Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let’s celebrate Eid

By: Shazia Yousuf

Eid” - a synonym for colour, festivities, celebration, family reunions and happiness, a time when near and dear ones get together to share their joys. Women, young girls all decked up with new shimmering gota clothes, bangles, mehndi and Cinderella sandals make this day extremely colorful. Men and young boys in their traditional kurtas are no way behind in the Eid fashion parade.
Lunches, dinners and open houses, where guests keep coming in all add up to the beauty of this day. Not only relatives and friends, but families of drivers, maids, post man, the dhol wala who was apparently heard only during the last few days of the sehri are a prominent part of the guest list of every house hold. Eidi is a major attraction for all.
Traditional gourmet comprising sewaiyan, sheer khurma, mithais, cakes and lots of other delicious eatables decorate the dining tables and trolleys and everyone keeps munching on these goodies the whole day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Faith of a Five Year Old

By: Sumaira Hasan

I have a daughter who has recently turned 5. Lately I have been observing her faith and the level of belief she has in her God - and it never fails to amaze me!!! To be so young, but to have such a firm belief!!! It's really the simplest of things - things that you and I would never even dream of bothering our God with - but with unwavering faith she turns to Him and asks whatever her heart desires, and believe it or not, He listens and fulfills her slightest whims. 

For example, one day she found it too hot - and having been told that we have no control over the weather, and only God does - she just turned up towards the sky and said "Allah mian, I don't like it when the sun is out and it's too hot. Please don't make it so hot."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Justice and Spirituality of Hazrat Ali

Ali bin Abi Talib, son in law and cousin of the Prophet, first Shia Imam and the fourth caliph of the Islamic community. He was described by the Prophet as the ‘gate’ to the 'city of knowledge'.
I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the gate; so whoever desires knowledge, let him enter the gate.
Imam Ali lived physically in the shadow of the Prophet and absorbed spiritually all that radiated from him. The intimacy of the relationship between the Prophet and Hazrat Ali is summed up in one of the sermons of the Imam:
When I was but a child he took me under his wing…I would follow him [Prophet] as a baby camel follows the footsteps of its mother. Every day he would raise up for me a sign of his noble character, commanding me to follow it. He would go each year into seclusion at [the mountain of] Hira. I saw him and nobody else saw him…I saw the light of revelation and the message, and I smelt the fragrance of prophecy…
Here are some of the words of wisdom, spirituality and justice, that Imam Ali left for us to remember and to practice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Starting Fresh

By: Shazia Yousuf

Mother Nature teaches so much about relationships, life, and its realities.
I had been a staunch believer of saving a plant and making every effort for it to bloom again; I had never believed in disposing off and starting fresh.
But I realized there are times when efforts don’t pay off and you cannot save a plant however much you try! The plant may live, but with decaying and infected leaves, this could even harm the other plants around. A rotting, withered plant gives a sad aura to the entire garden and may have a damaging effect overall.
All you are left with is to dispose off and start fresh – a bitter reality, but this is life!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pakistan - A Land With Great Potential

By: Shazia Yousuf

A land with great hidden potential, God has been extremely kind and generous.  A land so variegated and diverse, it has been bestowed with the Divine riches; its people, especially the youth being the greatest strength. The unity displayed during cricket matches or during natural calamities are examples of our strength!

The future of Pakistan is in the hands of the youth. What they sow is what the future shall reap. It is up to us to mould our future with education and enlightenment, to see a Pakistan, the way we wish to see.
Nothing that has been inflicted upon humanity, by humanity, is impossible for humanity to reverse. I encourage all of us to remember this always, and to carry this as a banner of a compassionate and caring people.
We have to fight against the elements that are making the roots weak. Face the realities with strength, know our weaknesses, and work on eradicating them with hard work, dedication, honesty and compassion.  
Meray des mein hein imkaan bohot, aas umeed arman bohot…"
[there are a lot of opportunities in my home land, a lot of hope and burning desires to do great things]
All we need is sincerity of thought and dedication in work. Let’s stand united and work towards a better Pakistan.
Pakistan Paindabad!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let’s Indulge In The Ramadan Deal

By: Shazia Yousuf

With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, we see the storming of billboards all over the city with mouth watering Iftari deals. “Mc Donald’s Fast and Feast”, “(W)holy Chicken (at Nando’s)”, “All you can eat deals” and tons of other “Buy one get one free” meal offers swarm the billboards all across. With the advent of Ramadan, the entire country seems to be invaded by these inviting meal deals that tempt you to go out and spend money as if there will be no more food offers after Ramadan, or people would stop eating once the month of Ramadan is over.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Umeed (Hope) - امید


An urdu poem in urdu script followed by roman english

فصیح خیری
دنیا میں اکثر لوگ ایسے ملے، جن کو اپنا اچھا - اچھا نہ لگا
ان کو سمجھایا تو ان کو میں سچا نہ لگا
زندگی کی دھوپ چھاؤں میں، رات دن کے گھٹتے بڑھتے، جانتے نہ جانتے۔۔۔
۔۔۔ سچ کو سچ نہ کہنے کی عادت سی ہو گئی ہے

لوگ پوچھتے ہیں۔۔۔ اس کا فائدہ؟
جواب دیتا ہوں۔۔۔ اپنی نظروں میں نہ صحیح، دنیا کی نظروں میں میں تو سچا ہو گیا
کہیں سنا تھا۔۔ یا پھر پڑھا تھا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ انتظار کا ٹہرنا ضروری ہو نہ ہو، انتظار
کرتے رہنا بہت ضروری ہے
امید چاہے کتنی ہئ نہ ممکنہ ہو، امید لگائے رکھنا۔۔۔۔ بہت ضروری ہے
سو انتظار کرتا ہوں، امید رکھتا ہوں۔۔۔ ایک ایسے وقت کا
جب میرا سچ، اور دنیا کا سچ۔۔۔۔ ایک ہو جائے
*---فصیح خیری--- *

Monday, August 1, 2011

The True Essence of Fasting

By: Shazia Yousuf

The true believer resembles a lute whose voice will not improve, unless its belly is empty.” [A Hadith attributed to Phophet Muhammad s.w].
For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is the month of obligatory fasting, during which one is required to abstain between dawn and sunset from eating and drinking.
The abstinence could go beyond the obligatory requirements to include anything that might stimulate the outer senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. This would mean anything such as violent images, strident sounds, gossip or slander, obnoxious or sweet smells, and so on.
It could even be extended to include the inner faculties, such as thought, memory, emotions and imagination, and all the attractions of the phenomenal world.