Stories about sacrifice

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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Gandhi’s forgotten sacrifice: A lesson neither India nor Pakistan learnt

At ten minutes past five on January 30, 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was crucified on the cross of bitter Hindu-Muslim blood feud. This resolutely courageous man endowed with an indomitable spirit kept fighting for the Hindu-Muslim unity until he was, alas, assassinated by a Hindu extremist. The Mahatma, however, achieved in death what he could not achieve in life; peace between the two communities, although it lasted merely a brief period. The next day, in a most memorable tribute of all, the editorial of Hindustan Standard read: “Gandhi ji has been killed by his own people for whose redemption he lived. This second crucifixion in the ...

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Standing up against militants of K-P: How my father died for Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are in state of war. Everyone here, including the politicians, are bearing the brunt of state policies, in the makings of which they share no role. Amongst this lot of politicians was my father Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand shaheed. A member of the provincial assembly (MPA) from Shabqadar, Charsadda, he was well known to K-P and Fata. However, few in Pakistan know of his heroic story. Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand became an MPA from Shabqadar in 2008 on a Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (now Qaumi Watan Party) ticket. The victory delighted all ...

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Do not be merciless this Eid, please!

Have Pakistanis forgotten the principle behind Eidul Azha? This supposed feast of sacrifice, popularly known as Bakra Eid in our nation, is where Muslims are meant to pay symbolic tribute to Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on the command of Allah (SWT). During this annual three-day Islamic holiday, Muslims who earn a good enough living, follow Prophet Abraham’s example by committing a fraction of their wealth to the sacrifice of livestock. The meat gained, of course, is divided into three portions, one of which is supposed to go to the poor and needy. This holiday is meant to impart the practitioners of ...

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What a girl learned at the bakra mandi

Women normally hear stories about the bakra mandi (goat market) from the male members of the family. The place is considered forbidden for some females while others are simply not interested. Being a girl looking at giant animals for sacrifice does amuse me and this year I finally got the opportunity to visit this place as I was deathly curious to know why is it such a ‘fun-land’ to males. It is quite noticeable that the goat sacrifice trend has been over-taken by cow or bull sacrifice just because men love large animals or dare I say, men love to show off their large animals. When ...

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This Eid, we have new supermodels in town!

There were days when almost all the billboards on the roadside had either hair shampoo, mobile phones or their packages displayed all over the city. The trend has changed, however, and only one item rules the billboards of Karachi these days. They are young, they are attractive and they are a dream come true. No, I’m not talking about the models and various lawn ads; I’m talking about the cattle farm ads featuring fierce, fat and fine-looking cows and goats for Eid. We are masters at integrating the latest marketing techniques and technologies with religious rituals and making profit there too. ...

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Of goats and Imran Khan

This article is not about Eid and neither is it about Imran Khan. Life is not characterized by events, but by people’s reactions to events. Reaction No. 1: Two men on motorcycles, with goats in tow, were stopped by policemen on the road. The motorcycles were checked, the men were checked and the goats were checked too. That’s the scene that a friend Ahmed was witness to as his own goat-free car whizzed by somewhere in DHA. “They were goats, for god’s sake! Just goats!” Point. Reaction No. 2: Another friend, Amna, ‘likes’ the Facebook group “I was alive when Pakistan was waking up”, ...

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Will the real kasai please stand up?

With Eid-ul-Azha here, I understand how important it is to find a good butcher. Without one, the whole experience of qurbani (sacrifice) can be pain-staking and painful to watch. For many years now, I have gone out to find good kasais (butchers) for my family. I have thus gathered valuable tips to tell the real kasai from the fake one. So here are the key points you must keep in mind while looking for one: 1 – Original Kasais never wear jeans and shirts. Don’t judge a Kasai by his clothes – gauge their value by their work and experience 2- Whilee looking for a kasai, make sure to examine ...

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Pakistan held hostage: Obscurantism and the death of Taseer

As numbness ebbs away after the fatal attack on Governor Salmaan Taseer, questions about the context of his murder arise. Confounding the discussion are the likes of Jamaat-i-Ahl-i- Sunnat, Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and some other like minded clerics. This school condones, and in some cases, justifies the murder. Unlike the governor, liberal segments of society remain largely equivocal and cautious in their response after threats by TTP to treat everyone offering prayers for Governor Taseer worthy of death at the hands of vigilante justice for purported blasphemy. But given the sensitivity of the attack, and its broader socio-political ...

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Bakra Eid, changing from sacrifice to fad

Muslims from all around the globe are gathering in the city of Mecca to offer Hajj. Those who stay at home pray to Allah to make ways for them to perform Hajj like their Muslim brothers and sisters. Hajj is a time that reminds us of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) who was accompanied by his son, Prophet Ismail (PBUH) in an ultimate show of obedience to Allah. In remembrance of this great sacrifice, Muslims follow sunnat-e-Ibrahimi or the example of the prophet by offering a sacrifice in the month of ZilHajj. However, with the passing of time, the essence of ...

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