Becoming An Idiot Over And Over And Over Again

I’m probably late to write a post on this but anyway doesn’t matter. Ladies and gentlemen, the election hype is all over and once again we get stuck with useless leaders on our government ranks eating their bellies up from the state treasury. This voting season was so overrated with the thought being propagated that we have to vote to change our lives. And what I found even more stupid were the people flying in from all around the world to come and cast their votes! They would be gone the next day and wont have to deal with the consequences of their votes!

I must admit that at one point I was convinced by this thought to go and let my voice be heard through voting even if my mind told me that all the candidates were utterly useless. But then, after many opinions (not from those lame 9 pm TV talk shows) and many ideas, I realized that even if I gave my vote to a pretty good candidate, and even if he is allowed to come and lead the government (Like that’s ever going to happen!), is it possible that hes going to purify the system and remove all sorts of injustices from it? What I mean to say is ‘Your votes might change the government, but who will change the system?’

Take an example, candidate A is an honest person and comes and jumps into muddy pond, the only thing that will then be required to be changed would be his own dirty clothing, because as it is obvious he can never cleanse an entire pond no matter how much cleaning detergents he takes with himself.

Enough about good and bad candidates, I am no politics expert, Heck I don’t even follow politics much (And by follow, I don’t mean keeping track of Kamran Khan’s irritating show! ), but even a simple person like me can bet on this that the system needs to change and not the governments! Democracy, I believe is a flawed system for many reasons, some of which I will highlight below:

1. ‘By the people, for the people, of the people‘  is synonymous to ‘Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side‘. And believe me this doesn’t happen sometimes, infact it happens all the time especially if you live in Pakistan. (Then again, the votes are never valid, so anyway)

2. Who brings up the popular candidates in the eyes of the people? Yes you guessed this one right, its the media which is financed and supported by the Corporate or by some political parties for their gains. Believe me, the media can make you look like the wisest person in the world one min and an idiot the next! No media is free, every media is biased in one way or the other and saddeningly, the media in Pakistan is biased for all the wrong reasons. Media plays with the minds of the people so if they endorse some candidate, would this really be fair to other candidates? I think NOT!

3. I have 5 candidates standing up for an election and all 5 of them are major IDIOTS, so should I satisfice myself and select the best of the worst or should I pump my mind and realize that its a joke being played on me by someone higher than the authorities?

4. Lets vote and select any of the candidate, and if he does something wrong, blame it on the people who got him up there and ask them to vote for someone else next time so that the cycle can be repeated again. Clever, eh?

Democracy may not be a flawed system, but the way in which it is being used is flawed. Recently, we saw the terrible rigging of votes in my country, I cannot help wondering that were the people expecting justice from a system of injustice? There is another point which we should consider that to expect honest leaders for a pack of dishonest beasts is far off cry, unless the entire nation (or at least most of it) becomes honest and pure, we cannot expect honesty at the top.

So this is me crying out loud that I will not vote (and I know one vote doesn’t make a difference because it will get casted off to Altaf bhai anyway) even if I get a chance to vote because I don’t believe in a system where killers are welcomed as friends and where hate-mongers will come on TV like they are innocent little pussy cats.

Beyond the Physical Being

“Beyond the Physical Being,
The truth lies within.
The eyes will not decipher,
If they’re fixed on the being.
Lest the goodness from within
Unleash the goodness on the self.”

So there’s this old show I’ve been watching since a couple of days out of boredom, its called ‘What not to wear!’. For everyone reading this who don’t know about whats this show is about, here’s a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Not_to_Wear_(U.S._TV_series).

While watching this show, I agreed with a lot of their points that a lot of people perceive who you are  by what you wear, this becomes especially important when looking for a job or looking for a significant other. Confidence, as they say, comes when you look good. So when you look good, you feel good, and hence you feel confident.

Its true that everyone has their own view about how they should present themselves to the world. One day while watching this show, I got reminded of a lady and her remarkable speech in the court of an evil ruler. Who was this lady? It was Zainab al Kubra (s.a.), the daughter of Imam Ali (A.S.) and the granddaughter of the last Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) and the speech was the extraordinary sermon given in the court of Yazid,one of the most tyrannical rulers of that time.

Now, you must be wondering why I got reminded of her and how is that related to this show? Zainab (S.A.) was in the worst possible state at that time when she was brought to the court of Yazid, she had witnessed her family being martyred at the hands of Yazid’s army, had been a slave and made to journey from Kufa to Syria on camels, and her chador was looted by the army which was a symbol of her modesty. She had no good clothes on herself, just rags and was being humiliated by Yazid when he told her that God is punishing her, at that moment Zainab (S.A.) gave a legendary sermon which revived the pride of her father among the people present. She spoke with such wisdom, bravery, confidence and eloquence that it left Yazid speechless and eventually it became one of the reasons of the downfall of Yazid’s rule.

A simple person like me wonders that if a woman can rise up to cruelty and speak in a tone resembling that of lion-hearted warriors even when she isn’t dressed to impress and when all hope seems lost, then I believe that any woman can bring a revolution anywhere be it in office space, in her home, in the nation inspite of wearing anything.

I don’t object to the point that clothing isn’t important, but I also agree to the fact that it isn’t the only way to develop confidence and standing up to the world. Enough said.

The walk of the free men

Its 5 am in the morning and I just came back after picking my sister up from the airport. As soon as she landed in Karachi, she started with her tales of her journey. There’s one such tale which has forced me into narrating it to everyone I know, a tale of gratitude, love, sacrifice, and most importantly honor. THIS IS NOT RELATED TO ANY FAITH, ITS SIMPLY A TALE OF HUMANITY.

My sister actually went to spend the 40th of Imam Hussain (A.S.) at his mosoleum in Karbala, Iraq. Since quite some time, a practice has prevailed among the locals and the foreigners involving walking all teh way from Najaf to Karbala which is roughly 80 kms.My sister, also had this sudden urge to walk like everyone else, unfortunately she could only walk a few hours. My uncle stopped a random bus going to karbala and boarded her on it so that she could reach the hotel while the entire caravan walked.

This is where the story starts.At night, because of huge traffic on the road, the bus driver asked all its passengers to step down and sleep in the volunteer camps arranged by locals and foreigners (including Pakistan, London, and America) for the night. Now my sister got confused, there wasnt a single light on the road, she dint know what to do or where to go in this strange land. She then ultimately approach an Iraqi volunteer camp and tried to explain it to the female volunteer that she was lost and had to spend the night. Seeing the confusion on her face, the volunteer understood her problem and welcomed her with open arms in the open tent. Then, she asked if she had eaten food, tea or any other thing which she wanted. Because it was cold, she offered 5 blankets to my sister and then in the morning at fajr time, she held all her shawls so that my sister could do ablution and arranged for prayer mat. What melted my heart in this little experience was that that lady had absolutely nothing to do with my sister, she was simply doing all these services because she respected the guests of Hussain (A.S.), the one who was martyred hungry and thirsty. She along with thousands of others from different nationalities arrange camps each year at chehlum to assist the men, women, and children marching from Najaf to Karbala helping them in every way possible with love and feeling which no one can scarcely describe.

This is the walk of the free men because men who walk on this path announce themselves as the followers of the man who refused to bow down to the tyrant Yazid and lived as a free soul forever. This man is the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.).

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) – Animal Rights

The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. If he saw any animal over-loaded or ill-fed he would pull up the owner and say,

Fear Allah in your treatment of animals. (Abu Dawud)

As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.

He stated,

Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.

Source: http://www.itsislam.net/articles/character_of_Prophet_Muhammad.asp

Living Your Life The Corporate Way

For any successful corporate in the world, a mission statement is an integral part of its policy so that everyone from the topmost departments to the lower level ones can adhere to it and remind themselves of what the company stands for. A mission statement describes the purpose of the company and what it wants to attain through its existence and the benefits it will provide to all stakeholders associated with it. The most attractive thing about a mission statement is that it wont change over time, its thought about and formulated down very carefully once and the company is always in a constant struggle to become the living description of its mission statement

‘…..A mission statement describes the purpose of the company and what it wants to attain through its existence and the benefits it will provide to all stakeholders associated with it.’

Once I was reading a mission statement of a company and a thought struck me, ‘Why dont we have a mission statement in our lives?’ A mission statement which determines what we live for, what we have to achieve before death, and what we have to do to create a lasting impact on the world. A mission statement which is precise and clear and encourages you to follow steps to achieve it. For eg, the mission statement of my life could be :

“I want to emerge as a successful, independent person capable of existing in this ultra competitive world. I want to give time to every aspect of my life and when I die I wish to be remembered as the person who brought a smile on everyone’s face”

‘….Why dont we have a mission statement in our lives?’

To achieve your mission statement, you have to create small achieveable goals which can be achieved everyday. So if I want to bring a smile on everyone’s face, I will have to let go of my anger and ego. Starting tom, I would have to do small acts of kindness everyday, like helping my mother at chores.

If you talk about mission statements, you also talk about stakeholders. Now who are the stakeholders of your life? If you’re a believer, the biggest stakeholder could be God, then your parents, your loved ones, the environment, but most importantly, yourself. Your mission statement should also define how you to intend to affect all the stakeholders associated with you. Will your mission statement make God happy, will it  be it be a source of pride for your parents? Is any loved one going to be badly affected by it? Is your mission statement environmentally friendly? What about the fact that how is it going to impact the society  All these questions are essential to ponder before setting off on the sails of achieving anything.

A mission statement would define the reason of your existence  the purpose of your living and the mission of your life. If you imagine your life to be a movie and you are the one going to see it when its over, make sure you don’t see yourself lying around going nowhere in life just passing by like travelers on a long journey. You have to make the movie interesting yourself, hence think of a mission statement of your life in pure solitude, write it down somewhere where you could see it everyday and really put effort to achieve it.

‘…A mission statement would define the reason of your existence  the purpose of your living and the mission of your life.’

So many people have achieved nothing in their lives because of having no purpose of living, make sure you are not one of them because what defines us as humans is not our humanly bodily aspects, what defines us as being humans is our intellect to live and not merely survive.

 

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) – Treat Servants As You Wish To Be Treated In Front of Allah

Once, a companion of Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.W.) began hitting his slave. The slave kept pleading: “By Allah! Do not beat me. For Allah’s sake forgive me.” The master, however, refused to pardon him and continued to shower beatings upon him.

Some people informed Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.W.) of the slave’s predicament whereupon he (S.A.W.W.) got up and started out towards the scene of this incident. As soon as the companion’s eyes fell upon Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.W.) he stopped his beatings whereupon Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.W) said to him: “He placed you under the oath of Allah (SWT), but you refused to pardon him and now that you have set your eyes upon me, you have restrained yourself?”

The man, in order to make amends for his deplorable behaviour, said: “I now free him for the sake (and pleasure) of Allah (SWT)!”

Prophet Muhammed (saw) said: “Had you not freed him, you would have dropped face-down into the fire of Hell.”

Source : http://ezsoftech.com/stories/prophet.muhammed.asp

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) – King of the Common Folk.

Though a Prophet and a King, Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) was the man of the common people. He sat and ate with them. Shared their joys and sorrows, helped the weak, widows and orphans and sympathized with the distressed. He found the world sunk deep in degrading ignorance, superstition, vice and cruelty. He saw people disunited and engaged in perpetual wars, practicing most revolting cruelties; daughters were buried alive and the widows of their fathers were inherited or sold by the eldest son. Among all this chaos, Muhammad established order and inspired in them the belief of One God; prohibited idolatry and made them think, not only of this world, but beyond the grave on a higher, purer and diviner plain, asking them to practice charity, goodness, justice, reasonableness and universal love. The whole mission was achieved in his lifetime.

Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) – Soften The Heart of Thy Enemy

One day Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) was sleeping under a tree, away from his camp. He was awakened by his enemy Du’thur ibn al-Harith with sword, standing over him. “O Muhammad! Who is there now to save you?” “God!” replied the Apostle. The wild Bedouin suddenly began to shiver and dropped his sword. The Prophet picked the sword and asked, “Who is there now to save you?” “Alas, no one!” “Then learn from me to be merciful.” The Arab’s heart was overcome and he embraced Islam.

 

Noble has a name – Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.)

Ibn Shahr Ashob narrates that some of the noble virtues and precious characters of the Holy Prophet (S) as mentioned in various traditions are: He was wiser, intelligent, tolerant, judicious, just, kind and courageous than all. His holy hand never stretched to a lady who was not permissible to him and he was most generous. Money never remained with him for more than a few moments. If ever night fell before he could distribute his wealth, he used to remain restless till he distributed it among the needy.

He never kept food that was enough for more than a year.All that exceeded his needs was given away to the needy at once. He used to keep only the cheapest grains like barely and dates etc. and that too was given away when asked by the poor, and in the path of God. He used to sit, eat and sleep on the floor. He mended his shoes himself, and patched up his torn clothes. He opened and closed doors himself, milched his cattle and secured his animals himself. If his servants became tired of grinding grains, he would help them in their job.

He fetched water himself for making ablutions etc. He slept at night keeping his head on the floor. He never sat reclining on pillows before others. He was always helping his domestics. He used to lick his fingers after eating and he never belched or bellowed. He accepted the invitations of both the freemen and the slave even if there was a feast of only a piece of meat. He accepted even if gifted merely a mouthful of milk. But he never accepted Sadaqah. He never looked at others more than necessary and never frowned for earthly causes.

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) – Simplicity of Honorable Men.

A man came to the Holy Prophet (S) while the latter was sleeping on a mat which left marks on his body. He also saw the Holy Prophet (S) reclining on a pillow filled with palm leaves which too had left marks on his cheeks.

That man exclaimed: “Arab and non-Arab kings sleep on beds of silk; how is it that you sleep on a mat and recline on such a hard pillow?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “By Allah! I am better than them and more precious to my Lord than they are. What have I to do with this world, which is like a tree under which a passer-by rests and then goes away?”

Source : http://www.al-islam.org/hayat-al-qulub-vol2-allamah-muhammad-baqir-al-majlisi/10.htm