Let’s accept it.

In many cities of Pakistan, people held candle-lit vigils for the victims of Peshawar school attack. Some also left flowers by their pictures. Although we are all grieved but a new debate started if we should condemn these highly un-Islamic practices of holding candle-lit vigils.

In another news, the christian community of Peshawar declared that they will not celebrate Christmas this year to show solidarity with their Muslim fellows. A social site posted if after this, Muslims still consider it ‘haraam’ to wish a christian ‘merry Christmas’ and many replied with rather disgust that it is after all haraam to wish a christian on Christmas.

One does not have to go too deep to understand that in saving the religion, we are giving up humanity. It’s all about priorities. Looking at our priorities, it can be safely said that we are the most senseless, dumb and idiotic group of people living on the face of earth right now. Infact, we might just be making history here.

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The way things are…

  In a candid discussion on a social site the topic under discussion was if men are superior to women in the context of Islam. I, personally believe that superiority of any kind, is always earned. It’s never simply bestowed on anyone. Not even in the form of one’s gender.
“I for one, do not believe in a God who does not see humans as equals, it goes against everything He says He is.”- was a comment later made by someone in person. I was asked to write a blog on this and to put the following information to clarify this topic further. I never thought I’d ever write on such a thing but it only seems right to do so.
 The Quran says: “You are members, one of another.” (3:195)
The following Hadith gives an apt description of the role of women: Men and women are two equal halves of a single unit. (Al Tirmizi)
The Quran says that men are in charge of, that is, they are ‘maintainers’ of women (4:34)-This leads to a common misconception that Islam gives a higher status to men than women. When did being maintainers become the same as being superior in status?
  An example given in Quran about the woman who was strong enough to rule was given with reference to the people of Sheba. They lived in Yemen. The famous dam of Marib made their country very prosperous and enabled it to attain a high degree of civilization. The Quran tells us that they were ruled by a woman (27:23) without disapproving of her rule. Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba was very wise and sagacious. It is an accepted principle with the commentators of the Quran that when the Quran reports something without any disapproval, that means that has been approved of. Thus the example of the Queen of Sheba having found mention in the Quran shows that rulership is not man’s monopoly. 
Of all the Qur’anic passages about men and women perhaps the one most often misunderstood or misused by both Muslims and non-Muslims is verse 34 of Surah an-Nisa. That verse is the one they all like painting wrong because it states, men are ‘qawwam’ over women. ‘Qawwam‘, they translate as superior. This made a huge confusion for a long time till it was cleared. The clarification was the addition of a bracket, which said (in responsibility) The verse begins with the statement that “men are qawwamun over women”. The root of the key word, qawwamun (pl. of qawwam), is qama which means “to stand or to make something stand or to establish something”. It is often used in the Holy Qur’an in the sense of establishing religion or prayer. A related word is qa’im which means “one who stands or makes something stand”. Qawwam is an intensive form of qa’im and has a sense of continuity in the action involved. So it means one who is continuously standing over something (as, for example, a guard or caretaker) or one who is continuously making something stand, i.e. is maintaining it. In the Qur’anic usage of qawwam and related words there is almost always present an idea of propriety. For example, aqamah of salah is not only praying but also praying properly. The function of qawwam is also understood in the Qur’an to be characterized by fairness. Thus in 4:134 and 5:8, the only other passages in the Qur’an where the word is used, the believers are told: “O you who believe! Be qawwamin with fairness…” “O you who believe! Be qawwamin for God as witnesses to fairness…” From the statement that God has favored men more than women in some ways we should not conclude, as many careless readers of the Qur’an do, that Islam views men superior to women. For this statement does not exclude the possibility that in some other ways women may be favored more than men. In the words of the Holy Qur’an: “The nobler among you in the sight of God is the more muttaqi (righteous) among you.”
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what shame

    I was in the library and after much grinding my brains I figured all I need in the world is a good cup of tea. In cafe as I was sitting with a friend, a cup of tea in hand, books opened in front of us and talking about everything which was not related to our course of study, in a while a girl came to us. She started asking about the upcoming test and which book is better to review certain topics etc. She was in our batch but we had never had a chance to talk to her much before. This, probably was the first real conversation I had with this girl, though I’ve seen her around many times. 

   She looked foreigner to me, so I asked if she was. Turned out she was from Afghanistan and must have gotten admission here on ‘foreigners’ seat’. We casually started asking her more questions just for the sake of conversation. When we asked her if she would do her house job here, she replied, “Let me get done with my studies and I won’t stay longer than two days here”. It was not the words she said but the tone which delivered the expression of disgust. To be honest, I was offended. Very much offended, indeed. But not just offended, surprised as well. So much, that I said nothing in response and neither did my friend. Followed by the awkward silence, she said her farewell and left us. I’m not proud of back biting, but when I came to senses again, I could not stop saying, “Once you are done with your studies, we won’t let you stay longer than two days”. My friend chipped in, ” We have given you the chance to study here, we definitely won’t pay you for the house job, so shoo away”. We had a good laugh and so the tension in the air was relieved.

  I’m not as much angry as I’m surprised to have people with no opportunities, but once you be good enough to them and welcome them as your own, they have the guts to say bad things about your place. I’m genuinely surprised that what are these people made of? It won’t be fair and definitely wrong to be a racist and of course, not all of them are full of crap, but its a shame. If I and my friend had not remained silent then, we would have proven ourselves to be racists yet our silence gave liberty to someone to despise us on our faces and we bear the ‘honor’ of ‘hospitality’.  Its a shame that we are so bound in moralities that its hard to decide where to draw the line.

shame

beauty of the beast

   There are no fangs, no claws. No horns, not a specter to be seen. Its called devil but who knows, its a beast within. It needs not the night, not in the shadows of apparitions does it crawl. Its whisper, soft as a swish of the sea. Its tread graceful and delicate, with the neck stiff and head high, held by the bones of pride and despise for what lies beneath. With the magic and trickery, it corrupts the soul and it exploits the piety. Fidelity it does not know and sincerity was never its host. Its justice is cruelty. Its command, brutality. Its art is greed. Deception, its trade. From the wine prohibited to the songs of rebellion, its the devil to be blamed. Devil and the children of devil, loathed by all, loved by none.

   I have not drunk the water of madness. I do not sing the songs of truth. I do not dance with my eyes open and still I see it. Its not the devil that i see in the mirror of reflection. Its the beast within. No words are worth the praise deserved by its beauty. Its wits when befriend the curiosity, leads me to forbidden fruits. I have come to respect it for its determination and dedication to the task its been given.

    The angels did not understand me but it was this who became my enemy. Its hatred for me has made me love it. It showed me my anger, my ego, my desires, my weaknesses. Its not lazy, it does not slack. Trapped me in its web and left for me no way but to bow and ask for help. The more it wounded my soul, the more became my thirst for pure. I question no more, why it was created, for i see it now. Its a beautiful creature. Perhaps the most, after the creator Himself.

   With the intensity of the nature of its existence, it makes me understand His love for me. No matter how many times I’m tested, I shall eat the forbidden fruit. Because, unless I do that, I shall not know why its forbidden. And if I do not realize why its forbidden, I shall never know the love of one Who warned me for my good. But He knew that I must eat it, and so created the devil. In the mirrors of reflection, I did not just see myself, I saw a beast within, the one whom I shall never kill.

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a question of faith

   I have come across this notion countless times, notion of blind faith. Faith itself is a belief that does not rest on logic or any material evidence so technically, it has to be blind. I must confess that I am a slave of reason. Reason that comes within the limited area of one’s knowledge and mine is too little. Given that, I could easily have developed faith in a lot of things, but I cannot. As a child, I had always wondered why am I not a Hindu, or a Christian or even atheist for that matter? I asked one of my teachers about it and she politely, yet with an element of warning told me not to question on faith. In different words, but that’s just what everybody told me, whom I had ever asked. I then realized that its actually a taboo in our society.

   But who could have repressed the inner turmoil? I am Muslim because I have been born to Muslim parents, but that for sure is not a reason enough. And then again, the talk of blind faith. If being a good follower of my religion makes me more righteous and if that requires blind faith, then how different am I from those who practice other religions with the same intensity of regard and again with their blind faiths? All religious preachers too in general discourage the questioning on faith. If the whole thing is so blind, are we all not lost a bit?

  Its not difficult to understand why I am what I am. But, it takes guts and a lot of self exploration to understand why I am not what I am not. I discarded the idea of blind faith as it led me no where. God would not have made me ‘the best of His creations’ by giving me brains and the ability to reason if it were such a useless thing.

  So I started questioning my inherited beliefs and also started exploring a little about other religions and atheism too. I would rather not go into the details of where I stand now and how I have come to be here, but it certainly has given me a lot more satisfaction. The idea that things could be reasoned and understood – a little if not completely – is actually a much better feeling than any blind faith giving me nothing but blind prayers.

   The simple question that ‘we are what we are, but why are we not what we are not, when we could be?’ has groomed my thoughts and approach towards life on many aspects other than religion. To be concise, it has opened on me the doors of countless possibilities.

   What is good for one is not necessarily the same for another. The way of questioning and reasoning worked for me but I must not say that it should be followed by any other. But then, how can you know, unless you try it?

Making History!

 Mankind-Hero-1-E

Protests, wars, peace settlements, revolutions,developments, technology, protests, wars and then again peace settlements and revolutions.
At every step, we believe we are making history. What we do not realize is the fact that we are simply following a set course of mere repetitions- happenings, that have to happen. Most of us name this phenomenon as nature.
History was made when one man killed the other and buried the dead for the first time on the face of earth. History was made when language was developed as a source of communication, when fire was invented as source of energy and religion came into being as a source of spirituality. The rest is nothing but repetition.
What we know of nature as a rule is that it balances all energies. It nullifies the net effect of everything. We know light because we know darkness. We know love because we know hatred. We can appreciate our friends not by their goodness alone but also by the mean-ness of our enemies. We can cherish life as much as we understand death. The nature has a way to cancel the net effect of everything by making the existence of the opposition of equal intensity a necessity. The same way as if one part of the world is a paradise of peace and progress, the other will have to face upheavals and destruction. Same way, if some people like me then existence of those who dislike me is obvious.
If we look at it scientifically, we know this as a law of physics that friction is required to initiate a movement but friction is also required to stop any movement. Thus, contrary to what we believe nature is, we find a point of unification. The idea of unification of forces called ‘unification theory’ which was later modified with additions to it as ‘grand unification theory’ has been presented and accepted by scientist community.
Thus, we know that nature is not exactly as we have been perceiving it. Universality and unification can be achieved. How possibly can we make another history by governing the nature to change its course- is the particular thing I don‘t know. If we reach the point of uniformity, it might result in perpetual motion, perpetual stability or perpetual stop and end of everything. Where exactly it might lead us, I cant say.

CMS_Higgs-event

(standard model-grand unified theory)

*images are not owned by the author.

Confused, Eh?

                                           when the thoughts roll

Much as I am interested in debates and discussions, I’m mostly contended watching people talk on different issues and then take home something to think about. About two months back, Rawalian Debating Order announced the topics for declamation for annual debating event.There was one topic which I found pretty interesting, ‘The Real Problem’.
There could be so much to talk about it yet nothing seemed to hit the nail since the topic was pretty vague. Nonetheless it was an important issue. So, after much brainstorming with a real good friend, Ammara Javaid, on what could be the real problem that is causing all the problems in the world……we two reached on two very different conclusions.
To me, the real problem in this world is the lack of confusion, lack of doubts. This concept was ingrained in my mind mainly by the saying of Bertrand Russell that, ”The trouble with the world is that fools are cock-sure and wise so full of doubts”. Once i started looking around, the idea seemed pretty much justified.
For an instance, if only Israel and Palestine get confused, the incidents like war on Ghaza strip will not take place again. If the Afghan mujahideens and the tax-payers of the west, who are actually paying for the cost of war-on-terror become confused that maybe, this war is not bringing them any closer to God or humanity then this continuous, worthless bloodshed can be stopped right now. If only India and Pakistan become confused regarding their conflicts then along with many other problems, the Kashmir problem will not remain such a problem, as it has been so for the past more than half a century.The problems of poverty, corruption and lack of opportunities are all the consequences of the problems present in the system in which we are living. System which is failing and needs reforms.If only the bureaucracy and army of Pakistan become confused regarding their conflicts, many reforms can be easily brought up in our system. If we are confused as a nation, we can make our political leaders end the blame games and practically do something for the country.
From the level as big as world wars, to the level of religious and sectarian violence, to the level as little as divorcing couples, it is the lack of confusion and lack of doubts that is the real problem. Einstein had said, ” we can never solve problems using the same thinking with which we first created them”. With alot of confusion, ‘conflicts’ can prove to be the source of bringing different groups together, strengthening their communication, and increasing their level of objectivity towards the goals. And then, together, they’ll find many new questions and face many new problems which they might have been ignoring before. But, life is not a problem- we call it ‘experience’.
Before giving declamation on this topic, I wasn’t much concerned about winning or losing. I just wanted to make atleast one person from the audience understand the idea i wanted to convey. I lost the competition. But after the declaration of results, a girl from the audience came to me and said she really liked my views. Technically I had lost, yet I was successful. This is a funny world we live in….or maybe not. I don’t know….I’m confused!!

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