Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Time for Resolutions?

Resolutions can (and should) be made all the time. Helps keep one focused. But for some strange reason, the end of a year - and the beginning of the next, sparks a new zest for making a 'fresh start', 'undo' some of the wrongs, and make a list or a plan to put things right. I found an inspiring list of things in this article. It's a slideshow titled '8 Tips To Revive Your Religious Life In The New Year'. The first slide was the most inspiring one and I quote:
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12. Do something really nice -- that no one knows about.
11. Spend more money on other people than I spend on my self. Love my neighbor as I love myself. And love myself as I love my neighbor.
10. Laugh often... especially at advertisements that try to convince me that I must buy more stuff in order to be happy.
9. Learn a new life skill - like carpentry, pottery, or canning vegetables. Teach someone else I life skill I know how to do.
8. Love a few people well, remembering that what is important is not how much we do but how much love we put into doing it.
7. Write a letter to someone I need to say thank you to. Write another letter to someone I need to ask to forgive me.
6. Track down a critic or someone I disagree with and take them to lunch. Listen to them.
5. Compliment someone I have a hard time complimenting... and mean it.
4. Choose life. Do something regularly to interrupt the patterns of injustice - do something to end violence, bullying, war, capital punishment and other mean and ugly things.
3. Pause before every crisis and ask "will this matter in 5 years?"
2. Get outside often and marvel at things like fireflies and shooting stars. And regularly get my hands into the garden... so when I type on the computer I can see dirt under my fingernails.
1. Believe in miracles. And live in a way that might necessitate one.
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This year was important in so many ways. My life as a 'student' finally came to an end. The next phase (if any) hasn't materialized yet, nor does it seem to. My family became extremely kind, gentle and flexible this year. Alhamdulillah, the increase in knowledge this year for me, far outdid the previous years. Again, close friends and family came into play a lot. There is a long way to go, still.

I have hope for the next year. Insha Allah.
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Externally:

Pakistan's fate showed no signs of being good for the public. The same murders, target killings, family violence, acid burnings, rape/molestation, and other forms of abuse ruled the year. 2011 did not bring any hope that this would change for the better. The government remains impassive, silent, yielding (towards the outsiders), and hard-hearted towards their public, the army remains divided.. between the thinkers, and the leaders, corruption remains rampant at every level of society and the news consistently shows death, unrest, destruction and corruption. It seems every ounce of happiness has been sucked out from the general public opinion.

The one thing people could cling to, as 'the last hope alive' was the Imran Khan series that began in 2011. The youth, left and right, were found saying ONE thing, 'He's the person whom we believe can bring about SOME change in this chaos.'

What  makes them believe that? I think the answer lies in the general helplessness society feels at the hand of so much injustice happening in the country/abroad. There seems to be no other way out. The victory of the World Cup '92 is still fresh in the minds of the people who want to see the same Pakistan as a world champion on the social/economic/political front. Many speculate that this is the way forward, the way to progress and the way to something better than... the present.

Let's see what 2012 brings.

May Allah Enable us to understand what our problems are, and seek out the correct solutions. May He Enable us to learn beyond what the education of this country is offering us, to strive in the path of learning about His Deen, to strive to impart that  knowledge, and to balance the striving for the dunya, with the struggle for the aakhirah. Ameen, Ya Rabb Al-Aalameen.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Little achievements :)

I know anybody with a decent research track record will laugh if they see something like this. But hey, I'm not them, so I can be me, and declare very gleefully...

That my abstract got accepted in a conference !! My very first conference!


And it's an international one.. :D. In USA to be precise. But err, I can't go. So the second/third author has to be the presenter.

But that's not the point.

The point is that a publication came out of the thesis! And it matters. Like, the conference is an important one. Alhamdulillah.

Though it would have been so much fun to go for a week to the US *lost in the fantasy*

Lesson: Anybody out there who thinks his/her circumstances won't permit him/her to have achievements - just wait, and persevere. Things do fall through, even through the worst of times. Only hard work, consistency, belief and tawakkal in Allah (SWT) is important. And of course, the daily reminders like salah and Quran pulls through the most stressful times.

I hope and pray this paper turns out to be a good one (have to write it now), and the presenters do a good job with it.. :). Insha Allah.

Worthwhile share of the day:

Narrated Abu Huraira, Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu ályhi wasallam) said,•► "The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty five times greater than that of the prayer offered in one's house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he offers his prayer, the angels keep on asking Allah's Blessings and Allah's forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his Musalla. They say, 'O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon him, be Merciful and kind to him.' And one is regarded in prayer as long as one is waiting for the prayer."

[Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 620]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Of endings and new beginnings :)

Assalamualaikummmmmmmmmm :D:D

Wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhuuuuuuu!

May loads of sunshine, barakaat, and joy be your way (whoever reads this) :D. I'm in the mood to freely give out all the good dua'as possible in the worldddd. Sorry for the annoying multiple last word occurrences. I just feel too good to curb the annoying habittttt :P

So how are y'all!

I'm finally, truly madly deeply (yeah right), absolutely, completely, utterly, butterly, jam-ily, FREEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!


This feeling had been missing for the past 2.5 years.. :). Now, that huge MS has finally ended. I'm soooo glad! Alhamdulillah, multiplied by a gazillion!

You know, when I was coming out of the university today, I couldn't think of how to express my gratefulness to Allah SWT, and a simple 'Thank you so much Allah Ta'ala' seemed so inadequate. So I used some gray cells and came up with a kinda free verse thanks, which I gave to Him. And I will tell that in the end... :P. Why? Because I need to tell the story first. After all, you should know the reason for the thanks, before the thanks right?

So did I tell you I feel like this:



I have extra energy right now, I think. Even though I am completely drained. Lemme start the story now.

I had to reach university at 10am. Reached by 9.15. Was sent to the Lab to set things up. Gave in my USB, the nice man switched on the projector. I checked my slides. All was well. Ready to begin. Now, just had to wait till 10am. Started reading my thesis. Glanced anxiously at the clock at intervals. Stomach felt weird. Hands were cold. The clock struck 10am.

......

And then it struck 10.05am...

.....

And then it struck 10.10am...


:D:D. No sign of any supervisor or the external examiner.. :D:D.

I would glance repeatedly at the clock a lil more disbelievingly every time. But nothing happened. At last, at 10.30am, my supervisor enters the scene. He walked over to me, asked me some cursory questions and sat down.

....

The clock struck 10.45am...

..... then 10.55am. A small headache had begun to start at the base of my head by this time. At that point, I wasn't even nervous. Just wanted to START THE THING!!

At 11am, the examiner walked in. He's a busy fellow. Looked like he was in a real hurry. Vibe # 1: Don't make the presentation long.

And I had made such careful notes :(.

Anyway, after some introductions, I was instructed to begin my presentation. I started off. And promptly decluttered my brain with all the careful notes PER SLIDE I had made :(. And there were 78 slides :$. Because this wasn't any setting to 'explain and analyze' .. it was the setting for 'going through quickly in the minimum time, explaining the maximum things'.

Allah ka lakh shukkar, that I was able to do it. And I remember speaking, and then thinking 'what did I just say? Did I prepare it? No! It just came out of my mouth!' ... and it went on.. for about 30 minutes. In the middle, I was stopped several times :S. And asked what not what not. Alhamdulillah (multiplied by a gazillion) that I was able to answer. Except one question, but that had been beyond the scope of the thesis.

In the end, I was sent out, while the examiners made the decision. Before being sent out, the examiner said the kind words of "If you put in a little bit more work in it, your six credit hour thesis would be worth an entire MS by research degree, which this university used to offer. So the six months of work represents that two year degree work. Oh joy! :)

I stood outside, trying not to smile too much. Ten minutes later, the examiner strolled outside with a cell phone against his ear, talking and laughing. And strolled away.. :S..

Then, my supervisor walked out, and he said the nice words :):):) "Congratulations. You've become a Master's grad'..  Oh joy again :). I thanked him, and asked him what he thought of my presentation. He said it was made so simple that anybody could perceive exactly what you did and how you did it. It was really v.good. Alhamdulillah multiplied by another gazillion. I still have thesis mistakes to correct. But other than that, I'm good. :):)

I nearly skipped down the stairs, to the parking lot. Had a pile of theses in my arms, and the laptop bag, and a purse! Loaded, and in those uncomfy sandals.. [man! they suck!], I was jiggy-hearted enough to not be that uncomfy. Now, when you exit the department, there is a ramp (no stairs). As I proceeded to walk down the ramp, my heart still singing and smiles still straining to appear! ... suddenly....

:$:$:$:$..

my sandals just slipped.. and before I knew it... I had no feet!!! Gravity said 'Hellooooo' ... and down I went..!


If somebody had freeze-framed the moment, the above picture is what I would have looked like. *doubled over with laughter*

:D.



My first thought was (since I was capable of thinking this, Alhamdulillah I wasn't hurt - only my pride was!), "Did anybody see this?". There weren't any people in my immediate vicinity. I was so glad. Only for a millisecond. I heard a loud burst of laughter, from way out in the corridor. Apparently, some men were standing over there, and had witnessed the abaya clad lady walking down the ramp and falling so spectacularly along with her fat theses, laptop bag and purse! *doubled over with laughter again* :D:D.

So my bubble well and truly burst now, I walked away, looking DOWN and nowhere else.

Picked up Chotpo and we went to the Book Expo (today was the last day). It was lovely :) [even though my feet were killing me, because of those stupid sandals!!!]. I bought a few books and so did Chotpo. We drove back home - namaz, lunch, exhausted nap... but since Asr time occurs very soon now.. was up! Then bhanju was here, and had amazing fun with the lil kiddo.

It was a proper celebration :):).

Btw, baanju can now do this *nehaal and proud khalaa-ish smile*...

Me: Aaaaiiikkkkk
Bhanju: Doooooo
Me: Teeeeeeen
Bhanju: Chaaaaa
Me: Paaanchhhhhhh
Bhanju: Cheyyyy
Me: Saaathhhhh
Bhanju: Saaa [wrong answer!]
Me: Aaath!!
Him: Nauuuuuuu

*lote pote with laughter*

So long folks! Have a wonderful life! Do what you want to do and spend your time wisely!! Every moment is important, and will be accounted for.

And yeah, I had to put down the little free verse of gratefulness to Allah SWT for His Infinite Mercy and Help for this thesis work, which was done with so many challenges and commitments etc.

I thank you a number of times, oh Allah
The number of grains of sand
The number of drops of rain
The number of leaves in all the trees
The number of clouds in the sky
I thank you, equivalent to
The width of the sky..
I surely thank you.
 
So long! :)

PS: Have an article deadline tomorrow :).. IA
PPS: There is a workshop in January, where three scholars are coming over from abroad. One from Bayyinah Institute!!
PPPS: Wish I could do this :p....


Thursday, December 15, 2011

From Facebook to God’s Book

From Facebook to God’s Book  



Many of us have an addictive relationship with Facebook. We check our accounts compulsively, multiple times a day. It is sometimes the last thing many of us do before we sleep and the first thing we do when we wake up; time flies when we’re on it, and it is obsessive.

Yet how many of us have an addictive relationship—have any relationship—with the Qur’an? This is the Book that transformed alcoholic, oppressive, baby-girl-burying people into callers for justice, defenders of the oppressed, soft-hearted, humble worshippers of the Lord of All the Worlds. If what is contained in this Book brought eternal peace to the hearts and freedom to the souls who were chained to the whims of their own desires, it undoubtedly can emancipate us from our own problems, heartaches and stresses. However, its ability to powerfully impact us may go a lifetime unrealized if we continue to decide that other relationships are more important.

Some of us want to establish a relationship with the Qur’an, but may find it… boring, difficult to understand, or simply not fast enough. We’re used to status updates, pictures and vivid virtual conversations. We prefer fun captions and vivacious images. We prefer real people, an interchange of words and tangible friendships—or at least, Facebook friendships. A lot of us don’t even really know the people we add as friends.

In reality, what we prefer is what the Qur`an already offers and more; it’s just up to us to experience the paradigm shift, with God’s help. Here are a few ways we can tangibly work to establish our relationships with the Qur’an and in doing so, elevate ourselves in this life and in the Next, by the will of God.

From Facebook to God’s Book
What is it about Facebook or other forms of social or popular media that makes you come back, over and over, sometimes multiple times a day—at a minimum? Is it the novelty of reading ever-changing statuses or finding new pictures? Is it feeling appreciated when others comment on your posts? Is it the fun of having instantaneous connections? Is it just boredom? Whatever it is, identify why you keep going back. Then, tweak your reasons for that connection and apply it to the Qur’an.

When you read stories about Noah, Moses, Jesus, Mary, Lot—when you read about their struggles or the people who they called to the worship of God, recognize those as the Qur’an’s updates. The conversations that God quotes in the Qur’an, the arguments of the people to their Messengers, those are all comments to posts in the Qur’an’s feed.

Mary `alayha assalaam (peace be upon her) says something, then God Almighty responds. Jesus `alayhi assalaam (peace be upon him) tells his disciples something and they all start tweeting him back. Moses (as) posts on Pharaoh’s wall, Pharaoh responds with his henchman and is finally completely deleted from Facebook—and the world—in its entirety. God’s Book is more intense, exciting and novel than anything on Facebook. We just need to add it and tag it as our Best Friend.

Sometimes we find Facebook addicting because of our ability to interact with our friends. So let’s find the Qur`an addicting because of our ability to interact with God. When reading God’s Book and you want to like something, say alhamdulilah (all praise is to God)! You’ll get rewards and be increased in what’s good (Qur`an 14:7).  When you personally want to respond to a status, put up your hands and make du`a’ (supplication)! Instead of aimlessly commenting, you’ll be strengthening your connection with the One Who can hook it up for you, Who can hear you and will answer you! When you read the descriptions of Paradise and Hell, know that Allah Most High is uploading images for you to focus on and be impacted by; when you’re captivated or horrified by the image, comment through your actions! Do the actions which will include you amongst the chillers in Paradise and keep you from being in the excruciating fire. That type of commenting will bring everlasting results in this life and the Next and, God willing, Allah subahanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) will tag you as His homies in this life and the Hereafter.

Make the Qur`an Our Best Friend
Oftentimes, when we’re sad or lonely, when we’re bursting with joy or excitement, when we’re apathetic or just need some down time, we post it. We let everyone know how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking, something that went down in our day or what we wished didn’t go down. We often treat Facebook as a best friend; checking it and reconnecting frequently. Here’s our opportunity to start shifting that connection; let’s start calling Allah’s Book our BEST FRIEND. With ourselves, let’s start using the term, “Best Friend,” for the Qur’an.

If you have a human best friend, think about the way you run to answer their call when you know they’re about to tell you the outcome of a life-changing decision. Think about the way you laugh when you’re chilling together at the beach or having a conversation over dinner. Think about the way that you dial their number before anyone else’s, knowing almost with certainty that they will pick up the phone and be there for your comfort.

Now, apply that same understanding of your best friend relationship to the Qur’an. If you take the Qur’an as your Best Friend, you’ll run to it when you see it near, knowing it’s calling you, ready to listen to whatever it wants to share for your own benefit, guidance and happiness. When you’re distraught, feeling lonely or at loss, you’ll go to your Best Friend, hold it to your heart, open it and begin reading it, reciting from it, reveling in its mind-blowing empathy, its heart-warming sympathy, it’s perfection of wisdom which relates directly to your situations. When you’re excited beyond measure; ready to jump through the roof because you finally got into that school, got that job, regained your health, going to get married to your dream person or had the blessing of your child, you’re going to pick it up and shed tears of joy or words of elation with it, knowing that in reality, you’re going back to the One Who gave you all that you’re excited about in the first place.
Making the Qur’an your best friend begins with a paradigm shift; this is not simply a Holy Book; it’s the pinnacle of your life, it’s your first supporter, your constant companion, your guide, the keeper of your secrets—it’s your Best Friend.

Building Our Relationship
Having taken the Qur’an as a best friend, we must also make a commitment to building our relationship with it. Best friends don’t happen overnight; we become continuously attached to the person we’ve already connected with because of our consistent ability to reconnect and re-align. So too, with the Qur’an. The Qur’an is always there, waiting to be your closest homie! Why? Because when we establish a relationship with the Qur’an, we are, in reality, establishing a relationship with the One Who created us and knows us best. He tells us, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed,” (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari). When we think about God, when we make an effort to draw nearer to Him, He comes to us with speed. Therefore, let us run to Him through our relationship with the Qur’an!

Set a certain amount of Qur’an that we must read, regardless of the circumstances, every day. Make sure this amount is in a language that we understand. If we can read Arabic and understand some of it, then read the Arabic but also read a translation. Allah (swt) revealed the Qur’an in the language of the Arabs for them to understand it so that they can live by and be transformed by it. Thus, read it in a language that will impact your life, and do it daily. From 20 pages to only 1 verse, do whatever amount you can do consistently and stick with it because the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) taught us that the best actions are those that are small, but consistent (Bukhari). Reading the Qur’an daily, year-round, is better than reading a ton only in Ramadan and then disregarding it. How can a relationship flourish to its fullest if it is only maintained once a year?

Facebook can be a great networking tool, but if used obsessively, we can become addicted to a media which often brings minute tangible benefits to our lives. Allah’s Book is an incredible networking tool which will connect us to the Creator of the Universe, the One through Whom we can gain tangible benefit in this life and the eternal hereafter. Let’s go to Allah’s Book—to our Best Friend—to the Qur`an—because the best “like” is when Allah (swt) likes your life.

“… Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allah . Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful.” (Qur`an 58:22)

Source: SuhaibWebb.com

Dreamin' with eyes a-gleamin'

Much as I would like this month to end (or at least the 20th to arrive), there are things that would start right after this thesis ends.... which I am kinda sad about.

1. Who likes shopping? 
:) [rhetorical question eh]. Okay I  like shopping. But for others. And this time, it ain't gonna be for others. Can't even avoid it.

2. Who likes to miss the Book Expo because of the delayed thesis defense?

I hate missing it, and am getting all these glarey-looks from folks who wanted me to drive them to the place and drown in books, but hey, not my fault my viva got delayed. 

3. Who likes to celebrate new year knowing that when the year ends, you're no longer at the place you lived all your life?
Not that I'm very sad about this one. But then again, leaving a pretty sheltered life is not easy.

4. Who likes to give up the PhD dream?
Well, not that I'm very inclined towards it at the moment (sick of the thesis and all), but it's still sad to let heavily nurtured dreams go.

....

Much as I would like this month to end (or at least the 20th to arrive), there are things that would start right after this thesis ends.... which I am happy about!

1. Who doesn't like to travel?

:D. Love it. And the kind of mundane life I have right now, love it even more!

2. Who doesn't like to get some nice attention from folks?
Being a younger sibling and having a brilliant older sibling :p, I've never really felt that I've gotten some exclusive attention. Usually it's all about everything-on-the-planet-except-Uni-idiotoony. So this time, *rubs hands with glee*, I'm gonna enjoy this.

3. Who doesn't like making new friends?
Not that I'm super confident, but its intriguing to meet new people, live among them, see their habits, compare them to yours, smile at the differences and sigh with relief at the similarities.

4. Who doesn't like to have some free time? 
Finally! I can sit back, and relax. And there is no more worry about lessons, deadlines, homeworks, assignments, job hunts, tests, exams, theses, literature reviews.... the time after 20th Dec is absolutely absolutely completely totally irrevocably...*stops herself*...

I mean, I'm free.

5. Who doesn't like to make the following amazing list? :D

I'm going to:
Man, I almost feel as if the time of freedom has already come. Although it's er..  a full 5-6 days away. Sigh.

So long folks. Advice of the day:

So interesting and innovative :)


I love the enthusiasm, the ability to think SIMPLE and SMALL. It just takes a simple thought beyond the box, to turn into something worthwhile. We use CAPTCHAS every day. Who would have thought we're all part of a huge project of digitizing books?

:) .. 10 seconds of annoyance are actually productive. Enjoy the hilarious yet informative talk.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A different kind of love story

By: Faraz Omar

The exceptional characteristics some people display are quite dumbfounding really, particularly when you put yourself in their shoes. This story published in today's Saudi Gazette is one such.
Unfortunately, the Gazette didn't publish it online, but one can find it in the Feb. 18 print edition on Page 3. Let me type the story up for you:

JEDDAH -- The love between an Islamic preacher with special needs and a Holy Qur'an teacher has turned into marriage.

The touching story began when Abdullah Banimah, who is completely paralyzed appeared on a satellite television program talking about spreading the message of Islam in several countries in the world.

When his future wife saw the program she immediately told her father about her desire to marry him because she admired him for courageously facing up to his disability and for dedicating his life to Islamic preaching.

Their dream turned true Tuesday when their friends queued along the road leading to the Al-Salam Wedding Hall in Jeddah to wish the couple a happy married life.

Abdullah had almost drowned in a swimming pool at a sports club in Jeddah. He had remained underwater for 15 minutes. This caused a great deal of damage to his brain which resulted in his paralysis.

The incident made him change his life completely by dedicating it to Islamic work.
Dhaiffallah bin Saad Al-Ghamadi, the bride's father, said: "My daughter, who works as teacher for one of the Holy Qur'an memorization schools in Jeddah, chose Abdullah on her own. After insisting she wanted to get married to him, I bowed to her will."

Dhaifallah said the reason for marrying Abdullah is for them to work hand-in-hand in the way of Allah.

Omar Banamh, the groom's father, said: "I have nothing to say but to pray to Allah to crown this marriage by blessing them with pious offspring."

He said he hoped Abdullah will see his children grow up with no disability.

Abdullah was ecstatic about his marriage.

"In the beginning I could not believe this was her desire. She really surprised me. I will never ever forget her noble stand and insistence on accepting me as her husband. I pray to Allah day and night to enable me to make her happy for the rest of my life."

He said he will never forget, for the rest of his days, the many people who had gathered to wish him a happy marriage."

Whew! What a story.  Number of points there.

1. There do exist such people Masha Allah.  The daughter, her father, her family should all be praised. Imagine yourself in that situation. Would you do that? Or would you allow your daughter to marry a crippled man? What about the extended family? She belongs to Al-Ghamdi family, which means she comes from the so-called "high society". How difficult would it be for people to disregard social honor and societal pressure?.
This is why these people are special, masha Allah. May Allah increase their guidance and bless them with good in this life and the hereafter. These are the role models of a society. They deserve coverage in the media. People need good examples.

2. Look at the zeal they have for Islam. Look at how this man's life changed after a tragedy. So the tragedy was the beginning really. A beginning of a journey insha Allah to achieve the eternal.

3. Despite all difficulties, if Allah wants to bless someone with something, it will come to you. Who would have thought a paralyzed man would get married in the first place? He not only got married, but got a wife who is Insha Allah better than many women.

4. Look at the noble way in which the woman approached the issue of marriage.  She fell in love -- a genuine liking for the man and wanted to marry him. She spoke to her father and her father approached the man's family. This is so noble. It's the pure path Islam has facilitated for men and women -- marriage. At stark contrast is the lewd path, where men or women express their feelings to each other and fall into Haraam and illicit relationships. A slippery slope that pulls people down the pit of lust. There's no love, purity or chastity -- there's only pain, selfishness and desires that turn human beings into animals.

Source: iLoveAllah.com Blog

Frustrated? You Bet!

Assalamualaikum

I keep vowing to myself not to put out a whiny post, and I fail consistently. Sigh. That was a whine too!

I got the thesis in book form today. It looks so cool, Masha Allah. Feels amazing to see your blood, sweat, tears (err, exaggeration?) in a black shiny bound version. I can't stop looking at it. When nobody is around of course ;).

So what happened today to get my frustration level UP by about a million notches? The thesis defense. The defense that wouldn't DIE. It has been postponed! Till the 20th ! Of December! 2011.


I'm so frustrated at this postponement that it's hard to even enjoy the next few days. Not that it's going to be much enjoyment. My AI final is just around the corner. The coming weekend actually. I so hope I don't mess up. Somebody asked me today 'So what's the benefit you're getting by doing well on this class?"

Me *huffily* : None. But I'm doing this for learning. Not everything has to be converted into cash :@.

I guess my grr demeanor knows no bounds. Thankfully, in the evening today, bhanju wanju was here, up to his tricks.. :). So I could at least smile. His vocabulary has some rich words added to it:

1. YaaaaAAAA [yaaaaaar]
2. Aaadeez [hardees.. sigh]
3. pizsha [pizza... double sigh]
4. Aanta Jorgzshia
5. Aaan-teeee [Aunty upstairs]
6. Up - down.  :D

Hilarious. One can go on and on listening to his babble.

But my thesis defense !! Shaitaan kee aanth  [devil's intestine - a phrase used when something is just never ending].

I'm now latkofied till the 20th. Love my life.
-------------------------------------------------
One worthwhile share of the day:


Aisha reported (رضي الله عنها): One night I missed the Messenger of Allah from bed, and when I looked for him my hand touched his feet while he was in prostration. They were raised and he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was saying, “O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot fully praise You. You are as you have praised Yourself.”

[Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 0986]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةً مِنَ الْفِرَاشِ فَالْتَمَسْتُهُ فَوَقَعَتْ يَدِي عَلَى بَطْنِ قَدَمَيْهِ وَهُوَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ وَهُمَا مَنْصُوبَتَانِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Day That Went By

Assalamualaikum

*sitting hunched up*

What an unforgettable day this has been (even though I wish I could forget it) :(. It actually started at 4am, because that's the time till I was awake (like, I slept at 4ish) tossing and turning trying in vain to just ... sleep.


After fajr, had only an hour to sleep, and had to get up because the thesis had to be given for printing today. Sigh. almost unable to open my eyes, I trudged off with Chotpo to her institute's library, where this really nice man took my thesis and started the printing process. Colored prints were being printed on a separate printer. Man, it took a looong time.  Then, had to get some forms and stuff for a friend of Chotpo's. After coming out of the university, and circling around to go to the proper gate, we were appalled to see the hugeee lines. Sigh again.

Went back in. Then went to collect one printout of the thesis to be given to my external examiner. That done, went out of university and went to my supervisor. Handed in the copy. Sat for around 10 minutes during which my phone loudly rang :$:$. Embarrassed, I ended the call. Lol. A message came in almost immediately, "Bhanju wants to talk to you" :D. Sent back an irate "I'm in a meeting!" and resumed the meeting. Lol, it was over in the next 3 minutes. Went out, and drove to Sis the Priss. Had a lovely welcome by bhanju wanju, and then loaded him and his samaan in the car, and me and Sis went home.

At home, it wasn't long before it resembled as if a tornado had struck the city. My mind felt like a tornado too. Just wanted to lie down somewhere, anywhere and sleep!


Anyway, finally bhanju was coaxed to sleep by his ever patient mommy.. [seriously sis the priss, HOW do you DO it!]... I was (I think) annoyed all day! It takes patience man! And unfortunately, khalas aren't blessed with the special patience hormones which all mommies are blessed with. :)

Finally, lay down to sleep at around quarter to 4[pm]. A friend called after a loooong time. Lol. All sleep gone, I chatted away and lost track of all time. The next thing I knew it was nearly 5pm. Got up, prayed. And endured Sis the Priss's incredulous stare :D.

Had a lil bit of sleep, before bhanju sahib thought its a great idea to roll himself on his 'aala' and head bumped my nose :(. SO bad was the pain, that my glow-ey feelings all vanished in a second. Man, I think I need to control my temper. :(


After maghrib, we made some plans to go out in the 'caa' so that bhanju would at least calm down. Tired though I was, I still thought it's better to be out in open air, in some peace and quiet and then come back after a few hours of solid 'awaara gardi'. Plus, the CNG was to be 'load-shedded' for a day, and it was supposed to close at 11pm today. Since I have to make another darn trip to the university tomorrow iA - for thesis binding and other admin issues [scowl], a CNG refill was needed.

Triple sigh. The line at CNG was sooo long, and we got into the wrong line (there was a misleading line .. which was essentially cutting the main line), but we were too far in to worm out of it, and hence were stuck there. I think we stood there for 40 minutes, before the CNG tank was filled for our car. Bhanju entertained the next cars' drivers and passengers by calling the older men 'nanaaaa', 'daadaaaa' and the younger men, 'maamoooo'

:D. Lol.

Since TB had to get something attested by Chotpo, and she had forgotten the stamp at the university, I drove her and everybody else including the wrestling bhanju to the university. I had thought the drive would be nice. Sigh.. (how many times have I sighed today?). It was a mass of tangled limbs [okay im exaggerating but you know what happens when kids are all over you - only this time, it's just one lil kid]. I had to constantly bear somebody turning on the wipers - yelling in the ears, and punching the rear view mirror.

HOW do they strap the kids in car seats? How??? It's beyond me. I can't imagine bhanju in a car seat. The seat would fall.

Anyway, came back. Had a nice dinner. Got it from Bovichic. It was another trial to be standing at Bovichic waiting for the order with bhanju running after 'maao' (cats) and the main road not far off. He wanted to put the 'shaww' (straw) in the ketchup bottle .. :D. Mannnnnnnn.

HOW do they raise 5 kids? [even 3?]

:S


PS: Have I told you the latest Bhanju event? Happened a few days back. Well, he had the TV fall on him. Alhamdulillah, he wasn't hurt. But it fell on his leg. He was trying to climb up the TV.. :S... The X-Ray came today - all okay Alhamdulillah. But he's walking on his toes :D. [YET he's doing all the harkatain described above]..

SIGH.

PS: Dear Bhanju. Don't be upset reading about this day when you're 20 {lol}. Cuz it happens. And hey, you didn't have to face ME when I was 2. I'm sure it would have been just as hectic. [not really though :p]. Your ever loving... Aala. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

After-Fajr Blogging

Assalamualaikum

And I hope the title can soon turn into 'After-fajr walking' .. Insha Allah. Just. Let. The. Thesis. END!

Somehow, 12th just doesn't seem to be arriving. And the worst bit? I think it might just get delayed again! Why, you may ask? [or even if you don't]. Because of the two-day holiday we just had (9th and 10th Muharram) which effectively meant that I wasn't able to give the thesis for printing on Monday. And there is a range of possible time durations that thesis printing and binding will take.

God, I just want this to be over. So bad, that it hurts sometimes :D.

Since I can't bear to even look at the thesis anymore, I asked Chotpo to proofread it .. :). Good decision it turned out to be. She caught so many minor mistakes, grammatical idiocies, and weirdo expressions that it was embarrassing. And her final comment was, "Your thesis was interesting. But remember, when you write a paper, you have to write in the language of a research paper. Not like everyday conversation."

Sigh. My thesis is like everyday conversation. :s.

Last evening, we heard our dear President flew off to Dubai. For 'routine checkup'. You know what will be the test of a real leader of this country? When he prefers to have checkups in his own country, instead of others. Life-threatening surgeries are obviously excluded from this statement. This is will be the litmus test for any new leader of Pakistan.

Speaking of new leaders, the December 25th PTI jalsa is looming up. Mum is convinced there's going to be troublemaking in there - by the beloved people of Karachi. Sigh. Wish I could go there, you know. But I'm rather turned off by the 'musical' aspect to it.

This post has been enough of a ramble. Something worthwhile, and I'll sign off.


Narrated Anas ibn Mālik (رضي الله عنه): The Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “By Him in whose Hand is my soul, a servant does not believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself of goodness.”
[Musnad Ahmad, Number 12671, Narrations of Anas ibn Malik (مُسْنَدُ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ)]

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا يُؤْمِنُ عَبْدٌ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ مِنْ الْخَيْرِ

:)

I should remember this, the next time a Dairy Milk fruit and nuts is in front of me, and my maasi's sitting nearby. :s. May Allah Guide us all. Ameen!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Sacred Month of Muharram

Abu Hurairah (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said,
“The Best month for observing fasting next after Ramadan is the month of Allah, the Muharram, and the best Salaat next after the prescribed Salaat is Salaat at night (Tahajjud prayers).” [Muslim]
Muharram is one of the Sacred Months. This Hadith points out that fasting in the month of Muharram is better than any other month of the year after Ramadan.
  • The Most stressed days for fasting is ‘Ashoura (the 10th of Muharram).
He (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was asked about observing fast on the tenth day of Muharram,   and he replied,
  
“It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year.” [Muslim]
              
And He (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

“If I remain alive till the next year, I shall also observe fast on the ninth of Muharram.” [Muslim]
  • Why is it recommended to fast on this day?
It is the day on which Allah granted Prophet Musa (‘Alayhissallaam) emancipation from Pharoah and so they (the Jews) observed Sawm (Fasting) in token of their joy. On this, he (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that Muslims have greater right to observe Sawm than the Jews , consequently, he (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) also observed Sawm on the 10th of Muharram. Then he said that if he lived the following year, he would observe Sawm on the 9th of Muharram also, so that muslims would  be different from the Jews.
            
Many scholars are of opinion that the fasting of ‘Ashoura was obligatory in the beginning then it was abrogated by the fasting of Ramadan.

NOTE:
  • When the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that the best month for fasting next after Ramadan is the month of Muharram. It is does not indicate that fasting the whole month, but fasting in this month.
  • The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to fast Sha’baan more than Muharram because fasting Sha’baan is considered a restricted voluntary fast while fasting Muharram is considered unrestricted voluntary fast, and the restricted is better than the unrestricted. Fasting Sha’baan is like a ‘Ratibah’ for the month of Ramadan. Similarly, Fasting the day of ‘Arafah is better than fasting Muharram because it is restricted to fasting the day of ‘Arafah. With regards to the prayers, the ‘Ratibah’ prayer is better than the unrestricted Tahajjud prayer, because the Ratibah is joined (follows) the obligatory prayer.
             Also the Dhikr; the one said after the prayer is better than the one said at other times.

So Inspiring :)

Assalamualaikum

In the course of doing work for my thesis defense and the AI homework (this week's homework was a nightmare), I often find myself deviating from the 'boredom' and moving on to some interesting things in life.

And try not to think about the fact that I have made just 10 introductory slides for my thesis defense, and I'm relaxed now because it'll be held on the 12th, and not the 10th :S. May Allah Help me. Ameen.

Okay, the following two videos are just 5-6 minutes in duration. I strongly recommend them. They are a pretty good reminder of what's happening to our younger generation (and ours too) today. It's essential to realize that we ARE suffering from a crisis of faith, and what we need to do as the most important thing when dealing with our small children, small siblings, cousins or anybody under our influence.

Happy viewing.