Author is a student of Political Communications & Religion at Central European University
Aamir Zaki and Irfan Maseeh meet in the heavens above us, right about in this very moment in time:
Irfan: Sir, you are the great Aamir Zaki. Right? *all excited*
Aamir: Arrrh… yes. *in an anxious voice*
Irfan: Sir, big fan! ‘Mera Pyaaar’ inspired me to propose to my wife… now widow unfortunately.
Aamir: Oh… thank you. And you are? *still in an anxious voice*
Irfan: Sir, I’m just an average sewer cleaner from Umerkot, I inhaled some poisonous gas today while attempting to unclog a manhole… and here I am. You sound nervous sir, is there something bothering you?
Aamir: I’m sorry to hear that, well…. yes.. I’m a bit nervous about meeting the Creator. *shifting his position slightly*
Irfan: Sir, the Creator is magnanimously generous, why are you nervous?
Aamir: Well… I am a musician, an artist! My entire life was occupied with composing music and performing at concerts!
Irfan: Sir, but why does that make you nervous? You are the reason behind so much happiness in the world!
Aamir: Well…. as it goes, singing and music is not quite welcomed in Islam, the are deemed as an ‘impure’ art form. Some even call it a grave sin to indulge in. I’m nervous what the Creator will have to say about my life.
Irfan: Impure? Sir I’ve seen impure. And, trust me music and singing rightly done is nothing close to what I have seen. Whether it is impure or not, that is beyond me to decide. Yeah, it might be perverted at times, but honestly I’ve seen worse. I have been a sewer cleaner all my life, I’ve seen impurity unlike many. However, you intuitively might assume that I am referring to what I have seen while diving into countless manholes. You are unfortunately wrong. I wouldn’t have been here having this very conversation with you oh Aamir Zaki, had my oh-so-Muslim doctor, who also happened to be fasting, had found me clean and pure enough to touch, let alone treat. Now, that is the impurity within humanity unlike any found anywhere else. Your music sir, it is rather divinely when compared to such inner filth!
Irfan: It is rather amusing sir. No? How people have a predisposition to get occupied with one supposed form of sinning and completely forget all other forms of sinning. So many ‘Muslims’ come to our community, to make use of our alcohol purchasing permits… and these are still not grave sins when compared to mistreating humans. Aren’t the rights of humans in Islam above all else? Doesn’t Islam have a major emphasis upon treating people beyond good, literally above all else? However, unfortunately people are just fixated upon who sings, and who drinks, and who sleeps around…quite amusing and convenient if you ask me. Ha!
Aamir: I’m so so sorry… *speechless again*
Irfan: Sir, you look even more nervous now. Okay, listen to this; notwithstanding your music being ‘evil’, it spread so much happiness and cherished memories. Now, that is a pure service to humanity, isn’t it? What is a bigger virtue than to just make people smile. Isn’t that wanting in the world? I tried to make people smile with my work too, unfortunately a clean manhole is something humans just take for granted…until it clogs up, and stinks up the whole place… *trails off with a chuckle*.
Aamir: Irfan, I’m so sorry. How deviant have we humans gone masquerading around in the name of religion… I admire how relaxed and calm you are right now, aren’t you anxious about where your soul will end up?
Irfan: Not to sound ungrateful sir, I lived a cherished life, but trust me sir; living as a minority, cleaning swearers without safety measures or a decent wage… I am actually convinced that I have seen my share of hell. What may come ahead may come! And, oh! Not to forget Sir, isn’t it your holy month of Ramazan? The doors of hell are closed, relax Sir Aamir! The likes of Nur Jahan and Amjad Sabri also met the Creator in this month. You and I should be just fine.
Aamir: Irfan, thank you…
Irfan: No, thank you sir for ‘Mera Pyaar’ …Oh the beautiful memories….
*Irfan’s name is called out from the distant white halo and he vanishes instantly*
Disclaimer: For those who have still not figured it out. This is a piece of fiction, it deliberately and ‘wrongfully’ assumes the feelings of both Irfan and Aamir, in a fleeting attempt to make a commentary on our combined social values.