THE MAGIC WORDS! (http://www.dawn.com/news/1097511/the-magic-words)

The Magic Words!

       You come rushing into the kitchen where Mummy is busy preparing dinner and announce, “I am feeling hungry and want something to eat!” Mummy gives you a tired look but still she quickly fixes a sandwich for you and serves it to you with a glass of milk. You devour your snack in front of the television and declaring “I am going to do my home-work”, head to your room, leaving behind your empty plate and glass on the lounge table.

          Now look at the same situation with a better approach. You walk into the kitchen and quietly watch Mummy as she seems busy. Then you say politely, “I am sorry to disturb you Mummy, but I am feeling hungry. Please can I have a snack?” After finishing what your mother has served you, you take your plate to the kitchen sink (or better still, wash it), walk up to your mother and with a hug say, “Thank you Mummy, the sandwich was delicious”.

          Which of the above two scenarios would make your mother feel more appreciated and happy? Children we know that it is the duty of our parents to fulfill our needs, may they be small or big. Our parents are always out there to cater to our requirements. They strive hard keep us happy, comfortable and content but they also expect a polite and grateful attitude from us in return. At times, however unintentionally, we fail to acknowledge their efforts. Our attitude when we want something can either make them happy or frustrate them! We must understand that there is a very thin line between a demand and a request, but often we fail to feel the difference.

          A father of three says, “I do not like being taken for granted by my children, although I know very well that of all people in the world, they will turn to me for their requirements. Instead of starting a sentence with ‘I want’, I feel much better if they say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ after I have catered to their need”.

          When we say please, it shows respect and consideration for our parents’ thoughts and feelings. When we say thank you, it shows appreciation, respect, and love. It shows them that we really do care about the way they toil to help us. This rule also to applies to the other relations we are in, for example our siblings, teachers, peers and relatives.

          Often in school, we need help from a friend or class fellow. We may need to borrow a book which we forgot to keep in our bag, or require something as trivial as a pencil, eraser or a sharpener which we have misplaced. Sometimes a friend is better on a subject in which we are lagging behind and we want him to explain it to us in a free period.

          These favours may seem small to us if we comfortably take them for granted and do not consider it important to say please before asking for something and thank you after our need is met. But friends if this attitude persists, hard feelings set in, because it is a part of human nature that we want to be appreciated for any kind or helpful act we perform.

          Another magic word which most of us find hard to say is “Sorry”. Suppose somebody pushes you as you are descending the stairs after school is over. In trying to balance yourself, you bump into a friend just ahead of you and he falls. You may either mumble something like “It was not my fault” and move on, or you may stop and say “I am so sorry, but someone pushed me and I lost my balance”. You pull your friend back to his feet and help him gather his bag, water bottle and lunch box. Which approach do you think is correct and will make your friend feel better?

          Saying sorry for something we have done wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally, may be a bit hard on our ego as admitting a mistake is often difficult. But once we realize how important it is to apologize in a required situation and how far it goes in strengthening a relationship, it will be effortless to swallow our pride and the word will come easily to us.

          Friends we must understand that all relations are based on give and take! Children are usually on the receiving end, but by showing their gratitude when their requirements are met, asking for something in a polite manner and apologizing when they have done something wrong or have hurt someone, is their way of paying back the efforts of their elders.

       Sorry, please and thank you are often called words that work like magic! They make a person feel important, pacify tempers, strengthen bonds and at times mend strained relationships. Only a thoughtful, polite and grateful person uses them often. As human beings, we all want to feel appreciated, loved and respected. By treating the people around us in a proper manner, we show them the courtesy and respect they expect from us. In addition to this, these magic words also make us feel better about ourselves. It may be during inter-acting with our parents, siblings, teachers or our peers, but it is a part of good manners to say please, thank you and sorry when required.

 

WALK LIGHT!

 

          In the walk of life, often there are times when we are disappointed and perturbed because people do not act (or re-act) the way we had expected or wanted them to do! These situations always create negative feelings for those who have hurt or frustrated us. These people may be the relations we hold very dear to our hearts, may be our parents, siblings, spouses, children or close friends. Often in these painful moments, we are so overtaken by our emotions that we forget that we cannot make a person think the way we do, or make him see things from our perspective! And in our agitation we allow the deepest of relations to turn sour! We are so disturbed that we forget that nurturing and harboring depressing and negative emotions are more harmful for our own self than they are for the person we have adverse feelings for!

          We may be angry and aggravated because of the attitude of people who mean the world to us, but if we take a positive stance and think coolly stepping into their shoes, we may be able to see things from their point of view. To strengthen bonds with the ones we love, we must learn not to be quick in complaining. To sustain and deepen a relationship, angers have to be controlled and compromises have to be made! It may not be intentional, but sometimes in a very close bond, mountains are made out of molehills. By blowing a petty grudge out of proportion, we hurt ourselves as well as our loved ones unnecessarily!

          To improve the quality of our life (and also of those around us), it is often better to forgive and forget than to avenge and remember! When we forgive someone for the wrong he/she has done to us, a wound starts to heal and when we (try to) forget, the scar also goes away with the passage of time. Because in the long run, nurturing a grudge harms us deeply as it sucks away the happiness from our lives!

          Often the miseries we are complaining about are self inflicted. By keeping our expectations high or unreasonable, failing to create a balance between what we give out and what we want in return and refusing to let go of a misunderstanding or a trivial quarrel, we make our lives unhappy and also of those whom we claim to love dearly! So, instead of stifling our dear ones with our over-demanding love, we must learn to give them space. We must understand that we cannot force anyone to live up to our expectations and in the same way we shouldn’t allow them to make our lives miserable by enforcing their expectations on us! Live and let live is a motto which is a key to a content life.

          We must remember that life is not like a tailor-made dress which fits a person to perfection. We all love roses, but we can enjoy their beauty and fragrance only when we learn to endure the thorns which come with them. 

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        There is always a dark night before every bright morning! Only a positive approach can keep us happy, as life always comes with stark contrasts. Happiness and grief, smiles and tears, success and failures, fulfillments and frustrations all go hand in hand! We have to learn to take these opposites with a positive attitude.

          Envy, grudges, resentments, hatred and anger are all emotions which clutter our souls and deeply and adversely affect the quality of our lives. In the difficult times we are living in, life is full of tensions. But we can do away with some of these tensions if we shift our attitudes towards positivity. Why not get rid of all unnecessary baggage which makes travelling in the path of life more tedious? Let’s decide to shed the extra burden and walk light! Only then can we tread the walk of life with comfort and content, even if we are not blissfully happy!

 

 

 

READ, PONDER AND SPREAD THE MESSAGE (2)

This is a continuation of my Blog on the Holy Quran. I have decided to continue the message in a new blog! Please read and participate..Jazakallah!

The Quran which is the Holy Book of the Muslims, is compiled on the revelations that came to The Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). It is a book for all ages and all people and contains lesson of immense wisdom. It only needs a sensitive heart and a true insight to understand the lessons of The Quran!

In this blog, I shall add from time to time,the Quranic verses that inspire me and keep me moving ahead in life! All those who visit this blog, are cordially invited to join me. Mail or inbox me the Quranic verses you like most, you can also share incidents about how a particular verse helped you face the different faces of life. Insha Allah, I shall keep updating this blog, so please be sure to be a part of it!

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Here, I would like to clarify to my readers that although reading and pondering on the meanings of Quranic Verses often gives a new direction to our thoughts and if Allah so wills, sometimes completely transforms our lives, it should be strictly kept in mind that the Ajr o Sawaab (reward) of reciting the Holy Quran is only in its true ARABIC FORM! Please do not get carried away by declarations that the reward to read the translation of the Quran is the same as its revealed form i.e.Arabic!!

9-4-2014

Seek Allah’s help with patient perseverance and prayer; it is indeed hard, except for those who are humble.

Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him.

Sura Al-Baqarah Ayat no 45,46

27-03-2014

And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out,

And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine.

And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For

Allah will surely accomplish his purpose; verily, for all things has

Allah appointed a due proportion.

Sura At- Talaq

Ayat nos 2 (part) and 3

7-3-2014

Frightening description of the Day of Judgement!! May Allah have mercy on us!
At length, when there comes the Deafening Noise, 
That Day shall a man flee from his own brother, 
And from his mother and father, 
And from his wife and his children.
Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him unmindful to the others.
Some faces that Day will be beaming (with joy),
Laughing, rejoicing.
And other faces that Day will be dust-stained, 
Blackness will cover them,
Such will be the Rejecters of Allah, the doers of Iniquity (vice).
Sura Al-Abasa Ayat 33-42

An Obituary printed in the London Times…..

(This is something too good not be shared! With the passing away of Common Sense, we all are living as a confused and direction less generation!)

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:-
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm…
- Life isn’t always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
- by his parents, Truth and Trust,
- by his wife, Discretion,
- by his daughter, Responsibility,
- and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I’m A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Mujh se pehli si Mohabbat….. A masterpiece by the great poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz

 

Mujhse pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang
Maine samhja tha ke tu hai tou darakhshaan hai hayaat
Tera gham hai tou gham-e-dehar ka jhagraa kya hai?
Teri soorat se hai aalam mein bahaaron ko sabaat
Teri aankhon ke siwa duniya mein rakha kya hai?Tu jo mil jaaye tou taqdeer nigoon ho jaaye
Yun na tha main, na faqat chaaha tha yun ho jaaye
Aur bhi dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke siwa
Rahatein aur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwaa!

Anginat sadiyon ke taareek bahimaana talism
Resham-o-atlas-o-kamkhwaab mein bunwaaye hue
Jaa-ba-jaa bikte hue kucha-o-bazaar mein jism
Khaak mein luthre hue khoon mein nehlaaye hue
Jism nikle hue amraaz ke tunnooron se
Peep behti hui galte hue nasooron se

Laut jati hai idhar ko bhi nazar kya keeyje
Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn magar kya keejye?

Mujh se pehli si mohabbbat mere mehboon na maang!!!
Aur bhi dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke siwa
Raahatein aur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwa!!!
Mujhse pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang!

AMMI KI YAD MEIN!

Yasmin Elahi:

17 years have passed since that tragic day, but every year I feel tormented on the 10th of February! May Allah grant my parents the highest rank in Jannnat ul Firdaus Ameen

Originally posted on Yasmin Elahi:

10th February comes every year to refresh memories of Ammi,s sudden demise. The initial deep pain has over the years changed into a dull thud, embedded deep inside the heart….but memories of her charismatic personality, strong values and unending care are as fresh as ever! Rest in peace Ammi, you and your love lives on in our hearts. May Allah grant you the highest rank in Jannah! Ameen

Today I feel like reposting the nazm I wrote for you immediately after you left this mortal world. The pain, anguish and helplessness of those days have subsided over the years, but I miss you Ammi  and I love you.. more than I can express in words!

  Ae Maan teri khaamosh si hastee mere lye

Kisi neimat, kisi daulat se nahin thee kum!

Tere seene se jo uthti thi mumta ki mehak

Dil ke zakhmon ko wo marhum se nahin thi…

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PRIME TIME…an old article published in Young World

Aside

PRIME TIME!

         Mummy has been busy all the evening preparing a special dish for dinner. She has recently attended a friend’s party and got this recipe of a mouth-watering Italian dish from her hostess. Although she is feeling tired, she is looking forward to an excited response from her family, who she expects will praise her culinary art after enjoying the delicious dish.

          Dinner is laid out and everyone is called to the table. But what happens is disappointing for the mother who has toiled a good part of the evening preparing it! Daddy is busy on the computer and requests for his plate to be brought to him saying, “I have to reply urgently to an important e-mail and can not leave the computer. You never know when we will have a power breakdown”. The eldest son comes out of his room, and hurriedly piles the pasta and the gravy on his plate, pours the sauces and heads back to his room. Mummy protests, “Where are you going”? He replies, “Mummy I have to give a presentation in University tomorrow, and my friend has come to help me, so I will have dinner in my room”. The daughter is watching her favourite soap on the TV. “Mummy can I take my plate to the TV lounge”, she announces more than she seeks permission, and off she goes too from the dining table with her share of the meal. After the long and tiring preparation of the special dish, a frustrated Mummy is left on the table with her youngest one. She eyes him musing thoughtfully, “Maybe in a couple of years he too would find activities more interesting than the family get together at dinner”.

This is a normal scenario in nearly every household. Dinner time was once considered the most important time of the day, when the family got together each night. It was the time to rebond, relax, communicate and build a stronger and healthier relationship with each other, and the members actually looked forward to it, considering it the ‘prime time’ of the day. Jokes were cracked, memories were shared and favourite family anecdotes told and retold. Many times small problems were discussed and solved. Children learnt table manners from their elders. They also learnt to share responsibilities, as they helped out Mummy in laying the table and clearing it up. The elder ones took turns at washing or drying dishes. It was the time to care and share. But gradually all of us have become too busy in our personal activities to enjoy this family get together any more. We consider it a waste of time because we usually take a longer time at the table when we are having dinner together and we can hardly afford this extra time more than once or twice during the whole week.

The trend of running back to whatever we were doing before dinner was laid out, with our plates loaded with food, is a very unhealthy trend for family life. During the days we all have to follow our own routines. Daddy is busy with his job (or business) and the children have to attend their educational institutions, and most of them come home at different times. Mummy is busy in her daily household chores, and if she is a working mother, she has to manage her job as well. Having lunch at the same time is not possible. Every one of us takes his/her meal according to his/her own convenience.

Dinner is the time to be together, when, at the end of the day, all of us should suspend our personal activities and carve out an hour which is only meant for the family. While sharing a meal we are usually talking to each other, thus relaxing and building a better communication. The main advantage of having dinner together is that we all remain in touch, have knowledge of each other’s activities and problems, seek support and give out friendly advice to our family members. It gives us a chance to share our views on current issues and receive encouragement on our achievements. Dinner time is also the best time for making plans for up coming family events or for the weekends. It is also the time to share the events of the day, news and ideas and best of all, just to be together and enjoy each other’s company.  So, whether Mummy cooks something special for dinner, or it is just the good old Aloo Gosht for the main course, be sure to make dinner time the ‘Prime Time’ of the day.

 

 

 

 

THE BEGINNING OF THE END?

Yasmin Elahi:

The story is the same , only the names and faces have changed. January 2013 saw the heart breaking sit in of shattered protesters who defied the blood curdling weather and refused to bury their dead until their demands for justice were met. The story has been repated in January 2014, and the protest sit in has ended only a couple of hours back. Raja Parwez Ashraf has been replaced by Nawaz Sharif and the same tall promises have been made to convince the bereaved to bury their dead ones. They say History repeats itself, but I am hoping against hope that it does not do so this time. It is high time our government rises to the crying need of the hour and takes concrete and firm steps to stop the endless brutal killings going on and on and on!!!

Originally posted on Yasmin Elahi:

 

I grumble, I protest, I rave, I rant and yes, I am not ashamed to admit that in weak and emotional moments I cry too! But in the depth of my heart there is a sad and sinking feeling that all this is in vain! I can not do anything to change the way things are going in my beloved Homeland. And then I realize that my pen is my only tool! At least I can give a path to my emotions, share with my readers my pain, my anger and my frustration at the non stop downslide in nearly every aspect of life in Pakistan! Being a stay at home mother and grandmother and also a senior citizen, my ageing body and mind hampers me from any active participation in the state of affairs; this is the only small contribution I can make. It may be a drop…

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Nutrition: A Healthy Start (Article for Children…http://www.dawn.com/news/1081106/nutrition-a-healthy-start)

After he got a scolding from the Math teacher for making careless mistakes in a class test, Junaid asked his friend Raheel with admiration and a bit of envy. “How are you so attentive in the first period at school? Although I have a good night’s sleep, I still feel lazy and am unable to concentrate on the lesson! I was so well prepared for the test, but my mind just doesn’t seem to work in the mornings. It sounds strange but I feel better after the lunch break.”

“What do you have for breakfast?” Raheel asked.

“Who has time to eat so early in the morning? I would rather sleep 10 more minutes instead of wasting them on the dining table! My mother packs the breakfast for me and I have it during the lunch recess.”

“Now I know what your problem is! After a gap of eight to 10 hours since your last meal, your body is starved for energy and so you cannot concentrate on your lessons. Just make it your routine to wake up earlier and have a healthy breakfast before you come to school. In a few days you will know the difference!” Raheel tried to convince his friend.

Like Junaid, most of you school-going children want to skip breakfast, not realising that a healthy morning meal plays a vital role in your physical and mental development as well as your ability to learn. In the morning, there is roughly an interval of 10 to 12 hours since the last meal and the body craves for food. But because you are still feeling sleepy, or are in a haste to reach school in time, some of you overlook your body’s requirements and convince mum that taking a snack for the school recess is a good alternative to breakfast.

Usually mothers are very particular about their school-going children’s sleeping hours. They realise the importance of a good night’s sleep for better performance at school. But sometimes they can overlook the importance of a good and balanced diet, especially breakfast. Making sleepy and grumpy children eat their morning meal may be tiresome and time consuming, but if this healthy habit is developed from an early stage of life, children actually learn to enjoy their breakfast.

Friends, you are going through a stage of life when both your mind and body are growing. Doctors and nutritionists strongly recommend a wholesome meal in the morning. A few more minutes of sleep is not worth skipping your breakfast for, as you must realise that the time spent having breakfast is much more beneficial than the extra sleep.

Your energy level is low in the morning and your brain and body need to be recharged so that you are efficient at whatever you do during the day. You need a nutritious meal after you get up, so that you are more active and attentive at school. You must understand that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and what you eat in the morning greatly influences your performance the whole day ahead. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination.

Many other studies have proven without doubt that children who have a wholesome meal in the morning perform better in their studies than their peers who skip breakfast. They are more attentive in class and can concentrate on the lessons in a better way. A cheerful disposition and good social behaviour is also linked to a healthy start of the day!

On the contrary children who come to school without eating a proper morning meal complain of laziness, lack of concentration and usually have an irritable disposition.

Some overweight adults and children have the wrong notion that they will lose their extra weight if they do not have breakfast. But they do not know that when our body is famished, we often tend to overeat when we take our next meal, or in between meals we munch on snacks like chips and cookies, which are high in calories (but of little nutritional value), and in this manner put on pounds instead of losing them.

The correct rule is to have a morning meal which will keep you healthy and not add to your obesity. Fresh fruits, cereals, boiled egg, bran bread and a glass of skimmed milk can be a perfect morning meal for a person who wants to lose weight. On the contrary, those of you who are underweight can have fried egg, whole wheat bread, butter, full cream milk, cheese and fruits.

Friends, ask your mother to suggest a breakfast menu which is rich in whole grains, fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins. Before you go to bed, decide what you want for breakfast in the morning so that your mother can prepare it without any hassle. For her convenience, you can also make a weekly menu and put it up on the refrigerator or any other prominent place in the kitchen. You have a vast choice of healthy foods ranging from seasonal fruits, cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, honey and milk or milk products i.e. cheese, yoghurt, butter, etc. The nutrients your body gets from these will keep you alert, attentive and agile in school.

Avoid rich foods like cakes, pastries or paratha, halwa puri, etc., as these foods are high in calories but of little nutrient value and will only make you feel lazy, sleepy and dull, instead of giving your body the nutrients it requires to grow. Canned fruits or juices are not healthy as they have added preservatives and food colours, so avoid these too.

Give yourself a healthy start every morning! Not only will you get all the nutrients required for your growing body, developing brain and a normal and balanced weight, you will find a remarkable improvement in your performance at studies and sports and it will also make you a cheerful person who is popular among all!