Death: A Wakeup Call

So much has been written about death and it being inevitable that whatever that I am going to write here may not seem something new.

A few weeks ago, an extended family membet succumbed to the deadly disease of breast cancer. She had been fighting it for over an year; when she found out about it, she was already stage four. She was just 35 and had lost a son to brain tumor a couple of months back! Though all of us knew what she is heading for, we all hoped that she could buy more time for herself. I didn’t see her much but she was there at weddings and dawats and I remember her ever smiling beautiful face. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I thought about her other kids, her mother and father and a heavy weight just settled down my chest. Some deaths just leave you heavy with sadness…

And last week, the heaviness, the sadness thickened when I recieved the message that Junaid Jamshed passed away in a plane crash. I couldn’t believe it!!! His passing away was… is like as if someone in my family has died. I never met him, never talked to him. Though I don’t want to say it but I grew up listening to his songs and memorizing them and then I quit listening to music and he stopped singing… I used to listen to his nasheeds… I had differences with him on so many levels and I don’t know why but Allah Subhanahu wa Taala had put love for him in my heart ( not the kind of love we see today but a kind of love that one Muslim has for another), that his sudden passing came as a shock, that I prayed for him in my Salah. I know someone was criticizing him last night about something, and I couldn’t help thinking that if this person had such a problem with his way of doing things, why didn’t he do something about it. I was saddened even more and angered that now that he is gone, can we not pray for him. Would we not like someone praying for us when we are no more just because we were their fellow Muslim brother/sister in Islam. I prayed for every departed soul of the plane crash but why Junaid Jamshed came in limelight is because he was a household figure, he was in our lives by one means or another.

And admist all this is Aleppo!!! It will forever be etched in our book of deeds that all we did was share facebook posts about Aleppo and didn’t lend a helping hand to those dying in the streets of Syria. A bunch of people being bombed by Syria’a Assad’s forces and his allies and we watched from the comfort of our houses doing nothing. The images coming of babies being killed or pulled out of rubble, men and women dying and hospitals being bombed and the ladies asking if they can commit suicide before Bashar Assaad’s men rape and kill them, of men asking if they can kill their kin before Assaad’s forces torture them and play around their dead bodies, are just too heart wrenching. This breaks my heart and puts things in perspective too… why am I always complaining when I have warm bed, food on the table. My kids were sick and then I fell ill, I remember how claustrophobic things became for me with sick kids and no end in sight but what of the mothers of Syrian children, or teenagers or men and the never ending bombardment and firing and fear and I feel that my troubles weigh nilly willy on that scale. I saw a footage of a mother asking her dying son to recite shahadah and repeating again and again that,’ darling! Say LA ILAHA ILLALLAH’ and made me feel so small and so shallow. I am nothing compared to them. I do not have that level of imaan that can stand such test. May Allah make it easier for them.

Death, that we defer to think about or that we think will only come to us when we are old and have prepared for the Hereafter. Recent turn of events show us that we do not know when will it come and how will we die. I haven’t prepared much in this regard… I am.not prepared at all… I do not have one good deed that will ensure a safe passage to Jannah and what if on the Day of Judgement, I stand in front of my Lord and He asked me about my brothers and sisters in Islam in Syria, Palestine, Sudan or Kashmir or Myanmar, what answer will  I have up my sleeve.

Death will come to us all but let us strive to be the person to whom death shall bring glad tidings rather than sad demise.

‘Maut ko samjhein hain ghafil ikhtetam-e-zindagi

Hai ye sham-e-zindagi, subh-e-dawam-e-zindagi’

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Leap Year

I was going through my page, which I don’t usually, and found out I rarely write now unless it is a big eventor something. I guess having kids around don’t give you enough time to concentrate and write because you are constantly being distracted. Anyhow, tjis was a leap year, and it did create a lot of ripples around Pakistan; Mumtaz Qadri was hanged, and Sharmeen Obeid Chinoy won an oscar. You might have guess by now that I am here to create some ripples too…

Anyway, I am not going to dwell on whether whatever Qadri did was right or wrong or if he is going to hell or heaven and stuff. I am just going to dwell on the scene set up by everyone around. Strange as it is when Saulat Mirza was about to be executed, we saw long debates on the television screens, his last moments, his confessions, his wife and later everything was aired on live television. But this time around it was all hushed up and it seems as if being brushed under the carpet. Why was there a need to do an execution with such secrecy and hushed tones? One might wonder what is cooking that this was to be done with such urgency. I would call it urgency because the reason behind the whole Taseer murder case was one lady and she still has her case pending for soo many years! Anyway, people have reacted as we would have expected but the reaction not being shown on the television shows that something really is fishy. Anyhow, this is what happens when the leaders are corrupt, the judicial system is flawed and justice is denied or delayed! All I am going to say is that his execution has set motives and there is something really fishy going on behind the camera!

About the Oscar winning spree, I agree that Pakistan has its problems and issues but the only issues the ‘white browns’ highlight are either women being subjected to violence, rape and are not allowed education and we have people like Chinoy, Malala and Mukhtara Mai in the global picture. We don’t see any doctors, teachers or social workers anywhere. It is weird that the women’s protection bill is being passed in Punjab where the rural population is slave to Chaudhries and Waderas and they are not allowed to get even proper education! Remember how they corrupted Hudood Ordinance bill, that the rape victim has to provide four eye witnesses and all other evidences(medical, etc.) were invalid, giving the rapist more free hand than justice to the victim! The idea is that the amendments of all these laws only provide the powerful with freedom to do anything and victim doesn’t get any justice. The laws are made for poor people only, whereas, rich are above the law! I just do not understand the fact that when we fail to change the whole system from way up to the grass roots, how can  we be able to say that passing a bill will make all tge difference!?

And people do not realize that implementing the law of Allah will make things smoother and it will give justice to everyone.

Insomniac

I don’t know why but the feeling of butterflies in my stomach, the racing heart rate and the constant buzzing of my brain is not letting me have enough sleep. What has happened which is making me so fidgety and so anxious? He was about to be hanged but the whole poltical scenario changed after his confession was aired on the television and not only that, he named big names who were involved in drenching the soil with the blood of innocent people.

It was an anticipated event because Altaf Hussain, the leader of MQM, denied ever talking to him or knowing him and hence what would have been the reaction of those who support MQM… but alas we will never know I guess. But this has indeed created doubts and questions in the minds of those who support them that how far will he go in order to protect himself. Will he deny ever having a contact with the Rabta Committee too?

It is not just about Saulat Mirza, it is about the generations of murderers and target killers that were produced; will there be no justice for the innocent lives that were brutally murdered because MQM had differences with them? A lot of questions are raised with it. Who raised these people? Who trained them? When intelligence agencies, military forces and other law enforcement agencies had proofs and they know how their network runs, why was there such a delay? Why a military government provided for them and why did they allow them to hold a militant wing? How were they able to steal from NATO containers and why didn’t Musharraf do anything about them? Why, suddenly, military has this intense desire to get rid of them? A very valid question would be, Why were they allowed to make a militant wing and why was military not concerned about innocent people dying everyday? Why is it that the law enforcement agencies do not give a damn about the common man?

I can’t sleep. My mind is wide awake and thinking too much and I can’t just stop thinking about it…

Double Standards

And the song blared on the smart phone of my husband;

‘Barda Dushman bana phirrta hai!’

And I kept thinking about the medressah kids that died in a drone attack; the kids that were burnt by white phosphorus by the Musharraf regime! My heart bleeds for the kids that died in Army Public School. I imagine myself in the shoes of those mothers and I can’t imagine the pain they must be feeling every second of everyday. But at the same time, I cannot forget the mothers of the drone victims and the fact that they go through the same thing. Does this very song make one class more equal than the other? I must say, to me, it seems so. Kids, killed in the name of zarb-e-azb or in the name of revenge, I see those, who target them, as villians, murderers and terrorists, be it those who wear uniform or those who do not.

A lot of questions have been raised with the Peshawar incident but I wont dwell on that but I think the CM of KPK, the Army Chief and DG ISI should have resigned and accepted that it was their fault that this kind of incident had happened when they were incharge. Making songs wont make it up to the flaws and loopholes in their plans, but rather makes it seem as if they are not yet serious about it all. As if this song will do justice to the dead. And by the way, on a positive note, this song will comply more to thie children of Gaza, who die everyday and are killed and targeted just because they are Arabs, Palestinians and Muslims. What happened in APS, happens everyday there, and we do not consider that a part of our world. How can we…  we cannot even give the same response to the victims of drones as to the children of APS. Thank you ISPR for creating a class divide that the kids of armed forces are more equal than those of ‘bloody civillians’.

And there is nothing wrong with the shadi affair of the Khan or is there? That is the question! Nikah in Islam is supposed to be an “announcement” and not a secret affair. Allah has made Nikah very honorable and not something to be rediculed. I just have one issue: when Khan said that he has nothing to hide then why was there a need to make it into a conspiracy?!

And the most important of it all was the way Charlie Hebdo was carried out. How can one person always keep a passport when going for something like this? 9/11 rings in my ears at this all. Anyway, to sum things up all I would like to say is that Muslims tend to be a soft target when it comes to that. It has been happening since for ever and they do it delibrately in the name of ‘freedom of expression’, knowing that it is not freedom of expression when you cannot say a word against Holocaust and say everything about Islam because jews are more equal than the rest of the world!

Why I Am Not Supporting Imran Khan

I am sure the title must have made everyone believe that I am supporting Nawaz Sharif but unfortunately to their dismay that certainly is not the case. The media and social media wars are at their best right now and the kind of language the educated class is using, makes everyone question their education. Anyway, the reasons why I am not supporting Imran Khan are;

He talks about Quran, the model of state of Madinah, Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) at the dharna and soon after you hear this blaring music and people would start dancing. It is, to me, like making fun if shariah. How can two of these things be together. Did the sahabiyat and the sahabas danced in Madina in front of their na-mehrams? Anyway, even if I oversee it, I don’t see the shariah (like in the state of Madina) being implemented in KPK where his party is ruling!

His actions seem contradictory to his words of the model of Madina and the Life of Prophet (pbuh) when the education system in KPK has removed the chapters regarding the lives of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions from their text books. ‘kia zamanay mein panapnay ki yehi baatein hain’

Yesterday he burnt his electricity bill in front of everyone of his grand residence at Bani Gala. This was him being a reactionary rather than being a proactive leader. Even if the power supply of his residence is cut off, no one will go through any difficulty in his family. He doesn’t have old parents, sick toddlers or kids at home that if there’s no water in the tap, the wife wont nag him. Imagine living in a small apartment with poor ventilation, with kids and old parents and no power( because you burnt your electricity bill). This is how one is distant with the ground reality that instead of actually providing with the solution, they are provided with more problems. IK, you have youth’s support why don’t you do something innovative rather than doing meaningless things.

I have been the student of media and I know that these so called free media channels are not there to provide you with reality and Truth but is there to show you tarnished events and things in order to change the way you think and to form your opinions. Like George Orwell said that these are propaganda factories where they follow those who are their investers. The air time and the time given to the programs discussing these dharnas is unlimited, one wonders what is behind all that. (Yesterday, there was a rally of JI in bahawalpur, and the media didn’t as much give it a few second’s coverage!) I guess we all know that these propaganda factories are run to change ones’ mindset!

Anyhow, how can he let the people, he bashed yesterday, to stand with him. Sheikh Rasheed has been an ally of Musharraf and Imran Khan, who is against everything Mushy gave to Pakistan, has no issue with him now. Shah Mehmood Quraishi, a gaddi nasheen, will he implement shariah law?

I am not pro-PMLN, NOR PRO-PPP, NOR PRO-MQM, and nor Pro-ANP. I want this system changed but the kind of change PTI is offerring, it’s quite tragic as well and not the kind of tabdeeli that will actually be a tabdeeli towards a better Pakistan!

Slavery

Mental slavery or perhaps the ‘hindu mindset’, that prevails in our society, makes us see men we idealise as gods, who cannot err. The recent events in our political scenario is enough to convince anyone that, yes, we are suffering from ‘personality cult’ syndrome. The PLM-N and PTI supporters cannot and will not ever hear anything against their leaders. Same is the case with other parties in which MQM and PPP are also top of the list. Same goes for the religious parties.
The disease is quite understandable as far as rural areas are concerned as the population there has either access to no or little education plus they are not even allowed to think against the wishes of the zameendars, and waderas there. Plus since these people have lived under the slavery of a few families for centuries, their subconscious and conscious selves cannot just forgo these mental chains and breathe freely in open air as it might just kill them.
But is education the only solution to this problem? The same trend in the educated class of the urban areas negate it. The educated lot also cannot and does not tolerate anyone who do not support their political or religious ideals. The continous pinpointing at ‘the other’ group, the hate speech and the character assassination of other’s leaders show that, we, as a nation, never actually came out of the ‘hindu mindset’. The reverence one feels and shows for their leader is more crucial and important than their faith in Allah because we feel that, ‘my leader is above every bad act and decision and can never be wrong and shouldn’t be questioned.’ Plus if you do not disagree than you are an enemy or a kafir. The very unquestionable following of a leader, be it political or religious, has only created gaps, cracks and hatred in our society.
The current scenario in which some leaders are asking for political reforms and thinking about bringing in a revolution, do not realise that the whole process of revolution does not revolve around people singing, and dancing, and claiming to do one thing one day and other on another day. Revolution will come after we let go of the mental chains of blindly following humanbeings and turn to follow the One that frees us from human worshipping and that we may be able to ask our leader how come you had a whole tableful of breakfast whilst we begged for food in the streets.

The Great Debate

 

It has been a long time since I lifted the pen and wrote something. But this time around I had this uneasiness inside me that I thought needed to get out of my system, in order for me to think clearly . Anyway, the recent turn of events has raised a lot of questions on the authenticity of the title of shaheed and the context it has been used in. I do not know what will the turnout be of the whole debate as the liberals are trying to prove that the particular political party is talibanized. The army men and their families are angry for not being called patriotic and their dead been shunned the title of shaheed. The question still remains that should Munawwar Hassan be that bold in this sensitive issue.

Anyway, I am not going to dwell on what one should have said or not. But I would like to go back to where it all came from: September 11 and the aftermaths. When US claimed that the hijackers were followers of Osama Bin Laden, and they refused to try him in a court and decided to wage a Crusade (according to Bush) on Afghanistan. When Mushy got his hands dirty with Bushy, the whole country divided on the stance whether to let them use our air base to kill our own Muslim brothers. Mushy didn’t wait for the people to decide as he had already sold his soul to Collin Powell over just a phone call. So when you decide that your army is going to “help” the Crusaders, you choose a side. Anyway, then came the whole operation on FATA and Waziristan just because US couldn’t get enough of blood on its hands. I am going back in time because without the whole picture, you cannot analyze today’s scenario. So when we say its our war, we need to see it in this perspective and realize that it never was ours, it was a burden a dictator took just to keep his pockets full. And all these years, the so-called free media had bombarded the people with so much confusion that they had forgotten that suicide bombings (Hakimullah Mehsud and his likes) were a product of the bombs that our own army has been dropping on our innocent civilians for the past decade. We haven’t had these problems before 9/11. These come with the love that US and Pakistan Army with the collaboration of Pakistani political government has been showering on the people of Pakistan!

jang tu khud eik mas’ala hai
jang kia maslon ka hal degi
aag aur khoon aaj degi
bhook aur ehtiaaj kal degi”

This is exactly what we are going through right now as a country. And when we think of the whole scenario, don’t we realize that when we kill our own Muslim brothers just because the US believed that they killed thousands on september 11 (they never gave Osama or others a trial to have proven their beliefs), is right or wrong? The one comment of Munawwar Hassan has cleared the dust that had been accumulated on this issue for such a long time. I am not siding with him, but what will you call the Muslim, who dies fighting the war of nasara killing his own Muslim brothers?

2013!

Another End! Another beginning! What we have left behind and what is it that we’ll be facing… *sigh*

The year ended on the sad note; Shahzeb Khan’s brutal murder and the gang rape case in India. Millions lost their lives in Gaza,Afghanistan, Waziristan, Karachi, Syria and Kashmir. Even in this new millennium, human life has no respect, no value. We live in an era where human blood is cheaper than water, where justice seems like a lost philosophy that one only reads about in books, that has no practical application in this jungle of humans where they treat fellow human beings like roaches. This is what the “civilized world” has come to, this is the new low… oh wait! I guess we shouldn’t underestimate ourselves, let’s find a new low this year.

Something strange happened this year and somehow I couldn’t digest it. And I just wanted to put it here for sometime but I just didn’t get time. This year Malala episode happened. The way things took turn, I was just simply shocked. My taya was shot at from a very close range, the bullet not only made a hole in his chest, but it also made a hole in my husband’s arm and my husband was standing two feet behind him. My Taya lost his life, but my husband went through surgery and now it’s been three years, his hand still doesn’t feel the same. I just couldn’t understand the whole episode. I don’t know…

The new Tahir-ul- Qadri episode is way too depressing. Now these jokers are going to take us out of our miseries, people who are not even allowed in the holy city of Makkah are now going to show us the way. They’ll be our saviors?!?! I think this is high time when the genuine ulemas come out and take the driving seat, because otherwise not only the country would come to destruction but even the faith and iman of people would come under serious threat.

Anyway, perhaps things will change. People came out to protest against the killing of Shahzeb Khan, maybe there is some hope left for the people of Pakistan. Maybe there is hope that’s why we feel the pain of those in Gaza, Syria, the victims of drone attacks, victims of target killings and so many others. I guess the day all of us would stand up to the few who think they are gods, that will be the day that things will change. Hope we do that soon…

Freedom

Freedom? What is freedom? What is freedom of expression? Are these terms relative? Do they have different meaning for some people, and different for others? How do you define terms that men have made soo complicated just so that they can get whatever they want? Which definition would you want to adapt yourself to? The classic version? The modern or the Post modern version? Soo many versions of just a simple question or is it just a simple question?

Anyway, so what is obscenity? The definition again would come under heavy discussion as to what really is obscenity. The trouble with our media and our so-called liberals is that they have become so much delusional and are suffering from such critical identity crisis that they have forgotten that we do not have to exhaust ourselves into the debate of what is allowed and what is not.

Whatever that is happening today around the world and in Pakistan, it just breaks my heart. We see people around us who would talk about how we shouldn’t have law of blasphemy in Pakistan and how it is cruel and everything and it is sad that the very people would not open their lips about the cartoonists and the movie makers who think they have every right to do whatever they are doing. Such hypocrisy. Do these people think that we should remove this very law and put those blasphemous cartoons and movies on a show for the people of Pakistan( in the name of freedom of expression, of course). Instead we should have a law to put people on trial who say a word against the Holocaust, Europe has it, why not us.

It is ironic that though we live in the Post modern world, the boundaries have become more distinct when we put people into categories, specially Muslims. The fundamentalists, or the liberals and the middle section that was there some decades back, has become extinct. Whatever that is happening around us, either good or bad or in that grey area, is what is shaping us inside out. If we feel for Muslims around us,or if we don’t care what’s happening, every moment, every day, every event, everything is effecting us in so many different ways that we are either ending up becoming “the liberals” or the “fundamentalists”.

It’s been 11 years since 9/11 and since then thousands of innocent civilians, women and children have lost their lives in the name of the freedom that the US deludes itself in practicing. What kind of freedom have they provided to the people of Afghanistan, or Iraq? Freedom from this world perhaps.

 

Dead?

Something happened that made me wonder; we live in our own little bubbles. We, in this age of global village , live lives as if we are all islands, disconnected, not effected and certainly not moved by whatever that is happening outside the boundaries of our little homes. We talk about change, and “tsunamis” and “revolution” yet we are not willing to sacrifice even our time to the very cause we think we believe in. Or are we?

I’m saying all this because this is exactly what is happening in our society. Whatever that is happening in Waziristan right now, or districts of Lyari in Karachi, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Palestine, how does it effect us? Do we think about them for more than two seconds? Do we even care about them more than posting a picture of it, or updating our status about it on facebook? Does it effect our lives in anyway? I don’t think so. We keep on living our lives the way we are living them, full of distractions and entertainment and we think we can bring a revolution without sacrificing our lives, careers, luxurious lifestyles just by clicking and wasting away in front of our laptop screens. We are not willing to do more than that and we believe we are doing sooo much.

Revolution, change and every word related to it looks nice and everything but the reality is much more brutal. The situation in our homeland and in the Muslim world is almost out of control. We have people who would sacrifice their lives for their leaders, but they will not unite under the one banner of Pakistan, let alone Islam. We should be ashamed of ourselves for not even feeling a pang in our hearts for those who are dying in streets everyday by stray bullets, target killers or by drones. How can we feel for the Muslims of other countries when we don’t care about the people who live around the corner from our own houses.

Do we feel for the kids that die in Waziristan by drones? Or the families that are lost in that beautiful valley of Swat? Or those who are a target in Karachi? Or any other part of Pakistan? If not how are we supposed to call ourselves alive when we are no better than the dead.