Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ayesha Aleem wins short story contest organised by Deccan Herald

Ayesha Aleem, a Bangalore-based writer and journalist, has won the first prize in the fourth edition of the Sunday Herald short story competition organised by popular English daily, Deccan Herald. The young writer bagged the cash prize of Rs 30,000 for her story ‘In Search of Home’ which revolves around the character of a taxi driver of Indian origin in the United States.

The protagonist’s homecoming after 35 years is very different from what he expected and turns out to be not so comfortable after all. The entry “moved the judges with its subtle ending and original theme”. The story idea occurred to Ayesha last year. “I had started writing the story long ago but could not get a suitable climax. By the time I decided to enter the short story competition, I had finished my story,” Ayesha said.

Ayesha did MS (Journalism) at Boston University in 2010. Before that, she pursued PG Diploma in Journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore in 2008. She also holds a Diploma in Creative Writing from the Writer’s Bureau, Manchester, UK. At present, she is a correspondent with India Today in Bangalore. She has worked for Elle magazine, Lowe Worldwide and publications in the United States, where she briefly reported on US Congress in Washington, DC.

K N Tilak Kumar, Editor, Deccan Herald, gave away the award to Ayesha at a function held at Bangalore Club on July 29. More than 500 short stories were received for the contest. According to judges – writer and columnist Monideepa Sahu, short story writer Srinath Perur, and poet-writer Shefali Mehta – short-listing the names was a difficult exercise.

Sunday Herald is the eight-page weekly supplement of Deccan Herald that carries regular features on consumer issues, green subjects, animal welfare, gardening, bridge, crossword, book reviews, and offbeat travelogues.
Courtesy : Karnataka Muslims. Here

Friday, July 29, 2011

B.S. Yediyurappa is communal, castestic and corrupt to the core

(Gowri Lankesh, is a distinct social and political voice in Karnataka. Journalist by profession and passion she is engaged in various social, democratic and progressive movements in Karnataka. Be it Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (Karnataka Forum for Communal Harmony) or any other reformative movement in Karnataka, Gowri has the role to play.  Gowri is committed to the principles and policies set by her father the Late Shri.Lankesh, a journalist, visionary and thinker of the state. Following are the excerpts of her views expressed to newzfirst correspondent in an exclusive interview on present socio political situation of Karnataka.)

How do you view present socio-political scenario of Karnataka?
It’s touching height of immorality because Karnataka has Chief Minister who is communal, castestic and corrupt to the core. Karnataka has never ever seen such unfortunate CM. The present socio political developments of Karnataka are evident to immoral designs of Yedyurappa and his party. At this juncture of time, while we look back at former chief ministers like late Virendra Patil, late Nijalingappa and late Ramakrishna Hegade or Bangarappa, they look alike angels in the comparison to these Yeddy & Reddys.

As most of the stories and facts we have been covering in Lankesh Patrike regularly in last six years, may it be mining, land scams or funding trusts run by his own people, the findings of Lokayukta report is very much expected one for us and public, and there is no surprise. Lokayukta has done the great job of officially compiling it and documenting.

The very first so called achievement of the Government is Operation Lotus, which itself is anti-constitutional and anti-democratic move based on the money power. What else can be expected from such man, his party and its government?

Where, according to you, the history of Karnataka has gone wrong?

Stupid politics of Congress and Janata Dal are the main facilitators for Birth of BJP and its acceptability in the state, and in the national level. Or else there were no other favorable conditions for the BJP’s emergence in the state. Congress always designed and practiced soft Hindutva and soft castism throughout the history. Unfortunately, even after the consequences, Congress has not learnt any lesson from the history. And, Mr. Devegowda has made Janata Dal as Okkaliga’s party.

India is secular democracy, all the efforts to color the castism and communalism to the education, society and politics is nothing but the destabilization of the constitution and hence the whole nation. This is what BJP is doing in these years.

Sayed Isthiyakh in Newsfirst. Here

Norway is a wake-up call

Are we really living in end times? Every new day brings a new outrage, a new horror.  No one seems to be safe anywhere — not even in the serene, scenic Norwegian paradise. But then, as Bible warns, you reap as you sow. And Europe is reaping what its politicians and assorted purveyors of hatred have sowed all these years.

The perpetual demonization and vilification of “the Other” and the endless talk of creeping Shariah and Islamisation of Europe couldn’t have happened in a vacuum. It had to show its results someday on the ground. And it did in Norway this past week.

Still there are many out there who continue to live in denial. Within the first couple of hours, television pundits, from CNN’s Richard Quest to BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardener, had persuaded themselves that the Norway attacks were the handiwork of “Islamist terrorists.” Soon Rupert Murdoch’s Sun was screaming: “AL QAEDA MASSACRE: NORWAY’S 9/11”.

Next morning the whole thing was turned on its head when it turned out that it wasn’t the Muslims after all but Norway’s own homebred, all-white, Christian zealot behind Europe’s biggest mass murder by an individual in recent memory. The wonks were in no hurry to condemn Anders Behring Breivik as a “Christian terrorist” though.

They went to great lengths to paint him as a lone ranger who had turned the guns on his own kind in a fit of rage. He did not represent the peace-loving people of Norway or Europe for that matter, they asserted. Of course, he didn’t. But was he an aberration? Was it a random act of madness? I wouldn’t think so.
Indeed, the more details about the attacks emerge, the clearer it becomes it was no chance act of momentary madness. Breivik is the product of years of hate campaign and propaganda against Muslims. So most tragic as these attacks are, they shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the madness that has been going on in the name of fighting terror.

And those trying to portray Breivik as a lonely lunatic, an outsider, are not just wrong, they are out of sync with a dangerous reality. They are living in denial of the fast spreading malaise of rabid Islamophobia and intolerance on both sides of the Atlantic and its consequences.

This is not an isolated case of one man going off the bend but represents a growing threat. Breivik’s actions, patiently planned and executed over the past nine years, are entirely consistent with the periodic mass violence European fascists have carried out in recent years. More important, this “madness” was rooted in mainstream right-wing discourse that one even hears from politicians like Sarkozy.

There’s a method in the madness that targeted young Labour Party supporters on Utoya Island. Eskil Pedersen, the youth wing leader of the party, had been increasingly speaking for the Palestinians, calling for an international boycott of Israel.

The intense hatred for Edward Said, the Palestinian author of the seminal Orientalism who had the audacity to hold a mirror to the Empire, is matched by admiration for luminaries like Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer, all known for their “preoccupation” with Islam and Muslims.

So this monster’s manifesto indeed is Mein Kampf of our times, as The Economist puts it, in which Jews are replaced by Muslims as “the Enemy” who must be fought and expunged from the face of the earth. Breivik’s worldview is a lethal mix of Christian zealotry and extreme Islamophobia. And he isn’t alone.

Generations of Europeans and Americans have grown up on a heavy diet of bigotry peddled by politicians like Geert Wilders of Netherlands, who compared the Holy Qur’an to Hitler’s Mein Kempf, and Marine Le Pen of France and Newt Gingrich, Peter King and televangelists like Pat Robertson in the land of the free.
Feeding on the stereotypes and paranoia about Muslims, this new breed of fascism that not surprisingly turns to Israel for inspiration, poses a clear and present danger to our world. The gravest threat we face today comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right and the secular fundamentalists who propagate the bigoted, hateful caricatures of Muslims, as Chris Hedges argues.

Breivik has killed many more people than the four “Muslim” bombers did in the 7/7 London attacks. Indeed, more people may have died in the violence by neo-fascist, radical right groups since the Great War than all the attacks, blamed on Muslims, put together.

Yet Western governments have so far treated such groups with kid gloves. Just as successive governments in India have dealt with the Hindu extremists despite their implication in recent terror attacks and mass violence targeting Muslims. Indeed, police turn on the victims after every such atrocity.

Inaction is a luxury the world cannot afford though, if it is to avoid more mindless carnage and a bigger conflict — in the West or in India. If we continue the way we are going, the confrontation that Samuel Huntington obsessed over all his life cannot for long remain an academic hypothesis. Norway is a wake-up call. Let’s not wait for the next great war to take place between Islam and the West.
Aijaz Zaka Syed in Arab News. Here

Lessons from the rise and fall of B.S. Yediyurappa

This is the typewritten press release that was sent by the media advisor to the Karnataka chief minister, R.P. Jagadeesh, around midnight last night, announcing B.S. Yediyurappa‘s stand after the BJP parliamentary board directed him to “resign immediately” following the strictures of the Lok Ayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, in the Rs 16,000 crore illegal mining scam. (Courtesy: Churumuri.)

Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.
Remember they used to say that ‘The sun never sets in the British empire’. What is the case now? The great British Empire has been reduced to one and half islands and its famous Prime Minister was once ridiculed by the British newspapers as the poodle of George Bush. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.

They used to say that Brittania rules the waves. Now it has to waive the rules. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.

In our land we witnessed the Rs 420 Crore driven campaign with the catchy slogan “India Shining”. They ended up crying remoarse. Even L K Advani – the Iron man and the second sardar was reduced to rubble when he made those comments in the grave yard of Jinnah! He remains the sole politician and perpetual prime minister in waiting! Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.

They used to loudly proclaim that India is Indhra and Indhra is India. And now that mighty Congress I is content with playing second in many prominent states. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.
Once upon a time it was thought- nay believed - that Israel is undefeatable. But the 33 day battle with the Sheikh Nasrullah led Hizbullah blew away the myth. Israel could not raise again till this day. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.
Nasser of Egypt was perceived as well entrenched in his country. Who would have thought that his downfall would begin with a 5 minute speech of a young girl called Asmaa Mahfouz! Now he is not sure of his own future.Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.
Our own Kalainjar Karunanidhi appeared to be in the safer side with successfully concealing the 2G scam with a number of welfare schemes. Now he has lost everything. With both his sons in loggerheads the party is in disarray. His own daughter is vanguishing in Tihar jail. Tihar is such a place that when you keep a flower it withers away in minutes. And the mighty MK with all his powerful connections, political clout is helpless. He could not gain a bail for his own daughter. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even the most invincible bite the dust one day.
Now it is the turn of Yeddy to taste this divine reality. Let us hope that his Gujarati counterpart too realises this lesson one day. Insha Allah! God willing.

Why do the westerners hate Muslims?

Why is there such strong anti-immigrant sentiment in the industrialized democracies, and why does it get focused on Muslims? The shooting rampage and bombing by anti-immigrant Islamophobe Anders Breivik has raised these questions to a fever pitch. But the answers are just not obvious.

I’m not generally a big fan of Milton Friedman. I like my food and drugs and banks regulated, and think I know what happens when they aren’t. But on immigration issues, Friedman had some important insights. Immigration is mostly a response to labor demand, and it is probably fruitless to try to control it too closely. And it could even be economically counter-productive to do so, as Arizona is finding out.

It is mostly a myth that immigrants take jobs away from locals. The places in the US with the highest immigrant populations are not the places with the highest rates of local unemployment. Many immigrants do jobs that locals do not want to do, like pick strawberries or clean toilets in hotels. Others are high-skilled people with imagination who think up ways of enriching people that locals never would have. Remember that labor demand is elastic, not fixed. Sometimes immigrants do labor that just would not get done otherwise (California would have to import strawberries and pay more for them). The evidence is that immigration actually [pdf] benefits the host economy pretty much across the board.

If they are able to do so, labor immigrants tend to return home when the labor market contracts and there is no work for them. (This is the irony of the wall-builders in the US– they are probably forcing immigrants to stay in this country who would otherwise leave).

Let us just consider Poland. In the past 7 years, since it joined the European Union, Poland has lost 2 million residents, declining from 38 to 36 million. At least one million of those are estimated to be permanent emigrants. Most have gone to the British Isles and to Ireland.

Britain has over half a million immigrant Poles now, and they are second only to Indians as hyphenated Britons. The tabloid press has been accused of whipping up anti-Polish sentiment.

But it is baffling. Britain gained the skills of immigrant Poles without having to pay for their educations for the most part. They would not have come if they could not have found jobs that employers would hire them to fill, which means that they met a demand for labor. (Contrary to what some people believe who have not studied economics, labor demand in a society is elastic– it isn’t a zero-sum game, and the pie can expand. A zero-sum game is one where the pie stays the same size and if one person gets more of it, somebody else gets less. Half a million new Polish-British citizens might buy British-made goods and create more jobs). Poles are from a Catholic background and that might make for integration issues in largely Protestant Britain, except that I don’t think young Poles are mostly very religious. Nor are the British. As for ideology, the Poles are hardworking capitalists in this generation and one can only imagine the Margaret Thatcher types approving of them.

Even by 2006, former East Bloc immigrants to Britain were estimated to be contributing over $4 bn. a year to the British economy. The British response to this windfall? The government has now implemented a cap on the immigration of [non-EU] skilled workers that is likely to hurt economic growth! The number of high-skilled workers in a society is predictive of economic growth there, and all the countries that ever amounted to anything brought in a lot of them from abroad. Of course, it is desirable that the wealth they help create be taxed and used to educate and train people of the country for the future, as well. But, again, it is not a zero sum game. Sullen, poor, nationalist little countries that keep out foreigners seldom generate the resources to educate their own high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs, and so they stay sullen, poor, little nationalist countries.

In contrast, Poland has lost 2 million energetic, educated, mainly young people, and half of it is a long-term loss. So who has done better out of this immigration? Britain or Poland? What have the British really got to complain about here? Note that Poland could lose another million citizens permanently over the next generation. Who will support their old? Where will their productivity come from?

Poles are second only to Indians in numbers as immigrants. There are at least half a million and perhaps over a million Hindus in the UK. I am sure they face some discrimination. But I’ve never heard of loonies stocking weapons and killing people over their presence in Britain. Barry Kosmin estimated about a million in the US as I recall. Despite some Indophobia, Western host societies don’t obsess about Hindu immigrants the way they do about Muslim.
Informed comment by Professor Juan Cole. Here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not mangoes, not spices, not tea, not textiles. India’s biggest export is its CEOs

What on earth did the Banga brothers' mother feed them for breakfast? Whatever it was, it worked: Vindi Banga grew up to become a top executive at the food and personal-care giant Unilever, then a partner at the private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. His younger brother Ajay, after heading Citigroup's Asian operations, was last year named CEO of MasterCard — all without a degree from a Western business school and without abandoning his Sikh turban. When Ajay took over at the credit-card company's suburban — New York City headquarters, the Times of India crowed that he was the first "entirely India-minted executive" at a multinational's helm. 

The brothers laugh when asked for their mother's breakfast menu, deflecting suggestions that they were raised by a Bengal-tiger mom. Instead, they cite an itinerant childhood as a key ingredient in their success. The sons of a lieutenant general in the Indian army, they moved to a new posting every couple of years — perfect training, it turns out, for global executives facing new markets and uncertain conditions. "You had to adapt to new friends, new places," recalls Vindi. "You had to create your ecosystem wherever you went."
Carla Power in Time Magazine. Here

Monday, July 25, 2011

7 Spiritual Productivity Habits to Develop this Ramadan

The following 7 Spiritually Productive activities you should try to develop as Habits during the days of Ramadan so that hopefully you can continue with them after Ramadan. I consider these activities as the spiritual ‘bread and butter’ of any ProductiveMuslim, and to develop them as habits is the essence of starting your journey towards the love of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and constantly increasing in your eman inshaAllah:

1) Praying the Sunnah Prayers before and/or after Prayer:

I know it’s easier to just pray the obligatory prayers and rush out of the mosque, however, when we realise the rewards we’re missing from not praying these sunnah prayers, we won’t leave them. Over the years I learnt there’s only ONE way of getting yourself to pray these Sunnah prayers constantly: Get into the habit of praying them! Soon they’ll become part and parcel of your Salah.

2) Remembrance of Allah after Salah:

Again, it’s easier to rush out of Salah to our busy lives, but honestly, how long does it take to recite the supplications after Salah? (answer: 5-7 minutes!). If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, you may find the supplications here. Nowadays you’ll find pocket notebooks/or phone applications with these supplications. Again, get into the habit of reciting them daily after each Salah and they’ll become part of your Salah experience.

3) Morning/Evening Remembrance of Allah:

These are beautiful set of duas/remembrances from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) which he used to say before sunrise and before sunset. They are true stress relievers, and energy boosters, and never fail to make my day/evening feel blessed. [You can find the duas here]
An inspiring, informative and enlightening writeup by Productive Muslim. Here

Dr Fazlur Rahman Fareedi (Faridi) is no more!

Eminent Islamic Scholar, Ideologue and Islamic Economist, Dr. Fazlurrahman Faridi expired today (monday, 25th July 2011) morning. (Inna lillahi wa inna iliaihi rajiiwoon.) Namaz-e-Janaza and Tadfeen will be on 26th July 2011 at 8:30 AM at Aligarh.
Dr. Faridi has been the member of Markazi Majlis-e-Shura of Jamaat, Editor of Zindagi-e-Nau, Director Research and Study, and has been on board of many trusts and organisations. He wrote many books on Islamic Economic, and on the ideology and strategies of Tahreek in India.
His books on general economics and Islamic Economics are:
1. Nature and Significance of Economic Activity in Islam.
2. Towards a Theory of Fiscal Policy in Islam.
3. Economic Developments and Islamic Moral Values.
4. Essays in Islamic Economic Analysis.
5. Islamic Economics and Economy of Indian Muslims.
6. Living as a Muslim in a Plural Society.
7. Economic Development and Fiscal Policy in Egypt.
8. Indian Economic Development and Planning (1951-1965).
Dr. Faridi was born on 2nd April 1932 in Machli Shahar, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. He got Primary Education, high school and intermediate from Jaunpur. He learnt Arabic and Islamiat from Rampur. He did Masters in Economics and Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University. He retired as Professor of Economics after a long career in research and teaching in India and abroad.
More Here and Here

H Abdur Raqeeb writes:  

May Allah grant him Jannah
Dr Fazlur Rahman Faridi, was the Chairman of Indian Centre for Islamic Finance-ICIF, New Delhi which is spearheading and striving the cause of Islamic Finance and Banking in our country. One year ago, when he was in the hospital he inaugurated the website of the organization viz.,, which is extremely popular and seen in over 50 countries of the world. (News of the launching ceremony Link Here)
When RBI constituted a Working Group in 2005 to study the feasibility of Islamic banking instruments, he was the chief convener of an international conference by JIH, entitled- Equity & Justice: Message of Islamic Banking in FICCI Auditorium which provided an impetus to the activities increasing awareness among the masses, madarsas and mainstream media and the regulators, the need and relevance of Islamic Finance and Banking in our great country.

May Allah grant him Jannah
H Abdur Raqeeb, General Secretary, ICIF in email.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mujhse milne tum Jannat mein kaise aaogi Maa?

Samahath Sama Sharif, studies in a Government Urdu Primary School in Bangalore. She is the daughter of renowned social activist Mr. Atharullah Shariff. She recently enacted the inner voice of a female foetus  her travails, suffering, and the longing to come out and see the world.

Samahath’s moving recital made the audience, mostly women, break down. This Urdu poem is written by Dr. Hanif Shabab, Bhatkal, who is the president of Idara-e-Adab-e-Islami, Karnataka.

On the occasion, a talk on “Stop female foeticide, protect rights of the girl child” was organised, women from all walks of life took part in it. Among others, Naomi Junaid, Chairperson, PRCI, Bangalore Chapter, shared her thoughts on female foeticide and how the greed of a few doctors was spreading the obnoxious social evil in the country.

Institutions and NGOs interested in organizing her performance may contact Mr. M.A. Shariff on 9448589604. Dr. Haneef Shabab, Bhatkal 99863 00865

Following is the poem recited by Sama

Line Cut Gayee

Hello, Maa!
Assalamu Alaikum
Main Jannat se bol rahi hoon

Kaisi ho Maa?

Yahan Jannat mein phool khile hain
Manzar jagmagaa rahe hain
Doodh ki nadiyan baih rahi hain
Thandi hawayen chal rahi hain
Chidyaan naghme gaa rahi hain, saheliyan geet suna rahi hain
Allah ki Tareef ho rahi hai
Main jhoolon mein jhool rahi hoon
Pariyon ke sang khel rahi hoon

Main Jannat mein khush hoon Maa!

Lekin, lekin tum yaad aati ho
Hello, hello, Maa,
Bolo Abbu mere kaise hain?
Ghar pe saare kaise hain?
Bolo Maa
Dharti, Ambar, Chaand Sitare
Duniya kaisi lagti hai?
Sona, jagna, hansna, rona
Yeh sab kaisa lagta hai?
Bolo Maa!

Kya tum bhayya ki ankhon mein bhi
Kaanta, chhuri chubhoti ho?
Kya tum apne munne ka sar patthar se kuchlogi?
Kya tum apne jigar ko khud hi apne hathon kaatogi?
Nahin naa!

Phir mere saath hi tum ne aisa bartao kyun kiya?
Bolo Maa!

Apne naseeb ka khana to main khud laati
Auron ka hissa thodi khati
Jis Maalik ne tum ko diya tha, sab ko diya tha
Who mujh ko bhi de deta
Main duniya mein chand din rahti
To kaun si aafat tum par aati?
Abbu ke seene se lagti, saath mein bhayya ke bhi rahti
Munne ke sang hansti bolti
Tum se lori sunte sunte godi mein so jaati na Maa!

Lekin, lekin
Tum ne mujh se mera jeene ka haq chheen liya
Pait mein apne tum ne mujh ko
Bolo kaise qatal kiya?
Chaqu,  Chumta, Qainchi, Kaanta
Mere badan mein ghonp diya!
Mujh ko tum ne tukde tukde karwaya
Khoon mein mujh ko Nehlaya
Aur gutter mein phenkwaya!
Hoon! Hoon!

Pyari Maa! Acchhi Maa!
Yeh to bolo
Duniya jise kahte hain
Jis mein insaan baste hain
Wahan kutte billi ko bhi kya aisa karte dekha hai?

Hello Maa!
Main Jannat mein khush hoon
Lekin, lekin
Yaad tumhari aati hai!
Yeh batlao kya tum ko bhi meri yaad satati hai?
Tum ne kab mera koi naam rakha tha
Jo tum ko main yaad aati
Phir bhi Maa
Mujh se milne ek din tum bhi
Is Jannat mein aajana

Lekin, lekin, Maa!
Mera Maalik, mera Aaqa jab tum se yeh  Poochhegaa
Wo kya jurm thas jis ke badle mein tum ne mera qatl kiya?
Bolo Maa, kya bologi?
Khaliq Maalik Allah se?
Socho Maa, kuch to socho, jaldi socho

Warna, warna, mujhse milne tum Jannat mein kaise aaogi Maa?
Hello Maa, hello, hello Maa, hello… hello…
Maa… Maa…

From Karnataka Muslims. More Here

How to be more efficient at work? : Abdullah Javed

In today’s information-heavy age, majority of the people are overloaded with tasks to be performed by self or with a team. There are many theories that suggest how to be more effective at work. If one heeds to the tips, the list goes this way…arrange office space and desk to suit work style, organize the day by creating a to-do list, create time frame and deadline for the projects, delegate work, develop talents, make a list of priorities, and avoid procrastination etc.

To be a star performer is something that every heart is fond off.  But to be honest, efficiency enhancement of an individual is still a problem to be solved. To be efficient at work is something that depends on the spiritual aspects too. More often, people tend to address this issue with an intention to maximize the efficiency of an individual; focusing heavily on material aspects. As a result of which we see dearth of persons with effectiveness.

Since human beings have both spiritual and material aspects, therefore there should be a balanced approach towards both the facets. Inclination towards any one aspect will have an impact of the same measure.

Once a companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Hazrath Abu Dhar Giffari (RZ) asked, O Prophet (PBUH), advice me?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: Adopt Taqwa of Allah; indeed it will beautify all your affairs
He said. Advice me still more?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied: Adhere to the recitation of Quran and remembrance of the Almighty Allah, by virtue of which you will be remembered in the heavens and (in addition) these acts will prove to be a source of light for you on the earth. (Mishkath)

If one reflects his approach over the significance of the advice, surely he would find it quite relevant to his own needs and to the problems that the world is facing. Here is the solution; one should possess three basic qualities to be efficient.

(1) Taqwa. It means God-fearing and piety, a sense that Allah is omnipresent and watchful. It is the key element of a successful personality. If one keeps remembering Allah, all his efforts would be in accordance with His Will and Wish. Allah does not like idleness, so he becomes dynamic. Allah does not like lying and cheating, he becomes honest and sincere. Allah loves hard work, he becomes diligent. It is the fear and love of Allah that makes things beautiful and helps overcome all forms of weaknesses.

(2) Recitation of the Quran. Recitation of the Quran does not mean just plain reading; it is all about pondering over the verses and their reflections in the soul and soil, in the inside world and in the entire universe. The attachment of such a person with the Quran not only confines to the duration of recitation but it spreads to all his contemplative actions. As a result his entire life is influenced by the words of His creator i.e., the Quran.

(3) Remembrance of Allah. It includes uttering of the words that Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) have taught and also abiding by Their likes and dislikes in all matters. It’s a broader outlook of Zikr. Whether such a person is on a desktop or in a meeting, all his actions would be in accordance with the likes of Allah, as in due course he gets a criterion (light) to judge between right and wrong.

A person whose personality is embellished with these qualities is sure to be remembered by the Almighty. This is what Allah says in the Quran:

“Remember me, I Will remember you. Be grateful to me and never reject faith” (Al- Baqara: 152).

If one develops his personality in view of the demands of both material and spiritual aspects, efficiency prevails not only in his work but in his personality itself.  Is it possible to abide by these principles? Especially for those who have a secluded concept of religion that it should confine to the houses? Or for those who think that religion has no role to play in the society?

Let’s resolve to abide by the advice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by making a comprehensive plan for the month of Ramadhan.
Muhammad Abdullah Javed in Karnataka Muslims. Here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Subramanian Swamy, Hindu Fascism and Tamil Brahmins

So, where does the Zionist way of Swamy’s thinking come from? It might be because Swamy is a Tamil Brahmin, and he feels that the social upsurge there which took the form of challenging and overthrowing the Brahmin domination in Tamil society from about the middle of the 19th century — no, it is not centuries old because the political elites in pre-colonial India were never Brahmins — and many Tamil Brahmins feel persecuted, intellectually and culturally at one level, and more acutely at the social and political levels. Many Tamil Brahmins are more receptive to the Hindutva thought than any other group in South India. Tamil Brahmins are in a continual intellectual sulk. Swamy personifies this.

He is not acceptable in the Bharatiya Janata Party, the natural party of Hindutva, because he cannot expand his intellectual horizon to include the complex Indian social mosaic. That is why he speaks so glibly of transcending caste barriers when caste identity is at the base of the social churning across the heartland of North India. Swamy shows that he has no clue about the Indian political reality.

All that Swamy can hope to get is to head the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which is caught in a time warp much like the one Swamy is in.

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr in DNA. More Here

How to wipe out secularism in India?

I couldn’t believe that the DNA under Aditya Sinha (one of the editors whom I deeply admire for his editorials, his guts in taking on the DMK, and his dedication in bringing to light the atrocities suffered by Tamils during the genocidal attack in 2009) had published such a rabid, anti-Muslim piece written by Subramanian Swamy.

This article is possibly the closest we will ever get to reading an almost-Nazi and absolutely chilling description of the Hindutva project in any mainstream publication.

For those who have difficulty imagining Swamy’s HINDU NATION, here is what it means.
Majoritarianism and political power to Hindus
If half the Hindus voted together, rising above caste and language, a genuine Hindu party would have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the assemblies.
Portraying Hindus as the sole victims of terrorism 
The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus.
Denying non-Hindus the fundamental right to vote, and the fundamental right to power-sharing making them non-citizens
The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus. If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).
Retelling history in which even atrocities by Hindutva like the Babri Masjid demolition are recast into narratives where the Hindu becomes the “victim”
The third lesson is that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate massively. For example, when the Ayodhya temple was sought to be attacked, we should have retaliated by re-building the Ram temple at the site.

Meena Kandasamy in her blog. More Here

Devon's 'desi' delights

A delicious slice of the subcontinent, this microcosm of humanity packs in itself all that Chandini Chowk of Delhi, Nakhas of Lucknow, Lad Bazaar of Hyderabad, steamy T Nagar of Chennai and Anarkali of Lahore can offer.

Come evenings, Devon’s air gets filled with the irresistible aroma of tandoori chicken, seekh kabab and Hyderabadi haleem. Its grocery stores exude the familiar smell of hing, ginger, jaggery and other Indian spices and mannequins stand draped in lehenga, churdiars and sequined salwar-kameez. Once a habitat of Jewish diaspora, Devon has gradually metamorphosed into a desi bazaar with Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis rubbing shoulders with each other and conveniently feigning amnesia of the fractious past that is well nigh unforgettable. However, under competing claims from the desis, the nearly 5 km of the avenue has been trifurcated into stretches named after Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Mujeeb.

Businessmen from India today eye Devon as prime real estate, investing in each conceivable patch enticing the growing fat-wallet desi clientele. Four decades ago, India Sari Palace was the first to set up business introducing in the American market the most known piece of Indian attire. Then came eateries with their finger-licking fare. More textile shops joined them soon. Following them were bangle sellers with the elaborate inventory of knick-knacks.

Maqbool Ahmed Siraj in Deccan Herald. More Here

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Ten golden rules for a Muslim

  • When you see a person who has been given more than you in money and beauty, look to those, who have been given less.
  • A Muslim who meets with others and shares their burdens is better than one who lives a life of seclusion and contemplation.
  • It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is, better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words.
  • The best richness is the richness of the soul.
  • Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.
  • He is not of us who is not affectionate to the little ones, and does not respect the old; and he is not of us, who does not order which is lawful, and prohibits that which is unlawful.
  • Much silence and a good disposition, there are no two things better than these.
  • Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith.
  • The best of the houses is the house where an orphan gets love and kindness.
  • To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil.
Muslimah in Her Blog. Here 

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets


The water-filled bowls, when rubbed with a leather-wrapped mallet, exhibit a lively dance of water droplets as they emit a haunting sound.
Now slow-motion video has unveiled just what occurs in the bowls; droplets can actually bounce on the water's surface.
report in the journal Nonlinearity mathematically analyses the effect and could shed light on other fluid processes, such as fuel injection.
At the heart of the phenomenon are what are known as Faraday waves, which arise when a fluid such as water vibrates, constrained by a closed boundary such as the edge of a singing bowl.
As the frequency of the rubbing reaches that at which the bowl naturally vibrates, the bowl's edge begins rhythmically to change shape, from one slightly oval shape into another.
The energy of this shape-shifting partly transfers to the water, in which a range of interesting patterns can arise as the intensity of the rubbing increases.
Slow-motion video of that transition now demonstrates how the irregular patterns of waves build up, the way that they crash into one another, and how that frees droplets that fly into the air..
But at a certain point the water becomes unstable - and a fizzing display of droplets and chaotic waves results.
A report by Jason Palmer in BBC. Here. and in Scientific American 


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