Thursday, August 25, 2011

Conquering the Nafs: Making Habits

Posted on MuslimMatters.org
By Hira Amin

Memorising Qurʾān, tahajjud, praying fajr, extra dhikr and nafl prayer all sound like familiar goals which race through our minds during īmān-boosting lectures, courses and blessed times such as Ramaḍān, Dhul-Ḥijjah and the like. We can feel the zeal and the passion oozing and the buzz of “this is it”. This is the day I will finally move forward and regularly memorise a portion of the Qurʾān a day. This is the day I will consistently wake up and pray fajr. This is the day I will consistently add dhikr after each prayer and in the morning and evening. This is IT!

Yet, as the sun sets so does our enthusiasm and as the time approaches to do the deed, excuses to postpone begin to emerge. I’ll start from tomorrow. I did not have a good night’s rest, tomorrow I will sleep extra early and then be fresh. I haven’t got the right book or I don’t want to get out of bed and wake the rest of the family! The time passes and frustration settles in.

The cycle continues and sometimes we get a few wins; some days we do the extra good deed but then revert back to our “normal cycle”. We have the passion, the zeal, the desire; we experience the spiritual high yet we cannot continuously follow through. What is the missing ingredient? What is the missing piece of the puzzle?

Here are some answers from the Qurʾān and hadith-

“The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil” [12: 53]
“The love of desires and pleasures (sexuality, offspring and money) have been beautified in human’s eyes”[3:14]

And “And indeed We have created man, and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).” [50:16] 

The Prophet (s) said: “There is none among you in whom there is not a devil” They said: “Even in you, O Messenger of Allah?!” He said: “Even in me, but God helped me to overcome him and he has submitted to me, so he doesn’t order anything except good” [Muslim]

Our nafs is not inclined to do acts of worship but rather it is up to us to master our nafs, take charge and force it to submit. Passion and enthusiasm alone will not get results. We must go through a process of pain and sacrifice. We must swallow the bitter pill, get out of bed in the cold winter mornings or the lazy hot summer days, force ourselves to open the Qurʾān and read, force ourselves to remain on the prayer mat and make dua until the soul submits and it becomes a habit. And when our souls submit, we then begin to reap the rewards in this life and we taste the sweetness of ibādah (worship). We feel the serenity in our hearts.

Ibn Taymiyyah said: “There are two paradises; one in this earth and one in the next- whoever does not taste it in the life, wont taste it in the next”

Here Ibn Taymiyyah is speaking about the sweetness of ibādah: the closeness of being with your Rabb and the yearning to be even closer to Him. Once we achieve this, then the act becomes normal just like wearing ḥijāb or keeping the beard. After some time it then becomes a necessity like food and drink.
But this process must start with swallowing that bitter pill until you get accustomed to the taste. This is why Ṣabr (patience) is of three types:

  • The first being patience with performing good deeds. Performing good deeds requires patience, as it is a struggle against your nafs.
  • The second being patience is abstaining from prohibitions as the nafs is inclined towards them.
  • The third kind is being patience with the qadr of Allah. Establishing good acts and abstaining from sins requires patience, perseverance and struggle; desire is not enough.

Sufyan al-Thawri said: “I never dealt with anything stronger against me than my own nafs; it was one time with me, and one time against me”

Yahya ibn Mu`adh al-Razi said: “Fight against your ego with the four swords of training: eat little, sleep little, speak little, and be patient when people harm you… Then the ego will walk the paths of obedience, like a fleeing horseman in the field of battle.”

Our mindset needs to change from “This is it, I am going to dramatically become super-muslim” to “I will struggle and strive and do whatever it takes to make this a habit”. We must accept the fact that it will be difficult and all great successes come from hard work and sweat over time. Expecting dramatic results overnight is similar to the student who starts studying 24 hrs before their exam and expects top marks or the person who stops eating for a few days and expects inches to disappear off their waist.

In order to overcome your nafs you must FORCE YOUR SELF and go through a process of pain and sacrifice in the beginning. Once the routine is established then practice Ṣabr to remain steadfast.

So this Ramaḍān take advantage of the fact that the shayāṭīn are chained and it is easier on your nafs to do good deeds by taking the first step and start developing long-term habits. As the famous saying goes, “Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with.”


“Those who preferred the life of this world their home will be the Hell-fire. But as for those who feared to stand before their Lord and restrained their souls from lower desires, their home will be the garden.”  (79:40-41).

Boht Aa'ala

Assalamualaikum

The situation in Karachi is only slightly better. The politicians have talked their mouths off, somewhere a supreme court has taken 'notice' of the situation, and people have been analyzing to the bone... issues which do not need so much analyzing.

You only circumvent something a lot, when you don't want to cut a direct path and deal with it squarely.

Like this post. :P

It's not really about politics. Why depress myself (and the readers) further. This post is designed to cheer me (and any sad soul out there) UP. It's a follow-up to the Khala-hood Chronicles which I have talked about earlier.

By the way, **amazed**... the 'earlier' is actually one year back! August 2010! .. Does time fly or what?!

Khair. So the milestones in my lil bhanju wanju's life over the past one year.

Vocab
In terms of vocab, he has not shown a GREAT progress. It's still in the making. At nearly two years of age, he's not able to say full sentences yet. Uh, grammatically 'Aaalaa, uthoooo!!' ..(Khala, get uppp!) is a full sentence. But you know what I mean.

But otherwise, the words he's been uttering (no not oxford dictionary words, bhanju dictionary words) are just sooo adorable. I can actually list some down!

Anna = milk
Mamma, Didda (calls his Dad this :D), Daaa (calls his Dadi this)
Nana (in love with this one word!)
Nano (calls his nani this - previously, this was 'naa')
Aalaa (That's lil old me. Destined to not receive the 'khe'any time soon :P)
Maa-mou (calls our male cousins this :D)
Po-po (calls chotpo this :D)
Chotuu (calls himself this) :D
Bay-bay (reserved for any child less than 4 years of age whom he spots on the streets, malls, etc)
Unc (short for Uncle of course :D)
Apa (calls our bari phuppo - Apa - this :))


Anda (egg), Danda (stick), An-an (pineapple) :D
Cor-Cor (popcorn)
Aalu (potato) :D .. this is the cutest one!
Mum (water) :)

Dodo (any dumb person) :D:D:D
Dono (both)
Aaaat (hath = hand)
Payy (pair = foot)

Uthooo (get up!)
Hattooo (move!)
Eeez (Allah Hafeeez) :D

Moving on to his ..

Harkatain
In terms of action.. the dude has probably made progress in leaps and bounds...

WITH a lot of leaps and bounds!

And a truckload of falls, scrapes, wounds, stitches, swellings and ... a chipped tooth!!

We watch him in semi-fear, wondering what calamity will befall next. Only today, he stood on the bed's stand and balanced himself precariously. When mum yelled at him to come back down, he shrieked with delighted laughter, and swung himself away (looking and feeling more 'on the edge' and loving our fear). Oh well, his feet ended up in mid-air and down he went. Before we could even draw the next breath, there was a loud crash... both his feet were up and his head had squashed down on the ground. Since it was a slow fall, he wasn't BADLY injured. But the next 15 minutes did involve an ice-cube, and a LOT of wailing and screaming.

Sigh.

If he wants to grab our chairs (on which we're sitting mind you - why else would he want to sit on them himself), he would go and calmly pick a glass bottle (medicine bottle). When we would yell and rush to him, he would hand it calmly back to us. While we would be busy taking a relieved breath and putting it back on the medicine cabinet, the lil dude has already rushed to our chair and sat himself upon it. When we return to the 'taken' kursi, he would grin cheekily and say,

'Hatooo?' (moove?)

:D

The lil muscle man can do perfect treadmilling with me ... (him in front, me at the back... *grinning*..what a pair we look).. and can hang from the handles of treadmills like a gymnast. His laughter knows no bounds when he does a somersault on the bed.. and his running is now faster than our brisk walk :P

Today, I pretended to be 'naraaz'.. I said 'aala naraaz' and executed a perfect sniffle ... :P. What happened next? He gave a loud sniff, scrunching up his face... :D:D:D

We couldn't stop laughing for a full minute... :D:D:D:D

What a lil no-brainer-imitater :D

I guess I can go on for a long time here...Time to put a full stop!

*cheered up to a large extent* :).. kids rock MA.

Take care all. Make good use of the last few nights of Ramadan (and chaand raat too - as it holds great reward if we pray on that night as well).

Allah Hafiz!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beyond amazing reminder

Assalamualaikum

I came across this video lecture some time back, and unfortunately for me, when I see 50 minutes (of video duration), that's the moment when I slump in my seat, and wonder HOW in the world am I going to sit through fifty whole minutes!

Sad, I know. Need to improve, I know.

But this video kept coming back to me [possibly because I really want to improve my salaah and the title of this video suggested that I could make use of this reminder]... so finally, yesterday 21st night [first odd night of Ramadan], I loaded it up and started watching.

I had expected this one to be all about the literary aspect of salaah, of what we say and dua'as etc. It was not.

As I watched further, transfixed, there were several times I felt tears start in my eyes. Have you ever experienced tears in your eyes due to something you read/hear about in Seerah? (The life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ? I had never experienced it before. Simply, because I had never thought so much on the seerah! And now, the lecturer was giving an exact description of the PAIN the Prophet went through at the time when his first wife, Hazrat Khadijah RA, passed away and then 3-6 months later, his Uncle Abu Taalib passed away... how he felt at those moments.

And most importantly, what helped him tackle these tragedies, and continue working on his mission from the next morning..

It was salaah. The outlet Allah SWT Provided to his prophet, as a gift at the time of Mairaaj and these 5 times prayers were designed to provide solace to the heart.

Does our salaah provide any solace to our hearts? That's the big huge question we need to ask ourselves, and THEN we might begin to understand, the importance Salaah holds in our lives.

Maybe then we will begin to GIVE it that importance, which it truly deserves.. and not treat it as a ritualistic chore that needs to be done at a specific time ... just cuz we have to.

Do invest 50 minutes of your time and listen for yourself. May Allah Reward Abdul Nasir Jangda for giving us this reminder, in so beautiful a manner. And may Allah Grant us the insight to work on our salaah and Enable the salaah to be a source of serenity, patience, tolerance and peace for us all. Ameen.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Surah Kahaf on Fridays!

Taken from Islam QA

Q: According to the Sunna, when is the correct time to recite surat Al Kahf on Friday?  Should be recited after Fajr and before Jumaa Prayer or anytime on Friday?

A: Praise be to Allaah.

There are saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the virtues of reciting Soorat al-Kahf during the day or night of Jumu’ah (Friday). These include:

(a) From Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who said: “Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the night of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will stretch between him and the Ancient House (the Ka’bah).”

(Narrated by al-Daarimi, 3407. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 6471)

(b) “Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.”

(Narrated by al-Haakim, 2/399; al-Bayhaqi, 3/249. Ibn Hajar said in Takhreej al-Adhkaar that this is a hasan hadeeth, and he said, this is the strongest report that has been narrated concerning reading Soorat al-Kahf. See: Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/198. It was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6470)

(c) It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.’”

Al-Mundhiri said, this was narrated by Abu Bakr ibn Mardawayh in his Tafseer, with an isnaad with which there was nothing wrong. (al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/298)

The soorah may be read during the night or the day of Jumu’ah. The night of Jumu’ah starts from sunset on Thursday, and the day of Jumu’ah ends at sunset. Therefore the time for reading this soorah extends from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Friday.

Al-Mannaawi said:

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in his Amaali: “In some reports it says ‘the day of Jumu’ah’ and in some reports it says ‘the night of Jumu’ah’. They may be reconciled by saying that what is meant is the day which includes the night and vice versa.” (Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/199). Al-Mannaawi also said:

It is recommended to read it during the day or night of Jumu’ah, as al-Shaafa'i (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated.” (Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/198)

Fortune Knowing And Islaam

Aqeedah at Tawheed – Fortune Knowing And Islaam – Part 6

Astrology, horoscopes, superstition and fortune-telling are all actions of jaahiliyyah (ignorance) which Islam came to show as false and to explain that they are shirk, because they involve depending on something other than Allaah and believing that benefit and harm come from something other than Him, and believing the words of fortune-tellers and soothsayers who falsely claim to have knowledge of the unseen in order to cheat people of their beliefs and also their money.

The evidence (daleel) for that is the hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever learns anything of astrology has learned a branch of witchcraft (al-sihr)"

And al-Bazzaar narrated with a jayyid isnaad from 'Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "He is not one of us who practises augury or has it done for him, who tells fortunes or has his fortune told, or who practises witchcraft or has that done for him."

Whoever claims to know some matter of the unseen either is a fortune-teller or is acting like a fortune-teller in some sense, because Allaah is the only One Who has knowledge of the unseen.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning); 'Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allaah"' [al-Naml 27:65]

Whatever the case, it is not permissible to go to these people and to ask them or believe them, no matter how righteous they may appear to be, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him about something, his prayers will not accepted for forty days." Narrated by Muslim (2230).

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever ... goes to a fortune-teller and believes what he says, has disbelieved in that which Allaah revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)." [Narrated by Ahmad (9779), Abu Dawood (3904), al-Tirmidhi (135) and Ibn Maajah (936); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.]

There is no contradiction between the above two hadeeth. What is meant by the hadeeth: "Whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad" is that the one who asks a soothsayer a question, believing that he tells the truth and that he knows the unseen, has committed an act of kufr, because he has gone against the Qur'aan in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allaah" [al-Naml 27:65]. 
 
As for the second hadeeth, "Whoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him about something his prayers will not be accepted for forty days", which was narrated by Muslim, it does not contain the words "and believes him".

Thus we learn that if a person goes to a fortune teller and asks him anything, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days, and if he believes him, then he has committed an act of kufr.
Thus make these two things very clear

1. The one who goes to any source of fortuneteller for the purpose of knowing ghaib (unseen) be it through horoscope, tarot card, soothsayers, psychic saints, witchcrafts, wiccan practisers, palm readers, geomancers, etc, etc.. and asks him things without believing in what he says. This is haraam, and the punishment of the one who does that is that his prayers are not accepted for forty days, as it is narrated in Saheeh Muslim (2230), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days."

2. When a person goes to a fortuneteller and asks him about something and believes what he says. This is disbelief in Allaah (kufr), because he is believing the fortuneteller's claim to have knowledge of the unseen, and believing a human's being claim to have knowledge of the unseen constitutes disbelief in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allaah" [al-Naml 27:65].

Hence it says in the saheeh hadeeth: "Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)."

A sincere advice to all brothers and sisters to hasten to repent to Allaah if you thought well of these charlatans at any time or if you joined them in their falsehood, even if that was on the basis that it was a game. Part of making your repentance complete is that you should advise those of your brothers who you know are engaging in this matter of the Islamic ruling on it and the danger it poses to their religious commitment and faith. We ask Allaah to make us and you steadfast in faith and to protect us from the evil of fitnah, both apparent and hidden.

This is taken from the book "Aqeedah at Tawheed" by Shaikh Saaleh Al Fawzaan
 
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sugar and Spice, and everything... nice?

What I have experienced is, that with sugar and spice, things are NOT always nice. However sweet the sugar is, and however spicy the spice is.

That's why moderation is the key to a er, sweet and sour chicken recipe... **trails off lamely**

What silliness am I writing? :-(

Life kinda sucks these days. Today too, even though it was better than most days, the frustrating thing that happened today was that I had a meeting with my supervisor. I had prepared a lot. I had gotten up at 8.15am ! (which for me, is a huge thing these days). Oh well, when I reached there, there was a nasty surprise waiting for  me. Locked office!

I asked around and then was informed that there was a faculty meeting going on, which would last till 1.30 pm. So much for the thesis meeting. I texted my supervisor but no reply. I drove back home.

Later, he did message and apologized a lot (a LOT) for forgetting to inform me about the meeting. I guess I shouldn't feel too bad. After all, my supervision isn't that hugely important as other hugely important matters of the university. And his phone was out of charge as well ... so yeah, I guess I should just forgive and forget. Forgive I did.. :).. but the latter part is the harder one.

May Allah Forgive me, Ameen.

I wish I could just figure out, what in heavens is so wrong with my life.

1. I am not dying of hunger in Somalia
2. I am not one of those affected by target killings in Karachi
3. I am not affiliated with any sucky political party
4. I am safe and sound in my home, among my family
5. Who love me and care for me
6. I have friends
7. I have the mind to work on my thesis and this side project I have taken up (hey, i never talked about it before!)
8. I have tooooo many books to read
9. I have got to apply to a university of my choice by December, and I haven't even taken a start in that direction.
10. The document I had been working on for today's meeting with supervisor, was viewed by him over email and the comment was 'This is really good!' ...

I so wish I could figure out what my problem is.

I can pinpoint a few things. Maybe.

1. Maybe it's the 'last-time-ness' of everything... Mum keeps saying 'Uni won't be with us next Ramadan'... Chotpo too..
2. Haven't been attending as many taraweehs as I should in the masjid... even though the masjid won't be seen again (from the inside) by me, after this Ramadan.
3. I look around the house, and everything seems to be waving at me ... goodbye.
4. I can't hold back my tears at point number 3, and I continuously have to pretend to be having the flu.
5. There are other reasons too, besides point number 3 which I don't dare admit, and can't even explain to my own self, let alone others.
6. I'm in a conflict with myself.

Dreams, ambitions, heart, logic, or common sense?

So many choices. So few answers. The more and sugar and spice, the more everything seems messed up.

I can only ask Allah (SWT) for Help. Ameen.

PS: Sorry for the whine when so many are so worse off. I wish I could be more grateful...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Little Worse Everyday..

Assalamualaikum

We may try our best to ignore how far we have fallen, and 'celebrate' today as 'Independence' Day. We can turn the other way and see some positivity in the nation. But the simple fact is, we HAVE fallen, and we HAVE little positivity left.

What with the politicians falling lower than low, releasing a confirmed murderer who slaughtered two Pakistanis and was an indirect cause of killing 2 more, sitting quietly when a judge handed out an 86 year sentence to this nation's (one of the) brightest stars, easily giving 'bayaans' that would spark riots, destruction and loss of lives, taking back the 'bayaans' and giving new ones to do the same, passing an ordinance designed to cause further riots, taking back the ordinance sparking another riot and a strike call just one day before 14th August - which by the way, resulted in 10 people dying... doing all these things JUST so they can stay in power...

And ruin the country more.

Ruin our self-esteem more. Destroy our self-confidence more. Increase our shame even more. Shame us in the world more. As we strive harder and harder to 'do more'. And in return, get drone attacks which so far, have killed around 2,292 people so far in this country (reported here). This figure includes 160 children, by the way. This year alone, according to the Conflict Monitoring Center's latest report, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has killed at least 443 people in Pakistan in 51 drone attacks.We're getting to see more and more of our civilians/children die in this senseless, senseless way. Our leaders sit, silently, enjoying their positions of power, and the perks it can bring...

I find little reason to celebrate today.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

AFT

Assalamualaikum

I'm somebody classified under a category of over-worried idiots. One of those categories is termed AFT - Anxious Flight Tracker.

This essentially means, that if somebody (a close one to me) is going farrr (aeroplany far) away, I tend to keep an eye on the flight status. And eagle eye. A worried eye. A hugely anxious eye.

Statuses. Airports. International trajectories are watched anxiously by my eager eyes. I sometimes think it's abnormal. But ... :(. I just can't help it!

I remember when my Chotpo was flying to the US, she had a bunch of airports to go through, and I remember being extremely anxious for those torturous 24 hours.

The past 24 hours have been even more of a torture. Think about this one. A PIA flight was supposed to land at a local destination in the country at 4.30 in the morning today. The weather in my city had been all rainy, cloudy.. etc. First ever time when i wished it were HOT and NOT cloudy! :S.

But it was. And the PIA update showed 'In-flight' ...30 minutes after it was supposed to show 'Landed' .. ! My panic knew no bound. Shukkar Alhamdulillah, I got the confirmation from the traveler only, that the plane had safely landed. Phew!

Right now, 1/4th of my brain is busy typing this blogpost. The other 75% is anxiously re-loading this page on my cell phone which shows a trajectory of a lil plane which is ..er, *checks again*.. 63 miles to the airport !!.. Uff, jaldi say guzrain yeh erm.. 10 mins? [In a plane that goes 500 miles an hour, 63 miles should be a matter of minutes, right?]..

In these situations, when a plane lands, my heart kind of lands in its right place. Otherwise, it's somewhere in the pit of the stomach I think!

Stupid habit, but un-help-able sometimes.

Hope your Ramadan is going a leetle less doleful than here. *very glum*. Even the weather is drizzly and all er, sad. [on normal days, I would be jumping up and down in this weather].

So long!
PS: *fervently hopes her Sis the Priss wouldn't read this*.. she already thinks I'm a nutcase to worry this much.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fight for food in Mogadishu leaves 7 dead

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A World Food Program handout of corn rations to Somalis trying to survive a famine turned deadly Friday after government troops opened fire, killing at least seven, witnesses said.

Residents of Mogadishu's largest famine refugee camp accused government soldiers of starting the chaos by trying to steal some of the 290 tons of dry rations that aid workers were trying to distribute there. Then refugees joined in the scramble, prompting soldiers to open fire, the witnesses said.

"They fired on us as if we were their enemy," said refugee Abidyo Geddi. "When people started to take the food then the gunfire started and everyone was being shot. We cannot stay here much longer. We don't get much food and the rare food they bring causes death and torture."

The chaos underscores the dangers and challenges of getting help to a nation that has been essentially ungoverned for two decades and now has a severe famine sweeping through it. There are 9,000 African Union soldiers in the capital, but their main mission is to fight al-Qaida linked Islamists, not safeguard humanitarian aid.

Aid workers are puzzling over how to help the starving without helping gunmen who either prey on the refugees, compete for security contracts to guard the food, or steal it and take a share of the profits when it's sold at market.

The situation echoes the 1992 famine that prompted deployment of a U.S.-led multinational force to safeguard the delivery of food to Somalia's starving. That international intervention collapsed in 1993 after two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and 18 servicemen were killed in one single battle in Mogadishu.

U.S. and U.N. officials acknowledge that some aid in Somalia is bound to be stolen during delivery.

"Will there be losses? Sure. Will there be some looting? Of course there will be. What we have to do is try to minimize it," said WFP spokesman David Orr. "This is the highest risk environment in the world ... the safety of our staff and getting food into the right hands are our highest priorities."

Friday's food distribution was organized by Mogadishu's mayor, and had been delayed two days as officials tried to shore up security arrangements. Orr told The Associated Press that the food distribution started smoothly at around 6 a.m. but degenerated a couple hours later.

"We got reports of trouble, looting. The trucks were overwhelmed by a mob of people. There were reports of some shots fired," said Orr, who said he could not confirm any death tolls.

One of the camp's refugees, Muse Sheik Ali, said soldiers first tried to steal some of the food aid, and that other refugees began to take the food.

"Then soldiers opened fire at them, and seven people, including elderly people, were killed on the spot. Then soldiers took the food and people fled from the camp," he said.

Read more here

Source: Yahoo News


------
I cannot imagine what must be going on there.. I can only hope - we learn from what's happening in Africa to our fellow humans and stop wasting food! And try spending each penny we can save in this cause :(... nothing seems more worthwhile at the moment.. than to save these poor people from the brutal hunger.. and now the killings that result because of the famine.

May Allah Give us the ability to see things as they ARE, stop wasting our food, stop complaining about food, stop being picky about food, stop making SO MUCH FOOD, stop with the ultimate Ramadan food obsession, stop with the recipes obsession, stop with the 'number of dishes' comparisons, and just start eating for the sake of living (not living for the sake of eating)... may we become more aware of what's happening in the world, and may we stop listening to those 'insightful' people out there who are prompting us Karachites to start 'storing one month's ration at home' ...

Ameen.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

EXTREMELY useful :)



It's so hopeful a feeling that whatever calamities we are facing today (and yes, we're facing a LOT :(..), are not something that's going to go unrewarded in the Hereafter, if we persevere and bear the hardships to the best of our capabilities.

And this one thing I was thinking about - is that when something bad happens (and bad can range from minor bad to real tragic stuff), what IS our first reaction?

For me, the first reaction can range from OUCH, GOD!!, Oh NO!, DARNNNN, KIAA HAYYY, MAZAAK HAY YEH... stuff on these lines :(. And I think my first reaction should be "Inna Lillahee wa inna ilaihee rajeoon" .. I hope to improve here. Insha Allah.

Really really useful video. Well worth the 8 minutes. DO take out the time!

So long folks.

Oh and by the way, Taraweeh Truffles Day 1 is also available. Here it is:


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ramadan Kareem!

Assalamualaikum and Ramadan Mabrook to all !

This month has started off with the deadly deadly massacre in Syria, where nearly 140 people (civilians) were killed by the army/government. And this month has also started off with the merciless killing going on in Karachi, as on yesterday, nearly 25 people lost their lives.

The Holy month of Ramadan .. yes. Has begun with this. Muslim countries, starting the holy month... it's beyond shameful.

The first taraweeh was yesterday.. :) It was amazing. But the amazing feeling mainly stems from the fact that I have learned the first juzz. So I am going to have only 1.5 more amazing taraweehs :P. This at least serves as a motivation for me to learn more, and revise the previous.. Insha Allah.

I have chalked out this Ramadan schedule, where I have timed every activity to be done. Let's see how it goes.

July was awesome in terms of personal fun with friends - but I have a feeling August is going to be extremely extremely sad.

May Allah Make our world's situation better, and Envelop us all in safety and Hifz-o-Amaan. Ameen.