Stories about God

I rise, I am the dream and the hope of the slave – Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou A great soul has left us. Everyone is saddened by the passing of one of the most celebrated poet, writer, teacher, artist, dancer, director and civil rights activist, Dr Maya Angelou, who died on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. People will never forget how Angelou made them feel. Poet, critic and scholar Joanne M Braxton remembers her as “America’s most visible black female auto biographer”. To me, when I think of Angelou ...

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Nutella cheesecake and Farhan Akhtar – doesn’t get better than that!

As Mr A was casually buying himself some coffee and a large packet of spicy Lays chips outside the cinema, when a wide-eyed friend exclaimed looking at him, “Oh my God, your husband is here to watch ‘Shaadi ke side effects’, poor thing!” The cinema barely had any male species present. It was, however, outrageously packed with caramel-popcorn-munching females. Clearly the movie was going to be fun. “Hmmm… now he will know the true side effects, flashed before him, and what we women have to go through after marriage.” I cloyingly thought to myself as we settled down in the wide red seats. Throughout the movie, ...

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The Qari Sahib who made me an unbeliever

Asad lived by the motto, “To each his own.” Although reciting the Quran was not on his to-do list, he did not judge the Book, nor did he criticise those who followed it in different ways. All he wanted was to escape a memory tainted with horror, pain and shame – a memory which had caused him to abandon all his associations with Islam and everything pertaining to it for over a decade. The last time he had read the Quran had been with the Qari Sahib. Asad did not believe in God. He had seen people dying in tragic ways, others suffering from incurable diseases and still others ...

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We’re not God, we’re just doctors

You must have heard stories about doctors or hospital staff giving the ‘wrong’ injections and blood transfusions which were said to be the cause of death. Although I agree that such tragic mishaps do happen in the field of medicine, I assure you that most doctors would not do anything deliberately to harm a patient. My maid once told me that her nephew had been admitted into the hospital due to some critical illness. Her eyes widened in fear as she told me the way the doctors applied pressure on his rib cage, almost as if trying to kill him, when according to her his condition was not that critical at ...

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I am a Muslim who celebrates Christmas – and you should too

I plan to take my family out for dinner. I may call it a Christmas dinner and I don’t think there is anything wrong in calling it that. As Pakistanis, I think it is a great coincidence and blessing that today is also the birthday of our founder, Quaid-e-Azam, whose message wasn’t far off from what Jesus Christ taught us. Not only is there a religious connotation but a national association to this day for us to be united as one, spread the love and share the blessings with those less privileged. Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note ...

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Nelson Mandela’s funeral: Was the sign interpreter deliberately trying to mock the deaf and mute community across the world?

Life is a precious gift, taken for granted by the majority of us. We always manage to take time out for complaining about corrupt politicians, flawed systems and increasing taxes but do we ever simply take a minute to be thankful for all that God has bestowed upon us? Before we ask for more, can we not be grateful for all that we already have? It might be human nature to be selfish, but there is no doubt in the fact that God’s blessings are impossible to keep count of. However, if one does intend to be appreciative, why not start from the ...

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Before blocking NATO supplies, take a look at the repercussions for Pakistan’s economy!

In an interview with a journalist, Akram Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), who was the former Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) portrayed his plans for economic development as: “We believe that God prearranged food and clothing for every man, which He created. If we give up the ways of God and devise our own solutions to perceived problems, we may land in trouble.” The policy pursued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) towards the drones strike is very much in procession with that of Akram Durrani’s. It is true that God feeds every mouth on the planet but it is also true ...

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My sacrifice to God

It was an ordinary day, like any morning when I would wake up – wake the children, send them off to the washroom and lay their clothes out so they won’t have to shout for every vest or sock they could not find. And yes, I called them both children – my husband, Raza and my son Hussain. They both act the same. Sometimes Hussain seemed like he was the adult in our house, not Raza. Then I would sleepily make my way to the kitchen to make breakfast – something ordinary for Raza and myself; and for Hussain, I’d ...

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My visit to Bibi Zainab’s (AS) shrine: Memories cannot be destroyed

I was 23, in my last year of an undergraduate degree and perhaps like every young soul, had many questions about everything under the sky; religion, nationalism, God and just life in general. Although I have always flaunted my beliefs with utmost certainty, there have been many times in which my mind is left wondering, about uncertainties, in an abyss of utter confusion.   That was back in 2008, when I had first visited Syria and fell in love with the country. I loved everything about it; the people, the cultural diversity and above all the sacred shrines that invoked the ...

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A reply to TTP commander Adnan Rashid’s letter to Malala

Dear Mr Adnan Rashid, Your letter has left me confused. Right after you expressed regret to Malala over her shooting you write: ‘Taliban attacked you, was it Islamically correct or wrong…I will not go in this argument now.’ I wonder if you and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are aware that our religion forbids the killing of any human being unless acting out of self-defence? It preaches nothing but compassion to children and forbids the killing of the offspring of one’s enemies. So, Mr Rashid, how you can even suggest an ‘argument’ when the actions of your party were so vehemently against the teachings ...

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