Heatwave in Karachi & How we responded


This would have best context, for those living in Karachi. But, others would also get the main message. With the rising temperature in Karachi, in the recent past (June 2015), going as high as breaking record (45oC), which was exacerbated by the government’s water and electricity shortfall, that some 1000+ souls lost their lives in this big metropolis. Most of them were either chronically ill or drugged and rest lacked awareness about heat-stroke, but it was no less than a tragedy for the city, in recent times. I wrote another post on heat stroke and how to respond in such situation, here.

Women wets her burqa to cool off the head of this elderly man

Thanks to God, who has provided us with this government and KE, KWSB, KMC, WAPDA, Karachi Meteorological Department and Sindh Police, Civil/Jinnah Hospital and PIA, etc., without which we couldn’t have gained piety in this holy month of Ramazan. This is a sarcastic statement, but they really tested our patience. How could people (eg living in first world countries), in relative quiet time and peaceful living, get the chance to demonstrate patience and tolerance, when everything is easy for them. You know, many of those people (living abroad), run into a situation where they can’t find enough people eligible for ‘zakat’ (person living below poverty line), people under stress, and destitute families, that they have to turn to the third-world countries, to fulfill their obligation of zakat (giving alms).

Both the people with the means and luxuries of life are tested (‘Ibtilah’) and also those who are living in poverty. But, God tests more the pious people, so as to test the strength of their faith and to give them a chance to increase their level of ‘taqwa’ (piety).

{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).}[al-Ankaboot 29:2-3] – Quran

Indeed, in order to earn such blessings, we have to observe patience and not get agitated, under any circumstance, like that which Karachiites (specially the poor) are enduring through lack of basic essentials like water and electricity, the trouble of getting CNG, increased beggary, raging traffic and the rising mercury level.

“Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” Narrated and classed as hasan by at-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, no. 146 – Hadith

So, those who did observe patience and those who got martyred through the heat-wave, mugged, or endured heat or lost someone/something dear to them, and did not complain and observed ‘sabar’ (patience) and remained thankful to the blessings of Allah, must have gained His ultimate favor.

{Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.}[Az-Zumar 39:10] – Quran

Although, it wasn’t wise to observe ‘fast’, during those extreme heat-wave period, specially for the weak (who are exempt anyways) and impoverished (who risk their lives), and specially when the government was adding to their misery, failing to provide electricity and water. I have written another post on how to avoid, identify and recover from heatstroke. But, I am sure, who did fast naively and with the sole ‘neeyat’ (intention) of gaining Allah’s favor, would definitely get their reward. During Friday sermons/prayers, I noticed lots of people, under open scorching sun, stood perspiring from head-to-toe, saying prayers.

That’s indeed a great sight, of the level of faith in the society, under such tough circumstances.

{And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155–157] – Quran

Such, calamity also provides us the opportunity to perform those acts of kindness that I noticed many people of Karachi demonstrated, by volunteering to provide drinking water with ORS (necessary salt) to hundreds of thousands of people in shantytown and hospitals, across the city. The noble acts of planting trees (Neem tree) followed, which is a ‘sadqa –e- jareeha’ (eternal reward).

Neem tree plantation, by volunteers

Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “There is none amongst the Muslims, who plants a tree or sows a seed, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but it is regarded as a charitable gift from him.” (Bukhari) – Hadith

Everyone volunteered either with their money, or time, effort, awareness or encouragements, in whatever manner they could, to serve their fellow Karachiites. Acts of kindness and sacrifice, when you have plenty to share or when you are trouble-free, is obviously easy. One of the reasons for fasting in the month of Ramazan, apart from giving a break to your body, is to feel for the poor, who are hungry and thirsty and learn to observe control without any discontent. If we are awake all night, eating or just hanging around with friends and sleeping next day in AC, or remain in AC anyways, you’ll still fulfill the obligation, but you will miss to observe hunger or thirst and a feeling for the poor. Similarly, in the middle-east, it’s common these days to see temperatures has high as 40-50oC. But still, you don’t get such opportunity of giving and sharing with the impoverished, that you get in Karachi.

11705471_10155757487850072_2188371522267574757_o Food given to a child11536507_1137088642987883_3840152461339580152_oWater distribution - hospitals

So, the real metal is proven, when under such dire circumstances, Karachiites showing their heart for such immense level of brotherhood, is a pleasant sight, something we must be thankful for.

Umar ibn Hazm reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There is no believer who consoles his brother at the time of a calamity but that Allah the Exalted will clothe him with noble garments on the Day of Resurrection.” – Hadith

Pakistan is known for its philanthropy and the month of ramazan sees its phenomenal rise, where you see hundreds of thousands of people giving charity, by providing free ‘iftaar’ (food boxes), arrange places for ‘taraweeh’ (evening prayers), give free ration to the hungry, give cash to the poor (‘zakat’) and donations to hospitals and charity organizations, was overwhelming to observe in this Ramazan. Somehow, such information is never highlighted in the news. The reason, I almost stopped turning TV on.

Water streetsmedicinesPoor man receiving waterIftaar box

Last but not the least, such acts of nobility aren’t complete, without the mention of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s Edhi Foundation, who provided funeral services to the sudden death of hundreds of people during the peak heat-wave, which no one was able to handle, government, least bit. Our leaders (in the government) should understand their job is to serve and to protect, and not to rule us. There is a painful hellfire waiting for them, if they neglect their duties and let such a magnitude of people suffer like that. But, anyhow, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise, where it provided us the opportunity to expiate our sins and reminded us of the true path.

Thus calamities, trials and tests are signs of love from Allaah for the believers. They are comparable to a cure; although it may be bitter, you accept it because it is from the one whom you love; and to Allaah belongs the best example. As comes in the hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the affliction. When Allaah سبحانه وتعالى loves some people, He tests them. He who is content (with Allaah’s decree) will receive the Pleasure (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى); and he who is discontent will attain the wrath (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى).”[10] Related by at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله graded it Saheeh. – Hadith

So, we should observe patience under any circumstance and do good to others, in the best way you can. But that does not mean no accountability for the leaders (government officials), responsible for this debacle. Part of the ‘sabr’ (patience) is to stop them from committing this hardship on the people at large. It’s also our responsibility to protest. It’s indeed same as committing oppression, when you bear oppression and does not voice your concern or fight back.

May Allah, grant maximum reward to these people who served their fellow beings (‘huquooq ul ebad’) and give us ‘sabar’ (patience) and strengthen our faith during such difficult times and save us from actual calamity and give us ‘toufeeq’ (guidance) to make the most of this month, so that we get your ultimate favor, Aameen! May Allah, also give guidance to our leaders (in government) and save them from hellfire, Aameen!

Verily we belong to Allaah and to Him we shall return. O Allaah help me in my calamity and bring me something better in return, Aameen!

Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. – Unknown

* Many of the photos, I’ve taken myself and many I’ve gathered from volunteers on social media.
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Why Muslims act cautiously abroad ?


I did mention once there are so many smart muslims in America, who’re much more adherent to Islamic values, than people in muslim countries. But there is a growing lot, different from them, specially after the advent of 9/11. Here I would like to tell you about them.

You must have noticed that many of the muslims, who had left their muslim countries for good (out of troubles they faced there) and chose non-muslim countries as their homeland (for their personal and family’s prosperity), live a very careful life (talking specifically about US & UK). When I say careful, I meant, they tend not to open up their identity (as muslim) or show off their islamic practices, instead act and appear as local as possible (from the wisdom of ‘do what the romans do’, to be successful in that society), stay clear of any involvement of islamic gatherings or activities, predominantly do not indulge in islamic propagation, hide their values indoor, tries to find Islam, that which conforms to their western lifestyle, and the worse of them, since Islamophobia is the latest fashion (of the majority), curse islamic values in the same tone (many a times even harsher, assuming they’re somehow more knowledgeable about Islam, being born as one) compared to the local unaware Americans, whose only source of information about anything is MSM (mainstream media – TV).

Check this out, some facts, from the land of the free and the most enlightened:

proisraelad_pamela_geller

Pam Geller Anti Muslim Subway Ads

According to the FBI, anti-Islamic incidents were the second least reported hate crimes prior to 9/11, but following 9/11, they became the second highest reported among religion-bias incidents. From pre-9/11 to post-9/11, a growth of 1600% took place.

  • American Muslims often get the kind of treatment once reserved for blacks and Jews, dehumanized groups that also were the victims of racial and ethnic prejudice and violence, according to University of Georgia religion professor Alan Godlas.
  • Do you know why the Sikhs are targeted in US for hate-crimes. Because of the wide ignorance, Sikhs are ‘perceived to be Muslims’. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a category of ‘hate crimes against perceived Muslims’ and such incidents jumped up by 50 per cent in 2010 because of anti-Muslim propagandising, according to FBI’s 2011 hate crime statistics.
  • In 2012, seven mosques in the United States were attacked in two week during the holy month of Ramazan. After the incidents, the Huffington Post reported that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington D.C. issued a safety advisory on August 6, 2012, advising Muslims to install surveillance equipment, request police patrols, and report suspicious vehicles driving near mosques ahead of Eid ul Fitr.
  • Ahmad Bashir, 57, repeatedly stabbed by man shouting anti-Muslim statements outside mosque in Flushing, Queens. Mr Bashir’s nose was also bitten in gruesome assault. Unknown attacker was able to get away, and remains on the loose as police investigate.
  • Portraying Card causing controversy among Muslim community
  • Hate crime specifically targeting Middle Eastern storekeepers in Brooklyn, the last of whom, a 78-year old Iranian immigrant named Rahmatollah Vahidipour, was shot to death while closing his boutique and whose lifeless body was then dragged to a backroom and covered over with merchandise from his store.

    Within the same week as Vahidipour’s murder another Muslim man was viciously beaten by two men who preceded their attack by asking him whether he was “a Hindu or a Muslim”, while another man was stabbed several times outside of a mosque in a random attack by an assailant who screamed “I’m going to kill you Muslim“, while repeatedly plunging a knife into his victims’ body.

  • ‘Hate crime’ on cards for Iraqi woman killed in California, US  – 2min Video
  • Ali, a 64-year-old native of Ghana, is an imam, or Islamic spiritual leader, in suburban Detroit. He said he was last detained in December while returning to the U.S. from Toronto. “I was shocked. Why do they handcuff me? I am not a criminal,” Ali said.

imrs

  • You can clearly see that hate-crime hasn’t subsided, since the time it was fueled during 9/11 incident. It has certainly changed the world.
  • According to the CAIR report:
    • As Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King noted in his July 2, 2005 article entitled “Let’s Proudly Hail the Rights of All,” anti-Muslim sentiments are as prevalent as ever, even comparable to sentiments held by many of Japanese Americans during World War II. In June 2005 alone, King notes, a man was sentenced for firebombing an El Paso mosque, a Qur’an was desecrated with human waste in Nashville, a mosque was burned in California, a bag of burned Qur’ans was left outside an Islamic center in Virginia, and an Islamic school in Miami was vandalized for the third time. Political freedom, he muses, is perhaps not extended to Muslim Americans.
    • Increase of Police Discrimination:  One of the most salient increases from 2003 to 2004 is that of discrimination by police such as unwarranted arrests and searches. One example of unreasonable arrest occurred on June 10th, 2004 in Colorado where a Muslim family’s house was raided by the IRS and armed FBI agents who drew their guns. The family was told that an IRS investigation was being conducted and the agents proceeded to ask them questions such as “Are you Shiite or Sunni?” and questions about “Hamas, Hezbollah, and suicide bombings.” They were also asked “If the US went to war with Iran, which side would you be on?” Another example of law-enforcement abuse occurred on October 11, 2004 in Minneapolis where a female hijab-wearing Muslim student of Somali background was pulled over by police. The policemen searched her car and threw her belongings onto the street, including her Islamic books and the Qur’an. They then left her to pick them up by herself.
    • Hate Crimes on Campuses:  Anti-Muslim hate crimes have been especially visible on the campuses of universities and colleges nationwide since 9/11. In the Spring of 2003, anti-Muslim rants were shouted towards student Christine Lo’s dorm room at Yale. Lo had hung an upside-down American flag outside of her window to protest the war in Iraq. The ranting students also attempted to pry open her door with a plank of wood. After they left, Lo found a note prompting Americans to kill Muslims and ”launch so many missiles their mothers don’t produce healthy offspring.” Yale administrator Raphael Soifer also became the target of discrimination when a Yale student spit at him in a dining hall and exclaimed ”I hope you and your families die! Why don’t you go live in Iraq.” Similar threats have been found at institutions such as San Jose State University (California) in 2003, where graffiti in the bathroom claimed, ”Muslims will be shot on SJSU campus on March 10!” At the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, moreover, Muslim prayer rugs were discovered soaked in pig’s blood.

2011-08-31-vaccineforislamophobia.jpeg

As per Department of Justice report (only few excerpt copied here):

The incidents have consisted of telephone, internet, mail, and face-to-face threats; minor assaults as well as assaults with dangerous weapons and assaults resulting in serious injury and death; and vandalism, shootings, arson and bombings directed at homes, businesses, and places of worship. Some of our prosecutions include:

  • Arlington, Texas: Henry Clay Glaspell pleaded guilty to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act by setting fire to a playground outside a mosque in July 2010.
  • Columbia, Tennessee: Three Tennessee men, Jonathan Edward Stone, Michael Corey Golden, and Eric Ian Baker, pleaded guilty to spraypainting swastikas and “white power” on a mosque in Columbia, Tennessee, and then starting a fire that completely destroyed the mosque.
  • Burbank, Illinois: Eric Kenneth Nix pleaded guilty on March 6, 2006 to blowing up the van of a Palestinian-American family that was parked in front of the family’s home.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: James Herrick pled guilty to pouring gasoline on the wall of a Pakistani-American restaurant on September 13, 2001, and lighting it in an attempt to destroy the building.

, Director of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, writes in Huffington Post:  “First, the Brookings study, “What It Means to be an American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11,” reveals that most Americans have very little direct experience of Muslims. The majority have no opportunity to speak to a Muslim, even occasionally.” So, thanks to the mainstream propaganda, around 50% of Americans are uncomfortable with muslims as elementary school teacher, or muslims saying prayers at the airport or mosque or muslim women wearing ‘burqa’. Take a look at another survey, by Gallup.

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She further explains: “What’s good about that? In fact, it helps explain findings such as the Gallup Poll that placed Muslims as the most disliked religious group in America. We tend to dislike what we do not know.  What they know, unfortunately, was provided by a small cadre of well funded scholars, bloggers and media personalities, in particular, those on Fox News. ”

So, with the bombardment of propaganda and disinformation against Islam during the past decade, through the powerful mainstream media, you can see its aftermath today (as evident through the incidents above). Now, I understand the reason for muslims living in America to be cautious. Just like any other human being, they developed a psychological tendency to adapt with the prevalent norm, as at the back of their mind, they fear not doing anything, which could result in returning back to their country of birth. So, I don’t blame them, they should be careful, specially after 9/11 incident, the rise of hate-crimes, looking at the history of verbal harassments, sabotage, disappearances, abductions, torture and eliminations (extrajudicial, based on your religion), giving exemplary punishment to those who try to use ‘freedom of expression’ to raise islamic point of view, gives shivers to any sensible man. In fact they’re too weak against the powerful hate-mongering MSM (mainstream media). When the american society in general, fall prey to it, how could they understand any better. Thanks to the era of Cold War, it’s now a mind game, than a physical one. We are going through the era of the clash of ideologies.  Having said that, I don’t mean to generalize that all muslims moving to US, think like that, similarly, neither I am suggesting that all Americans are hate-mongers. It is just to highlight the fact, what muslim americans goes through today.

 

Sources & Further Readings:

Why you shouldn’t tell American border guards you’re in Islamic Studies

http://www.justice.gov/crt/legalinfo/discrimupdate.php

Anti-Muslim violence spiralling out of control in America

http://www.pluralism.org/reports/view/104

Debate on Islam is a peaceful religion ? 

What It Means to Be an American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11

In U.S., Religious Prejudice Stronger Against Muslims

Child adoption in Islam – Kafala


This post is in reply to the following article I read today in The Guardian:

Iran lawmakers pass bill allowing men to marry adopted daughters

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/26/iran-lawmakers-men-wed-adopted-daughters

Summary:

Adoption, or legal adoption per se, is not allowed in Islam. I remember hearing this during a Friday Sermon: Adopted child does not become your (legal) son or daughter, so there’s no legal rights in inheritance or any marital laws etc. apply. Similarly, once the child grow up, he/she will become ‘na-mahram’s (marriageable) for the adopting family. Adopted children, unless they have been breast-fed by the adoptive mother, have historically been considered marriageable (‘na-mahram’) to the adopted family. Though, you’re highly encouraged to support orphans.

Kafala (like Fostering):

Most Muslim-majority states do not currently permit legal adoption. Instead, laws permit a system of guardianship (‘kafala’), which resembles foster-parenting, but is more stable. Kafala is defined as “the commitment to voluntarily take care of the maintenance, of the education and of the protection of a minor, in the same way a parent would do for a child.

Ruling on Adopted Child:

The people in jahiliyyah used to treat an adopted child as the real one in all respects. Just like the way we call ‘mun boli behan (sister), or ‘mun bola bata’ (son), etc. The Holy Qur’an condemned this practice and the following verses were revealed:

“And Allah did not make your adopted children your sons. That is only your words coming out from your tongues. And Allah says the truth and He guides you to the right path. Call them with reference to their (real) fathers. It is more just in the sight of Allah.” (Quran 33:V4)

This shows that the declaration of adoption does not change realities, alter facts, or make a stranger a relative, or an adopted child a son or daughter. A mere verbal expression or figure of speech cannot make the blood of a man run through the veins of the adopted child, produce natural feelings of affection found in normal parent-child relationships, or transfer the genetic characteristics, or physical, mental, or psychological traits. Islam believes in justice, the rights of adopted child, adopter and so on.

Rights of Orphan:

In Islam, the right of inheritance is based on biological relationship:

“Those related by blood are more entitled to (inherit from) each other in the Book of Allah.” (Quran 8:75) 

In case of the rights of the orphan children, Allâh is very severe; for example, He says:

“Those who `swallow’ the property of the orphans unjustly, are actually devouring fire into their bellies and they shall enter the burning fire.” (Quran 4:10) 

General Conditions for Marriage:

It is well-known that the Quran specifies those relatives who are forbidden in marriage (4:23). In Islamic law, those that one is prohibited to marry are known as unmarriageable kin. The status of unmarriageable kin occurs by one of three means: marriage, kinship, or milk-foster relationship (having been breast-fed). Adopted children, unless they have been breast-fed by the adoptive mother, have historically been considered marriageable (non-mahram) to the adopted family. Therefore marriage between a child reared through kafala and biological children of the family is legal under Islamic law.

Raising Orphans a Pious Deed:

Having said this, however, taking care of orphan is a noble act in Islam, and the man who does it will be rewarded by being admitted to Paradise. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said:

“I and the one who raises an orphan, will be like these two in Paradise (and he pointed his middle and index fingers)”

 Logical reasoning:

Some of the wisdom in this law, that I could think of:

1. Haven’t we heard about the gangs who smuggle/sell newborns from Russia and other countries to rich parents, albeit legally, turning it into a big business ? Just like the organ transplant need, turning into a evil practice of organ selling. 
2. People adopting child, just to gain legal advantage in their own legal proceedings (eg inheritance cases etc.).
3. Receiving wealth of adopted child, if somehow that arises. 
4. To protect the (inheritance) rights of biological children of the adopter

Response to the news:

I wonder, why the western MSM have to teach the world, and waste time trying to find problem in Islamic rulings, through their short sighted (human) wisdom, when they themselves are struggling to manage marital life. Shouldn’t they ponder and accept the result of their man-made rules, which resulted in breaking records of rapes, divorces, adultery, incests, unmarried females, lack of interest in marriages, and so on, in their societies. Why can’t they omit an opportunity, that reinforces their Islamophobia agenda or Iranophobia agenda?

Conclusion:

There is an infinite wisdom in each and every teachings of Islam, sometimes beyond human’s apprehension. There are rulings which prescribes a person’s minimum age for  (eg puberty, etc.). It’s abnormal for a parent to marry their adopted child, but there’s no restriction. There are defined criteria and rights for both the adopters and the adoptee. Similarly, no marriage is valid unless both parties (husband and wife) agree, along with the witness and guardian.

 

Sources and further readings:

http://www.muftitaqiusmani.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23:adoption-of-a-child-in-islam&catid=9:miscellaneous&Itemid=18

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=135420

Zakat Al Fitr – Charity, so poor could celebrate Eid


handful of barley Definition:

Zakaah al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr. Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty which is Waajib on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.

Purpose: 

The main purpose of Zakaah al-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakaah al-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.

“The Prophet (pbuh) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadaan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before Salaah will have it accepted as Zakaah, while he who gives it after the Salaah has given Sadaqah.”
[Abu Dawood – vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 – rated Saheeh]

When Due:

Zakaah al-Fitr is only Waajib (obligatory) for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Salaah al-‘Eed’ (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid couple of days prior to the `Eid’.

Rate:

The amount of Zakaah is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one Saa` (two handfuls ) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. Typically calculated as 2kg of barley, which is equivalent to Rs. 100 per person (in Pakistan, for 2015). It’s also said that if you can afford, you can give Rs.1280 (as per dates value in 2014) per person or more, but Rs. 100 will fulfill your obligation.

Who you can give to:

Who so ever is eligible to take Zakat, can take Fitr (commonly known as Fitra in Pakistan) as well. I wrote another post on Zakat.

Here’s the list again:

  1. the poor
  2. the needy,
  3. collectors of Zakah,
  4. reconciliation of hearts,
  5. freeing captives / slaves(fee al-Riqab),
  6. debtors
  7. in the Way of Allah / Islamic causes (fee sabeel illah)
  8. the traveler.

Source:

http://en.islamway.net/article/12171

Iftar buffet dinners in Ramazan – Extravagance ?


June 2010: I thought that over the years, with so much awareness through media (including social media), people would be avoiding lavish ‘iftars’ (breaking fast at sunset) dinners during ramazan. 

I was invited by a friend to meet in the evening and have iftaar cum dinner together, at a hotel. I reached there around an hour early, but there was a long queue of cars to enter, some of which were worth 10 times my car and full of people, took me 15 minutes in the queue. Gave the car to the valet and entered to see my friend. While I was waiting at the lobby, I saw many people around. It turned out, there is some corporate invitation and one restaurant was completely booked for it. Here comes my friend, excited, greeted and hugged, since we met after quite some time. It was very nice seeing him. He took me inside one restaurant downstairs, but we were stopped at the entrance, asking for a booking. It was a fairly large restaurant, but was fully booked. Then, my friend used his selling skills and somehow managed to convince the manager and we got the table for 2 at the corner, btw he was staying at this hotel as well. Minutes later, the whole restaurants was filled with families and children and it became so noisy. We grabbed some food, I started off with my favourite starter for ‘iftaar’ – Pakora (anyways most favourite dish for iftaar). Then added some ‘channa chaat’ (chickpeas mix), fruit chaat and ‘dahi baray‘ and returned to our table, where ‘Rooh Afza – sharbat (common drink from flowers) and other drinks were already placed for us.

Here’s a how a typical home-made ifar dishes looks like. I have labeled each item. They are the most common dishes used in Iftar in Pakistan.

typical iftar dishes karachi

I hardly saw people saying duwa (prayers), as it was actually high time for prayers getting accepted. Instead everyone was running, to grab his/her favourite food in time to bring on the table 🙂  Some, were running to enter the restaurants, as they must have got late in the traffic. I saw many people sitting alone on the table, as if their dates have ditched them 🙂 , but actually they were waiting for others to join (who might be stuck in the traffic). ‘Azaan’ (call for prayer) said, at the time of sunset, and we break fast, start eating dates and then the food we had brought. Many people entered the restaurant as late as 20 minutes, past the time of iftar. I thought, there would be many people from companies, but they were mostly families.

Obviously, it is an amazing feeling of having the luxury of eating anything you want (buffet of 50+ dishes), after 16 hours of fasting (not eating). Everyone, including myself wanted to eat as much as possible, or at least taste everything. However, soon everyone realizes that after eating 5-6 items, you feel completely full. And then you overeat, when you want to eat, while your stomach is full. Additionally, everyone wants to make the most of the occasion and make the most of their money spent.

The per head cost of the buffet dinner was Rs 1700 and we were discussing, there are around 1000 people, which means Rs. 1.7 million is spent in just two hours, in one restaurant and we were astounded ourselves at the figure.

While driving back home, I started to reflect back on the event. Fasting (one of the obligatory ritual in Islam) is supposed to instill a desire to help those who are less fortunate, by sharing food and wealth with them.  I thought, we learn to sacrifice our hunger for the will of God,  learn patience, learn to abstain from all evil acts and control our desires, and specially learn, how it feels like to be hungry and better relate to the poor, who can only eat one or two times a day. This way we would appreciate the blessing of God, who has provided us with food and resources sufficiently or abundantly. It’s a month for us to be humble and give charity. Then, I compared my friend paid Rs 1700 per person for that meal (yeah he insisted on treating me:). Imagine, there are around 200 such restaurants in Karachi and almost all would be full in the same way. So, 200 restaurants times say 200 average capacity, times Rs1000 average cost, which means we spend Rs. 40 million in just one day in Karachi, in fact one meal and that is on a lower side estimate.

Imagine, if I multiply it with 30 days of Ramazan – Rs.1,200,000,000 (1.2 billion), money we spent in eating one meal in Ramazan in Karachi ??

I had started food charity drive with friends, for the past 5 months, where we provide poor people with dinner for Rs. 5, while it cost us Rs. 30. So, for Rs. 1.7m a day, I can feed around 1.3 million poor a day. We could virtually eliminate hunger in the country, in a month. Now compare this, the charity food is healthy, and filling and cost Rs 30, while we ate at a lavish restaurant by spending Rs 1700 (we spent 5600% more). Do you still think, it is not extravagance and you will not be questioned by God, how you spent the money, that ‘He’ provided. Everyone is tested in this world, different test for rich and different for the poor. Rich naturally, are accountable more, as they are given more, more power, money, resources, children etc, another reason, I tend not to have more.

Let’s look at some of the crazy facts of Ramazan:

  • Almost everyone say, we gain weight during ramazan ? What,Gain! After staying away from food for 15 hours out of 24 hours daily, you gain weight ? Fasting month 😳
  • Price for food items increases, during the month of ramazan ? I thought, we are supposed to fast whole day, ie not eat and there would be less demand for food overall. Then, how come the price increases ?
  • People make quarrels in the market while buying food items and specially while driving close to the hour of iftaar, in order to reach on time st home. What quarrel ? Isn’t the basic idea of ramazan was patience in the first place? 

Money spent by rich vs money available to the poor. And then we wonder, why there is so much poverty, why there is so much hunger, why there is so much unrest in the society, why there is so much inequality and why there is so much hate? Aren’t we inflicting injustice in the society ourselves, this way. Spending wastefully in food is just one example. How do we spend on clothing, cars, homes, furniture and the list is never ending. First we accumulate money and stash it, to accumulate it. Then, we spend it wastefully. Aren’t we told to keep the money in circulation. Aren’t we told to distribute the money among poor, aren’t we told to pay zakat (2.5% of our savings) and aren’t we told to spend wisely from the wealth, God has entrusted us ? Then, these facts must not be surprising, when we follow all social customs of iftar, while ignoring the teachings and principles of Ramazan and Fasting, how could we possibly get the benefit of Fasting  – both spiritual and worldly.

Here are some background quotes, supporting these points, from Quran:

“Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. ” Quran 17:21

Meaning in this world, so that some are rich and some are poor, and others are in between. Poor will be tested for their patience, while rich will be tested for how they use God’s bounties.

“Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills).” Quran 17:30 

This verse is telling us that God is the One Who provides or withholds, the Bestower Who is running the affairs of His creation as He wills. He makes rich whomever He wills, and He makes poor whomever He wills, by the wisdom that is His.

“O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying and going round the Ka’bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifin (those who waste by extravagance).” (Quran 7:31, Surah Al-A’raf)  

Explanation: There were people who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked, and Allah ordered them to take adornment, meaning, wear clean, proper clothes that cover the private parts. people were commanded to wear their best clothes when performing every prayer. Hadith: “Eat what you wish and wear what you wish, as long as you avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance.” Prophet said: “The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthens his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing.”

“And give to the kinsman (relatives) his due & to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer (traveller).”  

According to Prophet Muhammad (saw): “Your mother and your father, then your closest relatives and the next closest.”

But spend not wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift (extravagance). Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.”

(17:26 , 27 & 28 Surah Al-Isra’, Qur’an)

So, these are some points I was thinking about and wanted to share. Btw, I wrote a blog earlier, if you want to read as well, on similar topic: Extravagance or ‘Israaf’ something we need to be careful about

Want to learn more about Fasting or Ramadan:

http://www.fastramadan.com/10_points_for_fasting.php

Where to spend your ‘zakat’ (charity)


It is a month of ‘ramzam’, where our good deeds are multiplied manifold for its rewards, so consequently, majority of muslims give their ‘zakat'(alms) in this month. I see a plethora of ads, billboards, pamphlets where they are requesting for zakat money. No doubt, pakistanis are most philanthropists, but everyone seems to be jumping to cash on it.

We should remember, that zakat should be given in the form of money, so that the receiver has the complete authority to spend it the way he/she likes, ie to fulfil any of his/her most important need. Or in other words, you cannot buy food, or goods with zakat money and give to these poor people. The idea being, Zakat is poor person’s right, not something you give to oblige him/her, it’s their right. Unlike zakat, you are free to give other charities, and how much you want to give and in what form you want to give, eg charities like ‘sadqua’, ‘khairaat’, etc.

But ‘zakat’ is obligatory. Let me brief you about its basic rulings for Zakat. I have included only common points, while skipping others. Obviously I could not cover this topic comprehensively in one blog post, so don’t take this as comprehensive guide to cover every scenario. However, I will share link at the bottom, should you need to read further.

zakat, 2.5%, gift, charity, alms

Linguistically, ZAKAT has two meanings: purification and growth. Technically, it means to purify ones possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount to the poor, the indigent, the slaves or captives, and the wayfarer.

Who has to give:

It is obligatory for an adult who has saved more than *87 grams (7.5 tola) of gold or it’s equivalent cash or assets (that grows in value), continuously over a period of a year.

* 87 grams of Gold is ‘Nisab’.

Who can receive it:

I have listed only 5 common persons, we usually give zakat to:

  • Fuqaraa: Those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value of Nisab.
  • Masakeen: Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth whatsoever.
  • Aamileen: (Zakat collector) Those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
  • Muallafatul Quloob: Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam or to bring them closer to Islam.
  • Al Ghaarimeen: A person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit. To determine whether a person qualifies, his basic necessities of life (house, furniture, clothes, vehicle, etc.) will not be taken into account. It is conditional that the debts were not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose.

Benefits of Zakat: 

  • It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and as such it is to be spent according to the His commands.
  • Zakat functions as a social security for all. Those who have enough money today pay for what they have. If they need money tomorrow they will get what is necessary to help them live decently.
  • Zakat payer pays his dues to Allah as an act of worship, a token of submission and an acknowledgment of gratitude. The receiver of Zakat receives it as a grant from Allah out of His bounty, a favor for which he is thankful to Allah.
  • Economically, Zakat is the best check against hoarding. Those who do not invest their wealth but prefer to save or hoard it would see their wealth dwindling year after year at the rate of the payable Zakat. This helps increase production and stimulates supply because it is a redistribution of income that enhances the demand by putting more real purchasing power in the hands of poor.

Allah says in the Quran: “The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases.” (Quran 2:261)

charity, alms, zakat

Other questions:

Who cannot be given Zakat?

What kinds of things require paying Zakat on them?

Other assets exempt from Zakat

Zakat calculator 

Further reading (& sources):

http://www.hidaya.org/publications/zakat-information/

http://zakatpages.com/faqs/

http://www.islamawareness.net/Zakat/whatzakat.html

One year, yet Malala is still in the news headlines – Why ?


Post updated: October 17, 2013

Summary at the end..

I read the transcript of her speech at the UN General Assembly and listened to her interviews and news stories and talks about her upcoming book and looking at all the limelight she’s getting, I am of the view that she is a smart and a courageous girl, with a drive to do something big for the country, like many other Pakistani girls and women. Here I will be presenting the reason, why she’s on the spotlight in the global media. It’s dangerous today, if you only know the MSM version of an event.

What does Investigative Journalists say about it:

Some people think that Pakistani in general think negatively and doubt every news coming out of media. To tell you the truth, we’re living in Dark Ages, we stand less chance of understanding the conspiracies happening around the world and committed on us, then to make one. We only get to understand (the real truth), when western society, specially smart people with conscience, opens up and investigates about the events and share with rest of the world. Pakistanis don’t particularly hate Malala as a person or her noble intention, like every other considerate human around the world, feel sorry for her. Let’s read what others says about this:

Newsweek: “One of the world’s biggest public relations firms, Edelman (whose clients include Microsoft, Starbucks), has a team working on her behalf while politicians, journalists and book publishers are making her into something of a global brand.” So, one of the reasons for her perfectly scripted speeches and interviews, as if coming from a 60 years-old political veteran.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.  In her article “Brand Malala”: Western exploitation of a schoolgirl, she says: “Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Malala’s avid supporter, fits that description. He is known as a misogynist by his former work colleagues and to human rights campaigners for his refusal to address the plight of widows whose husbands were unlawfully killed by the state see my earlier story” http://activist1.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/malala-becomes-poster-girl-of-western-government-double-standards-on-gender-justice/

She further points out, with regard to the question of another agenda, artist Jonathan Rao who painted the portrait of Malala that hangs in the National Gallery admits to his concerns in the Independent newspaper and states:-

 “I guess I was worried that she was probably a pawn in a bigger game and was being unduly influenced by the people around her.”

Veterans Today: Project Malala’: The CIA’s Socio-Psychological Intelligence Operation – by  Zaki Khalid, is a geopolitics and security analyst. I shared the above article when this Malala incident took place last year. According to this defense journalist also, the poor girl was exploited. That’s the beauty of conspiracies. They never leave it black & white. They used her good intentions as a front, while camouflaging it with highlighting taliban and terrorism seamlessly. Read her speech, taliban or terrorism is all over it. Every news, headline, article, interview, or title has either of the two word. The writer back then, pointed out about the foreign funded mercenaries committing such attacks (and next day claiming responsibility as Taliban), which is in fact a very common practice in Pakistan. So, she just became a pawn, at the hands of this wider agenda of terming taliban as evil and justifying the false war on terror. And now read this: The Staged Malala Yousafzai Story: Neoliberal near-Martyr of the Global Free Market Wars – by Scott Creighton. Reading above and various other similar research, provides lots of proof point about why they think it’s in fact a staged encounter and how the incident cannot be scientifically true, from surviving Kalashnikov multiple gun shots on the face, to multiple news stories about where the bullet hit, to the preparedness of protesters with play-cards in English, right after the attack and so on. From local media, Syed Mohammad Ali wrote on Express Tribune: “If there was anything unsettling about this entire event, it was seeing the UN’s blatant attempt to showcase and parade Malala in the effort to raise its own credibility. Seeing the UN endorsement of Malala’s heroism does seem a bit cringe-worthy given the impotency of the UN in challenging the US invasion of Iraq without a Security Council resolution, or doing much about the ensuing havoc unleashed in Muslim countries around the world since 9/11. Seeing Gordon Brown, the former prime minister of a country with a shameful colonial past, as the Special Envoy for Youth, benevolently praising Malala for her bravery, did not make one feel any better.”

Drones is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry:

Do you know that Drone is a big business. UK, USA and Israel are the three countries who are leading the development of armed drones and engaged in drone operations in Afghanistan.

  • US plans to spend $2.5 billion in 2014. Living Under Drones report says top commanders (terrorists) account for estimated only 2% of victims.
  • Over the next 10 years, the Pentagon plans to purchase more than 700 medium- and large-size drones at a cost of nearly $40 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office study.
  • UK has spent £2 billion since 2007 on drones, with further plans to allocate additional £2 billion this year.
  • Israel is said to double US’s drones sale by 2014, currently US is leading in the world.
  • Meanwhile, according to a September US government accountability office report, the number of countries possessing drones rose from 41 in 2005 to 76 in December 2011.
  • Canada and Australia are planning to spend $1bn and $3bn respectively on drones.

What’s the triggering Factor: Imran Khan’s Protest against Drones along with Code Pink:

About three dozen members of the U.S. activist group Code Pink plan to march into Pakistan's restricted tribal region to protest U.S. drone strikes in the rugged territory. Photo: B.K. Bangash, Associated Press

On October 6th, 2012, a party of 30 men and women between the ages of 22 and 80 years old were organized by the American antiwar coalition Code Pink, along with Imran Khan’s political party (PTI) and several other volunteers, launched a rally towards northern Pakistan, that was also attended by other westerners, like Lauren Booth, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, and Clive Stafford Smith, an American-British lawyer and founder of Reprieve – an international legal aid agency supporting drone victims. Have you read the report that the lawyer (from Reprieve), who’s filing cases for the victims of drone attacks in Pakistan, has blamed american government willfully delaying his visa process. Read from The Guardian: Pakistani drone victims’ lawyer accuses US of blocking his visit to Congress

Code Pink reaching in Islamabad, jointly delivered a petition from more than 3,000 Americans to the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Hoagland, calling for an end to the CIA drone strike policy in Pakistan.  It’s signatories includesAlice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Jody Williams, Tom Hayden, Patch Adams, Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole and other prominent Americans, including former U.S. government officials, calling for an end to the drone strikes. Before the march, Mr Khan told the BBC that he would authorise the shooting down of US drones over his country if he became its head of government.

Result: The rally (‘peace march’) hit the world headlines, albeit reluctantly, but got the world attention through mainstream media:

Salon, NYT, The Washington Post, The Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Al Jazeera, Daily Mail, NBC News, US News, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, virtually every news channel jumped to cover the news. 

News stories:

“How is our government any better than the militants we battle?” asks Joan Nicholson, a 78-year-old member of Code Pink.
“One victim asked, ‘I have nothing to do with terrorism; can America explain why they chose me?’”

NYT:
“We kill a lot of innocent people,” said Medea Benjamin, a cofounder of Codepink and part of the delegation in Pakistan. She called the attacks “barbaric assassinations.”

Speaking of the tribal areas, she said, “This is a culture that very much believes in revenge, and then they seek revenge by trying to kill Americans. So we are just perpetuating a cycle of violence and it’s got to stop somewhere, and that’s why we are putting our bodies on the line by trying to go to Waziristan to say no.”

Washington Post: “You hit people with these drones and you create instant enemies,” said JoAnne Lingle, a silver-haired Mennonite from Indianapolis. “It’s supposed to be increasing our national security and it’s doing the opposite.”

The Huffington Post:
“I also delivered a letter from Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Jody Williams, Tom Hayden, Patch Adams, Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole and other prominent Americans, including former U.S. government officials, calling for an end to the drone strikes.”

With such stories from people on-site talking to the victims, suddenly generated worldwide uproar, specially in the US public opinion, against the wisdom in drone attacks and the barbaric killing of civilians (unlike what is said to be an extremely precise technology) and ended-up with worldwide outrage against US Government, almost sabotaging the multi-billion dollar drones business (read: precise technology). The Malala incident was said to be staged, to deflect that resentment against drone attacks and changing world opinion, to highlight the threat of Taliban (more so through TTP) to women/children. In fact, changing the game 360 degrees, from world viewing drones as inhuman killing children in Pakistan, to world believing that terrorists threaten children in Pakistan (Malala eg), so drones are inevitable.  TTP is widely considered to be a group of outlaws, many a times funded through foreign secret service agencies, used every now and then for various such covert operations (eg shooting/bombing) and then randomly claiming responsibility (such claims obviously has never be proved and can never be).

Oct 6th, 2012:                      Imran Khan launched rally against drone attacks

Oct 6th, 7th and 8th:       Protest rally against Drones, all over mainstream media (all news report links provided above)

Oct 9th, 2012:                    Malala incident took place (deflecting world view instantly), as that was given even bigger coverage in the media.

Malala incident news spread like a wildfire, since special coverage was given to her, eg Prime Minister, President condoling, COAS (Armed forces General of Pakistan)   visiting her at the hospital, US President Obama, UN’s Kofi Anna sending condolences, later Madonna dedicated her concert to her (not to mention how she publicized it) and then thanks to the professional PR agency services, she’s a worldwide icon now for girls’ right to education. Everyone is jumping the bandwagon, to exploit her fame and many people with good heart, also rallied her cause, out of naivety of the vested interest, rest is history.

Shahnawaz Farooqui (pakistani journalist and commentator) recently compiled this on Malala (in urdu language):

Drone Attack’s Impact on Pakistan:

Drone is considered as a cutting-edge technology, precisely accurate with virtually no collateral damage, while Imran Khan had almost sabotaged it, showing the largest drone operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a failure, where majority of women, children and civilians were killed and a success ratio of only 2% high-level targets.

Here’s some stats on drone victims, humans killed from Drones in Pakistan since 2004*:

Total reported killed:              2,548 – 3,549
Civilians:                                   1255 – 2496
Injured:                                     336 – 1226
Women:                                     321 – 447
Children:                                   168 – 197
High-level targets killed:        2%

* figures in humans

Viewer discretion: Reduced the size, so that you don’t start crying right away

Why do the Governments Promote Malala ? 

Like I said before, with Malala, goes the story of Taliban, along with the message that Pakistan Government not doing enough to curb terrorism or is a failed state and needs intervention. While the cover is to exploit the sympathetic public opinion, who wants to support such subjugated women and children in northern Pakistan, as people with good intention are far more than bad, so, you see mainstream support for Malala from around the world. I would agree, if she has got the chance to voice for women’s rights and girls education, it’s better than nothing for pakistani women’s rights. But at what cost ? As much as she is promoted, it carries with her the story of Taliban being a major terrorist threat (if someone didn’t know about Taliban before, they’d know it by now through her popularity). Had it not been this case, either she would have been dead long ago, without even a news line in the last page in a Pakistani paper, let alone a headline on every international news media and a speaking slot in the UN assembly Or she would have remained nobody like many other unrecognized girls and activists in Pakistan. Read here about those activists and heroes, never heard of, because they doesnt’ serve any vested interests of the western world. So, in other words, her story and promotion, alteast gave a breather of 1 year to the (resumption of) drone attacks in Pakistan, and around the world. Had America been sincere to the women’s right in Pakistan, then it would not have silenced (read abducted, tortured, raped and imprisoned extra-judicially in Guantanamo and destroyed the family of) Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Harvard PhD graduate Neurologist from Pakistan, actually an American Citizen. Her crime, in addition to being extremely intelligent, she developed great command over english and Islam, and started preaching it vociferously. Check out her one such rare video from 1991, where she’s raising voice for women’s right in Islam, in Houston:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnr0AIeKZso

Does anyone in the world know about Edhi, who set up worlds largest ambulance system in Pakistan, all through charity. THEY are our heroes, which the world media, had been completely silent about, so that nobody on earth would know about the goodness of Pakistanis and their philanthropism. If you want to know about Taliban, read from , a british journalist who was captured by Taliban for sneaking into Afghanistan secretly. After being arrested by Taliban, with the treatment she received during her 6 days of captivity and upon release, read Quran later in UK and then she converted to Islam. Feel free to enlighten yourself, let’s not fall prey to media propaganda. There are many videos you can google about her or read her book: “In the Hands of the Taliban: Her Extraordinary Story”

http://yvonneridley.org/analysis-and-opinion/afghanistan-the-reality-on-the-ground

Supporting/Promoting Malala and her cause: 

Terrorism experts have concluded that: Terrorism is a struggle of freedom fighters against tyrant governments suppressing them, anywhere in the world. When you see how US/UK/etc manipulated elections in pakistan (failing people’s popular choice), to bring corrupt as puppets into power, so that they can continue to suppress uninformed slaves, then how could you possibly believe they are sincere about education or women’s education for that matter. Unfortunately, knowing all this, makes it very difficult to support Malala’s cause, because that’ll remain a lip-service by the world powers.

Minus terrorists and Taliban from the incident that is associated with Malala, and she will become nobody in no time, just like Edhi is to the world. 

What Should We Do:

I know, people in Pakistan and around the world are kind-hearted and want to support her on that tragic incident, and her new cause for the women and children, but I am concerned about the western powers and our government, who’re exploiting this incident out of proportions, for their vested interests, viz. Drones business. Fine, I don’t have a clear proof that Malala incident is staged (only have scientific hints), but so is the information that Malala was shot by Taliban, without any proof. So, how come the world is convinced that Malala was attacked by Taliban in 2012 in PAKISTAN, to teach a lesson that girls should not study, and the US is sincerely supporting the poor girls from northern pakistan and Malala’s cause of women education and actually not interested in this multi-billion dollars drone industry, after knowing all the facts, that I mentioned above ? If I support/promote Malala story and her cause, wouldn’t that mean, I am indirectly justifying the need for drone industry and the blood of those innocents pakistanis (men, women and children) will be on my hands, perished by drones every now and then ?

And last but not the least, we are not supposed to highlight (let alone spend multi-million dollars in marketing) such evil acts. Our religion tell us that evil act should not be publicized, but culprits reprimanded and action taken to make sure such incident doesn’t happen again, instead of advertising it to the whole wide world.

What should we do ? Choose wisely, after understanding all these facts, because you’ve the power to THINK and not just believe state conspiracies.

Summary:

 

  • Oct 6th, 2012: Imran Khan launched rally against drone attacks
  • Oct 6th, 7th and 8th: Protest rally against Drones, all over mainstream media (all news report links provided above)
  • Oct 9th, 2012: Malala incident took place (deflecting world view instantly), as that was given even bigger coverage in the media.

In fact, changing the game 360 degrees, from world viewing drones as inhuman killing children in Pakistan, to world believing that terrorists threaten children in Pakistan (Malala eg), so drones are unavoidable.

  • Everyone is jumping the bandwagon, to exploit her fame and many people with good heart, also rallied her cause, out of naivety of the vested interest, rest is history.
  • Drone is considered as a cutting-edge technology, precisely accurate with virtually no collateral damage, while Imran Khan had almost sabotaged it
  • Justifying that Pakistan Government not doing enough to curb terrorism or is a failed state and needs intervention.
  • Unfortunately, knowing all this, makes it very difficult to support Malala’s cause, because that’ll remain a lip-service by the world powers.

Sources & Further readings:

http://hmkyz.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/shame-on-your-dad/

http://activist1.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/brand-malala-western-exploitation-of-a-schoolgirl/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/rise-of-the-drone-from-calif-garage-to-multibillion-dollar-defense-industry/2011/12/22/gIQACG8UEP_story.html

https://dronewarsuk.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/shelling-out-uk-spending-on-drones.pdf

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/u-s-peace-activists-in-pakistan-decry-drone-strikes/

http://newsweekpakistan.com/the-pr-firm-behind-malala-inc/

Oxford Union Debate “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion”


Founded in 1823 and described as ‘the last bastion of free speech’, the Oxford Union is the most famous debating society in the world. On the 23rd May 2013, the Oxford Union held a debate entitled ‘The House Believes Islam is a Religion of Peace’ between three speakers arguing for the motion, and three speakers arguing against the motion, which is now published on YouTube. Don’t forget to listen to Mehdi Hasan, the reason this debate became so popular.

MOTION: “This House Believes that Islam is a Religion of Peace.”

1. MATTHEW HANDLEY, Student from St Hugh’s College, Oxford (for motion):

2. ANNE-MARIE WATERS –  A prominent journalist and campaigner, and is a member of the Labour Party (against motion):

3. ADAM DEEN – Muslim Speaker and Debater (for motion):

4. DANIEL JOHNSTON – journalist and editor of magazine Standpoint (against motion):

5. MEHDI HASAN –  Britain’s most prominent Muslim journalist. Political editor of the Huffington Post (for motion):

(most popular in this debate):

6. PETER ATKINS is former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and now a fellow of Lincoln College (against motion):

The debate ended with a victory for the motion, and a defeat for the Islamophobic side. 

It is said that, “When truth is hurled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood by its nature is bound to   perish” – Quran.  Suppression or ignoring the truth, would only lead to more converts in UK and Europe, as you see now-a-days. Nobody believes in what the mainstream media presents, if it is not based on truth or lacks any logical sense.

I have started to notice that it is not much of a debater’s skills, but rather Islam itself is fairly easy to defend, when you know the facts and figures. If you are interested to have factual information about Islam, from unbiased sources, below are ones I would recommend on this topic. Or you can visit http://www.irf.net and read about Dr. Zakir Naik or listen to his videos on YouTube etc.:

1. en_Islam_and_Terrorism

2. http://www.thecommentator.com/ckeditor_assets/attachments/333/en_common_questions.pdf

3. FAQ about Islam:

http://www.irf.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=255&Itemid=199

Women exploitation in a Islamic republic


Why is the majority of women from rural side of Pakistan  (a major portion), migrate to the urban cities to earn their living and to sustain their family and their male counterparts (husbands), who mostly sit idle at home ? The concept of ‘maasi’ (literal meaning – maternal aunt, but actually referred to as domestic servant), is pretty common in all cities of Pakistan, where women are exploited as cheap labor (in the informal domestic labor industry), ignoring ethical, civil and islamic rights of women and working-women. Many of such girls are minor as well, who should not be doing such physical labor in the first place and is unlawful, by civil or islamic standards.

Rural to urban migration is an established phenomenon, and growing number of women are joining in the flow of labour to the cities. Although, it is a major issue around the world, but more so in developing countries, where women lack awareness about their rights and there’s acute poverty in the country. According to the HDI, 60.3% of Pakistan’s population lives on under $2 a day, which is like 100 million people. There are so many such evils cropping up in the society, because of poverty and division between haves and have-nots. Karachi had the most migrant women workers (40%) among those surveyed. (Siddiqui et al 2006a: 47). According to the available data, there are 20 million home-based workers in the country of which 12 million are women. There are no laws for home-based workers in Pakistan.

When Islam obligates men to be the breadwinner and women to take care of family and house affairs, staying indoors, and each doing work according to their respective natural capacities, it’s simply lack of education, which cause the society to act exactly opposite, to both nature and Islam.

Even if women earns, they’re not obliged to spend a single penny on the family, if she chooses not to, other than on herself.  Islam upholds several times higher respect to women, in comparison to man.

Which religion are these people following ? Is that the religion of ignorance !

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was once asked who amongst all the people was the most worthy of his respect and compassion . He replied “your mother”; the man wanted to know who should be next, he said “your mother”. The man enquired, who next?, he replied for the third time “your mother”, again the man asked who next? He replied “your father”.

Dr. Zakir Naik says on the topic “Women in Islam“: iii. If a woman earns any income from investments or works or engages in business during her marital life, the income is entirely hers and she is not entitled to spend a single penny on the household. She can spend it in any legitimate manner as she may desire.”

Poverty and lack of awareness (education) are the main causes that compel women to go out of their homes and look for jobs like domestic servants (house maids). Though, they’re being exploited back in the rural areas as well, where many work under the feudal lords, in return for no money, but just a land to live in. Of course there are various other factors for women migrating to cities and stories how they’re eventually treated in the cities, but I’ll keep this post to one point, that is their exploitation, as house maids (‘maasis’) in the cities.

Sources & Further Readings:

http://www.islamawareness.net/Women/naik_women.html

http://www.researchcollective.org/Documents/Women_Paid_Work.pdf

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=168457

http://www.kantakji.com/fiqh/files/mawareeth/4015.pdf

http://www.paycheck.pk/main/labour-laws/maternity-work/home-based-workers-in-pakistan

Voting or not to vote ? – Pakistan Election 2013


At a Friday sermon yesterday, I was happy to hear the maulvi sahab, giving guidance on current problems that common pakistanis face today, in relation to the islamic teachings. That was a pleasant surprise, from the usual lecture of islamic history, leaving everyone to understand and relate it to present day situation and find solution themselves, which most of the naive people could not do themselves. He also touched upon election, explaining first that:

voting for someone is equivalent to vouching or testifying a candidate.

That leaves a huge onus on the person voting. Then, he mentioned we should not waste our vote either, by not giving it, which in turn allows an incompetent person to get elected, when the majority of naive people make such choices. But he also emphasized that:

it is an even bigger sin to knowingly vote for an incompetent person.

That again makes it important, to consider twice before making your vote. Further, he said, if you run into a situation, where you cannot find the best candidate of your choice, choose the better among the options available.

yes_vote

The importance of voting is driven by following factor:

  • trust in government;
  • degree of partisanship among the population;
  • interest in politics, and
  • belief in the efficacy of voting.[38]

I, for one, don’t trust the current system of governance, which is predominantly capitalist system, driven by money. Influence of money has brought corruption, jolting the very pillars of democracy viz. media, judiciary, legislative and defence. As these pillars are weakened, this system has collapsed the world over. Failed attempts were made to resuscitate eg in US, by bringing first black president, luring people into believing that institutions have integrity and fairness, where someone from minority can get to the highest power and would bring change. But he also realized soon that he has to succumb to the corrupt system and after one term, people realized that there’s no change and they’re powerless as ever. As per the stats, voter turnout in Pakistan is less than 45% on average for the past 5 decades, while in US 48% on average during 1960-1995. Lack of trust in the government as well as politicians, are identified as the key reasons. No wonder, over the last 40 years, voter turnout has been steadily declining in the established democracies like United States, Western Europe, Japan and Latin America.

Another reason, I don’t trust democracy is because, it’s against Islamic principles, where Islam puts Allah as the sovereign authority, instead of allowing people making ANY law through consensus. Yes, we have Shariah law in place, and the constitution says, it’s supreme, but effectively it’s just a ceremonial law. For example, when there’s a clear-cut prohibition for the use of usury (interest) in Islam, then why is it the rule of business in the country, speaks a lot about the fact that laws are one thing and it’s practice another. I don’t mean to say, everything is un-islamic in Pakistan, rather, we are comparatively fairly non-secular unlike Egypt, UAE, Turkey or Malaysia and we comparatively follow many of the fundamentals of Islam in its true form. Another point to highlight here, we follow islamic ideals without government’s compulsion or force of any kind, unlike Saudi etc. Take for example, we don’t even have Friday as holiday, which is the holiest day in the week, yet more than 90% of people go for friday’s prayers, out of their own free will.

I don’t expect an islamic revolution coming right away, unless we start to educate our masses, about worldly and islamic wisdom out there. Once our educated masses cross 90% mark, like most of the developed nations, then only we as a whole, start to appreciate our own culture, our own values, our own language, heritage, people and learn to be patient, and be able to choose right from wrong and select the competent candidates. Until we overcome the education challenge, we still need to vote the person, who you think helps you getting closer to this objective. What you should look into the candidate, you can read my other post: Talk about change ? – Selecting election candidates. So, I conclude that we should vote the ones who are better among the choices available, instead of not voting at all.

The great thing about Pakistan today, out of 86 million registered voters, 41 million are youth (15-35), which is a significant number, that could drive Election 2013 result in any direction and in fact that’s our only hope for better time and better Pakistan. Our youth today is not only educated, but aware as well, compare to the older lot, with already a literacy rate of above 90%, compared to nation’s mere 58%.

Pakistan and the muslim world


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xg30tHYxdAk/Tyi1fpRnzVI/AAAAAAAAACk/JmIqsetKINc/s640/map+(muslim)+with+title.jpg

Synopsis:

Here I would like to share some facts that you don’t hear ordinarily in the MSM (mainstream media), neither locally in Pakistan or internationally. Most of the time the negative information is overexposed, which cause resentment, hate, despair in the Pakistani society, eventually leading to the phenomena of ‘Brain-drain’ – mass exit of people with intellectual capability, who can handle the challenges facing Pakistan. So, my idea here is to highlight some of the positive facts, and appreciate our recent glorious past and the belief that we can do it again, where we started off being within top 10th position of the world in various spheres of life.

Intro:

The name Pakistan literally means “Land of the Pure” in Urdu and Persian. Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim-majority country. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear weapons state, being the only nation in the Muslim world.

Pakistan and Support for Muslim Ummah – History:

Besides economic and defense consideration, there is another fundamental principle which had influenced Pakistan largely in the determination of its foreign policy, that is its Muslim ideology. The very foundation of Pakistan is based upon Islamic Ideology. The contemporary role of Islam is consistent with the role it played in the struggle of mankind against tyranny. Even before the creation of Pakistan, MA Jinnah (known as father of Nation in Pakistan), lead All India Muslim League, and was strong proponent of supporting Muslim causes around the world, eg the support of Palestinian,  against the occupation and protesting British government for the Belfaur Declaration. Between 1933 and 1946 the Muslim League passed eighteen resolutions in support of the Muslims of Palestine. Right after the creation, Pakistan developed strong relations with Muslim world, specifically Iran & Turkey, while supporting countries like Morocco,  Libya, Tunisia and Algeria in support of their freedom against the tyrant governments and rogue nations. All the three constitutions of Pakistan stressed on the good relations with the Muslim world. Article 24 of the 1956 Constitution provided that the State should endeavor to strengthen the bond of unity among Muslim countries. Article 21 of the 1962 Constitution provided that the bonds of unity among Muslim countries should be ensured. In the 1973 constitution, Article 40 inter-alia lays down a principle of policy that the state shall endeavor to preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic unity.

In February 1949, a World Muslim Congress was held in Karachi, which decided to revive the Motamar Al Alam Al Islamic, which had been set up in Makkah in 1926. Pakistani Industrialists and businessmen, with the support and patronage of the government, convened an international Islamic economic conference in Karachi from November 26, 1949 to December 10, 1949. Even during the days of the struggle against the Hindus and the British, the Muslims of South Asia did not forget their Muslim brothers living in other parts of the world. The Khilafat movement launched by the Muslims of the South Asia after the defeat of Turkey in the 1st World War is its good example. The demands of the Khilafat movement were, the restoration of the Ottoman empire and the institution of Khilafat along with the protection of the Holy places of the Muslims. Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave open support to North African Arabs in their struggle to throw off the French yoke. He considered the Dutch attack upon Indonesia as an attack on Pakistan itself and refused transit facilities to Dutch ships and place, carrying war materials to Indonesia. He played an important role in the struggle of Muslim countries. He, therefore, provided all possible diplomatic and material assistance to the liberation movement in Indonesia, Malaya, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and Algeria.

Distinctive Facts About Pakistan:

Let’s look at some of the important fact about Pakistan:

  • In terms of population, Pakistan is 6th largest in the world and 2nd largest in Muslim countries. 
  • It has a semi-industrialised economy which is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power and 47th largest in terms of nominal GDPPakistan has got
  • Asia’s second largest library called ‘BAIT UL HIKMA‘.
  • In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan.
  • Pakistan has the 7th largest standing army in the world, 7th largest Air Force in the world and the largest air force in the Islamic world with 400 combat and over 200 trainers
  • Air Commodore MM ALAM has a world record of shooting down 5 Indian planes in less than a Minute
  • World toppers in O/A levels exams almost every year and topper girls in mathematics, biology in Cambridge exams. Ali Moeen Nawazish secured 22 As in A-levels exams. Moosa Firoz recently won the World Mathematics Championship.
  • World champions in Squash for over a decade (Jahanghir Khan & Jansher Khan)
  • Snooker champion (Muhammad Younus) – two times world and two times asian champion
  • Edhi – world largest ambulance service (single-handedly developed from scratch, completely on charity money)
  • Agha Hasan Abedi – a legendary banker and philanthropist, who established BCCI, largest banking network at that time with $20 billion in assets, then brought FAST & GIK, two of the top engineering universities in Pakistan today and other institutions who benefited from him includes, SSUET, SIUT, NICVD, etc.
  • Pakistan had nuclear scientists like Dr. AQ Khan,
  • Space scientist like Dr. Samar Mubaramand
  • Chemical scientist like Dr. Ata ur Rehman, who has over 900 international publications including 116 books and 25 international patents, he has the distinction of being the only scientist to be elected Fellow of Royal Society (London) in 2006 in recognition of research contributions carried out within a country in the Islamic world. He is also the only scientist from the Muslim world to have been awarded the UNESCO Science Prize (1999). Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was the Coordinator General of COMSTECH, an OIC Ministerial Committee comprising the 57 Ministers of Science & Technology from 57 OIC member countries during 1996-2012.  
  • Dr. Adeeb Rizvi (world renowned Kidney specialist and philanthropist)
  • Ansar Burney (established large charity organization)
  • Hanif Muhammad (cricket legend) 
  • and the list is never ending, in every possible field, and countries, you’ll find Pakistanis making a difference in this world.

IQ and Intellectuals of Pakistanis:

There are 7 million Pakistanis living abroad, making history, without getting sufficient recognition. They’re doing wonders in NASA, Oracle, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Xerox, to name a few. Pakistan is the fourth highest source of International Medical Graduates doctors in the US. Pakistan is also the fourth highest source of foreign dentists licensed in the US. According to the 2000 census the mean household income in the United States in 2002 was $57,852 annually, whereas for Asian households, which includes Pakistanis this was $70,047.  Pew Research Center found that 29.5% of Pakistanis completed four years of college, 22.5% completed a Master’s in a professional degree while 1.6% acquired a doctorate degree, this compared with the American national average of 17.6%, 20% and 1.1% respectively. That just tells about the high level of IQ of Pakistanis. Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year.

Philanthropic Nation:

The Pakistani American community is said to be philanthropic, research shows that in the year 2002 the community gave close to US$ 1 Billion in philanthropic activities. This is not just true about Pakistani Americans  but according to a 2009 corporate report of Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP), Pakistan in general is considered the most philanthropic nation in the world.

Some More facts: 

  • Pakistani theoretical physicist Abdus Salam won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the electroweak interaction.
  • In medicine, Salimuzzaman Siddiqui (nominated for Nobel Price twice) was the first Pakistani scientist to bring the therapeutic constituents of the Neem tree to the attention of natural products chemists.
  • Pakistani neurosurgeon Ayub Ommaya invented the Ommaya reservoir, a system for treatment of brain tumours and other brain conditions.
  • Arfa Karim had earned title of the youngest Microsoft Certified Expert;
  • Pakistan has an active space program led by its space research agency, SUPARCO. Polish-Pakistani aerospace engineer W. J. M. Turowicz developed and supervised the launch of the Rehbar-I rocket from Pakistani soil, making Pakistan the first South Asian country to launch a rocket into space. 
  •  In 1961, Pakistan became third Asian country and tenth in the world, to launch the Rehbar-I — a solid fuel expandable rocket.
  • In 1990, Suparco launched her first and locally designed communication satellite, Badr-I, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center of the Peoples Republic of China. With launch of this satellite, Pakistan became first Muslim majority country to have been succeeded to developed artificial robotic satellite, and was the second South Asian state to have launched its satellite.
  • In 1998, Pakistan became the seventh country in the world to successfully develop its own nuclear weapons.
  • Later Pakistan produced Fighter Jets (JF17 – Thunder), submarines, tanks (Al-Khalid), pilot-less aircrafts (Uqaab), etc. completely using all Pakistani indigenous resources.
  • Pakistan has the 15th largest population of internet users in the world.
  • The 1960s and the 1970s period is regarded as the rise of Pakistan’s science, which gained an international reputation in the different science communities of the world.[11] During this period, scientists contributed to the fields of, particularly, TheoreticalParticleMathematical, and the Nuclear physics, and other major and sub fields of Physics.[11] The research was preceded by such key physicists as RiazuddinIshfaq AhmadPervez Hoodbhoy and Samar Mubarakmand, among others.

Defence Contributions to the Muslim World:

Pakistan’s Army Service Corps School has trained up to 30 officers from Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Bosnia, Maldives, Palestine, Turkey. Pakistan Army Military College of Signals has trained more than 500 officers. from places such as Burma, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uganda, UAE and Zambia, most of these countries are member of OIC. Pakistan is thought to have developed its atomic bomb program with millions of dollars of contributory aid from (mostly) Saudi Arabia and Libyan oil wealth. So, Pakistan and muslim countries go hand-in-hand, helping each other for the universal brotherhood.

More than 1900 officers from Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Palestine, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ghana, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya and Oman have been trained in Pakistan Naval Academy. Pakistan SSGN has also trained officers from countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Iran. During the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, Pakistan Air Force pilots volunteered to go to the Middle East to support Egypt and Syria, which were in a state of war with Israel; they shot down ten Israeli planes in the Six-Day War, including Mirages, Mystères and Vautours, without losses on their own side. In 1979, at the request of the Saudi government, commandos of the Pakistani Special Service Group were rushed to assist Saudi forces in Mecca to lead the operation of the Grand Mosque Seizure. In 1991 Pakistan got involved with the Gulf War and sent 5,000 troops as part of a US-led coalition, specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia. Since 1960, Pakistan has been actively involved in most of the UN Peacekeeping missions and today stands at the top with 10,175 troops and observers serving in current missions. Some of the major contributions were in Somalia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Congo and Liberia.

Contributions in Global Politics:

In 2009, Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud,  Intelligence Chief of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, shared King Abdullah’s message of ‘unity’ from high-profile emissary. Addressing Pakistani leaders, Muqrin said that the Saudi leadership considers Pakistan as both the vanguard and backbone of the Islamic world. “Not only Saudi Arabia but also the entire Muslim world looks forward to Pakistan’s military strength and political stability, for the leading role it ought to play,” he maintained. At one point, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri told reporters on 14 February 2007 that the secretary general of OIC and foreign ministers of seven “like-minded Muslim countries” would meet in Islamabad on 25 February 2007 following meetings of President Musharraf with heads of key Muslim countries to discuss “a new initiative” for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kasuri said this would be a meeting of foreign ministers of key Muslim countries to discuss and prepare for a summit in Makkah Al Mukarramah to seek the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Conclusion:

We started off with best airline of Asia (PIA), 7th largest bank in the world (BCCI), with $20billion assets and branches in 78 countries, had nuclear program, missile program, space program, etc. The new spirit of Islam is finding its natural expression through its association with the most urgent need for the establishment of a new world order based on equality, justice and fraternity. These are essential ingredients of Islam. A unity based on enlightenment; reform and reconstruction acting as an impetus to international co-operation. A unity which will act in collaboration and as partisans in the common struggle against domination, and indeed as a spearhead of progressive and revolutionary forces.

Shrewd anti-Muslim forces knew all these facts very well, and when they try to destabilize Pakistan, that is a sufficient enough reason to believe, Pakistan is a significant force in the Muslim world and naturally the Muslim world see it as well. It’s our deteriorating Muslim brotherhood and unity, which they exploit. Agreed Pakistan’s current population is ignorant (majority is), specially having half-knowledgeable about Islam, thus the bad perception of Pakistan in the outside world and the reason for the problems that we see today in Pakistan. Due to present situation in Pakistan today, around 3,000 Pakistani doctors every year emigrate to Western economies in search of suitable employment opportunities and hence contribute intellectually to the health sector of developed countries and at the same time leaving the effects of a brain drain in Pakistan. But we are a very high IQ nation. Imagine, if we overcome unrest and ignorance problems, there’s nothing stopping us. Like I always conclude, our fundamental problem is lack of education – both worldly and Islamic. If we uproot feudalism in Pakistan, and improve literacy rate, we can be a significant force, in the muslim world again.

Our growing youth population (60 million, ie 35% aged 15-25 years) with a literacy rate of 94% is already on the right course, as they understand the importance of education and THEY are the ones, who are going to bring change to the status-quo in Pakistan and bring unity, peace and prosperity to Pakistan and the Muslim world. And Pakistan is not behind in on-line social media revolution either, with whooping 20 million+ online users and 8 million on Facebook, 80 million cell phone users, all well poised to excel in the digital age, despite all odds.

Check the work of a Pakistani, who compiled list of successful (but not appropriately recognized):

http://www.slideshare.net/tariqsarwqarawan/world-famous-pakistani

Sources & Further readings: