Im sure each one of us finds something or the other in religion that is ‘Oh-so-difficult’.. ask me and I will say you a hundred million things that I find difficult in religion. Lekin there’s one thing which surpasses all things else in the pain it causes me.
And that thing is “PAAKI”….
Or ‘Purity’ as it wud be told in English.. but I think a more appropriate word wud be ‘Cleanliness’…
A part of this Paaki is VAZU
Ablutions in English
‘Ulu’ or something similarly strange in Malayalam.
The Ablutions area in a mosque
Trust me, there’d be few things that burden me as much as Paaki.
For the ignorant ones, :->
every Muslim is expected to pray 5 Obligatory Prayers (plus as many supplementary prayers as he likes) in a day. And before saying his prayers he needs to ‘clean’ himself in the prescribed way…that is wat is called ‘vazu’. But more important than vazu is keeping urself ‘clean’, again according to Islamic standards, throughout the day… so that twud be easy for u to pray.
Certain things that mite not be considered as ‘unclean’ by non-Muslim standards are considered ‘Unclean’ in Islam. A very common example is the saliva of a dog.
So if u r licked by that cute puppy with a tiny tail, you mite be feeling all mushy inside, but for me…. I have been programmed to avoid all things that luk even remotely like a dog, forget being licked by one.
And again, there are different standards of cleaning for each kind of ‘impurity’. For some ‘impurities’, making a vzu wud suffice before the prayer…like…if u go to the toilet, (and have used water to clean urself), u cannot directly pray, u’ve got to make vazu before that. But for some others, u need to take a bath, a ghusal… washing urself with water from head to toe (including hair---the one that grows on ur head too). For e.g. after sexual intercourse, u cannot just make a vazu, you’ve actually got to make a ghusal..
Yupps!! Each time !
So, if u r newly married, and if u r having intercourse twice or thrice in a day :) … happy bathing to you!
Now this is the part of ‘paaki’ which all muslims in the world practice.
But for some insane ppl, like Almas, the ‘paaki’ has gone one step ahead and turned into an OCD..(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)……..
You wont believe how crazily I behave regarding this matter….
If I’m wearing a salwar that was too long and CUD hav touched the ground while I walked and the ground CUD have been dirty…I will do either of the following things-
1. Change the salwar before I pray. Not possible wen im at college.
2. Wash the bottom part of my salwar and then go around the college with half wet salwar the rest of the day. yes, I do this strange thing!
3. don’t pray and then keep on cursing urself for not praying until u return to the hostel, wash urself and pray. ----- my most commonly adopted way of the three.
Likewise, I keep myself a hundred feet away from dogs, puddles of water….
On rainy days, wen a passing vehicle blesses me with a spray of microsize water droplets, I feel like jumping down from the Mount Everest and ending my sad life.
Wen I’ve got periods, every single piece of clothing that I wear finds a secluded place in the room, away from all other things coz these clothes can ‘Infect’ the world with their ‘impurity’ (Islam prescribes washing the part stained with blood… that’s all… u don’t even need to wash the whole of the clothe, same goes with the semen of ejaculation.. just wash the part where there’s the semen stain, u can wear it after that and pray)
the steps in Vazu
And vazu?????/ vazu ka to poochho mat.
First of all, I have this thing with ‘Bismillah’ which is another of the abnormalities in me. I just cant get the ‘bismillah’ done… I mean I go on repeating it again and again and again… coz u see.. I don’t get the ‘FEEL’ of it… each time I say ‘Bismillah hirrehmanir rahim’…. I feel ki ‘nai nai… I havent said it properly… I shud say it properly… I shud ACTUALLY begin in the name of Allah’… and I go on and on and on…
So finally wen I get thru the Bismillah, I make the vazu.. (plz remember the bathrooms are three thousand miles away from my room- we don’t have attached bathrums in my hostel) I come bak to my rum and then even the slitest of oddity can make me go like ‘arrrreyyyyyyyyyyy mera vazu toot gaya’…. And wow!!! I go thru the entire Bismillah task again… and make vazu again…. Not to mention the three + three= six thousand extra milles that I walk.
I don’t even wear my lens after making vazu coz u see if I touch the lens solution…I will lose the vazu. Hmm…
Sometimes I feel life wud be so easy if there was no vazu.
There’d be so many more people whu’d pray , if there wasn’t this criteria of ‘cleanlines’. Imagine …like dekho abhi abhi the maghrib azaan has been called, I cud simply get up and pray but no….. I have to walk the three thousand miles, make vazu (after I manage to say the Bismillah), come back the three thousand miles and THEN pray…
That’s why I say ki saying prayers is way way way more difficult than fasting.. and I guess this is a part of the reason why we find so many people who fast baraabar but don’t pray.
But I guess, that’s precisely wat the deal is.
The rewards are in proportion to the trouble u take,,
No pains no gains…
Plus we shudn forget that every little thing has a reward…
Making vazu is also considered a kind of worshiping and it comes wid its own sawaab. Then waiting for the call to Prayer is also considered ibaadat and it comes wid its own reward…
Praying of course is ibaadat.
Then making dua is also an ibaadat…
Every little thing has rewards….
So, well that says it…
But seriously, I need to work at my OCD… or am in for biiiiiiiigggggg trouble…yaar I end up missing prayers.. which is so so so bad.
Like yesterday, while walkin back from the hospital to the main road we tuk a short cut where there were shrubs on both sides.. and I started thinking ki wat if someone has urinated here, and wat if that urine drop remains on one of the leaves, and wat if that drop touches my clothes, wat if I have become ‘napaak’………..wat if I go to pray wearing ‘napaak’ clothes…
This is by shaitaan actually… u know there is this thing ki if u r in a doubt that ur vazu is broken, better go and make the vazu again than ssay ur prayers wid a feellin that u were unclean. So I think shaitaan outs this feelin in my heart all the time, taaki I keep skipping my prayers..
Shaitaan bhi sala ek number ka kutta hai.
Actually there’s a hadees that Huzur S.A.W had told that Religion is easy so we shudn make it difficult…
Im sure if Huzur S.AW. was here and he came to know of my madness, I wud get achha dose from Him… :(
Im makin religion difficult.. and since I am a woman.. I mite just transmit it to my kids.. sory im not getin a beter word in place of ‘transmit’.
Read more bout Vazu atRevert Muslims
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.