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])