Muslims loved eating ignoring prayers
It was Sunday 17th instant (17th Ramazan in Kuwait) when I, my wife & daughter were invited as before also by 5 star hotel named Crowne Plaza for iftar and dinner buffet in Al Ahmadi restaurant which is one of many restaurants. It was full to capacity and upon my question I was told that 250 seats were laid up in Al Ahmadi for the evening and at least I did not see any seat vacant. However, safely speaking there must be odd 240 people in any case including some children which could be say another 50 meaning by that 190 adult males and females were eating iftar and dinner in any case and it is very strongly presumed that all must had been Muslims I believe or minus another 20 who could be non Muslims, therefore, 170 should be the optimum figure of adult male and female eating iftar and dinner on the day under reference.
Hotel has placed dates and water at each table so that everyone can break the fast with date or water and then he and she had a choice to go either offer Maghreb prayers and then return to eat or else he and she can straight away eat without offering prayers. Men and women are coming for iftar and dinner throughout the whole month of Ramazan and that too from day one since the hotel was established and hence hotel management has fair idea as to how many men and women will normally pray and therefore they had made prayer rooms for men and women accordingly. Seven men including me and three women including my wife and daughter offered Maghreb prayers in two separate rooms earmarked by the hotel for men and women.
I dare not impute but have strong feelings that we Muslims do behave alike not only in Crowne Plaza Hotel in particular or in Kuwait or in Pakistan-the country I belong or to the world in general that many of us who ordinarily do pray Maghreb in mosques do not pray when come to such like hotels which is most regretted to be honest. The hotel has placed far too many varieties of soup, salad, main dishes and sweets etc hence each one had wide choice to eat and drink whatever one likes and the hotel attendants were truly too smart and quick to replenish whatever needed so the question of shortage of any item does not arise at all so whether one leaves his or her seat and goes to prayer was not a loser in any case. It was not a race that who clocks later is not a winner rather on the contra each one was a winner that evening. Let me give hypothetical example. We three (myself, wife, daughter) and others who also offered prayers while rest did not go for prayers were not denied any item be it eating or drinking whatsoever and there was absolutely no fear that food could run short by the time one returns after offering Maghreb prayers.
What stopped them not to go for prayers and instead continue eating? Were they all non Muslims who did not offer Maghreb prayers? No, no and no. What extra varieties they ate, if any, who did not go for Maghreb which was denied to those who prayed? What laurels did they earn who remained seated to continue eating as against those who left their seats, offered Maghreb and came back to their seats to enjoy sumptuous iftar and dinner? Didn’t I prove that not most rather bulk majority of Muslims preferred eating than praying?
Should we as Muslims be proud or ashamed on our this style of behavior is my last but baffling question?
Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait