New Year & Eid Dilemma

Karachites have been known to be party animals when it comes to new year celebrations, tickets to selective balls actually start selling like crazy a few months in advance to an extent that you are unable to acquire seating anywhere if you start hunting around in the month of December. Special Olympics New Year’s Ball had generally captured the fascination of Karachiites in the past few years but this year it seems to be an ‘oldies ball’ conveniently replaced by the Club Night Ball which has most of the young & hip scrambling to attend

This year the new year has an interesting twist since Eid is going to fall on the 1st of January, so for many its a dilemma as they desperately want to party (including consumption of alcohol) and then to wake-up early morning for Eid prayers. For many Eid prayers are an essential component of their hypocritical Muslim values and it could very well be that they might skip on the morning prayers all together due to an intoxicated state of mind.

I don’t want to wrap everyone who attends these balls as ‘drinkers’ as I know quite a few who go there for the sake of interacting with the elite and limit their consumption to sodas. I also do not mean to offend anyone for his/her religious values but express my concern at the growing trend that alcohol consumption is becoming a norm rather then an exception being limited to a select few.

What’s your take on this issue?

48 Comments so far

  1. AhadAustin (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

    No Comments on NYP

    But Best Wishes to you for good times, good cheer and a successful year ahead for KARACHI !

    Marry Christmas, Happy Holidays,Eid Mubarak & Happy New year 2007!

    Could any one please tell me the numbers of NGOs currently operating in Pakistan? cos I am aslo thinking to make one.

  2. MB (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    What else dear, you summarized it well. Specially that drink thingy.

  3. yo yo (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    Alcohol is a fools club..come one..come All

  4. Broken Heart (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 5:52 pm

    Its not time to celebrate new year party, its time to mourn on Muslim Ummah. And time to pray for good future of Muslims. Time to pray for mujahideen., time to bring the revolution, time to change our lives according to Islam, time to give respect to our parents, time to secure our child and women from enemies, its time to understand the stratagem of the enemies. I am wonder that how Muslim drink and dance on the new year
    while the child, men and women are being killed by the americans and europians army.
    Please wake up before you have been slept.

  5. zahra (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

    TM: a balanced take on things, well done. appreciate it, man. Long time back, my years in karachi saw little/no contact with alcohol, I’M SERIOUS, it wasnt there. i mean it was there, but very much in the shadows, I remember some acquaintances’ houses had bars. But still, when a pakistani abroad told me that alcohol was drunk openly back home in quite a few get-togethers, gigs, parties– i was stunned!!

    and, yes, subsequent visits to karachi proved that. it’s HEART WRENCHING to see the increase, but we must also remember that this is still a VERY SLIM segment of our society consumes alcohol.

    My advice: the West can’t figure out what to do with their drinking problems. Alcohol consumption is a major Pandora’s Box….please dont open it,
    we’ve got enough issues as it is.


  6. Tamed~. (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

    @Broken heart:

    It is always very easy to write such emotional lines, I mean this is exactly what our politico- religious leaders are doing these days.

    You tell me, where to begin with & what should we do If u are asking us to ‘wake up’. I can promise I won’t party & will not consume alchol on the new years eve (which in fact I never had despite being in a foreign country where C2H5OH is another ‘over the counter product’).

    Just give us a few good lines to suggest where should we start & please be practical & ensure us that you will do something actively as well rather than sitting in your living room in front of the computer screen propagating your web based Jagoo jagoo tahreek.

  7. Original-Anon (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    I want to rock and roll all night
    Partaaay every day
    Teeth guy,I’ve pondered over this and here is what I came up with – my WWOAD (for future reference: What Would Original-Anon Do?).
    OA would party all night and at dawn head over to one of the many coffee shops you guys blog about here; get a double shot of espresso, go home, take a long warm shower, put on some nice starched outfit slaved over by the servants, go say Eid namaz and then come home and sleep till the evening and then go to an Eid dinner.
    But, on second thoughts, OA hates the music played at desi parties, the pop and hip-hop, the Atifs and Bryan Adams, so OA would probable sneak out very early and being one of the elites, people would follow OA to pay their respects anyway.
    However, OA is spared all these agonizing choices, being in the good old USA where Eid would be celebrated on the 31st and Cristal is available without a permit:)

  8. Amar (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

    I’d leave the self-righteousness to a select few :cough BH cough:.

    Happy New Year and Eid Mubarak everyone. Go a little easy on the booze and remember you’re just there to have fun and celebrate with your friends and family – not to take advantage of an open bar.

    P.S. If you do give in and guzzle a few down; please don’t try to drive home later! Keep yourself and your family safe.

  9. Sufi (unregistered) on December 26th, 2006 @ 10:48 pm

    No booze for life, even if I will be in the Sin City of USA for the new year. But its just a personal choice. A lot of my friends drink. They know its wrong, but they say they are not hurting anyone and drink it in their homes. Who cares, sab ko apna apna hisaab dena hai Allah mian kay samnay.

  10. Hasnain (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:20 am

    Yes Awab you are right alcohol consumption has become a norm among the upper strata of our society. There are some who drink for the fun of it but then there are those who do so under enormous social pressure. It is to blend in the society or else the society would disown them, and this is what they cannot simply afford to be. I have seen many people succumb to the pressure of doing alcohol and other drugs just because their friends were doing it and if they didn’t they would be left out so one things leads to the other and finally all vices are on the list. Our youth has been shackled down and this is one of the reason why people have dared to revolt against the system…We are following the footsteps of countries like UAE especially Dubai which is a Muslim state but there is hardly any Muslim followings followed or preached. Alcohol, women and drugs, you name the vice they have it. Finally being an oil-rich kingdom I believe they can afford such wrongdoings but we as a nation where most of the population lives below the poverty line, simply cannot afford such things as it is simply a disaster in waiting…

  11. Riz (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:57 am

    i can’t believe you put Women in the same “vice” category as alcohl and drugs. Shows your sexist mindset.

  12. zahra (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 2:39 am

    @hasnain, bro, I agree with what you say. But “alcohol, women and drugs”….there are other words you could’ve used which would be less offensive.


  13. turab (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 2:51 am

    Well said sufi… i hate judgemental posts and comments …… mind your own effing business….

  14. Sufi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 3:39 am

    Riz & Zahra, I think Hasnain meant womanize & not women..


  15. ash (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 5:00 am

    Drinking does not make anyone cool. I think most people are smart enough to know that.
    Broken heart i fail to see the connection btw drinking and human rights abuse. Also not drinking is not going to win us any wars. Specially since the drinkers have all the ammunition.

  16. SWA (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 6:16 am

    I dont think it would be possible to keep Pakistan into the dry bubble for too long. If somebody wants to consume alcohol and has a license, its his own business and he should be allowed to do so. If somebody’s conscience does not permit him to drink, then he should strive to uphold his own values and refrain from drinking. After all, like SUFI said:

    Everybody is accountable for their own actions in front of God.

  17. Darthvader (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 6:43 am

    My Take : hey we are all going to hell anyways ..might as well find out what it’s
    all about…Kheheheh
    each to its own my friends , thats what i say .

    happy eid,christmas ,newyear and whatever have you.

    peace and love

  18. JayJay (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 6:53 am

    What do we have to judge everyone by the standards imposed by a religion? Public morality is not dependent on religious dogmas. Let us free ourselves from the standards that originate from religious injunctions, not rationality. Public morality CANNOT be equated with personal (religious) virtues.

    If someone wants to use alcohol, it is there personal act. I don’t have problems with another person’s decision to drink, or not to drink, as a private citizen. However, if a drunk person insists on driving under the influence, he/she will be cross the line (indulging in an act reprehensible) by endangering public. A drunk driver is no different to a person who might be praying five times a day but have no qualms in jumping a red light or indulging in dangerous driving.

    Enjoy your drinks responsible over the holiday period.

    Happy new year and the eid.

  19. Purple_Haze (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 7:19 am

    I think “The Muslims” must PARTYYYYY, and show solidarity of Ummah and have fun. Remember that Allah want us to be happy and enjoy our lives to the fullest.

    But at the same time we should not forget our responsibilities. Dont lose our cultural values. Say no to extremism of any kind including alcoholism. Our society is still safe from alcohol & ecstasy culture (its not an epidemic yet) so while we adopt western elements lets do it selectively. We are Pakistan and we know better.

  20. aSaR (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 7:32 am

    its soo wierd to hear/read all these pakis talk bout booze and alcoholism! Such things are NEVER really discussed within us desi/pakis here in USA.. pakiland has changed soo much where I feel the people back home are doing more “westernized” things vs who live in USA since 12 years old!

  21. wasiq (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 7:48 am

    many people who don’t go to these ny’s parties or drink in karachi never shows up for the morning eid prayers…its not that a Big deal…do what you have to do…what you think is the best for you….don’t look at others…

  22. turab (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 10:17 am

    asrar you need to get out more…

  23. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 10:21 am

    Keep walking Teeth man!

  24. Sameeh (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 11:07 am

    Asar, Dont mind these(e.g JayJay) people here. I found out hard way that Pakistanis in USA (majority) are more religious and with good character than Pakistanis in Pakistan(except lower class). Now we can discuss all day about how many pakis in USA go out and do bad things but still I know many many people who dont. These people feel so sorry for pakis who are in Pakistan (our roots) and are forgetting all our cultural values. I just visited pakistan in august and will again day after tomorrow. I have seen how crowded restaurants/huqqa bars/coffee shops, are and so few people are showing up in fajr jamat in mosque.
    Just for sake of having fun, starting argument on division between state and religion and hence law should come first than religious believe; its pity.
    Ahhh well who am I to preach. I know modernization is in pakistan. And everyone like something new. Wait till water is neck high. Then you will understand how fun things are actually not funny.

  25. ash (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    no comment on how many US muslims go to fajr prayers? The waters been at neck level for some time, modernization can only help and if it cant then its curtains for us all. BTW alchohol does not equal modernization.
    People who have never lived here or who leave for a long time often romanticise about a country that never existed. And i do think that living in karachi is much more modern/cosmopolitan than living in hicktown USA.

  26. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Ash you continue to impress me.

    Drink in night[if you can’t live w/o it] and pray in morning and hope that Allah would forgive you.
    As long as you are accepting that drinking is forbidden, always seeking forgiveness ,asking for strength and not encouraging any one esle to drink then you “might” be okay.

    Only thing I have observed is that Allah gives you lot of strength if you just try little. If you drink then accept that it is wrong whether you drink in your house or you just drink socially.

  27. Sufi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

    I second Ash. Alcohol, pre-marital sex, prostitution, they are primitive. Islam is the most modern abrahamic religion on the face of the earth. It is the most modern..

  28. Sufi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

    Very INTERESTING MAN, all muslims should read about him.

  29. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

    This man[father of Neocons] and Syed Qutub are considred the most influencial personalities in modern world. One might like to watch this awesome BBC documentary by Adam Curtim . It DOES reveal many things.

  30. JayJay (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

    Re: Asar/Seema – The religiosity of expatriate Pakis is nothing but an unfortunate demonstration of ‘siege mentality’. They want to have best of the both worlds – the modern luxuries (a presentable passport included), the economic and personal security and the opportunities that the West provides, without compromising their aspirations for a Paradise hereafter, with 72 virgins and all. It is tragic that these expats only live in the US only in a physical sense. Their minds still clung to North Nazimabad, rather to the ignorant idiocy of Dr Israr Ahmed and the ilk. They watch Paki TV channels (religious programs only), read newspapers from ‘home’, and any time left is spend talking religion and praying. Their social life hangs around mosques. No activity outside work has non-religious origins. Their dinner gatherings start and end with prayers. Women meet over sessions of DVD-recorded sermons. Not that there is anything wrong with it all as long as their personal religiosity does not give them license to start judging other with their own stick. However, their self-righteousness about their religious soundness, more often than not, leads to the temerity to question the character of the Pakistanis still residing in Pakistan. “More religious”, “good character” , can you please explain the rationale behind the use of these superfluous notions?

  31. JayJay (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 4:24 pm
  32. Moiz Kazmi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

    party all nite but drink only what u can handle !! don’t loose ur mind n roam naked on streets !! :P
    We drink all year so ppl jus avoid drinking alot this one day as u might miss ur prayers in the morning !!
    beside my crap i agree wht zahra said !! :)

  33. Sameeh (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    Dear JayJay, I am not saying that cut yourself off from your daily chores or from society in general. We muslims here in USA see evil, sometimes work with evil doers (co-workers) and go to work meetings where alcohol consumption is very common. That does not mean that we should follow them because its cool and hip.
    Many muslim couple here in USA go to work, wear decent(in moral sense) clothes, go to school, make americans friends and still live muslim life. We do go to mosque as many times we can even though we dont have luxury of being close to one all the times.
    Everyone at my workplace know that I dont drink or eat pork. Even my boss order veggie pizza in our team meetings because she knows I am muslim and cant eat any meat since its not kosher (which is jew term of halal). So my question is why cant one be muslim and not ignorant fundamentalist. Why you guys cant you guys wear jeans and dont dance to loud tunes and consume alcohol? Is that so hard even in Pakistan? Is there any pressure to do all that?
    And as per being fanatic; I wish all muslims were like that, but it is choice and not a fact to be muslim. Dinking and islam dont work my friend. So please lets talk sensible here.

  34. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    JayJay,I just wonder whether you ask any Sikhs in US or Canada that why does he wear that typical Sikh Turban and speaks in punjabi? Ever asked why doen’t he shave and getrid of that long beard and long hair? ever asked why does he chant “Wai Guru Wai guri” in US?

    my relatives live in US and UK and they and their kids pratcise Islam even on public places and try to avoid things which are forbidden in Islam and the outcome is that they are respected more than those confused pakistani crap who demonstrates a screwed version of “Do as Romans Do” and practise Western culture” due to their strong binding with a religion and culture.

    My friend ignorance is bliss but too much ignorance is not less than a curse.

  35. Amar (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 11:16 pm


    Posted by: JayJay at December 27, 2006 04:24 PM

    The above article(thx Jay) pretty much explains everything that’s wrong with “Pakistanis” abroad. It’s not about alcohol nor is it about dancing to music it’s about living a life which isn’t acceptable to the expats.

    If you guy’s are so worried about the country going to pot then why don’t you come back and try to save us all?! And if your colleagues are so “evil”; why not quit your job? Why work with/for the devil that you clearly deem them to be.

  36. chemistry (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 3:24 am

    Hello . assalam u alaikum . Bonjour
    dont call drinking alcohol paki. sorry muslim culture. u are from karachi not USA, so don’talk about the western culture.

    lets talk abt new year….new year.Is it islamic? I think u should consider this question first? Did u celebrate independence day like this. When did u prayed last time in ur life. How can u generalize ur alcohol chicken burger nature as fun -y r u defining the meaning of fun. U find fun in alcohol. I find fun in something else.i am a paki and have lived here for 18 years .alcohol was common in karachi but uncommon to pakis.Y r u comparing usa’s desi people wth urself. As an islamic nation, we shouldn’t even think about alcohol. When Hazrat Mohammad PBUH was in Mecca, all the yahudis would drink but Mohammad PBUH wouldn’t.By the way, i am living in toronto, not some hicktown. Also, whn i was in pakistan, lived in clifton so i know wht type of people u r who waste their parent’s money on alcohol and cars.

    how abt i sent u pork to enjoy with ur drink
    its fine u r drink but is not ok to call urself muslim

  37. ash (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 3:57 am

    Thanks sufi and captain. Happy new year and Eid mubarak to us all. May the new calender year bring us all happiness.

  38. JayJay (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 4:01 am

    It seems that the religious self-righteousness of expat Pakis knows no bounds (“evil colleagues”, etc). One boast after another to degrade others on the scale of piety. They bemoan about their colleagues; they bemoan about their host countries, but won’t quit the evil environment. If the West is so bad, why don’t they pack up and return to the holier pastures of Pakistan or, even better, Saudi Arabia. These double standards are never ending. I wish they had concentrated as much in becoming good human beings.

    Sikhs don’t quit their culture but don’t try to impose the religious fervor on the lesser mortals back home. No one is saying anyone should just jettison their culture or religion. However, the expats excel in wearing their religion on their sleeves, more to show it off, than anything else.

    Amar: BTW, no Jew lived in Mecca. The city was entirely populated by the Quraish. Prophet Mohammad came to live with the Jews after migrating to Medina. I am not sure either where you have read that all Yahudis drank (It seems a meer generalization).

  39. teebee (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 4:27 am

    @jayjay: you are contradicting your own views. At one point you are asking not to judge others and at another point you are being judgemental while describing the mentality of the expatriate pakistanis.

    Through my experiences of living in pakistan and in western countries, i personally think you cannot really pick on anyone. there are all kinds of people everywhere. i have many friends in pakistan who have very different mindsets. there are those who practice islam the way it should be done and there are those who do things which are not acceptable in our socitey such as consuming alcohol, marijuana, womanizing etc. And I have met pakistanis in US/canada/uk and again there are all kinds of people. For example, there are those who went there to study but now are so much into drugs that they cant sleep/work/go to lectures without smoking weed ( iam being very honest here ) and on the other hand there are those who go to university’s prayer room to pray at all times with jamat ( who are not extremist pleaseee !!). So, the point is that there are various kind of pakistanis both in pakistan and abroad. no one place pakis are better. not even in general terms! – thats what i think.

  40. wijdan (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 4:53 am

    In this discussion, one has changed the topic from New Year Ave to criticizing Desis in USA. We should not generalize about desi pple in US as Teebee said. However, the main point is tht as muslims one shouldn’t drink as simple as tht. i know tht some muslims drink even if they live in Saudi Arabia or Canada but one shouldn’t be proud of it.

  41. wijdan (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 5:01 am


  42. shaDy (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 6:12 am

    it’s amazing how much nonsense is written up there!


    firstly, *it’s no ones business to mind the business of others*. it shouldn’t make anyone sad that other people are drinking. it doesn’t make you “better” than them if you don’t drink.

    everyone has their own relationship with god.

    secondly, i think an important part of the equation is *why* the youth of our country seem so eager to drink and party.

    why wouldn’t they? they don’t have any other social activities to participate in. we don’t have a realistic music scene. we don’t have safe parks or developed, clean beaches or any real amusement parks.

    what young person doesn’t want to have fun and socialise?

    all the smart people that are opening up cafe’s and coffee shops and throwing balls are essentially doing the right thing. it is essential that the liberal youth of this country (like me) have a platform to interact with, as opposed to sitting at home watching tv and saying their “prayers” when they don’t even know the meaning of the words.

    alcohol consumption *is* a norm, and not just for the psuedo elites of our country. anyone can buy beer, vodka, whiskey and gin at a wine shop, and wine shops are very commonplace. i know of shops in boat basin, zamzama, defense, pechs and saddar.

    if you go to these places during the weekends, you’ll find atleast 10 people at all given times either in cars or standing outside buying alcohol.

    so… i think everyone should mind their own business and remember:

    if you drink, be safe and don’t lose your shit.

    if you don’t drink, don’t pee on our parade because you think you’re somehow better than us.

  43. cardiffkent (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 6:19 am

    TM has put a sensible start tone to the topic and many have posted good comments(hypocritical Muslim values: true indeed, as not only the nation suffers from it but our family members, friends. Try telling some one that they have hypocritical Muslim values, you will regret it all your life).

    On that note personal choice is accepted but stop preaching the world when you can’t practice a pint of it. Other wise nothing wrong in clean sensible fun. (if anyone will let the common man have any of it before thay are lathi charged).

    The parties are for the elite where you will find tickets as high as 50,000 Pak Rs and hypocritical Muslim valued leaders, preachers, actors, friends all rubbing all sorts of things together and **trying!!!** hard to dance especially the middle aged aunties and balding uncles (the hippest of the crowd???)

    Other wise you have the much abroad paalat DEGREE YAFTA (remember the sons and daughters of preachers who tell the son of the common man to boycott all things in life so that they can keep their political DUKAN running, for how long ETERNITY)who come and tell the nation that they have been wrong for the last so many years since existance (if my mind does not trick me)and then also tell us that we are not doing PRIVATIZATION the correct way and that they have new tools to reform all our institutions (by the way those tools never arrived) why because these sons and daughters bag a salary of as high as 500,000 Pak rs and are on the next flight out ABROAD as soon as things go wrong.

    Well I have gone on long. Happy New YEAR 07. not 007!!!!

  44. Mo (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 7:55 am

    Like many, I attend Eid prayers only and that too for cultural moreso then religious reasons. If presented with an opportunity to knock a few back, and hopefully have fun ( :D ) at a party, it would take precedence.

  45. aSaR (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    gosh, ya’ll take everything so deep and too personal! Its almost 2007. Let’s celebrate the way you enjoy!:)

  46. Original-Faisal (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 10:11 am


  47. Amar (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

    JAYJAY – You’re mistaking me for Chemistry; his/her post is right below mine and mentions the whole ‘Jews living and drinking in Mecca’ thing.

  48. Mo (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    Religious restrictions are nonsense!

    Free your inner athesist.

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