WATER FOR LIFE

Water for life

Published about 16 hours ago

Steps for conservation of water are no more an option but vital for survival

Daddy was sombre as he was going through the newspaper at the breakfast table. Looking up at his children, 14-years-old Hammad, 10-years-old Asif and seven-years-old Humna, he asked, “Children do you have any idea how lucky you are? I am sure you are not even aware of your blessings.”

A bit surprised by this remark Hammad asked, “Why do you say so daddy?”

“Look at this,” he said as he turned the newspaper towards the kids.

“Who is this woman and why is she filling the dirty water in her bucket?” Asif couldn’t help asking.

With a rueful smile, daddy replied, “Children this is a woman from Tharparkar and she is filling water for her household use. I am sure you know that Thar is a big desert in Pakistan.”

“Ughh! It’s dirty water! And the camel is also drinking from the same pond! Daddy, why doesn’t this woman use water from the taps in her house?” Humna asked innocently.

“This is because she has no taps at home and has to walk a long distance in the hot sun to collect water, which she and her family will use for cooking, drinking and washing.”

Humna looked perplexed. Then her father drew her close and said, “Thar is a desert and people live there in huts made out of mud, straw or hay. So ‘facilities’ like taps or clean drinking water are not there. Not only this woman, in fact all the other people living there have no choice other than using unhygienic salty water. And they consider themselves lucky to have even that. Don’t you think you are lucky, as you have taps with ample running water through them and access to clean drinking water also!”

Daddy usually liked to discuss serious issues with the children in a light tone as he wanted to create awareness in them about everyday problems and how they could play a positive role in solving them.

The children listened with interest and empathy as daddy continued, “We are living in a crucial age when steps for conservation of water are no more an option but vital for survival. Water shortage is becoming a global problem due to increasing population, economic growth and climate changes.

“Today, clean drinking water is only around one per cent of the water reserves worldwide. It is a very precious commodity, but as we seldom face a scarcity of it in our lives, we cannot even imagine the sufferings of the millions of people who are facing an acute shortage of this vital resource. Do you know that 80 per cent of all illnesses and more than one-third deaths in developing countries are due to drinking unsafe water?”

“Daddy, as we have heavy rains in the monsoon and snowfall in the mountains in winter, I guess the situation is not so bad in Pakistan,” Hammad looked towards daddy as if seeking reassurance!

“I am sorry children, but the harsh truth is that the current water situation in Pakistan is far from satisfactory. Our water requirements are met basically by annual glacier melts and monsoon rains. With the change in the climate, an ever growing population, inefficient long-term planning and scarcity of reservoirs, much of this water is not used to yield maximum benefits.

“When there is excessive rain, this precious water either floods the plains and the villages, causing havoc, or is carried away unutilised to the sea. Most of the year, we have a drought-like situation when people do not have sufficient water for their basic needs. By international standards, Pakistan is considered a water-scarce country.”

“Do you think we can do anything to improve the situation?” Asif’s little face looked concerned.

“Ah, that was the point I was trying to bring to your attention! We all talk about change but we forget that in order to bring change and improve the situation in our country, we should also be part of the change. This rule stands for all problems we are facing today. I would like each one of you to give your suggestions on water conservation. Think about it and we will get back on this important topic after dinner.”

The children looked excited as they finished dinner. Little Humna, the youngest, wanted to speak first.

“I have been thinking all day, and have a few ideas. When I brush my teeth twice each day, I usually leave the tap running. But from now on, I will make it a point to turn off the tap after wetting my brush and turn it on only after I have brushed properly and have to rinse my mouth. Also, I will make my baths shorter. While I rub on the soap, I will not waste water by letting the shower run.”

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Daddy smiled, “Do you know my dear that we lose three gallons of water per minute if we keep the water running unnecessarily. We should also apply this rule to the numerous times we wash our hands daily. By taking these simple steps, a lot of water can be saved.”“What are your suggestions Hammad?” Daddy turned to the eldest.

“I usually wash the car and water the lawn. I have checked on internet that the evening is the best time for watering lawns as water is not lost to evaporation. From now on, when I wash the car, instead of the garden hose, I will use a couple of buckets of water and a mop, and I will water the garden after sunset. I have also resolved to use the shower only once a week and the rest of the days I will use a bucket of water for bathing. What right do I have to take leisurely showers when more than one billion people in the world do not even have access to safe drinking water!” he said in a sad tone.

Arif was the last to speak, “Daddy, I have thought of something very important. We often ignore leaking taps and faulty flushes which causes a lot of water to go waste. From now on, I will make it my duty to check every tap, shower and flush to ensure that not even a drop of precious water is wasted. Whenever there is rain, I shall put buckets and tubs outside to collect the rain water. We will later use it to wash the driveway or the muddy corridors.”

Mummy too joined the discussion and said in a guilty tone, “I have a confession to make. To make my work easier, I often let the hot water in the sink run while I scrub the dishes. To save time, I place frozen meat or poultry under the tap so that it thaws quickly. I also use the washing machine without a full load. From now on, I shall give up these practices as they waste a lot of water.”

“Great ideas!” Daddy said in a pleased tone. “Now I will tell you about some steps being taken for the conservation of water on the international level.

“The water we use in bathrooms, kitchen sinks, dishwashers and washing machines is called ‘grey water’, while the water we use in toilets is named “black water’. In many developed countries it is a common practice to collect grey water in storage tanks, treat it to remove impurities and solid wastes, and reuse in gardens and toilet flushes. But it is important to keep in mind that any such system for collecting and reusing this water should be properly installed and well-maintained. Also, remember that grey water should never be used for cooking, bathing and drinking as it can be dangerous for health.”

“Other methods used globally for conservation of water are collecting rain water in artificial lakes or in small dams. This water is later used for irrigation, power generation or channelled through canals to dry areas.”

Winding up the discussion, Daddy said, “Children, we could talk on this topic all night, but you have school tomorrow. But before you go to your rooms, I would like to tell you one more thing. The teachings of Islam also stress on the conservation of water. In a well-known Hadith related in Ibn-e-Majah, our beloved Prophet (PBUH) stressed on ‘using water economically even if a person is on the bank of a flowing stream’.”

Sentiments of a friend on 14th August 2014

‎کیسا جشن ِ آزادی؟ آج ہم مناتے ہیں کیسا جشن ِ آزادی اک طرف ہے ہنگامہ، اک طرف ہے بربادی سرخ ہے زمیں اپنی، خوں سے بے گناہوں کے کیسی ناروا چنُری ماں کو اپنی پہنا دی ہم سے دشمنی تھی یا باغباں کی کوتاہی جس پہ آشیانہ تھا  ، ہر وہ شاخ کٹوا دی ہات پر دھرے ہم ہات، کوستے ہیں قسمت کو بے عمل روش نے یوں مشکل اور بڑھوا دی اس قدر ہے مایوسی ایسی بے یقینی ہے گویا اپنے کاندھوں پر لاش اپنی اُٹھوا دی اب بھی وقت ہے یارو، اب بھی کچھ نہیں بگڑا پاک سرزمیں کو پھر کردیں شاد آبادی مل کے اُٹھ کھڑے ہوں ہم، اتحاد اپنا لیں نظم اور یقیں کو ہم کر لیں رہنما ہادی مل کے بار اُٹھوائیں قوم کی امانت کا روح ِ قائد ِ اعظم ہو کبھی نہ فریادی خواب ِ شاعر ِ مشرق پھر سے کردیں زندہ ہم اور پھر منائیں ہم مل کے جشن ِ آزادی ۔۔ احمد صفی 14 اگست 2014‎

کیسا جشن ِ آزادی؟

آج ہم مناتے ہیں کیسا جشن ِ آزادی
اک طرف ہے ہنگامہ، اک طرف ہے بربادی
سرخ ہے زمیں اپنی، خوں سے بے گناہوں کے
کیسی ناروا چنُری ماں کو اپنی پہنا دی
ہم سے دشمنی تھی یا باغباں کی کوتاہی
جس پہ آشیانہ تھا ، ہر وہ شاخ کٹوا دی
ہات پر دھرے ہم ہات، کوستے ہیں قسمت کو
بے عمل روش نے یوں مشکل اور بڑھوا دی
اس قدر ہے مایوسی ایسی بے یقینی ہے
گویا اپنے کاندھوں پر لاش اپنی اُٹھوا دی
اب بھی وقت ہے یارو، اب بھی کچھ نہیں بگڑا
پاک سرزمیں کو پھر کردیں شاد آبادی
مل کے اُٹھ کھڑے ہوں ہم، اتحاد اپنا لیں
نظم اور یقیں کو ہم کر لیں رہنما ہادی
مل کے بار اُٹھوائیں قوم کی امانت کا
روح ِ قائد ِ اعظم ہو کبھی نہ فریادی
خواب ِ شاعر ِ مشرق پھر سے کردیں زندہ ہم
اور پھر منائیں ہم مل کے جشن ِ آزادی

۔۔ احمد صفی
14 اگست 2014

Allah will make an exit for whoever fears His displeasure…

Yasmin Elahi:

This ayat is so consoling in troubled times!! Subhanallah!

Originally posted on Islamic Reflections:

If Allah pushes you to the edge of difficulty, be patient and trust in Him fully because one of two good things can happen; either He will catch you when you fall or He’ll teach you how to fly.

There is always a way out, as Allah said, “Allah will make an exit for whoever fears His displeasure, and provide for him from where he would least expect it.” (Qur’aan, 65:3)

Dr. Bilal Philips

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Don’t be selfish in prayer

Originally posted on Islamic Reflections:

It is narrated from Abu Darda that the Prophet (pbuh) said,

‘The Dua of a person for his Muslim brother in his absence will be answered. At his head there is an angel, and every time he prays for him for something good, the angel who has been appointed to be with him, says, ‘Ameen, may you have likewise.’

[Saheeh Muslim and Sunan Ibn Majah]

Do not be selfish in prayer

Do not be selfish in prayer

Source: Dr Bilal Philips

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Confessions of a Blogger

          At last I have resigned to the fact that I will never make a good blogger! Nearly three years into blogging and the number of blogs much less than what I should have posted, I have realized this sad fact (sad for me, at least!). When it all started, I was thrilled at the prospect of writing according to my whims. My mind seemed to be bursting with ideas.

              Hopefully contemplating that I would blog at least once in a week or more if possible, I started working on my blog site with a very optimistic note. But after the initial few months passed, reality began to set in! Blogging was not made for slow writers like me! It is for people who react instantly on an event, a thought, a piece of news or even on a random comment made by someone they have met. The flood of thoughts, the inspiring moments should be captured instantly!

          After accepting and resigning to this reality, I decided to try and summarize the reasons why I consider myself a failure at blogging and also share my views with my scant readers!

          I am a lazy writer! Although ideas come in a flash, I fail to be as quick to proceed to my computer or at least scribble a few lines in my sketch diary. Incidents, events, a conversation and sometimes even a fleeting thought or memory, opens the floodway to my imagination and motivate me to write, but sadly more often than not, I fail to grasp those precious (and productive) moments. I usually plan to write later, when I will have more time, or when I will further recollect and organize these thoughts or collect the required info about a particular topic, but most of the times the urge to write slows down. The topic doesn’t seem to be as interesting or worthwhile writing about after the heat of the moment has passed. And this sluggish attitude of mine usually nips the inspiring moment in the bud!

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          A good blogger should be more committed to his/ her writings; just leaving aside anything he/she is doing and give in to the urge to write whenever that great moment strikes. It may mean jumping out of bed in the wee hours of the night or abandoning a pre planned activity. And I am sure, those who blog regularly, even daily, will understand what I mean because they must have done this umpteen times, as they keep their writings on the top of their priority list.

          My musings may lead my readers to the opinion that I am a lazy person. But believe me, this is not so! Though age and every passing year takes its toll on my health, I am physically quite active for my sixty plus years. My slow approach to my writings is also because basically I am a family person! Being a full time home maker since the years I was brimming with youth, by nature I am more a mother and a grandmother than a writer!

         Living in a joint family with three married sons, activities with my family take up most of my time. And my grandchildren are the greatest blessing I could have asked for in my life. Alhumdulillah for that! With the eldest being an A level student and the youngest recently crossed his first birthday; they are truly a source of sheer joy for me.

          Caring for the little ones and babysitting them when their mothers are busy in the more hectic house work are the activities which lap up a considerable amount of my time. But these activities are more satisfying for me than writing. And the weekly visits of my only daughter and her four children are something I look forward to every week and thoroughly enjoy.

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        A wail of a toddler who has hurt himself after a fall, or just crying for attention, the bedtime stories the school going kids want me to tell them before they sleep or a demand from a little one for a favorite snack (which he/she doesn’t dare to ask Mom) easily pulls me away from the computer even if I am in a mood to write! Often time spent with my grandchildren is more precious for me than writing something new. So, I am content to be a part time writer as for me (like most women in our part of the world) family always comes first!

         Another reason why I am not getting to blog regularly is my addiction to the internet. Although the initial love affair with Face Book has fizzled out with time and I am not very active and regular at Twitters, talking with my sisters who live abroad on Viber or Skype, or exchanging messages with friends and family on Whatsapp keeps me pre occupied for a good part of the day (which I could have utilized for my writings). 

     I may not make a good blogger, still I have no intention of giving up on my writings (I mean totally). Writing has become an integral part of my life, a source of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment for me! Even if I do not post something regularly, the urge to write persists.  Hopefully my confession will ease the nagging frustration I feel at times. Because instead of beating about the bush and doling out lame excuses, the least favor I can do to myself and to the modest number of my readers and followers is to be honest and truthful in admitting my shortcomings!

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.