Thursday, May 31, 2012

No words

A spark that flared
A flicker of hope
A burst of inspiration
A flash of aspiration
A wave of passion
A craze of innovation
A flame of desperation


Has died...suddenly.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wish I weren't so nervous

Assalamualaikum

The "state" of affairs is such that if I think too much, I can actually start trembling. This is the night before the big V interview. Visa interview I mean. I shouldn't be this scared, I know. I should realize that whatever happens tomorrow is pre-destined. I know. I should focus on being confident, more than anything else. I know. That is my weakest point, by the way. I also know that.

YET...

My brain refuses to stop conjuring up images of scary and intimidating visa officers, asking me a load of difficult questions and getting me all confused or babbling incoherently. **scared stiff even now**.

I do wonder what there is to be scared about anyway. Scribbling on this post is a reminder for me not to be scared of situations where I have absolutely no control. I mean, yes I have control over my tongue, but then again, how do I control what goes on in the VO's mind?

Sigh.

The scariest bit is getting a rejection of course. All the hard work, the effort, the expectations, will amount to nothing but a huge heart-ache. I guess I can re-apply, but that will take too much time and I think that will make me miss the semester.

The hopeful bit is that it's for a PhD so maybe it'll be better than if it were for a Master's. I so so hope so. Insha Allah. Lol, take a look at this:


Whoever reads this before 7.15 am tomorrow morning, please say Ameen to:

O Allah, please let Uni get the visa approved tomorrow, and let her not suffer any heart-ache. Ameeeeeeen.

Jazakallah Khairan folks! :)

As a reward, take a look at this week's Quran weekly video. Awesome, I tell you! Helped me a lot!

 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What an absolutely wonderful message! :)

Dear Sister ♥

Stop searching for your prince charming …
Make ALLAH the Only King of your heart,
And HE will complete your fairy tale In Shaa ALLAH...!!!

Your heart should be so lost in ALLAH
That your other half must seek HIM in order to find you....

Through sincere Duaa and through his Righteousness ♥ :)

------------------------------------
Source: iLoveAllaah.com 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our Relationship with the Quran - Nouman Ali Khan

Huge huge reminder for me and then all others. It's very rightly pointed out that the Muslim attitude towards the Quran is reserved for:

1. Special occasions: marriages, births, deaths, moving into a new house, sickness etc.
2. When something wrong happens - and we need help (and all other sources fail)

There is a serious lack of Quran reading (with meaning and pondering) as part of a daily routine. I so hope I learn from this, and straighten up my routine with  pondering over the Quran each and every day. Insha Allah.

Highly recommended!

 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A month left...

Assalamualaikum

Just one month left. 30 days. How few are thirty days, I've realized today. After a month, I can no longer sit in this particular corner of my house, with my laptop and write a blog post. Not regularly at least.

After a month...
I will no longer be able to call this room 'my room'.
I will no longer be able to call the kitchen 'my kitchen'.
I will no longer take out the car whenever I feel like.
I will no longer be eating breakfast alone.
I will no longer be shopping!
I will no longer be calling this house 'my house'.
I will not be able to see my folks whenever I want to.
I will no longer be able to yell in the house, "Muummmm, Daaadddd.... "
I will no longer be able to hide in corners of the house, alone.
I will no longer be in control of my time.
I will probably be using Skype if I want to talk to Mum and Dad.
I will not be able to go out to see the kittens (7 of them!) whenever I want.
I will no longer be doing the morning walk outside the house (which I've been missing for many days).
I will no longer be able to go to gym.
I will  miss Quran classes.
I will not be able to sit for long periods of time at my laptop.
I will not be among people I've known all my life.
I will have to...adjust.

And I'm scared to death. :(:(:(

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good end to a "Bitter Experience"

Assalamualaikum

My Dad is about to get up for tahajjud.

Anyway.

The day was rather "bitter-sweet".

I made karelay (bitter melon) for the first time in my life. My Dad had been "mentioning" it for days. Apparently, its a food that's used to control sugar, and that's the primary reason why he was after me to make it someday.

That day was today.

I went out and drove to the sabzi wala - brought 1/2 kg karelay. Then, came back and waited for electricity to come back so that I could hunt up a recipe for cooking it. This was 12 ish am. Light came back late :(. Khair, hunted for the recipe. Found it. Set about to peel the karelay and er, clean them. Then they had to be salted and kept away for 20 minutes, so that they would um, shoo away the bitterness.

Sigh sigh sigh. Cutting them and cleaning them was no easy task. Next time I saw the clock, I was wet through and through (it was a hot day), and it showed me : 12.45. Which meant, I had stood in the kitchen for 45 minutes, just using a knife/potatoe peeler and my nails. If only somebody had told me that cleaning karelas does NOT mean, trying to pick out the seeds individually and prying them out with your nails.

Anyway, finally they were cleaned. I set them aside for 20 minutes, and hurriedly put on rice, and daal too (my backup in case karelas failed, which seemed a lil likely at the point).

After 20 minutes, I washed them and put them under the fan (to no effect). If only somebody had told me that we're supposed to squeeze them with our hands to get all the water out.

I browned the onions till then, added masala, and tomatoes and then hesitantly put the karelas in. Well, mixed the whole thing together, and then added a little water for the karelas to cook. Meanwhile, rice and daal were made. Then had to make brownies for some guests who were coming today.

Allll that (and a good 2.5 hours) later, our domestic servant came and she sat down to drink tea. I served her some karelay and asked her nervously, what should be improved in it. She couldn't swallow it !!


Er, she really tried. And she really tried to be nice about it. And what was my halat when I saw her struggling-to-be-gentle-about-the-bitter-karelay face?

Er, yeah.

Anyway, I dolefully took the plate of uneaten karelay back to the pot, and then gave her a brownie. She loved it!

Lol.

Later, when Dad came, and I served lunch, I mentioned casually: You know what Dad? I made karelay today.
Him *all excited*: Wowww! Wheree?? **looking expectantly around the table**
Me: *trying not to make my voice wobble*: Actually, it's a tragedy. They didn't turn out well.
Him: Whaat? How? Who said?
Me: *told whole sad tale*
Him: *very kindly*: Okay, just bring some and  let me try it.

I tried to dissuade him. I really really did. He just wouldn't listen. So I brought some karelay out on a bowl and gave that to him.

Now, he took a bite. I looked anxiously on. And then he said: It's amazing!
Me: *gave him a stop-trying-to-be-nice-to-me-look*
Him: It really really is. There is always some bitter taste in karelas. That's why they're karelas!! And you know, they're really good for sugar control!
*started eating karelas araam se*

At the moment, I was like:



It was real. He wasn't faking it. My karelas weren't a huge failure after all!!

Then, in the evening, after my much-needed afternoon nap, Mum came into my room (she had been out for the morning). She said: Those karelas are awesome. You know, my family relative [forgot who] used to cook like that.
Me: *stunned again*.

Later on. Chotpo was like: These karelas are really really good. Have some daal and some karelay and you won't even feel an ounce of bitterness in this.

Finally, I tasted them. Lolz. They really weren't that bad. I guess cooking them for a loooong time paid off. Poor domestic servant.

So the end was actually sweet of the whole "bitter experience" :D
Alhamdulillah!

Lessons:

1. When you got nothing to do in life, make karelay. Perfect ones.
2. Don't take just one opinion on your work.
3. Don't get too dejected on just one opinion on your work.
4.  Believe in the power of the mind, the stove and the.. salt.
5. Keep a backup. Always.
6. Thank Allah for the blessings we have - and for the food on our tables.

So long folks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm rendered speechless!

This is the ultimate. The ultimate.

And our people support them? Have chosen them? Will still choose them?

Huge questions. How I wish every Pakistani with a brain would ask him/herself this question.

Honestly.

Snippets of Senselessness!

Assalamualaikum

Here are a few snippets of senselessness, from our dear old..


For the past quite a few days, my blood has been boiling at the extreme contemptible actions of our dear government and others in power, their blatant disrespect for the court, their sheer hypocrisy, and of course, their unprecedented fear of the almighty amreeka.

And there are quite a few educated people in our country, who support these goons.

Check out a few brilliant statements by our dear convicted PM:

May 13, 2012: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says Pakistan Peoples Party is pursuing the vision and philosophy of its great leaders for the cause of democracy and down trodden segments of the society.  Source

London, May 12 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he wants to improve relations with the U.S. following the killing of Osama bin Laden on its soil last year.
"There have been lots of ups and downs in our relationship. We know the importance of the United States. We really want to improve our relations. We are in the middle of discussions and I am sure that better things will come out," Sky News quoted Gilani, as saying.

So Mr PM, we know you really really really want to improve relations with the US, but is that really following the PPP policy of working for the downtrodden? Last I heard, the downtrodden got more trodden upon when a person called Raymond Davis opened fire on our citizens in Jan 2011, and the downtrodden got more trodden upon when the Salala checkpost incident occured, and the downtrodden keeps getting trodden upon (in fact, they get shredded into pieces) when drone attacks continue in our country.
So which type of downtroddens are you supporting by really really really wanting to improve relations?

Another gem by our very own:



It’s important to mention that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has indicated today that the time has come to reopen the country’s Afghan border to Nato supplies, saying the government had made its point by closing the route for nearly six months in retaliation for deadly US airstrikes on its troops. [Source]

Oh really Ms Khar? Really?

We've made our point, yeah? Ask that to the wife of a troop killed on that base, calling again and again for help, and getting bullets in return. Does she think we've made our point in six months? That's how long it takes to get over a human being in our lives? That's how long it takes to forget the brutal way in which a human being (let alone so many!) was taken away from us? If your blood relative was one of those in that check post, would it have taken six months for you to move on in life, and extend a hand of friendship to the killers of your relative..?

Another statement by our great hero of the past...


Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said the punishment meted out to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in contempt of court case, is unconstitutional. Talking to media here, the PM Gilani’s counsel said the short order cannot be delivered in criminal cases. Ahsan said the premier could not have been sentenced in the absence of a detailed verdict. He said short orders were not issued in criminal cases and that the prime minister’s sentencing was against the law. 

Sir, I marvel your abilities to talk. Talk nonsense, maybe. But yeah talk. One cannot even begin to fathom how big a turncoat you turned out to be. But hey, everything is fair in love and war and swiss accounts yeah?

Immunity immunity immunity. That's all you can think, dream, eat, sleep ! Fundamental question: Why need immunity? Ever thought about the obvious answer?

That's all for now folks. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of Aliens and Priorities

Awesome answer to a question! We really need to focus on the real issues, and forget about the non-issues. Again, highly higly recommended.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Principles of Success - The Prophet's Way

From a forward email: Food for thought :)

It is a well-known fact that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was the supremely successful man in the entire human history. But he was not just a hero, as Thomas Carlyle has called him. According to the Qur’an, he was a good example for all mankind. He has shown us the way of achieving supreme success in this world.

By studying the life of the Prophet we can derive those important principles which were followed by the Prophet. In short, the Prophet of Islam was a positive thinker in the full sense of the word. All his activities were result-oriented. He completely refrained from all such steps as may prove counter-productive.

First Principle: To begin from the possible. This principle is well explained in a saying of Aishah (rah). She said: "Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice." (Al-Bukhari)To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible, and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal.

Second Principle: To see advantage in disadvantage. In the early days of Mecca, there were many problems and difficulties. At that time, a guiding verse in the Qur’an was revealed. It said: "With every hardship there is ease" (Quran 94:5).This means that if there are some problems, there are also opportunities at the same time. And the way to success is to ignore the problems and avail the opportunities.

Third Principle: To change the place of action. This principle is derived from the Hijrah. Hijrah was not just a migration from Mecca to Medina. It was to find a more suitable place for Islamic work, as history proved later on.

Fourth Principle: To make a friend out of an enemy. The prophet of Islam was repeatedly subjected to practices of antagonism by the unbelievers. At that time the Qur’an enjoined upon him the return of good for evil. And then, as the Qur’an added, "You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend" (Quran 41:34).

It means that a good deed in return of a bad deed has a conquering effect over your enemies. And the life of the Prophet is a historical proof of this principle.

Fifth Principle: To turn minus into plus. After the Battle of Badr, about 70 of the unbelievers were taken as the prisoners of war. They were educated people. The Prophet announced that if any one of them would teach ten Muslim children how to read and write he would be freed. This was the first school in the history of Islam in which all of the students were Muslims, and all of the teachers were from the enemy rank. Here I shall quote a British orientalist who remarked about the Prophet of Islam: He faced adversity with the determination to wring success out of failure.


Sixth Principle: The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence. When Mecca was conquered, all of the Prophet’s direst opponents were brought before him. They were war criminals, in every sense of the word. But the Prophet did not order to kill them. He simply said: "Go, you are free." The result of this kind behavior was miraculous. They immediately accepted Islam.


Seventh Principle: Not to be a dichotomous thinkerIn the famous Ghazwa of Muta, Khalid bin Walid decided to withdraw Muslim forces from the battlefield because he discovered that the enemy was unproportionately outnumbered. When they reached Medina, some of the Muslims received them by the word "O Furrar" (O deserters!) The Prophet said "No. They are Kurrar" (men of advancement)."

Those Medinan people were thinking dichotomously, either fighting or retreating. The Prophet said no. There is also a third option, and that is to avoid war and find a time to strengthen yourself. Now history tells us that the Muslims, after three years of preparation, advanced again towards the Roman border and this time they won a resounding victory.


Eighth Principle: To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field. This principle is derived from the Ghazwa of Hudaibiyya. At that time, the unbelievers were determined to engage Muslims in fighting, because obviously they were in an advantageous position. But the Prophet, by accepting their conditions unilaterally, entered into a pact. It was a ten-year peace treaty. Until then, the meeting ground between Muslims and non-Muslims had been on the battlefield. Now the area of conflict became that of ideological debate. Within two years, Islam emerged as victorious because of the simple reason of its ideological superiority.


Ninth Principle: Gradualism instead of radicalism. This principle is well-established by a hadith of Al-Bukhari. Aishah says that the first verses of the Qur’an were related mostly to heaven and hell. And then after a long time when the people’s hearts had softened, the specific commands to desist from adultery and drinking were revealed in the Qur’an.This is a clear proof that for social changes, Islam advocates the evolutionary method, rather than the revolutionary method.

Tenth Principle: To be pragmatic in controversial matters. During the writing of Hudaibiyyah treaty, the Prophet dictated these words: "This is from Muhammad, the Messenger of God." The Qurayshi delegate raised objections over these words. The Prophet promptly changed the word and ordered to write simply Muhammad, son of Abdullah.

These were the principles through which the Prophet of Islam gained that success which has been recognized by historians as the supreme success.

In the end, I would like to repeat those ten principles of success:

1. To begin from the possible
2. To see advantage in disadvantage
3. To change the place of action
4. To make a friend out of an enemy
5. To turn minus into plus
6. The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence
7. Not to be a dichotomous thinker
8. To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field
9. Gradualism instead of radicalism
10. To be pragmatic in controversial matters

Source: http://echo-of-islam.blogspot.com/

Mabrook!

Assalamualaikum

This post is actually meant for May 5, 2012. One of my best friends got married that day :) Alhamdulillah. She had a tough time leading up to the marriage, what with the PhD thesis defense viva and all - but everything turned out amazing Alhamdulillah!

I wish her a hugely happy life and a joyous future, and an even more amazing Hereafter, Ameen!


I really hope they like the gift I made for them! :). Although the really cool thing would have been to visit the province of KP for the first time in my life :D and attend the function.

Khair, anyway. I hope and pray they have an awesome life together Ameen!

Teaching Islam to our Children

An excellent lecture outlining the approach parents (especially dads) need to take in order to teach Islam to their kids. It should start from a really early age (and the dad, not the qaari sahib), should teach Quran recitation and meaning to the child.

I hope we all benefit from this, and learn to protect our future generations and guide them towards this deen.

Highly recommended.

 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Four qualities of a good friend!

The four qualities good friends:

1. When you see them, they remind you of Allah, the Almighty.
2. When you sit with them, it increases your FAITH.
3. When they speak to you, it increases your knowledge.
4. When you see their actions, you remember the HEREAFTER.

Hard to find :)

Source: here

Something to think about!

"It should be no surprise that when rich men take control of the government, they pass laws that are favorable to themselves. The surprise is that those who are not rich vote for such people, even though they should know from bitter experience that the rich will continue to rip off the rest of us." 
Andrew Greeley (Chicago Sun-Times, February 18, 2001)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Extremely Sad and Horrifying - May Allah (SWT) Help them! Ameen!

Assalamualaikum

This is something horrifying I just came to know a few minutes back. I'm copy-pasting the story below. It's posted by Yasmin Mogahed hence it's something I trust and think is true.

 

Dear brothers and sisters, I really need your help. I have a dear friend, Tayyaba Beg whose family has been hit by tragedy. Due to a rare genetic disease (MPS), starting at the age of 3, her daughters went from being completely normal, to slowly losing, one by one, their ability to walk, see, eat, talk, and even swallow. Now they live in wheelchairs and on oxygen tanks. I have gotten the humbling honor to visit Tayyaba and her family in their home, and it was one of the most shaking experiences of my life. Tayyaba is up day and night caring for her kids (may Allah grant her and her family the highest jennah) and they cannot afford these overwhelming expenses. Tayyaba and her family are drowning in debt due to the monthly medical expenses and equipment. They desperately need new wheel chairs, which cost $2000 and up because their old ones are giving them bruises due to being too tight. Just one bill for a surgery her daughter had is $8000. They are required to move, but cannot do so until their debts are filled! Please donate generously and share widely.
By: Yasmin Mogahed
---------------------------------------------

They have set up a donation page here:
http://www.gofundme.com/3girls

You can go here, and donate some small amount and maybe our small contributions can help this family get back on its feet and help these three little girls.

May Allah Protect us all, Ameen!

A worthwhile Sunday!


Assalamualaikum. Again, my entire family is going to attend this event insha Allah :). We loved the last workshop which was about People of Substance, conducted by Nouman Ali Khan. You can read my posts on this event from the following links:

 Lessons from Ustadh Noman Ali Khan - LiveDeen Event - Part I
 Lessons from Ustadh Noman Ali Khan - LiveDeen Event - Part II

 Here is a clip of Nouman Ali Khan himself recommending Shaikh Omar Suleiman's lecture which is coming up on June 3rd, 2012 Insha Allah.



If you live in Karachi, here's an excellent chance to attend something worthwhile and get a nice spiritual booster on a Sunday morning :).

If you need tickets, here are the contact details:

Contact Details : 0321-2536990 & 0300-8637735
info@livedeen.com

Do attend the lecture and bring along your friends and family members!