Why Spidey Was Right and Imran Isn`t…

Caution: Please note just in case some over-zealous Imran supporter wishes to take me on: I`M  F-A-T!

“With great power comes great responsibility”

And then he walks off looking all cool and nonchalant, as if doing the right thing comes naturally. Okay maybe it does, maybe our hearts ARE in the right place and most times we DO know instinctively what the right thing is. But what we do with that knowledge is a different story all together, read any Aunt Agni columns lately?
But I digress (as per usual:P). This article isn`t about Aunt Agnis, their role in society and the type of people that write to them. Let`s not get judgmental here:P This article is about YOU!

Who me?
Who me?

Yes YOU!
Oh yes you slouching in your chair, sit up young man and take note!
Or woman, we really aren`t racist or particular ( yes women are another race, we refuse to be associated with men. Okay maybe we are a  little racist:p)

Anyhoo do you know why it`s about you? Cz even though you may not have gotten into the university of your choice yet or been hired by the firm of your dreams, you ARE in a position of power. How? Cz all of us who are at some position in society (read: can speak English and have a facebook profile) CAN and DO unwittingly command respect. Whether you like it or not you should know that you belong to a class that is “looked up to” (whatever your grades may be in school). Your maid, your driver, your tailor, barber, the General Store wala, or anyone else you interact with all look up to you so you need to conduct yourself likewise!  So before you go all Martin-Luther on me realize that you need to be very careful about the things that you glamorize and the good or bad that you might thereby inspire. We are all ambassadors; choose the brand you endorse wisely. Indeed you will be questioned about it:

Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]- Surah Qaf :18

Think about that before you share a “oh-so-cool” video/song on Facebook next time. Think about the underlying subliminal messages that you are okay-ing with that tiny like/share.Think about it before you break a little girl`s heart when she shyly tries out her pink floral Hijab for the first time. Think about it before you mock a class fellow for praying “too regularly”, or laugh at a friend trying to get married without causing her parents to go into debt ( ever wonder why Americans cry about the recession when they don’t have to throw a Desi wedding?). Think about it when you make a Pathan/Sardar jee/Memon/Meera-Veena/anything-that-breathes joke (and then you complain your mommy won`t let you marry “her” just because she`s not Abbasi). What is the harm you say?  When rich people spend lavishly they make extravagant weddings a status symbol for the common man and so on and so forth…

Money talks and in more ways than we can comprehend. They were right when they crooned:

Ya meri gari dekhi
Yam mera bangla dekha
Ya mera sara Bank Balance dekha
Tmhe Pyaar mjse nai haiiiii 

(Sigh if they had only done that without music). Ever wonder where our “gora complex” came from? Google Aryans and British Raj to know the long-term effects on your psyche of rulers that lived long before the internet was invented. Pricks to know their ideals might have out-lived ours.

When beautiful people dress scantily, they glamorize nudity for the masses (or glamorize anorexia for that matter). When charismatic orators talk about “freedom of speech and tolerance” the line between religious extremism and  liberal extremism can no longer be clearly drawn. When writers write and poets rhyme, much is lost in translation. That is the power of glamorization.  I can honestly picture some dark voodoo stuff now:

A glamour was originally said to be a spell cast by a 
witch to make somebody see things in a different way –Virginia Postrel      (Told you so:P)

That my friend is the power of marketing!

“Many a false idea has been sold on the strength of how beautifully it was presented, and many a sublime truth has fallen flat because of how poorly it was expressed.”-Unknown

This power is unique to those who have been blessed with either wealth, health, good looks or any other talent. So those of you with power (ya X-Men:P) remember that bad deeds like good ones have ripple effects. 

There is a story in Ibn Kathir which says:

…Shaytan then went to Hawwaa` in a hurry and said to her, “O Hawwaa`! Qabil killed Habil.” She asked him, “Woe to you! What does ‘kill’ mean?” He said, “He will no longer eat, drink or move.” She said, “And that is death?” He said, “Yes, it is.” So she started to weep.

Any soul that is unjustly killed, then the first son of Adam will carry a burden of its shedding, for he was the first to practice the crime of murder.”                                                                                                                                       [Ahmad]

**talk about major ripple effect**

Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things.                         
 ( Surah An-Nisa verse 85)

“Whoever guided people to misguidance will bear the burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who do it after him, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.´                                                               (Muslim)

See what I mean when I say Spidey is right?

And so i beg to differ with Imran Khan when he says “Tabdeeli agai hai” (change has come) . Yes that sounds great, feels great and I pray to God that our future has some greatness sprinkled in it. BUT over-flowing hormones aside, the change is far from coming; change will come the day we change ourselves. The day we stop using humor to brush aside the wrongs we commit and start taking responsibility for our actions. The day we stop stereotyping, copying assignments, cheating on tests, bribing the police wala to let us off easy. Also the change will come when we get off our behinds and cast our votes. Cz that’s what responsible citizens do.  

And no the argument that people with “special powers” aren`t registered voters won`t work. No Tariq it really won`t.

Current Affairs SOCIETY&SATIRE

The Great Divide

**Guest Post by Nauman Abbas, a Network Engineer based in the U.K. The writer blogs at Living Like A Traveller**

It hasn’t been much time I was just one of the typical teenagers of the society. And like any other human being all of us intrinsically want attention and appreciation. So did I. Every human needs appreciation, even Allah has appreciated the momineen and has given them a lot of glad tidings in the Quran since He the “Al Aleem” knows the human nature.

As I grew up I unconsciously realized that the two best ways to get attention were either to side with the most popular trends or be something different. I also did what every youth does. I listened to rock music, played music at events, hung out with friends and in short almost experienced every kind of joy and tasted every colour of pleasure that I could (while being in some limits of course). For some reason, probably because of my mother I still had a great regard for religion in my heart though it never got to come out for a long time.

While I enjoyed all the “pleasures” of my youth I was still trying very hard to find who I really was. What was the purpose of life? And in this pursuit I developed a lot of conclusions, debated and argued with people to prove my conclusions right. As I went on doing the analysis of myself and the society what I found out was that we all love to have a sense of belonging to something. A political party, a country, a personality you like, or even your own thoughts. And once we have this sense of belonging we feel very good about it and we are not ready to hear anything wrong about it (even if it IS wrong). A beautiful word for this in Urdu is “ta’sub”.

The people who like a certain leader or a group either reject all the faults in that person or group or else accept their mistakes thinking “chalo yar jan dos, banda over all acha hai” but they will not give the same chance to someone they dislike because the disliked person or group whether over all acha or not does not share the same ideology as theirs. If someone belongs to a certain religious sect he would defend it no matter what. As this happens with the things we like the same happens with the things we dislike. As I was growing up I started seeing a certain divide in the youth. The religious and the not-so-religious. And slowly and slowly the divide started growing bigger and bigger. On one hand beards grew longer and on the other the clothes shorter. (yes the word is mullah ! :P)

However what started happening on both sides was that because of the “ta’sub” both parties hold they would never really try to re-think why do they dislike the other group or more importantly what things they dislike and what might be likeable as well. They just do it because it’s a certain group which is supposed to be bad with certain characteristics. For the religious ones all the secular people are “totally” bad and mostly their characteristics are that they are clean-shaven, don’t do purdah, and they share a lot of western videos and songs.

   For the liberals, there’s a big group of bearded people and they are all fundos. Their characteristics are that they have beards, they share a lot of Quran and Hadith and they bring every argument down to Islam. They bring religion in everything.

It breaks my heart as much to see “Ali Moeen Nawazish” side pose spreading with Israel logo on his forehead captioned : “Jew Agent with one eye” as it does when I see Pakistani people commenting on a tribune article saying “These terrorists should be taken out of the country” because the picture shows a rally of people having beards + shalwar qameez + flags. Without knowing anything about these people, these “Pakistanis” would give them a name as bad as “terrorists” just because of their get-up. SubhanAllah! As we can see this tolerance needs addressing on both sides.

Having been a part of both of these “groups” at different times I realized that every person has a different story, and different circumstances and different experiences and his conclusions are an outcome of that. So is it really possible that all of us would come to the same conclusion? It would be absurd to think that all the people or even two people would reach exactly the same right conclusion. It’s against human nature. And if we don’t address this fact all these debates and talk shows will continue till eternity. For example “Socialism vs Captialism” “Khilafah or secular” “Imran Khan or Nawaz sharif” “Zaid Hamid or Najam Sethi” :p

These debates cannot and will not stop ever because everybody is right according to his own limited knowledge and experiences. So then WHO is the one who has more knowledge than any of the people we follow. WHO will give us the right standard of judgement? Since we are BOUND to misjudge because of our limited knowledge. In other words someone should say to us “Yar tujhe tou kuch pata hi nahi hai.” Or something like “Pehle history parho phir bat karna”.

The answer is very simple but unfortunately because of our hyper-rational upbringing also because of being very cliché becomes strange as well to us. It doesn’t really ‘click’ to us at all. And that answer is that we must go to the primary source of knowledge Allah S.W.T. and accept His knowledge and guidance as supreme and deny our own logics and philosophies as we human beings are very limited. We don’t even know .0001 % of what is out there. Who are we to give a judgement? While He knows what goes on inside the hearts. And since Allah knows this aspect of human nature that is why he asked us to Hold tight to the rope of Allah because there is no OTHER thing ALL of us can belong to or unite upon. Nothing at all !

If we do not do this, regardless of if we are right or wrong individually, we are out of the one group which belongs to Quran and to Allah. And every human being can have a sense of belonging to Allah. A liberal cannot have a sense of belonging for Jamaat-e-Islami. A PML N follower cannot have a sense of belonging for Imran Khan. A Sunni cannot have a sense of belonging for Shia and vice versa. A Pakistani cannot have a sense of belonging to Sudan. These are all our own made “ta’subs”. But all of the people I mentioned above can share a sense of belonging to Allah and love and respect each other on the basis of this relationship. And that is why an amazing thing that is seen today is that a lot of youth nowadays which is turning religious after studying Quran and Hadith themselves is free of sectarian conflicts and avoids them.

It is my request to all the people to look inside themselves and find out their inner qualities which can be used to apply generalized conclusions and assumptions on them very easily. I’m very sure they will find them inshaAllah and will stop this stereotyping and labelling. This world is not a boxing ring it’s a place with a very limited time to save yourself from the fire. The west does not need to stereotype us anymore since it has prepared us well enough that we do it ourselves. And that goes without saying that it’s definitely our own fault not theirs. As Allama Iqbal R.A. had said:
“Mujh ko tou gila tujh se hai Europe se nahi”

All the good that comes from this article is from Allah and Allah alone and all the mistakes are from my nafs and shaytan.

Current Affairs


“As I lie on my bed, staring up at the ceiling fan, making apologetic sounds in the absence of electricity, I think about what probably every Pakistani is thinking about these days, Osama Bin Laden. I wonder at times what could have induced this diabolical man to leave the luxurious lifestyle of the typical Arab, and go to a war-ravaged country or even hide-out in Pakistan where there`s no bijli, no pani, no petrol (not that he needed any since he wasn`t going anywhere). Whether one hates the man or exonerates him, there is no denying the fact that he is probably the most talked about person of the last decade (okay, maybe next to Justin Bieber). But for me and my nation he and the Americans mean one and the same thing: DESTRUCTION. The Americans bomb our tribal areas, and call 72 kids dying at one place “an error in calculation”, Al-Qaeda bombs our cities and calls it “Jihad”. For us the saying “between the Devil and the deep blue sea” holds true. At least this man that the world calls a terrorist made no pretense at civility! But the Americans under the garb of civilization, the so-called “Patron of Civil Rights”, that “Champion of Human Rights” are no different!

On top of it last week’s operation has made even their staunchest supporters cry foul! Whilst we be-moan our hither-before unknown, so-called self-proclaimed “lost sovereignty” and the prime minister threatens “dire consequences” on any other such action, the headlines make a mockery of these words by another drone attack! For the headlines, Mr Prime Minister Sir, humbly beg to differ :

6 May 2011- US kills eight in Pakistan drone attack”