Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Made My Day

By: Sumaira Hasan

Over the weekend, I went for my regular groceries at a nearby Tesco. At the till, I had to wait a while as the customer before me took ages to come back with an item she wanted to replace.

Monday, November 19, 2012


By: Zahoor ul Islam

Maqtal Hussein saja howa hai abhi talak,
Qatal abhi bhe jari hai insaf ka,
Jo samajthae thae kae zulmat ka sooraj doob giya,
Unka khawab abhi bhi hai buss aik khawab sa,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sacrifice - The True Essence of Eid-Ul-Azha

By: Shazia Yousuf

“In keeping with Hazrat Ibrahim’s submission to the Divine command to slaughter his son Ismail, on the day after Hajj, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid, highlighting Allah’s mercy towards that supreme sacrifice by replacing Ismail with a sheep. It is a sacrifice not of a goat, or a cow or a camel but of need, love, desire, habit, greed and a thousand other obstacles in the way of submitting to truth. It represented the death of ego, whereas Muslims merely slaughtered an animal.” Abdul Sattar Edhi.
May this Eid ul Azha be the source of true joy attained by the sacrifice of ego, greed, desire, love and all obstacles that prevent us from submitting completely to the Divine Being. We must remember:
"It is not their meat, nor their blood, that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him….And give good tidings [O’ Prophet], to all who do acts of righteousness.” (Al Quran, The Pilgrimage, 22:37)
May we all be rightly guided.
Eid ul Azha Mubarak!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Perspective - Are Marriages Really Made in Heaven?

By: Shazia Yousuf

Rishtay asmano pe bantay hein” (Marriages are made in heaven).
Most of the elderly aunties are heard chanting this. A lot of us actually believe in this too. In fact, marriages don’t just happen! At the back of the mind, everyone is a believer of the fact that all marriages that take place and those that eventually work out well have something to do with the cupid up there in the heaven. Anyone just doesn’t get married to anyone. There is believed to be some Divine energy associated with marriages.
Getting married was easier in the past. Maybe cupid was more efficient back then. In eastern society marriages were mostly arranged. Parents would take the decision first, ask for the children’s wish and consent later and close the deal. The children mostly had to agree since they usually had no other option available but to say yes. Love marriages also happened. But love relationships were also limited to just seeing, liking and concluding that yes this is Love! Decision making was easier. Marriages worked out, people lived happily ever after too, or at least they tried to. Mostly, people married first and love blossomed eventually. Even if it didn’t, marriages still survived, maybe due to closely knit family structures and family pressures. Match making was simple, yet many a times, the matches were a total mismatch! The marriages still had to work.

Friday, September 21, 2012

While My Country Burns in Ishq-e-Rasool

By: Shazia Yousuf
Ever since the news of the objectionable video on Prophet Muhammad (sm) has spread amongst the Muslims, there has been a lot of anger and rage throughout the Muslim world. Anger, sadness, and resentment are the obviously expected reactions when someone who is kept in high esteem and is highly loved is ridiculed and mocked.
In response to this video, there have been protests, rallies and demonstrations throughout the world to take this video off the internet. Muslims of Saudia, Kuwait and UAE have not shown any reaction to this. Their leadership has however spoken directly to the US authorities, conveying their grief and concern over the obnoxious film.
There have been protests outside the US embassies all over the world including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, Paris and Australia.
Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of Australia's largest city, some throwing rocks and bottles in clashes with police. Some carried placards reading ‘Behead all those who insult the Prophet’”.
This text written on placards in Australia shocked me. I always thought that the violent reaction in our part of the world was a result of lack of education and enlightenment. But I am sure Muslims in Australia must definitely be more educated compared to people in countries like ours.
Today, in Pakistan, we are observing “Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool”, a day to express our love for our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAWW. Prominent buildings are burning, protestors pelting stones, there is fire on streets. Looking at the news it seems we are heading back to the dark ages (dour-e-jahalat). Or maybe we never came out of the dark ages in the first place.
If we were Muslims not just by birth but if we actually practiced Islam, we would be the most patient, most tolerant race on the face of the earth. We have been taught to “exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance” (Quran [Al-Asr, 103:3])

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Court Marriage – Causes and Effects

By: Advocate Sadia Tariq

Searching for “Prince Charming” is the dream of every young girl. But, the criteria of choosing their Prince these days are quite divergent from their parents’ choice!
Immature inexperienced girls are often charmed by the physical appearance of the guys who impress girls by their trendy outfits, cool hair styles, latest perfumes and their obsessive conversations. These are enough to impress and trap simple girls coming from average backgrounds.
Guys lure girls for various motives which include acquiring wealth in the form of dowry and more at later stages, using the girls in different negative activities; human-trafficking is one of them. The girls are often trapped and fall prey in the name of love and presumptions of baseless promises.
To escape from the suffocating atmosphere at home, dating under burqas is now quite common. These dates eventually end up with court marriage without the parents’ wishes and consent.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There’s Still a Longing To Run Free.

By: Tasmiyah Iqbal

There’s still a longing to run free.

To conquer. To achieve.
To get to the top of the ladder.
To get the best out of myself.
To be able to be right.
To be able to choose the right.

There’s still a longing to run free.

To expand my horizon.
To break from these clutches.
To taste each and every drop of life.
To laugh till I get tears in my eyes.
To love till I die.
To know what is love, to know what is life.

And there’s still a longing to run free.

To explore. To evolve. To nurture.
To touch each and every corner of the world.
To smell all the roses.
To dance in the rain.
To soar high above the sky.
To shout on top of my lungs.

There’s still a longing to run free.

To show the world that I’m not wrong.
To show the world that I can move the oceans.
To actually move the oceans.
To show the world that I care.
To be the change that we all want.

And there’s still a longing to run free.
To be crazy and lame.
And insane.
To make you laugh.
To make you smile.
To cheer you up.
To throw colours everywhere I go.

And there’s still a longing to run free.

To escape from my secret world.
To be the person that I am.
To puke all the guilt away.
To find a better day.

There’s still a longing to run free.

Originally published at: http://tasmay.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/theres-still-a-longingto-run-free/

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Process of Never Giving Up on Your Dreams

By: Tasmiyah Iqbal

The process of never giving up on your dreams is simple: Just keep going. Don't stop believing in yourself.

There comes a time in your life when giving up seems easier than trying harder. You find it hard to cope up with everything. Perhaps the competition is tough or it's not a great time for your work to survive. You tell yourself, Ok...maybe, this isn't what I'm supposed to do so that's why I'm having trouble dealing with it. Or maybe you tell yourself that, hey! I'm not destined to do this which is why I keep on failing. And then you give up. You pack your bags and leave. You find it easier to do that.

But imagine what could have happened if you hadn't escaped? Hadn't given up? Had tried a little harder? Pushed your limits a bit further? Dreamed bigger than you had dreamed before? Or simply, had just kept going?

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Khula" - A Stigma or a Relief?

By: Sadia Tariq
The author is an advocate and marriage counsellor.

Haan Bibi kiya soocha aap ne, rehna hai apne mian ke saath ya nahe?
(So what have you decided, do you wish to live with your husband or not?)
This is a typical question a Judge asks a woman, who files a case in the court for obtaining “khula” (divorce initiated by a female). The usual reply from most of the women is:

No Sir, I don’t want to live with my husband anymore.
The Judge then announces the dissolution of the marriage by way of khula between the couple. And it adds up as one more entry into my list of disposal cases.

As cases add on to my list, they bring a lot of questions to my mind. Will this woman miss her good memorable time spent with her ex-husband? Or will she just remember those bad phases, on grounds of which, she applied for khula? What will this woman now do? How will she tackle her life? How will she now plan for her future?
Handling such cases on a daily basis, the major question that arises in mind is:

Is taking khula considered as a stigma or a relief in our society?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Gift That I Want On This Mother’s Day

By: Shazia Yousuf

I wish you not to show me your love,
In just odd forms and ways,
I wish you not to shower your love,
With just paper cards, chocolates or bouquets,
I cherish your love,
In those sweet little moments,
When I’m boiling with wrath,
And you make me smile,
When I ruin the French toast,
And you say it’s “kind of nice”,
When you feel sad, when I am sad,
When you try to walk,
The path to which I guide,
But you make me proud,
When you choose your path,
When you win the race,
When you lose the race yet you win the race,
By standing strong,
Against all storms,
When I see you strong,
When I see you tall,
That’s when I feel,
I do not need,
Not one Mother’s day,
Every moment that you shine,
For me is my prize!

Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How To Lose Belly Fat - A Simple Guide

By: Shazia Yousuf

Do you have that spare tyre around your belly that you so want to get rid of? Who doesn’t! But the only problem is, acquiring a tyre is a lot easier than losing it.

I have seen people go on diets, do workouts and aerobics, and shed pounds with a great deal of effort. But as soon as they commit one sin, just one simple indulgence in that “death by chocolate”, or just a handful of fries (ok maybe a little bit of munching on that juicy burger too), and the scale goes wild!

A simple workable solution for “How to lose belly fat” is what most of us are looking for. Reading up on this, I came up with a lot of tips which just required you to undergo a little bit of habit or a routine change, and which could do wonders.

So here are some of those tips that I thought would be a great share for all of you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


By: Shazia Yousuf

In a garden with lovely vibrant blossoms and fresh crisp green vegetation, weeds are inevitable. A gardener has to be vigilant, always on the lookout for them; de-weeding every now and then, or else the plants in the garden would grow weak and wilt.

But some of the weeds are so beautiful; you may not even want to pluck them off. Looking at the beauty of these naturally growing plants, it makes me wonder, who are we to mercilessly pull the weeds out?

Weeds are also a part of nature, essentially God’s creation. Nothing exists without a reason; nothing comes into being on its own. So, are we out of our selfish desires, deciding on our own to put an end to a life that is actually meant to live on?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day – Mobilize The Earth Towards “A Billion Acts of Green”

By: Shazia Yousuf

April 22, 2012 will be the 42nd anniversary of the Earth Day. Last year’s theme was “A Billion Acts of Green” and the goal was to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before the global Earth Summit 2012 in Rio.

This year, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection and contribute towards "A Billion Acts of Green".

We may contribute to a greener earth, by doing at least one act of conservation in order to make those “billion acts of green” possible.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Beast

By: Shazia Yousuf
(Extracted from the diary of my late father Muhammad Haris)

When the time of the resurrection approaches [the sinners], We shall bring forth ‘The Beast’, [the animal, the Satan within them], which will rise [with them] from the earth to speak [and confront them], because they had no faith in Our Revelations.” (Al Quran 27:82)
“Beast from the earth” has not been clarified convincingly by anyone. It is not yet understood what kind of creature it would be, whether one or several, or would it be an animal, insect, monster or a human being. Various scholars have interpreted this in different ways.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


By: Shazia Yousuf 

Roots of a tree are not visible, what is seen by the world are the shoots, leaves, flowers and fruits that the tree bears. The health and the growth of a tree depends a lot on the roots, but it is not visible to the world, its apparent significance is barely any.

So is the case with humans. Your ancestors may have been humans of great substance, but that in no way makes you equally great. Your roots may mean a lot in who you are, but what matters more is the fruits of kindness, compassion, selflessness, courtesy, forbearance that you reap.

"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." - Saint Basil


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Road Trip to Gawadar

By: Shazia Yousuf

My friends and I had been craving for a road trip adventure. Not being able to take too many days off from work; we had to come up with some place not too far from Karachi, yet worth the experience.

After some planning and research, we discovered that Pearl Continental Hotel at Gawadar popularly known as Zevar PC Gawadar, was offering rooms at fairly cheap rates and that it had water sports facility available. Gawadar is a small sea port in the province of Baluchistan at a distance of about 632 km from Karachi towards the southwestern Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan.
Hence we decided on taking a road trip to Gawadar; the main attraction for us was jet skiing at the beach.
We were a gang of sixteen people, so we hired a thirty two seater Toyota Hiace van, booked rooms for a night at the Zevar PC Gawadar, and set out on the much awaited adventure.

We started off early in the morning. The drive is supposed to be 8 hr long in an SUV, but it took us around 12 hours.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wisdom Corner - Points To Ponder : Apparent Vs Real

From the diary of Muhammad Haris

        • Apparent loss may be real gain.
        • Apparent cruelty may be real mercy.
        • Returning good for evil may really be justice not generosity.
        • Apparent failure may be real gain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thought of the week - Love Is In The Air

“Love is in the air…” since it’s the Valentine’s Day. Youngsters anxiously wait for this day to let their sweethearts know how much they care.
But The Divine being doesn’t wait for any special day for the manifestation of His Love and bounty. We must understand how sacred love is. It isn’t something that can be bought off the shelf and distributed. Love is also not something reserved for just a “sweetheart”.
Expression of love should also not be reserved for one special day. We shouldn’t wait to tell those special people in our lives how much we care. Love needs expression, at every moment, every day. Your loved ones deserve it not only on one particular day. And who has seen tomorrow. So be generous; it’s never too late. Give your love away; it only multiplies.
Let’s celebrate love and leave your mark on the lives you touch!

Wisdom Corner - Love: The Mystic Way

By: Muhammad Haris

Love in the words of Ghazali (R.A) is the dynamic force of direct contemplation of Divine attributes manifest under the aspect of limitations in the universe – the phenomenal world of multi forms and colours. Love can prove an incentive for kindling the fire in the soul in order that the Divine Endowments are released within, igniting the power, the ability and passion to understand, affirm, and appreciate the Beauty of Good Work.
Rumi speaks about ardent Love, quoting Hassan of Basra (728 AD) regarding God: 

When My servant devotes himself to praise and recollection of ME and takes delight in it, he loves Me and I love him” 

[Ashikani (he loves me) wa (and) ashiktuhu (I love him)].

Soul's Reflections - Love

By: Shazia Yousuf

Love is, when a father gets angry at his daughter for forgetting to tell him that she’ll be late from work. He is not angry because she did not inform him, but because he is concerned for her out of love.
Love is, when a wife is upset with the husband when he forgets to take the lunch to work, that was so lovingly prepared for him in the morning. Not because she had to get up and go through the pains of preparing it, but because she is concerned about the health and the well being.

Love is, when a poor maid beats up her daughter for not working as hard as she does because she loves her and wants her to learn to earn her own living and not depend on anyone once she’s gone.

Love is, when a mother takes away a toy from the kids fighting over it. She’s doing it not to punish them, but out of love for both the children. She wants them to learn to share and care and to grow up learning to compromise.
I felt loved whenever I got that sweet reminder to have “a cup of milk” whenever I had that appetite loss.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tears - A Divine Gift

By: Shazia Yousuf

I prayed. I prayed even harder as the days passed. Day and night I kept asking Him, pleading my case, beckoning Him to bestow His mercy and make things happen for me. I was sure what I was asking for, was what I definitely wanted. So I went on with my prayer, each night, each day.

Days passed, The Divine Being didn’t seem to pay heed to my humble requests. And then I started having doubts. Was I being too demanding? I wondered if I really deserved what I desired. Was I worthy of less or was I worthy of more, or did I deserve this or did I deserve that? I was now extremely confused.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)

By: Shazia Yousuf

The last sermon by Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) was the final message for the entire mankind. It was a beautiful and a very comprehensive farewell speech that summarized the duties and obligations of a good Muslim and a good human being. This sermon needs to be recalled over and over again.

The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)
[A summary read by Cat Stevens]

Today, we seem to have digressed from the essence of The Divine Message. This has lead to the misfortune and adversity that we are facing. We must remember the essence of this message and make it a part of our lives.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Man Has Been Created in a State of Distress

By: Shazia Yousuf

I was totally horrified when I read the article Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s bodypublished in The News. Reading about the brutal murder of Shamsul Anwar’s son by some terrorists, tore me apart. Shamsul Anwar according to that article was not an ordinary person, but a hero who risked his own life to save the lives of hundreds of people in a mosque by single handedly taking care of the terrorists who were planting a bomb in the mosque. These same terrorists, later on took revenge by murdering his eldest son, torturing the younger son, and now kidnapping his daughter.
The only thought that kept haunting me was that this world is not at all a safe place any more, where human life is a cheap commodity, which anyone could take easily, and there is no one to stop this barbarism! Even in jungle, rules prevail. But here, we observe “azadi” to the fullest. On the other hand, it was also great to see how people quickly started responding to the call for help to collect ransom money for Shamsul Anwar’s daughter and donations started pouring in even from abroad. I was anxious, and worried, waiting to find out the end result of the efforts.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Spirit of Sacrifice Needs To Be Revived

By: Sadaf Chaudhry

Great souls are heavenly. They possess all spiritual ingredients in equal proportions. They are well built characters with great moral strength; a symbol of valorous temperament, honour, integrity and fortitude. These souls are passionate about moral courage to the extent that they portray readiness to face danger and to make brave attempt for their noble ambition. For them life without their noble aspiration is useless. This courage and passion makes them sacrifice all they have. How well has the poet said complementing my words:
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own!

Courage and passion work together to engender this approach of sacrifice. Countless sacrifices were made in Islamic history by great enduring souls.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year - Happy New You!

By: Shazia Yousuf

A new sunrise, a new dawn, a new beginning, a fresh start, a new year…
The Sun rises every day, and it sets with the hope of shining on a better world, better people when it rises again the next morning. Sets again but rises…yet again, each day… every single day, with new hope, same shimmer, not decreasing in strength nor losing even a single ray of glimmer.