Some Observations for the Holy Month

The holy month is just around the corner. Literally at the corner in fact. 3-4 days away now. And given the temperature rise that takes place in our personalities in general and the way the actual temperatures are going I think we must take stock of things before hand to ensure that we actually live up to the most basic creed of this holy month. It is an ideal time to learn patience, peace, self-control and acceptance. The patience to not just go through the day without food and water. But patience in our dealings as humans with other people as well. In our understanding of other people. In managing our tempers and moods and attitudes. Peace with knowing who you are, peace with the situation and circumstances around you and in your particular world. Peace in achieving spirituality. Peace through spiritually getting closer to our Almighty Allah. Self-control on all forms of temptations. From food to all those addictions to habits and behaviors which are negative or not exactly good. And acceptance of others. Of who they are. Of the fact that not everyone is the same.

From this point on let’s try and be on our best behavior from all aspects for Ramadan and maybe continue those behaviors going forward in life as well.

  1. Remember – We are all human

We are all but humans created by the same Almighty. However we are all not the same and yes some people make errors – in work, judgement and simple day to day tasks. Let’s remember that being human means to err. Let’s not lose our cool on those mistakes made by people no matter how irritating they may seem. Breathe in and don’t let it get to you. People aren’t robots and maybe some people can’t perform to their possible levels during Ramadan. Or well some people are genuinely more error prone but not due to any lack of effort. That’s unfortunately who they are. So maybe instead of losing your cool try and helping. You might just point out something they have been doing or approaching wrong.

  1. Fasting isn’t just about no eating and drinking

It isn’t just about not eating and drinking during the day. It’s also about practicing good behaviors and interactions with people. It’s also about your good manners as a human being overall. Not being rude to people unnecessarily. Not just trying to be aggressive in an effort to establish yourself as a dominant personality and showing your well I don’t know perhaps position of power. Not having ulterior motives. Not back biting. Not gossiping. Not getting into everyone’s business. Not spreading everyone’s business to everyone when everyone is not even concerned. No dramatics.

  1. Live and let live

First and foremost everyone isn’t a follower of Islam. There are people who follow other faiths. And it is not in their religion to be fasting. So they are eating and drinking. You should not have a problem with that. PATIENCE AND ACCEPTANCE. Ok there are people who follow Islam as well and who do not fast. AGAIN – YOU should not have a problem with that. PATIENCE and ACCEPTANCE. Maybe they have health issues which does not allow them to fast or they are currently unwell or in a situation where they cannot fast. Or maybe it was an off day. Or maybe they don’t fast. It is between them and Allah. As long as they are not coming and interfering with you fasting or actually trying to make you not fast then it shouldn’t concern you. Judgement is not for humans. It is for Allah. Yes we may advise – but not judge. And this is not just for Ramadan and fasting. Everyone has their own way of living and approaching life. Their own priorities and their own goals in life. They have their own worries and struggles and happiness moments and achievements. Their own way of celebration and their own way of dealing with stress and grief. People go through circumstances which change their personality. Some people have a change in lifestyle when they have a change in their life – new place, new job, getting married etc. Different things. People evolve and grow. Its ok. As long as whatever is happening isn’t coming and actually harming you physically or getting in the way of your being able to live happily and do your things and duties of life in peace – then it is not your problem. Don’t go out of your way to make it a problem. Live and let live. And be ok with things.

  1. Explore a healthier lifestyle

It might not sound like something that can happen in Ramadan especially given how we are a culture which is big on grand iftars and grand sehris and as a nation love our food. But tell you what – Ramadan is actually a very good month to develop certain habits and routines. You can actually develop a better nutritional balance during this month as long as you are disciplined about it. Choose healthy foods over the jalebis and samosas. One offs are all good but focus on the greens and the fruits and the good proteins made in a good way. You can with discipline get your body used to this eating habit. And this eating habit will definitely help you in the long run. Avoid all the junk as much as possible and stick to as much organic as possible. Oh and home food is king during Ramadan. At all costs avoid the All you can eat Iftar buffets. Please. They are a waste of money and time and health. Also the best time to break habits which you might want to. And addictions if any.

  1. Dates are not just for symbolism and tradition

Dates are actually packed with a lot of energy. They are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Its a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. So don’t think it is just a tradition for Ramadan or symbolic. There is lots of good in eating dates as can be read above!

  1. Plan a work out, sport or exercise just before or a little after Iftar

I am sure some of you already do this. And some of you are raising your eyebrows saying ‘is he mad! In this heat in Roza’. Granted on the face of it that may be a valid observation. But it is tried and tested. Rest it out during the middle of the day after your school/college or work. And just before Iftar hit the track/gym or field of sport. It will do wonders. You will realize that some latent energy will come through for you and just reaching home and freshening up in time for Iftar will be a great way to make sure you have a balanced iftar also and not over do it. At least that works for me. For those who don’t fancy this can always take the night work out option after Iftar.

7. Be as charitable as you can and help the needy

I can’t stress on this enough. People are needy and poor out there. They are suffering and are facing challenges on a daily basis. Help out as much as you can. Switch on the charitable side of your personality and never turn it off. Help children who are being deprived of their childhood eat meals. Distribute as many iftar as possible. Help people not just through money and food – but in any way possible. This is one of the best ways to appease Allah and also to attain a sense of spirituality and inner peace for yourself. And also for your after life. Help people to eventually help yourself. A few hundreds everyday will not affect your wallet. I am talking to the affluent ones here or in the very least people who have some privileges in their lifestyles. Distribute help this month and beyond. Donate to a charity. Spread the word. Physically help out with tasks if necessary. Aid those who are of special needs perhaps. Or those who are medically not doing well. There are many ways you can do this and must.

Causes of Concern

Bombs falling, bullets shattering the silence of the morning, blood, dust, chaos. Life interrupted. Iraq? Syria? Gaza? NWA? Nigeria? Yes lets add more countries there shall we. I mean since there are others as well which are going through some form of chaos other than the countries already making the rounds on social media.

I like this line:

“You don’t need to be Muslim to stand up for Gaza , you just need to be human”

I completely agree. We need to just be human. Oh brilliant job on being human about it on your own home turf by the way. Absolutely fantastic. Were you on ceremony when the brave soldiers fighting the battle for our homeland took the bullets? Hmm yes I thought so. So much more convenient perhaps to support a cause that is not so close to home. That is perhaps more convenient to be on the right side of. That is perhaps something that Immy K said to support. A lot more loudly then he did perhaps about the troops and our boys fighting the battle for our future. Flawed perhaps but an essential battle nonetheless which requires at this time our utmost support. But I am sorry, its just not the same. Perhaps the times when the Hazara’s were targeted and killed in those suicide and bomb attacks last year. The Shias? All those killed in the target killings? The massacre at the Iranian border? Balochistan? Believe the list from our own home turf is also long. Police men, honor killings etc. Long list.

And what could possibly be more cause for Jihad then what is going on in Gaza? Yes? Why are the fine gentlemen holed up in our north not going their to take part in ‘Jihad’? Oh yes – I forgot. Their use for the term is merely marketing based rather than the true essence of it. My bad.

As for Gaza – what is happening there is absolutely appalling. There is no denying it. The international community needs to start doing more and actually put an end to it. The Arab world needs to actually start giving a damn and abandon all its proxy war seminary funding/schemes. Oh wait did I just say that? Oh lord the blasphemy!! How dare I? Say something that who whole world secretly knows to begin with?? How dare I indeed. The bottom line is Israel is being allowed to carry out the atrocities because no one in the international community or the Arab world is doing there part. The ISIS situation in Iraq is something the Arab world is choosing to give more attention to because it is somehow fueling out more as a proxy war. To that oldest of problems within Islam – the grand Shia Sunni split. I saw a picture on social media which depicts the Arab world keeping its door closed towards the Palestinians while the door and window towards the ISIS is open and being filled to fuel the other Middle Eastern splits. Oh and hello ? United States? Self appointed world policeman ? Looks a lot more worse than the WMD disaster of a search in Iraq. I mean I am no expert but it certainly does. Oh I apologize, of course this involves Israel. How could the US possibly do the same here that they have been doing on every other corner of the earth? Pffft. 

The bottom line is we don’t need to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist to realize that what is happening in various places world over is wrong. It is absolutely beyond humanity and it is atrocious that it is allowed by the international community at large. Also the bottom line is that I would love to be a part of a cause which requires support. All of the above does. But what does sometimes hit hard is when that same support doesn’t seem to flow or overflow even perhaps in the same manner when all these things happen on your own home ground. I would first support the causes at home and then support those on a more geographical scale. A house divided will fall. And a house ignored will also fall. Let’s first join and support the causes to set our own house in order.

Not for a second do I mean to say that whatever is happening in Gaza is not appalling. But what I am saying is that we have our own issues, problems and plights that need our attention and support. As a friend of mine put it – where is the support for the boys who are now on the front lines and finally tackling the TTP. Where is the voice for them? Gaza needs a voice. So do we. So let’s not forget that.

I am not sure if this post will be taken in the spirit that it is written and because I know I might probably be touching on some nerves with some people I invite anyone who wants to seek clarity to please go right ahead.

Support humanity. Support the fight for saving humanity. Support the right for people to live. Start at home.  

To Be Human

The world is a funny place and we the inhabitants are funnier still. Why? Because we are so incredibly human. We create wars and we also demand peace. We wage wars in the name of peace and get awarded with peace prizes for it. We rob and steal, loot and plunder. But we also give to the charity, help trusts and pitch in to other causes. We donate. We thrive on our luxuries and lifestyles and at the same time weep for the poor. Why? Because we are but human.

So to be human would mean that we are capable of also being animals when we lose control of our emotions. Or to be absolutely devoid of any and be more… robotic or machine like. To be human is to discuss the politics of your country, criticizing every state organ in safe small circles inside your drawing room or on anonymous online profiles and blogs (the irony is noted) but not actually going to a gathering or protest where your voice or words could make a difference. What is the point of this with being human? Because that’s how human we are, hypocritically human. We lie and cheat to find our way to power, To be human is to be a hypocrite. But to be human is also to be a philanthropist.

To be human is to live and let live. But to be human is also to impose and dictate and announce through forceful means that ‘It’s my way or the highway’. To be human is to co-exist but to be human is also to cry blasphemy and burn the homes of people who follow a separate faith and religion. To be human is to dream but to be human is also to get lost in the concrete jungle that is this world and forget how to dream.

To be human is to explore and discover. But to be human is also to stand still and take it all in. To be discovered. To be human is to sleep at night and live in the day. But to be human is also to sleep in the day and live in the night.

To be human is to love. To be human is to hate. To laugh, to cry, to feel sorry, to feel ecstasy. To be brave, to be afraid. To feel fear, to feel courage. To think, to not.

To be human is to be born. But to be human is to also die. To feel joy and to feel pain. To celebrate and to remorse.

To be human is to pursue the perfect condition – of the world, of ourselves. But to be human is also accepting imperfection as our most human trait and instead pursue happiness.

What is it to be human then? The point of all of the is that there is no single way to define what it means to be human and that in itself is ultimately human. We are all different. Some good different and some bad different. What was the point of this blog? Those who can – will take something from it. Those who can’t will simply curse and put it down to a waste of their time. And why not .. we are after all, humans Smile with tongue out