Monday, October 2, 2017

The Fish and I: Ponder on this!




By a German Poet

The other day,
I went to the sea
And asked the fish,
 "Do you know who made the ocean and you in it, and for what?"
The fish gave me a puzzled look and said,
“I don’t know and I don’t care as to who made the ocean
And put me in it and for what.
Ho ha! I don't like such questions.
I have no time. Can’t you see how busy I am?
I have to run for food continuously
And watch myself day and night
That no one catch me or eat me alive.
Man! You can’t imagine how hard is life.
No, no. I have no time for such questions.
Why don’t you go and ask some man?
Over there, you see that man?
He does nothing but catch fish all day.
 I bet he has time.
And by the way, I have heard it said,
Man has a mind with which to think.
You see, I am just a fish,
A poor animal.
 I have no mind.
So use your brain.
Go ask the man and leave me alone.”
I went to the man and asked him,  
“Sir, do you know who made this world,
The earth, the moon, the star, the sky above,
 And the universe beyond
Floating in time and space.
Who began it all?
And put man in it?
There must be some purpose
And man must see His Maker?”
 The man got up from his slumber
And shouted at me angrily,
“Get away from here.
Go get lost somewhere.
With all your questions,
 You frightened my fish away!
What do I care?
 What good is there in such useless questions?
 What difference does it make
As to who made it all
And put man here?
 And as regards the purpose,
 Ho ha!
 What a silly question between you and me!
 What’s there in it for me?
 Can’t you see how busy I am?
 I have no time.
You know how hard is life?
 Or no one ever told you
About the rising prices,
The corruption,
 The scandals of heron and aids,
The rising flood of pollution and crimes?
 The hell they cry about in churches
May be far out there
But the one we have ourselves made
Is right down here!
With a thousand things to worry about,
 I can hardly sleep
And on top of all this
Here come you with your foolish questions!
Go! Get lost!
And think yourself all such thoughts
But leave me alone.
I have no time.”
 The man went back to sleep.
The fish went away.
 The ocean kept on rolling.
 It was getting dark on the deep.
 I came back home.
 What could I do?
 But somehow or the other
 The thought keeps on coming back
Again and again
That man has fallen to the level of a fish!
 Or even lower!
What a fall it is, my countrymen!
 How sad it is that a few are left
Who have the time and can still think
About such questions.
Let’s make a pause and think like men
While we are here.
For no one knows when the call may come
To depart from here.
Forever and ever.
 Let’s find some time to think of the One
Who made it all and put us here.
 His door is open and He is very near

 For everyone who seeks Him.

Monday, June 26, 2017

An Interactive Session with my Quran teacher (Dr. Farhat Hashmi)




It came as a pleasant and surprise Eid gift to me. Our teacher Dr Farhat Hashmi visited our Quran Institute today morning. We had an interactive session with her. A student recited the last verses from Suratul Hashr which touched the heart.  The translation is as follows: 


O you who have believed, fear Allah . And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.And be not like those who forgot Allah , so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.
Not equal are the companions of the Fire and the companions of Paradise. The companions of Paradise - they are the attainers [of success]
If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah . And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.
He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.
He is Allah , the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Regarding these verses our teacher mentioned the hearts and their conditions while listening to the Quran. During Ramadan we all were in touch with the Quran in some way or the other. Some of us recited it more, some listened to it more, some read it with meaning and some tried to recite it in beautiful tajweed (proper way of reciting the Quran). Whatever way we kept in touch with the Quran, surely had an effect on our hearts. Some of us keep that effect ongoing by continuing with what we found beneficial for us, but some of us again start lagging behind and just restrict that to the month of Ramadan.

She asked us to put a question to ourselves: what is the condition of our hearts while listening to or reciting the Quran? What affects us the most and how? Do we cry with our eyes and our hearts? 

As she mentioned the condition of the hearts she shared with us some points from the book 'Dawa e Shafi' by Imam Ibn Qayyim al Jawzia. It was indeed a heart softening session! 

When we are unaffected by the things around us and live life like a log of wood we must know that there is some problem inside our hearts. Something is missing or not correct. The author has outlined some of the symptoms of a heart that is not sound. Just as the physiological symptoms  warn a person of a heart disease and put him on high alert and he panics and runs to get his heart treated, the spiritual symptoms too should be known to find out if our heart is spiritually sound or not. In the case of heart diseases the person accepts what the doctor tells him to do. He is ready to go through a lifestyle change or to get admitted to the hospital to be sure that his heart is functioning well. In the same manner a person must be aware of the soundness of his heart and must try to adopt the necessary measures to cure his heart of any spiritual weakness. 
The teacher mentioned in points what the author lists as some of the main symptoms of an unsound heart:
  1. The person is more worried about the affairs of the world as compared to the affairs of the Hereafter. All the time he is occupied with the worldly things and never thinks about the day of Judgment.
  2. The person is not able to cry. His eyes have become dry and his heart is unaffected by things around him. At this point the teacher mentioned what are the things people normally cry over. Sometimes only the eyes shed tears but the hearts are not affected at all. It is better that the heart cries even if the eyes do not shed tears as this is something which is hidden from people and it also prevents show-off. She asked us to correct the direction of our sorrows and crying. It should be for Allah. It should be over the affairs of the grave and the Hereafter. It should not be for the petty things of this world. It is much better if we complain of our grief and sorrow only to Allah and not in front of people.
  3. The third symptom that points toward hard heartedness or unsound heart is the fact that a person loves to be in the company of people; enjoying his best, laughing, forgetting the passage of time and just having a great time with them. Such a person only loves to meet people and never a thought crosses his mind that he is soon going to meet Allah as well. He has no desire to meet his Lord and no thoughts in this regard in this heart. 
  4. Fourth and the last point that the author mentions is that a person feels uncomfortable in the gathering where Allah is mentioned. He feels restless and does not find solace or peace there. 
When the discussion about an unsound heart was going on, one student mentioned Ibrahim Alayhissalaam who possessed a sound heart or Qalb e saleem. He was a focused and sincere servant of Allah who called his nation toward the oneness of the Creator and called people toward understanding that the man made gods were of no benefit or harm to them. 

After mentioning these points from Dawa e Shafi, our teacher asked us to do self analysis or muhasba to know and find out about our hearts. She also highlighted the importance of the daily supplications of protection and the significance of the remembrance of Allah. These daily supplications help us in numerous ways as they are a protection for us from all evil and they carry tremendous rewards as well. 

As human beings we will fall short and do mistakes but we must not lose hope. If sometimes we lag behind in doing our routine good deeds we must compensate that with the remembrance of Allah as soon as we remember it.
Those who do the work of Allah, spread goodness and the teachings of Islam are more prone to getting evil eye and hasad, therefore, they are required to recite the daily supplication with much more care and consistency. 

After her part of the session, our teacher Dr Hashmi asked the students to interact and share their experiences in Ramadan so that all can benefit. 

One of the ladies asked her that we learn so many weighty words and phrases like Taqwa (God consciousness), Ikhlas (sincerity) and Shukr (gratefulness), but how do we practically apply these terms in our lives.

Ustadha answered in a very simple way saying that we must reflect and ponder on each of our actions and try to see the outcome of what we do. 

She gave various examples like when we feel thirsty we drink water. This is a normal act and it is purely physiological and worldly. But as soon as we say "Alhamdulillah!" this simple act of drinking water becomes an ibaadah or worship! This way we have incorporated the concept of shukr or thankfulness in our life. Also if someone else is giving us the glass of water we can say Alhamdulillah as well as thank him or her by saying Jazak Allah Khair (May Allah reward you in good), this makes the act of drinking water alone a way of worshiping Allah and thanking His servants. The heart becomes filled with gratitude and the person acts upon the command of thanking Allah.

Another example she gave of our time while cooking. We can think about those who do not have much and are deprived of a life full of bounties. While cooking we can feel thankful to Allah for bestowing so much and feel deeply about others too.

As regarding sincerity we must ponder on our actions and see as to whom we are pleasing. 

There was one very beautiful point that was mentioned. We do not always need to call others toward the Quran and its teachings verbally or physically, it is our way of behaving calmly and being peaceful and patient in odd situations which can attract people and they are forced to ask us as to what has made us so peaceful and wise. This way they can get interested when we introduce to them the teachings and wisdom of the Quran that has led us to behave in this graceful and tranquil way. The akhlaq and manners of ahl e quran itself can do a great deal of work without giving extensive lectures and invitations toward Islam! 

Those who are devoid of the sweetness of guidance and do not listen to or crave for the Mercy of Allah such are the unfortunate ones. Some people are so heedless that they ascribe false things to Allah and His Messengers. This is a grave sin. Those who were heedless to the Truth and the teachings of Al Quran and those who forgot the remembrance of Allah will be raised blind on the day of Judgment and will be forgotten by Allah as they forgot Him in their life. 

"And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind." 20:124

Another lady mentioned that we must not let our children enjoy just the luxuries of life and not have them experience the hard work and the sweetness of exerting ourselves for doing good for others. She mentioned how her 6 years old child did the circumambulation of the Kaba (the house of Allah in Makkah) from the roof and did not get tired! Ma sha Allah! Also he was so keen on serving the pilgrims water and was running around giving glasses of water to people! She said that she could see how her child was the coolness of her eyes by being so enthusiastic regarding good deeds. 

Another student shared how we must work on our children for their religious education as well which is not contradictory to the modern education. She mentioned how her twin children are both memorizers of the Quran as well as good in modern education. Her daughter is herself keen on dressing up modestly and they enjoyed their Taraweeh prayers immensely during Ramadan due to their connection with the Quran. 

I also shared a couple of incidences in the session. One incidence was regarding my friend and neighbour who went to perform Umrah (minor pilgrimage) and forgot her phone on charging. She remembered only after they had gone too far to turn back. She started to feel upset without the phone as she thought she might need it very badly during her Umrah when she would get separated with her husband due to the huge rush there. But then suddenly the thought of the grave came to her mind and she thought that she can contact her loved ones on the phone here when she is in trouble or needs them but what will happen in the grave when she will neither have her phone nor any other means to contact her loved ones?

This made her heart at rest and she stopped being worried without the phone! 
The next thing I shared was regarding the extreme heat that we are experiencing these days in Jeddah. The weather is too hot these days. When I set out for the session in the morning with my husband,
we discussed the sun and how it is so hot even when the sun is so far away from the earth. My husband told me the facts about the distance of the sun from the earth and how it takes 8 minutes for the sunlight to reach the surface of the earth. Then I shared with him the Hadith in which it is mentioned that the sun asks the permission of its Lord to rise each morning and then one day it will not be given the permission as it will be the Last Day; the day of Judgment. We discussed how so many things are the affairs of the Unseen and we will only be able to know the reality of everything once we meet our Lord, The Almighty. The desire to meet the Creator is the most beloved thing for any creature, especially the human beings who have been given the highest faculties of reasoning and intelligence!

This was a very enlightening and reviving session after the long and hard journey of Ramadan. It increased the still sparkling light of the Quran in the hearts as it was just the second day of Eid. Meeting the Quran teacher and having this interaction was in fact a beautiful gift we enjoyed on Eid!
I pray that Dr Farhat Hashmi has good health, wellbeing and acceptance of all her good efforts in the way of Allah the Almighty and we continue to benefit from her wisdom and ilm and keep our journey on the path of Allah going on with pleasure and great spirit. Aaameen. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Big Question

The big question is why? Why in the whole world only one religion and its followers and its tenets are being targeted? Why every other ideology, religion and system is no threat to anybody but when it comes to Islam it is being presented in the most negative light by not just the media but even by other authorities? Why people readily listen to anything even if it is some meaningless rap but when they are told to listen to or read the Quran they feel offended? Why over the globe only the followers of Islam are being targeted, be it the issue of hijab, mosques, prayer call, beard or their struggle for their rights as citizens? Why no body questions the authenticity of the ideoligies presented by others as just theories? Why is there such blind following of non sense and no body bothering to look into that but such hurried opinions over issues that have complete authentication and historical and divine proofs?
Why doesn't anyone bother to challenge and raise the voices against the weird rituals and customs carried on in the name of belief and faith although such traditions clearly harm the society, the women and children and the animals too!?

I was trying to read about the various practices that take place in India in the name of religion and I came across numerous examples. Even in Christianity, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism they have unbelievable customs and traditions which are being carried out very conveniently and there is no amount of threat to their existence. Some practices are carried out in the name of culture and without any fact or proof they are maintained with surprising ease and fearlessness. If you want to have a look at some of the awkward things found just in India you can visit the link below:

https://sites.google.com/site/weirdbeliefs/

My big question still remains: Why Islam? Why has it been distorted and mispresented to the world? The teachings of Islam are crystal clear if you read the Quran and the Life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and learn direct from the sources. Do not judge the book without even looking at its cover! Do not judge Islam by looking at Muslims alone. They are not representing Islam as it should be. They are not completely and correctly following it many times! I agree this is a fault on our part. But there are many around who are there as the standard bearers of Islam. They are trying to represent Islam in the most correct way.

Why is adhering to the faith you proclaim is considered undesirable and living like someone who is open to everything considered being liberal? Why on earth then you proclaim some ideology or faith when you do not want to own its principles and values? What makes you a Muslim, a Christian or a Hindu, or a Sikh if you do not follow what your religion says? Is it limited to just your name?
Why a religion with a crystal clear history and a Book which has not doubt in its divinity rejected and hated so easily by many people even without taking a step ahead to know what actually the truth is?

The answer is not as complicated as the question.

The adherent of this religion have not made the required efforts to present its real picture to the world. Many are doing this work but still the message has not being conveyed satisfactorily. Many youth are just wasting their time on the net and are unaware of their own faith. Abusive languange, taking revenge and arguments have become a common practice. Islam does not teach all this. It is a religion that teaches forbearance and dealing with wisdom and patience even with those who differ from you. It is not a fight or competition as to who wins or who is right. It is a struggle to dye your heart in the colour of Truth and throw away the robe of falsehood and lies. It is the time people leave behind the prejudices and at least listen to or read what Islam actually is. The responsibility is in the hands of Muslims. They need to present Islam in the best manner through their good conduct. The Quran is not just a Book it is indeed the speech of the Creator. People tend to believe in all the weird things so easily but when it comes to truth they hesitate.

Every human has been created on the natural instinct that is the yearning for truth and the only truth is that there is only one God. Every soul has been created upon this nature. The soul has this thirst to know who created it and what is the purpose of it being here. People wander here and there in search of truth but they do not find solace because this need of the soul is not met. No other entity except the one true God can give this peace to the yearning heart. Islam calls towards this success. Islam is a call toward the worshipping of the true Creator and not assigning anyone or anything else that status.

Can we imagine anything that resembles us or that resembles any animal or object to be our Creator?
Can you imagine an ipad looking like person to be the inventor of the ipad? : ) weird example I know!

Is the Creator not capable of being self sufficient? He has created the earth and the skies and put everything on it and sent the human beings. He created the life and death to see who is best in deed. He created us to worship Him alone. If we do not worship Him He is not in loss only we are the ones who can suffer the loss. He is the Originator and the Creator and the Master of everything.

The big question revisited: why such a simple religion that has only One God a matter of discomfort for the people who believe in what not. I do not want to sound offensive to other ideoligies but my point is just this; Islam propagates monotheism, it has one clear Book which defines the laws and gives guidelines to live a successful life and build an everlastingly successful Hereafter, it helps its followers utilize the bounties of the Creator and asks them to spread the Message of Truth; why then it is the most chased after faith?

Are you curious to know? I would recommend you to read a good translation of the Quran in your language with a clear heart and mind and Allah willing, you will understand the big question and hopefully get the simple answer to it!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Prophet Moses (Musa alayhissalam)

In the light of Surah Al Qasas; Chapter 28 in the Noble Quran.

Musa or Moses (peace be upon him) is one of the mightiest Prophets of Islam. He is among the five great Prophets namely Abraham (Ibrahim), Noah (Nuh), Jesus (Isa), and Muhammad (Peace be upon them all). The reasons why Allah chose him to be a Prophet and the one whom He talked with can be found out when we read his story mentioned in the Quran. He is mentioned most frequently than any other Prophet in the Quran. In Chapter 28 of Al Quran called 'The Stories' or Al Qasas Allah mentions the story of Prophet Musa in good detail.
In verse 1 Allah says that He is relating the story of Musa in truth for those who are the believers.
Quran is the only living book since 1400 years which relates to us the past stories of the nations that have been wiped out from the face of the earth. But those who are the people of understanding and those who believe in the facts and the truth presented in history believe the words of Allah without any doubt. Scientists and researchers have found out many things to be true as they are mentioned in the Quran.
Quran was revealed on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was unlettered and there was no way he could find out the history of the bygone days. Allah revealed to him the stories of the past prophets and nations and he narrated the verses to the people of Makkah so that they believe in Allah and accept the truth of one true god.
The story of Musa (alayhissalaam) is one of the stories related to Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) through revelation.
Musa (peace be upon him) is found to be invoking Allah at all the points in life. His story starts with mentioning how the tyranny of Firaun (Pharaoh) had left the girls alive whereas he commanded that all the boys of the children of Israel be killed. Allah had a plan for this unjust ruler. He wanted the children of Israel to be the leaders and wanted to raise a prophet from among them. Allah put this in the heart of the mother of Musa that she puts him in the sea when she fears that the men of Firaun would kill him. Then Allah caused Musa to reach to the hands of  the courtiers of Firaun and his wife, who was a good woman. She took Musa alayhissalaam in her care. Allah also planned in the favour of Musa's mother when his sister suggested them that she knows a household which can nurse Musa for them. Now Musa was near his mother as well as getting raised by Asiya, who was Firaun's wife right under the nose of the tyrant ruler and his devout enemy.
Musa alayhissalaam spent his early youth in the palaces of Firaun. Later he had to flee from the cruelty of the people of Firaun as by mistake he had killed a man from their nation.
There are some very good points to take from the story of Musa (peace be upon him).We can apply these points in our life to attain great status in the sight of Allah the Almighty. Some of the points from the character and story of Musa are as follows:

  1. He admits his mistake instantly. This can be done only by a truthful person. Only a truthful person can see the truth even if it is against his own self.
  2. He fulfilled his promises. 
  3. He is constantly in touch with Allah and asks for His help at every step in life. This is the quality of believers.
  4. He is a very sensible person and takes decisions instantly putting his trust in Allah.
  5. He is not at all arrogant eventhough he was raised in the palaces.
  6. He is among the good-doers and those who take a step ahead to help others in need.
  7. He acknowledged the Power of Allah and had a clear knowledge of what Allah is capable of doing.
  8. His had a great character and was a just person.
  9. He was truly humble as he readily accepts his mistake and asks Allah to forgive him.
  10. He was very strong willed as he carried on with his life eventhough his future was very unclear and he did not know how the things will turn out. He did not lose hope rather tried his best to reach where he could by whatever strength he had. 
These points from the character and story of Musa give us a very good formula for leading a content and successful life. Belief in one God and having complete trust in Him is the greatest gift a person can be bestowed with. We should value whatever capabilities we are gifted with and should never undervalue our worth. We have weaknesses which we should acknowledge and try to find solutions to overcome or compensate for them. We should ask forgiveness for our mistakes as soon as we realize that we have made a mistake. We must not delay repentance or take it lightly. We should not lead a life which is vague and unclear rather should have a conscious mind which understands and values the blessings of health, faith, resources and an awakened conscience. 
As believers we should be principled and disciplined, having great value for kindness, justice, and welfare of all.
We all need to come out of the shells of selfishness. We need become lovers of goodness and truth. We have to have a big heart for others and to live for the benefit of others which is infact living for our own benefit; for the Pleasure of Allah. 

Notes from Surah Al Qasas Lessons. 


Monday, December 5, 2016

The Benefit of Belief



I was lying down to take some rest but my mind was far from the resting mode. It was being constantly visited by ideas, thoughts and conceptions. Various images were being flashed in my mind and I could not resist thinking upon this topic- Belief.
In my mind I got the images of those who represent a certain belief system and of those who are too open to all kinds of ideologies. The latter do not mind taking up everything that comes their way and it is acceptable to them, they take it conveniently and stay merry on their own accord. Commonly such people are viewed as very open-minded, liberal, secular and are given many such labels. On the other hand, those who adopt a certain lifestyle and try to live by it are not seen as common and simple people. Mostly people think that they are extraordinary, fundamentalists, extremists and many such words are used to describe them.
Let us not see this only in the context of religion. We can find people following a particular lifestyle and believe in it firmly and abide by it. They are truly people of discipline or we can also call them determinded and focused.
For example, due to their belief in certain way of life and in certain ideology some people take it up as a passion and they come to be recognized by it. This firm belief in whatever they do becomes their identity and hence it represents them and they are recognised by what they believe in and implement in their life. We can look at examples in a vast arena of beliefs like someone believes in generosity and takes it up as a great responsibility and his or her life revolves around it. Some dedicate their life on their belief on good health, so they are recognized as the gurus of a healthy lifestyle etc. Some people are focused on music or any other art form and they believe that it is their identity, their life and their goal to dedicate everything in its way.
Belief is actually something that gives direction.
Whatever you firmly believe in dictates your life and then your life is framed according to it.
In the case of religious belief too the same thing is present.
But if you take the other things apart from religion you come to realize that each and everything mentioned above like physical health, generosity, art forms etc. has an underlying set of rules and hence the believer in those rules tends to have this faith in them. If he has to learn music he has to follow certain pattern of learning and then he can become a good artist. In the case of health too one can not do it blindly without facts and proper knowledge and expertise.
What I am tying to put here is the fact that every belief has to have an underlying foundation. You do not believe anything until and unless you verify the facts. Blind belief is never substantial. It has to be based on facts which makes it a solid ground to build your belief on. This then becomes unshaky and you never have to worry about becoming confused or double minded as to carry on with the belief or not.
The same goes for religious belief.
As far as Islam is concerned it is based on a clear proof and all its facts can be verified in History. The living miracle because of which Islam is firmly rooted in the hearts of its followers is The Noble Quran. Those who do not know much about the Quran can find out that it is the Revelation sent down upon the Last Prophet of Islam Muhammad peace be upon him. Since its revelation more than 1400 years ago it is still in the same condition in the context of its wording and message. Many researchers have tried to find out discrepancies and contradictions in the Quran but they have ended up believing it the scientific facts that this noble book presents to all the Humanity.
Quran was not revealed just for the Muslims rather it is a book for the guidance of whole of Mankind.
When belief is grounded on solid proofs and verifiable facts then this belief is with you, deep inside your heart and it remains with you till you breathe your last.
Morever when you have the conviction and a strong belief in something and you are more than confident about what you are believing in and why you do not keep it to yourself. You love to pass it on and you like everyone to know about the Truth.
God is not just for those who belong to any particular faith. God is the Creator of each and everyone of us. It is our duty as His Creatures to spread His Message to all. The topic of the Quran is mainly the Human Being and its message is mainly to Worship the One and Only God and not to worship any false gods. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

No Problem




It happens with each one of us. No one is spared from the problems and difficulties at some stage in life. One phase of life might pass like it was a bed of roses and suddenly something happens that changes the whole scenario. That same bed of roses is now packed with thorns and bushes. Difficulties and problems are difficult hence they are called so...at least when we are facing them they seem to be the hardest things in life to face. But as soon as we learn to live with them or when fortunately they are solved or passed we do not feel that burden on our minds. This is human nature. He gets overwhelmed with all the emotions as they come and easily forgets the pains that he goes through when that phase is gone. This is good for him. If the person lingers in the painful moments then it is extremely unhealthy for him. Sometimes people are not able to lift themselves up from the painful past events and keep them fresh in their minds. This causes them a constant pain, sorrow and grief and as a result they are under continuous stress. Life is the name of moving on. It is something that grows. It is something that brings about change. Pain will come and difficulties will arise. The work that needs to be done is to either learn to adjust according to the nature of the problem or to try solving it. It takes time. No difficulty is easy to get rid of. It is your effort plus your mindset to change your sorrow into something that you can live with. Losses sometimes can not be retrieved. We have to live with this fact. Some problems can be dealt with intelligently seeking solution and taking steps practically in that direction. Just sitting and whining over the problem won't solve it anyway. 
So whenever we encounter problems in life we must keep this in mind: nothing stays forever, it passes. What one needs to do is to take action. Of course, it depends on the nature of the problem to see what sort of approach it requires to be solved or removed.
But one thing is certain...you might be in pain while the problem lasts but you also learn a lot from that situation. Your way of thinking can improve, your wisdom can increase, your problem solving skills can get polished and most of all you will have a golden lesson learnt from life.
When a problem leaves you with a good lesson and leaves you to become a better, humbler and more sober person then that problem is No Problem. 
Life teaches us lessons through these difficulties, trials and troubles. We are the students of life and it is an amazing teacher indeed.
Life throws challenges at you assuming you to be its intelligent, feeling and conscious student and so it demands that you act wisely whenever there are problems and difficulties at your disposal.
Intelligence is not just some score or the IQ points. Intelligence is the problem solving ability of the person. It is the presence of mind. Intelligence shows itself when the person has the tact to take various situations that come his way with calm, poise and courage.
Life is for those who are lively, who act and are responsive. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

People, Rainbows and You


Back again after some gap since my last blogpost. Had been away on vacation, meeting people, doing things, understanding life and pondering over its events and changes.
Life is never still. If it were so we would have destroyed ourselves with boredom and monotony. Changes, ups and downs, incidents, surprises, disappointments are all part of life. Afterall it is life...it should be lively, right?

Travel has always been a great way to learn things. It lifts you up from one stationary position where similar things are happening almost each day and sets you free to explore the various possibilities in life. The journey is everything from exciting, adventurous, tiring, uncomfortable to relaxing, enlightening and educating.

When you step out from your usual setting in life and enter into the world of journeying and traveling, you realize that you have a great deal to learn at your disposal. You find new scenarios, you meet people different than your own culture, you find differences in food choices, you explore the talent and expertise of so many unsung artistes who make things in their tiny homes and they make way upto airports and dutyfree shops, selling in good prices. I wonder how much share reaches those who are actually behind those beautifully spun clothes and extraordinary works of handicraft!

When you reach your destination, you land in a completely different setup. You find so many things unsual and strange and you tend to keep wondering and enjoying your much awaited displacement!
This change of place is much needed to break the months long monotonous life of work, school or homemaking for everyone from men, women to children.

If one is going to meet her relatives in the hometown the feel has added excitement. The anticipation of rediscovering all those things from the memory lane, enjoying all the food that is staple at that place, meeting old friends and relatives and visiting favourite places.

One more important thing that one experiences and learns well during a vacation is the art of meeting and dealing with people. People of all kinds. People with different tastes, moods, choices, opinions and feelings. It is like you are meeting a rainbow with amazing colours. Although the rainbow also has some colours that you would not rate as your favourite colours, yet you like the idea of a rainbow. Similarly, you might not like all the traits that you find in people and it might be the same with them regarding you but still...you keep company with them, learn to handle them, try to be at peace with all kinds of people that you come across. This is not being timid or surrendering to anyone. This is empathy. I would not like to call it tolerance, but patience it is.

Interestingly, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims is one of the greatest examples of journeying and traveling to a different country and meeting an amazing variety of people. People come for Hajj from all around the globe, so you can imagine the diversity! Yet, Hajj is a symbol of unity and harmony. Hajj is not accepted if you do not show patience with each other. If someone completes all the rituals and fights and abuses others, he has not fulfilled the duty of this great act of worship. Through Hajj people learn to act humbly, eat moderately, tire physically, behave intelligently and deal with others patiently.

Hajj is a once in a lifetime journey but for some fortunate ones it becomes a lifelong experience of change for good.

I was talking about people who seem to me like rainbows. All colours and shades of emotions and behaviour are there around you. Some colours are your favourite and so they reflect you well. Some you do not take fancy to but still they are around as being part of the rainbow, so you can not do away with them. Imagine a rainbow with just one colour...it will not look attractive at all. Your home environment and your social circle looks exciting just because of the different shades and colours it has, of people of course.

Therefore, my dear readers, even if you do not like or approve of some people or their behaviours, do not give up on them. Enjoy them like you enjoy a rainbow behind the clouds in the vast sky. The colours are all there yet you like it...you do not want to take out any colour of your choice from it and say, "I like this rainbow but without such and such colour."!

Also if we imagine a house where everyone has the same taste, the same liking, the same behaviour and everything in harmony then where is the excitement? Where is the arena to practice your precious quality of patience?

Love the rainbow with all its colours.
Life will show you many shades, try to enjoy each.


The Fish and I: Ponder on this!

By a German Poet The other day, I went to the sea And asked the fish,  "Do you know who made the ocean and you in i...