Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Steps away from the path...

Having another religious discussion with a friend; I normally have such discussions with, quite a thought provoking point was highlighted by her. 

She said, and I totally agree with her, that we look at others for inspiration, for motivation, we seek ways to lead a better life by reading about people who've been successful. Yet, we completely ignore, the one personality whose foot steps we are supposed to follow. And that personality is of our beloved Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H).

It's not that Islam, in any way, has asked not to read up on people's lives, or to not try and lead your life towards betterment. 

In fact, Islam asks us to keep a balance between religion and the world we live in. It tells us to refrain from worldliness, but not in a way, that we confine ourselves to isolation and forget about life altogether. Islam advocates that we realize the beauty of life, and in this beauty praise Allah and thank for all that He has given us. 

It allows its followers (Muslims) to try to bring betterment into their lives. Setting up a successful business in pursuit of money has not been prohibited.

Muslims have not been asked to stay away from all kinds of happiness. And so, we have not been asked to refrain from following other's example provided it does not deviate us from Islam.

But in doing all this, we forget that the one example that we have been explicitly asked to follow is that of Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (P.B.U.H.). 
The one book that we've been asked to read and seek help from is the Holy Quran.

All problems or complications of life can be solved if we just read and try to understand what Quran preaches.

Our lives will be much simpler if we try to follow Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.).

And if you study Islam and teachings of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) you'll realize that all the lessons of life taught by different people, and written down in different books is what Allah has already given to us in the life of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) and the Holy Quran.

But instead, what we've done to ourselves is quite the opposite. We've scratched from our lives any hint of Islam. 

We may, offer prayers all five times of the day. But from it, we don't learn the lesson of punctuality. Muslims have been asked to leave all work, as it is, and stand up for namaz when we hear the voice of Azan (or when the time for offering namaz has come), yet, we delay prayer till the very last moment, and then we need special training sessions for Time Management.

We've been asked to Forgive people, the same way we expect Allah to forgive us. Yet we need psychiatrists to teach us the mantra "Forgive and Forget".

We've been asked to pull away our hand from food, when a little desire remains. Yet we need our gym trainers to give us a diet plan.

We've been told that if a customer returns previously bought items, a shop keeper should take them back without complain. We've been guaranteed a palace in heaven in return for this simple gesture. Yet we need a famous business like Walmart to dictate return policies.

Islam's teachings of Zakat and Khairat (donations), if followed correctly and religiously (in the literal sense of the word), can eradicated poverty to some extent and also purify our money. Yet we wonder why after all the hard work we put in day in and day out in our works, we still end up saving only a small fraction.

We've been asked by Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) to keep a tab on our anger and to control it. Yet we need self help books to practice Anger Management.

We've been asked to trust Allah and only Allah as the only one who has the authority and power to bring betterment and happiness in our lives. Yet we seek help and assurances from others, who themselves, are only human beings and do not even have the power to bring betterment to their lives, let alone the lives of others.

We've been asked to be honest and truthful. Yet we must be taught the rule of "Honesty is the best policy" after we've hit hard by the punishment of dishonesty.

I may be a advocate of all of the above statements, yet, I am ashamed to confess that I too am not a follower.

I read self help books. I seed ways to be happy. I read articles to put a stop to stress. I have a list of biographies that I want to read. In fact, I am reading one these days.

In my small blog, you'll find a lot of quotes, and none of them is a Hadith (saying) of our Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.). Because, I too, like many others, have sorrowfully drifted away from what is the only best way to lead my life.

I will end this small piece of article with the conclusion of my discussion with my friend.

A person may be offering five times prayers, may be offering fast even in months other than Ramadan, may be reading Quran daily, but he may also be a dishonest person who keeps grudges against people. 

On the other hand a person may be a good human being, one who is honest and kind to others, yet he may not offer prayers, give Zakat, read Quran.

It is a combination of both the above kinds of people, that is a true Muslim. A person who offers prayers, gives Zakat, reads Quran and implements the teachings of Islam in his day to day life. He treats others justly, just like Islam asks us to. He is honest, just like Islam expects us to. And this is the kind of person we all seek to be. This is the kind of person who is happy and satisfied, and who enjoys the best of both worlds, this one and the one hereafter.

Let's decide today that we'll try our level best to gain more knowledge about Islam, read Quran, seek help from Allah and read about Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.). It is only after we know what Islam teaches, will we be able to follow it.

And for non-Muslims, read up on Islam to better understand it, before deciding against it. Reading up on a religion doesn't harm anyone. I am not asking you to start following it. I am asking you to learn about it and then decide.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Of Creativity

Jobs to David Sheff (interviewer). The interview was published in February 1985, he turned 30 in Playboy.

If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you've done and whoever you were and throw them away.

The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, "Bye. I have to go. I'm going crazy and I'm getting out of here." And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.

Taken from Steve Job's biography by Walter Isaacson.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Congratulations Team Pakistan

After a well-fought (by both teams) match between Pakistan and Bangladesh, Pakistan proudly carried the Asia Cup 2012 cup.

Congratulations to Pakistan.. not just the team, but the entire nation.. :)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keep it simple, stupid

Apple's mantra, featured on it's first brochure:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
From Steve Job's biography by Walter Isaacson.