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July 18th, 2008 by Dr. Shabbir
Dear friends, a good friend of mine, Basharat Ahmed of Florida, was born in a village, Hujra Shah Muqeem, a few years before Pakistan came into being in 1947. The village had only one grocery store owned and operated by a Sikh, Fateh Singh. He decided to move to the Indian side of Punjab. The villagers became very concerned since his was the only grocery store. They went to Fateh Singh as a delegation and earnestly requested him to stay on and become a Muslim to harmonize with the local population. Generously, he agreed to stay back and, shaving his head, trimming his beard, removing the steel bracelet and changing his turban, he became Fateh Muhammad (Phattoo).
The shop remained open extended hours to service the community. Soon, the Imam Masjid started to visit Phattoo five times a day for taking him to Namaaz. The poor Phattoo had to load and unload his sacs of merchandize from the outdoor planks five times a day, an arduous undertaking indeed. He also taught him Istikhara prayer and fasting for expiation of "sins". During the month of Ramadhan, the Mullah and others kept spying on him if he was really fasting, to the extent of smelling his mouth. Then people started forcing him to go first for ‘Umra and then Hajj.
Five years went by, and one fine morning Phattoo announced that he was moving to India. The villagers came and urged him to stay. The Mullah inquired, “Why, Phattoo! You don’t like Islam?” He answered, “Islam tay theek thaak jay par ae waillaiyan da Mazhab hai ga.” (Islam might be OK but it is for those who have nothing to do.)
In the next darkness of the night, on his horse-cart, Phatto quietly crossed the border into India as Fateh Singh.
Thanks to our “Imams”, Islam has become a collection of vain rituals, rites, fatalism, superstitions and irrational dogmas.