Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who is the judge?

Born into severe poverty and witness of considerable hardship in early life, Oprah Winfrey is an American media personality, actress, television producer, literary critic and magazine publisher, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history.

She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and was once the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

In year 2007, she produced a film The Great Debaters about the struggle of “colored” Americans for civil rights. The film is based on a true story. The plot revolves around the efforts of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson at historically black Wiley College to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s, when Jim Crow laws were common and lynch mobs were a pervasive fear for deprived blacks. The Wiley team eventually succeeds to the point where they are able to debate Harvard University.

In the movie, the mentor & coach Mr. Tolson manages recitation of chorus in front of debating team:

Who is the JUDGE?
The judge is God.
Why is he GOD?
Because he decides who wins or loses, not my opponent.
Who is your OPPONENT?
He does not exist.
Why doesn't he EXIST?
Because he is a mere dissenting voice of the TRUTH I speak.

Pakistan is the country which came into existence in the name of God. We the Pakistanis trust in God. We believe in His supremacy and His Day of Judgment. Today we are facing turbulent times. Our opponents are many. Our opponents are external & internal. But we believe in Truth, we believe in good days to come, when we will win. We know our opponents do not exist. They are mere dissenting voices of the Truth we speak.

Long live optimism!

Information courtesy: wikipedia

P.S: I wrote this blog on October 28,2009. The day more than 120 men, women & children died and more than 250 severely injured in lethal car bomb blast at women’s market Meena Bazar, Peshawar (Pakistan). Almost 75 dead bodies were unidentifiable and dozens of shops & buildings completely destroyed including one mosque. Till writing of this line no one accepted the responsibility.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Wounds

I want to salute US Think Tanks. Over the years & decades they learned good skills of intervention, interference, intrusion & destruction. I guess they learned these skills from history of British Empire. They research on ideas, plan & project. They work & re work over strategies and then masterly execute their plan of action.

They believe in ‘Rule on the people by the people’. They always give due weightage to the indigenous natural & human resources in order to implement their plan. Khaled Hosseini is one of the feathers in the US cap.

Currently citizen of United States and Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Khaled Hosseini is a novelist and physician from Afghanistan living in Northern California with his wife, Roya, and their two children.

Hosseini was born in Kabul where his father worked for the Afghanistan Foreign Ministry. In 1970, Hosseini and his family moved to Tehran, Iran, where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan. In 1980 they sought political asylum in the United States and made their residence in San Jose, California.

Hosseini graduated from Independence High School in San Jose in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1993.

His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, selling in more than 10 million copies worldwide. His second, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was released on May 22, 2007. In 2008, the book was the bestselling novel in the UK with more than 700,000 copies sold.

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, with use of God-gifted skills of story telling Khaled Hosseini superlatively narrated story of two women of Afghanistan, Mariam and Laila, whose lives become entwined in back drop of War, hunger, anarchy, and oppression. He left no room to tell about the dark face of Afghanistan, The face which US Think Tank wants to show the World. The gloomy dark era of Russians & Taliban. According to writer the only hope for every living Afghani is to migrate from Afghanistan to the dreamland of Northern California.

I want to suggest and recommend Mr. Khaled Hosseini to rephrase the title of the novel as “A Thousand splendid Wounds” because with this new title I anticipate & foresee manifold increase in sale of novel all around the World.

I once again want to show tashakoor to US Think Tanks for such a talent hunt in the shape of Khaled Hosseini. They should consider him for promotion and higher ranks in UNHCR, because he really deserve for the position. He is the person who highlighted such an agony and grief of the Afghan awam in true sense to the international audience. The story of a thousand splendid wounds…

For the third novel yet to come by bestseller writer Khalid Hosseini, I want to remind one trait of the Afghan to him. Khud-dari…Khuddar Afghan men & women can compromise poor, pathetic, deprived living but will never bear the grief of someone’s own finger point over their own sore. The art of marketing their wounds for good money.

As far as US Think Tanks as concern while learning from history of the great British Empire they forget one thing…The great British Empire is part of history so will they!

My sincere wish for Arm-free world and peace for every single living being! Long live global citizen!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ranjha - Destiny & Free Will

Of all earthly pleasures, Ranjha was used to enjoy thinking of Heer (Tasawoor-e-Janaan) all the time. But Ranjha was really confused this time. This new break through made him completely in the state of indecision & irresolution. Though the idea was new for Ranjha but the matter was actually a centuries old, Old enough to match with the existence of first man on earth. The question of destiny & free will.

The question of fate and free will is one of the most intriguing topics in metaphysics and religion. Indeed the question of pre-destination and free will has haunted Man for so long. Man feels absolutely powerless, regarding many of the circumstances in which he/she finds him/herself. One might feel that there are so many givens, which one has to take for granted, and nothing can be done about them. On the other hand, there are many areas where one feels free to act.

Keeping in view this question, Ranjha was upset because he was unclear regarding his fate about Heer. If the destiny meant to rule Ranjha does not need to exert efforts for Heer and she will ultimately be with Ranjha on the other hand if free will exists Ranjha has to look into all the forces against his will for union with Heer since his strengths were mere peanuts in front of Qaidu Chacha & other family members.

Ranjha approached some local cleric for consultation. The cleric smiled and said: Ahan! I see, you know your Masla is of “Jabar o Qadar”. Look at the marvelous progress of humanity through the centuries. If humans were mere puppets, could we have managed all these wonderful achievements, which have made us so proud of human potential?

God is the creator and we are the created. Our knowledge is limited in ways that God's knowledge is not. It is our very lack of knowledge which gives us free will. We cannot know our future and to a large extent we cannot control it. Our decisions are based on our understanding of the way the world works. Are these decisions free from God's command? Not really, but for all practical purposes we inevitably see them as free choices, we cannot do otherwise – that is our nature. We are held accountable only for things we understand. Our deeds are judged by their intentions.

From the Qur’anic point of view, Man is not completely a master of his fate; nor is he a puppet subject to the hazards of destiny. It is true that God’s sovereignty is all pervading and nothing falls outside its purview. This means that God knows everything and it is according to His will, things happen here. The universe is completely subject to the overriding power of God, and nothing happens without God willing it to be so.

However, God not only created everything, but He determined its nature and scope. In His infinite wisdom and mercy, He gave Man limited power and great freedoms, including the freedom of choice. It is because of this autonomy, enjoyed by Man, that he/she is held accountable for the individual deeds.

Destiny as conceived by Islam, therefore, does not take away our freedom of choice and action. It is our willful choice of those actions from our inherent possibilities that are in harmony with God’s will that earns us our reward from God. Thus, qadar can be a source of inspiration and encouragement for us, and it really opens up vast fields of human activity. It need not make us utterly powerless or helpless; on the contrary it can be a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Indeed, when God has set certain rules in his decree as to how things evolve, even these things can be changed through prayers. The prophet stressed that only sincere prayers can change the way events unfold, and that true worship and sincere submission to God can raise the believer above the normal ways of nature: Prayers can and do result in "personal miracles" - events or experiences which we consider almost impossible and certainly highly improbable.
From an Islamic point of view, Man is free for all practical purposes. He/she has no excuse for making the wrong choice and then blaming qadar or fate, any more than a man punching his fist into a wall can blame the laws of nature. He knew the consequences of his actions for all practical purposes and he shouldn't expect a miracle!

The foregoing means that we should not worry about what God has written for us, since we can never know it; but our duty, here and now, is to strive for the best in this world and the next. Then, good results will follow, Insha’Allah. And Allah knows best.

Ranjha seems to be satisfied with what cleric said but still his mind was in state of indecision working & shaking what cleric said and what he is meant to do now. He called his friend and both went to milk shake shop at Kirshan Nagar (now destined to call as Islampura, Lahore) near Chowk Noori Building. A friend in need narrated how he recently managed to play tune of Hallelujah (Praise & thanks given note for God by Jews & Christians) over his mouth organ. A friend being true Lahori give pat over Ranjha’s shoulder and said: O Yaar Ranjhey! What happened to you? Are these things worth thoughtful? Leave the crap. Just drink healthy & rich Mango Milk shake and enjoy. You know what Baber the Emperor said once: Babar ba Aish Kosh ki Alam Doubara Neest (O King! Live lavishly on this earth since you will not be coming to this earth again). With this he started playing newly rehearsed Hallelujah.

Puzzled Ranjha was looking at the waving black flag across the road over the Imam Bargah. The silver hand of Panj Tan Pak and the zero watt bulb over it brightening the silver hand. Physically sipping concentrated Mango shake Ranjha was mentally far away from real. The destiny, the free will, Heer, the cleric, Hallelujah…The symbols were yet in search of their meanings.