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Posts tagged ‘pakistan’

Independence!

Bismillah.

“The independence day sales estimated to reach Rs. 40-50 billion this year”, reported a newspaper.

As I read the headline, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. Embarrassed to face the underprivileged class upon spending so excessively for the celebration of a single day, in the form of paper flags that are seen trampled on the roads on the morning of 15th, in the form of lights decking huge buildings when villages upon villages have no electricity throughout the year, in the form of fireworks and gunshots that disturb the peace of many ill, old and suffering, in the form of huge green and white cakes when thousands in this country sleep everyday without having eaten a single morsel, in the form of green and white paints and flower petals when so many walk around in rags.

What kind of love entails only words and one-time actions? Why do we always have to choose the more flashy and easy way out? Why do we polish and glamorize cracked walls, why not fix the cracks first? Why don’t we strive together to make every person of this land truly independent and free? Free from financial burdens, from hate, the shackles of undue cultural practices, from pleasing everyone all the time, from worshipping anyone and anything other than the one true God. Because indeed, this is what our forefathers dreamed of. A land where the one God, Allah could be worshipped freely, where His Laws could be implemented, where we won’t be compelled to follow human-made flawed systems.

And certainly, that one God commands of nothing but good. He tells us to take care of the needy and the poor. He tells us to have empathy, to put their worries above our own. And if we do follow His Laws and take care of the poor accordingly, then who will remain dependent? Who wouldn’t be free?

There’s still time, my dear fellow Pakistanis! Let’s start helping those around us, not only materially but also spiritually. Because they need it. We all need to be free by being slaves of Allah, as that is the ultimate freedom!

Let’s live, Pakistan ka matlab kia? La ilaaha illa Allah*

*La ilaaha illa Allah: there is no God worthy of worship except Allah.

 

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These Troubled Times

Bismillah.

Today was a hard day for the people of Pakistan. From one affliction after the other, we suffered. In general too, these are troubled times for the entire Muslim nation. One wound after the other, I saw people losing hope. I heard comments and read posts about how all is lost. Everyone is in despair. No one feels they can take it any more. And rightly so, the pain is great. The wounds are physical, emotional, spiritual and mental.

We keep repeating on our social media what we are going through and how bad the situation is, ending with a hashtag of #NoHate, though in reality our posts are doing nothing else but generate hate. But then what else can we do? We feel helpless!

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My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, sad as you are, let me remind you of another hard day that someone very beloved to us went through. Someone who all of us claim to love, one way or the other. What was his reaction?

Narrated `Aisha:
That she asked the Prophet (ﷺ) , ‘Have you encountered a day harder than the day of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Your tribes have troubled me a lot, and the worse trouble was the trouble on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn `Abd-Yalail bin `Abd-Kulal and he did not respond to my demand. So I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarnath-Tha-alib where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me unexpectedly. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, ‘Allah has heard your people’s saying to you, and what they have replied back to you, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, “O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.” [Sahih Bukhari, 3231]

This was a time when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ disappointed from the hatred of the people of Makkah and their constant refusal to accept the truth travelled to Taif, hopeful that they’d welcome the beautiful message of Islam. However, instead of accepting it, they started mocking the person who today we hold in so much respect. They made their people line up in two rows on the side of the road and when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ passed from there, they pelted him with rocks and threw stones at him. So much so that his body bled and the blood filled up his shoes. Just stop for a moment and picture this. Shoes filled with blood?! How much wounded do you have to be to be in this state. Imagine a lone person hurling a single rock at you, how would you feel? A whole group of people throwing stones at my Prophet ﷺ? The mere thought fills us with rage and tears. We want to go and beat up those people all over again.

In this state, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ staggered out of that town, how weak he must have felt. And at that time, Jibreel came with the Angel of the Mountains awaiting just a command. I see you already wishing it was you so you could tell the Angel to crush those people between two mountains. But look at the reply of my beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He said, “no, but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.”

Hope! At a time like this! This is the character of the one who I’m supposed to follow, step by step. This is what is expected of me being a caller towards Allah, being a Muslim, being a member of the best of nations. I can’t afford to lose hope.

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I’m a leader, I have to pull up the people around me, I have to be the shoulder they can lean on, I have to give them light so they can see the way. And what is the way except the way that leads to Allah?

If that day, my Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had lost hope and had those people crushed between mountains, how would the legendary hero, Muhammad bin Qasim have been born from the progeny of the people of Taif? Muhammad bin Qasim, the first Muslim leader to have stepped on the land of Sindh and thus bringing Islam to this region. Who knows that I owe my Islam to him today?

Instead of ranting about the problems and the pain, I need to talk about the solution. I need to instil in those hearts softened by the affliction that it’s time we turn back to Allah, it’s time we fixed ourselves. Allah says, “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (42:30)

I will fix myself. I will perform ablution a little extra carefully today, I will spend a few minutes more at the prayer mat, I will seek forgiveness for my sins more than usual, I will tell people to worship Allah, to do good deeds, to stay away from immoral acts with more fervour today. Because I know this is the solution! I know this will bring change!

I believe! Allah says, “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (12:87)

I believe that my hope will bring forth many Muhammad bin Qasims inshaAllah. :)

 

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Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury’s Pakistan Tour

Assalam u ‘alaykum,
Bismillah.

I kept thinking for the past week what to write about Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury‘s Pakistan Tour. There is SO much that should be written. I was completely overwhelmed by what I learnt from him. So for a start, here’s what happened…

Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury came from Australia to Islamabad, Pakistan from March 1st – 4th, 2013.

On Friday, March 1st, he gave us a short introductory talk. Just by that talk we knew that he knows. A knowledgeable person, or more precisely a scholar, does everything differently. His knowledge and specially his acting on that knowledge shows in the way he talks, walks, looks etc. Yes, it is the akhlaaq (character) that differentiates a scholar from a common man.
Then he gave the Friday sermon in which he talked about how the Muslim ummah has suffered all throughout history too but the suffering always ends in the end as Allah’s deen is meant to be at the top. One man can bring the change, look at Salahuddin Ayubi. That one man could be anyone, it could be you.
At night, he gave a talk on ‘Knowing Allah’, in which he talked briefly about Al-Fatiha (first chapter of Quran) and types of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah).

On the morning of March 2nd, 3rd and 4th, we attended Aqeedah (creed) classes with him from the book ‘Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyya’ of Ibn Taimiyaah. We studied all about Allah, belief in Him, what  should not be the belief about Him and what should be the belief about Him. Eveything was with authentic references from the Quran and sunnah. We were dazed, never had we known Allah like that. Never had we believed in Him as a real entity as we got to know then. Truly, without knowledge you cannot know. Don’t just assume things, know the reality. Make some effort about this knowledge like you make effort about your worldly education. This is way more important and beautiful. Besides, your deeds can never be corrected unless you know the One for whom you have to do the good deeds and refrain from the bad ones. Guaranteed!

He also taught us about the real way a student, a seeker of knowledge should be. Because without the proper respect and method to attain this knowledge, we won’t really get it.

  • A student should always give charity before coming to a class.
  • He should stand up in night prayers.
  • He should make a lot of du’a.
  • He should purify his intentions for Allah’s face.
  • If he does not understand something, then he should make a lot of istighfaar (ask for forgiveness) because the knowledge of Allah is a noor (light) and understanding of it is hindered by one’s sins.

On the evening of March 3rd, Sheikh Tawfique gave a lecture in Faisal Masjid auditorium on ‘Description of the Day of Judgement’. We felt the Day of Judgement, Jannah and Jahannum. That Day is too difficult, Jahannum is more than what we can bear, Jannah is too beuatiful to leave.

May Allah correct our belief about Himself, make the Big Day easy for us, save us from going into Jahannum, enter us into Jannah, give us the tawfiq to benefit from true scholars of this ummah, preserve them and their knowledge and be pleased with us and them. Ameen.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah

High School Teens – in a mess or taken amiss?

Bismillah.

Ever looked in the eyes of young teenagers of high school in Pakistan? The kids who are just growing up, feeling the changes within them and around them. Looking here and there in a questioning way without getting any answers. Or do you just ignore them like a bunch of silly sheep bleating loudly?

Where are their parents? The most important characters in a person’s life. Do they help them get on? Sadly, no.
Parents don’t tell them anything. They think stuff is understood, or they don’t want to tell it to their children (not knowing that they know everything already the wrong way, since you didn’t tell the right way). They don’t understand that today kids need direct counseling. A one-to-one talk. With all the different kinds of mess outside, they’re confused. And no affectionate elder is there in the family to guide them. Or even to whom they can go and talk to. The only thing elders do is put restrictions on every possible thing so kids don’t fall into bad (the conservative parent) or they let them do everything so they don’t fall into good (the liberal parent). Someone seriously needs to counsel parents, and also tell them:
Let. Them. Do. Everything. Within. The. Boundaries. Of. Halal. And. Save. Them. From. Sin.
This is what the parents need to know. Or a good shaking is all they need.

Then there’s the school. What’s taught there? Just a bunch of subjects utterly useful for handling life. Some biological systems, a few chemical reactions, mathematical equations, formulas of physics, outdated English stories that bore you to death, Urdu poems of unfulfilled love, structure of computers, history of how Pakistan was stabbed here and there by various regimes, and the list goes on for other such subjects. Okay. These are good. But are these good enough?
No lessons on how to streamline your thinking, discover the Creator, handle your emotions, manage pressure and hormonal changes, discover your hidden talent and be given a purposeful direction? What if someone’s skill is maintaining a perfect routine? Or talking to others convincingly? Or creating wonders out of imagination? What’s in schools to dig out and enhance the natural skills unique to each being and let them pursue those with ease?

Look at the teachers. Or don’t. Most of them are not worth looking at (I don’t say all). My apologies for the bitter truth but that’s how it is. Teachers of high schools are not the best people of this society, unfortunately. The female teachers being interested only in fashion, gossip, shopping, bossing around and the male teachers being interested in flirting with the female teachers, cracking silly jokes and both of them teach to earn a little money or because they’re bored at home and just because they well, have to teach.
No improving of minds, no provision of inspiration or high ideals, no nothing. Just a bunch of silly people who if they do fill ideas in minds are only those ideas which would have been better if not shared at all.

The company and friends consequently is the worst imaginable. Kids fill their heads with romantic novels, films full of violence, hot gals, cool guys, porn on the internet, and silly jokes.

What is the solution? Who will bridge the communication gap? Talk and counsel them? Help them get a direction? Help them stop wasting the most precious years of their life?

The question is who?

Wassalam,
Hajrah.

Independence Day!

Assalamu’alaikum,
Bismillah.

14th August! You just say it and hearts start thumping, feet start tapping, fingers start snapping, bodies start swaying happily and everyone falls into chorus of their favorite song.

Isn’t that the scenario that we saw in different parts of Pakistan on Independence Day?

65 years of Pakistan’s independence, our dear homeland!

I remember coming across, in this Sunday’s newspaper, 65 reasons to celebrate 65 years of Pakistan. I started reading with anticipation, wondering what reasons lay ahead and clearly remember my dumbfounded amazement when I had finished. Yes, the reasons were those due to which independence is celebrated today. After all, haven’t we produced brilliant artists, glorious singers and melodious musicians ever since Pakistan was created?

However much happiness is celebrated, it is less!

Shouting and singing loudly  with your friends of both genders in concerts is just an expression of the love that we feel for this piece of land which is drenched with the blood of sacrifices of our forefathers.

Forefathers, eh?

This is the reason I write today. Because I vividly remember the deep pain in my grandfather’s eyes when he used to tell us how he remembered himself at the time of partition, a young army officer in Pakistan, on duty to receive people migrating from India to Pakistan by train. He stood there waiting for the train to come and finally when it arrived, there was no singing and laughter but…… A deep silence! He stepped inside compartment after compartment, only to find them filled with nothing but dead bodies!

Would you close your eyes for just 5 seconds and imagine that?

Does anyone of you remember those dead people leaving a will saying we are dying for you, please celebrate our sacrifices and death with all possible forms of entertainment?

I also remember the passion in the eyes of my other grandfather, who was old, having retired from army quite some years ago, but nevertheless wrote an earnest letter to the higher authorities requesting to be recruited as a volunteer in army during the time when war was being announced.

Would you really believe that he was ready to sacrifice his remaining limbs so that you could perhaps dance a few more steps independently?

No, it’s not just about my grandfathers. I’m sure yours have the same story. Go, ask them!

And if you don’t have a grandfather, let me tell you what they would have told you:

Pakistan ka matlab kia? La ilaaha illAllah

[Translation: Meaning of Pakistan? There is no God worthy of worship except Allah]

La ilaaha illAllah. Go, do some research on it. Surely, that would be part of the love that you feel for this land. And this phrase is a lot more practical than you think!

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

P.S. Don’t find answers? Come back here and comment below…

Energy Crisis!

Assalamu’alaikum,
Bismillah.

I have been observing my environment for the past few days. And I was wondering what is our problem?
It suddenly hit me this morning. Energy Crisis! Yes, this is it.

Now you’ll be directly jumping to hydro-power and electricity and what not… Hold your horses right there!
Our main energy crisis is related to us, human beings. We are in an energy crisis. Just look around you and you’ll know it yourself.

Fuel empty? It’s a farce!

Look at the young man ripe with youth, working long hours in a private company yet still has to spend the weekend with his friends partying the nights away.

Look at this other young man working in a government organization, who goes to work in this old and seemingly providing-shelter-to-those-working-for-the-betterment-of-nation building yet has practically nothing to do in there.

Look at the energetic naughty kids who play all day long making life tough for everything and everyone around them yet still can’t go to sleep at night without throwing a tantrum.

Look at the pretty young ladies with makeup immaculate to the last curved tip of kohl on their upper eyelids, trudging to university everyday to get an education and empower women with all sorts of rights yet have plenty of time to while away in gossip, laughing at others and just having ‘fun’.

Look at the oh-so-poor maid deprived of all the lavishness that life offers to the elite class, working day and night, serving her employers yet never misses a single episode of her favorite soap in her battered down one room house.

Look at the housewife serving her family and waiting on them hand and foot yet has time to brood and complain on how her husband and in-laws never gave her any good.

Look at the young teenager preparing for her exams, sunk up to her neck in books and notes yet finds time to feel bored.

Look at the old widowers and widows with their cracking limbs and tired feet, who worked so hard all their lives yet still have energy left to criticize every possible human being younger than them.

(And let’s not look at the other lot that has nothing better to do than wasting time because we’re only looking at people overburdened with work).

Yes, we are in an energy crisis, with our energies bottled up inside and we face death with most of our faculties never even being recognized and we remain under the illusion that we work so hard in our lives overburdened with load.

And yet… We wonder when we

look at the companions of the Prophet s.a.w digging the trench  with stones tied to their stomachs due to hunger,

look at them fighting wars with just a piece of date for whole days,

look at them memorizing thousands narrations (ahadith) without a single mistake,

look at our pious predecessors travelling miles upon miles through deserts and over mountains to gain knowledge,

look at them ruling half the world with justice to perfection.

I wonder why do we wonder…

And we think we are low on energy? We are low on giving direction to the extra energy.

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