Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Monthly Archives: September 2004

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Hemmi’s Guest House, Day 1

Dear Momma & AssalamuAlaikum Abbu & Zaymun & Blogistan

Abez, coming to you live from Hemmie’s computer room, where I’m taking meticulous notes and spying on the natives. Mwahahahaaaaa! To my left are Owlie, Lil’ Hemmie, Hemmie’s bro (wearing a shirt that says ‘Whatever I do blame it on Al-Qaeda). To my right are a pile of CD’s, a shiny silver mouse and a tower CPU. The room is air conditioned, the carpet is blue, and Hemmie is at school. In her absence, Owlie and I have made victorious conquest of the kitchen, where we will make a mess and call it ‘baking brownies.’

The Daewoo ride here was interesting. It being my first bus ride in Pakistan, I think I can be forgiven for thinking I was on a flight every few minutes. It didn’t help that the bus had a stewardess who walked up the aisle offering drinks, sandwiches, little muffins and potato chips. There were also overhead compartments in which to stow carry-on luggage. Unlike other domestic flights I’ve been on, the seats were huge, they reclined, had footrests, and even little pillows. So yeah, it was a nice flight. There was a bit of turbulence when we went over a speed-bump, and a mid-air collision with another bus was narrowly avoided somewhere on sky way—err… Motorway 2.

The landing was very smooth, the touchdown at Daewoo International Airport, Lahore wasn’t too bumpy and our luggage came right out of the side of the cargo hold and we didn’t have to go through customs or anything! 😀

We arrived at 11:30 last night to the happy and waiting car of Hemmie, who then procured fresh roghni naan for us and then fed us dinner. (chicken and potatoes, both boneless!) We then chatted Hemmie’s ear off and prevented her from getting to sleep till about 4 am. We woke up this morning and Hemmie was gone, presumably to school, for which she woke up at 6 am. Owlie says she has a vague memory of Hemmie saying good-bye, but I cannot verify that claim.

Well time to have lunch and then go buy the ingredients for about four trays of brownies. Rather than be taught how to make brownies, Hemmie would rather just import us from Islamabad to refresh her supply at regular intervals. Some people are smarter than others. I’m not sure which category I fit into, or Hemmie either, but in the end we’re gonna eat brownies, and isn’t that all that matters?

Peace & Brownies

-Abez

#1 Striped Chair,

The Computer room,

Hemmie Guest House, Lahore

Fame, Fortune, and Cheese-Naan

The time is 3:27 pm. By six o ‘clock, Owlie and I have to be at the Daewoo station to catch a bus to Lahore, where we’ll crash Hemmie’s house, bounce on the furniture and eat cheese-naan till we explode. 😀

We’re also going to rendezvous with Chai, Ushi and her 3 sisters, one of which is getting married (Mabrook, MashaAllah!). Incidentally, in spite of it being 3:27 (3:29 now actually) I still haven’t packed, my clothes are not back from the tailor and I haven’t made any cookies yet. I’m a last-minute kind of man, or couldn’t you guys tell? he he

But yes, on to randomness. AFP is holding it’s first ever, maybe annual psuedo-journalism awards. The top three news stories submitted before I return to Isb (Monday) will not only receive psuedo-accolades, psuedo-fame, and psuedo-pretige, they will also win awards. I’m serious. Ask Yasminay about the monkeys. So, if you like surprises and you like writing nonsense, email your stories to me @ zhkhan@gmail.com before Monday.

Next stop: Hemmie‘s House!

Yoxio AWOL from Blogistan, local authorities suspect kidnapping

by Staff Reporter

Blogistan, Pk- The recent disappearance of several noteworthy blog logos has raised eyebrows in Blogistan, not only because the empty holes look funny, but due to the coincidental timing: Yoxio has vanished as well.

Yoxio, formerly a pro-bono image host, is now missing, and authorities think that Yoxio’s disappearance may just be linked to the missing images.

“It’s too convenient to overlook,” Blogistan’s Police Commissioner- Ayman bin Searchin, admitted at a recent press conference. “The fact that the supposed host of these images has vanished at the same time has us looking into a possible kidnapping, but so far no ransom note or phone call from any purported kidnappers has been made.”

An estimated umpteen million images have been lost, and Blogistani law enforcement has promised to devote the proper resources and manpower to the case. Bloggers are perturbed nonetheless. “Yoxio has died,” one sad blogger exclaimed, expressing her worst fears over the host’s disappearance, “…and none of my images are showing…”

Another blogger suspiciously informed reporters that “-Photobucket is being weird too.” Is there any link? Officials on behalf of Photobucket gave no comment, as they were not contacted. Regarding this supposed Yoxio-Photobucket connection, the Police Commissioner was reportedly unable to comment, as his mouth was full of Turkish delight.

Faced with the loss of images as well as the disappearance of a trusted host, Bloggers are now turning towards other hosts. Images4free.com has provided comfort and 10mb to the aggrieved, and other hosts, like Imagehosting.us and AfreeImagehost have been clambering to fill the vacuum that Yoxio’s disappearance has created.

Until Yoxio can be found and the missing images are returned, bloggers are advised to stay calm and leave 10 million ice-cream cones in a brown paper bag in the comment box if they want to see their images alive ever again. –AFP (Abezi Fraud Press)

Some people are foolish. Those people are me.

I started off writing a post about how people are all on different spiritual levels, and I wanted to point that out in reference to praying Sunnah. However, because I’m sleepy and hungry and can’t seem to put things down intelligently, I’m just gonna sez things like they is. Yeah.

I’ve had a problem with praying my Sunnah, the problem being that I don’t always do it. It’s usually always laziness, or perhaps it’s spiritual procrastination. I have always felt guilty about it, but any time someone asked me about it or reminded me about it, I felt as if I couldn’t possibly pray my Sunnah then because I was doing it just to please them, and it would be hypocrisy on my part.

(Smarter people don’t get into these dilemmas, but Abez is not smarter people.)

It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part to skip Sunnah prayers, it was just a highly-evolved form of ‘pray and get off rug before you remember and feel guilty,’ because praying out of guilt or embarrassment didn’t seem like a proper intention.

It took me a long time to figure things out, but here’s what I finally discovered. People on different spiritual levels respond to different things. A person on a very low spiritual level may go and do something good only because they would feel guilty or embarrassed for not doing it. A person with a higher level may do that same thing out of fear of Allah’s displeasure, and guilt towards other people or embarrassment in front of them doesn’t even figure. A person on a higher level will do something good because of the reason mentioned before (not wanting to incur displeasure) in addition to a sincere desire to be grateful and obedient to the Lord who created them and sustains their very existence. Check it out:

Level One: Prays Sunnah because will feel guilt leaving the rug before other people do.

Level Two: Prays Sunnah because of fear of appearing ungrateful to their Lord.

Level Three: Pray Sunnah because they really, really want to.

Don’t quote me on these levels, and please note that people can be on a certain level for one thing (maybe their prayer is level three) but on a different level for another (maybe their hijab is just level one). To our imperfect human judgement, faith cannot be measured. You can’t look a person and know whether they’re a ‘good’ Muslim or a ‘bad’ Muslim simply by virtue of their deeds, and since only Allah knows our intentions, He alone can say who’s been good or bad.

So how does a Level 1 Sunnah worshipper get to a better level without doing their Sunnah just to please other people? Two ways:

1. Pray Sunnah in secret. There have been times when I have sat on the prayer rug while others have prayed their Sunnah, and then left when the Jamaat was over, only to go and pray my Sunnah somewhere else. Why do that? Why not just pray Sunnah there with everyone else? Because those were times when I did not feel solid enough, or sure enough that my intention for Sunnah would not be tainted with the desire to pray Sunnah before other people just so they know I’m doing it.

2. The reset button. I’ve also learned the value of re-evaluating my intentions, revising them if necessary by pushing the reset button. If I stand up to pray Sunnah and find, in the back of my mind, the whisper of level one, I very firmly tell myself that I don’t give a hibbity-dibbity about what others think of me, and I’m here to pray to God, for the sake of pleasing Him, and being Grateful to him, and I will pray my Sunnah with concentration, no matter how long it takes me, even if that means I’m the last one left on the prayer rug when everyone else is gone.

A sincere intention to do something always negates hypocrisy, no matter how you think things might appear to other people. People could look at a person who’s praying with obvious concentration, who is last to leave the prayer rug, as trying to show off, but if a person isn’t, then it really doesn’t matter. The person’s intentions are between them and their Lord.

What was my point? Oh yes, me not praying Sunnah when other people told me to was foolish. My fear of appearing like a hypocrite was, in fact, a lesser form of hypocrisy, in that what and how much I prayed was still subject to what people thought of it. A sincere desire can take a reminder to pray Sunnah, and then just reiterate the sincere intention, remake it if necessary, and pray their Sunnah then and there.

My way of getting to praying Sunnah was long and circuitous. It was a private argument that went on in my head for fear of embarrassment. It’s still kind of embarrassing actually, because considering the blessings I have in my life, and all the reasons I have to be thankful, I have all the more reason to be praying some extra prayers. I’m writing about this now because I figure that other people in the same dilemma might benefit from seeing how a foolish person goes about wasting time and blessings, and they might take the shorter route to sincerity.

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations for helping someone out who’s struggling with extra prayers, feel free to leave them in the comments box. 🙂

***



It is stated in a hadith that whenever a Muslim prostrates to Allah, He will elevate him one degree and forgive him one bad deed. Reported by At-Tirmidhi

Not a real post, but I couldn’t resist…

Things you would never know without the movies.

– During all police investigations, it will be necessary to

visit a strip club at least once.

– When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to

each other.

– If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a

passing St. Patrick’s Day parade – at any time of year.

– All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to

the armpit level on a woman but only to the waist level on the

man lying beside her.

– The Chief of Police will almost always suspend his star

detective – or give him 48 hours to finish the job.

– All grocery bags contain at least one stick of French Bread.

– It’s easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is

someone to talk you down.

– The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding

place – noone will ever think of looking for you in there and

you can travel to any other part of the building undetected.

– Police departments give their officers personality tests to

make sure they are deliberately assigned to a partner who is

their polar opposite.

– The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

– All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large

red readouts so you know exactly when they are going to go off.

– If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more

ammunition, even if you haven’t been carrying any before now.

– You are very likely to survive any battle in any war unless

you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your

sweetheart back home.

– Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it

will not be necessary to speak the language – a German accent

will do.

– If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or

killer beast, the mayor’s first concern will be the tourist

trade or his forthcoming art exhibition.

– A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious

beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

– When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take

out a bill; just grab one at random and hand it over. It will

always be the exact fare.

– Kitchens don’t have light switches. When entering a kitchen at

night, you should open the fridge door and use that light

instead.

– If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any

strange noises in their most revealing underwear.

– Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their

family every morning even though their husband and children

never have time to eat it.

– Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.

– All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.

– A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size

of RFK stadium.

– Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.

– Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and

pant.

– It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or

ending phone conversations.

– Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is

necessary to turn the wheel vigorously from left to right every

few moments.

– It is always possible to park directly outside the building

you are visiting.

– A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended

from duty.

– It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight

involving martial arts – your enemies will patiently attack you

one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you

have knocked out their predecessors.

– When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head,

they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage.

– No-one ever involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion,

volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.

– Once applied, lipstick will never rub off – even while scuba

diving.

– You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

– Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in

seconds – unless it’s the door to a burning building with a

child trapped inside.

– Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects

you personally at the precise moment that it is aired.

Cucumber sandwiches. There are only so many you can eat before you start to feel distinctly green on the inside, and I don’t mean a happy grass-green or an opulent emerald-green, I mean green like septic-slime green, or green like mushy vegetation in a swamp kind of green. An ill green.

It’s not my fault I ate two. I made a whole pile of them in preparation for a visit from my old Arabic teacher, which I assumed would be in a few hours. I got the hours wrong, he’s not a few hours away, he’s thirty-six hours away and now I have all these cucumber sandwiches that need eating.

Well, there are two less anyway. Momma ate one. Oleo ate one too. I don’t know if Z-3 eats them, but I’m pretty sure I can sneak one onto my father’s plate for tea. He’ll eat anything if it’s put next to a cup of tea…

Alors. Not a good day for posting, I cleaned the house and populated the fridge with cucumber sandiwiches for no dang reason. I also feel green. *sigh*

I think I’m going to take a nap.

What the hibbity-dibbity?

Ana Asif

The left arm was long, much longer than other men’s arms, because he was much taller than other men. It was also well shaped, the forearm handsomely thickened from years of sports. It was the arm of a young man. It was on the carpet near an empty pack of cigarettes and a broken bottle.

***

The living room was dark except for a thin shaft of light that shone underneath the front door. A clock chimed, once, twice, thrice. The curtains on the window were drawn, and only the faintest glow from the outside world passed through them. In that darkness the father shifted his weight on the sofa.

Jingling, a sudden soft jingling of keys on the other side of the door, caused the father to sit up. The door opened. A man’s silhouette removed the keys from the door carefully and laid them on a coffee table. He stepped soundlessly upon the carpet and guided the door closed. The father spoke.

“Where have you been Asif.”

“Assalamu Alaikum Abbu, I didn’t know you were still up.”

“I’m up because I’ve been waiting for you to come home since eleven o’clock. Where have you been.”

“Me and Masood were just hanging out.” The young man stood with his shoulders dropped and his hands in his pockets.

“Hanging out. Since seven o’clock, for eight hours.” The father’s fists clenched.

“Yeah, just hanging out. You don’t need to get all worried, we-“

“Of course I need to be worried!” The father’s scream reverberated in the hallway. A light in the sister’s bedroom turned on.

“Dad, you don’t need to…”

“I’m the sort of stupid person, apparently, who cares about their children, and worries when they are gone all night. How do I know if you’re not dead? How do I know you’re not lying dead in the street somewhere while I stay home worrying myself out of my damned mind? Where have you been?!”

“I told you,” Asif said more firmly, “I was just hanging out with Masood.”

The father’s voice became dangerously soft. “Then why did Masood call and ask me where you were?”

***

The right arm was no less lean, and both arms connected to a set of wide shoulders. They were bare, as was his chest. Beneath his left breast was a scar from where he had once flipped over the handlebars of his bicycle. A little metal bell had been joined to the handlebars by little metal screws. One of them had been poking out just enough to tear a gash in a seven year old boy’s chest.

***

“Where is he now?” the sister asked.

The father exhaled loudly in frustration. “Asleep. He’s been asleep all day, and he’s naked, totally naked…”

“He’s what?” the mother asked incredulously.

“I went in this morning,” the father said with humiliation, “To wake him and God Almighty, he was naked. Nothing on his body. I put a blanket on him and told him to get up and put some pants on, but I couldn’t get him up. I closed the door, don’t go in his room.”

***

His hips were clad very loosely in a pair of sweatpants that might have fit at one point in time. At the moment they barely clung to his pelvic-bones. Had he been standing, he would’ve had to hold them with that attractive left hand. He had such nice, long hands, big but by no means clumsy. The nail from the right middle finger was missing though. It had come off during an accident. He had no memory of seeing the jeep, and when he came to a stop ten feet from his motorcycle, he lay there and laughed.

***

“I don’t know what to say,” the mother said quietly, “His clothes are full of little holes.”

“They’re torn?” the father asked.

“No,” the mother said, holding a pair of pants. “They’re burnt.”

“Burnt? I don’t understand. What does burnt mean?”

***

His legs lay unmoving in the overly loose folds of his pants. Compared to his height and his broad bone structure they seemed diminished, too thin and spindly to belong on a body with such great shoulders, such long arms.

***

“Let’s get high, hiiiigh, let’s get high, hiiigh-“

“Asif…”

“Yeah, I just took some Ecstasy, Ain’t no tellin what the side effects could be..”

“Asif!”

“Come on, let’s get hiiiigh!” Asif laughed and reached for one of his sister’s arms.

“Don’t touch me!” she burst, backing abruptly out of his reach. “You’re singing crap and you’re glorifying something that you know is haram. You know, you absolutely know that’s haram, and I don’t want to hear it!”

She turned away from him and put her face in her hands. Asif put one of his hands on her shoulder and turned her around.

“What’s the matter with you?” he teased.

The sister removed her hands and looked Asif in the face. She was crying.

“Oh uh,” Asif mocked, pulling his hand of off her shoulder and stepping away. “Why are your eyes red hunh? Don’t tell me you’re on drugs, I’m gonna tell Abbu on you!”

The sister pushed past Asif and ran to her room, slamming the door behind her.

Asif sang on his way to the front door. “Let’s get high, hiiiigh!”

***

The feet were uncovered, some of the nails broken short and some grown very long. The skin was dry and papery, and the gray roughness on the soles of his feet was an effect of long-term neglect. Also, the heels were cracked.

***

The elder brother came for a visit. He sat with Asif in the car.

“I know what you’re doing because I’ve done it before.”

“What?” Asif demanded belligerently, “What do you think I’m doing? And what have you been up to, hunh?”

“I’m going to tell Abbu and he’s going to break your legs.”

“Yeah, and what if I tell Abbu what you were up to?”

“Abbu knows what I did, and Abbu knows that I quit years ago. You, on the other hand, appear to have fallen into the s*** face first.”

***

He had, at one point, been a warm, healthy Pakistan brown. That was before the skin, the fingertips, and even the eyes turned yellow. They were a dull, sticky-looking yellow, and were no longer handsome, no matter how green.

***

Asif lay on the floor. He had just fallen out of his chair at the dining table, and the plate of rice he had been eating fell down with him. He was grinning.

Then he was chuckling.

Then he was roaring with laughter.

The roaring turned to howls, and then the laughter turned into wailing.

Then he was crying.

The mother put her hand to her heart. The sister looked to her desperately. The father was at work. That was the night that Asif told them everything.

The next morning he forgot, and wasn’t sure why he had been locked in his bedroom.

He banged on the door for three hours. No one opened it. There was a pain in his head and a frantic craving. He kicked at the door furiously.

Downstairs the mother cried.

Asif jumped off of his second-floor balcony and landed in front of the house. He limped away.

***

The face, the drawn, yellowed, taut face, had once been handsome. The black hair had once fallen sleeky in place when he ran his fingers through it. The father had looked at him with pride, the sister had guarded him jealously. His friends had called him a ‘pretty bastard’ and teased him until he lovingly beat them up.

***

“If you fail the drug test, I kick you out. If you come home high, I kick you out. You understand?”

Asif ignored the elder brother and carried his bags into the room that was to be his. As he set his bags down the doorbell rang.

The door opened and the nephew ran excitedly in screaming, “Asif Chachu! Asif Chachu!”

He was two years old and hyperactive and happy.

“Tahir! Come here you,” Asif picked Tahir up with one hand and slung him over his shoulder. Tahir giggled and screamed with happiness. Asif took Tahir to the park.

***

There are certain things that drugs will do a man’s body. His eyes become small. He sweats a lot. He is irrational and aggressive.

***

Asif was kicked out of the elder brother’s house and lived in his car. After two weeks, out of pity, out of pain, out of futility and love and worry, he had been allowed to move in with the family again. But he refused to quit.

“Don’t you understand?” the father screamed, “You are hurting the family, you are hurting yourself! They are illegal, they are haram!”

“You wanna kick me out again, you can kick me out, and I’ll still be doing drugs. You wanna keep me here, then keep me, here, but I’ll still be doing drugs. You can’t tell me I’m getting high because you don’t know what it feels like, ask anybody who-“

“Ask who?” the sister spat, “Other drug addicts? Have you ever thought about opening the Qur’an and checking?”

Asif pointed a finger in his sister’s face. “The Qur’an only mentions alcohol!”

The sister slapped him and left the room.

***

The chemicals in drugs are harmful not only to humans. If you try to smoke heroine on the dining table, it might eat a hole through the finish.

***

They came home and found Asif on the floor, unconscious, unresponsive. The house was a wreck. There was a hole in the dining table.

Asif awoke in a hospital bed and pulled out his IV. He walked out of the room and bumped into an orderly who tried to guide him back. There was a fistfight. The orderly, as well a doctor who tried to help, were badly beaten. Asif left.

Back home, the father was stricken with a severe headache. A few minutes later his nose began to bleed. The mother tried to convince him to see a doctor. He sniffed, refused, and picked the car keys up from the dining table. Where his fingers touched the table he left a drop of blood.

Asif made it home before the father returned and went directly to his room. The mother and the sister followed behind him, pleading. They refused to let him go, they refused to leave his room. He put on a pair of sweatpants and threw his hospital gown off. He pushed past them and began walking downstairs.

The sister rushed down the stairs and made it to the front door before he could. She stood in front of it with a knife in her hand.

“You can’t leave,” she cried, “I won’t let you go and kill yourself.”

Her eyes were red, her hands shook. She brandished the knife only feebly.

“Quit faking,” Asif said, moving suddenly towards her. He took the knife from her hand and flung it across the room. She rushed forward and wrapped Asif in a tight embrace, burying her face in his chest.

“Please,” she groaned, “Please…”

Asif thrust her away with such force that she hit the wall. He walked out the door.

***

The body, Asif’s body, lies half naked on the floor.

***

The elder brother came home after the funeral and sat wearily down. Quick, light footsteps approached him from the kitchen and Tahir climbed into his father’s lap.

“Hi Baba,” Tahir said.

The remaining brother drew Tahir to himself and held him tightly. Tahir innocently pushed away. Tahir then held his hands out, palms up, and shrugged, “Where Asif Chachu?”

“Asif Chachu isn’t here any more, Tahir,” the remaining brother clenched his jaw to stop his mouth from quivering.

“Asif Chachu gone?”

“Yes, Asif Chachu gone.”

Let’s Pretend

Let’s pretend like you’re a teacher. You have a very large class and the student body is widely varied. You have over-achievers and underachievers, people who just get by and people who just aren’t trying. There are students who read their books every day and there are students who never opened their textbooks after they scrawled their names in the front covers on the first day of school.

There’s a big test coming up, and you, as a teacher, need to address your students. You’re going to address them all at once, the whole motley group, and you have a lot of things to cover.

You need to tell your dedicated students that they’re doing a good job, and if they keep up the hard work, they’ll be awarded with appropriately good grades. Talk about what getting a good grade means, explain to them how awesome it’ll be to get top marks and get admission to any place they want. They have nothing to worry about, the test will be easy for them.

You need to reassure your struggling students that there is still a chance to do better, to make up for bad grades in the past so completely that they won’t be set back at all. Detail what needs to be done exactly, show them what’s being done wrong and point the right way out in detail so that they have something to follow.

You need to give a firm warning to those students who are failing due to apathy and complete non-givance of a damn that unless they shape up, they will fail. Remind them of the consequences of failure, tell them that they alone are holding themselves back. Tell them what they should and should not be doing if, in the future, they want to correct their grades.

Lastly, reassure all of your students that you will be there to help them and answer their questions before the test. Tell them to avail themselves of this service before the test, because once the test starts it’ll be too late. They’ll be on their own then.

Have you thought about what you’re going to say to your students? Think about this:

The good students will earn appropriately good grades: Shall the reward of good be aught but good? Surah Rahman 55: 60

The test will be easy, and good students will get admission to wherever they please: “My devotees! No fear shall be on you today, nor shall ye grieve. […] Enter ye into the garden, ye and your wives, rejoicing. […] Such will be the garden of which ye are made heirs for your good deeds in this life.” Surah Zukhruf 43:68, 70, 72

Those students who have had bad grades in the past will be given a second chance, they can make up for things. “Others (there are who) have acknowledged their wrong-doings: they have mixed an act that was good with another that was evil. Perhaps Allah will turn unto them (in Mercy): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. –Surah Taubah 9:102

There are certain things they have to do in order to get their grades back on track. Of course the list of their exact assignments is detailed, but you can give them a general idea of what they need to do:

Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution.

Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.

And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”

Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: If ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).

And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.

And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.

Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.

Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom He pleaseth, and He provideth in a just measure. For He doth know and regard all His servants.

Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.

Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).

Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).

Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.

And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).

Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.

Of all such things the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord. –Surah Isra 17:22-38

As for those students who don’t study and don’t care to, if they fail the test it will be their own fault. “Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught: It is man that wrongs his own soul.–Surah Yunus 10:44

But there is always the chance for making things up. “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth…Surah Nisa, 4:48…

They need a firm reminder that the consequences of failure are serious. “Those who are disbelievers will be driven to Hell in companies and when they arrive there and its gates are opened its custodians will say to them, “Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord’s Signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?” They will say, “Indeed they did,” but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the disbelievers. They will be told, “Enter the gates of Hell and stay there timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!” Surah az-Zumar: 71-72

Note to all students: the Teacher will be available to hear all questions and provide assistance before the big test. Those who don’t get help will have wasted the opportunity. “And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation.” Surah Ghaafir 40:60

***

The revelation of this Book is from Allah, Exalted in Power, Full of Knowledge,-

Who forgiveth sin, accepteth repentance, is strict in punishment, and hath a long reach (in all things). there is no god but He: to Him is the final goal. Surah Ghaafir 40:2-3

I love the Qur’an 🙂

 

It’s not very Turkish Delightful when you’ve eaten half a pound.

*groan*

Does anyone know what the opposite of nocturnal is? If so, do you know where I can get it?

My last few posts have all been posted at roughly 3 am, unfortunate proof that I spend most of my waking hours when everyone is asleep. I’d like to believe I’m not naturally nocturnal, just someone who likes quiet time. And sleeping till lunch. Ah, the simple things in life…

Not that I’m advocating noctunalness, oh no. It gets me in trouble, and sometimes when I wake up just as my father is coming home for lunch- somewhere between rolling out of bed and stumbling up the stairs- I have to do a reasonable impersonation of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Not that my dad is fooled, it’s just that me seeming groggy would be an even worse offense than me showing up in the wrinkled shalwar-qameez that I slept in. (We have pajamas in this country, we wear them under kurtas, not in bed.)

So yeah, I don’t want to be nocturnal, I just don’t want to wake up four hours after I’ve gone to bed at 5 am. Should I not just go to bed earlier? Yes. So what am I still doing here at 2 am? Well, I’m stuck in the Catch 22 of not being able to sleep cuz I haven’t prayed, and not getting up to pray because I’m too sleepy. Some of you know what I’m talking about, others of you learned how to pray early and are secretly laughing at my plight. (Aniraz)

Aargh.

Let’s see if I got your orders right,

Onliner: Chocolate

Najm: Kulfi

Hijabified: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

25 Scoops: Strawberry Cheese Cake & Vanilla Brownie Chunk

Yasmine: Mint ‘n’ Chip, Brownie & French Vanilla Syrup and Whipped Cream.

Hemmie gets her ice-cream in person. 🙂

It’s 3 am again, and I, dear blogistan, have just finished editing:

Fifty nine thousand, three hundred and thirty two words

(I wrote it out because it looked bigger that way)

I had thirteen days to do it and I have finished a day ahead of schedule.

Oh my aching head.

Oh my giddy happiness.

Where’s my ice-cream? I’m gonna buy one for Hemmie too. 🙂

Dear Blogistan

It’s 3 am but both halves of my brain are in agreement at the moment: we’re hungry. We are also sad to report that we’ve not only had dinner, but also dessert 1 and dessert 2, as well as a pinch of dessert 3. What can I say, there are some days when you just want to eat things, as in- every things. yes.

Hmmm. I wanted to write a valid post when I logged in today, but I think this is going to be one of those lazy posts where I write whatever comes to mind and hope that people don’t throw rotten tomatoes at my shoutbox.

*ducks*

I don’t have to update, I could let it slide a few days, but when no one updates my blog, I stop coming. Kids these days have such short attention spans…

Where am I again? Oh yes, Engrish. If you don’t usually follow my ridiculous Engrish links, I beg of you to do so at least this once. I want someone else to see this T-shirt found in Tokyo so that people don’t think I just made it up to sound disturbing. It’s too difficult to explain. I don’t know whether I should laugh or cringe.

Peace & Dessert Grease

-Abez

Rubaiyaat iv & v

Let all vice be abolished

I say we need it not

I do not need to burn myself

To know that fire’s hot

You say I cannot know

Unless I partake as well

I say I can know heaven

Without being first in hell

Thinking the DPR to be dead, I laid it gently to rest on top of the table and left it. A few hours later, out of futile hope, desperation perhaps (I hadn’t yet worked out) I turned the pad on and poked it, and it was ALIVE!!!

It must be a trick pad because apprently it knows how to play dead. hmmph. I wonder if it can roll over or fetch? Mischevious little devil, I’d be mad it but I’m just happy to have it back. Yay!

I, dear Blogistanis, am at an impasse. There are two choices before me, each as unsavoury as the next, neither of which seem to be able to lead to a solution.

Choice Number One: Throw my DDR pad away.

Choice Number Two: Throw my DDR pad to the wolves: ie the electrician and the carpenter, and see if they can follow these not-so-simple instructions for building your own.

What can I say, it lasted me a month and I danced it to death. *sigh*

(I also passed all the songs on light mode, as well as lost five pounds. Samira, Amira, I love you guys! *sob*)

If anyone needs me I’ll be in mourning…

Several of you have taken me up on my offer to send emails, and out of sheer laziness I will simply type one for the whole lot of ye. Right. And now for something completely different.

Dear Blogistan, AssalamuAlaikum

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and Iman. If it gets sick or depressed on the way, please make sure you put the letter to bed and read it some Qur’an to make it feel better.

The trip to Mansehra was interesting, the most memorable part of the journey being the ride itself- two hours on mountain roads with some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. If anyone should find themselves thinking they’re the stuff, I recommend standing at the base of a mountain and looking up. Nothing in the world can make you feel quite as small.

Additionally, if anyone should find themselves thinking they’re invincible, I recommend driving to Mansehra. Nothing in the world can make you feel quite so close to death. People of Pakistan, I ask you, when there is a single yellow line painted through the middle of a road, what does that mean?

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean that you can pass on the rocky shoulder of the road at 60kph, or that you can make three lanes of traffic heading in one direction when there are only supposed to be two, one facing each way. I know it doesn’t mean that an eighteen-wheel truck should pass us on a curve going so fast that his trailer leans dangerously to port, and that the truck coming from the opposite direction at the time should mash his pressure-horn and pass within inches- loud, dusty, hot inches blowing diesel fumes and the possibility of death and/or dismemberment into our faces.

Somewhere before Mansehra there is a car parked on the shoulder of the road. It used to be a cream colored Suzuki Alto, a relatively small car, but nothing compared to the size it is now. The car looks like it was hit by two cars on opposite sides simultaneously just as a boulder fell from the sky and crushed it completely. It is hopelessly mangled. Not even the most optimistic of optimists could hope that anyone in that crash came out alive. Someone, some wise person somewhere before Mansehra, left that car on the side of the road with a large banner draped over it:

Dars-e-Ibrat. The lesson of consequence.

Which reminds me of something I saw on the way to the airport two months ago as Aniraz and I were on our way to the US. In the pre-dawn light, on the side of the road there lay a motorcycle, two sandals, and a dark stain.

Drive carefully.

-Abez

Rubaiyaat i-iii

All Praise is for Allah

Who burdened me with pain

And bent my stiffened neck

Into sajda once again

The weight upon my shoulders

Pushed me closer to the floor

Facedown on the earth

I found refuge once more

***

All praise is to my Lord

Who permitted me to sin

I thank Him for repentance

And the love I found therein

– Abez

Taking a one-day trip up to Mansehra tomorrow. I don’t have an exciting story for it yet, so why don’t you guys make one up?

Once upon a time at 5:30 in the morning, Abez set off for Mansehra. The car, coated in its usual layer of protective dust, bounced peppily along the series of bumps euphamistically called ‘The Highway,’ as Abez sang a happy tune and ate lots and lots of peanut brittle. Then suddenly…

Left Brain: Look, it’s 3:15 am. Why are we up again?

Right Brain: Up again? I wasn’t sure we had been up before.

Left Brain: Me neither. What’s there to eat in this place anyway?

RB: Wonton Soup. But they’re not wontons, and it isn’t really soup.

LB: Then why are you calling it wonton soup?

RB: Because that’s what it was before I boiled it for an hour.

LB: What would you call it now?

RB: Concentrated. And very slimy.

LB: Is it still edible?

RB: Does the pope wear a funny hat?

LB: I don’t find his hat very amusing.

RB: I know. Don’t worry, there are still eggrolls, but they’re not-

LB: They’re not really eggrolls?

RB: Exactly.

LB: Then what are they?

RB: Frozen.

****

3 am props to Jogia for the squidfingers, and Oleo for the backgrounds. 🙂

What, me update? he he

The house was fumigated today folks. It smelled. The entire kitchen was dumped out onto the dining table and covered. A man in a mask squirted anything that didn’t move as well as a bunch of things that did move. Unfortunately, a few lizards were hurt in the making of this blog. I am genuinely sorry, because I like the lizards.

After the house was stink-dafied we left and had lunch at CJ’s, then came home a few hours later and had a nap for dinner. Woke up and put the kitchen back together. Yay.

Things in the rest of the house are still covered in bedsheets to prevent them from getting all toxic from the bug-spray, and chances are we’ll have a whole lot of toxic bedsheets to wash in the laundry tomorrow. I think it’s worth it though. Six months of ant-free, cricket-free, roach free existence. Ah, bliss.

On an unrelated note, my family is moving to the UAE soon. Any bloggers or blogger-friendly folks in that part of the world?

I’ve decided that if, in the future, anyone makes mention of the Taliban, I’m going to ask which one. Cuz there are two types of Taliban, you know. The first type is Afghan. The second type is French. And when people give me a weird look, I’m going to tell them that French rulers of the fundamentalist majority are forcing other people to follow their religion, the religion of the French Taliban being Secularism.

Secularism, if you ask me, is the worst kind of religion, because although other religions may have a slightly less than friendly approach to competing religions, they at least maintain the pretence of religious freedom. Secularism though, is against ALL religions, and in a Secular Extremist society such as France, people are not allowed religious freedom even to chose their own wardrobes.

Those who support France should have no problem with the Taliban.

Those who have a problem with the Taliban should be speaking out against France.

One enforced hijab and the enforces hijablessness.

The Taliban and the French: two sides of the same coin.

Down with Secularism.

Posted by Hello

***addendum***

JazakAllahuKheiran to Bhai for pointing out to me that I had failed to clarify something. The comparison I’m trying to make is not that both the Taliban and the French are bad, but rather, that the French and those who support the Hijab ban but condemn the Taliban are hypocrites. The ‘civilized’ world excortiated the Taliban for the fact that they were enforcing a religious change of dress code, and they themselves are doing the same thing, only their religion is Secularism and the Taliban’s was Islam.

I agree that a society needs a dress code, and I had no problem with mandating hijab in Afghanistan . I do have problems with how this law was enforced (reported cases of violence) but that’s not relevant to my point. My point is this: None of the Western countries have any right to say anything bad about the Taliban or about how they made a certain dress code mandatory, especially when they’re doing the same thing. The Taliban were enforcing modesty while the French are enforcing immodesty, but I don’t think they see it that way.

To them it’s all about freedom, and for them to withhold it from Muslims when they demand that it be granted to everyone else smacks of hypocrisy.

Sorry for not being clear earlier. I seek Allah’s forgiveness if I have given people the wrong impression or slandered any Muslims unintentionally. AllahuAalim.

Fifteen Minutes til Fajr. I own this silence, precious and clean. Smooth as the pages of my Qur’an. Cool as the floor beneath my feet.

I’ve got Hemlock! Nya nya nya!

(real post later. too busy having fun.)