Ahmedi Najad: Modern example of Simplicity

I got this e-mail a few days back. The same article has been published in the Daily Ummat  as well.
        God loves those who are humble in their personal life too!
 
 The Fox New TV (US) asked the Iranian President Ahmedi Najad; 
  “When you look into the mirror in the morning what do you say to yourself”?
 
 He answered: I see the person in the mirror and tell him “Remember, you are
 no more than a small servant, ahead of you today is the heavy
 responsibility, and that is to serve the Iranian nation”.
 
 Ahmedi Nijad, the Iranian President who astonished many when he first
 reached to the office of the Presidency by donating all the high valued
 Iranian carpets to one of the mosques in Tehran by replacing them with the
 low cost ordinary carpets.
 
 He observed that there was a huge extravagant langue for receiving and
 welcoming the VIPs and he ordered it to be closed and asked the protocol
 office to arrange for an ordinary room instead with the wooden chairs.
 
 On many instances he joins the cleaning staff of the municipality for
 cleaning the streets in the area where his home and the Presidency are
 located.
 
 Under his authority whenever he appoints any minister to his post he gets a
 signed document from him with many points, particularly highlighting that he
 shall remain poor and that his personal and his relatives accounts will be
 watched and the day he leaves the ministry shall be with dignity, and
 therefore it is not lawful for him or his relatives to take any advantage of
 his office.
 
 First of all he declared himself all the “Big” wealth and property he owned
 was a Peugeot 504 car, model 1977, an old small house inherited from his
 father forty years ago in one of the poorest zones in Tehran. His accounts
 with a zero balance and the only money comes in to his a/c was from his
 salary from the university as a lecturer with an amount of US$ 250 only.
 
 For your information the President still lives in that same house. This is
 all what he owns; the president of one of the world’s important countries;
 strategically, economically, politically and with regard to its oil and
 defence.
 
 He even doesn’t take his personal salary with the argument that all the
 wealth belongs to the nation and he is the safeguard over it.
 
 
 One of the things that impressed the staff at the presidency is the bag the
 President brings with him every day, which contains his breakfast; some
 sandwiches or bread with olive oil and cheese prepared by his wife and eats
 and enjoys it with all happiness.
 
 
 One of the other things he changed was his personal carrier “the President’s
 Aircraft” to a cargo aircraft in order to save the spending from the public
 treasury and he ordered that he will be flying with the ordinary airline in
 the economy class.
 
 He organizes meetings every now and then with all the ministers to know
 their activities and efficiency and he closed down the office of the manager
 of the president and any minister can enter to his office with out any
 permission. He also stopped the welcome ceremonies like the red carpet, the
 photo session or any personal advertisement or respect of any kind while
 visiting any place in the country.
 
 Whenever he has to stay in any of the hotels he asks them to make sure not
 to give him a room with any big bed because he doesn’t like to sleep on beds
 but rather likes to sleep on the floor on a simple mattress with a blanket. 
 
I have photographs as well… but I don’t really know how to insert them here. If you really want to see them, just ping! And I’ll e-mail them to you.
It’s a slap on the faces of all those leaders of Muslim Countries, who move around in bulletproof mercedez cars worth millions of public money, live in mansions, halt traffic which costs lives and live in President/Prime-minister Houses and waste public money on their upper-class lifestyle. THOU ALL SHALT DIE OF SHAME!

 Following are the inducements for Ministers in Pakistan:
 
 
 Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (MNA)
 Monthly Salary                                                      : Rs. 120,000 to 200,000
 Expense for Constitution per month                         : Rs.100,000
 Office expenditure per month                                   : Rs.140,000
 Travelling concession (Rs. 8 per km)                        : Rs.48,000 (For a visit to Islamabad &
 return: 6000 km)
 Daily BETA during Assembly meets                         : Rs.500
 Charges for 1 class (A/C) in train                              : Free (For any number of times & All over
 PAKISTAN)
 Charges for Business Class in flights                        : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife
 or P.A.)
 Rent for Govt hostel any where                                 : Free
 Electricity costs at home                                         : Free up to 50,000 units
 Local phone call charges                                         : Free up to 170,000 calls.
 TOTAL expense for a MNA per year                          : Rs. 32,000,000 (approx.)
 TOTAL expense for 5 years                                      : Rs. 160,000,000
 
 So for 534 MNA, the expense for 5 years                   : Rs. 85,440,000,000 (about 9000
 crores).
 
 
 Think of the Great Democracy we have…….. & Great
 Politicians……………

Remembering the “ehtesaab” video of Junoon. Check it out on my other blog!

Fear of the Unknown…

The sun is almost out. At this time in the morning, all the birds do chirp but these days, you hear a voice once in a while. The air is calm. The leaves are still. Even when the sun is out and about, and is melting us in it’s scorching heat, there’s this calmness in the air. And when nights of Karachi are famous for the sea breeze and it’s cool effects, somehow even at nights, the moon seems to spread it’s calmness around, no noises of the chirping cricket, and still the air is still. It seems as if everything has just forgot how to breathe, it seems that the trees are holding their breath at something horrific. There is something omenous in the air. You can feel it in your bones. Is it the silence before the storm?!

Your intuition is telling you to hide, take cover. Something’s coming. The fear of the unknown grips your heart and though it’s hot, you feel a chill in your marrows. You can feel that the times are getting worse… Everywhere you look, it seems to present a gloomy picture. The political unrest makes you realise that the worst is coming. Everyone, who has survived the early ’90s voilence and unrest, knows that things will change for the worst and not the best. Everyone’s breathing  uncertainty. The fear is clear in their eyes. The people have lost direction…

But something gives me hope. I remember reading somewhere that no matter how long the night is, the sun will rise. But I still wonder, if I’ll be able to see that sunrise unscathed by the murderous dark night…

From Uninteded Consequences

The following excerpt is from an article that was published in Dawn, last year under the heading of “Uninteded  Consequences”. The article’s been written by Ayaz Amir. And somehow gives you hope and makes you realise that no matter how bad things are, there are those who are working, risking their lives for higher purpose. Perhaps, the liberals would blame the Islamists for everything that is happening but something that liberals always forget is that you can never please people. So nomatter what you’d do, you could never actually be accepted by the West.

” Islamists are battling in Israel in Gaza, Islamists are engaging Israel in Lebanon, Islamists fighting the US occupation in Iraq, Islamists battling the American-propped Karzai puppet in Afghanistan, Islamist guerrillas fighting the Pakistan Army to a standstill in North and South Waziristan and an Islamic Regime in Iran standing upto the US and providing support to Hamas and Hezbollah…

… So note the spreading arc of turbulance: from the shores of Mediterranean to the borders of Pakistan, the enitre region is ferment, the arrogance and stupidity of American policy fanning the flames of unrest and revolt.”

-Ayaz Amir (under the heading of “Unintended Consequences”)

Dawn Newspaper (4th Aug ’06)

Elections…

You switch on your T.V. to get updated on the news and you end up watching people talking about elections. The general public here though seems indifferent towards the whole idea of casting votes as if they know the results would be what “others” want them to be. Anyway, so you turn on your television set and you see all these faces that promise that there would be no corruption, no sky high prices and no militants. And it makes you wonder how many past promises of all these politicians have been fulfilled?! I’m still wondering…

About the sky rocket-ing prices of wheat… HOW ON EARTH A LAY MAN CAN NOW AFFORD TO EATROTI?! Well, I guess when you have palaces to live in, mansions in European countries, and bank balance in Swiss Banks, I don’t know if you’d really think about the prices of wheat. No wonder a common man turns into a criminal when he really want is to earn his bread via honest means. Who am I kidding… Pakistan is progressing by leaps and bounds (you just don’t have EYES to see it!).

Let’s change the subject… Recently I saw this T.V. program where two of the presenters were talking about the whole election season, the candidates and other related stuff. One thing I really loved about one of the presenters was that : why not make Ali Saleem (commonly known as Begum Nawazish Ali) the President, stating that he is complete symbol of hypocrisy behind the whole concept of Enlightened Moderation! Atleast someone thinks like me.

This brings me to one of my favourite remarks : No matter what you do, no matter how low cut dresses you wear, you will always be TAGGED as A MUSLIM! Looks like our President didn’t learn a thing from Turkey even though he’s spent quite some time of his life there. No matter what Turkey would do, it’s never going to be accepted by the European Union (or the Christian Union in other words). I guess the Signs are only for those who have Aql.

There was a  documentary aired by BBC in the mid ’90s revealing the “deeds” of Benazir Bhutto. Well… it just came back to me that how the west has been so open about the hoarding up of wealth and how easily they have forgotten it and now wants her back to get some more! Hypocrisy?! OR whatever you may call it…

Now the question comes: Who am I going to support?!

Are We Going Tomorrow?

The succession of smses, MSN chats and phone calls that became a reason for not going to the university even today…

 FROM LAST NIGHT:

SMS from X :   Did anyone read DAWN(the newspaper), the part declaring that KU is off tomorrow? Y pointed it put but since I don’t have the paper, can someone please confirm for me?

SMS from Y:    So ppl is it off 2morro? Check DAWN plz

SMS from me to X and Y:    I can’t find it anywhere? Is it really there?

SMS from Y:   Sir syed uni says ku is off.

SMS from X:    Guys, i think we should wait and see what the news brings. Some teacher says nothing is official and i can’t reach the other teacher, been trying for hours. So we’ll see at 10?

MSN msg from me to N.A. :   Are we going tomorrow?!

Reply of N.A :   I don’t know. Did you get the smses from X. I think we should wait for the news.

ME : But what about Masood Sahab?! (the teacher who’s taking Fiction and Poetry classes nowadays)

LATE NIGHT SMS from X:   Since 8am is too late to inform some of you, we ARE going tomorrow and InshAllah we WILL have classes if we are there.

 FROM MORNING:

SMS from X:  Jamiat has a protest planned for today so please stay home.

SMS from N.A. : Are we going today?!

SMS from X: I heard this protest from Z and a  girl in first year who has a friend in Jamiatwarned her. So its pretty reliable. Go if you want. We aren’t.

SMS from X: If you ppl come by van, let me know if your drivers are coming.. That way I’ll spread the news. I’m not allowed to come either way.

SMS from X again: Final: classes at univ are slowly being cancelled one by one. It is not safe. There will probablybe a clash and riots. Stay home. stay safe. AH.

Then I called N.A. and we decided that there was no point in going while fasting if classes are being cancelled. We should and enjoy one more holiday.

Later in the morning N.A. called me and told me that one certain friend, who’s mobile phone is giving her troubles, didn’t get any of the above messages and she actually went there. And Masood Sahab obviously was very angry and now nomatter what anyone says, we have university tomorrow and we will have classes tomorrow. InshAllah. This semester is jinxed! lol.

SMS from X just now: No matter WHAT anyone says or hears, unless there’s a nuclear threat we ARE going tmw. Nothing happened today & we need to finish our course. That’s final.

Nostalgia…

I was 5 or 6 then, when my brother and my sister along with me, used to fill the plastic glasses with Zamzam and used to make a little circle with them while our elder siblings and parents used to go for Tawaf after Asr prayer. I still remember that certain smell of carpets, the joy of breaking your Saum on the first floor, over looking the Ka’ba. In the early 90s, it was not used to be crowded at all during the first two ashras of Ramadan. There was never a need for us to take anything inside the mosque as the Dates and Zamzam were more than enough for us. They are the blessings of Allah.

Times changed. We became older and used to accompany our parents during Tawaf. The best thing that you could ever experience there was the generosity of people. If people were not able to complete their Tawaf a few minutes before the Azaan, other people used to come and provided them with dates and Zamzam, so that they don’t have any difficulty in breaking their Saum. Even when we used to sit inside and wait for the Azaan, families sitting around us, they used to share their food items with the others without any descrimination of creed, race or colour. This is how I’ve seen people breaking their Saum inside the House of Allah.

Above all, praying Trawih prayers in His House is one blessing of Allah that I’m thankful for. I was barely 13 when I came back here in Pakistan. But the feeling of ecstacy, fulfillment and joy of actually praying inside Masjid Al-Haram is still instilled in my soul.  And I still long to go back and experience all those things again with much devoutness and love for Allah.

Watching Tarawih a  few days back on T.V. brought back all those loving and amazing memories and feelings. And the desperate feeling to experience everything once again. And I hope, wish  and pray to Allah that may He call me there soon. Ameen.

To University and Back…

Last time when I stepped inside the university premises, it was monday (10th sept). I skipped my classes on Tuesday, and the classes were put off on wednesday and thursday because of the ongoing students’ week on the campus.

So, after one week when I stepped again inside the university gates, with the people from the administration checking my I.D. card and the Rangers and university guards standing in an upright position, I had this omenous feeling. But then there’s always a  huge number of rangers and guards after a clash and after what happened on Friday, this didn’t come as much of a surprise.

Our class was to begin at 9:20 am, and we were waiting for our teacher, when a student, belonging to a political party with a black band tied to his forearm, said that there wont be any classes for three days. Three days mourning period for those students who lost their lives on Friday. So, we came back home in order to avoid any mishap that might occur amid the security measures taken by the university administration.

This has not happened for the first time. Clashes inside university campus between certain political organizations are common. We see Rangers everywhere, they check our I.D. Cards regularly to ensure no infiltration is there, yet we see illegal immigrants everywhere blowing apart the peace of the very varsity we dwell in. But Firday was a shock to all the university students. A public bus carrying students was attacked right outside the university’s Silver Jubilee gate making matters worst. There were seven casualties, four of them being university students.

This has been the worst incident in two and half years of university life. Karachi University has always been famous for the students’ politcal parties’ clashes but it never went outside the gates of the campus. But now things have changed. Some students now even fear to take a  public bus to university. But when people of Karachi can brave the late ’80s and early ’90s and the recent may 12th mayhem, we hope that Allah will give us strenght to brave these dark times. InshAllah.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a book recently published and is written by Mohsin Hamid, who happens to be the writer of Moth Smoke as well. I’ve already written something concerning that book in my other blog and I’m putting it’s link here.

The reason I’ve again chosen to write upon it is the fact that  The Reluctant Fundamentalist was recently nominated for the booker prize. Many of the people abroad think that the persona in the book represents the middle-class majority of Pakistan. It’s such a pity that writers, thinkers or even teachers have failed to contradict the above statement. The persona in the book seems more that of an elite class where drinking and going out with women is okay rather than of the middle class. I do admit that nowadays some fractions of middle class have adopted the Western culture and lifestyle but the majority of the middle-class still holds on to the morals of the religion.

The writer cannot write in a vaccum and thus this persona has something or the other of the writer in himself. The whole idea is when a person like Mohsin Hamid writes and claims to represent the majority and middle class, they fail to preject the essence of that class. They fail to represent the kernel, the mode of being of the middle class society.

But then the question remains: Who’s giving him the Booker Prize for the whole concept of fundamentalism in East, he’s been nominated for the way he writes!!!

And this is where the trouble begins. The name of the book itself suggests to represent the concept of fundamentalism. The idea that I was so proud of that we stick to the fundamentals of this religion, given in the Holy Quran. And the idea we get from this particular book is that the teachings of Quran and Sunnah has nothing to do with it!  Whereas, for the majority of Muslims, which happen to belong to the middle-class, fundametalism is the following of the commandments of Quran and Sunnah.

You can read the book if you like, but I felt sick while reading it…

Quran

Surah Al Hashr

Ayat no. 21:

Had We sent down this Qur’ân on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allâh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.

Hadeeth: 

(V.59:21) Narrated Jâbir bin ‘Abdullâh رضي الله عنهما: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to stand by a tree or a date-palm on Friday. Then an Ansâri woman or man said, “O Allâh’s Messenger! Shall we make a pulpit for you?” He replied, “If you wish.” So they made a pulpit for him and when it was Friday, he proceeded towards the pulpit [for delivering the Khutbah (religious talk)]. The date-palm cried like a child! The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم descended (from the pulpit) and embraced it while it continued moaning like a child being quietened. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of religious knowledge given near it.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.4, Hadîth No. 784).