BORN TO SUCCEED (My article in Young World..11th May, 2015)

http://epaper.dawn.com/DetailNews.php?StoryText=11_04_2015_371_003

BORN TO SUCCEED!

          All of us want to do something extraordinary in life. We wish to achieve something amazing and want our efforts to be acclaimed by the world. We work hard and put in all our abilities, both physical and mental; to attain the goals we have set for ourselves in life; to prove our mettle to the world. But there are people not as lucky as us! They also have their dreams, goals and aspirations, but severe physical or mental handicaps make the task of pursuing this task more daunting.

Friends, I would like to share with you details about some gifted people, disabled but never dispirited! These are people who won world-wide acclaim in spite of being severely handicapped. With the help of their sheer determination, indomitable spirit and hard work, they have risen to world-wide fame. By refusing to surrender to their limitations, these people contributed positively to the world, making it a better place to live in and proving that they were born to succeed!

Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Few of us know that the famous inventor Thomas Edison had a learning disability in his early life and was not able to read till he was twelve! Due to a bout of scarlet fever and recurring ear infections, he developed hearing problems at a young age. This problem further aggravated with time, leaving him nearly deaf. But his disability did not stop Edison from hard work and his iron will earned him world wide acclaim.

Edison has more than 1,000 patents to his credit. When we talk about the electric bulb, his name comes to our mind instantly. The telegraph system and the phonograph are two of his famous inventions which changed the world of communication. He also made significant contribution in improving the X-Ray technology, storage batteries and motion pictures. Girls will be interested to learn that he invented the world’s first talking doll.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Renowned Mathematician/Physicist, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, had a learning disability and did not speak until age 3. He had a very difficult time doing Maths in school and had a weak memory. It was also very hard for him to express himself through writing. It is said that he did most of his experiment in his head, instead of a proper laboratory.

Einstein made many contributions to the field of theoretical physics and completely changed the way we understand the behavior of things as basic as light, gravity, and time.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

FDR, as he is fondly called by the Americans, is one of the most inspiring famous people of the world who had a major physical disability.  Roosevelt was the president of USA who helped and guided the nation successfully during the World War II. Unfortunately, earlier in his political career, he contracted polio after drinking contaminated water at a campground. He was paralyzed from the waist downwards, but for several years, his illness was kept secret from the nation.  During his entire tenure, he used a wheel chair and worked only from his office. But his disability did not affect his services to the USA, which he served in a memorable way!

Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Helen Keller, an American author, political activist and lecturer is a household name worldwide. Losing her abilities to speak, see and hear after an illness when she was only 18months old, she overcame the adversities of her life to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians. Due credit must be given to her teacher Annie Sullivan, whose untiring efforts groomed her abilities to communicate in the sign language.

The first deaf/ blind/ mute person to get a Bachelors degree in Arts, Keller is famous for her campaigns for workers’ rights, for women’s right to vote in elections and many other progressive causes. She was outspoken in her views against wars. With Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller travelled to more than 39 countries and was especially popular among the Japanese

Keller’s disability in no way affected her social interactions. She met every US president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon. B. Johnson and was friends to famous personalities like Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. She received many awards during her lifetime to acknowledge her great accomplishments.

Two famous Helen Keller quotes are,

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

2… “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart.

Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)

The man who is better known by children as the ‘Superman’, Christopher Reeve attained fame due to his acting achievements. He was an American actor, film director, author and activist. In 1995, he was thrown off his horse while participating in a horse riding competition and was severely disabled. He needed a wheel chair and was on a portable ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life.

His disability made him a great lobbyist for people with spinal cord injuries and the stem cell research.

 

Ralph Brown (1940-2013)

Ralph Braun was diagnosed with Muscular Atrophy when he was only 7 years old, and in the next few years lost his ability to walk. Doctors were dubious about his spending an independent life, but he and his parents were determined to prove them wrong. From engineering the first battery powered scooter, he went on to design and manufacture wheelchair accessible vehicles. His efforts have changed the lives of disabled people worldwide.

In his autobiography “Rise Above”, Braun describes the challenges he faced as a young and disabled man and the poor regard society generally has for such people. He throws light on how his physical handicap strengthened his determination to be independent; to prove to the world that disabled people can also lead an active and productive life! He created the Braun Corporation which is the leading manufacturer of wheel chairs and accessible vehicles.

For his untiring efforts to make the lives of physically handicapped people better, Braun was named “Champion of Change” by President Barrack Obama.i

Stephen Hawking (born 1942)

A British physicist with a world renowned career spanning over 40 years, Stephen Hawking is regarded one of the greatest scientist of the 20th century second only to Einstein.  He was diagnosed with a rare motor neuron disease (ALS), when he was only 21 and a student at the Cambridge University. Over the decades, this slow wasting disease gradually left him paralyzed as he lost control over his arms, legs and voice. Undaunted by his disability, he kept on his research work.  He is still teaching with the help of a computer which is supported by a word compiling machine. He communicates using a single cheek muscle which is attached to the device.

Hawkins is the author of “A short History of the Universe” and “A brief History of Time.” His Big Bang and Black Hole theories have drawn the attention of the world. He is an academic celebrity and among many others is the recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the USA. His famous words worth quoting are, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.

SAIMA SALEEM

 Saima Saleem, the first blind diplomat of Pakistan is often called the Hellen Keller of our country. Due to a genetic disease she lost her eyesight when she was in her teens. But undaunted by this major disability, she struggled to overcome all odds in her path. A gold medalist of the Kinnaird College University for women, she fought for her rights to appear for all her exams in Braille, as she refused to trust a writer’s ability. Saima’s indomitable will and determination enabled her to join Foreign Service, previously out of bounds for the blind. Never looking back, she struggled and succeeded in having a computer based exam in which she stood 6th among all the participants and first among the women.

Topping all training and exams, she went on to getting another gold medal from the Foreign Service Academy and a scholarship to a prestigious School of Foreign Service in USA. After joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saima has been working passionately to improve human rights in Pakistan. She is currently serving as Pakistan’s Permenant Mission to UNO in Geneva and is working on human rights’ issues in which she is considered an expert.

Friends these are facts about only a few disabled people who rose to famous due to their firm resolve and determination to not allow their handicap to interfere with leading a successful life.  The list of such people is quite long. But there are millions of other ones who are not famous, but are still heroes. Heroes, because they live with, fight and overcome their disabilities every single day of their lives.

 

 

Sustenance from Allah

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کہہ دو کہ : میرا پروردگار اپنے بندوں میں سے جس کے لئے چاہتا ہے رزق کی فراوانی کر دیتا ہے، اور جس کے

لئے چاہتا ہے تنگی کر دیتا ہے۔ اور تم جو چیز بھی خرچ کرتے ہو، وہ اس کی جگہ اور چیز دے دیتا ہے، اور وہی

سب سے بہتر رزق دینے والا ہے۔

سورہ سبا ۔۔۔۔ آیت39

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Say: Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the Sustenance to such of His servants

as He pleases:and nothing do you spend in the least in His cause but He replaces it:

for He is the Best of those who grant Sustenance.

Surah Saba Ayat 39

My mother is around no more!

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One of the most precious memories from my early childhood is something which often brings a mist to my eyes and a sad smile on my face! But in those days my feelings were totally different; I felt a bit astonished and looked up at my father with a wee bit of amusement! Whenever he was sad, distressed, ill or stuck in any such difficult situation, he would declare with tears in his eyes, “With whom should I share my woes? Alas, my mother is around no more!”

          And I distinctly remember that my instant response to this statement was surprise! What need has a grown-up man like Daddy for a mother? I wondered silently! Moms are for kids like me, to look after us, tend to our needs, comfort us when we are sick, console us when we are frightened! Though I must admit I wasn’t old enough to think about all this as clearly as I am writing today, but thoughts like these fluttered across my little head as I disdainfully ignored Daddy’s misery and turned back to whatever I was doing!

          In all fairness to him, I must mention here that my father was not a weak man! With a strong will power, (and temper too) and a cheerful personality, he was a highly intelligent and wise man. Perhaps the master-mind of a huge family, his advice was sought and followed by even those older than him. And he also had a very strong relationship with my mother. They had a bond of deep love and understanding and always shared/ discussed their problems with each other.

          But tears always came easily to Daddy, something not considered proper for men in our part of the world. I realized later on in life, those tears were a sign of a sensitive heart rather than a weak personality!

          Sadly, it took me nearly a life time (or a good part of it) to understand why my Father always yearned for my Grandmother in his moments of distress! 

          After I was married, I had to move away from my family and settle in a new city, with an entirely new family. I was young and inexperienced and life did not turn out to be the fairy tale I had dreamt it to be! Problems which are usually a part of the early stage of a married life confused me.  Not knowing what to do in which situation and no one to turn to in an alien city, there used to be times when I simply wanted to run into the comforting and safe haven of Ammi’s arms. I yearned for her advice, her love and for the sense of security which we all feel when our mothers are around!

          It was in those days that I began to understand my father’s feelings and realize what he meant when he missed his mother in hard moments. No matter how old we get, we always want our mothers to be at our sides. Both in difficult times and in happy moments, I felt that life is not complete Ammi’s presence and loving support. For the first time in my life, I felt proud of my father’s deep love for his mother. My grandmother had died young, in fact before my parents got married, but even decades after her death, Daddy never ceased missing her.

          As life moved on, I settled down in the new environment and got busy with my children and family life. Meetings with my parents were often possible after years. I still missed Ammi, but finally I got used to not having her around whenever I needed her. Whenever stuck in adversities, I tried my best to hide my yearning for her presence.

          Unfortunately, married life was not smooth sailing for me. After fighting tooth and nail to overcome the problems which multiplied over the decades, I finally realized that the writing was on the wall. In those painful days, I found myself too tired to struggle anymore. And then the inevitable happened and my marriage ended in a divorce!

          I fail to describe the anguish and the deep sense of insecurity of those days. Nightmares! Fears lurking in the dark! Dazed with pain but too proud to show my grief, I shed silent tears when no one was around. I silently mourned the death of love and the security which I had once thought was an inevitable part of married life! Thinking that times couldn’t be any worse for me, I had the solace that soon Ammi will come over and I shall find peace after crying my heart out in her arms.

          Little did I know that the worst was still to come! Although the back count for Ammi’s arrival had begun, but she (or fate) had other plans! Going to bed one night, she passed away peacefully in her sleep!

          The tragic news of her sudden demise hit me like a bomb shell! As if hit under the belt, I felt stunned with pain, the tears just refusing to come! Totally shattered, I just sat in a state of disbelieve, staring blankly at people pouring in for condolences. “How could she do this to me?” I asked myself in anguish and somewhat anger. “Didn’t she know how badly I needed her?”

          And then, for the first time in my life, I fully realized what Daddy meant, and also my foolishness in not understanding his feelings! Mothers are needed for a life time! They do not only care for their kids when they are young, the solace of their presence is needed at all ages. They do not only bandage bruised knees, they soothe bruised souls too! Their arms not only shelter their young ones against the fear of darkness, they allay the fear of the unknown in grown up children too!

          And in those moments of excruciating pain, as I sat in a stony silence, I heard a voice muffled in tears declaring, “With whom should I share my woes? My mother is around no more!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN SEARCH OF QUAID’S PAKISTAN

In search of Quaid’s Pakistan!

Published Dec 27, 2014 06:22am

DECEMBER 25th is a day of national importance for Pakistanis, as it is the birth anniversary of the Father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With his deep vision, indomitable will, intelligence, dedication and courage, Jinnah whom we Pakistanis call Quaid-i-Azam (the great leader), united the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent under the Muslim League. After a long struggle under his leadership, Pakistan came into being on the August 14, 1947.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah was admired equally by friends and foes. Stanley Wolpert, in his book, Jinnah of Pakistan compliments him in these words, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

The dream

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IT was Jinnah’s dream that Pakistan would emerge as a sovereign democratic state, where the law would reign supreme, the politicians would work with honesty and dedication for the state, all citizens including women would play an important role in the development of the country, human rights would be protected and quick justice would be within reach of all, poverty and illiteracy would be eradicated in the minimum possible time and non-Muslims would be treated with respect and tolerance and dignity.

By firmly holding on to the principles of unity, faith and discipline, he wanted the nation to move forward and carve its place among the developed countries of the world.

The golden principles

JINNAH once said, “I have no doubt that with unity, faith and discipline we will compare with any nation of the world. You must make up your minds now. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and make up our minds to serve the people with honesty and faithfulness.”

A firm faith in Allah and religious values, faith in the power of hard work, truth and honesty and faith in each other, were the guidelines he gave the newly emerged nation.

Unity among all provinces, among the people belonging to the different sects of Islam and tolerance/respect for the non-Muslims, was his second golden principle. He also laid great stress on discipline which he said was essential for growth.

He repeatedly advocated that to move forward in the world as a developing nation, Pakistanis needed to practice discipline in all parts of life.

The reality

AS fate would have it, Quaid-i-Azam died only a year after Pakistan came into being. Sadly, the inefficiency of the successive politicians, deep rooted corruption at every level and a general lack of civic sense in the people, our country’s affairs are on a constant downslide since its early years. Today, after more than 67 years of independence, we find Pakistan has a poor image on the international level and even within the country we find people disillusioned and frustrated by the state of affairs.

The problems

SADLY, at present, the Pakistan that Jinnah had envisioned is nowhere to be found! We are facing a multitude of problems. Bad governance, poverty, inflation, terrorism, religious intolerance, sectarian issues, lawlessness, rising graph of illiteracy and poverty, shortage of power and gas are only a few of the troubles we are facing. Greed, lust for power, corruption, unemployment, putting personal gains over Pakistan’s interests and political/economical instability, are some of the factors which are worsening the problems we face.

Basically, Pakistan is an agricultural country, rich in natural resources like gas, coal and precious metals and has sites of great tourist attraction. But due to the mismanagement and corruption of successive governments, we cannot fain full benefits from these resources.

Current situation WE seem to have totally forgotten the principles Jinnah laid down for us! We have lost faith in Allah and the teachings of our religion. We do not have any faith in our leaders, nor do we trust each other. Attacks on minorities and desecration of their places of worship are something common in Pakistan.

There is no unity among us. Before realising that we all are Pakistanis, we proudly call ourselves Sindhis, Punjabis, Balochis, Pakhtoon or Muhajirs. We are a sunni, a shia, a deobandi or a barelvi, before we realise that we are Muslims who worship one Allah and follow one Quran. Killings due to the difference in religious beliefs are everyday news.

As a nation also, we see a total lack of discipline in our country. Whether you are at the airport, a railway station or a bus stop, you will see people pushing, shoving and shouting at each other. The corrupt politicians squander away precious tax-payers’ money on their extravagant life styles. Instead of merit, jobs are given out to undeserving persons while the talented and educated youth search in vain for reasonable jobs. Rules are bent and twisted to suit individual whims. We take pride in breaking rules and taking the law in our hands. Criminals go unpunished if they have the right connections.

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The solution

THE problems faced by Pakistan are so compound that it is not easy to find a way out! On this important day, instead of just paying verbal tribute to our great leader, let us join hands and heads and vow to find ways to change the disturbing situation. We all must vow to be truly patriotic to our country, to serve it by all means and work endlessly and selflessly to bring it back to the road of progress.

One of the most important steps to guide Pakistan towards a better future is providing quality and affordable education to all school going children, irrespective of their economic or social status. Literacy is the light which will create awareness among us, promote a sense of patriotism and responsibility. With education comes the proper balance between one’s rights and one’s duties, which in turn lead a nation towards honour, dignity and sovereignty as a state.

Quaid-i-Azam with his great vision, knew how important education is for the future of Pakistan. Addressing youth he once said,

“Without education it is complete darkness and with education it is light. Education is a matter of life and death to our nation.”

Quaid-i-Azam had great faith in the students of Pakistan. Addressing them on one occasion he said, “My young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan, do not be exploited and do not be misled. Create amongst yourselves complete unity and solidarity. Set an example of what youth can do. Your main occupation should be in fairness to yourself, to your parents, in fairness to the State, to devote your attention to your studies. If you fritter away your energies now, you will always regret.”

Friends, without hard work by each and every Pakistani and determination to change the state of affairs, Jinnah’s dream cannot be transformed into a reality. By holding on firmly to Quaid-i-Azam’s words, “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve” and ““Failure is a word unknown to me”, we can still find the road to prosperity and with our heads held high, march towards Jinnah’s Pakistan.

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!