The clash of timings

What are the Iftaar timings for today? Should I follow the prayer timings given on the calendar I got from an emporium? Or should I follow those given in a newspaper? Or should I simply tune into a channel which would be displaying the timings for all cities and would also broadcast Azaan? But wait a moment… Which channel should I tune into? The ABC channel according to which the Iftaar is at 7.06? Or the XYZ news channel which says it is going to be at 7.07? Or a local news channel which says I cannot break my fast before 7.08? Which time should I follow? Is there any ONE?

I finally convinced myself on stopping the search by tuning the local news channel because, in my opinion, it is always better to break the fast a few moments later than breaking it a few minutes earlier (the only logic I could come up with!). I put down the remote control, and started reciting different verses and prayers. The next thing that happened made me write this blog… after the recitation of the prayer of breaking the fast and its translation, the channel started telling us about the long list of sponsors with whose association the Azaan was to be presented to us. Seriously? You need commercials to broadcast Azaan? In this country, whose state religion is Islam, one would have to listen “This Azaan was brought to you by…”?

Dear readers! Why is it so necessary to commercialize each and everything? Why can’t a few things be left the way they originally were, with their true essence and purpose? Why do we have to listen to the several advertisements before Azaan could be broadcast? Why has every single news and entertainment channel made Ramazan a month of earning rather than the month of yearning? Why has it been made a necessity to promote slogans like “Shan-e-Ramazan”, “Inam-e-Ramazan” and “Ailan-e-Ramazan”? Why do we have to listen to the musical anthems of every transmission before we could actually listen to the words of the Azaan? In a broader perspective, why can’t we unite and reach consensus upon the timings of prayers, at least within the sects or those in the case of different media houses?

It would indeed be a sad day, in the words of Marty Rubin, when beauty will become a commodity…

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