Archive for ‘Writings’

June 7, 2014

Time to subscribe to new url: Khanumsays.com

by Khanum

Untitled

 

So this is it. It’s my last post at this place. On the bright side, I’m happy to announce that this goodbye is a hello to my own new blog.

Khanumsays.com is officially on!  Click here to catch me there.

Much love and thanks to all my friends, fans and readers and to WordPress for giving me wonderful 4 years of blogging. You rock!

Please, Don’t forget to subscribe to khanumsays.com for latest updates.

 

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March 17, 2014

Photowalk at Harappa & Those who Prayed there

by Khanum

Have you seen life after death? I saw it yesterday, at Harappa.

On a morning that promised a hectic day ahead, I embarked on a journey organized by prestigious Photo Mazdoor to the ruins of centuries old Indus Civilisation.  My cousin brother also joined me on this photowalk but unfortunately due a death incident in his family, he had to get off at Sahiwal and hurry towards his home.

I carried on.

I like travelling, to a certain point. I love exploring new places to a greater extent, but what I dislike about my exploring routine, sometimes, is when I miss my salat during my travels. There’s always an option to find the spot somehow and pray, if not possible then do Qaza prayers when you get back at home, of course, but still– the Muslim inside feels burdened when prayers that are supposed to be prayed on time just slip out of hands. And yesterday, I felt this burden again when I saw a group of people offering their prayers at Harappa.

Here’s a little Interesting recap.

Harappa is one challenging place to photograph. Being a photographer, I say this because everything around there is lifeless. That’s right. That’s the status of life there.

Utterly barren, devoid of warmth and full of history lessons that are perhaps not meant to capture but to merely acknowledge. The place I feel, is more designed by Allah Almighty to take heed from in this century. Yet photo mazdoors did a great job at digging up graves. I mean, we all literally did best at photography there by photographing the impossible place ever. Some people found pretty birds there to capture. A beautiful shot , I must say, taken by a photo mazdoor.

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Photo Mazdoors made a quite a noise there by arranging BBQ in the middle of ruins! No joke. 

Everywhere I looked, everywhere we all looked, there were just white-brown sands. Graves, Bushes and colorless trees as if they were mourning the times gone by and excavations marks that told how modern men were determined to excavate the remains. I , for one, believe in photographing the details and objects that go unnoticed and voices that go unheard. For this I became almost obsessed with the bruised dirty feet of this small beggar boy sitting near the graveyard. His feet told all his history. 

But then came a surprise for me and my friend, Ayesha. We noticed something extra ordinary there. I wish I had captured that beautiful evidence of extra ordinary life. Subhan Allah! There stood a beautiful tree at the side of a small place dedicated to Masjid for prayers. Every tree around it was dull, too dark in color or either not so pretty to look at or even notice. But this tree was — this one particular gorgeous tree was so Fresh and so Green that my friend and I kept looking at it for quite some time.

Then after lunch when we were packing up to leave the lifeless place behind, I noticed a guy from the group standing at that place and offering his salat. Subhan Allah! Then there went another. One, two , perhaps more than 3 men I noticed, prayed their salat at there, one after another. I admire them for this act of piety. How I wished I could also join them, stand behind and offer my prayer before it gets too late but I don’t know why, I didn’t dare go there. I am always shy to offer my prayers at a public place, in an open area. It’s something that always makes me miss my prayers on travels. Sometimes there’s no water for Wudhu, at other times I am too shy to get up and do it. It’s my error, I fully acknowledge this. But watching those few good men, glorifying Allah’s Name at that barren place, despite the hurdles in way, filled my heart with a strange hope, happiness & confidence for prayers in future travels.

The whole world is a Masjid for the believers where we can worship Allah Almighty. No one has an excuse to miss prayers for this reason.

I will , in shaa Allah, make time and space for my salah during travelling as well. And I concluded, there are 3 things that a Muslim should always carry with him when he/she embarks on a journey.

1- Compass for Qibla detection

2- Praying mat

3- And water for wudhu

To Photo Mazdoor team, I am grateful for the well organized photowalk. Every team member is friendly. The chief organizer himself is a like a good younger brother of mine.

They always make sure the trip is secure. This time even a family joined us which was great. Photo Mazdoor always makes sure that breakfast/lunch and every tea break is a healthy one. The water bottles distributed to the participants is always sufficient, Alhamdulillah. I remember how they made a special announcement on the Qila Rohtas trip, about dangers of dehydration there and gave us Nestle Water bottles with instructions to keep drinking water during photographing the place. There’s no doubt that they work hard.

However, here’s a little suggestion that I feel could make their future travels even more deen friendly.

A little cooperation required for making time and space for salah.

Since we go with them, and there are different people on every trip with different needs and lifestyles, It would be great if they include the praying point in their routine and announcement as well. If there’s no proper spot for prayer, they should locate one and announce that those interested in offering their prayers, especially females, they should head towards that spot. If bathrooms are nearby for wudhu, it’s alright but sometimes there are places where clean water is not available, in that scenario, extra water bottles should be offered for wudhu. People should be assured that no person would be left behind if they stop and make their prayers first. This way, if they make it a part of their announcement and arrangements, those who want to offer their prayers would be guided well and assured comfort. I, for one, would be more comfortable at announcing that I want to offer my prayer without drawing attention to myself. Otherwise, I keep debating inside, on every photography trip, whether to raise my voice or not when I can’t spot a clean and out of sight place for prayers.

I hope Photo Mazdoor would consider my friendly suggestion as they always welcome suggestions and even complaints. So generous of them. I wish the team all the best for future trips and extend my regards for the efforts they put in to make their photowalks interesting.

I would upload my photography of the place in the coming week, iA. 

March 13, 2014

Who are the people of Taqwa? (Muttaqin)

by Khanum

1-Those who spend in the way of Allah

2- Those who observe patience and control their anger

3- And those who forgive others out of Love for Allah and in hope to attain His pleasure and Mercy

Assalam o alaikum everyone! Happy fajr and Good morning!

None of the qualities mentioned above are easy to acquire. Especially the 3rd characteristic. How can you forgive someone so easily who has inflicted pain upon you with purpose and aim. People who have wronged us can’t be forgiven so easily. We want Allah to deal with them severely and some of us possibly want Allah to throw them in the hell fire. It’s definitely not an easy task to forgive those who deserve punishment. But what’s even harder is to forgive one’s own self for the sins committed.

How do we do that?

I was up all night and was surfing the internet for some French and Arabic  learning material , I would say half of the night was spent aimlessly, just wandering the streets of internet , but then I came across something useful. I came across Kalamullah site. It’s one great source for Islamic learning. I honestly have used this link for my exams preparation in the past as well. 2 hours ago, I was guided by Allah to watch Nouman Ali Khan’s absolutely emaan packed Khutbah at that website. Who are the people of Taqwa? (Muttaqin)

I cannot explain to you how beautifully Allah speaks to us when we are down, lost and drenched in sins without even being aware of it. He speaks to us even then, in that state of tattered emaan and uplifts our spirits. I almost wept at the concluding part of this khutbah. It feels like this is you, your sins and your story on the table Allah is referring to and trying to console you through this speaker in the video. SubhanAllah! Even if we all gathered together to find peace in this world on our own, we wouldn’t be able to acquire it fully, for the peace given by Allah to His slaves when they remember Him is something incomparable. You find true peace only when you’re re-united with Allah  after doing something bad and repenting on it.

I recommend anyone reading this post, do listen to this 30 minutes and 54 seconds khutbah.

May Allah help us forgive ourselves, forgive others and surrender our hearts to Allah so we can be forgiven by Allah Almighty in return as well. That’s the key I guess, We should let go off our anger and hurt for Allah’s sake. For Allah’s sake alone.

January 3, 2014

Green Tea Analogy.

by Khanum

greenteaI’ve a habit of reading newspaper in the kitchen either in the early morning or the evening. There, sitting by the fire alone with a cup of tea it all becomes bearable to go through all the cruel events in the paper and life in general. But today, before I could enter it first, I found my mother busy making green tea there already. The Kashmiri Sabz chai you know.

I couldn’t help but stare.

Her each step towards its making was so captivating that soon I found myself drawn towards the process rather than the editorial. I noticed her getting tired at the continuous whisking and whipping the hot tea while slowly adding in the cold water to complete the procedure.

Why don’t you rest your hand,  take a break now? I suggested.

I can’t. She mean’t it.

That green-tea. I have to keep working at it at a constant rate for fruitful result otherwise! One moment of ghafalah and there goes my tea..

Right..

A voice inside my head that teaches us time to time , then began to work out a lesson.

How beautifully Allah has scattered the analogies for us to learn, in life, about life. I wondered.To learn and get back up on feet. To observe and get back to the origins, the very core of the life problems, and fix it through same daily life empirical thinking.

I saw the pink foam, welling up in the pot as my mother whisked the tea with persistent sincerity. The more you whisk it they say, the more it gets refined and this beautiful pink shade begins to appear in the foam– a sign of perfect taste.

It was working. An outcome of her constant & sincere striving.

She smiled. I smiled back at her. The newspaper that I had been reading earlier, now lay folded in my lap. I began to stare back at it.

Life is like that, Mum. I spoke my mind after several long moments.She nodded. Life is exactly like that.

Photograph taken from flickr.

December 3, 2013

Life Above zero !

by Khanum

I want to eat chubby babies!

And fried fish.

And now You are shocked to read my opening words.

No?  Okay. Never mind. At least you’re bit curious what’s this post about so keep reading.

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Yesterday , I got published by big Productive Muslim. It was a good news after a good wait. But what humbled me more and made me write this post is the overwhelming response of the readers. Shared above is the screenshot of my blogstats. WordPress counted the increasing number of my visitors, a sudden spike in stats right after the article got publsihed! and even though am not Zen Habits, No big blog on the bloc but hey! Khanum is not some tandoor wali. This blog means alot to me so by just reading  “Your blog stats are BLOOMING”  khanum also bloomed!

Such sweet and nice notifications by wordpress are very rare. At least for me. Its 2nd time I got to know my blog is blooming though, don’t remember what was the reason last time it happened. I wonder when the day would come or if it would ever come when wordpress finally says “YOU’RE FRESHLY PRESSED Pagli! Take this freshly pressed badge and do hip hip hurray!”

Anyway , What I do remember is, the response was almost the same when I got published at Productive Muslim for the first time ever, alot of people left their nice comments on my blog here after reading it, but woaw! It just got better this with huge traffic. A BIG thanks to Productive Muslim and all those readers out there who read me and most importantly care enough to leave a comment. It means alot. I’m constantly receiving hits on my site , comments on here from those who loved the piece , some subscribed to the blog while 1 or 2 I guess even followed me on twitter. I saw the facebook page, wow, so many people considered it worth sharing which means the more people read it, they are reminded of Allah and I get to earn sawab. I just wanted to say I am humbled. I do not deserve this much attention but yet I get it  so Alhamdulillah , it makes me really feel blessed.  May Allah love you all and bless so much.

Now! Towards the second part of the post >>>>>

Let me introduce to you a new blogger on the block! Behold the beautiful screenshot.

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The owner of the blog is a friend.

PLUS I contributed my behad keemti pakoray there in a post which I wonder why I didnt blog here too. And furthermore, on the blogger’s request, I designed its header but its still in the processing phase. Check it out and let me know what you think about it. Should I keep it minimal and simple or add some colors or more black designing in it at the borders? I would really appreciate it if you guys go to LIFE ABOVE ZERO and check it out!

🙂 thanks once again. I shall now reply to my readers’ comments and hope to see them back on this bloc again. Even if you all dont visit regularly, just Remember me in duas. That’s all that matters in the end.

May Allah always be your Light, my Light, Our Light! Ameen. 🙂

September 23, 2012

A face of Love

by Khanum

When there was nothing mom, I saw your sweet face

You lifted me off the shore, to high  new embrace

I tried to learn learn learn , the language of this world

And oh, the damn principal said I failed

I hated school. Yet went for you

Some friends made me blue, yet went for you

I tried to fight fight fight , those battles of world

And oh ,  the damn judges said I failed

Look am new again .. cause I see your face

Look am strong again.. only Cause I see your face

Look, am trying trying trying again .. Cause I see your face

A face of love.

***

Please pray for my mother’s health and happiness. and no I didnt try to say any poem. I don’t know poetry.

September 22, 2012

Are you going to do something real and witty against THEM or just break your own legs here?

by Khanum

“Aram se bhaiii! watch out!”

“You watch out behan meri!! ”

“that’s my damn laptop ure tossing around like a toy! so you behave! and hey!!! get back here” , I shouted at him “where are you running?!”

“I gotta go out! its almost 3”,

“Tou?”

“They said if you can’t go out for the participation in the protest then you must stand outside of ur gate to mark your presence at exact 3pm. — and why are you laughing now?”

“Nothing”, I looked at the clock. It was almost 3 , right! I watched him go out and stay out for long long hours. Clock hit 3:10. And I watched him marching back in.

“Kia hua, why back so quick?” I asked as sadly I was not in the position to step out of home and observe the protest and its thundering at the crossroads nearby myself or even my cousin and his sincere participation in the act at our very own threshold.

“Nothing. kafi jaloos hai. more than 1500 people crossed by. More to follow.”

“But why you are back so early? bas hogaya?!” I asked not that I was trying to mock or anything. Its just you do time to time come to question the strange acts we are told to observe in the name of showing solidarity with the nation against the enemies. no?

“Han bas. or kia karta main.” he fell silent. We heard our elders talking on how good the old days were when youth participated in milaad shareef and none of this happened and so on and on. Right! But those people out there they were not there following the footsteps of any 2 year old kid who has no interest in the religion which meant again they were just trying to make a point that oh the youth did this and that and the rest of the elderly people are innocent.

And I thought some parhe likhe people who were angry at the blasphemy act were out there to I don’t know , peacefully walk the streets and “peacefully” show solidarity on condemning the person? but what did I see? ? ? Anyway. My cousin’s bara mouth and my bara mouth of course had to give them company. Again I am not trying to mock the old people but again I come to ask them time to time , we don’t stop you to arrange such milaads still? why dont u arrange then?or hand us the money we’ll do so!

“Bakwas mat kero tum bachey ! bigar gaye ho! zaban chalate ho!”

Okay.

“But this youtube ban is atleast nonsense. I need to download few things for thesis and –”

“Bohatt ACHA hua its banned! net ne fasad kia hua hai! You guys are just spoiled over net!”

Okay.

Light came back and soon I guess their opinions were altered. Or I don’t know. Me and my cousins for one were blown away. more than 10, I guess were killed in the protests and more than 40 injured according to Geo news. I really wished they hadn’t done this black day. It doesn’t mean that our love for prophet is gone if we dont protest or something like that but combating the enemy the most hated enemy like the way we did today is very very weird. If I cursed ANdres Seraano in my last post for coming up with a bizarre photography, I feel no regret in equally condemning the senseless acts of some people out there who were shouting like barbarians and did nothing good to show to the world how we love our prophet? I heard lots of banks got the anger of the people. They broke down ATM machines. Took out money. People died. This happened that happened and not to forget the youtube ban that is still there. I mean what are we trying to achieve this way? I swear When I woke up this morning I had no clear idea as to why the day is off. I asked someone at home and I was looked upon as if I am some person who really don’t understand the delicacy of the situation at hand. Not mocking my family either but I feel sometimes there is so much confusion that people don’t realise hating the enemy raising your voice against him is one thing and that is okay! I am not settling with that loony director myself  but showing your anger this indecent way where you’re just not making sense and depicting a scene on streets from the movie planet of the apes? What can I say? I just wasnt expecting them to order an off day where I know most of us just watched movies. I for one honestly did nothing conrete and just wasted my time at home. Its not like they gave us one day off so we could become more holy. If it was the intention then I guess we failed.

My last post was on how ill mannered , hypocrite and so Godless those  few christians are and how few Jews manage to conspire against us and why we should not expect them to behave well. That was one side of the coin. Sadly, the other isnt too neat either. I supported those who are angered at this. I am still with you people. But please people, don;t embarrass me kindly? Don’t embarrass your Prophet? Is this the way we were supposed to go tackling…

stop being super sensitive, over smart and witless people. WE NEED CONCRETE LAWS not pointless self destructive PROTESTS for God’s sake! Its gonna happen again and again unless we stop behaving like crying babies and do something solid.  I don’t reckon Jews go protesting this way when someone raises a finger on their sentiments with the holocaust thing!

And I don’t even feel like speaking on it anymore cause What’s the point? I don’t understand why do we even bother blog about it or shout “RECOGNIZE YOUR ENEMY RECOGNIZE PROPER AND THEN GO AHEAD AND SHOOT!” I mean really what’s the bloody point of all the rage all over the internet , people pouring in giving their opinions , bloggers lashing out each other! , targetting, loathing condemning, bickering!  if all we ever gonna do is bloody protest this indecent way,  and break our own legs what’s the point of even saying I am a Muslim then? You don’t break enemy by burning down ur ownself , you break the enemy with wisdom and logic! Really disappointed in today’s protest proceedings! All the net bans n cellular service cut and killing each other not gonna help  muslims… learn to behave and recognise who ur enemy is. U cudnt even touch that loony director! LOOK! what u have done.

God, kindly Help us!
Forgive us for we dont know how to fight for our Religion’s honour the right way anymore. The love is there for You still but we have become idiots when it comes to battling.