Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Rot that is the Ruet

I'm not going to beat about the bush. The maulvis are idiots of the highest order and we are even bigger idiots for letting them endlessly get away with their rubbish.

My ire is, of course, rekindled every time the charade of moon-sighting occurs, mostly every month, but particularly publicly at times such as the beginning of Ramzan (or Ramadan to you Arabophile slaves to the neo-Taliban herd) and Eid. In this day and age, where the Hubble telescope and its successors in space are seeing into the farthest corners of the universe and time, we have idiots with beards cloistered into a self-serving Ruet-e-Hilal (moon-sighting) committee on top of Habib Bank Plaza and the like, insisting that the moon must be sighted by the naked eye to confirm it is actually there.

The moon's iterations can be predicted, like that of other celestial bodies, thousands of years into the future. You can easily make a precise lunar calendar which would tell you exactly when the 'new moon' begins, when a full moon will occur (that is why we can predict eclipses by the way), and when it would be impossible to view. But no amount of scientific evidence is enough to convince these nincompoops. And why is that? Basically, because like the Taliban in Afghanistan argued about the wrongfulness of television, they argue this is how people in pre-medieval Arabia looked at the moon. Of course, nobody questions phones, or cell phones, or cars (Toyota Hilux Jeeps for the Taliban only), or guns or the internet or the millions of things these literalist cretins use every day which did not also exist in Arabia fifteen hundred years ago. Oh, but the moon... the moon MUST be seen by the naked eye.

But wait, that's not even the entirety of the cretinism on display. Recently, the Ruet-e-Hilal committee (I think it was a few years ago) allowed binoculars theodolites to be used. Here's cretin-in-chief Mufti Munibur Rahman pretending that he's not actually completely blind:

Which of course begs the question: if you can use binoculars theodolites, why the *@#$#%* can't you use telescopes? At the very least! I mean, it's the same principle of optics isn't it? But wait, there's more. Every once in a while, when the Ruet-e-Hilal committee cant find the moon in their navel, such as today, they will allow the month to finish up 30 days before the new month begins. But no month ever goes on for more than 30 days EVER since they accept the fact that the lunar cycle cannot extend beyond that and bang after 30 days at the max, they will begin the new month. Now, that means that they have, in fact, accepted a "theoretical" scientific principle derived from previous observation without recourse to necessarily seeing the moon. Why the *@#$#%* can't they apply the same principle to deciding the dates of the lunar calendar?!

Here's what the Met Office guy - who apparently just tags along for the sheer fun of being in the company of bearded monkeys - had to say on Geo about today's attempts by the Ruet-e-Hilal committee to view the Ramzan moon... According to him, the four factors influencing the visibility of the new moon are, 1) whether the new moon is present 2) the length of time it is visible after sunset 3) how high it is over the horizon and 4) how cloudy it is. With reference to the four factors today, he said, although the new moon was present (scientifically speaking obviously), the other three factors militated against its sighting today, i.e. it was there for a very short time, very low on the horizon and it was overcast. What he didn't say in so many words, fearing obviously the wrath of the spiritual keepers of the moon (read religious nutcases), is that while the new moon was technically there, the Ruet Rednecks could not see it.

Now, some of you may think I'm just getting het up for a silly little thing of no consequence. But actually, in my opinion, this whole charade is an indicator of the depths of irrationality and illogic we have sunk to. And it's not a small inconvenience. Every year we're never sure when certain holidays are going to fall, when offices will be shut, and like many a year, often we don't even know until late into the night whether the next day is a roza or Eid. On top of it all, we have to see and listen to the painfully slow Mufti Munibur Rehman and others of his ilk tell us self-evident truths in half-hour self-righteous drawls.

There is also a much larger issue here: that of the supposedly united Muslim Ummah and the lunar calendar. Every so often we'll hear someone or the other call for the adoption of the Muslim calendar. You know, as a calendar it's as good or as bad as any other calendar. But how the *@#$#%* is the Muslim Ummah supposed to follow a calendar when half of it is on a different day or two altogether? I mean, we've all seen the bizarre ritual whereby we can see Haj happening on television but according to "our" timeline, we won't have Eidul Azha until 2 effing days later. Forget between countries, we don't even have the same lunar calendar dates in all of Pakistan. The guys in Mardan seem always to be ahead of the rest by a day or two in terms of Islam. Can you imagine, following the Islamic calendar, setting up an office meeting for, say 13 Shaban, with some people turning up 2 days after the rest came and left? Or a wedding, scheduled to take place on 15 Rabiul Awwal, where the groom didn't turn up until a day after because, according to him, it was 14 Rabiul Awwal when the bride's family thought it was the 15th!

It's just patently absurd.

The Ruet-e-Hilal committee simply takes up a lot of money (they are funded by our money, remember), time and peace of mind. In these recessionary times, isn't it time somebody told them their services are no longer required?


Shayan said...

Haha. Thanks for the lovely rant. Hope you felt better after that. I certainly did :)

Anonymous said...

I wish we could engage in dialogue without using invective. Your points may be valid but your tone of voice is as rude as the taliban.

Anonymous said...

azhole..why r u makin a fuss for sch an issue.. it will be these "bearded ppl" who will pray ur janaza and concentratin again and again on beard is nt gud. you shud critize the ruet e hilal committee but not the beard as u shud not forget tht our beloved prophet S.A.W sported a beard.


XYZ said...

@Shayan: Well, now that you mention it, I certainly did! :)

@Anon1: I've never actually heard the Taliban being rude.

@Anon2: Astaghfarullah!...that my namaz-e-janaza should be read by any bearded cretin such as this... the point I was trying to make, is about those for whom the beard is more important than logic or rationality... oh but forget it, you wouldn't understand.

Btw "some of my best friends have beards" ;)

Nasir said...

Well said.

Zakintosh said...

Brilliant post and full support for the well-deserved invectives ... but I do suggest that you show a little sympathy for the iodine-deficient.

BTW, I will link to this post from my blog after I have had time to add a bit of value to make it look like research … otherwise it would be plain theft ;-)

Anonymous said...

Deen parh, deen seekh. Phir baat ker, apne ghar kee Shariat na laaa, Muhammad (SAW) kee Shariat per amal ker.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed your post and normally wouldnt comment
...but the two commentators (Anon 2:06 and Anon 2:09) who posted above me moved me to write.

Anon 2:09 - the prophet had a lot of other things in his time. (most that we do not have now)because they are either outdated and/or redundant.

a beard does not become sacred just because the prophet had one.
if that was the case then so would a camel.

secondly, the prophet had a lot of other things (integrity, honesty, compassion and COMMON SENSE) all of which are somehow missing in any member of the ruet-e-hilal comittee.

I would rather appreciate it if the got rid of the stupid beard and opted for some other "virtue" of our prophets.

oh and Anon 2:06, A rant is supposed to be a rant. It is not a dialogue.
and the taliban do not talk. they would just cut your head off.

thanks for the post XYZ :)


Zeenia Shaukat said...

Good thought, with valid arguments! Maybe, it is possible to challenge the credentials and expertise of the Ruet-e-Hilal without being too aggressive in language. The idea is to create space for reason and logic at the end of the day. Unfortunately, it is the confrontational tone of those opposed to religious right that makes it difficult to counter extremism at any level. But good thought!

vetch said...

haha. very well written. down with these bearded monkeys holding us back. including the two anonymous bearded idiots.

Anonymous said...

Machine Gun

Love it :D

Mullah!!! Screw UUUUUUUUUU :D

Anonymous said...

Excellent post i must say.. aggression in the post is very valid but the question is how to move this further and really get rid of them. Problem is with our nation... we have become too lazy or afraid these Bearded mobsters who teach " I know and u Dont". There is prophesy is which its clearly stated that the human kind on earth will be Maulvies.. i think the time has come. FOr them its the race of Power through human strength of weak Muslims and money through our donations.

But the interesting fact is this that We will pray behind them through out Ramadhan and Eid and all Fridays to come. For any answers we read there book. If im not wrong if you dislike the maulvi then you cant pray behind them.....

anyways the post was great and i hope it goes a long way and we start studying religion as well through Quran and authentic books... then ponder on them to gain wisdom.

Cheers... Love For All Hatred for None

Anonymous said...

I love the comments on this post. This one gentleman uses ebonics to refer to the write as azhole :) and said that our Holy Prophet had a beard as well.
Obviously the writer is refering to the maulvis and not the Prophet. what a retard!!!

Bolshevik said...

I think I'm in love with XYZ. :-P

Anonymous said...

I read some where in the Holy Quran that a time will come that Maulviis will be the worst of all mankind & i am 100% sure that this is the time.

XYZ said...

Thanks to what Zakintosh pointed out in his excellent blog, I have corrected myself about that thing in the pic being a Theodolite. Everyone should have a look at the blog, particularly to take a look at the very funny Syed Mohammad Jafri nazm that Zakintosh also dug up. The blog is here:

By the way, the poem proves yet again how long we've been enduring the shenanigans of the (as Jafri calls it) Ruet-e-Haraam Committee. For those asking why we can't just reason civilly with them, here's a thought: do you really believe they will willingly give up their perks and power just because you explain to them how they're being illogical and irrational? Dream on. They'd sooner declare you a kafir for questioning them, as evidenced by some of the comments here.

XYZ said...

@Anon237: you could have at least said "deen parhIYE, deen seekhIYE, phir baat karIYE..." As many have informed me, a little civility goes a long way. But perhaps arrogant orders are what your shariat consists of, eh?

@Ali: thanks. I agree 100 percent.

@Zeenia: Generally I agree with you that civil discourse is a prerequisite for creating a space for reason and logic. But the problem with religion (or what passes for religion) in Pakistan is that it is unquestionable. Sane and civil people have been saying all these things for the longest time (see Zakintosh's post refernced above) but it makes NO difference. I will gladly argue with a scholar like Ghamidi who is willing to listen. You try arguing about rationality with Mufti Munibur Rahman.

@Anon535: I agree with your main point about how we disagree in private with the mullah, yet show deference to him in public. It's similar to how we think it's wrong to criticise someone who's dead even though we may have hated what he stood for in life. Personally, I have no such problems. And I agree that we need to get rid of this hypocrisy.

@Anon838: Ebonics?? I thought it was the iodine deficiency Zakintosh mentioned :) Er, but I think you've misunderstood the guy about the Prophet... he did really have a beard, as most men of the time did.

@Bolshevik: I'm confused. You say you love me and then you stick your tongue out at me?

@Anon132: Really? The Quran talks about maulvis?? Where?

Sidhusaaheb said...

I am reminded of the following kaafi by Baba Bulle Shah:

PaRh paRh likh likh laaweyN dher
Veyd kataabaaN chaar chafeyr
Girdey chaanan wich haneyr
Aapne aap di khabar na saar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

PaRh parRh shaikh mashaikh hoyaa
Bhar bhar peyt, neeNdar bhar soyaa
JaaNdi waar nain bhar royaa
Dubbaa wich uraar na paar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

PaRh paRh nafal namaaz guzaareyN
UchiyaaN baaNgaaN, chaaNgaaN maareyN
MaNbar tey chaRh waz pukaareyN
Keeta tainooN hirs khawaar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

PaRh paRh mullaaN hoye qaazi
Allah ilmaaN baajhoN raazi
Hovay hirs dino-din taazee
Nafaa neeyat wich guzaar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

PaRh paRh masley roz sunaaveyN
Khaanaa shak shubay da khaaweyN
DasseyN hor, tey hor kamaaweyN
Andar khot, baahar sachyaar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

IlmoN paye qaziye hor
AkheeN waale anhay kor
PhaRdey saadh tey chhaD-dey chor
DoweyN jahaaneeN hoyaa khawaar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

IlmoN miyaaN ji kahaaweyN
TaNba chuk chuk mandi jaaweyN
Dheyla lai ke chhuri chalaaweyN
Naal qasaaiyaaN bohat pyaar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

Jad meiN sabaq ishq da paRhya
Daryaa weykh wahdat da waRya
Ghuman-gheyraaN dey wich aRyaa
Shah Inayat laaya paar
Ikko alaf terey darkaar, ilmoN bas kareeN O yaar

Anonymous said...

well at lest you "tried" to be funny.. =P

Bolshevik said...

@XYZ: Okay yeah I see how that could be weird... Replace ":-P" with ":-D"

Anonymous said...

You are too late to suggest all this. And you have wasted your credibility/honor by using such a language. This is alraedy happening in the the Middle east for more than 30 years. They have a lunar calender and all there official and other work/ meetings/parties are done according to those dates irrespsctive of the actual lunar date at that time. The actual lunar date is applied for religious purpose only, like for Ramadan, Eid or Hajj. Please try to understand the religion before making those unnecessary comments which degrades your personality/knowledge and respect for others.
May Allah bless you with more knowledge. And btw ISLAM is believing withuot logic. Muhammad Farooq""

Anonymous said...

Its is not without reason that the typeset printing press came to the muslim world 300 years after its invention in Europe. Islam is a backward faith which imprisions the minds of its believers. Your rant is well and good, but what you are describing is a symptom of a disease.

Bolshevik said...

[quote] May Allah bless you with more knowledge. And btw ISLAM is believing withuot logic. [/quote]

This made me laugh and almost pee.

Anonymous said...

Any one to be critic or to give an opinion, first must study the religion first. Can you people tell me where did you get your religious education from?
Its quite clear now that a group of non believers with muslim names are making such statements without knowing ISLAM.
May Allah show you the right path. MFarooq

Bolshevik said...

Yeah, "Anonymous" is a very common muslim name. :-P

Yakub Chohan said...

:D A nice one again. However, I am not sure if our primate brethren of the cercopithecoid class will take lightly to the analogy of "Bearded Monkeys". Monkeys you know are very intelligent species, especially the bearded class and they never repeat a mistake again, often learnt in a matter of hours. (Hence their survival in harsh conditions). The same however, cannot be said about the enlightened members of our glorious Ruet Hilal Caammaayyteee.(RHC)
I would ,therefore, propose the following procedures to be implemented with immediate effect in order to mitigate the moon sighting paranoia once and for all.

1. All members of the RHC should be provided facilities to enhance their vision, so that they could perform the heavenly duty of Sharia-Compliant-moon-sighting with their faculties at full potential. In pursuance of this objective, all members should be subjected to the administration of "Essential oils" known to boost the intellect and the eyesight. However, this has to be done by rectal implants and/or enema retention.

2. In order to ensure the best utilization of time and performance these rectal administrations should be done every time the committee decides to have a meeting for moon-sighting. In the same spirit these rectal procedures should be broadcast live and/or official photos of the same important event should be published in all news outlets to inform the less pious Awam of the real hard work being done by these pious-than-all RHC members.

3. Since beard size is directly proportional to piety, hence, in the national spirit of sharia-governs-all, these rectal procedures should be done in direct proportion to the size of beard. Hence the larger the size of the beard of our respected RHC members, the more vigorous should be the rectal administration, in order to ensure the best results for the most pious RHC members.

4. In case an altercation arises as to the veracity of the moon sighting then all members involved in the altercation should be brought in front of National TV and Sigmoidoscopy performed on every concerned member while they are eagle spread to ensure the Awam has an unobstructed view of the holiness that rules and decides the eid for the 170M strong nation. This procedure should continue along with the necessary rectal procedures. The legendary "Basheer Da Ghanna" could be brought into service here if the members still continue to disagree.

5. Understandably the above procedures could cause some undesirable side effects like hardening of their holy-Phallus. Therefore, it would be the honorable duty of the RHC chairman (in this case His Excellency know-it-all Mufti Muneeb) to ensure that such side effects are quickly taken care of. He would therefore, be required to perform fellatio on all members experiencing this side effect, while performing "Dam" so that this national, religious duty of moon sighting could proceed unabated.

6. If the RHC, however, amicably comes to a timely conclusion of the moon sighting then the application of the above mentioned procedures could be re-thought.

If any one has a better idea please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so worked up over how moon is sighted. Its so obvious from your post that you probably don't even pray or fast.
The fuzz about sighting the moon is part of the beauty of Ramadan. In west pakistan people go out and try to sight the moon themselves. Something that is lost in Punjab and Sindh leaving it only to your "mullahs".

Any way, you probably shouldn't think about Islamic stuff that much. It may damage "your" logic.

Eiynah said...

They actually have a moon-sighting committee.... LMAO, even saying that sounds ridiculous. Thanks, you made my day, this was awesome.