to be first in line to buy that BMW kurta which he will sport on the big day. Oh and he must have the toppy to match and to crown the glory of his attire.

While dad is blowing the yearly budget on Islamic attire that he might never even wear again, ‘seester and brozzer’ are at no…not “hairdresser” it’s now called hair boutiques to shape their crowns and get ready to play Game of Thrones at Westeros better known as “the lake.”

“I want a Shah Rukh khan cut, I want a Daenerys Targaryen cut as the Wildlings instruct the peasants of the boutique who are at their back and call while the queue for haircuts snake out of the shop.

They emerge with a crown of hair so elaborate and intricate, like a chicken that got a cut and blow, afraid to shake or nod too much that a strand of hair might fall out of place and ruin the creation.

So once the world wind shopping and grooming fiesta is over, it’s off to the “auto boutique”, no,no,no, not carwash to give the steed the once over because Leila will not be impressed with dads dirty Ferrari that she is duped into thinking is mine.

So, the barely 18-year-old with heavy feet and broom haircut that resembles the aftermath of an electric shock puts pedal to metal and skips every robot to the corner carwash and forces Munier to leave everyone else’s car and give his car the treatment first. “I have a Ferrari. You have a Corolla, stand back douchebag or else”

The night before Eid is a hive of activity, sensuous aromas fill the triple story home as everyone fulfil their chores and tasks before the big day.

But there’s something missing. The atmosphere of Ramadan disappears like the steam of the biryani pot. The Quran is packed away along with the Taraweeh kurtha and kitabs. So deep into the cupboard that it will only be discovered next year on another Ramadan expedition.

The home is filled with the music of Adele blasting out from the surround sound and the flicker of television as the clock turns ticking by the minutes carrying with it the day of Eid.

It’s a late night for everyone and the next morning brings again the aura of anticipation and excitement ahead of the festivities.

Did they forget that this is Laylatul Jaa`iza? The night of prize giving for the month of Ramadan. Yes they have…

The next morning, all are up early, but have not read Fajr because there’s so much to do. Men have gone to the Eidgah in their designer BM Kurtas to match the car without the toppy because the hair will be spoilt all the while checking out what Mr Khan and his sons are wearing. “He wore that kurtha? How tacky.”

They stand in the last row so they can make a dash for it and not get stuck in traffic.

Meanwhile at home the bathroom has become a flurry of activity as Maria furiously presses away at the designer abaya’s specially imported from Oman.

The smell of fresh paint wharfs the biryani aroma as makeup is applied in thick layers to bring out the “fair ladies”.

The scarfs and burkas are gone…never to be seen until next year.

“They have forgotten me. They have not read me” as Fajr and the Qur’an whisper while the household are all encompassing to go to Mamajees house for brekkie after having returned from the Eidgah and qabrastan.

At Uncle Shaheen’s house the table is laid with the most elaborate master chef menus to feed a small army. “What do I eat?” I’m afraid to spoil the design of the roast chicken. Such marvellous creations.

Designer ice creams, exotic biscuits, and fashionable mineral water line the spread with gold lined plates and signature serviettes.

Gluttonous appetites ravage the food laden feast as giants converse and spy on each other checking out Ashraf’s Merc kurta while Aneesa wonders why she didn’t think of getting the Jimmy Choo’s to match the Dubai styled, Swarovski infested one of a kind abaya and the small handbag that can’t even hold a tissue.

Then the rest of the morning is engaged in panchaat (gossip) and minor ghibat (backbiting) with the family. How ironical, you abstain for 30 days to blow it in a day.

Then comes lunch….

Normally at nani’s or dadi’s house. The richest saffron chicken biryani known to man is served. Bear in mind you ate like a glutton 3 hours before, now you have to indulge in this.

Teary eyed Qur’an and heartbroken salaah are left to fend for themselves. They featured so prominently just a day ago and yet now they have all been forgotten as the heavy bellies rush home after lunch for a costume change.

As the designer kurtas and abaya’s are discarded like tattered rags, on goes the Tom Ford shirts and Armani dresses as siblings ready to go for the annual ritual that has become a custom among some of the younger generation of Muslim and even older ones.

The crowds will be huge they think. “We have to leave now Fatima or we’ll be late.”

Mom and dad dorn their designer outfits as the kiddos motor it to the place where Indians make tawaaf as Taahir in Radio Islam’s Ramadan Drama 221B Baker Street would say.

Once at the lake, Fatima metamorphs into Tina and slips into a high slit designer dress that was stashed into the boot of the car so mom and dad could not see but would approve anyway because my daughter is a modern Muslima and son modern Muslim. Little do they know or are aware off.

The dress is an original Forester creation with a slit so high and top so open that it leaves little to the imagination.

‘John’, not Yahya, that’s so Ramadanish will be impressed along with Melanie from Parkwood who equally sports the black dress that leaves you gaping and wondering where the rest of it is as she clutches the arm of Yusuf who’s now ‘Joe’.

All this approximately 15 hours after the blessed month of Ramadan.

The goings on at the lake is the stuff legends are made off as the young ones say. But are they really, and according to whom?

Music blaring, intermingling while sexual electricity envelopes the area blocking the modesty and respect that is supposed to be entrenched in every Muslim from the time we are born.

Stories of the lake on Eid’s day have been disseminated far and wide.Some stories indicate going to the Zoo Lake is about relaxing and meeting people after spending a whole month indoors.

For others, it’s about meeting their wives and checking out the girls.

Firstly it is not custom or religious tradition to be in or around water on this day. Yet it’s a make believe tradition that has been ingrained in superficial values of the Muslims by the conniving West.

Fashion parades and exotic car shows by the wildlings, comparing of the haves and have nots, a standard of class as Tina checks out if her Armani dress is better than Laya’s Prada number.

While the kids are fraternizing at the lake encircling it with no foreseeable reward under the guise that they are behaving like good upstanding children, mom and dad are making pit stops to sample chevro and biscuits to gauge if it’s even close to what was imported from Dubai specially for Eid and at the same time dishing out a ten rand Edie for little Saleem. “Isn’t he cute Ahmed?”

As the long & tiring day draws to a close, the family is reunited once again. The kids are back from the lake. Tina has become Fatima and Joe Yusuf while hiding lipstick stained shirts and wild hair of day of joy and transgressions of a Muslim lifestyle. The exchange of pleasantries of how was your day are waffled by the sobs of Quran and salaah… But nobody listens to their pain and anguish.

Quran wasn’t read and salaah wasn’t performed during the day… Ramadan is over… At least until next year.

This is a sad reality of the world we live in.

While we indulge in the after party of Ramadan who we have discarded like a used rag, spare many a thought and reawaken the conscious of Nabi SAWs pleading for his Ummah.

“Ya ummati, Ya ummati he cried and pleaded with Allah to save us. Have we listened? Taken heed? And corrected our beliefs with his perfect example?

While it’s not a generalization or a mock of every Muslims actions after Ramadan and during Eid, it’s a fact that such behaviour has become the norm in many homes as the Muslim identity fades into the distance like a setting sun that may never rise again.

Every year the same message goes out with the fervent hope that someone, be it even one person, can be saved from emulating the kuffaar in their ways and celebrating Eid in a way far befitting how our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) and the Sahaabah (RA) spent their days.

Every Muslim has to regard themselves as personally responsible for all the happenings around them and to strive for the establishment of right from wrong.

Eid ul Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity.

You need to ask yourself one question. Will Rasulullah (SAW) recognise us on the plains of reckoning? The time has come for us to seek guidance, for the era of going at it alone has passed. Seek advice from those who know before it’s too late.

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