Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thought of the week - To Win or To Lose?

"If I have a choice to do the expedient thing and win the day’s battle, or do the principled thing and lose, I will do the principled thing because in the long run it will affect other things and come back to me in different ways." (General Schwarztkopf)
How many of us think on these lines? Let’s face it. If given a choice, a majority of us would opt to win the day’s battle. Be it following the traffic signals, or bribing the traffic constable for not getting fined. Not only in this part of the world, but even at the greener pastures people follow rules out of fear and obligation.
I can never forget that moment, when we were going somewhere late at night and my little niece was with us. As soon as the driver crossed the red traffic light, we heard a tiny voice saying:

"Allah T'aalah dekh raha hai", [“God is watching us”] which was the title of a lesson she had just read in school!
I also remember the verses of an urdu poem that I read when I was a child:
“Chor jab bantay ke koi dekhta, Dekhnay ko mein hi khud moujood tha” (Ismail Meirthi)
Translation: “I would have become a thief if someone saw me, but I was watching myself”.
If only we could all be as God conscious and as pure as a small child, and be brave enough to lose the battle yet do the principled thing!

But how many of us would actually do that?

Perspective - Behind Every Successful Man, There Is A Woman

By: Shazia Yousuf
Published at:

This may be a little hard to digest initially but I feel it is to some extent true. Success of a man is in the hands of the woman associated with his life mainly in the form of a wife. In case of single men, mothers could also have a vital role in this regard. However, my focus here is mainly on house wives.
This in no way means I am giving credit to women right away for the success of a man. What I am trying to emphasize is the fact that women play a vital role in making it easier for them to walk up the rungs of the success ladder.
By successful men, I do not mean CEOs of multimillion organizations, or those gentlemen who are minting money, or sitting at high posts. By a successful man I mean any average gentleman who is working hard, earning his living, providing well for his family, doing justice to his work, and most importantly who is content with what he is doing. A person who‘s heart and mind are at peace both at work and at home.

Health - Top 10 Healthy Foods For Women

By: Saima Ausaf

Women are undeniably one of God’s best creations. They possess in themselves amazing powers of caring, nurturing and transforming. There is something special in a woman that makes her different to her counterpart. Born as a baby girl, she grows up to be a woman, taking on the responsibility of a wife and later on that of a mother during her life.  

Often the question arises: “do women need to eat differently from men?” After all we are all humans. The answer to the question is obviously in the affirmative as women have unique nutritional requirements to suit their age, body type and physical activities. Besides, they need to be more specific of their nutritional needs as they start to age. Following is the list of top 10 healthy foods that should be incorporated into every woman’s diet.

Wisdom Corner - Points To Ponder - Death

  • Death tells us not to waste time.
  • It tells us to love each other from the depth of our hearts.
  • It gives us a message that we have to be accounted for our own deeds to the Divine being.
  • This is a benefit for all mankind.
  • It is the only thing that will survive in the future.
  • It is the path to eternity.
  • It is the mode of completion.
  • It is the moment of ultimate joy for an upright man to meet The Almighty.

Soul's Reflections - Are You Alone?

By: Shazia Yousuf
There are times when you may find yourself extremely lonely. This loneliness could be due to the absence of physical existence of human souls around. But there could be times when there is a huge crowd around you, yet you feel alone even in that crowd. Your soul cannot relate to the souls out there. There seems to be noise all around, by none of the sounds make any sense to you.
You find yourself completely consumed by the void all around you. Your soul screams but it cannot be heard. It only pulls you down even further.
And all you seek is maybe someone who could just remove this void.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thought of the week - Right or Wrong

I happened to read the following quote by Neale Donald Walsch:
“Understand that right and wrong are figments of your imagination, and that okay and not okay are merely announcements of your latest preferences and imaginings.”
There are many a time when we are so easily and unintentionally judgmental about a lot of things. We feel there is nothing more perfect than what we believe in; there is no truth as true as the truth we know. What we need to realize is that it is merely a matter of perspective. Something okay to us might not be okay to others and this may also be true otherwise.
Instead of arguing about right and wrong, and pointing out faults, it would rather be a better idea to work on creating harmony, balance and peace. If only could we learn to stop arguing over what we might consider as others’ weakness, seek goodness in others and propagate it, would we be able to make this world more of a hate free place.
The Divine principle tells us to overlook and forgive so that God becomes Ghafoor (The Forgiving) and Raheem (The Compassionate).

Wisdom Corner - Points To Ponder

  • With the devil, human soul is hell of the nature that commands unto evil through seven gates typifying vices that lead to perdition. (Rumi on Human Soul)
  • “Yet, I do not absolve myself of my sins, as the human soul is incited by evil. Only those who are graced by Allah’s mercy are saved [from their sins]. And he is surely Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful.” Quran(12:53)
  • If I have a choice to do the expedient thing and win the day’s battle, or do the principled thing and lose, I will do the principled thing because in the long run it will affect other things and come back to me in different ways. (General Schwarztkopf)
  • Culture essentially means the truthful, faithful and honest representation of shared vision and values (principle based) into the mission statement fully and deeply understood and committed for sincere implementation at all levels of community or society. (Modified version Stephen R. Covey’s views)

Wisdom Corner - Life’s Foundation

By: Muhammad Haris
Build a strong foundation of a balanced character, expressed by positive habits with the ingredients of Divine Principles in order to raise the tower of effectiveness to reach the transcendental Bliss (or the treasure of love) abundantly available in the sanctuary ever hanging on top of this lofty tower.
For a strong foundation, we need to build basic habits of personal character and interpersonal relations based on correct principles, otherwise we shall have no foundation to make quality and other reform initiatives work.

Health - Control Your Diet To Control Cholesterol

By: Saima Ausaf

The term Cholesterol does not sound new to the ears. All of us have come across this word at some point or another during our lifetime. Many people confuse cholesterol with saturated fats. Instead, cholesterol is a fat related compound belonging to a family of substances called, sterols.

Precisely, cholesterol is a waxy substance essential for our body in many ways. In fact it is a vital matter in human metabolism, necessary in forming bile acids and is a component of all cell membranes. A cholesterol product in the skin, 7-dehydrocholesterol, is irritated by the sun’s ultraviolet rays to initiate the synthesis of vitamin D hormone. Cholesterol is widely distributed in all body cells and large amounts occur in brain and nerve tissue. The internal body supply is synthesized mainly in the liver while some of it comes from the food we eat. It must be noted here that not all cholesterol is bad. It is only when the amount of cholesterol in our blood exceeds a certain limit it becomes harmful because it precipitates within the arterial walls narrowing and obstructing them. This process of forming fatty cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls is called atherosclerosis. It is the underlying disease process leading to coronary heart disease such as hypertension. High cholesterol is well known as a silent killer as it is a major risk factor for heart related diseases.

Eating healthy food has a very important part in fighting atherosclerotic heart disease. It has been proven that diets designated to reduce body weight are very essential for primary and secondary prevention and risk reduction of cardiovascular disease.

Health - This Week's Health Tips

Curb Hunger, Smell this:
There are plenty of tips and tricks for helping you eat less, a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise remain the mainstays of weight control. However, if you follow your nose, you may lose some pounds!
Soothe stress with this scent:
Take some time to smell the roses -- and a whole horde of other lovely flowers, plants, and fruits that seem to zap stress.
Grab a spoonful of peanut butter to lower cholesterol!
Not only will you be enjoying rich and satisfying taste, but also you could be helping to lower both your bad cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  

Soul's Reflections - Prayer – Does it make God change His mind?

By: Shazia Yousuf

As a child, I had always believed in intense praying. I believed that I could achieve anything, and I mean anything, if I prayed hard enough. Of course I knew hard work was an essential ingredient for achievement but hard work without prayer was incomplete. A very traditional belief, this is what all of us know and have been taught at home and at religious classes and this is definitely the truth.

However, experiences in life gradually made me to scratch my head and compelled me to think and think harder. For instance, I had always desired to get straight As in O’ Level and A’ Level exams. I definitely worked very hard, I believe, and prayed harder. Yet I never got straight As. Anyways, my faith was strong, and I always believed God must definitely have something better planned out for me.

Other seemingly major, but actually minor events kept occurring in life. My belief remained unchanged. One experience, however shattered me, and left me in total dismay.
That event was my mother’s sad demise. It was not sudden. She was ill for over ten years, and gradually deteriorating. But her two month long hospitalization in the ICU was a life changing experience for me. I had been by her side, saw her fighting her pleural effusion, gradually losing her interest in life and finally departing. The doctors made great efforts, the entire family prayed! Prayed in congregation, prayed in solitude, yet none of us could convince God to spare my mother’s soul. The doctors couldn’t save her with their effort and hard work and we couldn’t save her with our prayers and duas.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's Thought - Prophet Muhammad (s.m)

By: Shazia Yousuf

"...if a branch is laden with fruit, it pulls the branch down, whereas a branch that bears no fruit holds its head up high, ...."

Prophet Muhammad (s.m) was extremely humble, because all the fruits of this world and the next were gathered upon him. He was the most humble of men.

No one was able to precede the Messenger of God in making a greeting. No one was able to offer greetings before the Prophet, because the Prophet, being extremely humble, would always greet the other first.

His heart was pure; just like a polished mirror, open to receive an infinite number of images. Polished hearts are purified of greed, desire, envy and hatered.

May God guide us to kindle that desire in our hearts to purify our souls, to kill the ego that compells us to pull our heads up high in vanity, to bear the fruits of humility and follow the right path destined for us by the Divine Being.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wisdom Corner - Points To Ponder

From the diary of Muhammad Haris:

  • Essence of Religion is Love (Ghazali)
  • Love is the Service of mankind.(Service to God) [Steven Covey]
  • His Service is Righteousness. (Allama Yousuf Ali)
  • Righteousness is thy beloved! (Righteous conduct is the true religion.) [Afkar-e-Ghazali]
  • Love is apart from all religions. (Rumi)
  • Love demands sacrifice.
  • Religion without sacrifice is sin.
  • Lovers have no religion but God alone.
  • When we live the primary laws of love, we encourage obedience to the primary laws of life.