Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh Meray Allah :S:S

Assalamualaikum

This is morning! 4.10am... *a little hysterical*.... And my Bhanja just wouldn't SLEEP!!

It's beyond belief. !!!

I am soooo frustrated right now, I can't tell you!

The story is like this:
1. The mommy told us to ''keep the kid awake till at least 11pm''
2. We felt so sorry for the droopy-eyed lil angel, that  we let him sleep at 9.30pm.
3. Don't kids abroad sleep at 8.30pm and wake up at 7am in the morning or something?
4. Yeah, so he woke up around 2am - and has been up since!!

OH MY GOD!!

Why won't he stop thisss....


And sleep like this!...


His mommy grows more and more angry... by the second (as I type) ...*grinning actually*


And the cries of the kid grow shriller by the second... (as I type!) ... **not at all grinning now**


I am kind of wondering... how in the world did I analyse my CV and re-wrote stuff in it..abhi. No wonder it took me hours and hours...ufffff!

Things are hammering into my brain. And I know I don't make sense.
Er, I think I better go before er, an earthquake comes in this house..

Allah Hafiz...

And remember folks. There isn't a more forbidding enemy...
..than an angry baby...


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mental State: Visuals!

Aoa

Since I am incapable of writing out exactly what's on my head, and since I really would like to remember today for what it was, here are some pictures of what I feel like, right at this moment!

I think I need a coffee drip!


My brain feels like one of the tires of this vehicle below:


Have piles and piles to read up - trying to figure out the minutest of things. I marvel I still have hair on my head!!



In my quest to do everything at the last moment, the pressure has again become unbearable. Just a few days back, got free from exams.. :( and now...!!



My head is a bunch of ''remember this'' and ''take a note of this..'' etc etc



But I have got to show (myself) that I can do it!


Even if I go crazy, along the way!

Image source

May Allah Help me for the next two weeks. Crucial time. (Please say Ameen, whoever reads this !!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Panick SHOULD set in! :$

Sigh. If its 12.15am, and you're having a cup of coffee... this has to be a desperate situation!

The desperate situation isn't so desperate (technically). But if I don't think of it as desperate, I am not going to do anything about it.

My supervisor thinks that the research proposal should be ready by end of Jan. Like, end of the next month! The next month is going to be ''this month'' in only 3 days! *trying to panick*.

The research proposal consists of the literature review, and the complete mapped out plan of what is it that I plan to do.

What is it, that I plan to do? :$:$ [open question].

The next component of the desperation package is the GRE. I have already registered for it, and have to give it by end of Feb.

Why did I get registered so early? But now that I did, I have to stick by that date. And the fact is that less than a month after I submit the research proposal, I have got to give the GRE.

And so far, I am stuck at making up stuff like ''Abba nay jury ko solemnly urge kia keh jaldi karain!''  [my made-up sentence for adjuration - which means to solemnly urge]. I'm done for!! *now panicking*

NOT to mention, the upcoming Saturday class and the presentation I (now unwillingly) have to make. If it were 100% certain my presentation would be used, I'd probably be not so unwilling. *deep sigh*.

Anyway, the day went by pretty much in a blur. Our driver didn't come today (his sister passed away, May Allah rest her soul in peace, Ameen). And so I had to drive, and pick up Sis the Priss (a not so well, sis the priss) and come home. Bhanju was in his element the entire day. We couldn't believe our eyes when he picked up the Vicks bottle and sniffed it exactly the way we do when we have a cold!! :D:D..

Not to mention him snatching the phone from Mum's hands, making it fall down, then picking up the receiver and saying ''Hulllaaa'' :D:D:D ....*all nihaaal*



Monday, December 27, 2010

Books and Dolis!

Aoa

The Book Expo is so on! It started in Karachi from the 24th, and will continue till 28th Dec. I wish I could go everyday and stay there till it lasts :). I made a short trip to Expo yesterday and had loads of fun. For one thing, Bhanju was there with us, strapped in a stroller, looking around in amusement at the hollering activity around him. His mommy calmly and purposefully went to certain stalls only to get books for herself and for Bhanju's library (lol! :D). The Khala was the one who hurriedly made some handy investments and then tried not to feel guilty. So why was she feeling guilty.

Imagine this: A lil toddler sits impatiently in a stroller, and doesn't want to sit strapped inside a stroller. He tugs and tugs at the belt which is restraining him, and cranes his little neck all around to locate one person in the crowd surrounding him: you. His indignant gaze zooms in on you, and he cries out '''Hatta!'' (I dunno why, but that is ALL he calls me now...*despairs over whether she will ever hear the words Uni Khala from the kid ever!* - so on it goes ... "Hatta!'' ... ''Hatttaaaa'''.....''Hattaaa'''
And you try to disappear, so he will get distracted by the activity around him, and even when you go to the farthest corner of the book stall, you can still hear .... "Hatta'''.. ''Hattaaa'' ... Oh. My heart nearly broke with his broken cries!!

Finally, the poor soul fell asleep. And we had a lil peaceful time looking at books and deciding what to buy.
*looks guiltily back at the withdrawals from her bank account, and the measly deposits*

There is a reason why people do a job! *scowls very hard*.



Anyway. So that trip went well, and I'm hoping not to buy any more books this year! IA. (2011 kee end tak I mean). 

Tonight, we had to go to yet another wedding. And oh man! :D.. I don't think I've ever seen this spectacle before in my life. 

Imagine this: The bride didn't walk in ! She was carried in - in a doli - by 4 men! Lol... It was such a cool sight! So first, the band people entered. They looked Scottish (I mean, the music was exactly like that), but they weren't wearing a skirt (eh eh eh). And then, in the midst, she emerged, sitting serenely in a doli which was bedecked with flowers and colored dupattas. They doli was carried by 4 men. One of them was TB .. :D... oh man, his face. He looked as if desperately trying not to laugh. Lol! 

Khair, the doli was set down near the stage. The dulhan stepped daintily out of the doli. As she emerged and stood near the stage, the dulha descended the stage and then they went up together. Amaaazing. No rehearsal  and yet executed quite perfectly. 

So the decoration and food was beyond lavish. The bride looked awesome (because she wasn't decked to the bone). It was nice - but as usual, weddings like these depress the hell out of me, and fill me with a foreboding so great that... well, that nothing. 
So long folks!

PS: Mum said later that dolis are not for entry, they're for exit. Eh eh eh eh. 

PSS: I was so fascinated with the doli thingie, that I expressed a wish that hey, they should have rides around the hall -  Rs. 5 per ride. I would be the first one to hop on!



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Of Shopping and Painful Ears

Assalamualaikum

Weird it is that I was so darn happy when I had just come back from the Valima ceremony (of the awesome wedding I mentioned in the previous post).. and now, the entire mood has gone poofie!

Sigh. Life just sucks sometimes.

Anyway. The shopping bit is interesting, and has a few lessons for all of us. What happened was that since segregated weddings are quite rare, this one was something very much anticipated. And since all formal clothes of mine are either given away or belong to the time when my sis the priss got married (she has a year old son now:D), I was in dire need of a suitable suit. The shopping HAD to be done. Yesterday. And today was the valima. Now, since we didn't want to go far away, I had thought of a place quite near ours, and there I remembered they sold formal ready-made clothes (there was no time for stitching anything). Around a few years back, the formal clothes had cost around 1500 rupees (that was the starting price). And i had thought it was exorbitant. Now, I was expecting something like 2k? (starting). And I had steeled myself that hey, this is 'kaam walay suit' so maybe I can invest this much in one, just one. And I'll wear it till it wears out. Heh!

So off I went to this place, along with my Chotpo. When we entered, and looked around the racks (there were only a few of them), the dresses were all out of this world. Fabulous. Even I could appreciate their um..nafaasat! (the intricate design etc). But when we looked at the labels, our eyes nearly popped out! 4k!! 4k for a dress!??!?!?!?!



Okay. Maybe this is the norm now. But we were sure shocked to see the range! And when we asked the shopkeeper ''Hey, don't you have any suit in the 2k range?", he looked at us as if we were beggars, and added (while trying not to snicker) ''Well, all our clothes start from 4k, and go up to 6k... so what do you expect!'' - Man, were we embarrassed or what. Hurried out, and I walked away, totally dejected. Here, I was, for the very first time (yeah, seriously), out to buy clothes only for myself, for a function and look what happened.

Anyway, got some stuff that Chotpo wanted, and then aisay hee walked into a clothes shop and asked him if he knew any ready-made clothes shop. He said ''Baaji aik dukaan chore kar doosri dukaan ready made kee hee hay!'' ... We went to the other shop and there, we saw clothes (ready made yes!) in our range. But ohh man! ALL of them had er, transparent sleeves. There were sleeves, yeah, but even if you minus them, they wouldn't be missed :D.

Khair, very hopelessly I asked him whether he had ANY suit with full opaque sleeves. He was most surprised! Said ''This is the first time ANY customer is making such a request. We have clothes, in your range too, but not with the request you have made'' - totally dejected again, I turned to walk out. Suddenly, he pointed at a suit and said ''Wait, I think I've found one!.'' We stopped and turned back. He took out an amazing dress from the hanger and showed it to us. Totally cool!! :D.. and in our range too! Whoa! Got it immediately, and came home. Alhamdulillah.

The dress didn't even have to be altered. Totallyyy right! And I wore it today, along with these earrings I have vowed never to wear again in my life. I mean, my ears literally felt like two trucks are tugging on to the lobes with heavy strings or something. It was pretty painful :S. No wonder at the end of the valima, I had freed my ears, and carried the earrings home in the purse.

The ceremony was again, pretty pretty nice :). The best thing was, we got farigh from the function at 11.30, and were out of the hall by quarter to 12. Woh alag baat that waapsi pe, got into a huge jam and came home by 1am :S:S

Lessons learned from today!
1. Shop owners shouldn't think too big of themselves, if the only gentry they get can afford a 6k party dress!
2. It's normal not to spend this much just on one dress, because even if you have the money, its nothing but extravagance to throw it like that. Better give it to the poor.
3. If you hunt around for some bargain stuff, you CAN get it. And of good quality too.
4. There is no shame in wearing the same dress twice, or even thrice, in front of the same people :D. I have tried this with my sis's nikah dress (the one which I wore then), and it doesn't matter in the least how many times you wear some dress.
5. Don't abuse your ears. They haven't done anything to you :(


Friday, December 24, 2010

Weddin' n Sheddin'

Assalamualaikum

Weird title. But this is wedding season. And the cold weather makes one's hair shed :P. So....

The day was pretty useful - in terms of meeting with the supervisor, whose talk reminded me of how lazy I have been lately and have to buck up! :S. I mean, this project is NOT easy. What am I doing?


Went with Sis the Priss to get some new abayas for the upcoming 1-2 weddings. Had a nice time especially since Bhanju was asleep, and when he woke up and stared at me incredulously, Sis the Priss remarked "He thinks he is dreaming, and has gone to heaven'' :D eh eh eh.

Tonight, had to go to this veryy close friend's (mum's close friend actually - her daughter's) wedding :). It was a great and pretty cool wedding. Check this out. The entire event was segregated. Which meant that the girls could dress up as much as they wanted, and have a load of fun. (I had fun in the latter bit!). It was crazy... seeing people in hijab and then seeing them without is a totally amazing experience. It's also cool when you see people look at you, then their eyes widen with amazement, as they realize its YOU ... eh eh eh eh. As I was sitting with the bride and asking my favorite question of all times, to which she gave a very disappointing answer btw, I noted the camera in the dulha's sis's hands. I nearly leapt down from the stage, and exclaimed ''You didn't take a picture right?" ...she says, grinning ''Oh of course not!! I was focusing on Bhabhi!'' .. Ahh, the joys of people who think the same way as you MA! :)

When the doolhaa came in (man did he look over the moon or what! MA)... his entry was announced before he stepped in. Everybody was asked to do purdah (if they did) cuz the doolha was coming in. There was a flurry of activity as everybody scrambled up to get their coat/scarves. The only girl serenely standing there was the doolha's sis who watched all the activity with amused relaxation. He came in, and I was so amazed to see all the dulhan's sisters also wearing dupattas on head and not getting into any rowdy rasm (noisy traditional acts?). When I heard some commotion on the stage, I looked over and saw that there was indeed a rasm going on, but the elder girls (sisters of dulhan) were all standing away, and the very young ones were doing it .. awesome MA. 

May Allah Give a load of Barakah in this simplistic wedding. Ameen.

Aww, aren't the lil girls cute ?!



One last thing, a very nice reminder:

It is related by Huzayfah radiallahu anhu that the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: “Do not be of those who do (by others) as the others do (by them), and say that we will do them a favor if they do us a favor, and if they will be mean and unjust to us then we, too, will be mean and unjust to them. On the contrary, resolve that you will do good if the others do good, and if they do a wrong and act unjustly, even then you will not be unfair to them.” (Tirmidhi 268/28)

Explanation:

It tells that a true Believer should always be kind-hearted and amiable to others and an act of goodness should not be done only to those who are good to us, but to such people, as well, who treat us unjustly.

Cool no?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Day to Remember!!

This was supposed to be published yesterday at 2.30 am at night....
--------------------------------------------------
My head is buzzing. Weird thoughts are flitting through my brain... my very very very very very very exhausted brain.

My heart is dancing a little jig though.

So yeah, its pretty strange to have an extremely pressed down (pressured, in other words) brain and have a heart that's just plain-as-day HAPPY, but that's how it is. I wanna remember this day for the rest of my life. Oh Allah (SWT) please do not give me the trials of Alzheimer's (or dementia :S). Ameen.

Yeah, so what happened today. *seriously have no himmat to write.. what the heck am I doing online !!!*

The day started off with... okay, not on a very happy note. I was upset! Big time. And I had slacked in preparing for the speech which I had to give to the A Level kids today, so I had to prepare in the morning. Some preparation !!... Had to somehow squeeze in cooking in between and read the speech notes at the same time, wondering whether I am going to remember this stuff in front of the audience. My legs were like jelly, my stomach churning. I am a VERY nervous public speaker. The only reason my shaking like jelly legs don't show to the public is because I wear an abaaya. So where was I ? Nervous. Very very veryyyy nervous.

The time finally came, when I dropped off mum at sis's place and went off to the school. When I reached there, I was further terrified. This was some official university presentation day, where official looking people had set up stalls ... and were scheduled to speak to the kids. Ufff... I remembered my informal totally idiotic slides... and felt worse. Finally, I was sent upstairs to the auditorium. My throat felt like sawdust. I swallowed several times, waiting to see if I can even speak up! The kids were now filing in the auditorium. The other time when I had visited the same school and talked to the students, there were a handful of them, and the talk was held in a classroom, without any need for mic. Here, this was a hall. With a complete sound system. *gulp*...and oh God, so MANY students. The moments (terrible ones) finally passed. Their teacher started speaking, told them who I was and that I had been her student, and passed on the mic to me! I took it with shaky hands. And began.

Inititally, it was a disaster. As I asked them which subjects they had : they answered Commerce! (most of them). Hello! I was talking about engineering :S:S... they all laughed (some hooted). They whispered among themselves, and giggled (while looking at me). Man! Its a speaker's nightmare to have an out of control crowd. I was done for! Every scrap of notes fled from my brain, as I just wildly began... and as it always happens, words were coming out of the mouth without my control over their sequence, their order. And gradually, like 7 minutes later, I couldn't believe my eyes. The crowd was quiet. And they looked... well, they looked exactly like the picture below:



You can't imagine my amazement. I went on. There was quite a lot of laughter, (at the ludicrous slides. I hate boring slides), and they were all with me! I was with them! The time flew by.

The speech ended on another embarrassing note. The principal came up to the dias and said something like ''Oh she was my child, and got this this that that achievement (blah :P) and now thinking about doing PhD - take a good look at her'' - The kids all clapped! :$:$:$ [if only they knew my shaky plans eh]...I wanted to sink into the ground. But so pleased was I (that somebody appreciates), that it cheered my doleful heart up enormously :D...

Ahh... Khair. Then I went to a separate room with a bunch of students (because the next speech's time had come), and those bunch of kids asked me loads of questions. It was overwhelming.

Finally, came out of the school and nearly skipped (well figuratively, I was driving actually) to sis's place. Bhanju was over-elated to see me Alhamdulillah :D. His teeth just wouldn't disappear :D... the whole time. Man, the cuteness!
[wish I could be that carefree waisay *tries not to fall into dolefulness again*].

Came back home at nearly 2.30pm.
----------------------------------------------
Is that the end of the story of today?
Nope !

Because I had to go to a place where they do sound recording (or voice recording) for dubbing CDs. So I had committed myself for it, in order to ... :$.. er, well. This voice recording thing (under nearly all circumstances) wouldn't be allowed yea. Me being a female and all. But this case was different. They were dubbing (in Urdu) a CD which had interviews of American women who have converted to Islam...! So uh, I thought maybe that can be a sadaqah-e-jariya thing. Hence I signed up.

I didn't know what I had signed up for. And how difficult it would be!! Its not just reading you know.. it's watching the clip - seeing the exact expression on the lady's face when she talks - and then trying to talk in the same way, like they're doing... only that you're doing it in a rectanguular room with a mic in front of you, all alone, sound-proofed.

It was my first experience in a recording studio. :S...and was TOUGH as HECK. Specifically, when they had to TELL me, ''See, its not ''tarak'' - it's ''tark'' (you know, as in tark karna... I had thought it's tarak karna), and stuff like ''See, its not ''ehl-khana... its ehl-E-khana'' :$:$:$:$:$

Man! This lasted for hours...and hours..! (well, I was there from 4.30pm to ... 9.00pm) :(... they're actually aiming to get out the dubbed CD in time for the book fair which is going to be held in Expo in a few days IA. Oh man !! I can't wait to buy one of the CDs, and listen to erm.... *trying her darnedest not to be vain*... well I have to see what I sound like dubbing somebody...!! It sounded horrendous in the studio...all amplified and weird! A proper CD will do!

But you know what? The content of those clips, was beyond beautiful...and inspiring. I mean, there were times during the recording that I could hardly control my tears (thank the Lord I didn't break down), the conversion stories (and actual conversions) were SO emotional and beautiful. 

When I finally came back around 9.30...I was nearly dead with exhaustion. But extremely happy at how the day went. And even though my GRE is latkofying by the fragil-est thread possible, the A level kids were still impressed to know that I m going to TRY for a PhD IA :D

Allah Taála Surely tests us in different ways, and provides relief through other ways :D...Alhamdullillah!!

Watch this clip this was one of the clips being dubbed today - the kid with us was doing Henry :)...) and see if it makes you feel something ... something quite undescribable in words, really! Have a good day, people. Thanks for reading this much :)

Surah Fatiha

This talk is transcribed by me: Not that great an effort, but see if you can get some meaning out of the very informal way this Surah has been explained. Simple, yet profound!

---------------------

1. Alhamdulillah --> praise + gratitude (BOTH).
Understand the difference between praising Allah SWT, and thanking Allah SWT. Someone you praise, isn't necessarily someone you thank, and someone you thank, isn't necessarily somone you praise.

e.g if you see a cool cell phone, you're not going to THANK the cell phone, you're going to PRAISE the cell phone. Next example: We all have to be grateful to our parents. And Ibrahim AS is supposed to do that too. But does he PRAISE Azar? (No, he just thanks him, but never praises him)

So when we say Alhamdulillah - we are thanking Allah for everything that He has Done and Created, and at the same time, we are praising Allah for everything He has Done and Created. For everything we know about Allah, we thank AND praise Him for it.

There are people who don't have both these aspects. Think about those who commonly say 'Oh you know, if there is a God, where is He when the poor die on the streets, when there is so much hunger, so much pain... How can He Let this happen?'
--> These people then acknowledge Allah, but they do not fall in the category of those who say Alhamdulillah with true meaning. And its a test of faith, that whatever Allah SWT Does, whether we understand it or not, we praise Him for it, and we also thank Him for it. Its part of Imaan.

What we are seeing, is the world in front of our eyes. Not the hidden things. So how can we understand the logic of everything? Hence, its part of imaan to praise+thank Allah SWT for everything that happens.

Another point. We don't use any other name of Allah in Alhamdulillah, not Alhamdulil-Maalik...etc. Why?
Because Allah incorporates all qualities of Allah... Maalik, Khaalik will have specific meanings. That would be like, praising + thanking ALL qualities of Allah, not just ONE.

Another point. See the ayah. This is passive, not active. We're saying 'All praise & gratitude belongs to Allah.' not 'I praise & thank Allah'
Why?
IF we say that WE praise Allah, then see, we have not always been around. Nor will we be around forever. But the praise of Allah, has been around forever... before us, during our lives, and will be there afterwards. So the ayah is structured in such a way that it automatically covers this fact. Second reason: If we say 'I praise Allah' then this automatically excludes all the other creation that praises Allah (like trees, birds etc). And when we say 'All praise belongs to Allah' then all creations' praise is included in this statement. See how much carefully crafted this one Ayah is! This is Allah's introduction to Himself, in Surah Fatiha!

Rabb:
Usually in English, it is translated to 'Lord' - but nowadays, the word 'Lord' isn't much used anymore in English, except maybe 'Lord of the Rings' but the real meaning of Rabb, in English is more suited to 'Master' - because 'Abd' is a slave, and Rabb is Master. So when Allah SWT calls himself the Master, what does that make us? The slave!

so there is a difference between a worshipper, and a slave. Worship is what Muslims do when they are offering salah, Christians do on Sundays, Jews do on Saturdays... Hindus do in their temples, Monks do in their monasteries. But worship is what's done on a certain time, at a certain place. Like, fasting is done in a specific month, for a specific time duration.

Slavery is not limited by time, or by day. A slave continues being a slave ALL THE TIME. A slave isn't a slave from 3 - 5pm, or during Ramadan... a slave remains so on Eid day too!

Slavery is also different from service. Service is like limited to a particular work type - and there is pay involved. A slave does not have a job description. A slave is supposed to do = whatever the Master says.

Slave and Master are not pretty words in English. Slaves (normal) usually hated their masters. They would never be slaves if they had a choice. They would escape at first chance. And they would also not (never!) praise their masters.
But here in the Holy Quran, Allah SWT talks about praise BEFORE mentioning the Rabb thing. So note = this is a different kind of slavery.

We declare in this Surah that we are slaves (later on in the surah, when we say Iyyaka naabudu wa iyyaka nastaeen).

But right now, we're at Alhamdulillahe rabb il Aalameen. Next Ayah:

We never associate mercy with a Master (normal English). A master is usually oppressive, punishing creully etc. But here, the immediately next ayah is Arrahman-ir-Raheem.

Rahman = someone who is being extremely merciful right now. Unimaginably merciful.
Not only is Allah extremely Merciful, but He is being Merciful right this moment. As we speak.

E.g: You are the owner of your laptop. If it hangs up on you, you have the right to punch it, throw it, take it for repair, and if it doesn't do what its supposed to do, you have the right to replace it.
Now, Allah SWT is our Master. Do we go about our lives, not doing what we are supposed to do MANY MANY times??? What about humanity in general? Crimes, etc. Can you now imagine how EXTREMELY merciful He is? That He is not doing away with us, He is Still Giving us everything we are used to, our lives and all. And not punishing us, right now?
This is Rahman ar Raheem


Next Ayah: 
Maalik-i Yaum id Deen
The polar opposite of Mercy is Punishment - but Allah SWT next Talks about justice. Not punishment. -> Judgement
So the lesson here: You do not have to fear the punishment of Allah, but the Justice of Allah! Because right now, its all Mercy. Not justice. If its justice, then we're all punished right now. Caught, now! So this is one other lesson from this Surah.

In a Hadith: If one is asked even ONE question on the Day of Judgement, he is destroyed. If the questioning begins, we're done for.

Also, if one believes in Allah, it is impossible not to believe in the Afterlife. Why? Because if you believe in God, He Has to be Perfect in every way! And if you attribute ANY fault in Allah, then he is not God! So when Allah Created this world, and we SEE with our own eyes that there is blatant injustice in this world. Killers live in palaces, and innocent people die in drone attacks. Even if justice is meted out, if a guy kills 100 people, you can only kill him once... he will only pay with one life, and not for 100, so is that justice? No. So the world of the unseen is the BALANCE... the credit. Today the world we live in, is the debit...

When the books are balanced, they can only be balanced in the Afterlife, on the Day of Judgement. This is another basic lesson from Surah Fatiha.

Today, there is NO judge, who is neutral. There are biases... based on gender, based on religion, politics, ... anything. The ONLY neutral judge, is Allah SWT.

Middle 3 Ayahs
Sirat al Mustaqeem
Balanced path -- and thus we ask for this path, from Allah. Quest for Hidayah. Guidance is something beyond just getting right things... its also the balance.

Another thing. The Surah begins with knowledge, and When we shift to 'we' in the Surah, its ACTIONS. Everything starts with knowledge, and has to end with action!

Like Bani Israel, had a load of knowledge, but didn't act accordingly.

Last Ayah: 
Gair il Magdhoobi Alaihim --> people who have knowledge, but no actions!
Wa ladaaaleen --> people who are lost! No knowledge, may have many actions! [when you act without knowledge, you're lost!]

So the Surah, is completely balanced!

So these are the profound lessons embedded in this Surah we recite every day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

*wide-eyed*

In all the videos I have seen up till now, this seriously tops the most effective in analyzing the current affairs in the light of what Ahadith tell us about the Last Day and its signs, which have already begun showing their faces today.

This world is surely coming to an end, we all know that. But are we prepared to SEE it coming to an end? We always assume that futuristic things mentioned in Hadith, are all going to happen after we die. Sure we see a lot of signs right now, but major ones..? Oh yeah they'll happen later.

What if later is... NOW?

*pretty scared now*

Have a look at this video! And oh yeah, I always thought 2012 is a bit of a hype. What if the world really changes a LOT by then...?



PS: How come most of the scholars don't talk about this huge issue about End of Times and the significance of what's happening today????

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What is it with pressure ?

It's so frustrating. Why are humans most inclined to work in pressure? This is so ingrained in their nature - that a majority do so without even thinking about it. And there are only a few rare ones out there, who manage to make lists, set deadlines for themselves, and work with the same zeal and drive, even when there is no pressure or deadline externally.

How do they do it? What secret ingredient do they have ??

I need to have the secret ingredient. Because the career line I think I've chosen, DEMANDS for me to work alone, in pressure and set daily tasks and deadlines for myself.

But howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww???

Take today for example. I knew I had to do some major things. Like, cooking BOTH rice and saalan... and also coffee for ten people - not to mention the bakery items that had to be taken out, heated, put in trays, and given to Dad's circle of friends and neighbours who were over at our place. Not to mention, MAKE and complete two adad presentations. One for the speech I gotta give to a bunch of A Level kids. And second, is for Quran class - Surah Fatiha.

ALL this had to be done today!

Time constraints? Had to shop for these bakery things in the morning, after dropping off sis the priss - and then at night, had to give out these things at 9.30 pm!

Sigh! Yeah... so what could have happened. After dropping sis the priss, me was off to the store for shopping. Huge traffic jam, so driver went to this other store called Imtiaz Super Store. It's been around for a long time, but I had never been to that place. And when I reached there, MAN... I have never seen this small a place, holding this many a people!! Everybody was running around in a frenzy. With Ashura coming up, there is no guarantee what's the security situation going to be, and hence, everybody had to stock up!

Ahem. So I had 15 or so minutes, and the list. Pressure. NOW I started acting ! Forgot my leisurely pace, and rushed around the small space, trying not to generate too many curses :D. And did the shopping. 15 mins later, I was outside.

Second pressure point of the day:
The guests were supposed to come at 9.00pm. Mum had been telling me for a long time to get UP and do the cooking (curry and rice) first and THEN do the serving bit. Chotpo wasn't well, so I was on my own. I wasn't getting up! Glued to my chair in front of the laptop, I was furiously making the A Level wali presentation. Oblivious to Mums instructions, I did this till erm, 8.45pm. And then when the pressure was on, that hey, I just have 45 minutes to do EVERYTHING, I hurried to the kitchen.

Ufff, I can't tell you what happened next. With me, zooming in and out of the kitchen, snatching up random vegetables (well, okay, not random) and hurrying back in, cutting them uni-speed (which is like, slow!), and receiving achi see scolding on the other end. Mum also helped out, lol. Nice of her, otherwise I had really thought I'm done for. My coffee nearly blew up in my face. How? The second 1 litre pack of Olpers was 'Phatta hua' ... curdled into... curds! I couldn't believe my eyes. Thank the Lord I had seen its texture, before pouring it in the simmering milk on the stove, and ruining the entire coffee!

So till 9.30, it was a blur... a real whirlwind.. :(
Later, when I was actually free enough to reflect on what I had done, there was only one conclusion: I only function in pressure.

How did I ever conclude I'd actually be doing research one day ?????

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preconceived Notions !

One of the most traditional concept for which one has firm stereotypes and firm how-tos in mind, is marriage. Everybody is absolutely convinced of their own notions, on how things should be, how people should dress, how the bride should look, how the groom should look, how the function is to be carried out, how many functions are to be there, how should the venue look, what kind of food should be served...

All fixed... And woe betide anybody who dares drift from the set path. But the point is, we as Muslims should ask ourselves: What exactly do we base our notion of marriage ON? What should be the base? The standard? The yard stick..?

The answer is simple. We (IF) call ourselves Muslims, hence the solution is obviously presented by Islam, and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW). At once we can make the comparison between weddings held today and the concept of marriage that is purported in Islam and exemplified by the Prophet SAW and his companions (RA).

This video sums up the concept very nicely. I like the fact that Dr Israr Ahmad is so straight-up about the concepts which we hold quite sacred and necessary. And if we don't hold them as important, our parents, and the other elders DO take these ideas as extremely necessary. SO its kinda hard to escape these ideals for the average Ahmad and Ayesha.

Anyway, do watch the video. Its of 11 min duration. And I did roar with laughter at 10.48 :D:D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Product of a Fevered Brain


Its a funny thing. When you're free and all, you feel like writing a blog post at the weirdest times. And late nights are one of them. This time is another. I mean, 10 mins later, loadshedding! And my fever hasn't abated. Nor has the heavy head. Nor the cold, and the extreme throat irritation. I'm irritable (though, not showing it). So writing a post at this time is totally weird!

But I like it ! :)

Anyway. I had to write about yesterday. What happened to make it one of the happiest days of my life. Point form, here we come:

1. I usually feel like a useless piece of ... er, human. I mean, I don't add any usefulness in anybody's life. If you subtract me from the planet, nobody gets to any harm, or loses anything.
2. So yesterday, I felt the opposite of point number 1.
3. Had to go to the institute where I had taken my Quran course, and talk to people there about the website uploading business that just wasn't happening.
4. Had to deliver the presentation that I had painstakingly made till 3 am the previous night :D
5. Drove out the house at 9.50am.
6. Had to reach by 10.20 am.
7. Ho! Caught in a jam
8. Surah Baqarah revision aik taraf, I was all stuck!!
9. I was stuck in it for 1.5 hours.
10. Was fuming inwardly
11. But then, reached finally at 11.10.
12. Talked to people about website - the uploading hadnt been done by the lady who had to do it...so nothing could come out of the meeting... BUT
13. Thought of BLOGGING.
14. Introduced them to the world of blogging
15. 15 minutes later, the institute's blog was created and running
16. Posted a few things, added pictures
17. Everybody was beyond amazed.
18. Needless to say, I was nearly skipping home.
19. Picked up sis the priss on the way back.
20. Throat was worse.

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Evening to night, the day was pretty much okay. But at night, received some real nice news! Alhamdulillah! Can't be elaborated for privacy concerns, but needless to say, my heart was all afloat :D

So long folks!

The Days That Went By

Assalamualaikum

This post was loong due! (and btw, its going to be a loong one :$). I had thought about it in bits and pieces, as the miserable days went by, starting from Dec 1, all the way to Dec 7. Including those two, it was a total of 7 days of pure agony. Funny how small a number 7 sounds..  :). But while they were at my head, it was beyond bad.

The reason why I'd like to note down some highlights of those 7 days, is to remind myself, and all others who read this - that there are some things in life you should never do... no matter how much you want 'em. Especially when you know they're going to be bad for you. And there are some things in life you must must do... no matter how much your heart repels them... but you should! Especially when you know they're going to be good for you.

At the time I wrote my previous post, my situation was this. I had two huge courses - with big syllabi, lots to read (from two books in one subject), lecture slides and lecture notes. This whole stuff was lying there, in front of my eyes, NOT beckoning me... but issuing a warning, every time I cast my eyes on them. The panic had not settled in yet. I had called up my friend on Tuesday who had assured me that ''Hey, we will go to university tomorrow, to turn the paper in.. and we'll talk to Sir about changing the date of exam and he will'' - and I had believed that. Whole-heartedly.

Now, think rationally. Why would the date be changed mere 4 days before the scheduled paper? It wasn't possible. But the alternative was so darn terrible, that my scaredy-chicken heart had readily believed that I will go to university tomorrow, and Sir is going to extend the date, and I will merrily start Subject number 1, with my heart eased about Subject number 2. Alas, it was (duh!) not to be so. My teacher told us firmly that the time to change the date was long over, and the change hadn't happened because of the untimely leave of the only person who could have changed the date : our co-ordinator... *scowls deeply*. I was deeply shocked. Here we were. Wednesday Dec 1st,... having the first paper on Monday the 6th, and the second paper Tuesday the 7th!!!!! With almost nothing covered? How in heavens were we going to manage it??? And my friend had just had a bhanji!! (lucky no? *starts dreaming* :P). Strangely though, I looked and felt more panicky than her. Weird.

Anyway, I came home in a daze, after picking up sis the priss. The morning had already gone by. Obviously the day rushed by. With bhanju to look after, who I neglected too :( and bore his hurt glances ..., the day went by too quickly. And even though panick had set in, I still (talk about temptations! :(..) found the time to watch ''A Minute to Win It" with Sis the priss! Boy, was the stupid! (me, not the show. The show's awesome!). At night, I was dolefully looking at the clock and trying not to panick more and more. Tried to study till late night. :D. Mum was amazed...''Aren't you going to sleep?'' - it was 4.15am. ''Er, yeah... will try'' was my answer. Anyway, somehow studied till 4.30, and then crept to bed. The morning was bright and early :(... bhanju the early bird being the reason of course!

The previous post's comments had done a lot to add to the feeling of extreme shamefulness regarding not studying and wanting good grades. I mean, the two are 180 degrees out of phase! Oh well, there was nothing to it. I sat down. And tried to make a list of things I had to do, and trying to balance that with the hours I had. The list of things to do was so huge, that I nearly passed out from the enormity of it. Combined with the shock at university, that was the major turning point of the day!

And I never even looked at the laptop then :$...


Learned my lesson. But wasn't it too late? Thur, Fri, Sat and Sun. 2 Subjects, back to back. How in the world? Well, the technique was not to think about it much. And the painful thing is, that I still persisted in useless activities. I found out that I cannot study continuously for more than ...er, 45 mins??? And after every 45 minutes, I had to (I just had to !!) pick up a Malory Towers. Man! And the 15 minutes (which sometimes stretched to half hours) seemed to fly by, as I read about Darrell's adventures and wished for the umpteenth time that I were in her shoes and could go to this wonderful school! Er, embarrassing beyond embarrassing :$, but this was the ''exam prep'' going on!

I couldn't help it. Anyway, there was cooking to do in between (except the final day and the exam days), and other chores. Chotpo helped out a load. But she had a thesis submission (for a student) deadline and was in as much pressure as I was. Mum sympathized so much, that it nearly reduced me to tears. Imagine! She went up to this bag of almonds (in their shells), and broke the shells off one by one (with her teeth!), made a potli (small bag) of almonds, and casually pointed them out to me saying that ''Dimag acha hojata hay badaam khanay say'' (the mind works better if one eats almonds regularly). Man!!

But what to do of a brain who STILL picks up a darn story book in the middle of this pressure. Ugh! I was disgusted with myself. But yeah, since I wasn't doing anything else except studying (not even glancing at the laptop), the folks were pretty weirded out. I heard Chotpo remarking in hushed up tones to my sis ''You know.. I've never seen her like this. This time, it's like, she's gone overboard - doesn't sleep except for a few hours in a day!'' ...

Ho! Overboard indeed. How can you cover 16 lecs in 3 days otherwise?? :P. Boy was I miserable or what!

To make long things... even more long (hehehe, Im pitying all the readers now :D)... I was so hot and bothered on the last night before the paper that I wrote a poem!! Lol. Here it is :D



The Night Before

I listen to the sound of silence
A silence so deep, my ears ring
The uncertainty of future looms above
I fear what tomorrow might bring

The air is thick with suppressed fear
Hard to breath, with a light heart
Threatening to wipe out ages of dreams
I fear - every ''cold start''

The silence is pierced every now and then
By the sound of gunfire
A wedding they say, Ha! Yeah right!
Of this, normal people would soon tire!

This ain't no wedding
I can hear ambulances rush by
Something's happened. Nobody knows
What's happening to us. WHY?

The dripping sound is all around us
As each ounce of our dignity drips away
We are left, hollow, deceitful
All pretences ''leaked'' into nothing, but dismay

I can't say I feel sorry for them
They had it coming. Either now or later
I jsut wish justice can be meted out
To every politician: liar - traitor!

As the silence grows heavier by the minute
I try to concentrate on ''today''
The fear for tomorrow is fresh and alive
And I can just hope, and pray... and pray.

Copyright Scared-out-of-her-witsoony 2010
- 1:40am 5th Dec, 2010
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Shall I stop now? :P

Oh yeah. How did my papers go? Well, terrible obviously. But there were reasons. Subject 1 was a tough one already, and the paper was kaaaaafi tough. One question was completely out of this world. I mean, course! But Im comfortable about it, because I saw all the other faces lined with misery when the paper ended. So since I have others in my boat, its all right :D

Second one. Well, after the first one, I had to come back home and start studying immediately. For some reason, I couldn't. I tried and tried... trying to scare myself of the paper tomorrow and the loads to study. I just wouldn't put down that Malory Towers book! So finally I started studying at 12. Got till 4.45, and then hurriedly jumped into bed cuz Dad would be waking up for Tahajjud and would surely have scolded me. Sighh. Predictably, I had wads of notes left to revise...as I walked in the examination room! So ..erm ..it wasn't great. But better than Subject number 1.

All in all, the lesson to learn here is: However much you love academics, you HAVE to give exams. If you have few days to study, please don't waste the precious 30 minutes reading Malory Towers... every hour or so! Also, don't depend on circumstances just falling into the right pieces a/c to your whims and fancies. They won't. And don't expect you'll miraculously get done with 16 lecs in 3 days. You can't. Or some way if you do, then the revision wont be able to fit in! So don't be like me. Be studious!

So long...!

PS: Wanted to write a post about today. How utterly butterly HAPPY I am !! Alhamdulillah. But somebody mentioned in a post in their blog that mentioning happy things junxes it. Not that Im a believer of jinxes... but too tired right now. And this flu and shivers, aren't helping. But even then...