Alhamdulillah, today, being the 30th of Ramadan, Muslims in Japan prepare to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr tomorrow (Wednesday) after month-long Ramadan fasting. The Eid celebrations involve praying the Eid prayer, meeting with lots of new faces and eating delicious foods with friends and family members. Most of the Muslims will go to mosques all over Japan to say their eid prayers as expected. This is all good as it reminds us of the countless bounties Allah bestows on His creatures. However, apart from the salutations, I wanted to make a few observations for our valuable readers in Japan and elsewhere.
I know a friend who is married to a Japanese lady. He almost always celebrates Eid with his parents in Pakistan while his wife and children in Japan remain here without even noticing when the Eid came and went. They do not bother to fast during the month of Ramadan. For them, fasting, unfortunately, is too difficult. They often have a ready excuse to tell that this is Japan and they are busy in their work or studies during the day time. So, they can not fast.
There is another friend of mine who, although, does not go back to his country to celebrate Eid, cannot even go to eid prayers as he is busy at his work. His family does not seem to know anything about the blessed month of Ramadan and knows nothing about eid. This friend plans to leave Japan forever once his son graduates from the university while leaving his wife and the son in Japan.
Some Muslim families in Japan even hesitate to go to the mosques due to various reasons. There seems to be a disconnect between the Muslim husbands and their wives and children in Japan. Many of the husbands have almost given up. They do not even bother asking their families to celebrate Eid or even know the basics of our deen. The situation is quite alarming. What is going to happen to the second generation when the first generation of immigrant Muslims eventually leaves the scene? Who will take care of Islam and Muslims in Japan in the coming years and decades?
These and other questions often haunt me when I am alone and when I meet families like the ones mentioned above. I am not sure how the Muslim communities in other non-Muslim countries have been handling these kinds of issues. I am worried about the future of Muslims and Islam in Japan. Some people have been making strenuous efforts to fix the problems we, as a community face in the country. However, as you may expect, there are no easy fixes. Insha Allah, I hope to discuss those efforts at some other time as this is the time of Eid of celebrations and I have to get ready for the Eid prayers tomorrow.
Just as a side note, I would love to hear from you about the post and the issues your community has been facing and how you have been handling these problems.