Written by: Rais Muhammad Umar
It was the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr. All the young and old were excitedly getting ready for Eid salah. Shamsuddin called his grandson Haider.
"Yes, dada jaan, coming," Haider answered. "My heart and soul, Haider, are ready for Eid salah?" "Yes, dada jaan. I am ready. I am just waiting for my father. " "Today, I want you to come with me to the mosque to offer Eid salah." "Ok. Dada Jaan, as you wish." Everyone in the house was surprised. Everyone looked at each other. At last grandmother asked, "Are you going to mosque to offer salah today?" "Yes, of course! What is surprising in that?" "Will you offer Eid-ul-fitr salah today?" she asked again in surprise. "Yes, I shall offer Eid-ul- fitr salah today."
All family members were surprised because grandfather Shamsuddin had not offered Eid-ul-fitr for many years tough he was a religious man. He offered five times salah regularly. Though he was he fasted all through Ramadhan. He had given up offering Eid-ul-fitr salah because of Rafique, the head of the masjid committee, who collected money for the Hafiz who led taraweeh salah and completed the whole holy Quran in Ramadhan. Rafiq always argued with Jamaatees over the money, demanding more money than the Jamaatees wanted to give him. He always collected the Hafiz money before Eid-ul-Fitr salah. He would make a brief speech saying, "Hafiz sahib has led taraweeh and recited the holy Quran for Allah’s sake. Now it is your duty to pay him money for Allah ta'ala's sake." Then he took a box and went to every Jamaatee to collect money. If anyone did not want to give money, he forcibly took it from him. If someone wanted to give Rs. 100, he would argue with him and say, "You must give at least two hundred rupees." If a trader wanted to give him Rs. 1000, he would tell him to give him at least two thousand and so on. Many people gave him more money than their status to avoid an argument. He argued with everyone. That was why, the old Shamsuddin had quitted going to the mosque on Eid-ul-Fitr day. And now all his family members were surprised when he said he was going to the mosque.
Hafiz Arif Husain, Shamsuddin's neighbor, was a young man and extremely poor. His father was a labourer and had a large family to support. Hafiz Arif Husain had been leading Taraweeh in the mosque for the last three consecutive years. But this year he became seriously ill. Rafique sent for another Hafiz from another city for Taraweeh purpose. So this year Rafiq and everyone else from the jamaat forget all about Hafiz Arif Husain. Arif needed financial assistance badly for his treatment but no from the Jamaat had ecen come to enquire about his health. Only Shamsuddin visited him and gave him money for his treatment. Shamsuddin also noticed that Rafique or any other Jamaatee did not come to meet Hafiz Aarif Hussain in his hour of need. ‘If Rafiq and other Jamaatees give only fitra to this poor Hafiz, his disease will be cured,’ h thought to himself.
Today, on Eid-ul-fitr day, he decided to teach Rafiq and all the Jamaatee a practical lesson. He took a stout stick in one hand to support him in walking and put his other hand on his grandson's shoulder and set off for the mosque. Before Eid-ul-Fitr salah began, the old Rafique started collecting money for the Hafiz. As usual he made a brief speech, "Brothers, look. Hafiz sahib has led Taraweeh and has completed the whole Quran for Allah's sake. Now it is your duty to give him as much money as you can for the sake of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی." After this brief speech, he started collecting money, arguing with everyone as usual. A landlord wanted to give Rs. 1000. "You are such a big landlord and giving only Rs. 1000? You must give at least Rs. 2000,” Rafique told him. A trader wanted to give him Rs. 500 but he argued with him that he should give at least Rs. 1000. When he came near Shamsuddin, Shamsuddin’s temperature rose high and he said to him, "Rafiq, you have become old but have not quitted begging. The beggars are even better than you who do not demand money forcibly like you." Hearing this, all people turned towards him and started listening. "O brothers,” he said, “giving and taking money for Taraweeh is illegal. I am not saying this from myself but Ulmas have given Fatawa about this. I have its proof. You all know that Zarbe Momin is an Islamic weekly newspaper. The fatwa has been published in it and it says that giving and taking money for Taraweeh is illegal." He turned to his grandson and said, "Haider, take out Zarbe Momin and read out the fatwa published there." Haider obeyed. Rafique frowned and said, "I am not collecting this money for my own self but I am collecting this money for the Hafiz. People are giving money for Allah ta’ala’s sake." Shamsuddin said, "You are lying. People don't give this money for Allah but they give this money to save their faces. You say that you ask money for the Hafiz for Allah's sake then why don't you ask money for the young Hafiz Arif Husain who is more deserving? He led Taraweeh for the last three Ramadhans in this mosque. You collected money for him then but this year he was too sick to do so and you conveniently forgot him. He is very poor and even his father has no money for his treatment. He is our own neighbour. He is Hamid's son,” Shamsuddin pointed at Hamid who was sitting sadly in a corner of the mosque. All the people looked into Hamid's eyes which were full of tears. Shamsuddin said to Hamid, "Brother, spread your cloth and I want to see who is ready to give for Allah's sake this year. Shamsuddin himself put Rs. 2000 on the cloth and then other people followed suit. Seeing this, Haider roared, "Naara-i-Takbeer" and all the jamaatees replied, "Allahu Akbar!"