Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

The five stars!

Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 17, 2009

I suppose, in Pakistan it is must for a 5 star hotel to have a mosque within its premises. But in a Muslim country, should having a mosque in a hotel be only a formality? Should a mosque only be built in a hotel to get stars? Those who have been to PC Lahore, Avari Lahore or PC Bhurban, they would definitely know what I mean. I have only observed this at these 5 star hotels, and I expect that things won’t be much different in PC’s and Avari’s of other cities of Pakistan.

Recently I happened to visit PC Bhurban. Obviously, it was well lit and there were directions everywhere for health club, swimming pool, restaurants, beauty parlor and what not, but nowhere was there any indication of where the mosque was. I asked the receptionist about the exact location of the mosque but he couldn’t think of any “SIGNIFICANT” place nearby. Actually, the entrance of the mosque wasn’t prominent enough to make any passerby realize that it’s a mosque; one had to be searching for a mosque to get there.

The entrance door was a maximum of 6 feet high. It lead downstairs to the kitchen and employee rooms, along with the ablution place and the mosque. Even the entrance door of the mosque didn’t have it mentioned that it was the mosque, though the ablution place was clearly mentioned. Even after getting done with my ablution I had to ask a guard about where the mosque was (and I was standing right outside the mosque). There was a petrol pump (yeah, PC’s own Petrol pump) there with an electricity generation plant (I guess, because the place was very noisy), and the employees of PC were very frequently visiting that area. That’s where the mosque was. And above all, the thing that strikes the most was, there was a scanner at the main entrance as well as the kitchen entrance, but there was no scanner for the mosque :-O. All entrances to the hotel were secure, but the mosque was specifically left un-scanned, as if it was not part of the hotel.

This situation made me recall the location of the mosques in PC Lahore and Avari Lahore. PC Lahore has quiet a big mosque at the back of the hotel (and I don’t exactly remember but I don’t think there are any directions in the hotel about the exact location of the mosque, correct me if I’m wrong), but Avari has a very small mosque, just being there as a formality.

Shouldn’t mosques be made so widely visible that every passerby knows there is a mosque there? Shouldn’t they be lit like other shops in 5 star hotels? Shouldn’t there at least be directions about where the mosque is? And I didn’t even hear the call for prayers in any loud speaker, maybe there wasn’t any such facility available in a 5 star hotel. Shouldn’t we at least urge the people to come to the mosque by at least putting directions about its locality everywhere, let go calling for prayers in a loud speaker? Shouldn’t the mosque be a “SIGNIFICANT” place itself, instead of refering to it through other “SIGNIFICANT” places nearby? Is it really true that we’re a Muslim country?


15 Responses to “The five stars!”

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Amar Bail […]

  2. Jafar said

    pakistan’s elite represents a culture in which there is no room for religion, honesty, merit, humanity… you name it..
    so i m not surprised while reading your post. its normal for them.
    (pardon me for my poor english, u know bloody urdu medium 😀 )

  3. Komal Ali said

    That’s sad on our part. And, this is probably why we are in mess :/

  4. Komal Ali said

    And I need permission from you to make your blog a significant part of my blogroll. May I, sir?

  5. @Jafar: You’re probably right. And getting rid of all these elements is what makes them an elite.

    اور آپکو پوری اجازت ہے کہ آپ اپنا کمنٹ اردو میں لکھیں۔ آپ کی انگریزی میں کسی قسم کا کوئی مسئلہ نہیں ہے، مگر مجھے خوشی ہوگی اگر آپ اردو میں کمنٹ کردیں۔ اور شاید یہ بھی ایک المیہ ہے کہ ہم اپنی قومی زبان میں بات کرتے ہوۓ ہچکچاتے ہیں۔ مجھے خوشی آپکا کمنٹ دیکھ کر ہوگی، نا کہ آپکی عمدہ انگریزی پڑھ کر۔ شکریہ، اور میرے بلاگ پہ آتے رہیئے گا۔

  6. @Komal: Welcome to Amar Bail. Yeah, probably we have forgotten our identity, we’ve forgotten who we are and what we are supposed to do :-(.

    You don’t need permission from me to make this blog a part of your blogroll. You can just go ahead and do it for sure. I’ll be more than happy to see my blog in a blogroll of some other bloggers. Thank you so very much for liking my blog. Do keep visiting.

  7. I haven’t been to PC Bhurban for a while but I do remember they had a mosque at the entrance which I used for Jummaah and it was packed to the hilt. Wonder why they’re trying to hide it now?

  8. @Yawar: Welcome to Amar Bail. They’re not trying to hide it, its actually hidden itself. And yeah, there was quiet a good number of people in Maghrib congregation as well, but as I said, one has to be searching for a mosque to get there. There arent any directions anywhere inside the hotel about where the mosque is…

  9. Pity! Not only should they have large and beautiful mosques but also Imams with beautiful recitation. I find that is one thing that attracts me to mosques.

  10. @Anas: Welcome to Amar Bail: They do have a mosque, but its location is not at all attractive. I mean, for a five star hotel, it should have a five star mosque, but it wasnt of that standard I guess…

  11. Specs said

    Have you seen Holiday Inn’s mosque?? Its in the basement with AIR CONDITIONING VENTS RUNNING OVER YOUR HEAD!!!!! Like a JAIL!

    Its so horrible

    And at marriott they don’t eve know where it is. :S

  12. @Specs: Welcome to Amar Bail. No I havent been there… Isn’t it sad :-(. And we are proud to have Marriots and Avaris…

  13. Salman Latif said

    That’s indeed tragic and pathetic on the part of the management of those hotels!!
    But let’s just view it in the greater scope of our society – prayer has, really, become a ritual. I’ve seen dozens, rather infinite persons, who pray five times a day and indulge in anything whatsoever without the slightest hesitance.
    The reality is that when a society, in this case ours, starts taking a thing of so vital importance as prayer as a mere ritual to perform, we are sure to recede along the path of moral, mental decadence.
    That precisely is why that’s the condition of mosques in our country…

  14. Rambler said

    I didn’t even know that having a mosque is mandatory at 5-star hotels. Because at any time I’ve been there and requested for any place to offer prayers at places like Sheraton/PC/Avari, they open their un-used rooms or ask to offer them in some hidden corridors. Once, at mariott I saw a lady offering them in the wash room. No matter how clean your rest rooms are with sitting areas, it’s in no way a place to offer them!

    Apart from hotels, we don’t build mosque in malls or restaurants too. For example, in ramadan when there are a lot of iftar/sehri deals, the restaurants arrange for the extra seating areas but none for praying. You either have to use their kitchens or passageways with people going around all over you.

  15. @Salman: Welcome to Amar Bail. I just can’t agree more with you. We ourselves have made prayers a ritual :-(. We have forgotten the sole purpose of prayers, we don’t offer them to purify ourselves, we just offer them as a ritual. You’re so right… And probably we shouldn’t be amazed to see that condition of mosques in our country, as we’re responsible ourselves to take our mosques to that condition…

    @Rambler: Im not too sure either but I think it is mandatory for 5-star hotels to have mosques within their premises. And I agree, the restaurants would go to any limit to arrange seats for their customers but wont bother taking the pain to organize a jama’at (congregation). As I said, we are the reason ourselves for this sorry condition of our mosques…

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