Friday, May 29, 2009

Hadees e Kisa (The Event of Cloak)

Hadees e Kisa (The Event of the Cloak) is a famous narration from the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) by none other than his exalted daughter Hazrat Fatima Zehra (A.S) herself. The hadees tells of the event in which God extols the status of the Panjetan e Paak (The Pious five) and introduces them with the refernce of Hazrat Fatima (A.S). The pious five constitute the Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself - Fatima's (A.S) father, Ali (A.S) - her husband, Hasan (A.S) - her first son and Hussain (A.S) - her second son. Therefore, she is the focal point of the Panjetan e Paak and enjoys a status rivaled by no one. She is also Syeda tun Nisa al Alameen (Leader of all Women). Yesterday was the day of her martyrdom (3rd Jamad us Sani). Her last words are a true reflection of her exalted status and of her exemplary devotion to God Almighty.

Back to the topic of this post - the Hadees e Kisa. I am particularly fond of the Urdu Manzuma (poetic) version of the hadees which is regularly read in many households (especially Shia households) on every Thursday night. I was unable to locate the Manzuma (poetic) version of this hadees on the Internet, so I decided to scan it myself on this trip. I am posting these images here in the hope that someone else looking for them may find them here.

Page 1. Click to view full image

Page 2. Click to view full image

Page 3. Click to view full image

I have also shared them on the internet as a public folder on Lastly, embedded below is an awesome manqabat by a dear friend of mine recited at Yom e Hussain (Hussain Day) at NED University in 2006. Entitled Ghar Fatima Zehra Ka Ajab Shaan Ka Ghar Hay (Fatima's house has an unusual significance), it speaks of the elevated status of the people belonging to this blessed house - the Ahlul Bayt (the family of Prophet Muhammad).

Image courtesy: Darwaish786 at DeviantArt

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Scourge of Taliban

Much has been said and written about this relatively newly coined term 'Talibanization', in the context of Pakistan and Karachi itself. The 'Talibans' from Afghanistan have poured in across the border in their hundreds following the US invasion, something which US secretary of state accepted last week in her address along with general attitude towards Pakistan. I think there should be no ways about it, the Taliban have been operating inside Pakistani territory with impunity for far too long and something needs to be done about it.

The Taliban ideology is in many ways similar to the Kharjites - La Hukma Illa Lillah (No Ruler ship except by Allah alone) ideology and represents an extremist view of the religion that defies logic and common sense.

Meanwhile, the government, in its eternal incompetence, knew that there was no semblance of its writ left in certain northern areas of Pakistan but continued to delay when an operation seemed inevitable. And the poor populace (hundreds of thousands!) were the sufferers as they were caught in the crossfire and left with no option but to flee their homes. Can you imagine leaving your homes and everything else behind like that? It is a sacrifice of great magnitude and it is our duty as fellow citizens to help these people in their hour of need.

There are also stories of great personal heroics of Pakistan Army officers. Examples like the one of Major Abid Shaheed and Captain Bilal Shaheed reaffirm our faith in the exceptional ability of our armed forces to get the job done. The public opinion is in their favor and with each terrorist attack that is carried out by the Taliban, the more alienated they become and the sooner, god willing, they will be flushed out. Attacks in Lahore and Peshawar this past week are proof that the Taliban are desperate and retaliating in their own cowardly way.

Again, I agree with Anas when he says that this would have been expected of them and security agencies should have been better prepared and equipped to prevent such attempts. As I said the other day, I have serious doubts whether we will ever be able to rid ourselves from these blasts given the inefficiency with which our police force operates. As Kulsoom pointed out in her post following the Lahore blast, it was third time in three months that Lahore was hit which goes to show that terrorists continue to operate freely inside Pakistan and no major attacks have been averted of late. Can you think of any?

Some time back, I posted about the heinous sectarian violence being committed by the very same Taliban in Kurram Agency, Parachinar in particular. It is high time that this operation is extended towards the areas bordering Afghanistan and all such miscreants are driven out of Parachinar, again, something which should have been dealt with much much earlier. But the menace is here and is spreading out of control and needs to be curtailed right now. There are no 'good' or 'bad' Taliban anymore. Anyone who has the audacity of taking up arms against the state and refuses to come to the negotiation table needs to be dealt with in the most strictest way possible.

Also worth reading is Karachi Khatmal's excellent post on the Taliban.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The ignominy of relegation has come to pass. My worst fears have materialized and the unthinkable has happened - the Toon are down :'(! I was surprised by the lack of fight shown by the team at the death knowing that a goal was all they needed to stay up. But maybe it is for the best. The tumultuous fortunes of this club need desperate sorting out and maybe going down was the best way to come back up stronger and better. But it is painful as hell nevertheless. I've been following them ever since Big Al moved there from Blackburn ... and it's been a topsy turvy ride. Two 2nd place finishes behind ManYoo; the slump that followed; the resurgence under Sir Bobby ... but never in my wildest dreams had I thought that things would get this bad.

In the process of going down, we've set new records for teams that have been relegated. Apparently, we're the club with the highest attendance to have gone down (50,000) and possibly the club with the highest wage bill. It remains to be seen who the reigns will be handed to. Personally, I would like for Big Al to keep the job and for Ashley to get the eff out asap. In nine months since he's taken over we've had 4 managers and a disastrous campaign affected by boardroom troubles culminating in this humiliating day. A mass exodus of players will undoubtedly follow, and the onus will be on local talent coming through the ranks. When the toon will return to lock horns with the big guns of the premier league is anybody's guess.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh my Toon!

Oh boy, oh boy! What a difference a day makes. Just last week we were reveling in the aftermath of our victory over Boro, and now a week later courtesy of a harsh result - perhaps a bit undeserved - and there we are again, staring at relegation right in the face with only one freaking game to go! What makes it worse is the fact that it is out of our own hands now, so even if we win next week, it may not be enough!

Sunderland's game away to Portsmouth on Monday now becomes crucial for us, as a loss for them would leave the door open for overtaking them on the last day of the season. It's bad, real bad ... who would've thought of this day, Newcastle in the championship, no freaking way!

God help us.

Help the Displaced of Swat

Echoing the appeal for the displaced people of Swat valley, I would like to urge everyone to donate generously to this cause. The number of displaced people has overwhelmed the authorities and it is up to us to help our fellow countrymen in their hour of need. have compiled a list of organizations that you can donate to.

You can also join with Dr. Awab Alvi aka Teeth Maestro, who's himself on a personal fund-raising drive. It only costs 37 bucks to get a hamper of relief goods to one family, so do chip in.

If you're in the US, you can text "SWAT" (without the quotes) to 20222 and donate $5 to UNHCR that will go towards the Swat Valley relief efforts. Thanks to Kulsoom for this info.

P.S. I've also added a widget on the right-hand side of this page that can be used to place online donations. The donations go to Paksef. More about them here. You can customize the widget and put it on your blog too! Click here to do so.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Long Live Pakistan

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Weekend of Sports

Being home and free has given me plenty of time to catch up on all the sports action going on nowadays. First off, football - my dear club Newcastle United aka the Toon Army are in dire straits at the moment. I cannot, for the life of me, remember them playing as dreadful as they are playing right now and nothing short of a significant increase in their quality can result in them staying up this season. Remember, this is a club that was playing European football only 2 years ago and finished as high as 3rd and 4th in 2001 and 2002 seasons under Sir Bobby Robson. It clearly proves that no club is too good to go down and that in the Premier League, fortunes can change very quickly. With a wage bill topping a whopping 70 million quid this year, and with no clauses in players' contracts in case of relegation, just goes to show how everyone who ran this club had no idea they would live to see this day, where relegation is a realistic possibility. Alas, all is not over yet and with a game against fellow struggles Middlesbrough on Monday night, things could still go our way. Alan Shearer wasn't exaggerating when he said this is possibly the biggest game for this club in a long, long time. And here I was thinking this honor would've been reserved for those famous meetings with Liverpool (3-4), Barcelona (3-2), Leeds (4-3) or ManYoo (5-0).

In other action, playoffs are in full-swing in the NBA and NHL. Carolina Hurricanes are leading the Boston Bruins 3-1 in their playoff series (much to my surprise, I must add) given the thrashing they received in the first game. Orlando Magic are also 2-1 up in their series against the Boston Celtics. Celtics barely got through their first-round series against the Bulls, who I thought played some great basketball and deserved to go through. Nevertheless, I'm rooting for the Magic to down the Celtics before they meet LeBron n co. God help them then :).

Finally, Formula1 - which has been nothing short of exciting this season. Who would've thought that with four races into the season Ferrari and McLaren would have no significant successes to speak of. The whole debate about the diffuser has marred this season for sure, and while some manufacturers are struggling to get their car running smoothly on diffusers and KERS, you would've thought they could've prepared better beforehand and done some homework in case the ruling didn't go their way (which it didn't). Nevertheless, Brawn GP have been a breath of fresh air this season and it'll be interesting to see whether they can carry this form into the next season. Williams, oddly enough, and Nico Rosberg in particular has been setting fastest practice session times in every other race this season but for some reason have failed to translate that into a podium position yet. I hope they do good this weekend.

All in all, an exciting weekend of sports action awaits us. While you may be going out and having a good time, I know where I'll be this weekend - glued to the TV! :) and did I mention its good to be home? Hell Yeah it is!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Home Sweet Home

No place like it. Although I haven't been out yet, the air of Karachi is definitely different - not necessarily in a bad way. It's just different. The sweltering heat hasn't helped matters, but hey I'm not complaining! The dreaded load shedding is there but is bearable. Since I'll only be here for a month, I have to plan out everybody who I have to meet before I leave - relatives, cousins, and friends (in that order). The place hasn't changed much in the past year. I hope I could say the same for the security situation, things just seem to be going downhill on that front.

They announced May 12 as a public holiday today. I hope someday justice will prevail and the perpetrators of that black day in our city's history will be caught and prosecuted. As Hazrat Ali (A.S) rightly said: "Societies based on Kufr (infidelity) can survive, but societies based on injustice cannot". How true. I hope we don't end up becoming an example of that. It's also great to be in the gracious presence of mankind's best invention ever - cable :P. Ok ok, that's a bit too much but when you haven't seen no cable in months, that would probably be your reaction too. I'm a sports buff, so needless to say I miss cable like hell. More on that in the next post.

The long flight went unexpectedly well. Was able to get some sleep and spent the rest of the time reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. You should definitely read it if you're into Da Vinci Code and that sort of stuff. I'm also eagerly waiting for the premiere of the new Star Trek in Karachi (it opens on May 15th). Reviews have been favorable so far, and it seems J.J. Abrams has been successful in reviving the fortunes of this franchise (like I hoped he would).