The Tragedy that is You and I
Nov03

The Tragedy that is You and I

Often when we meet people for the very first time, especially in school, we tend to inquire about a person’s background. Name, occupation, father’s occupation and in some cases, one’s relationship status (cheesy right?). One trend in Pakistan or perhaps the entire Muslim world is asking about someone’s faith. Actually if I rephrase that, we blatantly ask about the particular sect the person belongs to. In most cases even that is fine except when the person in question belongs to a sect different than that of the “interviewer.” Both parties maintain their cool for a while, exchange a few glances and then slowly move away and that was their last civilized conversation ever. Sectarian differences lie in almost every religion. Since it is the month of Muharram, I’d like to bring your attention towards two particular Muslim sects. You guessed that right-Shias and Sunnis. Both of them are in such deep conflict that it is a US and THEM situation between both parties. Both remain adamant on THEIR beliefs and practices. Both believe in one God and the last Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Both pray five times a day. Both observe a fast in Ramadan. Both perform Hajj (the holy pilgrimage). Both pay Zakat (charity). Both grieve on 9th and 10th Muharram. Then why? Why are they not at peace with each other? Why are they so different? Why are these differences irreconcilable? The US and Them situation is that US Shias/Sunnis are right and THEM Sunnis/Shias are not. Both parties have forgotten that there is a WE as well. WE MUSLIMS. WE the people of the faith, which was brought to us by Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.), are united under one banner, under the word of ALLAH, the Quran. WE are all part of the Ummah. WE are one unit, one faith, one brotherhood. Then why is there so much disunity amongst us? Yes the way we practice our religion is different but why can’t we learn to accept those differences and cooperate as a brotherhood should. Why are we so discontented with each other? Why is it that every year at the time of Muharram, reports of Sunni-Shia conflicts flood the news channels? Why is their bloodshed on the days we mourn bloodshed? “A perfect Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands his fellow brothers and sisters are safe.” -Sahih Muslim “Believers are like the different parts of a building, each one supporting the other.” -Agreed Upon The conflict between Sunnis and Shias goes way back and every generation has suffered from it. Sectarian intolerance is so dangerous that no one is safe from it. People have failed...

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Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani
Aug15

Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani

On one of the most sophisticated aftaar parties this Ramzan, I got to hear this statement from one of my close family members, “Pakistan bana kar Quaid ney sirf Fasaad hi phailaya” Not new to my ears, not new for my mind to process! Yet as painful as it was, when I heard it for the first time. Words were different, but were said with the same antithetic, rude and selfish tone. “Pakistan Quaid ney sirf apney mafaad ki khaatir banaya tha” Too much for me to digest, too harsh for me to tolerate & too complicated for me to process. Ironic it is, for us to say this. My graceful, honorable and inspirational image of Quaid-e-Azam breaks, its left shattered. I think, re-think, re-re-think… I decided to read more about Quaid, about life in sub-continent, about two nation theory and about everything that can make me see the real picture. Even books like ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ wouldn’t do enough justice to the young generation who does not know of him or the idea behind his efforts. And I am left with one option alone, lets try gathering the first hand knowledge! Yes, talk to my grandparents, question about the theme of Independence, the basic idea of separation and two nation theory.. what it was like to live together with them, share everything with Hindus and Sikhs. They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being What difficulties they had to overcome during migration and what was the Jazba behind all this? and after having talked to them, I have to say this with teary eyes and a broken heart that we can’t even TRY to empathize what they have gone through… we can’t even try to THINK how they have suffered, we can’t even summon up all our courage and bring that Jazba in our dead hearts now! They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being, whose throats were soar after shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ for hours, days and months… It was not some selfish need that gathered all Muslims together, it was vision for a better tomorrow, love for a piece of land that they would own, honor for their mosques which they would fearlessly visit and above all, the feeling of not being ruled and be an independent, sovereign free nation! Freedom, that we can’t even sense now.. This led them go through all the countless sufferings of history… This gave them the courage to throw their loved ones’ dead bodies in Rivers and Wells, this made their women jump into wells,...

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