These past few days, there's an uproar about the current Minister of Religious Affair's decree to not force restaurants/food stalls to close shop during Ramadan. Unlike his predecessors, who 'asked' food vendors to stop operating during fasting time in the 'spirit' of respect to the Muslim majority, the current Minister seems to believe that respect should be earned, not demanded or forced upon.
And I'm with him on this one.
Call me what you want. Normally, people will be quick to label me and those with similar thinking as a secular or liberal Muslim. And that is if they are somewhat kind. If not, the word 'infidel' usually comes to play. Well, whatever. My religion is my business with my Maker. He has the sole prerogative of judging me, and if I rub you the wrong way, take it up with Him.
But if you still insist on judging me, at least consider the facts prior to delivering the verdict, fair enough?
First of all, let's take a look at how it was done during the Prophet's time. Do correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Prophet did not forbid his followers from selling food to non-Muslims during Ramadan, especially if that's how they earn their bread and butter. And what the Prophet did not do, if we do it and claim it in the name of Islam, wouldn't we be doing bid'ah instead..?
But let's argue that stopping people from selling food during Ramadan is not done as a religious practice, and therefore doesn't fall under heresy. That would lead us to the next question, what is your purpose of fasting? It's to be able to control and reign yourself away from the temptations of pleasure, right? So, if you forcefully remove and shut down all places that risk tempting you during Ramadan, then what is there to control yourself against, really? To use gaming analogy, if you want to level up, the best way is to go out and fight the enemies out there. But if you remove all the enemies, how can you gain the experience needed to level up? You'll just end up walking and wandering throughout the map gaining nothing.
Also, it's about the satisfaction you'll get at the end of it. Tell me which is more satisfying, facing a tough and challenging battle where you've almost lost several times in the process but still come out victorious; or breezing through an empty road and reaching the finish lane without anything happens that's worth mentioning.
And among the two winners above, which one earned your respect more?
Seriously, nobody likes a spoilt big baby. So don't be a soft baby that demands everything to be baby-proofed. Go learn from your mistakes and pains, and score yourself some respect.
Just make sure those mistakes are well worth it... ;)