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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Holy Pigeons

"Kabooter chowk(Pigeon roundabout) "  as my aunt from Pakistan would describe it was a small road junction with approximately 100 to 200 pigeons enjoying free food and water from Pilgrims(considering feeding pigeons a way to earn blessings or sawab) on her way to  Masjid-Haram. Pilgrims mostly from asia would buy pigeon feed which is mainly raw wheat from african ladies at the spot. I guess the food on the ground was enough for thousands of pigeons. Any way i dont have any trouble with Innocent hardly literate Pilgrims from remote villages of third world countries feeding pigeons, infact i am happy atleast some animal is getting humane treatment.

Before Hajj i visited my aunt in Makkah and on my way to Masjid-Haram from her hotel, I noticed a young woman may be in her late twenties at the same spot looking for something in the wheat grains(pigeon feed) on the ground. Soon i heard an irritated and a bit angry voice of a man,"hey everyones watching, what are you doing? lets go"  . I assumed him to be his husband who was more worried about everyones watching rather than what she was doing.

After Hajj I visited my aunt again in Makkah but this time on my way to Masjid Haram i noticed more than 15 people looking for some thing in wheat grains on ground. The quantity of food(grains) on the ground was also increased.It looked really strange that instead of pigeons there were humans doing the pigeons job. It made me anxious enough to go and ask one of the lady who appeared to be collecting some specific type of grains from the ground. she was an elderly woman from India . I asked her in Urdu about what she is doing and why is she doing this? she replied that , "Its said that, if a woman is having trouble bearing a child, she should eat 7 or 11 grains that are still in chaff from the ground where pigeons feed in Makkah." Guessing from her age she must be collecting it for her Daughter in Law may be.As only few grain were in the chaff the rest were refined, separated ones, so thats why it seemed like they were collecting something beside the grains, only may be 1 percent grains were with chaff or husk.  I was surprised there were so many men also collecting it so i asked a man nearby the same question. He was also an old man with a beard and i think he was from the north western Pakistan, he replied, "Its said that, if one has a wish that is not coming true, he/she should collect 7 or 11 grains that are still in chaff from the ground where pigeons feed in Makkah, and make a pact that if my wish comes true i will feed the collected grains back to Pigeon. " I asked him who told him this, "a guy collecting grains here earlier" he replied quickly and then again started looking for the required grain.

While i was standing there a woman i think from India came and sat down beside one lady who was tieing the collected grains into a knot in her scarf , both above 60 years of age.She asked the one sitting there earlier about what was she doing, she explained her the story which the old man told me, than the lady who asked earlier took a hand full of grains from the ground and put them in a bag, she then told the first woman that she will take these home and will mix with the grains she had in home and will give this to her children with every meal. The first lady said in disapproval that this is of no use, the one with husk/chaff are to be eaten only and thus are benficial. But the other lady insisted that as she got these grains from meccan ground so these grains are blessed and also she has plenty of grains at home but these are the special blessed ones.

In the mean while another lady inquired the same and after hearing the story started collecting the grains, she was not having any luck finding the one with husk/chaff so she asked the first lady in above conversation what to do. The reply was to buy some new packs throw them on the ground and collect from those.

I noticed that 99 percent of people collecting Pigeon grains heard it on the spot and sat down to collect for theirselves, no boby even tried to validate or even question this claim that these grains are blessed and help in the fulfilment of ones wishes. All of them were pilgrims either from Africa, or South Asia and especially ones from Pakistan and India were illiterate and from remote villages or towns. I realized that these Muslims who represent the majority of Muslim nation are so vulnerable when it comes to the belief system of Islam.  My problem with this whole pratice and situation was not what these people were doing, but why they were doing this. I mean thinking grains are blessed and feeding pigeons is holy is one problem, but the main problem is 90 percent of them believed what a complete stranger told them and even they spread the word. It took a month for this practice to reach from one woman to some dozen people from different countries, Imagine how fast it will spread if people continue this practise of blind trust. We need to educate our people to question the source and to make sure if the source is credible or not ,when they are told something new about islam and then to question the material whether it contradicts with the core teachings of islam or not. I know i am equally guilty of not educating and stopping those people from doing and believing such a thing, but i am trying to create an awareness through my blog. We need to have an organization at a government level to educate our people for such matters.Most people see it as harmless and states that there is no loss in this scenario but i would like them to know that god is the one who grants wishes and if the wish is to be granted, it will be granted no matter what. But to think that collecting and eating these grains will do them any good or help fulfil their desires, is a form of Shirk which destroys any good deeds a person may have done, no matter how great or numerous. I was saddened to see that these people who have the chance to be at the most blessed place on earth with perfect timings for acceptance(Arafat ground during Hajj) and all they had to do was to raise their hands and beg to god for whatever they desire, yet they still rely on some pigeon feed.
This is another factor which is holding Muslim nation back, rest of the world is relying on the power of science and technology to conquer Space, Sun, Moon and Earth , whereas Muslims are still waiting for pigeon feed to change their lives.

All above mentioned is my personal observation and If you know more about this practise just letme know, or if you think i am wrong somewhere just enlighten me with your comments.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Enjoy below some pictures i took from my cell phone during Hajj.
Mina the tent city

Inside our tent in Mina . The tent was fire proof with desert cooler and power supply

My Id for Hajj

Our tent in Arafat

Our tent in Arafat

staying under open sky in Muzdalifah

The Jamarat Complex, In Picture is the Big Jamarat

Railway Station Mina 1

There are total nine station throughout Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina

Railway stations are built on a height, view from the railway station

Inside the Metro

Hajj 2010

I am back from Hajj, Alhamdulillah every thing went fine and thanx to the new Hajj Metro service the effort is decreased by 50%. I have so much to discuss and share that i dont know from where to begin. Inshallah in a day or two i will start compiling . So keep visiting

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hajj 2010

By the grace of god i am going for Hajj this year. Pilgrims from all over the world have started to arrive in Makkah. Please enjoy pictures below taken recently in Makkah. The crowd is huge and the people in the crowd are from different backgrounds and countries. I will do detail articles about my experience in Makkah (before Hajj), Madina and Hajj. So keep on visiting my blog for the detailed coverage but for now check out the pictures below:

enlarge the pictures by clicking on them

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sacred Mount –(Text & Photos by Suhail Yusuf)

Jable Noor-ul-Quran is located on Brewery Road near Western Bypass, Quetta-Pakistan. This is no ordinary mountain, it is a place where old and unreadable copies of Holy Quran are preserved inside man-made tunnels. The site was established privately 1992, and currently has four blocks or tunnels, an estimated 3.5 km long, which holds almost 400,000, old and rare, copies of the Holy Quran
The tunnels in Jable Noor-ul-Quran can store up to a million copies of Holy Quran collected from across Pakistan.
The unreadable copies of Islam’s holy book are put in clean bags and stored inside tunnels. And the readable yet slightly damaged copies are fixed and sent to needy people and religious schools. More than one hundred thousand copies have been distributed, so far.
Jable Noor-ul-Quran is located at highly seismic Chiltan fault, an area prone to earthquake tremors, but amazingly there have been no accidents and or physical damage to the tunnels.
The Holy Quran has been translated into many different languages from across the world. In this photo, translations in Gujrati, Russian, and English are shown here.
There are large copies as well as travel-size copies of the Holy Quran on display inside the tunnels of Jable Noor-ul-Quran.
(This is something truly amazing as this is a very nice example of showing your love and affection toward Islam. We should spend our time on activities like this rather than hating and criticizing others. I found these caves to be really fascinating and think they should be converted into something like a museum- awaken)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the true ones." (9:119-Quran)

When I was studying in Pakistan, I used to travel a lot between Jhelum and Lahore. Jhelum being my home and Lahore where was my University. Almost every Saturday I used to take train back to Jhelum and next day back to Lahore. So in My 5 years I have traveled a lot and had a lot of different experiences. Ok to understand the story, i am about to tell, you need to know two things, first Procedure to get a seat in AC lower compartment of the train from Jhelum and Second is checklist of the ‘Madni’ Brothers with green turbans.

As Jhelum is a small city so they don’t reserve seats from there, they just issue open tickets if u get seat by chance in economy you should consider your self the luckiest man alive, other wise you just need to stand and pray through out the journey, that some one give you seat. But yes with money there is another option, that one buys open economy ticket and than look for an empty seat in AC and if yes than get the ticket checker in the train to upgrade your ticket for some extra charge. Most of the time I used to get seat in AC Lower compartment.

Now let me tell you about sweet Madni brothers and their checklist Madni Brothers is a n organization of Muslims belonging to the "Brailvi" Sect. They can be easily identified by their peculiar White shalwar kameez and green turbans. Every person carries a checklist which they check on daily basis and includes things to do and not to do e.g. did they lie today, or did they eat in a clay utensil e.t.c , so that by the end of every week they can do their self analysis.

Now you know the procedure and Madni brothers let me begin with my story. Like always I entered an AC Lower compartment of train hoping to upgrade my ticket. so i started looking for the empty seat. It was crowded but I found an elderly women occpying two seat out of three and one being used by his husband and Other three seats next to them by her son(who was a madni bhai), his wife and a 6, 7 year old son . by experience i knew they have booked 5 seats and are using six . so i asked the madni bhai polietly if there is a seat vacant and he replied in a not so polite way that "NO WE HAVE RESERVED SIX SEATS". I knew he was lying so i waited there for the gaurd to come and i happened to know they have reserved only 5 seats and as his mother was using the extra seat so he has to make his kid sit in his lap for the rest of the journey. I paid my extra charges and got the seat. during the whole trip he stayed pissed at me. Even i thanked him (for no reason other than to be polite)for giving me the seat which didnt even belong to him. And in reply he made a very angry expression and turned his face on the other side. He wasnt even willing to talk to me.

My problem with this whole situation is that these madni group of people they claim to be so religious that they even sleep on the floor and eat in clay pots just like our prophet did but they simply failed to implement the important aspects of being a muslim in to their life. For this particular guy i met wearing a green turban is a must but lying for his benefit is not an issue. I mean what is the purpose of his check list, if that check list doesnt include not to lie even on a short scale. I am hundred percent sure that he didnot even realized that when he said "NO WE HAVE RESERVED SIX SEATS" he defied the very basic quality(honesty) of our prophet which he should work on to implement in him self rather than implementing the daily routine life of early 6th century. We need to put morew effort toward eradicating these minor sins from our life because Later on we will get immune and this small scale lying and dishonesty will become part of our life and we will consider it normal.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why the West craves materialism & why the East sticks to religion - By Imran Khan(ex-cricket player and current president of Tehrik-e-Insaaf) )

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan. Despite gaining independent, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public schoolboys rather than Pakistanis.
I read Shakespeare, which was fine, but no Allama Iqbal — the national poet of Pakistan. The class on Islamic studies was not taken seriously, and when I left school I was considered among the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore Western clothes.
Despite periodically shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in school functions, I considered my own culture backward and religion outdated. Among our group if any one talked about religion, prayed or kept a beard he was immediately branded a Mullah.
Because of the power of the Western media, our heroes were Western movie stars or pop stars. When I went to Oxford already burdened with this hang up, things didn’t get any easier. At Oxford, not just Islam, but all religions were considered anachronism.
Science had replaced religion and if something couldn’t be logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the movies. Philosophers like Darwin, who with his half-baked theory of evolution had supposedly disproved the creation of men and hence religion, were read and revered.
Moreover, European history reflected its awful experience with religion. The horrors committed by the Christian clergy during the Inquisition era had left a powerful impact on the Western mind.
To understand why the West is so keen on secularism, one should go to places like Cordoba in Spain and see the torture apparatus used during the Spanish Inquisition. Also the persecution of scientists as heretics by the clergy had convinced the Europeans that all religions are regressive.
However, the biggest factor that drove people like me away from religion was the selective Islam practiced by most of its preachers. In short, there was a huge difference between what they practiced and what they preached. Also, rather than explaining the philosophy behind the religion, there was an overemphasis on rituals.
I feel that humans are different to animals. While, the latter can be drilled, humans need to be intellectually convinced. That is why the Qur’an constantly appeals to reason. The worst, of course, was the exploitation of Islam for political gains by various individuals or groups.
Hence, it was a miracle I did not become an atheist. The only reason why I did not was the powerful religious influence my mother wielded on me since my childhood. It was not so much out of conviction but love for her that I stayed a Muslim.
However, my Islam was selective. I accepted only parts of the religion that suited me. Prayers were restricted to Eid days and occasionally on Fridays, when my father insisted on taking me to the mosque with him.
All in all I was smoothly moving to becoming a Pukka Brown Sahib. After all I had the right credentials in terms of school, university and, above all, acceptability in the English aristocracy, something that our brown sahibs would give their lives for. So what led me to do a ‘lota’ on the Brown Sahib culture and instead become a ‘desi’?
Well it did not just happen overnight.
Firstly, the inferiority complex that my generation had inherited gradually went as I developed into a world-class athlete. Secondly, I was in the unique position of living between two cultures. I began to see the advantages and the disadvantages of both societies.
In Western societies, institutions were strong while they were collapsing in our country. However, there was an area where we were and still are superior, and that is our family life. I began to realize that this was the Western society’s biggest loss. In trying to free itself from the oppression of the clergy, they had removed both God and religion from their lives.
While science, no matter how much it progresses, can answer a lot of questions — two questions it will never be able to answer: One, what is the purpose of our existence and two, what happens to us when we die?
It is this vacuum that I felt created the materialistic and the hedonistic culture. If this is the only life then one must make hay while the sun shines — and in order to do so one needs money. Such a culture is bound to cause psychological problems in a human being, as there was going to be an imbalance between the body and the soul.
Consequently, in the US, which has shown the greatest materialistic progress while giving its citizens numerous rights, almost 60 percent of the population consult psychiatrists. Yet, amazingly in modern psychology, there is no study of the human soul. Sweden and Switzerland, who provide the most welfare to their citizens, also have the highest suicide rates. Hence, man is not necessarily content with material well being and needs something more.
Since all morality has it roots in religion, once religion was removed, immorality has progressively grown since the 70s. Its direct impact has been on family life. In the UK, the divorce rate is 60 percent, while it is estimated that there are over 35 percent single mothers. The crime rate is rising in almost all Western societies, but the most disturbing fact is the alarming increase in racism. While science always tries to prove the inequality of man (recent survey showing the American Black to be genetically less intelligent than whites) it is only religion that preaches the equality of man.
Between 1991 and 1997, it was estimated that total immigration into Europe was around 520,000, and there were racially motivated attacks all over, especially in Britain, France and Germany. In Pakistan during the Afghan war, we had over four million refugees, and despite the people being so much poorer, there was no racial tension.
There was a sequence of events in the 80s that moved me toward God as the Qur’an says: "There are signs for people of understanding." One of them was cricket. As I was a student of the game, the more I understood the game, the more I began to realize that what I considered to be chance was, in fact, the will of Allah. A pattern which became clearer with time. But it was not until Salman Rushdie’s "Satanic Verses" that my understanding of Islam began to develop.
People like me who were living in the Western world bore the brunt of anti-Islam prejudice that followed the Muslim reaction to the book. We were left with two choices: fight or flight. Since I felt strongly that the attacks on Islam were unfair, I decided to fight. It was then I realized that I was not equipped to do so as my knowledge of Islam was inadequate. Hence I started my research and for me a period of my greatest enlightenment. I read scholars like Ali Shariati, Muhammad Asad, Iqbal, Gai Eaton, plus of course, a study of Qur’an.
I will try to explain as concisely as is possible, what "discovering the truth" meant for me. When the believers are addressed in the Qur’an, it always says, "Those who believe and do good deeds." In other words, a Muslim has dual function, one toward God and the other toward fellow human beings.
The greatest impact of believing in God for me, meant that I lost all fear of human beings. The Qur’an liberates man from man when it says that life and death and respect and humiliation are God’s jurisdiction, so we do not have to bow before other human beings.
Moreover, since this is a transitory world where we prepare for the eternal one, I broke out of the self-imposed prisons, such as growing old (such a curse in the Western world, as a result of which, plastic surgeons are having a field day), materialism, ego, what people say and so on. It is important to note that one does not eliminate earthly desires. But instead of being controlled by them, one controls them.
By following the second part of believing in Islam, I have become a better human being. Rather than being self-centered and living for the self, I feel that because the Almighty gave so much to me, in turn I must use that blessing to help the less privileged. This I did by following the fundamentals of Islam rather than becoming a Kalashnikov-wielding fanatic.
I have become a tolerant and a giving human being who feels compassion for the underprivileged. Instead of attributing success to myself, I know it is because of God’s will, hence I learned humility instead of arrogance.
Also, instead of the snobbish Brown Sahib attitude toward our masses, I believe in egalitarianism and strongly feel against the injustice done to the weak in our society. According to the Qur’an, "Oppression is worse than killing." In fact only now do I understand the true meaning of Islam, if you submit to the will of Allah, you have inner peace.
Through my faith, I have discovered strength within me that I never knew existed and that has released my potential in life. I feel that in Pakistan we have selective Islam. Just believing in God and going through the rituals is not enough. One also has to be a good human being. I feel there are certain Western countries with far more Islamic traits than us in Pakistan, especially in the way they protect the rights of their citizens, or for that matter their justice system. In fact some of the finest individuals I know live there.
What I dislike about them is their double standards in the way they protect the rights of their citizens but consider citizens of other countries as being somehow inferior to them as human being, e.g. dumping toxic waste in the Third World, advertising cigarettes that are not allowed in the West and selling drugs that are banned in the West.
One of the problems facing Pakistan is the polarization of two reactionary groups. On the one side is the Westernized group that looks upon Islam through Western eyes and has inadequate knowledge about the subject. It reacts strongly to anyone trying to impose Islam in society and wants only a selective part of the religion. On the other extreme is the group that reacts to this Westernized elite and in trying to become a defender of the faith, takes up such intolerant and self-righteous attitudes that are repugnant to the spirit of Islam.
What needs to be done is to somehow start a dialogue between the two extreme. In order for this to happen, the group on whom the greatest proportion of our educational resources are spent in this country must study Islam properly.
Whether they become practicing Muslims or believe in God is entirely a personal choice. As the Qur’an tells us there is "no compulsion in religion." However, they must arm themselves with knowledge as a weapon to fight extremism. Just by turning up their noses at extremism the problem is not going to be solved.
The Qur’an calls Muslims "the middle nation", not of extremes. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was told to simply give the message and not worry whether people converted or not, therefore, there is no question in Islam of forcing your opinions on anyone else.
Moreover, we are told to respect other religions, their places of worship and their prophets. It should be noted that no Muslim missionaries or armies ever went to Malaysia or Indonesia. The people converted to Islam due to the high principles and impeccable character of the Muslim traders. At the moment, the worst advertisements for Islam are the countries with their selective Islam, especially where religion is used to deprive people of their rights. In fact, a society that obeys fundamentals of Islam has to be a liberal one.
If Pakistan’s Westernized class starts to study Islam, not only will it be able to help society fight sectarianism and extremism, but it will also make them realize what a progressive religion Islam is. They will also be able to help the Western world by articulating Islamic concepts. Recently, Prince Charles accepted that the Western world can learn from Islam. But how can this happen if the group that is in the best position to project Islam gets its attitudes from the West and considers Islam backward? Islam is a universal religion and that is why our Prophet (peace be upon him) was called a Mercy for all mankind.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”. (Quran 21:107)

Once in 2003 i guess, i was visiting My uncle in Gujrat. We went out in night to get some bread for dinner and i noticed that the city was beautifully decorated with lights on all the buildings, with special heavy decoration on the mosques, there were temporary fountains set through out the city roads, It looked like a festival with colorful flags, Fireworks and Religious songs being played on a loud volume. There right next to a fountain, i noticed two men (dressed in white shalwar kameez and with green trubans) hugged and greeted each other "eid mubarak". I have lived all my life in Saudi Arabia and here i have never once seen any one celeberating any Eid other than two Eids advised in Islam, so i was surprised and asked my uncle which eid are they talking about.My uncle asked me with surprise dont you know Eid Milad, offcourse i knew. The surprising part for me was the way they were celeberating it, Never once i have seen any one celeberate this particular Eid in Saudi Arabia. Eid Milad-un-Nabi, celeberates the birth of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H). First of all let me clear that this post is not about whether we should celeberate this eid or not. There is a majority of Muslim scholars who believe that it should be celeberated and there is enough material available on the validty of this Event. I just want to focus and shed light on how this event should be celeberated, if one wants to celeberate it.

I will talk about Pakistan in particular, a country with food crisis, energy crisis, water crisis, education crisis , you just name a crisis and we just have it.Yet every year i see alot of money wasted, which could have been used in so many productive ways . As Quran says that the birth of Our Prophet(P.B.U.H) is an act of mercy to the worlds, so why don't we make this as our theme for Eid celeberations. Instead of spending millions on useless lights, elaborate decorations and fireworks, we can buy food, education, welfare for those muslims who cannot afford all these basic needs for themselves and set an example for the world. Every religious scholar focus too much on having a beard and wearing pants/shalwar above the anckles just to differ from the rest of the world as muslim. Now tell me Can you differ between a man celeberating Diwali and Eid Milad below.

If we want to differ from non muslims , only appearance is not enough, we need to differ in our day to day tasks also. For example to celeberate we can have free food stalls in every mosque instead of wasting money on useless fireworks and provide free food for all,atleast for one day in the name of Eid Milad-un-Nabi. All the religious scholars either focus on celeberating this event or put all their energies in opposing it but no one focus on the money which is spent and how its spent on this event. We want to set an example for the world and i am pretty sure we cannot do that with extra ordinary fireworks and lavish arrangements.All over the world the birth of Christ, Buddha, Ram, Guru Nank and e.t.c is celeberated in the same manner. It is my request to Muslims every where who believe in celeberating Eid Milad, please think about the small kid in the picture(above,left ) before you waste any money on fireworks, lights e.t.c. To see how others are affecting positively on us check out the so called satanic NGOs food, education and welfare programs. For example, CIDA food program,to learn more about CIDA food program visit the link:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Mercy, O Prophet of Allah. We expect nothing but good from you."

Conquest of Makkah:
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) turning to the people of Makkah said:
"O Quraish, what do you think of the treatment that I should accord you?"
And they said, "Mercy, O Prophet of Allah. We expect nothing but good from you."
There upon Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) declared: "I speak to you in the same words as Joseph spoke to his brothers. This day there is no reproof against you; Go your way, for you are free."

Conquest of Jerusalem:
Despite the Crusaders' slaughter when they originally conquered Jerusalem in 1099, Saladin granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and even to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay the aforementioned ransom (the Greek Orthodox Christians were treated even better, because they often opposed the western Crusaders).

I found this image on google while searching for images of muslims around the world. With this kind of image, i dont think any one will ever come near Islam. All the Islamic leaders and religious scholars should atleast denounce the ways of Taliban to atleast undo the damage they have caused to Muslim Image. I think Talibans and their Allies should also read Islamic Wars at least ones.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Close your mouth while eating to avoid unnecessary noises

There were times when others would just convert to Islam only by spending an evening that may or may not involve hardcore preaching.

When i was young PTV was the only television channel available in pakistan. I remember one scene (from a drama about british rule in India,) where british army officer is having dinner and his servant is standing next to him observing the way that british officer is eating , the servant gets so impressed by the manners that when he gets home he tries to teach his children all the manners. Conclusion: the servant is so impressed by the manners that now he wants his children to be like him. That is the power of table manners

There are few experiences that just got printed on my mind. I will share one that i feel is appropriate for my blog. Once we went to an Ameen function, Ameen is an event held when a kid completes his/her first complete reading of the quran or learns it by heart. And usually the chief guest in such events is the Quran teacher of that kid and if the kid goes to a religious school than all the teachers or selected few are also invited.
The one i am talking about had a buffet dinner at the end. I remember seeing one of the teachers from the religious school eating. He was a fat man with thick untrimed or even combed beard, he was wearing traditional saudi dress "thub". He first filled his plate with too much food, there was rice and then three different kind of gravy, with some cooked vegetables and on top of that he added a quarter barbecued chicken and than some more gravy and enough bread in his hand. Than he remove gutra from his head(you can google saudi traditional attire) put it on the table. Folded his sleeves up to elbow, He recited "Bismillah"(a dua to begin any thing) than started to eat his food with his hand, at times he was using both of his hands. He was chewing with his mouth open and the thing that just got printed on my mind how annoying his loud chewing sound was. When he was done eating , it was mess. there was some rice on his beard and on the table around his plate. He threw bones just like that on the table and believe me there were a lot of bones. He ate with an enormous speed and loud noise. Than after that he went for desert and mixed all the three different kinds of available in deserts in one plate and that he ate with a spoon. After that he cleaned his hand with his "Gutra". And then he closed his eating ceremony with a loud Burp and Saying "AlhamduLilah". and than he said small prayer and he was done.

This is definitely not a way a Muslim eats, the guy i mentioned ate like an animal only difference was he knew all the prayers a Muslim should know. For me if i want to impress a person i will invite him for dinner and show my best table manners and believe me good manners always leave an impact, i personally believe a person with good manners is always praised and respected more.

I am not gonna go in details regarding the table manners in Islam but if wish to read more about table manners in Islam read here:

I have realized after seeing him eat that in his mind he has three categories of table manners because i am sure he must be aware of all manners but chose to follow only few.

  1. First set of manners were prayer and duas one has to recite before after or during eating.
  2. Second set of manners were the things that distinguish him from non Muslims eating habits or in today world western standards, like using a spoon and eating with left hand when using knife, as he ate with fingers of his right hand.
  3. Third set of manners which neither involve prayers nor any contradiction with the western standards , like eating with mouth closed, eating slowly, eating in small proportions many times rather than big proportion in one go
That guy only followed the first 2 set of manners because those two in a way serve a purpose but completely ignored the 3rd set which is equally important , with equally important purpose.
The purpose is to portray that we are not animals but a civilized nation. In order to attract people toward Islam, we need to show the right picture of a muslim, and these minor details add a lot to the image. There is no wonder in early times Islam spread with the speed of light through out the world and now a days with all of our special communication technology and easy access to people around the world we are unable to do so.For sure i dont want any kid to learn any thing for him or even stay in his company, If i am being a Muslim thinks so than others may too.

“One of the worst people is a double-faced man, who come to one group with one face and to another group with a totally different face.”

Aren't we as a muslim nation , act like hypocrites these days. Before stating why i reached to this conclusion let me just tell you a story to better understand the kind of hypocricy we are dealing with.
There once was a boy who loved eating sweets. He always asked for sweets from his father. His father was a poor man. He could not always afford sweets for his son. But the little boy did not understand this, and demanded sweets all the time.
The boy's father thought hard about how to stop the child asking for so many sweets. There was a very holy man living nearby at that time. The boy's father had an idea. He decided to take the boy to the great man who might be able to persuade the child to stop asking for sweets all the time.
The boy and his father went along to the great man. The father said to him, "O great saint, could you ask my son to stop asking for sweets which I cannot afford?" The great man was in difficulty, because he liked sweets himself. How could he ask the boy to give up asking for sweets? The holy man told the father to bring his son back after one month.
During that month, the holy man gave up eating sweets, and when the boy and his father returned after a month, the holy man said to the boy "My dear child, will you stop asking for sweets which your father cannot afford to give you?"
From then on, the boy stopped asking for sweets.
The boy's father asked the saint, "Why did you not ask my son to give up asking for sweets when we came to you a month ago?" The saint replied, "How could I ask a boy to give up sweets when I loved sweets myself. In the last month I gave up eating sweets."
A person's example is much more powerful than just his words. When we ask someone to do something, we must do it ourselves also. We should not ask others to do what we do not do or believe ourselves. Always make sure that your actions and your words are same.
Now coming back to the Muslim world.

We protest when there is a ban on Hijab in europe, we protest when Swiss government bans new minarets to be built, we protest for religious freedom for muslims in America But why dont we protest when Non-Muslims are forced to wear hijab and Abaya(Muslim veil) in Saudi Arabia? why dont we protest when Saudi Arabia doesnot allow any Non-Muslim worship site to be built? (The prohibition is only in Hijaz province from islamic point of view not in whole Saudi Arabia) why dont we protest when Shia Muslims are not allowed to pray in their local mosques in Saudi Arabia? Why the muslim world stay silent on honor killings through out the muslim world?Why there is no government protests held when a 12 year old girl is married to a 80 year old man? the list just goes on and on.
I had a small discussion on this issue on facebook earlier and some friends of mine said that we protest only because its required by all muslims to stop some one from doing wrong deed by hand if not possible than atleast acknowledge that its wrong. Ok if this is the case than why dont we acknowledge all the problems that we have with in our society. I just simply dont get it, why we have double standards. We need to correct our selves first and than go asking others to correct their ways.

To read more about Religious freedom in Islam:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Arab has no superiority over Non-Arab

40 years , Yes 40 years my uncle spent in Saudi Arabia and he is still a non saudi a foreign slave working for money whereas my cousin in just 15 years calls him self an American with an american passport and doesnot like to associate him self with Pakistan which is his origin or Saudi Arabia a place where he spent first 14 years of his life. What so good about America and bad about Saudi Arabia? If you look at it from Islamic point of view All Muslims are brothers and technically a muslim should be abe to associate him/her self 100% more to Saudi Arabia than any where else.

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action."

This is what our Prophet(P.B.U.H) said. But what Saudis believe is a little different. White ppl are the most superior and even more superior if they have american passport, then comes the Arab because they know the same language and then comes the Philipinos, Indonesians,Indian, Pakistani and Bangla deshis. For a same job If American and European is getting 12000SR/Month , a Saudi or an Arab will get 9000SR/Month and the rest third grade people like Philipinos, Indonesians,Indian, Pakistani will get 3000sr/Month and if its bangladeshi than 1000 may be enough and Africans they dont deserve a salary or may be job. Obviously there are exceptionally good Saudis too but the truth is that the descrimination is at its peak in Saudi Arabia and yet this is the country that symbolizes Islamic Society and suppose to be center for muslims from across the world fails to implement a simple rule that our Prophet(P.B.U.H) emphasizes in his last Hajj. Saudis have some qualities like 90 percent of Saudis pray five times a day and one can simply trust them blindly when it comes to trading, but the descrimination that they have in them doesnot allow any one other than Saudi to call it home.On the other hand all the western and european countries have equal rights for everyone in their country and by simply integerating one simple rule of Islam, they have managed to keep all the brilliant minds of the world with in their society and its no wonder they are the super powers today.
The very first line in the Declaration of Independance of America is :
"We held these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal"

May the curse of Allah be upon the one who pays a bribe and the one who takes it

Todays standards of a complete Man includes owing a car, to drive a car one needs a license. So when i came to Jeddah in November 2007, among the first things i required was a license. The procedure to get a license in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is very simple, there are private driving schools authorized by government to conduct driving test and if some body fails its required by the person to take driving lessons from the same school.
So in November 2007 after getting all documents ready, getting my permission from my sponsor and clearing the physical, I gave the driving test. The examiner(who was from Saudi Police) gave me rating 'D'(after i just perfectly drove on a straight road for 2 minutes only) which meant i need to take lessons for two weeks, but when i applied for admission the schedule i was given was after three months (too many Failures and good opportunity for money making), any way i couldnt do anything so i waited got my classes in April and unfortunately failed again got more classes after a delay of 2 months and than more bad luck failed again and repeated the same procedure. To cut short i failed twice, took total 4 weeks of classes and paid around 1200 SR to driving school. But in the end i had my license which felt like an achievement, my family celeberated like i just graduated again. The only problem in the whole process was it took almost 1 year for me to get the license, i applied in Nov 2007 and got my license in Oct 2008.
Everyone just cannot afford to wait 1 year only to get license like me , so there are other ways fast and expansive to get your self a legal license, thanks to the co ordination between Bengali cleaning staff and Saudi Police authorities taking test.
The procedure is you pay some amount to Bengali guy and he will make sure that the examiner will pass you regardless of your performance.
to pass the computer test, fees is 1000 SR.
to pass the driving test, fees is 1000 SR
and if you wanna pass both then the fees is 1500 SR.
well it was around what i paid in 1 year of classes and tests.

Any way this is not my problem, well in fact this is a big problem, but what disturbs me is when people use this illegal channel of bribe and even suggests others to do the same.
I have this guy working in Accounts department at work, He prays 5 times a day, in his car instead of songs he has Quran cassette playing and i have seen him reciting darood shareef and reading quran in his free time at office, all in all he is a very religious guy, one day he came to me and asked me how much did i pay during my driving lessons. I told him the figure, he laughed and said we paid only 1000 and his brother got license in 1 month, my instant reply was"but mine was through a legal channel and didn't involve any kind of bribe"
and Now it reminds me of his bribery act whenever he comes and asks me to go and pray. The problem is not the existence of these people with authority who accept bribes and make things easy, but the problem is when people claiming to be good Muslims use these people and help this system survives and on top of that does not even acknowledge it to be wrong. Praying five times a day is the basic requirement but to be a good Muslim we need to work on these minor details. And each Muslim should work on these smaller basic day to day things other wise the situation will stay the same and who knows in time of judgment saving some time in getting license may get you a little closer to the fire.