Posts tagged ‘Prayers’

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. 

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July 26, 2012

Is your Ramadan going the right way, O’ Muslims?

by Khanum

Many a times what happens is, we wait for the holy month of Ramadan with such great fervour and zeal but when it actually arrives, 1day of passionate fasting happens and that’s pretty much it. The laziness after iftar and the sleepy eyes at Suhoor time takes over. I usually try to take a nap after zuhr but that 1 minute nap , we all know, is actually a big satanic movement! You too end up sleeping till maghrib then dont u ? 😀 dont hide now.

I have met many people in life who skip suhoor just for the sake of better sleep. And then I have met those people as well who have no interest in offering prayers what-so-ever.

“I am fasting yar! Pls don’t bother me. :@

I am fasting, ah , please massage my head. 😦

I am fasting, oh my God, how much time left? 😦

HOW DARE YOU!  ask me to do that work?, I am fasting Bro dont u know? :O

Uff I dont feel like walking or moving man,  😦 I am FASTING”

Yeah right! Fasting!!

That’s no fasting Dear Lazy Muslim. Please revise your Ramadan routine and put your heart and soul into this month. I know you may have your own level of spirituality you know, like I have my own where I dont like people poking in their noses  so you might have your own space with Lord ALmighty where you are given free hand at many things in life but listen human, you can’t use that as an excuse to skip the obligatory acts that includes offering 5 times prayers a day. Getting ?

I observed the routine of many people and I came across some pretty cool chart by Productive Muslim as well on how to form your Ramadan routine. As you can see below it’s a very basic yet complicated looking thing.

People who wanna do the “struggle” , keyword struggle to fast better would bother follow that but I am basically speaking of “lazy” people in my post, keyword lazy, who are at the first step of Fasting. So I made out a very easy chart for your understanding.

This Ramadan, Your Goal is One. TO PLEASE ALLAH ALMIGHTY ALONE.

How to Achieve this target ? Simply follow the basics.

1- Wake up for Suhoor with a happy and content heart. Do not be lazy.

2- Finish suhoor and Offer your 1st Daily obligatory prayer, Fajr. Do not be lazy.

3-Keep praying all your prayers through out day , Zuhr and Asr with the same determination and love for God that you had at Suhoor. Pls, do not be lazy.

4- Break your fast at Maghrib, don’t overdose yourself and pray the Maghrib and then Isha properly with witr *if you don’t wish to pray extra nafal during night*

Offer Taraweeh if you please, if you don’t want to do that just go to bed when you please and offer the same cycle again.

Congratulations! You are now a productive Muslim headed in the right direction this Ramadan!

Apart from this please keep in mind, there are some etiquettes of living as a Muslim that get high during the holy month of Ramadan. Meaning, we are expected to behave more good during this month. Lying, backbitting, stabbing, murdering, saying evil, doing evil, hearing evil all this must be STOPPED! I shall speak on this in detail in another post INsha Allah, for now, just do yourself a favor 🙂 be good and have a Happy Ramadan.

Praying isn’t hard for a Muslim. Its just a prayer, Muslim. If you seem to run away from the number of Rakat then don’t panic, just offer the farz i.e., obligatory prayer units and there you go. Allah will Love you so much for it. 🙂

I remember in childhood, we used to have this fantasy that Allah has a phone number and the phone number is 24434! If you notice, its the obligatory prayer units number for each prayer, 2 for Fajr, 4 for Zuhr, 4 for Aser then 3 for Maghrib and 4 for Isha.  Simple and easy. How often do u dial it? Daily?

And if you wish to enhance your your routine further, take a step ahead. Read Quran as much as you can., May it be a single surah or few verses of the Quran even on your smartphone. If you make a routine a determination that after Fajr or before going to bed you will read atleast 5 verses of Quran daily, trust me you’ll soon be reading more than that and more frequently. And Subhan Allah, the ajar the immense immense ajar for that deed is beyond our measures : )

So stead fast, fasten your seat belts and get going! You have an important appointment with Allah each day this month  or perhaps, throughout the year if you really ponder. And lastly pray as much as you can. Sincere pious Dua is your ticket out from the fitnah of this world and the akhirah!

Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness” (Quran, 2:183)

Assalam o alaikum!

August 5, 2011

Ramadan is about finding the path to God

by Khanum

I read something very heart warming on the internet today. Here are the those words of wisdom.

“The month of Ramadan is easily the world’s largest and longest spiritual festival. Muslims strive hard in this month to mend the torn fabric of human spirituality even as political and material impulses tear it asunder.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Quran instructs that its purpose is to teach Muslims self-restraint. The ritual involves systematic abstinence of things normal to body, mind and spirit. From dawn to dusk the limits are clear; no eating, no drinking, no sex, no fighting, no backbiting, no lying, no anger, no arrogance, no pride, no despair. In this month the sovereignty of the spirit over the body and the mind is reasserted to restore the divine order of things.”

And the title to this piece was ‘Ramadan is about finding a path to God.’

Definitely it’s the case. During Ramadan, there’s a sudden urge to do good. To be good and to spread good. Nothing but Good. Either at home or outside, masjid or your courtyard, Ramadan’s blessed wings spread all over us They move us ,   complete us.

The writer continued…

“The great Sufi Ibn Arabi captured this longing for unity with the divine more beautifully than anyone. He wrote in his The Secrets of Fasting:

My self, had it not been for you, I would not have been

as if I were Him,

were it not for you! Were it not for you!

Indeed the sense of longing for a taste of the Divine is never felt more acutely than it is in the month of Ramadan. In Ramadan we control our appetite for the created things with the fond hope that desire for the Creator will finally be satiated.

Those who fast with genuine dedication, those who struggle to conquer the self, those who give charity — they do experience a feeling of purification that is profoundly palpable.

At the end of the month, for some there is a feeling of lightness, as if the weight of impurities that one had been carrying has been lifted. For others, there is heaviness in the heart and one prays for one more chance to maybe get it right the next time.” (Source Muqtedar Khan)