Monday, 30 August 2010

The Failure.

Assalam
Have you ever got a red mark in your report card? A red mark indicating "FAILURE"?

Well, I have!

And this "FAILURE" came as a big lesson to me. Now, what was the lesson that I learnt? Wait! Let me tell you the story first. . . Coz though, I have failed many times since then. . . The very first failure has surely got to be memorable. . . So, here goes. . .

I was this absolutely ridiculous 1st standard student who hated goin to school. It wud actually take an entire post for me to explain how much I hated school. . But, for now, we can let it pass.
So, I was this absolutely ridiculous 1st standard student who hated goin to school. I used to cry continuously (well. . . Almost continuously) pausing only rarely (for e.g., to breathe). My class teacher was Sister Lucy Lobo and she hated me. And very truthfully, I hated her equally. . . as I still do. Khair, toh Sister Lucy had given me names like "Crying Baby", "Milk Baby". . . And now when I look back at it, she kind of treated me in a way that was very unbecoming of a 1st standard teacher; though, at that time, I didnt understan it. I simply disliked her for the way she treated me. And as goes without saying anymore, I was one of the 'unsmart' kids in the class. One who is a 'DUMBO'. (Though, I must tell you, at this point, that 1st std. was the only year, apart from, maybe, my college life, wen I was considered a 'DUMBO' (and that was gr8ly helped by my fantastic relation with my class teacher)as otherwise, it wud be being ungrateful to my Most Loving God)

More can be told bout my 1st std. experience l8r. Filhaal, let's concentrate upon my singing abilities.

Alrite, so put very simply, I cant sing. Not at all. You might not have met a worse singer than me. And to my sheer bliss, for a substantial number of years in school we had this "beautiful but dreadful" subject --
SINGING
complete with a Notebook and Exams.
BEAUTIFUL coz we were taught amazing songs-both prayer songs and songs wid words that went. . . .
"Hey Little Hen. . When when when will you lay me an egg for my tea?"
and DREADFUL coz. . . Well. . . There were times when we had to sing alone. . . Not very often. . . But, still, on certain occasions we had to sing all alone. . . For e.g. During Exams.
And in my 1st std. 1st Term Exams too, I was supposed to do exactly that. . . Sing alone. .
So, this ma'am. . . Crap! ! ! I meant "Miss" (which is what we called our teachers). . . So, this Miss (whose name I've never known) asks me to sing a certain song. . And I begin singing. . . Rather, I begin doing 'the-thing-which-I-presumed-was-singing-but-which-definitely-was-not'.
I was faltering with the words not coz I didnt know the words but coz . . Like I've already told. . .
I BLOODY CANT SING.

And even before I could falteringly-finish the 1st stanza, this lady tells me
"O.K. . . So, you dont know this song. . . Alrite, sing the song that Sister Lucy has been teaching you."

Me: *Silence*

Miss: "Sister Lucy has taught your class many songs right? "

Me: *Nod*Nod*Nod*

Miss: "So, sing."

Me: *Silence*

And here, let's have a little flashback to a week or two before my Singing Exam. . . .

Sister Lucy, my class teacher, announces to us that in 2-3 weeks it wud be Class IA 's turn, that is my class's turn, for the morning assembly in the stage.
>>>[Every morning, we had prayer, news etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. relayed from the principal's office and we just followed it sitting in our classrooms thru the speakers. . . But twice a week we assembled outside in the ground (the volleyball court, to be more precise) and one class performed a skit on the stage (followed by the SAME stuff. . . 'Let us pray'. . . 'Thought for the day'. . . 'Goodmorning, in today's news'. .'Let us sing') And this entire set-up was shifted to the 'Hall' if our clouds were showering the Gorgeous Andaman Rains on us. . . And ya! Remember that we're talkin bout 1993- when Carmel was still a 'High School'. . . When our uniform didnt include a kind of clothin called 'Salwar Kameez'. . . And wen we still had a 3rd playground. . . Where now stands the 'Mother Veronica Auditorium'. . . ] >>>>
Sooooo. . . .
Sister Lucy gave us our parts for the skit. . .
I was a LOTUS.
My line was somethin like. . .

'I grow in dirty water but I am a beautiful flower'
(That's the only line from the skit that I remember)

Andddd. . . She taught us songs.
MANY BEAUTIFUL SONGS. . .
Songs that were 'New' to our school. . . That we hadn heard over the morning assemblies. . .
AND. . . We had been told by Sister Lucy. . .
STRICTLY
NOT TO SING THOSE SONGS IN FRONT OF OTHERS.
coz she wanted it to be 'new' on the day we performed. We were told NOT to sing those songs even in front of our friends from I(B), the other section.
These were to be 'OUR' songs. . That we wud serve on a platter before the school on our Assembly Day. . . .


Now, let us get back to my Singing Exam. .

Miss(to the class): "You all go out everyday to practise. . . Have you all learnt the songs? "

Class: "YESSSSSS MISSSSSSS"

Me: on my face: *Blank*
:in my heart: *Scared*
:in my mind: *IDIOTSSS!!*
:and if have to say in my mind today: *FUCKERS!!*

Miss: "Sing. Dont you know a single song?"

Me: *Nod*Nod*Nod*

Miss: "Then, sing."

Me: *Silence*

Miss: "Go. . . . . Next number."

(Next number arrives)

Miss: "Sing your assembly song."

Next Number: *Sings*

Miss: "Good. . . . .Next number."

(Next Number arrives)

Miss: "Sing the next song."

Next Number: *Sings*
. . . . And on and on and on. . .

. . . And our class students sang all the songs that were supposed to be OUR songs, that we were told not to sing in front of anyone. . . We sang them before our Singing teacher. . Who was also I (B)'s Class teacher.


Later that day, the class was scolded by Sister Lucy for not obeying her. Scolded. . . And that's it. . .
And I got a 'red mark' in my report card. . . To carry forever.

I remember crying very badly on my Ist Term Parents Teachers Meeting when I was presented with 'FAILED'.
Singing Miss told Abbu that she had no other option. . . Coz I didnt know any song.
I cried and cried and cried. . All the way up the hill. . . To the main gate. . And on the way, whichever aunty or uncle we met had to be explained by Abbu. . . That his gr8 daughter had managed to fail in a subject like 'Singing'. I wonder what was goin in Abbu's minds that day. . . 'Will dis gal study at all?'. . . 'How wil she cope in school?'. . . Given that I used to hate school. . And was also the target of a certain female bully in my class. . . Ha ha ha ;D

Glad that my parents' fears got erased the very next year. . . Alhamdulillah! :) but, still. . . I might be the only person to have failed in "Singing" in the history of Mount Carmel, Port Blair. . . Though, I'd be glad if I found someone else who'd raise his hands with me to have accomplished this feat. . .

Now, on retrospection. . . I still dont know wat shud I have done on the day of my exam. . .
Sung that song?
Or told Miss dat Sister'd told us not to sing?
But, c'mon. . . Today wen am 22. . . Almost 23. . It feels ok. . . But, God!!! I was only 5 then. . . I mean. . . I told it to my parents alrite! But, tellin it to a teacher is a completely different 'DIMENSION' for a 5 yr old.
In any case. . . I learnt the lesson that I carry till date. .
and putting it the way we used to do in our childhood skits. .. . .
MORAL OF THE STORY:-

*Being loyal to someone or something might get you screwed. . .
Be loyal anyway. . .
Coz avoiding a 'FAILED' on your heart is worth a thousand 'FAILED' on your report card*






:)

Allah hafiz




Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Dreams

Assalam

#I dreamt of appearing for my exams .. Akhil is helping me with some question before I enter for viva.. and I am asking Dorothy Miss (yes, our 9th std.class teacher) to allow me to have one last look at my record to go thru the diagrams (I remember seeing- knee joint, eye)…. She asks me how wud that help.. and I tell her that at least I wud be able to draw ’SOMETHIN’…..

#Saw the LH. And some gal’s sittin on the table in front of my room and studying…. Then I try to enter the Mess.. but for some reason, I don’t.

#i am again appearing for my exams (college ka) but this time in the Plus Two block of my school. I remember seeing Anu.

# I saw that I’ve got fever….and then I look into the mirror for some other reason and notice that my face is covered with small rounded raised papules…..and then I realize that I have pox…..
in the same dream, I see two people.. one was dressed very strangely- she was wearing a swimming suit(blue) covered by plastic (??) all over…the plastic overall was light green and was…well…strange… then after sometime I notice that actually, we all are standing in a hospital ward and this strangely dressed lady is a doctor coz just then someone gives her a mask……

again, in the same dream.. I colour my hair “Green”….. or, rather, I plan to colour my hair green and apply some kind of paste (or whatever it is that is applied at the time of colourin one’s hair) on my hair… but, usi waqt someone comes and tells me that I’ve to go somewhere….and so I wash off my hair in a hurry….and wen I reach that place, wherever that place is… I see that my hair is all sticky wid that green paste..coz I hadn washed my hair properly.

Alrite, so it was a long dream—I see that I am in a restaurant (somewhere near the Bata store at the MCH junction) and I remember that something hapend dat had sumthin to do wid money… and there was this guy who lukd like the Airforce Officer from Orissa whom I met in my Chennai-Blair flite. And then I run to get the college bus which doesn’t really luk like our college bus except that it is YELLOW and the driver is Schumi. And I make the bus wait for me (I think this entered my head from the movie “Alex and Emma” which was being aired recently.. in that movie, Emma makes the bus wait while she talks to Alex and Alex ka role is played by that extremely good lokin guy who was Elle’s fiancĂ© in Leglly Blonde)while I do something (I don remember wat) and then I enter the bus ka second part (it had three parts…..sory I cant explain..i have to prepare sehri..) and realize that the height of the roof is too low for me *blah*.. but then I see that same guy from the restaurant in the bus..and then he shows me how to sit…….

P.S.- Am sure these dreams will come as a relief to my dearest sister who was sort of worked up after my dream in which I …apparently…saw the Anti-Christ !!! Now, since these dreams are normally stupid, I am sure she doesn’t consider me strange anymore. :p

Allah hafiz






Frequently Asked Questions about Zakat

Sound Vision consulted Br. Ahmad Sakr to find out about some of the frequently asked questions about Zakah and their answers. Ahmad Sakr studied Islam in Lebanon for 12 years with 20 different scholars form all parts of the Middle East. He learned Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Seerah and Dawa from them.

Sakr is also director of the Islamic Education Center in Walnut, California.


These are the questions and answers he has given. (Please note that Imams differ in detail of some of the answers):

Question #1: What is Zakat-ul-Fitr?

Zakat -ul-Fitr is for fasting Muslims to give food or money on behalf of fasting people. The food or money is equal to one day's meals for one person. The head of the family pays this amount on behalf of each person in the family. If he is responsible for his mother and father, then he has to pay Zakat ul Fitr for them too.

If a person cannot fast permanently in the month of Ramadan (for instance, because of illness) they have to pay Fitra for each fasting day.

Question #2: Who is qualified to receive Zakah?

The Quran describes eight categories of people who are to receive Zakah in Surah 9, verse 60. "As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara and Al-Masakin and those employed to collect the (funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause, and for the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise."

Ahmad Sakr elaborated on these categories:

1. The poor (Fuqara)-this refers to someone who has no income
2. The needy (Masakin)-this is someone who for instance, may have a job, a house and a car, but their income is below the minimum requirement.
3. Employees of the Zakah. This category is sub-divided into the following:

a. the group of people who are social services workers who go into the community to evaluate who is Faqeer and Miskeen.
b. those who collect the Zakah money
c. the accountant of the Zakah money
d. investors who increase the share of the Zakah
e. the clerical worker or secretary who puts the files in order
f. those who will deliver Zakah to the ones who need it
g. the outside auditor.

4. Sympathizers
These are those people who might enter or who have already entered Islam. Anyone we feel are good friends or ours (non-Muslim or new Muslims) we give them a gift from the Zakah money.

5. To free slaves

Riqab is the term used to describe the group of people who are slaves. The Zakah money is used to free the slaves. Sakr stresses that Islam did not invent slavery, but it gradually abolished it.

6. For the Gharimeen-those who are in debt

-Zakah money is used to pay off debts but these people are not living in luxury, they are living a normal life. For example, someone who has gone bankrupt because of job loss and is overloaded with debt.

7. Fee Sabeelillah (for the Cause of Allah)

This can be anything for the love of Allah. Sakr gave the following examples:

a. for the employment of a Daiyah, Imam, or religious teachers to do Dawa
b. building Islamic schools
c. building Muslim clinics and hospitals
d. providing money to young men who want to marry but cannot afford Mahr
e. to assist poor travelers
f. to establish water springs on streets for those walking or travelers
(please note, these last three things were done by Khalifa Umar ibn Abdul Aziz)
g. to defend Muslims who are under attack
h. For television, radio or newspaper project aimed at doing Dawa
i. to help someone publish a book for Dawa
j. to pay for the studies of a student..

8. Ibn as Sabeel

This refers to a traveler, for instance who has lost his wallet and has to get back to his home.

Sakr stresses that this has to be verified to see if this person is really telling the truth, since there has been at least one case of a man claiming to be a lost traveler in North America who has stolen thousands from Muslims claiming to be a traveler of this type.

Question #3: How much Zakah do we give?

The amounts are the following:

2.5 percent-on annual savings that are Zakatable

5 percent-on agriculture being taken care of by a farmer who is planting and irrigating from his own money. During harvest time, he pays five percent from the total crop.

10 percent-on a farmer's product if it is being irrigated by rain

20 percent-on resources like oil or precious metals (i.e. gold, silver) which you find on a piece of land that you own. Sakr notes that this is "your property, no one has the right to nationalize it". You would pay 20 percent on what you produced in one year.

Question #4: Do I pay Zakah on my house and car

No, as long as you have one house, whether you have paid it off or not. If you have a second house for investment purposes, this is Zakatable. You would pay 2.5 percent on the total saved from the house. This excludes what is spent on maintenance or property taxes and insurance.

It's the same thing for a car. If you are renting a car to someone, this is considered a business entity, therefore, it is also Zakatable at 2.5 percent.

Question 5: Are businesses Zakatable?

First of all, the business should be Halal.

There are three opinions amongst the scholars:

1. If a businessman earns a certain amount from his business, whatever he saves after taking care of his family's needs and his business expenses, he pays Zakat of 2.5 percent on what he has saved.

2. A businessman has to pay Zakah on the commodities in his store. This would require evaluating the purchasing power of the commodity and then paying 2.5 percent on this amount.

3. Everything is from Allah and everything goes back to Allah. The more you give on your commodities, the better, and it does not have to be 2.5 percent.

Question #6: Should Zakah be paid only once a year?

The early Muslims actually paid Zakah everyday instead of paying in a large bulk once a year.

Some scholars have advised that we plan in advance for our Zakah because we might die and our inheritors may not pay the Zakah we owe.

Another group of scholars say for businesses, you should pay in advance. The way you would do this is by estimating how much business you will make and pay 2.5 percent.

If you decide to pay Zakah daily, give a specific amount to one of the eight categories, but nobody but you and Allah should know that you are giving, since some will feel it demeaning and insulting.

Question #7: Should Zakah be paid in Ramadan

Most Muslims prefer to give their Zakah in Ramadan because there are more rewards for doing so, but it is not necessary to pay Zakah in this blessed month.

Sakr noted that Muslims are in need throughout the year, not just in Ramadan, so we can benefit Muslims by paying other times of the year as well.







Monday, 23 August 2010

Introduction : Letters of The Holy Prophet (S.A.W)

Assalam



This is an introduction to the series of posts that I am planning to write for my blog. inshaAllah, I shall try my best. Basically, these posts will be copied from a book.
I had first found the book in the State Library, Port Blair, long ago. I was in the 8th or 9th std., I am not sure. And since it was such a treasure, I had got the book photocopied for myself.
Like I had already mentioned in a previous post, all my plans for Ramzaan and 30 special Ramzaan posts had to be cancelled coz of the excellent condition of my keyboard.
So, I am not sure how far will I be able to copy down this book…..
Still, I shall try as much as I can…..mostly the parts of the book that are most important to maintain the coherence of the subsequent posts….. and I hope Allah Paak helps me with it…..
I will need to show extra patience with this keyboard.. coz trust me, it’s driving me nutssss…..
In any case, I wish that Muslims who are interested in the subject do read the posts (as many posts as I can put up), if they haven’t read it earlier.
This photocopied book is one of my most treasured possessions; not just coz of the stuff it contains but also coz it was the first of “MY OWN” Islamic Book……..We have a lot of Islamic Literature at home, belonging to my grandmother, my mummy and a few belonging to some long lost people in my family tree. But, the problem is that these books are all in Urdu… and my knowledge of Urdu is.. well…. Kind of limited….coz Urdu uses a lot of Persian words and unlike Arabic, the script does not have ‘matras’- the ‘zabars’ and the ‘zers’…..so, on the whole, Urdu is tough for me….especially the Urdu contained in these Baba Aadam ke zamaane ke books.
And so, wen I found “Letters of The Holy Prophet(S.A.W)”, I was in one of my ‘jhinga la la’ moments.
Since then, I have collected some other English Isamic books , yet this remains the crown of all of “MY OWN” books.
I would also like to add that every word is being copied from “LETTERS OF THE HOLY PROPHET (S.A.W)” …. Whenever and wherever I find the need to expres myself, I shall indicate that those are my own words.
AND….. anything written under this Header is NOT OPEN TO DEBATES OR DISCUSSIONS.
Whether you are reading this in my “Jalpari” blog, or any other blog where I would post it… or even when it is transported to Facebook as a ‘note’----- these posts are NOT OPEN TO DEBATES OR DISCUSSIONS.
Plus, I AM NOT THE EPITOME OF ISLAM…… so, what “I” am should not be mixed or confused with what Islam teaches. No further explanations in this regard would be given. Relevant searches in my various blogs would help.

Alrite then….
Allah hafiz.




Tuesday, 3 August 2010

just a note..

Assalam
Am not able to post stuff coz my lap is severely damaged...
had made a lot of plans for Ramzaan....
one post for each day.. but i guess, it's not wat Allah Paak wills.....
inshaAllah some other time...
Allah hafiz



Prayer for Patience ......

~ Prayer for Patience ~
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” —Galatians 6:9

Our most gracious and attentive Lord, help us to remember that you move in your time, knowing as only you know the perfect time and the perfect way to answer our prayers. The flower begins at seed—a seed we neither see nor understand. And gradually the seed sprouts, still deep within the damp earth, hidden from our vision. We may be tempted to believe it is not growing, and yet if we dig it up to calm our doubts, we will damage it and stunt its full blossom. Help us to be ever mindful, dear Lord, that you have planted the seeds of peace for us. Help us to continue to walk with you and know you more, growing ever stronger in our faith that what you have promised you will do, even when we do not yet have the physical evidence we seek.


(source:revisionsplus.com)


A PRAYER FOR PATIENCE

Gracious God, it’s so hard to wait. To wait for new things to happen in my life. To wait for you to answer my prayers. To wait for the open doors that may lead me into a new way of being. During the time of waiting, it seems that all I can think of is having what it is I am waiting for. At times I feel weary of asking and waiting, and I wonder if you really hear my prayers at all, if you are ignoring me, or if you are simply refusing to give me my heart’s desire. A part of me knows that you want my best, and that your time is not my time, but Lord, it is still so hard to wait. Deepen my trust, O Lord, during the times when my heart longs for what can only come in the fullness of time. Give me a calm assurance that your will for me is grander than anything I could ever imagine. Still my mind and heart in your love so that I am mindful of the grace you are draping around me every single day, every single moment. I ask this for the sake of your love.

(source:explorefaith.org)




Dreams

Assalam

Dream- 03rd August 2010
I saw that the tribals have attacked us. Us meaning all the civilized ppl in the islands.
Our family’s got dispersed….. I am trying to hide among the bushes near the garden.
There are lots of gunshots.
I also saw a flight, am not sure from where was it coming or where was it going to…..

Abbu too saw a strang dream. He saw that the world is ending. There’s smoke everywhere and stars (looking like rocks) are flying across the sky….. they’re grouping together in one part of the sky.
And someone is saying that when the world ends, there’d be no one left behind to be mourning… everything’s is goin to end.. so ‘mourning’ wouldn’t be a problem.


Dream- 30th/31st July 2010
Am not sure bout the day wen I saw this dream..
Well.. it was a very short dream and I saw this wen I drifted off to sleep for ..like.. 5 minutes….. while waiting for my mummy to come from the kitchen….
In this I saw a hooded man….
You know.. like ‘Altair’…. From the computer game….
Only that unlike Altair. This man was dressed in all black.
And on his forehead was a deep red, bleeding mark….. which (in my dream) I regarded ams an eye….
And in the dream itself I think ki..oh this cud be the word ‘kaafir’.
But, I don’t remember his face…. I guess he didn’t have a face….
Am not sure.. but I clearly remember the third eye….
And then I know that he is Dajjal …..
And I see him standing near my bed.. and I am terrified….
And I hear a voice… I don’t know whose…. And that person tells me not to be scared coz the Dajjal cannot harm a person with faith….
“Jiska Eemaan pakka hai, usko kuchh nahi kar sakta Dajjal..”
And I see him retreating into another room..
And I wake up…..
And again that night I cudnt sleep wid the lights off….


Allah hafiz


Prayer For Patience

~ A Prayer For Patience ~

God, teach me to be patient, teach me to go slow,
Teach me how to wait on You when my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance when things do not go right
So I remain unruffled when others grow uptight.

Teach me how to quiet my racing, rising heart
So I might hear the answer You are trying to impart.

Teach me to let go, dear God, and pray undisturbed until
My heart is filled with inner peace and I learn to know your will.

~Helen Steiner Rice~






Now reading ... "The Witch of Portobello" by 'Paulo Coelho'.

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