Monday, July 27, 2009

Of life's (un)predictability


Usually in life, we're so so SO busy. Either busy in wasting time, or busy in the daily happenings (work) we do (or sometimes don't). Either way, we're usually too busy to sit, and reflect upon some basic and ultimate realities of this world.

So here is something that happened in my family ...which I'd like to share. It opened my eyes, at least. Hope it makes you reflect as well.

Would you agree with me when I say that when a wedding ceremony occurs in a family, the entire family and relative population gets extremely busy with dresses, dress designs, accessories, mehendi (henna), which parlour to choose... furniture, shopping, shopping and MORE shopping....hall selection, food items, jewelery.. sigh. Blah.

What I mean to say is, that one tends (it is generalising -- I'm quite sure there are exceptions), to get immersed in all the material aspects of a wedding, and is SO busy in making sure that those aspects are all covered, and glittery on the Big Day, that they can quite forget any other thing that might matter as well.

We had a cousin's wedding yesterday. I didn't go.. (WHY didn't I go :(.. ). I was like.. "Main valimay main jaaoongi (I will go to the Valima ceremony, which was to be held today). The wedding was glittery....quite amazing. Dad and Chotpo reported. The groom, by the way, is my father's first cousin's son.. (Aunty S's son, shall we say). Aunty S had heart problems for a long time...:S And she passed away less than a year ago. This guy is the only son.

Today...The Valima day..

2.45 pm: The family was having lunch
The groom's dad (Uncle P) asked the people around him whether his clothes were ready or not, for this evening. Everybody assured him that they were nearly pressed and ready.

3.00 pm: They all finished dinner. Uncle P got up from the table. Suddenly, he stumbled. And started choking.

3.05 pm: My dad received a call. Uncle P is unconscious. What do we do!!!
My dad: Call an ambulance immediately. I'm too far away.
3.10 pm: The folks ran out to get a neighbouring doctor. He ran to their place.
3.15 pm: Uncle P was pronounced dead.

It was shocking beyond shocking. My dad was like, "I had sat with him the whole time yesterday!! He was right beside me!"

The funeral prayer was held at magrebain (combination of Maghrib and Isha prayers). We went to the Gusl Khana (place where the dead body is given ghusl, and the special prayer, namaz-e-janaza, is held). It was a terrible scene. The bride sat there, decked in henna, clad in simple clothes, her face, reflecting the shock and horror, and the sheer unexpectedness of the day's outcome. Her big day.

*deep sigh*. I would like you, the dear reader, to take a moment. Reflect on how unpredictable this life is, and how MUCH time we spend on trivial, meaningless, even sheer WRONG things in life. If I analyse myself, lately... I've been spending a lot of time, moping. And how? I mope by opening this piano software I recently acquired. And start playing any song that comes to the brain. How wrong, SO that! :'(. Not only the the music factor, but sheer time wastage, and not to mention a supremely heavy head later on!

So from now onward, I have vowed to improve. I hope you make a vow as well. At least we can INTEND to change... That's the first step isn't it.

Since you're here.. do read this dua'a. It's called Syed-ul-Astaghfar (prayer for forgiveness). It's said that if a person has sins as much as the froth in an entire sea, they will be forgiven, if he/she really means and reads this dua'a.

Take care all.


Narrated Shaddad bin Aus:
The Prophet said "The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is: 'Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana 'ala ahdika wa wa'dika mastata'tu, A'udhu bika min Sharri ma sana'tu, abu'u Laka bini'matika 'alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta." The Prophet added. "If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise."
Bukhari,Volume 8, Book 75, Number 318.


PS: You will have to click the dua'a image, and read it in enlarged form.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rain .. blessing or...?

This blog post is going to be a video-ey one. I captured these clips, and made this video with the intention of showing just what happened in Karachi after 5 minutes of the first shower of the monsoon season.

I don't need to remind you that there have been more than 25 deaths in Karachi, since the monsoons began on Friday. The biggest city of Pakistan. The recent developments in city, hailed far and wide, are now questionable. Why wasn't the drainage system upgraded ?

What's stopping THIS development from occurring.

The power problems in the city are dismal. Tall claims made by KESC have all been sucked down the drain (pun definitely intended).

Anyway, watch the video. Hope you're inspired to do something for the city. If you feel that, the purpose of the video is served.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Israeli soldiers speak out on Gaza

I applaud them. Here is the abridged news story below:

A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement.

The troops said they had been urged to fire on any building or person that seemed suspicious and said Palestinians were sometimes used as human shields.

Breaking the Silence, a campaign group made up of Israeli soldiers, gathered anonymous accounts from 26 soldiers.

Israel denies breaking the laws of war and dismissed the report as hearsay.

The report says testimonies show "the massive and unprecedented blow to the infrastructure and civilians" was a result of Israeli military policy, articulated by the rules of engagement, and encouraged by a belief "the reality of war requires them to shoot and not to ask questions".

One soldier is quoted saying: "The soldiers were made to understand that their lives were the most important, and that there was no way our soldiers would get killed for the sake of leaving civilians the benefit of the doubt."

Another says: "People were not instructed to shoot at everyone they see, but they were told that from a certain distance when they approach a house, no matter who it is - even an old woman - take them down."

Other allegations in the testimonies of the 14 conscripts and 12 reserve soldiers include:

• Civilians were used as human shields, entering buildings ahead of soldiers
Large swathes of homes and buildings were demolished as a precaution or to secure clear lines of fire for the future.

• Some of the troops had a generally aggressive, ill-disciplined attitude

• There was incidents of vandalism of property of Palestinians

• Soldiers fired at water tanks because they were bored, at a time of severe water shortages for Gazans

• White phosphorus was used in civilian areas in a way some soldiers saw as gratuitous and reckless

• Many of the soldiers said there had been very little direct engagement with Palestinian militants.

Source: BBC News July 15, 2009

This should at least open the eyes of all those who seem to think that human rights abuses are restricted to "fundamentalists/islamisst" only. Here is a huge example of gross violation of basic human rights, and to add even more credibility to this -- it's the soldiers who are speaking out.

I wonder if any action can be taken against them. After all, critics will argue that this is just hearsay and all anonymous.

May Allah Bless the Palestinians and grant them sabr and of course, Jannah. And May we somehow become able to help out our poor, oppressed Muslim brethren in several different parts of the world. Ameen

Image taken from here

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The picnic ...

آج ھم پکنک پے گۓ - بڑا مزہ آیا - کچھ زیادہ ہی آگیا - بڑے ڈرامے ہوے - زیادہ لوگ زیادہ مصیبتیں
D: -- حوکس بے کا نام حوکس بے کیوں ہے یہ آج تک سمجھ نہیں آیا --

خیر، یہ فوتوس لیں -- ایک وڈیو بھی ہے جس میں ایک نیولا ایک سانپ کا قتل کر دیتا ہے - ٢٠٠ روپے میں یہ تماشا میں نے دیکھا - آپ لوگ مفت دیکھئے گا --

:) کاش میں نے وہ سٹوپڈ گانا نہیں دیکھا ہوتا -- میرے دماگ میں گھس گیا ہے -- ںکل ہی نہیں رہا کمبخت D: --

I will always associate this music with that particular moment ... *deep sigh

So long -- سو لانگ D: D: D:

(meant for July 12, 2009 -- Sunday)