Stories about God

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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Come home my child

Come home my child, school is over It has been blown up I know some of your mates have been taken Their parents, shattered, battered, broken Come home my child, In the mountains, it has been snowing flakes of bombs, flames so white, Shards and shrapnel, snowballs bright In the name of God some slaughter In the name of God others fight we the people, we the fodder Live to face our gory plight To enormous events we have been destined First the poverty, then the quakes, Then the militants, now the drones, Come home my child, far from the agony Away from the war with no end in sight Come home to my dreams There’s peaceful ...

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Unfathomable is He

When I was a kid, The mere existence of God, A being so Mighty, so Big, That it lived up in the skies, Far away from my tiny little world, Used to make my head spin. It still makes my head spin today. I still do not know how to understand Him, Or find Him. I do not claim to be a religious person, I rarely pray. Yet, there is something about being around nature, That makes me feel close to Him. It is a holy experience for me. For me, prayer is, sitting under a tree. Feeling the scales of an old weathered ...

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Thank you God for giving me my father

A father is role model for his children. He is their first hero and their first inspiration. My father was also my role model; I always wanted to emulate him in whatever manner I could. Whether this meant adopting his dressing style, the way he ate, socialised with other people or the way he treated his children and other family members – I wanted to be exactly like him. Ziauddin Khan left this world on February 26, 1995 at 10:05pm; he was my father. Heartbroken and disillusioned, I stood by his bedside when his doctor informed me about his demise. My world ...

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Soldiers of life

I was at work when my sister broke the news that my aunt had been diagnosed with lung cancer. This news left my entire family in shock. We decided to meet immediately to fast and pray together for her health. That day, we felt the amazing grace of God and His presence in our lives as each and every member of the family bowed down in prayer for my aunt. As the days passed, I visited her regularly and talked to her for hours. These frequent visits have brought us closer and I now realise that I had never given her ...

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Can science be compared with religion?

If one doesn’t know how to evaluate evidence or determine if a conclusion lies beyond the scope of any given evidence and if one cannot judge the strength of a theory, he is like a young child who should not play with fire. If he does, he may burn his hands – in this metaphor, his beliefs. So religious scholars are right when they prevent us from playing with science which questions beliefs. Some people say that science and religion can never be compared. Religion would boast to “know everything” even if it is wrong and would undermine the understanding of ...

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Trick question: God, Zardari, Gilani or the masses?

In the last week of May 1998, I took my final exams for grade 10. In those days, India had just carried out Operation Shakti, which was a continuation of their ‘Smiling Buddha’ nuclear test in Rajasthan. These tests had, undoubtedly, put Pakistan under extreme pressure, and their heat was visibly felt in Pakistani politics and everyday life. Finally, Nawaz Sharif, succumbing to the pressure India had put the nation under, pushed the button for our first nuclear test. The mountains of Chaghi turned yellowish grey and Pakistanis all over the world were ecstatic, completely oblivious to the actual consequences of this test. One ...

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Five reasons to stop questioning Obama’s faith

I thought the question was so absurd to begin with, that it would go away on its own. I was wrong. Four years later, that absurd question, “Do you think Barack Obama is a Muslim?” keeps nagging the American psyche in national and regional polls – despite ample data to the contrary. In 2009, a Pew Research Center poll showed that one in 10 Americans believed President Obama was a Muslim; the number jumped to one in five by 2010. So when last week, one in two Republican voters in the states of Mississippi and Alabama reaffirmed the same phobia, I had to say something. Enough! Data ...

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How to pray (five times a day) with a busy schedule

Before I genuinely began to cultivate and nurture my relationship with God, I regarded the five daily prayers that Islam enjoins on believers as laborious. It seemed impractical to expect that I would be able to stop what I was doing during my busy work schedule to take time out and pray. Working as a news wire journalist, I was often spending over 10 hours a day in the office or at conferences, interviews and meetings, barely able to make time for a lunch break. If I wasn’t working, my time was divided between house chores, errands, family and friends, and ...

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