Sunday, July 26, 2009

An evening with Sadruddin Hussain - My Uncle - (Ammi's Cousin)

(Following is an email I sent to my other uncle in Canada: Jalaluddin Hussain.)

Haider Khalu, along with Sajida Khala and their son Faiz notified Ammi in the morning for their visit to meet us after the afternoon. Sadr mamma and her wife were driving them to our home on their Margalla. So we all prepared for their arrival. By 3:45, I received call from Sadr mamma telling me about his car's wheel that it got bad due to the jumps and cracks in the road which were caused by the recent rains near our soceity, so I quickly drove to them with a taxi with me, got everyone onto the taxi to be driven to home, and stood with Sadr mamma to help him get the car fixed.

I brought a mechanic, who advised that we need to tow the car to the denter near Safoora Goth/Malir Cantt, who will weld the wheel's joint which he called in Urdu as "mukhkhiya", as it was broken. As it would have taken hours to get a proper car towing truck, we settled with a tractor to be used for this purpose. It was hard to tie a rope to tow the car, and unfortunately, during towing, there came a crack in the road which caused the bonut of Sadr mamma's car to get dented quite significantly! I felt bad at this obviously...

During all this time, I stood in contact with the guests at home, and informed them that it will take quite some time for the car to be repaired - so they will have to make do with a taxi to reach back home - hence they left on a taxi (and unfortunately I couldn't meet them apart from the short Salam/Khuda Hafiz exchange whilst they were on taxi).

Anyhow, we reached the denter's shop and to our relief, he started working quickly and promised to deliver the car in 3 hours. So the wait began.. Shortly, Saqib (Sadr mamma's youngest son) arrived, and so I left for home as I had to perform Asr prayers. Within an hour, I left back to the denter's shop, met Sadr mamma again who seemed just a little exhausted, although upon meeting him he greeted me cheerfully - which made me feel relaxed about him.

It was 9:30 pm - so we decided to have a dinner at a open air hotel - named Hotel Green, which was pretty much a hotel we find on Pakistan's highways near some remote village (though this one had electric bulbs all around). Mamma ordered a Chicken Karahi with Chapatis. Waiting for the food to be served, we enjoyed the time - the air - and the beautfiul weather alongwith conversation about our past: When I went to India, an elderly figure there told me that a few Arabs migrated to Bihar in 1200s, and we are their decendants - although Sadr mamma's version which he learnt from Nana, was that a few people migrated to Hamdan in Persia. There was this Shah Hamdan who was a great figure, then he (or maybe some from his decendants) migrated to Kashmir. From there, due to their piety and/or cultural manners they were gifted with lands in Bihar - and hence we are their decendants.
We also discussed about Language, that Language is of integral importance to us. He mentioned a few interesting stories about how language helped him in some situations in which one was about a gang-lord kind of a figure who was threatening Sadr mamma during the days when Karachi was much into troubles due to linguistics differences in educational institutions (Punjabi and Urdu speaking), and upon hearing Sadr mamma speak in Punjabi: "Tussi Okhay o kar gal kyun kitay ho" he got embarrased and said "tussi pehlay dasna tha ji tussi punjabi speaking ho - maaf karna" ... :)

Recognizing his spirits of pursuing a PhD at this age, I got pretty motivated - that I can continue my study at any point in time and that there is nothing to worry about it - though planning is definitely necessary.

We talked about the family of your father - Moin-uddin Hussain - and about himself as well. About what he used to say, like Simple living and High thinking, and that "Never be a burden to anyone".

This was followed by a very delicious dinner - the chicked karahi amidst the facility of open air, and a takht with "gao takyas" was just unmatchable with any other lavish restaurant! The dinner ended up with a perfect doodh patti and during all the conversation, we couldn't just figure out how time passed, and it was 10:45 and the mechanic delivered his promise, with the car being fixed and set ready to be driven to home.

It was definitely a wonderful evening - although I am missing many things that we actually discussed during the conversation. In the end, we bode farewell and I drove behind him till near his home just in case if something happens to the car again - but Alhamdolillah he drove safely to home.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Those beautiful forms are now food for the worms!"

Our precious 10th Imam, Ali al-Naqi al-Hadi was often harrassed and annoyed by the tyrannical false caliph of his time. His oppressor constantly harrassed him psychologically by intimidation tactics like periodically sending delegations to search his house for weapons and controversial literature. Of course, no such thing was ever found, because it was not part of his character or his religion, to put his trust in weapons and anarchy. Once al-Mutawakkil forced Imam al-Naqi to attend one of his parties where the guests were all drinking and getting drunk. The king tried to force al-Naqi to drink also, but he politely said: " Spare me this order, for the flesh and blood of my forefathers, and my own, have never been mixed with wine." Al-Mutawakkil then changed his order and said, "...then sing a song for us." To which the Imam replied, "I do not know that art, either." So al-Mutawakkil finally said, "You shall have to recite a few verses of poetry, then, in any tone you like." The clever saint took this oppotunity to preach to this party boy and his peeps:

The glories of our blood and state

are shadows, not substantial things

There is no armour against the fate;

Death lays its icy hand on kings.

Sceptre and crown

must tumble down,

and in the earth be equal made

to the labourer's scythe and spade.

No fortress on the mountain peak

could save the kings from the jaws of death,

their pomp and power proved too weak;

they lie in graves, deprived of breath.

The cold earth asks them in contempt:

"Whither is the robe, the crown, and the throne?!

Did cruel death thy beauty exempt?!

Did it respect thy royal blood and bone?!"

The grave replies

with sorrowful sighs:

"Those beautiful forms

are now food for the worms!"

After hearing this poem, all of the partiers became very quiet and they all started crying, including the ridiculous king, so he let the Imam go. -from Kerbala and Beyond, by Yasin T. al-Jabouri

May Allah bless Prophet Muhammed and his Holy Progeny!

(copied from

also see

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Behold! that I am caught
Pray, what thy sickly eyes have
That sickened is my heart

I have shunn'd my self's love
Now truth is none but me
I will see the gallows also
As did Mansur see

O darling, it's thy thought's flame
That sets my heart afire
If I am now the talk of town
My name thou didst inspire

Keep the door of tavern open
For me night and day
Farewell seminary, farewell mosque
Let me go my way

It was quite ere long you know
That pietistic garment I tore
The tavern- keeper's patched dress
To find the way I wore

Lo! city's priest tortures me
With sermons vile and rot
Where art thou! do rescue me
Hearken, the spirit of sot

O what a place is idol-house
Good memories let me cherish
The tavern- keeper's magic touch

Hast made my sleep perish


khal e lab ka teray dilbar main giraftar hua
chashm e bimar jo dekhi tera beemar hua

khud say bay khud hua aur saaz e analhaq chera
misl e mansoor khareedar e sar e dar hua

gham e janan nay ki dil main wo sharar afshani
is qadar tarpa k charcha sar e bazar hua

rozo shab baz rakho mujh pay dare may khana
masjid o madrasa donon hi say bezaar hua

jama e zuhd o rya tan say utara main nay
kho k dunyaey kharabat main hushyar hua

mujh pay dil khol k naseh nay masaaib toray
akhirish rand bala nosh madadgar hua

mujhay but khanay ki kuch yad toa kar lainay do
main ba ejaz e butan khuab say bedar hua

Monday, July 20, 2009

Prayers @ trg tech

Tonight, it is the night of Ma'iraj. We arranged a small prayer at the conference room. Jahanzeb Zaman recited Surah Al Fatiha, followed with some great words about Rajab and Sha'baan being preparatory months for the blessed month of Ramzan. Then Shoaib Shakoor recited some verses from Surah Rehman, followed with the A'amaal for tonight and for the fast of 27th Rajab. Then Murad Ali recited a dua.

The prayer was a little abruptly ended due to a video call arriving on polycom from onshore. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sea side, Majlis, Thought Process, and Rain...

My car stopped working after it rained heavily in the morning (so did the cars of my neighbors; giving me a peace time that I am not alone). I had a good day of rest after visiting the sea side at midnight with Afaq and Fawwad, which was surely very much peaceful - collecting sea shells and walking bare feet on the shore, with no lights around.

By evening, I was much into reading and writing and planning my next week. After Maghribain prayers, I had to attend a Majlis at Imambargah Ali Raza a.s. on the Death Anniversary of Imam Musa Kazim a.s., but rain started again and I had to stay back at home.

It is 10:08 and high time to resume the thought process I was having in the evening. Rain just had a very beautiful impact on this thought process, it is a bounty from Allah, and I seek His forgiveness and bounties on this bountiful occasion of Rain.