Stories about FAST

The flaws in our education: Why are Pakistani students struggling with mathematics?

Mathematics is perhaps the most powerful instrument of knowledge in the world. History proves that all ancient civilisations emphasised the importance of maths, and it is the one science that seeks to improve one’s ability to perceive and think. Maths may not help teach us how to love someone or how to forgive an enemy, but it gives us reason to hope that every problem must have a reasonable solution. Consequently, maths plays an important role in the development of countries because of its ability to penetrate into all sorts of human affairs, whether social or economic. Students are often weak in maths as ...

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Why I’m not fasting this Ramazan

According to family legend, I first fasted—for a day—at the age of four. I have no clear memory of this fast, although I do have the vague recollection of walking into the kitchen while my mom prepared iftar and her asking, “If you’re fasting, why are you sucking on a lollipop?” Ramazan in our house was a big deal. Ramazan meant we could—at least for a month—pretend we were adults. I insisted on fasting the entire month starting at the age of seven.  My parents agreed, but with three stipulations: I had to wake up for sehri, eat whatever was served during sehri (generally, ...

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Since when does my fasting or not fasting jeopardise someone else’s imaan?

My grandmother used to call it Ramazan Shareef. There was no discussion, debate or argument over its pronunciation. The month would come in its usual cycle without much fuss or ado. Television channels wouldn’t go bonkers except for some increased airtime for naats and religious discussions that were never heavily advertised. People wouldn’t wear cloaks all across. If someone in the house didn’t fast, others wouldn’t raise their eyebrows. The non-fasting family members would comfortably go on with usual daily meals without being given guilt trips. There were simpler, not-so-extravagant iftar dinners where family members would get together without any pressure on ...

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What does religion have to do with football?

The World Cup 2014 is about to reach its final stages, with the quarterfinals matches starting from Friday, July 4. The knockout rounds saw major teams facing a tough challenge against underdog teams and five out of eight matches went into extra-time so that a winner could be decided. This highlights the intensity of these matches. The clash between the mighty Germans and the dark horses, Algeria, also went onto extra time. Andrea Schurrle scored in the opening minutes of the extra time, to give Germany an edge over the highly impressive Algerian side. Mesut Ozil doubled Germany’s lead in the 119th minutes and ...

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This Ramazan, develop an attitude of gratitude

As I sit here writing this, I am exuberated with joy that Ramazan is almost here. We, Pakistanis, are always fashionably late; that should explain why we start fasting a day after most other countries do. Anyhow! Personally speaking, Ramazan is my favourite time of the year. A month I exclusively dedicate to my relationship with God, focusing on spiritual growth and reflections. It would be great if every Muslim tried to make a conscious effort in changing some part of their personality that needs to be improved during Ramazan. But unfortunately, it is sad to note how each year this month ...

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Turning auto-correct off can save your life!

In this tech savvy era of drones and super phones, human beings are alarmingly evolving into cyborgs. We have gradually succumbed to electronic devices and text messaging as a preference to keep in touch and verbal communication has drastically declined. With all the user friendly accessibility options popping up on our cell phones and tablets, the spelling auto-correct function can foil a colossal blunder. In some cases it might be the highlight of the conversation itself. Our innocent words that we meant well (well most of the times) can be manipulated into horrific insults.  We become inventors, discovering new words and ...

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Who cares about Pakistan’s Anna Hazare?

The success of the Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and the defeat of his Pakistani counterpart Jehangir Akhtar in their almost similar missions perhaps reflect the nature of politics and how it is perceived in both countries. The 75-year-old Indian shot to fame, thanks largely to the power of the Indian media, when he undertook a much hyped fast. That, more or less, brought the Indian government to its knees and made it agree to move a bill in parliament to establish the office of an ombudsman (Lokpal). However, in Pakistan, the story was quite different with the fasting Akhtar largely ...

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Anna Hazare, you are not welcome in Pakistan

Not long ago, international media saw the rise of a new star; a man who vowed to reincarnate the principles of Gandhi, who is respected universally for his passion for peace and non-violent political activism. Well, we too were happy to see, despite the mudslinging that Ziaul Haq and his prodigal children did towards Gandhi, a man who would strive for peace. We hoped his anti-graft movement would come to Pakistan as well. Moreover, we prayed that the Pak-India border would be adorned with flowers and candles rather than barbed wires. However, today all of my hopes suddenly evaporated when I ...

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Anna Hazare: Fasting for change

Fasting in Pakistan is reserved for the month of Ramazan whereas in India, it has taken on the shape of a non-violent movement under the leadership of Anna Hazare. Carrying on with the legacy that Mohandas Gandhi left behind, Anna aims to pressurise the Indian government to enact strong anti-corruption laws by issuing the threat of a fast unto death. The “Gandhian” or the “crusader” as he has come to be known is a 74-year-old veteran who follows closely the words of Gandhi: “Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.” His successful attempts at ...

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Fasting in times of load shedding

Past Shab-e-Barat, brace yourself for the month of fasting. Actually, Shab-e-Barat is a festival in name only. Its real significance is to usher in Ramazan. The halvas you are treated to, point to the imminence of thirty testing days followed by thirty rewarding evenings. The mandatory fast, requiring that one neither eat a morsel nor take a sip of drink for a whole day, is a test in itself. It’s a vivid reminder of the nature of hunger and thirst. It is only at the end of a day of fasting that one fully appreciates food and drink as God’s great ...

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