Stories about God

Make sure to have ‘lived’ life before you die

A 33-year-old friend of mine died two years ago, leaving behind two children and a husband who was madly in love with her. A car accident left her in coma for 30 hours before she passed away. Once people heard the news, they said it was an “unfortunate and untimely death”. As much as I hated knowing that I would never see her again, I knew this was God’s will, and that we all have to go where she went in her death. Death is an inescapable reality that every person has to face and certainly not an option we can avoid. ...

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Gaza: Disgust and dismay

I am dismayed and disgusted by the biased, one-sided reporting about the Israeli strike in Gaza; the mainstream media is making it out as if Gaza has instigated the violence when the truth is that Israel provoked the Gazans all through the month of October, killed a mentally disabled man, shot a young boy while he was playing soccer, and finally assassinated a Hamas leader who they had entrusted with the impossible task of maintaining the truce, all the while continuing its inhuman blockade of the occupied territories without remorse, continuing to build illegal settlements, continuing to force Palestinians ...

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God works in mysterious ways

As you drive down the road connecting Zamzama with Khayaban-e-Shujaat, you come across a market, at the border of Defence and Clifton Cantonment. The road itself winds down into Shujaat and if you are of the ilk, it shall take you down to the Sunday Bazaar in Defence Phase VIII. In front of this market are a set of fruit and vegetable thela walas (street vendors), lined up against the wall of Zamzama Park. That section of the road is peppered with cars buying fruits according to their purchasing power. Inside the park, oblivious to their proximity, a legion of affluent ...

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On a crisp autumn day

Lifted by crisp autumn wind, Whirl and eddy, And dance up on the ground.   They revel in their flight, To the trees that once beheld them. Some dry leaves, Move upwards, And the rest fall to the earth, Like broken dreams.   Their fall is subsumed, In the lament, Of the autumn wind.   “What makes them vibrate with pleasure? Who gives life to the broken leaves? A benign force in the world, Or a malevolent spirit,” Wonders my soul.   Seeing their joyous flight, My soul yearns, For a divine dance: A dance that lets it, Break shackles, Of earthly existence.   The soul longs passionately, Like a white-robed whirling dervish, Who with closed eyes, And extended arms, Seeks divine union.   The soul desires, To soar in the air: Light ...

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All you ever need is you

The moment you recognise that you will always stand alone in a battlefield is the most terrifying moment of your life. For it is the death of all human expectations. That is the moment you stop looking behind your shoulder, with that glimmer of hope that someone will be there to fight beside you. Or rescue you. So fear not. Allow it, instead, to be the most exalting moment of your life; because that is the moment, you recognise finally and irrevocably, your own strength. And then when you look back again, you understand. You stood alone, always. With only Him watching over you. ‘You’ fought all ...

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Kahlil Jibran meets Rumi

I am Kahlil Jibran, a poet, born in Bsharri, Lebanon and buried in my beloved homeland. Despite lacking physical existence, my bonds with the earth have not been severed. Being a spirit, I can fly across space and glide around luminous stars; but, my spatial sojourns have not diminished my love for the beautiful earth, covered with gossamer clouds. Often, I zoom down to the earth and silently visit spiritual sites, immersing myself in the divine radiance. On a balmy spring afternoon, as I was daydreaming on crisp, cotton clouds, floating over Taurus Mountains, the sight of Mevlana Rumi’s cylindrical turquoise ...

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Why my heart sings for the Himalayas

There’s nothing in the world that I find more gratifying than being out in the wild. I can spend hours gazing down into a valley or watching a river flow by and that’s what attracts me to trekking. It gives me the opportunity to be amid settings that I love the most. When I’m in the wild I become one with God’s creations. All the treks I’ve been on and the places I’ve visited are etched in my mind forever. The moments of unadulterated joy I’ve experienced on these trips live on within me; captured in my mind’s eye to ...

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Confessions of a non-hijabi

As a teen, a couple of years ago, influenced by society and culture, I decided to wear a scarf over my head whenever I went out. Then, as the wheels of maturity turned, I wriggled out of the cocoon of ignorant following and started to question myself. Why exactly did I cover my head? Was it because some of my friends had adopted the practice and many people I knew did the same? I stopped. That was it! Guilty as charged. As expected from any mother who took pride in the fact that her daughter had become a ‘modest little lady’, my ...

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Your wife or your life: Are we inspired by Shakespeare?

Maybe the people of Pakistan are inspired by Shakespeare. They revel in deceit, treachery and murder. A land filled with misogynist men who lose their wives over games of chance and then sit in the itekaaf  to seek repentance for their sins. A plague grows over fossilised tablets, slowly gnawing at every bit of cultural history known to mankind. Perhaps, there is a Shylock whose fetish for blood and flesh navigates his own moral compass. Perhaps, there lives a Puck, who vends fluorescent potions on the street that claim to cure every remedy including “mardaana quwwat”. A Viola dances in her prayers, her veil twirling and ...

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Dr Abdus Salam: He found God in a hopeless place

They ripped his name out of books with scissors dipped in venom so our children wouldn’t be poisoned with a heretic’s intellect. They scraped his person from his gravestone, because those in the underworld would also object to his being Muslim. They bomb his places of worship, they don’t like them being called mosques, as if their own belligerence was a superior form of prayer; Our flag’s white rectangle, the so-called symbol of the few, flaps tattered and stained with the blood of peripheral pariahs like him. They banished a man from the annals of history for a sin so heinous to be exiled by its own seven sisters. It’s called genius. While their bodies simmered with the disgust ...

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