Forgotten Lessons – Our Ignorance is Our Pride

Hussain RA went against the ruler of His time.
He stood against injustice.
He stood for what He believed was right.
He embraced martyrdom on that path.

We cry every year on Muharram for the pain faced by Hussain RA.

Yet we are all like people of Koofa. Silent. Not doing anything. Not even realizing ‘wrong as wrong’ in our hearts.

And above all, we are proud of it.

Our ignorance is our pride.

The lesson from Prophets is to stand against oppressors.
To stand against unjust powers.
Moosa AS against Pharaoh.
So as others.

But today, I guess, paths of Prophets are too tough to follow. To even realize right thing at heart is tough. We think it’s bad to think ‘wrong as wrong’ today.

Ignorance. Taking us from all sides.

And after ignoring all our Islamic traditions, we think we are the right ones while those who actually take the Islamic path are wrong ones.

These silent blind followers are the most cowards ones.
Afraid to think.
Happy to accept.
Following whatever is accepted widely.

Yeh 10 crore hain
Jehal ka nachor hain
Inki fikr so gai

Attendance

It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. It doesn’t matter if you achieve your goal or not. It doesn’t matter if you get the love of your life or not. These are the decisions of Allah.
What matters the most is “attendance”. I am a believer of attendance only.
Attendance in school.
Attendance in life.
Attendance in mosque.
Attendance in punishment.
Attendance in trial.
Attendance in court.
Our whole life is just an attendance. To be. To be present.
It hurts when we don’t win or when we lose the love of our life, but that is not in our hand. Only thing in our hand is to be present. The attendance.
Live your life. Love your life. But be present. Remember to have your attendances. You have at least one attendance each day. Some days have hard attendances and some have easier ones. Just be present and leave the results on the Almighty.
Or make so many attendances at His door that He let you “be” and in what you want to be.

With All Due Respect My Lord!

My Lord! You don’t know how much I’m going to love You and You cannot imagine the passionate sajdah that I will offer right on that moment of reunion… that sajdah which is better than a thousand nights of worship.

With all due respect my Lord! You cannot imagine it because you are not me.

Because you are not a human being

Because you are not in pain

Because you are not me, like I’m not You.

This is a relation between You and I

I ask,

I bear,

I cry,

I serve,

I accept,

I bleed,

I weep.

And You?

You give,

And forgive.

Just give me!

And forgive me!

Why did the Prophets…?

Like a soul who has a lot of questions and none of the complete answers, I am a meek one. These days the questions which are not letting me sleep are weird. I don’t know why they are coming in my mind and in my nightmares. I don’t qualify for that.

Why Musa A.S. became afraid when Allah transformed his stick into a snake? It was Allah who was talking to him and He said don’t be afraid.

Why Ibrahim A.S. had to fight his Nafs when Allah asked him to sacrifice?

Why the greatest of all the Prophets were confused sometimes when Allah asked them to oblige for some hardest of tasks?

They were Prophets. Talking directly to Allah and getting direct messages. Musa A.S. was the luckiest ones to chat with Allah in the relative time. He usually got his replies right at the moment. Not like some other Prophets who had to wait for the divine reply for weeks or months. But then why he questioned Allah’s orders time to time?

In the mainstream human lives, there comes moment when I see people who didn’t confuse themselves before obliging for Allah. I have even read stories of people who didn’t have to fight their Nafs because they were right on track to oblige and sacrifice. But why Prophets… they were too above… so close to Allah…???

I am a human being… graded to the least bit. I am one of those kinds who ask themselves “Who was it” after having a good or bad dream. Was it devil or a jinn? I have a lot of dimensions to think about after every thought that comes in my mind because I am too ordinary to think extraordinary.

But why did the Prophets…? They were talking directly to The Lord.

Alas! I don’t have a Baba Gee to answer my conflicting questions.

The “I” World & Sufi Entrepreneurship

We have divided our lives into disconnected moods, feelings and formats which make it very tough for us to define ourselves. Sometimes while driving or sitting idly, we do think who we are actually? Am I the one sitting in the office working on business analysis, career development and money making? Or am I the one who listens to pop songs and starts jumping? Or am I the one who gets sad while listening to ghazals of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib? Or the one who reads Sufism and gets deep into my own world of seven continents and four oceans? Who is the real “I”?

We are born to act in different ways in different scenarios. We have to behave and be modest with our parents, as it is ethically and religiously right. We have to be more frank and more interactive among friends so that the whole gathering can enjoy with us. We have to be sad and supportive during funerals while happy during happy events of people around us. Our behavior must have to change in accordance with the situation. It is what we are supposed to do in society. But what about the inner “I”?

Why we enjoy pop songs and gets sad on ghazals? Are we bad listeners!

Why do we have an ultimate feeling while reading one good book, and then next good book (entirely different from the previous one) changes the whole previous aura? Are we bad readers!

One has to leave “I” outside the door of Sufism and spiritualism. “I” has to be left in Islam, Buddhism and other spiritual domains of almost all the religions in the world. We live in an “I” world when others are dependent on us in organizations, offices, games, gatherings, etc. Similarly we try to be in the “us” world when we are dependent on others or want to show association with certain groups.

Sufism is humbleness, knowing oneself, unleashing the “I”, exploring internally and externally, and letting us know ourselves. We can have the same aura within the inside and outside world while anywhere. Sufism and spiritualism are not separated from our working lives. With Sufi approaches, we can have better success in our careers.

A  Sufi Entrepreneur will not focus on his goals but the overall goals of the organization. He will focus on the needs and wants of others, will not insult or embarrass anyone, will go on ethical business means, and will try his level best for win-win situations of everyone. He will earn money, will try to earn more fortune, but will remain within approaches of Sufism. Sufism can be the soul of a successful business. One who listens to Sufi poetry frequently and uses unfair means in business and career development, is perhaps a hypocrite.

Sufi business and Sufi entrepreneurship are related in the modern world today. We should be the firm-one internally regardless of the external set-up. We have to be the same person internally regardless of an external situation. We need to be emotionally stable. As said, a good person is not the one who is good with you at a restaurant, but the one who is good with everyone including the waiters.

Our business education system has to introduce Sufi and Spiritual approaches. The current focus is on career development and making money which is generating humanistic machines running for same materialistic goals in life. Colleges and Universities are hub where one learns about himself. They should remain such hubs of internal prestige where students are taught with a less materialistic (if possible) and more spiritualistic lessons. We need Sufi entrepreneurs in the modern world to end hunger and poverty all over the world.

We need to learn more of the “I” world than the outside world. 

 

Things I Don’t Need

I have a wish to never drive or sit in a limousine. It surely sounds absurd or epic or perhaps lunatic, but to be honest, the answer to this question is as simple as the title of this blog. I will quote Aristotle here, who once said that there are thousands of things in this world that I don’t need.

Today, the whole world is about media and information technology. They are loaded with advertisements trying to convert our needs into wants; and thus making us the most miserable creature on earth.

The miserable and unsatisfied expression on the face of a homeless man can also be seen on faces of billion dollar gurus of “corporatocracy”.

This rising misery within all of us is mainly because we are taught and fed with this notion daily. During my professional education, none of my teachers were impressed with lives and living styles of Prophet PBUH, Omar RA, Ali RA, Rumi, Bhudda, or Ghazali,. All were fans of Steve Jobs, Gates, Mittal, Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffet. We were mostly taught how to make money, and never about spirituality. We were taught to avail opportunities, not to avail ourselves.

We sometimes run into someone different during life moments. It is said that we can have tens of teachers but only 3 to 4 mentors. One of my mentors, who happened to be the only spiritual teacher in my professional education, focused more on teachings of Mumtaz Mufti, Asfhaq Ahmad and Karl Marx. Being a teacher of a professional business course, he never emphasized on making money, accumulating furniture, carrying handheld devices, buying cars, attires, formalities, or being artificially smart and unbeaten by plea.

But, with around forty materialistic teachers and one spiritualistic, I turned out to be more of a machine. The biggest problem that Pakistan, perhaps the whole world, is currently facing is the problem of being someone else; like being famous without doing anything, having heavy bank balance without working physically and being recognized for someone else’s work. Unfortunately, I am the biggest proof of the situation my nation is into. I am the youth of Pakistan.

Answer to this dilemma is simple: having patience, living life within our limits, remembering Allah regularly, recalling the lives of Prophets and their disciples… but we all know that already. Right?

Answer lies in the things we focus on in our daily lives. We have to focus on the beggars on road signals rather than advertisements on the billboards; we have to focus on youth coming out of mosques rather than guys with their hair combed skywards, wearing untidy torn jeans and hand around some girl. We simply have to change the seeing and thinking attitude and change in preferences will follow.

I have been in problem that I have mentioned above, but I am not the solution that I have described above. I am working on it and I am seeing positive results. Remembering Allah, realizing our fate, comparing it with the weak and looking after the needs of others rather than our wants, will take you out of this glamorous and artificial bubble. You have to pin this bubble yourself. Only then you will realize there are billions of things in this world you don’t need.