My fifteen seconds of fame.
Yesterday, my mother, sister and I were out shopping at one of the larger, smellier, busier bazaars here in Islamabad. It was rush-hour (just afore Maghrib) and it was insanity in the parking lot. I was blocked in by a double-parked Hilux (big Toyota pick-up truck) whose driver was being harassed by the police for his license. Fine, I thought, let the police check his license, but let him move up two feet so I can get out of here! So I honked.
A big crowd had gathered around the Hilux and we were starting to wonder what was going on. Finally the Hilux pulled away, and I started to back out of the parking space. I was halfway out when the same cop then came over to me and asked to see my license. (what a great time to ask, eh, me halfway out of a parking space, with the tail-end of my car blocking traffic) I pulled it out and gave it to him. He looked at it and said in Urdu, Ok Madame, you’ve parked in a no parking zone. I’m just going to give you a ticket.
I gave him an incredulous look and asked him in English how a parking lot could be a no-parking zone. Now you wonder why I switched over to English. Frankly, the cops in Pakistan are crooked. It’s not uncommon to pull people over for imaginary violations and then demand a bribe if they don’t want a ticket. I switched over to English because the cops won’t do that to foreigners. (shame on them, you’d think they’d be nicer to their own people first and harass the foreigners instead!)
The cop then started stammering and told me in flustered English that there were no-parking signs every hundred feet. I told him to show me. Then I heard from the crowd, “Cut! Cut! Cut that out!” and a man with a video camera came up to the window and put the camera down. The cop said, Sorry Madame, we were just making a documentary. I told him he could’ve told me that before he tried to ticket me for parking in a parking lot. Some guy with big sunglasses then stuck his face in my window (probably the director, it was the guy who yelled ‘Cut’) and apologized to me. So, if any of you happen to be watching the Citi Channel or Geo or ARY Digital or PTV or something, and you happen to see a very annoyed, Arab-looking hijabi sassing a Pakistani traffic cop, that’ll be me.
The ice-hat. Soak a bandana and lay it open. Line up three or four ice cubes diagonally, and then fold in half, so you get a lumpy triangle. Then roll the bandana so the ice cubes are in the middle. Knot the two ends together and then lay the bandana in the freezer so that it freezes in a circular shape. After half an hour, take it out and presto! You have an ice-hat, a circular band of ice to place on your head and enjoy!
Khalid ibn El Waleed narrated the following hadith:
A Bedouin came one day to the Prophet (Peace & Upon Him) and said to
“0, Messenger of Allah! I’ve come to ask you a few questions about the
affairs of this Life and the Here After.”
-Ask what you wish.
Q: I’d like to be the most learned of men.
A: Fear Allah, and you will be the most learned of men.
Q: I wish to be the richest man in the world.
A: Be contented, and you will be the richest man in the world.
Q: I’d like to be the most just man.
A: Desire for others what you desire for yourself, and you will be the
most just of men.
Q: I want to be the best of men.
A: Do good to others and you will be the best of men.
Q: I wish to be the most favored by Allah.
A: Engage much in Allah’s praise, and you will be most favored by Him.
Q: I’d like to complete my faith.
A: If you have good manners you will complete your faith
Q: I wish to be among those who do good.
A: Adore Allah as if you see Him. If you don ‘t see Him, He seeth you.
In this way you will be among those who do good.
Q: I wish to be obedient to Allah.
A: If you observe Allah’s commands you will be obedient.
Q: I’d like to be free from all sins.
A: Bathe yourself from impurities and you will be free from all sins.
Q: I’d like to be raised on the Day of Judgment in the light.
A: Don’t wrong yourself or any other creature, and you will be raised
on the Day of Judgment in the light.
Q: I’d like Allah to bestow His mercy on me.
A: If you have mercy on yourself and others, Allah will grant you mercy
on the Day of Judgment.
Q: I’d like my sins to be very few.
A: If you seek the forgiveness Allah as much as you can, your sins will
be very few.
Q: I’d like to be the most honorable man.
A: If you do not complain to any fellow creature, you will be the most
honorable of men.
Q: I’d like to be the strongest of men.
A: If you put your trust in Allah, you will be the strongest of men.
Q: I’d like to enlarge my provision.
A: If you keep yourself pure, Allah will enlarge your provision.
Q: I’d like to be loved by Allah and His messenger.
A: If you love what Allah and Him messenger love, you will be among
their beloved ones.
Q: I wish to be safe from Allah’s wrath on the Day of Judgment.
A: If you do not loose your temper with any of your fellow creatures,
you will be safe from the wrath of Allah on the Day of Judgment.
Q: I’d like my prayers to be responded to.
A: If you avoid forbidden actions, your prayers will he responded.
Q: I’d like Allah not to disgrace me on the Day of Judgment.
A: If you guard your chastity, Allah will not disgrace you on the Day
Q: I’d like Allah to provide me with a protective covering on the Day
A: Do not uncover your fellow creatures faults, and Allah will provide
you with a covering protection on the Day of Judgment.
Q: What will save me from sins?
A: Tears, humility and illness.
Q: What are the best deeds in the eyes of Allah?
A: Gentle manners, modesty and patience.
Q: What are the worst evils in the eyes of Allah?
A: Hot temper and miserliness.
Q: What assuages the wrath of Allah in this life and in the Hereafter?
A: Concealed charity and kindness to relatives.
Q: What extinguishes hell’s fires on the Day of Judgment?
A: Patience in adversity and misfortunes.
Related by Imam Ibn Hambal