OP-ED

Ramadan: Spiritual Practice Killed Politically

Fakhri al-Arashi

By the Holy Quran, by religion, and by people’s beliefs, Ramadan is more blessed than other months. It has been classified as the month of charity, mercy, prayers, fasting, kindness and many more good acts and practices. Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar where Muslims all over the world seek Allah’s forgiveness for their past human and religious mistakes.

From a personal point of view, among Muslims communities, Yemen in particular has left little of the  common concept of the real meaning of Ramadan. Three days have passed very quickly and the Islamic and Arab nations have not agreed on the actual start and they won’t conclude it together. This has to do  with politics more than religion respects and concerns. This year, Ramadan has come while the Muslim Umah are busy fighting and implementing sectarian rights. This has stolen the real triumph and people’s good welcome. In other words, Ramadan can be classified as an accepted month for worship and religious duty.

Why is that? Simply, because of the wrong understanding and the absolute shift of meaning from being a month for saving and learning into a month of double spending and food wasting. Again, the wrong understanding of having a month of less achievements and slow production has withdrawn the attention of public Muslim communities. More than that, politics, daily human crises, and the loss of basic infrastructure have made it very hard for the majority to feel a common religious spirit.

The difference is huge between the past years and this year. This year has come with an alarming number of poverty increase, over 60% among population. The expansion of sectarian fighting in different parts of the country, the threat of state collapse, and the nonstop attacks of al-Qeada on military men and government organizations brings more harm than good and less hope for the quick improvement of the country on the short term. It will continue to happen in the forbidden month  (Ramadan)even.

Above to all that, donors and the National Dialogue outcomes do not cover the people’s needs, neither pushing the country forward to enhance people’s confidence of a better tomorrow. The focus on politics and non-profit organizations by donors may push Yemen to the top list of countries demanding urgent loans and human assistance rather than pushing them to use the country’s natural resources. It will push the country to the list of unstable countries, fragile economies, and corrupted communities.

With such problems, it would not make any community feel happy to welcome such religious or non- religious occasion happily. The teats of Ramadan have gone with the daily political challenges that have increased crimes, which have discouraged Yemenis with no single improvement for decent survival. The future still unknown!!!