Friday, 24 December 2010

Creativity of Love

God says: “I was a hidden treasure and I yearned to be known. Then I created creatures in order to be known by them” (a hadith)

In human beings love stirs creativity and evolution. It works as a miracle on the lover and the beloved simultaneously. When someone curate a garden his core intention could be to bring an aesthetic satisfaction by the beauty that the grandeur of garden settings entails, but in wider respect he is also attracting joyful eyes of the onlookers who would find it pleasing serene and satisfying, and further the birds, the butterflies and the bees would simultaneously find it attractive and blissful.

Our creativity amalgamates with the creativity of birds when they come to garden and sing songs and hymns which show their pleasure of soul, gratitude to the gardener and praise for the Lord. Similarly when the butterflies flutter from one flower to the other giving a picturesque look to the setting and at the same time helping in pollination, the plot thickens. The honey bees hovering from plant to plant thanking for opportunity that made it possible to show their creativity first by building a home of unique hexagonal cells and then pouring and depositing there a sweet, energizing and healthy tonic we all so love.

An act of creativity accelerates an unending bond of Love that enriches life and work as a catalyst in making the ultimate divinity of God unveil and appear as majestically as He wanted.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A Portrait that Draws itself

I have a strange idea that while a writer writes a character that character starts to writes itself and is only understood universally when it reaches the reader who eventually decides what it is all about.

This idea I have also understood explicitly when I sketch portraits I find lines taking their own course which I did not intended it to take and look like what it actually turned out. This can be said that I am not a good or professional artist, but somehow I feel this happens more in those cases where I know something peculiar about that person.

The portrait in question is one of most known portrait of Noon Meem Rashid the elusive and enigmatic poet. I have been an avid reader of his poetry and found it beautiful, obscure, relentlessly profound and unusual at the same time. To me he is a mystery, so while sketching his portrait when I leave it to the flow the outcome is strange, instead of his pompous look that is so evident in his famous portrait, in my sketch he looks skeptic, doubtful and unsure. Looking at the sketch I thought when people meet others they visualize others according to their own perceptions, so the character and personality that we have in our minds is not of the other person as he/she is but it is what we have perceived them.

The above sketch which I have drawn of N.M.Rashid which shows my skepticism and doubt towards him can well be called my self portrait?

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Ambiance of Love

A child smiles, giggles and laughs for no apparent reason but it can't be in a life where mere flap of butterflies wings can initiates tornadoes, there must be something to this! A pediatrician will say that when a child is healthy, had a good sleep and not hungry she/he will giggle.
In some traditions it is said that a guardian angel makes the child smile and giggle.

I say it’s an ambiance of love that does so. A consciousness that we have been given by the Creator is the reason. Any soul that connects with God, remain in a state of bliss.

To remain in that state child has to do nothing but just to focus on her mother, who is the center of universe and a medium to connect with God. But when we grow this focus of consciousness spreads on wide angle and the bliss de focuses and a haze casts on us. This is normal and this has to happen as the wondrous world opens to us: the majestic sunshine, the colorful springtime, the cool joyous winter afternoons, the blossoming flowers, the tranquility of a deep sea, the drizzle in a summer evening, the singing birds in wee hours, the sprinting and striding gazelles, the roaring of a proud lion, the beautiful and innocent smile of a young girl, the agile athletic body of a young man, twinkle of wisdom in the eyes of our grandparents and the almost breath taking heartbreakingly beautiful sight of a beloved just de focuses us.

But when we assimilate all these fragments the basic denominator is only Love. This focus of love can be widened by just widening the aperture of our love to capture the complete picture.

How this is possible? This is commonly seen! See how one who is in love, just Loves everything about the beloved, everything she says, wears, glances at, thinks about, the mannerism, each and everything associated with her. Likewise when we Love God we Love everything associated and created by Him and that initiates an unending bliss which is an ambiance of Love.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Melody of Love

Sound is the starting point, everything emerged after the sound KUN (be) the big bang and everything would rewind on destined day on a sound, SOOR(a trumpet-just like a retreating bugle in an army rank)

The sound that comes from reed flute is the song of separation of reed from reed fields (a metaphor from Rumi ) but it is also a remembrance that sound was the mother from which everything was created. We find that everything in nature whatever classification of life that thing belongs to human, animals, vegetation, minerals, gases, asteroids, planets, galaxies, atom, protoplasm... all have Longing for that sound which started and germinated everything..

When a new day dawns, what we hear first is a melody of love hummed and chanted by birds, reminding us that we humans are not lone participants in this symphony of love. The chattering and singing of birds create waves of electromagnetic field that makes the atmospheric conditions tantalizing with an aura that becomes engulfed with a deep cheerfulness oozing love. This makes me wonder how music, rhythm and sound foster Love.

Everything in nature is singing and humming just see an elegant and proud peacock that rambles in thick woods carrying the long tail that fans into a beautiful and glorious plumage decorated with texture, color and design and then this beautiful creature dances and screams Miaow... Miaow... while looking towards heavens. The sound of Miaow vibrates, resonates and travels backward in time tracing the echoes of the sound that initiated causation, KUN (be) the big bang. Upon reaching that beginning sound the peacock’s scream optimizes then returns, disperses and spreads in the infinite pathways of all omniety, universe, and cosmos enchanting everything everywhere back to the woods where this peacock screamed Miaow, and where in an approachable distance a peahen listens and gets excited.

Bill Chaplin an asteroseismologist at Birmingham University explains that "Essentially stars resonate like a huge instrument". This new research comes just few months after scientists at Sheffield University recorded that eerie musical harmonies emitted from surface of Sun, what a wonder!

Everything in nature is connected with everything and everything is longing and is desirous of others, this desire is deep rooted in our creation from the sound of KUN, this sound is a binding force that gels us together in the march of Life.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Magic of Love

...And We created every living thing from water (Al Quran 21:30)

Everything starts as one and live as one big organism. When in a night of Full Moon, this majestic, elegant, beautiful and mysterious ornamentation, the Queen of night shines and dazzles in its sublime glory and casts a magic spell, it uplifts me emotionally, aesthetically and I feel a delight, a joy, a romance surging in my veins and at the same time somewhere, the tides in the heart of a deep sea roll, roar, dance, rise, climb, ascent and splash against the limiting shores, people say it is the gravitational pull, I say it is LOVE.

It is magic, joy and exuberance of LOVE that has engrossed us, converged us together like an organism, a body, a constellation and a galaxy, that belongs to one origin, owe a common genesis, and is choreographing its way in an eternal ballet of life, that gleams, resonates, and vibrates with light ,music and movements that radiates with a magic called LOVE.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Ecology of Love

When I take out a slice of bread from the toaster and spread some honey on it and take a small morsel and get the sweetness and delight from each bite, the sweetness is not because honey is sweet but because love is sweet, LOVE that hundreds of people have put into that morsel.

Without exaggeration, the fact is, that each morsel that I take is possible because many hundreds of people have put their, effort and love into that, from sowing to wheat fields and barns and from barns to flour mills and from flour mills to bakers , then packaging, marketing and retail outlets, all these processes where man and manmade machines are involved, aided by all natural phenomenon like, soil, air, water and sunlight this one small bite is a miracle of LOVE that binds all humanity together.

This one small bite makes us, the humanity and the creation of God including all life forms so much closer and interdependent that it is impossible to live in an isolated and selfish world, the only natural choice is to harness selfless LOVE.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Why Love Matters?

Our genesis owes our life to a single soul, religious texts call it Adam. Adam was created in Lord's image. Adam was a window opened to see how creativity reacts from coming in contact with others. Adam was alone so eve was created to experience that.

The first challenge that they met was acceptance of each other’s desires. This is basis of love, an unconditional acceptance of other. Result was a transformation from one disposition to another. This was a fall, but not a downfall; it created new possibilities for creative experiences of Love. Love amid hostilities of unknown, unkind and harsh circumstances, environment and displacement. The litmus test for love lies in putting it against unwarranted obstacles.

Love grows in sunshine of correlated effort, in a mutual relationship, where each one of the participant has to put in tears, smiles and sweat to flower the dispensation.

Love means making an effort for others’ unconditionally, so they do not consider it as wages for reciprocity. Love is not a labor, it is creative awareness of the three dimensions of man, his soul, spirit and body. When they come into harmonious coordination their melodious pummeling brings about chords of scintillating songs of Love.

Without this harmony Love do not exist and without Love the creative truth which is the reason of the formation of human life ceases to exist. We have to Love in order to survive as human species, otherwise we are there but not there as humans.... Love is the defining line.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Love is Awareness

When we say we love someone, we attribute this to our matter of heart, our liking, our feeling, but this is not love, this is mere attraction, infatuation or an impression that we have. Love is awareness, a conscious awareness, which encompasses our psyche and flows like a peaceful river in our body, mind and spirit in such a unison that the dichotomy of these individual elements vanishes. Love brings divergence into concurrence. Then it spreads like drizzle all over without selection, discrimination and distinction soaking and immersing all evenly and equitably. Love is like springtime when it arrives it sweeps and blossoms all that is in the garden.

Selective love is not Love, it is a desire, a desire for fulfillment of vacuum that lies within us. Love never enters into vacuum, love stays only with its Originator, its Creator, it Nurturer, its Sustainer - God. When a thing is associated with God, love resides there; love stays in His company, His proximity, His vicinity.

When we lose Him, we lose Love, when we say we hate someone, it implies saying that Love has alluded us and so has God. When we Love, it amounts to saying: God is with us, with all His benevolence, mercy, bliss and sublimity.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Act of Praying

When we connect with God in an act it is called praying. All religions have a distinctive ritual for praying, and all these rituals distinctively show how to connect.

But there is beyond all these religious rituals and ceremonies a way of connecting that is called creative and active praying.

In a normal course of praying, which I call passive praying we are alone with God whereas in creative and active praying God is alone with us.

What is this distinction and what this means, I will try to explain. When we pray in passive mode according to rituals we focus on God and ask His hearing, His compassion, His guidance, His forbearance. We ask him to listen to our prayers, our vows, our aspirations and our desires. We know He is there but we want Him to listen to us, give us audience, and acknowledge us. Here we are alone with God.

In creative/active praying which constitutes of :

Looking to this world positively, smiling in the face of adversity, holding and comforting somebody in distress, finding virtue in people when general perception is otherwise, speaking about love when the atmosphere is filled with hatred, passing on our loaf of bread to the one who is hungry and needy. Here :

God is alone with us since in these acts as we are acting on his behalf and are in process of creative activity like God's, so unlike passive praying where our attention is on God, here in active praying God's attention is on us. Wow what an attention this is to be in!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What is Hope?

When the majestic sun shines with all its glory our hope rests in the sunshine that it will bring everything to limelight and we would be aware of all that is there to be aware of. But when the sun sets and darkness eats up every remaining twinkle of light, a tiny small candle lit up in pitch darkness as a ray of hope for those who believe that a single candle can overwhelm the darkness that is around.

What is hope: It is a belief that a thing or an event would eventually turn out the way that we want it to be.

But what actually hope is? Hope is God; He quietly sits in our unconsciousness and pulsates in our each heart beat as a hope. He shines in our blinking eyes as a ray of hope. He resonates in our ears as a message of hope. He glows in our broad smile as a beam of hope.

So when we have a hope, we actually have God on our side!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Is Flood Washing Away Our Hope?

Everything is created from water and everything returns to its origins.(Al-Quran)

So it is, water is all over the place,we have heard of many Floods, but we have now seen the devastation the floods make in our own times in our own homeland. Millions of people have been displaced no home, no shelter no food, water all over but not a single drop of water to drink, the only pure form of water is the one dripping from the eyes of the flood victims which is washing away and drowning in the flood water.

The hope, which is the basic denominator to live and see forward is at its ebb, hope which springs from faith in God, in system and in people, this time around is simply missing, the faith in system and people have just vanished as the people stranded in water have suffered and suffered waiting for the help to reach them but it has been slow and the momentum never built up.

Most of the affected are losing the other faith also very quickly. An unthinkable event has occurred in a village that has just shaken me and I am completely lost to comprehend what this mind set could result in. In a relief camp a father told a news reporter that while fleeing the floods his family abandoned four children because they could have saved their children or their cow, so they preferred to save their cow!

If this is any test than most of us have failed, but the realization of this can still save us, realization that hope in our hearts mean that God is still there and with Him being still there even everything lost is not yet lost as the courage and fortitude that we show is what God cherishes in his creation and all Prophets, messengers near and dear to him were tested to show their mettle, so God could show to unbelievers what faith really means in times of devastation and calamity when it is cast on those who have everything but they lose everything except the faith.

This flood and this devastation could be the breeding ground and genesis of a new Pakistan, this flood water could mean ablution for 20 million devastated people and a new way and a new opportunity in this crises could result if we cling to the faith, hope and do just what is needed in this time of crises, 150 million people can easily take care of 20 million people, seven people have to take care of one person only this is not a big deal its only matter of realization that we can do it.

Monday, 5 July 2010

My, Your and Our World

I had only three colors in my palette, besides white paste: blue, red and yellow. I had to paint a canvas showing dawn to dusk in a landscape. How I am going to manage all this with only three colors? But once I started amalgamating and mixing blue with yellow and yellow with red and red with blue, and in between dabbing white paste to tone down or brighten the colors, all hues, tones and shades just started to flow on the canvas.

Likewise in life each one us is endowed with creativity by our Creator. Like three primary colors Blue, Yellow, Red and white paste, He has given us the Intellect, Faith, Love and Time, through which each one of us create our own world.

It is just like painting life where we have Blue of Intellect, Yellow of Faith, Red of Love and White Paste of Time. With these three we create other colors of life. When we mix Red of Love with Yellow of Faith we create Orange of Compassion. When we add Red of Love with Blue of Intellect the result is Violet of Creative Spirituality. When we add Blue of Intellect with Yellow of Faith the Green results as Balance , Equanimity and Equilibrium of Life. White Paste of Time provides a balancing act in harmonizing the depths.

Each one of us create our own world with these prime colors, results are different only in tones and hues due to the intensity with which each individual applies his own color, but each one of us and his world is as true as the world of anybody else. The beauty of all this lies in the variety and individuality, which results from our different moods, compulsions and uniqueness that as individuals we possess and reflect.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Where butterflies have gone?

”Please don’t catch them you would hurt them, their wings would lose the color and beauty” I used to appeal like this to my siblings and friends in my childhood whenever I saw them in hunt for butterflies. I was fearful that the butterflies would fly away never to return back and I would lose the unending joy and pleasure which they provided with their beautiful and majestic presence. These small and fragile insects had such a great impact on me whenever I had the chance to see them.

I so much detested the hobby of all those who used to catch and preserve butterflies in their scrap books on the pretext of immortalizing them. This was a habit of possessiveness; people want to possess all beauty, all good things in life. Beauty and all good things are the pleasures that must be shared and not possessed.

Today, we find that this habitat is fast vanishing and we seldom see the beautiful and colorful sight of these delicate creatures. Where the butterflies have gone?, I haven’t seen them in years! Environmentalists tell us that this is now a global issue and we are losing these beautiful creatures very fast and each one of us has to protect “their” butterflies.

Protecting butterflies mean much more than merely protecting them. Butterflies are the symbol of beauty, civilization, love, life, environment, relationships, harmony and the wholeness of being. When each one of us saves our part of butterflies, then we actually had indulged in saving and serving all that which they symbolize.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Love is Alpha and Omega

Totally unconditional, for all, without any rhyme and reason, available not on demand but as a way of life, this is love for me. I have not to see who is who while I love; I have just to see that I do that. I have a very simple idea about love, it is something which does not need reciprocity, and it has nothing to do with sympathy, forgiveness and possessiveness. It is something without motives, without any measure of incentives or gratification. There is no give and take in love; it is just pure form of bliss.

Just visualize the mother and Infant, the love of mother is so translucent that without love we see nothing else, her caring, her nurturing, her dedication, her every effort and gesture in comforting the child are the prime example of love that we see without much notice. Then the other most unnoticed love is the love that God shows towards us. He loves us like our mothers or even more, totally unconditional, without any sort of incentive and motives. He loves all those who respond to his love and He also loves all those who are antagonist.

Everything in universe shows this unconditional love for everything (*). Just look at the trees they just share their riches with us without incentives, the sun, the moon, the beautiful twinkling stars, the cool morning breeze, the colorful spring, the warm winter afternoons, the roaring lakes in the beautiful valleys and the lush green landscapes, oh what a sight, they all give us so much without any demand. This all is just to remind us that nature shows us the way of love.

There is a legend that Cranes, the large and graceful long-legged birds, frequently carried small birds on their backs during the long migratory flights, especially when crossing over water while traveling between Northern Europe and Africa. This is another example of nature showing us the way of love.

So what is love: to me it is Alpha and Omega!

(*)Line inspired from Urooj Malik's post on Universality and Human Beings at

Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Pearl

A mist rises somewhere from the heart and travels upstream, reaches to the windows of self and recollect itself, shines and gleams with the multitude colors of love, desire, bravery, pathos, longing, waiting, distress, melancholy, joy, excitement and hope. The mist now incubates and turns into a pearl in the shell of an eye. When any one from these colors reaches its optimum fullness the incubation ends and the pearl slides down from the lids and become a tear.

Some tears are shed when we are overpowered with agony, some when we are longing for loved ones, some are shed with grief, and there are some which are tears of joy and ecstasy. Some tears are termed as crocodile tears, though the term is vague as no such evidence is available on maligning these creatures with tear bashing.

There is an opinion that the greatest tears are those which are shed due to fear of God. I feel uncomfortable with this term as well. In fear everything dries up even the life giving blood, what to say of tears! God is all love and why fear him, do we fear our mother and father or do we love and respect them? When in times of deep love and remembrance of God tears come out, but these are not due to fear but due to unequivocal love and acute state of bliss.

Tear is the most precious liquid known to man but has a two prong effect; it can make or break a person. This treasure is needed for self insemination hence it is so much different than other precious treasures that one can impart to others. This fluid is for self watering and nourishment and should be preserved and used sparingly for cultivating the personality

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rashid Minhas- a biography

The book is the most moving biographical account of pilot officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed (1951-1971) Nishan-e-Haider. This is the first full biography of Rashid Minhas, written by the most stylist modern day writer of Pakistan, Khurram Ali Shafique and is a first publication of Al-Fattah Academy.

The book beautifully captures the formative years of Rashid Minhas , which are so important in understanding his personality and his ultimate decision that has made him the eternal hero, and then progresses like dramatic movie with lively characterization, beautiful narratives of places and exciting cadet life. This all builds up into one of the most sad climaxes with crashing of flight 166.

I personally loved the letters Rashid Minhas wrote to his younger brothers during his training days. These letters show genuineness and maturity of his ideas. He was an idealist but thoroughly practical person as well. The book sizes him on all aspects of his personality, his likes and dislikes, his favorite personalities, heroes, films, books and food.

The book is a great tribute to the sacrifice of this hero and his ideals and at the same time a lesson that life is not the name of mere surviving but life is living according to one’s ideals and if not possible then dying for these.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Myth of a Tree

Watch for a good few seconds and you will realize that tree is more than an object of serenity. It's a man, a complete and ideal man.

For me tree has been a symbol of genuineness and completeness of a man. I have always tried to look those qualities in human beings.

Look how it is Standing up tall and with roots firmly grounded showing the attachment with the realities and fundamentals and standing up in face of all odds and diversity facing and confronting without running away as there is no place to run from self.

Even when it is standing alone it does not show loneliness as the branches are like extended arms waiting to welcome the world, without any measure of discrimination on any count. This posture is lively and adamant that it offers unlimited friendship to the world for peaceful coexistence.

High flying birds sits and enjoy their nestling on high branches and at the same time the crawling creatures also crawl and climb at top, that shows tree's companionship can elevate those also to the heights who on their own could have never reached there.

Tree's leaves provide shade in the simmering heat like protecting all those who look forward to their friends and guardians and moments of distress.

Flowers are like beautiful thoughts and speech engaging others with pleasantries and good company.

Fruits are those meaningful acts that benefits others and the only benefit that tree derives from its fruits is the satisfaction that people know and remember tree by its fruit. So are our righteous or otherwise acts with which we are known at large.

The nature has so miraculously designed it that it contains all blue-prints of a complete person that gives everything that it has without seeking any reward and taking back as little as possible.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Perpetual Love Affair

I am greatly fascinated by her; I simply love her sight and all places and abodes where ever she resides is like a sacred sanctuary to me. My love affair started with her at my adolescence, she was so young and beautiful than, she has maintained her youth and majesty and grown even prettier. To her overwhelming and startling beauty, grace has been added. Her acquaintance is like a treasure to me an insurmountable treasure that she fosters.

Her feel, her contours, the scent of her smell all combined makes her the most ravishing, most exotic and highly desirable. Her beauty is not just skin deep she has added other dimensions to her serenity , her exalted beauty transcends all known barriers of time and space. She coexists with me despite various differences of opinions and sometimes with even divergent and opposite views.

What ever I hide from myself I see in her and whatever others hide from me I discover all in her, she is like a mirror to me, a mirror that see's within and also without, I call her my BOOK.

Book talks to me and I frequently indulge in conversation with her. During reading, I often, start reading into her which makes me the co-author of the Book. I have always maintained that Book is written by three writers, one who pen's the script, second the character which is being scripted, third is the reader who is not a passive but an active author of book, as book evolves with the participation of reader, it grows outside and also inside the reader, a most astonishing and rare phenomenon something incomparable with other things but only equal to that miraculous human spirit.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


It was early morning, and I am an early riser, I rise with the sun, when the first rays of sun light knocks at my window.

The window of my bedroom overlooks the lawn and as I glanced at the lawn, the grass was shinning with the morning dew and it looked as if the twinkling stars after waking for whole night were lying at grass blinking their eyes.

There was someone in the lawn. His back was at me and he was holding small garden scissor and was busy in trimming the withered leaves. He was fully immersed in this activity and was completely oblivious of the surroundings. His mannerisms were very cultivated and civilized and he was handling plants very professionally. His each gesture looked in complete harmony with his wholeness. He was breathing and inhaling the freshness of the morning aroma and was looking relaxed.

Then he started talking to the plants, he was whispering something to Ixoras and I felt they responded by swinging the beautiful orange/yellow flowers, at that moment morning breeze was not strong enough to have made them sway. I felt the plants were over vehemently responding to him.

Then he sat on his hunches and very delicately touched the leaves, on a closer look I found he was cleaning them. I Gleaned very intensely from my window on to the leaves and was amazed to find that the leaves were rapidly changing their color, I could not believe my eyes but the sepia of leaves were turning from emerald to viridian. What he was telling to the plants, which made them blush and filled there veins with energy? It must be something very interesting and uplifting as there visual appearance was transcribing the illuminated self of being, vibrant, fulfilled, self sufficient and joyous.

This was the time when he turned and our eyes met and I was starring at myself, there was nobody in the lawn and Ixoras were silent and still. That moment in time it dawned on me that it was a message for me, what I have been neglecting lately.
In the so called busyness of life owing to work and other self centered activities, I was ignoring and compromising on my relationships. Having no time for family, friends and close relatives, who so much look forward to have quality time with me! The relationships need watering, cleaning, preparations and nurturing like plants. If we do not care than this beautiful garden can very quickly convert into a field of weeds.

I pondered for a while a sat down to write my reflections!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Khurram Ali Shafique

Khurram Ali Shafique’s “Shakespeare according to Iqbal” is an intriguing episode in finding ground breaking connection in the Nezami-Rumi-Shakespeare-Iqbal quartet . A mystery, thicker than Dan Brown’s Da-Vinci Code.

The following connections are extremely fascinating:

1)Tempest’s Nine conflicts and gulshan e raaz e jadeed’s nine questions.

2)Tempest’s seven major conflicts and Nezami’s Haft Paykar.

3)Tempest’s seven major conflicts and Iqbal’s seven couplets on Shakespeare.

4)Tempest’s five later conflicts and Nizami’s quintet.

All this seems very mesmerizing. Some critics say that the character of Prospero was Shakespeare personified, then the drowning of his books resembles with drowning/burning of books of Rumi.( in the book WAY OF LOVE it is narrated that books were drowned in a well).

Look at the following passage from Nezami Ghanjavi:

“Divine command on the day of creation did not produce anything more charming than language, do not consider those who have this gift, ever to be dead: they are like fish, having lowered themselves just beneath the surface of speech: they shall reappear sooner than you utter their names…..” what a paragraph !

In holy Quran one Sura (Chapter) starts with “Noon wal Kalm” mystics have referred “noon “to fish and “Kalm” to knowledge, language and power. In ancient symbol’s and modern abstract arts fish stands for sustainable life.

This is a diminutive volume but a Book that will usher a new approach to understanding collective ego, the book is published by Iqbal Academy Pakistan.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

What is Sufism?

There are as many views and definitions about Sufism as there are the commentators, so I take this history into perspective and offer my understanding to this term Sufism. The beauty of this term allows the bystanders to see outward and explore the visual abundance of Sufism and likewise it also allows the indulger to see inward and reflect the hidden manifestations.

To me Sufism is the meeting point of body and spiritual desires. This is the point where lust converts into love, desires becomes generosity, envy becomes sympathy, anger becomes compassion and body becomes as important as soul, matter becomes as holy as spirit, physical world seems as sacred as metaphysical believes. Each person, each life, everything in this temporal biosphere becomes my responsibility as vicegerent and I become responsible and accountable for all that is around. This is my understanding of Sufism, without any brand, any dogma and of course any silsila.

Monday, 15 March 2010

The Undivided Wholeness of All Things

To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

The physicist David Bohm and his idea of a Holographic universe has fascinated me for years and I refer him as a SUFI SCIENTIST. His Book WHOLENESS AND IMPLICATE ORDER, I read as sacred text. Since I do not have a scientific academic background but the fascination provides ample motivation to striving and enduring.
Most interesting of his idea is about wholeness. As everything in the cosmos is made out of seamless holographic fabric of implicate order, Bohm believes it is meaningless to view the universe as composed of parts, as it is to view different geysers in a fountain as separate from the water out of which they flow. Everything in the universe is part of a continuum.

He also believes that dividing the universe up into living and non living things also has no meaning. Animate and inanimate matters are inseparably interwoven and life too is enfolded throughout the totality of the universe. Even a rock is in same way alive, for life and intelligence are present not only in matter but in energy, space and time.

The idea that consciousness and life and indeed all things are ensembles enfolded throughout the universe has an equally dazzling flip side. Just as every portion of the hologram contains the image of the whole or a single DNA possess he complete blueprint of a person, every portion of the universe enfolds whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos, so does every leaf, every raindrop and every dust mote.

PS: this is inspired from David Bohm’s “Wholeness and Implicate Order” and Michael Talbots “The Holographic Universe”

Monday, 8 March 2010

Woman of Substance

Today is international Day for Women, and a perfect time to remember our Woman of substance Parveen Shakir(1952-1994) a poetess of extreme caliber, style, passion and talent. A woman petite and fragile in looks but like a rock in her principle stands towards life and the values she stood for. Living in a society where women were still fighting for their basic rights, her femininity was not a limiting factor when it came to express her point of view in poetry or prose. She was popular both with critics and public because of ingenuity of her words and the skill that tuned the right chords.

Her poetics works Khushboo(Fragrance)
Sudburg(Marsh Marigold)
Inkar(Refusal) is a journey of a young idealist girl to a woman of substance.

by Parveen Shakir

Listen, Girl, These moments are clouds:
You let them Pass and they are gone .
Soak up their moist touch .
Get drenched .
Don’t waste a single drop.
Listen, Downpours don’t remember streets ,
And sunshine Can’t read Road signs

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The First Rain

Pehli Barish (The First Rain) is an incredible poetic work of one of Urdu’s most popular and eminent poet Nasir Kazmi (1925-1972). Pehli Barish was published posthumously in 1975, although it was completed in 1972 before his death, but Nasir Kazmi was reluctant to its publication then, as he was of the view that his readers were not yet ready for this experiment which was new in form and content.

In Pehli Barish we see Nasir Kazmi in a new and completely different mode, much more mysterious and symbolic. The poems of Pahli Barish which consists of 24 Gazals (poems) and 219 Ashaar(couplets) are in form of a complete story line. Each Couplet and Poem though complete in itself is also part of a bigger picture that leads to a complete story. Pehli Barish is a journey, a search of a friend, a lover, a home, a paradise that is found, lost and regained. More this is a search of Self, which the poet finally discovers after losing everything but the remembrance of God brings peace, solace and ultimate realization that this journey was an experience and it has to end one day, but it ended finally after the true companion was found.

This is metaphorically very rich Book, although very simple as you read along but this simplicity leads you nowhere if the metaphors are not understood. These metaphors are from mythology, religion, literature, and human evolution and are beautifully and artistically vulcanized by the poet and thus he presents one of the most beautiful collages of poetic excellence that breath and pulsates like an organ.

The first rains that this grand poem brought is still drizzling somewhere inside my unconsciousness and soaking the untouched, unattended and unreached myths and realities of my being,The First Rain, to me means a Search. A Search after receiving the bliss from the first drop of rain that created Life and recognition of Life.

Friday, 19 February 2010

A Life of One's Own

Marion Milner (1900-1998), was a British author and psychoanalyst, and a pioneer of introspective journaling. At the age of 26 she began to keep a diary, this was because it slowly became clear to her that, her life was not as it ought to be, although from external point of view it was going very well, since she was earning her living in interesting work, having a full leisure life and plenty of friends. The book ‘A Life of One’s Own’ grew out of this seven years diary and this amply exhibits what journaling and dairy writing do. Following are excerpts from this book which was first published in 1934.

“When I first began, at the end of each day, to go through what had happened and pick out what seemed best to me, I had quite unexpected results. Before I began this experiment, when I had drifted through life unquestioningly, I had measured my life in terms of circumstances. I had thought I was happy when I was having what was generally considered ‘a good time’. But when I began to try and balance up each day’s happiness I had found that there were certain moments which had a special quality of their own, a quality which seemed to be almost independent of what was going on around me, since they occurred sometimes on the most trivial occasions. They stood out because of a feeling of happiness which was far beyond what I had ordinarily meant by ‘enjoying myself’, and because of this they tended to oust all other concerns in my daily record.”

“By keeping a diary of what made me happy I had discovered that happiness came when I was most widely aware. So I had finally come to the conclusion that my task was to become more and more aware, more and more understanding with an understanding that was not at all the same thing as intellectual comprehension. I had come to realize that it was not, after all, a question of a life of consciousness as against a life of natural impulse; for without consciousness, for me at least, there was no freedom of natural expression, but only a clash of haphazardly acquired conventions and welter of opposing and misunderstood ideals. Without understanding I was at the mercy of blind habit; with understanding, I could develop my own rules for living and find out which of the conflicting exhortations of a changing civilization was appropriate to my needs.”

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

No More Horizons

A lonely tree of hope
Swaying but standing tall,
Stretching its arm
extending embrace,
In a spring that is ripe for pruning past,
cultivating the future,
The vanished birds are re-appearing,
Coming back and singing the forgotten songs,
Wind whispering and echoing symphonies of glorious mysteries,
Leaves fluttering and shining with
drops of morning dew,
They gleaming like a tear on beloved's cheek,
That washes away all the mistrust and all the misdeeds.

Why Not the Best?

Colin Wilson (1931) is a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. In 1956 at the age of 24 he wrote his first non-fictional work The Outsider, which was both praised and highly criticized. The work examines and explores the psyche of the social outsider and his effect on society and society’s effect on him through the works and lives of various artists including Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, T.S.Elliot, Earnest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Vincent Van Gogh, Friedrick Nietzsche and Fydor Dostoevsky. In the final chapter of this Book he justifies his belief that Western Philosophy is afflicted with a heedless pessimistic fallacy.

Three years later in an Autobiographical note he wrote an interesting insight about the ultimate question that lies behind the Outsider, which is now part of his book Religion and the Rebel:

“How can man extend his range of consciousness? I believe that human beings experience a range of mental states which is as narrow as the middle three notes of a piano keyboard. I believe that the possible range of mental state is as wide as the whole piano keyboard, and the man’s sole aim and business is to extend his range from usual three or four notes to the whole keyboard. The men I dealt with in the Outsider had one thing in common: an instinctive knowledge that their range could be extended, and a nagging dissatisfaction with the range of their everyday experience.”

The Question which each one of us is confronted with, consciously and unconsciously is: Why not the best?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A Shameless Worship of Heroes

Will Durant (1885-1981) author of critically acclaimed eleven–volume master piece The Story of Civilization and The Story of Philosophy wrote some independent inspiring articles which were published posthumously in a smart volume The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time in 2002. Following excerpts are from a classic article A Shameless Worship of Heroes:

“Of the many ideals which in youth gave a meaning and radiance missing from the chilly perspective of middle age, one at least has remained with me as bright and satisfying as ever before-the shameless worship of heroes. I say shameless, for I know how unfashionable it is now to acknowledge in life or history any genius loftier than ourselves.
Why should we stand reverent before waterfalls and mountaintops, or summer moon on a quite sea, and not before the highest miracle of all: a man who is both great and good? So many of us are mere talents, clever children in the play of life, that when genius stands in our presence we can only bow down before it as an act of God, a continuance of creation. Such men are the very life-blood of history, to which politics and industry are but frames and bones.

No, the real history of man is not in prices and wages, nor in elections and battles, nor in the even tenor of common man; it is the lasting contributions made by geniuses to the sum of human civilization and culture. The history of France is not, if one may say it with all courtesy, the history of the French people; the history of those nameless men and women who tilled the soil, cobbled the shoes, cut the cloth, and peddled the goods(for these things has been done everywhere and always)- the history of France is the record of her exceptional men and women, her inventors, scientist, statesmen, poets, artists, musicians, philosophers, and saints, and of the additions which they made to the technology and wisdom, the artistry and decency, of their people and mankind. “
For us Muhammad Ali Jinnah is one such hero.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

It's the Spectator that Art Really Mirrors

The last post mentioned 13 Books that changed the way America is, wanted to list out 13 such books for Pakistan, which will do in some later post. This post is about those thirteen that influenced me.

Oscar Wilde in the preface of Picture of Dorian Gray speaks about art, some pickings from that would be interesting before I list out books.”The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal artist is art’s aim. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are cultivated. For these there is hope. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their own peril. Those who read symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.”

01-KHUTBAT (Sermons’) by A.A.Mududi
A foremost book about pillars of Islam, and a very precise and logical narrations of these tenants.

02-APOLOGY by Plato
Details of trial and sentence of Socrates. “ I must tell you the truth-the result of my mission was first this: I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that some inferior men were really wiser and better”

03-IBLIS O ADAM (Devil and Adam) by G.A.Perwez
Origin and Geneses paradoxes understood in light of Quran and modern empirical knowledge.

04-MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING by Victor Frankl
“Ultimately man should not ask what meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

05-RAAKH (Ashes’) by Mustansar Hussain Tarar
A novel classically deals with the history of Pakistan, often considered as controversial but ground breaking.

06-BEING AND NOTHINGNESS by Jean Paul Sartre
“Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away… To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.”

The seven lectures that are key to our understanding of Islam and the world around us: Past, Present and Future.

08-KAFILA E HIJAZ (The Caravan of Arabia) by Nasim Hijazi
A historical fiction, written in most admirable and lucid prose portraying early rise of Islamic polity, economy and education system.

09-LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo
“Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.”

10-RAJA GIDH (King Vulture) by Bano Qudsia
An Urdu novel emphasizing that sins not only degrade and destroy the sinner morally but also corrupts his genes and travels to next generation.

11-SIDDAHRATA by Hermann Hesse
“When someone is seeking… it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything… because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.”

“To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.”

13-GERMINAL by Emile Zola
“He simply wanted to go down the mine again, to suffer and to struggle; “