I think Basant celebrations have been blown completely out of proportion. As far as I know Basant is a Hindu Festival. Hindus believe that by flying beautifully colored kites the gods (devis
& devtas)will be pleased and there will be a bumper wheat crop.
I would request you kindly look at
the issue from Islamic point of view. Is it not threatening our culture?
I am not fully aware of the background and the original philosophy of the festival of Basant, I would therefore, presume that your explanation is correct. However, I do know that the Muslims of Pakistan do not take part in this festival with the philosophy that you have described. They do not ascribe any religious philosophy to this festival. They take part in it just for the sake of their entertainment and enjoyment. If anyone takes part in this or any other festival with a polytheistic or an un-Islamic philosophy or idea, it would then be our duty to make him aware of the gravity of his mistake and convince him to avoid taking part in it. But as the situation stands today, I really do not know of any Muslim who takes part in this festival to “please gods”. Moreover, I do not know of any Muslim who takes part in this festival with a religious fervor. For example, no one says that taking part in this festival is something that would be rewarded in the hereafter. Had that been the case, we could have termed it an invention or a “bid`ah” in Islam. But, I am sure you will agree with me, that is not so.
Under these circumstances, the objection against this festival is that taking part in it entails a tremendous wastage of financial resources. For a country like ours, where most of the people do not even have access to clean drinking water, I do not see any justification in spending millions of rupees just for our entertainment and enjoyment. I believe that the average spending of a person who takes part in this festival can easily cover six-month’s tuition fees for one child. How much good can we do with the funds that go waste on this day? If we truly have our eyes focused on the success of the hereafter, then we cannot waste these funds on such activities. We shall then be more concerned regarding our permanent enjoyment and entertainment, than our entertainment for just one day.
30th August 1998