Archive for January, 2007


I realized:

  1. It matters little what you believe unless you believe in it fully.
  2. Two very differnt cultures in contact generally cause less friction than two similar ones.
  3. Fight against injustice and fight for justice are not the same thing.



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Muharram: A Brief History

It all started with claims of Khilafat (Caliphate).

He was ill, and death drew near. When Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked to choose a successor (leader) of the Muslims, he refused. When death took this great soul, Muslims were left leaderless.

It is said that at the time when Muhammad died, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was telling others that Muhammad(S), who meant so much to them, could not die. Abu Bakr (R) at this time went to Muhammad(S)’s home and found his body lying in the laps of Ayesha (R). Abu Bakr came back, and tried to tell Umar in private what has happened. Seeing that Umar was not willing to pay heed, he declared that the prophet, peace and blessings upon him, has passed away, and recited this verse from the Qur’an: “Muhammad is but a prophet, (prophets) like whom has passed away in the past…

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Please Support Ehdi

I have stumbled upon a great personality, the kind Pakistan badly needs today. Abdus Sattar Ehdi (sometimes Abdul Sattar Ehdi).

An ordinary looking bearded old man, he is the founder of Ehdi Foundation, that works for the poor and the deprived. He is said to have literally begged to run his foundation.

Now there is a talk going on to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Please check out on this page what you can do, if you too think that he deserves a Nobel.

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Republic Day

Today’s India’s republic day. On this great day, let me talk about a great song written by Muhammad Iqbal. Many Indians, if they knew who wrote it, probably won’t sing it. Even though I feel he wasn’t that bad a guy; dishartened with the Congress’s visibly Hindu agenda, he reacted. He was one of those who supported and helped the idea of Pakistan. Some say it was he who first proposed it, some say it was Lala Lajpat Rai. At this moment, God only knows, so let us tune to the song:


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Not Funny

The Arrest

Coutresy, The Hindu. (Hindu has recently been voted the most unbiased newspaper by the Muslims.)

In november I saw that a doctor has been beaten up by the colleagues of an armyman he was treating. I will post the details later, if I can find it.

The news I was referring to: (translated from bengali and condensed)
At Durgapur, west bengal, a group of jawans beat up a doctor today evening. They had come for the post-mortem of a colleague around 5pm. The doctor refused to do the post mortem the same day as post mortems are undertaken only before 4pm. At this, the jawans beat up the doctor.
(Aajkaal, 29th October, 2006)

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Iran Awakening

I finished, almost simultaneously with Road to Mecca (because I was reading them in parallel) another book: Iran Awakening, by a renowned activist, journalist and in fact a Nobel Laureate, Shirin Ebadi.

She has struck me as a particularly stubborn woman, who is not willing to give up an inch from what she has decided, from what she thinks is her (or other’s) right.


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The Road to Mecca

Born to a Jewish orthodox family, in an Austrian city, Asad’s story of growing up before and after his conversion to Islam is at the same time interesting and illuminating. His brilliant insights here and there on the leafs of his book, The Road to Mecca makes it a wonderful read.

This is his autobiography. Not surprizingly, it is published by Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lampur. It was first published in the US in 1956 for the first time, but it seemed to have found little audience.

In his narratives, he oftentimes becomes very elated. Reading his description of the bazaars feels like walking in a dream. On waking up, one may find only a mundane eastern bazaar with traders shouting in a sea of voices, high and low. But it is this very ability to make mundane thinkgs mystic is what makes him a mysterious wise man, too difficult to grasp, yet very close. One upon whom you can trust your secrets.


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