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Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

A mother's dream fulfilled

We went to school, and good ones at that. Only we gave up on things that needed money.

For years, I wore hand-me-downs, and never felt anything. I just did not observe what others had. What they had was theirs, and it had nothing to do with me. Even looking at what they had made me think I was invading their privacy and property, and that was an improper thing to do.

The only time I started seeing consumer goods was when I had spent many years in the West. I still did not see what others had. I went to Regent and Oxford Streets in London, and window-shopped, only to appreciate the beauty of these consumer items.

I am glad the cycle breakers and the NGOs weren't around when we were at school. They would have broken us, instead of the cycle.

The problem is too big. It requires a revolution. If not a bloody one, then one in thinking, and unfortunately the world hasn't given up on the American Nightmare. I am sorry, but this is what I think the American Dream actually is.

It requires Islam to be practiced in toto, and again unfortunately, this needs a revolution in thought, of the elite and the masses.


P.S.: I remember now how my mother made ends meet. She sold her jewelery, bit by bit, and she had loads of it. Then when the jewelry was gone, she sold her brass and bronze utensils and flower pots with intricate designs, huge and heavy trays called "seenee", and huge copper utensils. And heavy curtains, those you see only at palaces. Those were her dowry things she sold. When these were gone, I don't know how she managed. She worked very hard, and she prayed, even the tahajjud. She did her wazaif as well.

My mother and her elder sister were the two most wonderful people in this world.

Mother had a dream - that her children would be educated, and Allah (swt) fulfilled her dream, alhamdulillah. All her nine children, except one, who was prone to accidents in the head and lost quite a lot of blood that way, have had education upto masters at least. All own their own houses. All have their own cars. And all practice Islam.

I did not fulfill my own dream: to take a doctorate in Chemistry under Linus Pauling in California, I do have a doctorate - in Chemical Engineering. And although I did not get a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, (as my teachers at Dacca University thought I would), I hope that my work, however humble and however unpublished, will be rewarded in the Hereafter. That is what I want, most of all, to be summoned on the Day of Judgement, and told by Allah He is pleased, and He has reserved His reward for me in the Hereafter.

masha`Allah to all that follows here: One of my brothers became a Chartered Company Secretary. That is a very respectable and very paying profession. One of my sisters fulfilled my father's dream. She is an FRCP from the UK, and one of the most sought after medical consultants in Karachi. The youngest of my sisters is very well placed in the Pakistani branch of one of the topmost international NGOs. I won't mention which, for I do not want to give away the identity of my family. She has been offered a place abroad by the said NGO, but has declined, for mother doesn't want her to leave Pakistan for good. The brother who did not progress beyond Matriculation because of his head injuries, has one of the finest collection of books - in English as well as Urdu.

All my siblings have the tenacity and perseverance of my mother. I am the exception. Somewhere along my life (at age 20, I think) I developed an attitude of "it isn't worth the trouble", but I still asked Allah (swt), and He has looked after me very well indeed. The story of that, the story of my own life, is a story of miracle after miracle, and maybe it is due to my mother's duas, for after age 20 at least, I did nothing to deserve what I have.

It, of course, is worth the trouble. One should ask Allah (swt) for everything, even what looks unachievable, for He can create the conditions to give you what you want. I asked for some such things when I was in Canada, and I did it when I was a non-practicing Muslim, or maybe I had stopped being a Muslim, but I still asked Him. It is amazing how He fulfilled these. Only I did not ask Him to fulfill my dream in Chemistry. I relied on my own brilliance. And that is where I went wrong. There is a couplet in Urdu:

Tu hee nadaan chand kalyon peh qana`at kar gaya
warna chaman mein elaje tangiye damaan bhee tha

You, stupid one, yourself stopped short with a few buds
Otherwise, in the garden there was cure for a short shirt as well

(when you are collecting buds and flowers in bulk, you use your shirt to collect these, if you do not have a basket).