Shanti Mantra

ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु ।
मा कश्चित् दुःख भाग्भवेत् ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

लोकक्षेम मंत्र | सम्पूर्ण विश्व के कल्याण का मंत्र
हिन्दी भावार्थ:
सभी सुखी होवें, सभी रोगमुक्त रहें, सभी का जीवन मंगलमय बनें और कोई भी दुःख का भागी न बने।
हे भगवन हमें ऐसा वर दो!

English Translation:
May All Be Prosperous and Happy
May All Be Free from Illness
May All See What Is Spiritually Uplifting
May No One Suffer In Any Way
Om Peace, Peace, peace

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Posted by on January 5, 2023 in Uncategorized


lingering on the periphery

lingering on the periphery

Hm ne maane k taghaful na karo ge lekin
Khaak ho jayen ge hm tum ko khabr hone tak


full moon, garland dried roses
A garland for the full moon
Photo: Sonya Kassam

waiting by the shore
longing to see the other side
of the ocean
lingering on the periphery
sensing our affinity
if only you never were,
but you are

like dust particles
swirling in the dying gasps
of every sunset, when

the crow squawks home
an empty beak, still
ego undented

a garland of dried roses
in your memory
should you depart
before my time

if only you never were,
but you are


I am fortunate to be young enough 😉 to have enjoyed the music of the 90s

You and me, we used to be together

Every day together, always

I really feel that I’m losin’ my best friend

I can’t believe this could be the end

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Posted by on February 25, 2022 in Uncategorized



  • Gulzar is my favourite poet of Urdu. His poems are simple with powerful feelings.

This nazm is great in that it is sweet and short.

قدم اسی موڑ پر جمے ہیں

قدم اسی موّڑ پر جمے ہیں

نظر سمیٹے ہوئے کھڑا ہوں

جنوں یہ مجبور کر رہا ہے پلٹ کے دیکھوں

خودی یہ کہتی ہے موڑ مڑ جا

اگرچہ احساس کہہ رہا ہے

کھلے دریچے کے پیچھے دو آنکھیں جھانکتی ہیں

ابھی میرے انتظار میں وہ بھی جاگتی ہیں

کہیں تو اس کے گوشہء دل میں درد ہو گا

اسے یہ ضد ہے کہ میں پکاروں مجھے تقاضا ہے وہ بلائے

قدم اسی موڑ پر جمے ہیہں

نظر سمیٹے ہوئے کھڑا ہوں


Qadam usi moR par jame hain

Nazar samete hue khaRa huN

JunuN yeh majboor kar raha hai ke muR ke dekhuN

Khudi yeh kahti hai moR muR ja

Agar che ehsaas kah raha hai

Khule dareeche ke peechhe do aankheN jhaankti hain

Abhi mere intrzar meN wo bhi jaagti haiN

KahiN to uske gosha e dil meN dard ho ga

Use ye zid hai ke maiN pukarooN. Mujhe taqaza hai wo bulaaye

Qadam usi moR par jame hain

Nazar samete hue khaRa huN.



My feet are stuck at the same turn

I am standing with eyes cast low.

Love expects me to turn and look

But honour wants me to complete the turn

Even though I am aware that

Behind the half opened window

A pair of eyes are peeping

And that she too is awake and waiting for me

I am sure she too has a feeling in her heart

She expects me to make a move

But I insist she must call me

My feet are stuck at the same turn

I am standing with eyes cast low.





Ghalib vs Bedi

Two shers each reflect similar thoughts about the effect that half opened eyes of the beloved brings upon the lover. There is a subtle difference though that needs to be understood.

1. Ghalib says:

کوئ میرے دل سے پوچھے تیرے تیر نیم کش کو

یہ خلش کہاں سے ہوتی جو جگر کے پار ہوتا

Koi mere dil se puchhe tere teer e meem kash ko

Ye khalish kahaan se hoti jo jigar ke paar hota.

Teer e Neem kash : an arrow shot with the bow only half stretched. ( i.e. eyes half closed looking at the lover)

Khalish: pain

Who will know the anguish my soul feels after receiving your half powered arrow that has remained stuck in my being. Would I be experiencing this pain had it gone right through my heart?.

Mahinder Singh Bedi said:

ہوا جو تیر _نظر نیم کش تو کیا حاصل

مزہ تو جب ہے کہ سینے کے آر پار چلے

Hua jo teer-e-nazar neem-kash to kya hasil
Maza to jab hai ki seene ke aar-paar chale.

Teer e nazar : arrow of glance

Neem kash: half stretched.

What can be achieved with a glance with eyes half closed like a half stretched arrow.

It would be great if it were to go right through the heart.

،…………………………………… . . ……………………………

One (Ghalib) feels great pain ( read pleasure) when the arrow is stuck in the heart and the other (Bedi) wishes it to pierce the heart through and then he would feel joy.


Posted by on January 13, 2020 in GHAALIB, Urdu Poetry


Ghalib and Kaif Bhopali.

There many thoughts that are unique to Ghalib. However there is one thought that “I will die (of happiness) if I believe you made a true and firm promise (of coming and meeting me)” has been framed by Kaif Bhopali. But in a different way.

Kaif said ” You made me live longer by making a false promise”. Meaning I would have died if your promise was firm.

آپ نے جھوٹا وعدہ کر کے

آج ہماری عمر بڑھا دی

Aap ne jhoota waada kar ke

Aaj hamari umr baRha di.

Where as Galib says:

تیرے وعدے پر جیے ہم تو یہ جان جھوٹ جانا

کہ خوشی سے مر نہ جاتے اگر اعتبار ہوتا

Tere wadey par jiye ham to ye jaan jhoot jana

Ke khushi se mar na jaate agar etbaar hota.

Meaning ‘ If I live after you make a promise then you should know I knew it was a false promise. Because if I had believed it to be true I would have died of happiness’۔


Posted by on August 18, 2019 in GHAALIB, Urdu Poetry





                                                                            GADARIA PART II

And I beseech him that he should stop waking me up early in the morning, he might as well kill me.

At this he is horrified and, after covering me with the quilt, left the room.

Bebe had only scorn for Daoji who was in awe of her. She used to sew clothes of local women all day never ceasing to complain about Daoji. I hated this but could do nothing about it.

Daoji would say, “ Son, God forbid, this woman is like the cruel owner of a rest house where you, me and my daughter Qurrat (meaning (apple of the) eye, I called her BIBI) are staying.” And it seemed to be true as she was very dark in complexion with very white teeth. When she walked she looked like the witch spying on innocent people. She did not spare even her own daughter Bibi who would cry for hours after listening to her harsh words. The only person she was good with was her son Ami Chand, perhaps because he resembled me or because he did not love Daoji like did Bibi (Qurrat).

Bibi was good but she was not very friendly with me. She would come up on the roof to collect firewood from the shed, and would see me studying. She would shout from there, “Baoji, he is playing with straw and is not reading”. I would retort, “Why you worry if I do not read, are you the police inspector?”

Daoji would shout from below, “No Golu Molu, do not quarrel with your sister,” and I say, “I am reading, she tells lies.”

My routine was that I left Daoji’s home in the morning and had breakfast at my home. Then I went to school. My mid day meal was sent to school from home. In the evening I would fill my lantern with kerosene and come to Daoji’s home. Evening meal would be sent to me there from my home.

Daoji was a scribe in the local court where he would spend time and would wait for work which was not much. Occasionally he would earn 2 or 4 rupees otherwise he kept himself busy reading books. When he was free he would come to my school at the closing time and walk me to my home, bombarding me with his incessant questions on the way. On the other hand, Bebe had a good business sewing clothes. One reason she was so harsh with Daoji could be that, for some years, most of the household expenses were met by income from her sewing.

Once I surprised Daoji and went to the court to fetch him. The court had closed and Dao Ji was having tea on a tea stall. I gathered his things and said, “Come, Daoji I will walk you to your home today. He paid an “anna” to the tall keeper and started walking with me silently. I said, with mischief in the eyes, “I am going to tell Bebe that you drink tea here.” He said, “He makes tea with jaggery instead of sugar and it is very tasty and is good for health. And he charges only an anna for a full glass. Please do not tell your Bebe or she would create a nasty scene.” I felt sorry for him and promised not to say a word. When I mentioned this episode to my mother, she started sending to Daoji’s home milk, fruit, sugar etc occasionally. But Daoji never got to use any of these. Though it made Bibi change her attitude towards me a little.

I remember the day when I arrived at Baoji’s home with a can of milk and Bebe was not at home. She had gone to the nearby pond to have a body wash with her women folk. Daoji was enthusiastic at the sight of milk and decided to make tea. He told Bibi to start a fire and went outside to buy some jaggery. When the fire was ready he said he would make tea himself. As the water came to boil, he added the tea leaves. He was very happy watching bubbling water and was singing golu molu with delight. We three had a happy hour and it looked like the happiness had visited our little home. The main door opened and Bebe appeared and saw what was happening. When he saw her, all the colour on his face faded. She saw the boiling tea steaming on the fire and that the old fool was caught playing the forbidden game. As he brought his form to standing he said weakly, “It is tea”.

Bebe struck Baoji at his back with her hand and started a shrill monologue. “You old fool, you shameless scoundrel, who drinks tea at your age? You saw the field was clear when I wasn’t around and you felt no fear. You wish I die so you will do as you will. I might as well die. Oh, what dirty creature birthed you and what cursed fate that I was married to you. Oh why death does not reach you”, She reached and removed the hot pot from the fire with the help of a piece of cloth and threw it on the ground. Hot tea splashed in all directions and before he dragged himself away, some found his feet and ankles. He hurried away from there with cries of,” Oh you be blessed, oh you be blessed” and entered the front room. The way he retreated brought spontaneous laughter from me and Bibi and it could be heard around the entire courtyard. Bebe ignored me but turned to Bibi and caught her by her locks. “You are good at playing the second wife of the old fool. Why did you give him the key to the cupboard”. Bibi began crying and I made myself scarce and entered the front room.

Daoji was on his favourite chair, caressing his feet. I found all this funny again and could not curb my laughter. He beckoned me to come near him and said, “I am meaner than the dog of the ONE on whose holy head an unfortunate old woman in Mecca used to throw rubbish”. When he saw I was surprised, [because he was a Hindu] he continued, “If I, a member of the circle of my great teacher, complain on receiving hot water on my feet, I might as well be cursed. May He save me from the hell fire in the name of His Beloved, May the God of Abraham give me strength, may the God of Jacob grant me patience”.

I asked, “Who was your great Teacher?”

He was my teacher and mentor. He was your grand dad-teacher.

Daoji narrated how he found his teacher and took a long time relating his story as he would from time to time go in to trance with reverence written all over him or would recite several couplets of Persian poetry (praising the Prophet) at every turn; After he had finished I asked, “Daoji why you revere your teacher so profoundly and why you call yourself his servant?”

He answered, “The one who changed a donkey into some one whom people say, ‘This is Munshi Chant Ram’, wouldn’t he be my saviour or my lord?

“What a change in me that has occurred”, he said. The first voice of my Learned one still echoes in my head. He called, “O son of the animal keepers, come to me”. I came with my staff hitting ground at every step. Several boys from nearby villages were sitting in front of him in a semicircle, reading lessons with eyes cast down. He said, “I see you tending your goats every day, why don’t you leave them to themselves and sit here and learn something.” Then he continued, “what is your name?,”

“Chintu”, I replied like a yokel. He guessed, and correctly, “Is it Chant Ram?, yes it must be” The students were looking at me with squint eyes. I had a raw cotton garb on, with only a loin cloth for trousers, and a pair of dry leather shoes on my feet, a red piece of ordinary cloth wrapped on my head.

I cut in,” So you were a shepherd?”

“Yes, and My father had 12 goats”.

I was stunned, and with gaping mouth I hazarded, “So you were grazing goats near a school”

“No son, there were no schools even in the cities in those days. 74 years before who knew your M. B. High School? Actually, my Lord loved teaching poor folks and he gathered children around his home and taught.”

“He was from a very learned back ground. His whole household was well versed in Persian and in matters of religion. His father was the only hakim (medicine man) in the entire district, and was a preacher. His great grand father was Head clerk for Maharaja of Kashmir.”

“So you started schooling with him. “ I said, fearing he would go away from main tale.

“Yes I started immediately. I threw my staff on ground and squatted near him. He said, no, come on the mat and sit with others.”

I said, “Sir, for 18 years I have been sitting on the ground and comfortably.”

He sort of accepted my humility and gave me a booklet with alphabets, and asked me to repeat: alif, be, pe te ……..” His voice was like silk and was very loving.

“What was his name”, I asked

“He was known as Ismail Chishti (may Allah have mercy on him)”

As I was enjoying the tale, suddenly he said,” What was Subsidiary (Alliance) System.”

Woe to the English, they come as East India Company or as the bearer of Queen Victoria’s Order, they always manage to bring chaos in our ‘system’. I related the entire provisions of The Subsidiary System like I would the times table of one and a quarter. Then he ordered me to go out and find out if Bebe’s rage had subsided. I went out with the pretext of filling my ink pot with little water, and saw that Bebe was busy with her (sewing) machine and Bibi was cleaning the kitchen.

The chapter of Bebe in Daoji’s life was very weak. When he noticed that the atmosphere was good, he would ask us to recite a couplet each and when Bebe couldn’t, would ask her to sing the folk song concerning one’s son’s marriage. She would try to smile but couldn’t and Baoji would then sing it himself, like a woman would, inserting my name and that of Ami Chand as the ‘son’. He declared that he would wear red turban at my marriage and would sign on the marriage contract as a witness. He would declare that he would teach his ‘daughter in law’ to read Persian and to write Nastaleeq.

On one such a day when he was dreaming my marriage and my would be wife, he said, “God the Great would find a good and believer type wife for my Ami Chand also, just like He would find a pious wife for you who would be obedient to me. My Ami Chand has gone astray, what with his learning the martial art of lathi (long staff) and of jugat (hand fight), or attending meetings of (fundamentalist Hindu) Sewa Sangh (The Serving Party). I wish that he get a loving wife who might bring him back to normal behaviour.

I kept quiet at the mention of a ‘believer’ wife for Ami Chand because my remark could hurt him,

The marriages of me and of Ami Chand remained just wishful thinking, but one day a group of people did come for Bibi in a procession. Baoji had told me on several occasions that the bride groom Ram Pratap was a good boy and his name passed the test of stekhara (a method of testing important decisions by Quran). He was most impressed by the fact that his opposite, groom’s father, was a professor of Persian.

On the evening of the 12 th of the month, when Bibi was to say good bye, the whole house was charged with emotions. Bebe was crying buckets of tears, Ami Chand had his eyes full too; the local women showed proper behavior that was required of them at this moment and contributed to the chaos by making wailing noises. I was standing by a wall and Baoji stood by me with his hands on my shoulder. He is saying, “Today, I find that my feet scarce get hold on the ground”.

The father of the groom said. “Munshi ji, please allow us to leave”.

At this Bibi started wailing and all but fainted. She was made to stretch on a cot, women surrounded it and were fanning her with their loose portions of saries. Baoji moved to the cot making me a support. He addressed his daughter as Qurrat and asked not to ruin this important moment in her life. Then he said he will always repent that he could not give his daughter a good education, at which his opposite said that he would teach her.

The procession consisted of tangas and ikkas (both horse driven carts) and the bride rode with her women companions in a rath (pulled by oxen). And they left.

Rano was a very bad man in our locality. He had a pen containing 20 or 25 goats and 2 cows. He sold milk morning and evening. He had a habit of teasing Daoji every time he passed his house by hitting hard his lathi on the ground and shouting in mock style, “O Pundit, long live Ram”. Daoji would explain to him that he was no Pundit as a Pundit has to be a learned person and he was not. Rano would say why, any one with a chutiya (tuft of hair on head, or scalplock) is a Pundit. He was sort of a bully and had meetings in his premises in the evening in which other vagabonds would sing dirty songs or would gamble.

After Bibi was married, I one day went to him to buy milk. He asked, with mischief, “Now that the main attraction is gone, why you still go to that house? Tell me, there was a river (of easy sex) flowing, did you take a dip?” I god mad and hit him on the head with the can I brought for milk. He was down with pain and I ran to my home and related the incident to my father. Rano was summoned at the police station but he got free after a little scolding and stern warning. After this he became even more aggressive with Baoji and he used to ridicule his chutia the most. Baoji revered this part of his head because he said it was his mother’s favourite. In his childhood, his mother would use curd to clean it, followed by mustard oil.

He said, “When I came back to the village after serving as a teacher in the city for one year, Great Teacher asked me if I had done away with my chutiya and when I said no, he said that I was the most obedient son of my mother”. When I would touch his feet in reverence, he would say, “what is the use, since I cannot feel your touch. (He was paralyzed from back down)”, “I used to give him a ride on my back and show him entire village from time to time and he would give lots of blessings. When I recited before him SIKANDAR NAMA (Tale of Alexander the Great in Persian), he was too happy and rewarded me with one rupee. He added after lot of praise that I had the same profession as that of Moses, and that I was a follower of the Lord of Medina, that is why I am blessed by God the most merciful.”

As my exams were nearing, Daoji became more and more stern and would not let a moment pass by without giving me instructions, When I would go to the water pitchers more to have some respite than to drink, he would follow me with his incessant questions. He started coming to school at the closing time to fetch me every day. After the day I sneaked from the back door; he started waiting for me just outside my class room. I became extremely irritated at his method of “teaching” and would resort to even calling him names, including “dog”. He never bothered and would scold me with loving voice calling me golu etc.

One cold night when I was on the verge of abandoning all effort to succeed in the studies, because there was a problem I could not solve try as hard as I could, and I was crying sitting on the stairs, Dao Ji came to me wrapped in a blanket and related his own predicament on the difficulties of learning. He told how he would spend hours, even days solving one problem and one day when he approached his great teacher looking for help he was told that the solution was beyond him too and that it was time he would need to consult a better teacher who lived in Delhi. He would give him his address only after he gets permission from his mother to go to Delhi.

“Knowing that my mother would never agree, I stole from her box 2 rupees, leaving 2 for her, and left the village in the dead of night. (God forbid me for this crime), In those days a railway line was being laid between Lahore and Delhi. This gave me direction to Delhi as well as work. I would work for a day or two as a labourer and then walk for days. I reached Delhi in 16 days and with great difficulty found out the residence of the Teacher my great teacher had talked about. (Hakeem) Nasir Ali Seestani was very famous and was also blind. He had already received a letter from my teacher about my disappearance and about the possibility of my appearing at his house. He received me with love. He would use his bare back for a paper and ask me to use my finger for a pen drawing invisible lines for geometrical propositions. Then guide me step by step till the solution is obtained. I was much confused in the beginning but later on I became accustomed to his method.”

Dao Ji continued, “I stayed with him for one year and, after some learning, returned home. I went straight to my great teacher and, leaving my head on his feet, asked for his forgiveness. He said if he had strength he would withdraw his feet, I cried at this and he said he forgave me.”

Dao ji was very concerned about me gaining weight. One early morning he dragged me from bed and took me forcefully for a long walk. The streets were very cold and very dark. We arrived far outside the village to a mound which was reputed to be remnants of a city sunk with its residents long long ago and that the dead souls still hover around there. No body ventured there even during the day. He showed me two bushes a hundred metres apart and ordered me to go and run between them 10 times. I went and sat for a while then ran slowly about 4 times and returned, thinking the time I spent would be like I ran all 10. I found Daoji on his knees, as if he was possessed, howling and shouting various ayats of the Quran and talking and all the time throwing his hands palm down on the ground only to lift them up high over his head and down again. I was terrified and thought Daoji had tamed Jinns with whom he was having conversation.

Soon he was normal and, noticing me crying nearby, he said, “Lets go”.

After that day I never went to walk with him.

Not long after that walk we started receiving at odd hours, from outside, pieces of bricks or lumps of earth. Bay Bay was convinced that these were thrown by Jinns who were angry at Daoji. She became mad and like a bitch who has birthed puppies, man handled Daoji and screamed insults. She was of the opinion he was trying to kill her and Ami Chand. Dao ji said Jinns do not exist and that they being non matter cannot make matter move.

In the evening when I was coming from my home Rano met me and asked sarcastically if I got hurt, as he heard there were stones coming in Daoji’s home. I never wanted to have any thing to do with him and so I left. I was thinking how he knew?

We had a High School in our village but the Examination Centre was in the nearby city. I went there with the rest of the class, and Daoji followed and gave me instructions right to the end.

After the examination I abandoned Dao Ji like I never knew him.

While waiting for the result, my day time was spent with friends and in the night I read story books. Occasionally I did find time to go to Daoji to say hello and he pressed me to continue coming regularly for preparation for my college studies. I was allergic to him and his methods after a year of his torture and was not prepared even to consider. When the result came, my father took me to Daoji accompanied by a hamper containing sweet meats. He and myself were happy with the result but Daoji was sad. He said he expected a first division. I said I missed it by just one mark. Still, Daoji said, either there was something to improve in his teaching or my base was weak to start with.

I got admission in the college in the city. In the beginning I replied to Daoji’s letters from hostel but gradually stopped.

I was in second year when the country came close to get independence. There was a lot of commotion, riots and fights. There were news coming from all directions of riots and mother called all of us to come home as it was relatively safe here in our village. All the (Hindu) baniyas (shop keepers) and money lenders fled. Soon shelter seekers (muslim displaced persons) from the other side started arriving. They brought the news that the independence had been achieved. One day few houses in our village too were put on fire and there was trouble. A curfew was imposed and when it was relaxed all the Hindus and Sikhs left. Mom sent me to check on Daoji and when I went, I found there was an ox tethered at the gate, the door had a curtain made from old sacs. I reported that Daoji had left.

After a few days, long after sunset, I was returning from the mosque where new arrivals of shelter seekers (muhajirs) were staying, and where I determined how many blankets were to be sent from relief camp, I noticed a huge crowd near Dao ji’s house. The muhajir boys were brandishing long staffs and were shouting. I tried to penetrate the press of the people but failed.

One was saying to an aged person, “He had gone to a nearby village, and when he returned, he entered his house as if it was his own?”

“Which house,”

“The one the muhajirs of Rohtak have acquired”

“Then what happened?”

“Obviously they caught him, and when examined, he was found to be a Hindu!”

Some one called,’ O Rano, come quick, it is your victim, The Pandit!”

Rano left his goats, that he was taking to the pen, in the keep of a boy, and entered the crowd.

Some how I fathomed that they have caught Dao ji. I said to no one in particular,” He is and old man. He is a good man. Leave him.”

One boy remarked, “So you are on his side! You don’t know what we have endured on the way. Shall we give you the same treatment…? Shall we”

Some one remarked, “He seems to be a local”

Terrified, I quickly moved to a different part of the crowd.

Rano and some of his companions had gathered around Daoji and were interrogating him. “Oh, now what you have to say, scoundrel?” Dao ji was silent, eyes down.

One removed his turban and said, “Let us crop his chutiya! (scalplock)

Rano promptly cut his hair tuft that he had saved for all his years.

The same boy now wanted to kill him. Rano said, “No, he is old. He will be my help in tending my goats”.

Rano said, “O Pandit, now you have to recite THE SENTENCE” {Kalima, that converts one to a muslim after reciting it}

He did.

At this Rano handed him his staff and said, “Let us go, the goats are waiting for you”

The bare headed Daoji walked towards the goats like an expert shepherd.



Posted by on February 10, 2019 in adab and literature, Afsaane






The shortest distance between any two points on a flat surface is a straight line joining the two points. This universal fact is obvious and is used every day by humans and animals alike. Likewise any one side of any triangle is shorter than the two other sides together. This is also obvious enough and Mathematicians will take a lot of arguments and jargon to ‘prove’ it. A cow will take a direct (shortest) route to its fodder and ….

WILL not follow a devised route. Similarly a man will tend to cut across beautifully manicured lawn instead of following the pathway.

All our actions are governed by the fact that we are following shortest routes in each and every action of our lives.

Even Allah (SWT) enjoins us to ask Him to guide us to a straight path, in

Surah Al-Fatiha. : (Ehde Nas Seratal Mustaqeem).


There will not be a single person on this Earth who will willingly follow a longer route if he can help it. This is but natural. A shop keeper is trying to sell his goods at a higher price to get rich quicker, or when he sells at a discount, he is trying to get rid of his stale/ obsolete goods. In either case he is following a shortest route to achieve his goal. When we do take a physically longer route on a road, it may be to avoid danger, to avoid bad patches or perhaps to have a good time if the company is gorgeous. The route of least resistance is even followed by the electric current.


There is a dilemma about what people THINK is the shortest route. A couplet by Mahendra Singh Bedi states:

دیرو حرم میں چین جو ملتا 

کیوں جاتے میخانے لوگ


(Why would people visit pubs if they could find solace in church and mosque?

I am sure he writes this as a piece of beautiful poetry only and knows better.


The Holy Qoran has clearly mentioned that :   ala bithikri Allahi tatma-innu alquloob (13:28


الا بذکر الله  تطمینل قلوب


Translation by Yousuf Ali:  for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.


It is mercifully Allah (SWT) Who gives us guidance about the real shortest routes for our life’s actions. They may look difficult, but depending upon the extent and the degree of conviction of our eeman, they are easy enough.


Allah (SWT) has given at a number of places in The Holy Qoran hints to the shortest routes that men can follow to achieve the goal of HIM being pleased with us. (Jannat is a secondary goal as it were). The shortest route comprises of a combination of “does” and “don’ts”. It is my humble intention to bring some of these to my esteemed readers and wish that Allah will guide me and keep me from mistakes.


Actually the whole of Holy Qoran is the answer to the prayer “Ehde nas seratal mustaqeem” and thus IS the straight path. In it there are certain surahs and ayas that specify it with clarity.

I will elaborate two.


(1)   Surah Al-Ma’un (107)

(2)   Ayatul-birr (2/177)





(I owe the understanding of this surah to my friend Mohammad Umar Chand)

Allah (SWT) adopts all manner of speech in Holy Qoran. Direct instructions to suggestion to questions to simile etc. In this surah He adopts a very interesting manner in which He asks a question and then spells things which are actually ‘don’ts’ but He puts them in such a way that we are left to draw our own conclusion.


He wonders if we have seen a person who denies (the day of) reckoning. Then He tells us that he is such that he does this and this and………A total of five actions are mentioned which of course we are to understand that we must avoid.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم



Sahih International

Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense?


Hast thou observed him who belieth religion?


بھلا تم نے اس شخص کو دیکھا جو (روزِ) جزا کو جھٹلاتا ہے؟



Sahih International

For that is the one who drives away the orphan


That is he who repelleth the orphan,


یہ وہی (بدبخت) ہے، جو یتیم کو دھکے دیتا ہے



Sahih International

And does not encourage the feeding of the poor.


And urgeth not the feeding of the needy.


اور فقیر کو کھانا کھلانے کے لیے( لوگوں کو) ترغیب نہیں دیتا



Sahih International

So woe to those who pray


Ah, woe unto worshippers


تو ایسے نمازیوں کی خرابی ہے



Sahih International

[But] who are heedless of their prayer –


Who are heedless of their prayer;


جو نماز کی طرف سے غافل رہتے ہیں



Sahih International

Those who make show [of their deeds]


Who would be seen (at worship)


جو ریا کاری کرتے ہیں



Sahih International

And withhold [simple] assistance.


Yet refuse small kindnesses!


اور برتنے کی چیزیں عاریتہً نہیں دیتے


We are supposed to strive to avoid being such a person who so to say denies the fact that we are to be judged about our actions one day by indulging in such activities as:


  1. Pushing away the orphan. Orphans are given a very prominent place in The Qoran and we are asked to look after them as much as possible.
  2. Not encouraging others to arrange for the feeding of the poor. Here it means that we are to make sure that no one goes hungry as far as we can manage.
  3. Not paying heed to our prayers. This means that we are to give top priority to the prayers and always be conscious of their timing and prepare for them on time and in time always.
  4. Showing off his prayers. We must be sincere in our prayers and must not do them only to be seen by others that we are good person.
  5. Refusing small favours. This last thing leaves me astonished as to the degree of minute details of human nature that Allah (SWT) brings in focus. I have known people who are so mean that they refuse small favours to neighbours, friends etc. This is part of daily life that we lend a hand, a little of this and a little of that (a little salt, a hammer, a spade, a ride etc.) to whoever happens to need for a while.


I cannot but remember here a line in a Gulazar’s famous song “Beeri Jalai le”. It states “Ja parosi ke choolhe se aag lai le”. I remember in my childhood we were routinely sent to neighbours to borrow a few ambers to start our choolha, and to borrow so many other things besides. Yet there were some houses where we dared not enter, for immediately we would hear a yell, ‘get out’.

We must be generous and helpful. This is the lesson here.


This concludes my small effort of high lighting the Surah Al Ma’un. May Allah (SWT) give us courage and taufeeq to follow His commands.






بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم






Sahih International

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth,

in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

Muhsin Khan

It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and gives the Zakat, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al-Muttaqun (pious – see V.2:2).


It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth,

for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing.


It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts– these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).


نیکی یہی نہیں کہ تم مشرق یا مغرب کو (قبلہ سمجھ کر ان) کی طرف منہ کرلو بلکہ نیکی یہ ہے کہ لوگ خدا پر اور روز آخرت پر اور فرشتوں پر اور (خدا کی) کتاب پر اور پیغمبروں پر ایمان لائیں۔ اور مال باوجود عزیز رکھنے کے رشتہ داروں اور یتیموں اور محتاجوں اور مسافروں اور مانگنے والوں کو دیں اور گردنوں (کے چھڑانے) میں (خرچ کریں) اور نماز پڑھیں اور زکوٰة دیں۔ اور جب عہد کرلیں تو اس کو پورا کریں۔ اور سختی اور تکلیف میں اور (معرکہ) کارزار کے وقت ثابت قدم رہیں۔ یہی لوگ ہیں جو (ایمان میں) سچے ہیں اور یہی ہیں جو (خدا سے) ڈرنے والے ہیں




I stumbled upon this ayah and was stunned by the degree of preciseness and the details. Later it turned out that it is indeed a very prominent ayah.

It is the embodiment of the popular saying that one is supposed to be aware of haqooqul ebaad as well as of haqooqul Allah.

Allah Himself dismisses the ebadat of someone who is busy only praying the salat and ignores the people’s needs.

He defines the neki (Birr) as not just the prayers but a host of other things besides: like:


  1. Eeman: (on Allah, on the day of judgement, on the angles, on the book (Qoran), and on the prophets).
  2. Spend (in spite of the love for it/ in Allah’s love) the money we have on

(a)    relatives (near and far)

(b)   orphans

(c)    the destitute

(d)   the wayfarer

(e)    the ones who do ask

(f)    getting the release of the captives

  1. Pray salat
  2. Pay zakat
  3. Fulfil the promise if once committed
  4. Be stead fast in the times of struggle and hardship and during battle.


The last two indeed form the core of the great character that one will have if only he possesses these.

There is some conflict in the translation of No.2: Spend (in spite of the love for it/ in Allah’s love) . But I say we should not bother about it and remember that we have to spend. Allah will decide what He meant.


Conspicuously missing from the list are two farz: Fasting in the month of Ramadan and Hajj in the Hajj season. These two in my opinion are two ibadats that concern the relation between Allah and the man alone and thus are excluded from the list of the things that form neki. Neki it turns out is that which translates in the well being of the people. Wallah o Allam. He alone knows why these were not included.


There are a host of other things mentioned else where like neighbours’ rights, doing a fare deal when trading, not measuring less, not profiteering nor hoarding etc. Being kind to parent’s elderly in general, love the children etc.


May Allah give us strength and taufeeq to follow His commands. Aameen.

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Posted by on December 9, 2018 in Quraan o Sunnat


Yoga in Khayber Pakhtoon Khwa. (Pakistan Northern region)

Yoga is good. For Laugter therapy, please see the Hindi Film Munna Bhai MBBS.

I have a personal experience. I had pain in my left leg and was limping for months. The Hospital therapy failed to cure fully, and the remaining 20% was cured in few weeks of Yoga. 20 years ago.  (I think I should start it again just to keep good.)

About laughter therapy I have doubts.

Below is from BBC

ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان: دہشت اور ذہنی کوفت کو ’دفع دور‘ کرنے کے لیے مفت یوگا

  • 9 نومبر 2018

ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان کے مرکزی پارک میں قہقہے لگاتے سینکڑوں افراد لوگوں کی توجہ کا مرکز ہیں۔ ہر ایک کا یہی سوال ہے: یہ لوگ کیا کر رہے ہیں؟ کہیں پاگل یا دیوانے تو نہیں؟

کسی نے بتایا کہ یہ لوگ یوگا کر رہے ہیں اور قہقہے لگانا ’لافٹر تھیرپی‘ ہے۔ یعنی قہقہے لگا کر غم غلط کرنے کی مشق۔

یہ یوگا کیا چیز ہے؟ اس سے بیشتر لوگ نا واقف ہیں۔ لیکن لیکن جوں جوں اس ورزش کے بارے میں لوگوں کو آگاہی بڑھی، یوگا کرنے والوں کی تعداد میں اضافہ میں بھی ہو رہا ہے۔ آج ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان میں ایک نہیں، پانچ یوگا کلب قائم ہو چکے ہیں۔

خیبر پختونخوا کے اس پسماندہ ضلع میں لوگ پرتشدد واقعات کی وجہ سے ذہنی دباؤ کا شکار ہیں۔ اس سال کے گذشتہ دس ماہ میں اس شہر میں 40 افراد کو ٹارگٹ کلنگ کا نشانہ بنایا جا چکا ہے۔ دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ سے بھی یہ شہر بری طرح متاثر ہوا ہے اور یہاں متعدد دھماکوں اور خود کش حملوں میں بڑی تعداد میں لوگ ہلاک اور زخمی ہوئے ہیں۔

فرقہ وارانہ تشدد کے واقعات تو اب معمول بن چکے ہیں۔ عاشورہ کے جلوس پر حملے اور جنازوں پر فائرنگ کے واقعات بھی عام ہیں۔

اس یوگا کلب میں ہنسنا منع نہیں، ضروری ہے!


عوام کی ذہنی کیفیت کو مد نظر رکھتے ہوئے کچھ پڑھے لکھے لوگوں نے جب شہر کے حق نواز پارک میں یوگا کلب کا آغاز کیا تو اس وقت اس میں صرف چار افراد شامل تھے۔

یوگا شروع کرنے والوں میں گومل یونیورسٹی کے شعبہ صحافت کے چیئرمین پروفیسر ڈاکٹر وسیم اکبر نے اہم کردار ادا کیا۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ وہ لوگوں کی منتیں کرتے تھے کہ آپ آئیں، اس سے آپ کو فائدہ ہوگا۔ لیکن اکثر لوگ پوچھتے کہ ’یہ یوگا کیا چیز ہے؟‘

اب لوگوں کو اس کی افادیت کا اندازہ ہونا شروع ہو گیا ہے۔ نئے یوگا کلبز میں چار سے پانچ سو افراد یہ ورزش کرتے ہیں اور اس کی کوئی فیس نہیں ہے۔ لوگ اپنی مرضی سے صبح اور شام کے اوقات میں یہاں دل بہلانے اور ورزش کرنے آتے ہیں۔


یہاں مقامی لوگوں کے علاوہ جنوبی وزیرستان سے نقل مکانی کرنے والے وہ لوگ بھی یوگا کے لیے آتے ہیں جو فضائی بمباری اور جنگ کے ماحول سے آئے ہیں۔ ان میں ایک شخص ایسا بھی ہے جو افغانستان کی قندھار جیل میں قید رہا اور وہاں اس پر شدید جسمانی اور ذہنی تشدد کیا گیا تھا۔

اس شہر سے تعلق رکھنے والے کرنل ریٹائرڈ خالد علی زئی پنجاب کے مختلف شہروں میں یوگا کلبز قائم کر چکے ہیں اور ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان میں بھی اس کا آغاز انھوں نے ہی کیا ہے۔ ان کے بقول ان کا مقصد ’ہسپتال ویران اور پارک آباد‘ کرنا ہے۔

انھوں نے بتایا کہ یوگا سے مختلف بیماریوں کا علاج ہوتا ہے اور ایسے افراد جنھیں مختلف عارضے لاحق تھے، یوگا کی بدولت وہ اب تندرست ہیں۔

اس کلب میں ورزش کرتے ہوئے 73 سالہ ریٹائرڈ استاد اور ماضی کے ہاکی کے کھلاڑی محمد کامل نے بتایا کہ ان کے گھٹنوں اور کندھوں میں شدید درد رہتا تھا، لیکن اس ورزش کے بعد وہ واضح بہتری محسوس کر رہے ہیں۔


ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان میں اب پہلی مرتبہ خواتین پارک بھی قائم کیا گیا ہے، جہاں خواتین یوگا کرتی ہیں۔

خاتون انسٹرکٹر مسز خالد نے بی بی سی کو بتایا کہ بیشتر خواتین ذہنی دباؤ کا شکار ہیں۔ ’انھیں ہر لمحہ یہ فکر رہتی ہے کہ بچے کہاں ہیں اور شوہر کی فکر لاحق رہتی ہے۔‘

اس شہر میں خواتین گھروں سے کم ہی باہر نکلتی ہیں، لیکن یوگا کلبز کے قیام سے انھیں ذہنی سکول ملا ہے۔

مسز خالد کے مطابق پہلے ان خواتین کے لیے گھر میں انتظام کیا گیا تھا، جہاں چند ایک خواتین آتی تھیں۔ لیکن اب خواتین پارک میں ان کی تعداد بڑھ گئی ہے۔


اس شہر کے طویل کشیدہ حالات سے خواتین بھی بری طرح متاثر ہوئی ہیں۔ ان میں ایسی خواتین بھی شامل ہیں جن کے گھروں یا محلّوں کوئی نہ کوئی شخص دہشت گردی کا نشانہ بن چکا ہے۔

اس شہر میں نفسیاتی کاؤنسلنگ کا کوئی خاطر خواہ انتظام نہیں اور ذہنی آسودگی حاصل کرنے کا کوئی اور طریقہ بھی نہیں۔ شاید اسی لیے یہاں کے لوگوں کے لیے مہنگی دوائیوں کی نسبت یوگا کی مشق زیادہ کارآمد ثابت ہو رہی ہے۔


Posted by on November 10, 2018 in Uncategorized


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A Beautiful Ghazal

اتباف ابرک‏ @ATBAF_ABRAK_

Atbaf Abrak is a new find (for me)

His ghazal from Twitter is given here. The translation (together with any mistakes in the translating) is mine.

قصور کوئی زمانے، سماج کا کب تھا

 یہ بدنصیب ہی تیرے مزاج کا کب تھا

qusoor koi zamane, samaj ka kab tha

yeh badnaseeb hi tere mizaaj ka kab tha

[There is no need to blame the society or the circumstances

actually, I was never of  your type]  

مرض سے کیسے کیا جائے اب گلہ کوئی

ذرا سا شوق یہاں بھی علاج کا کب تھا

maraz se kaise kiya jaaye ab gila koi

zara sa shauq yahaaN bhi ilaaj ka kab tha

[It is futile to complain about the ailment not cured

who was interested in it to be cured in the first place[

شبِ فراق کو ہر سحر ہنس کے کہتی ہے

اسے بتاو کہ وعدہ ہی آج کا کب تھا

shab e firaaq se har sahar haNs ke kahti hai

ise bataao ke waada hi aaj ka kab tha

[every morning, when it comes, asks the long night the lover has just endured in vain waiting for his lover

 tell him who made the promise for tonight]

مرے یہ شعر قلم بد گماں لکھے ابرک

خیال دل کو کسی احتجاج کا کب تھا

mere yeh sher dil e bagumaN likhe Abrak

khayaal e dil ko kisi ehtejaaj ka kab tha

I never had any thought of registering any protest

these shers of mine, O Abrak, come mainly from the pen who is good at being sore. 



Sher Singh ordered fort doors chained for 100 years.


Only a sikh could give such a hilarious punishment to innocent wooden doors of a Fort which was breached by enemy. When, in 1840, Prince Sher Singh of Sikh Empire was on a visit to the Fort in Peshawar, Pakhtoons attacked the fort and were able to enter the fort. However they were repulsed after a fight. Later in a court martial the fort doors were found to be at fault and thus given a 100 years sentence to be chained to a pillar. In 1940 the term was served but the poor gates are still chained.

The following report is from BBC Urdu.

Sher Singh.jpg


امردیپ سنگھ شب قدر قلعے میں زنجیروں میں جکڑے ہوئے دو

د روازوں کا ذکر کرتے ہیں۔ وہ بیان کرتے ہیں سنہ 1840 میں سکھ دورحکومت میں مہاراجہ شیر سنگھ نے یہاں کا دورہ کیا تو کچھ افغان جنگجو قلعے کا دروازہ توڑ کر اندر داخل ہونے میں کامیاب ہو گئے تاہم انھیں پسپا کر دیا گیا۔

مصنف کے مطابق اس کے اگلے روز جب تفتیش کی گئی تو سکھ فوج کے ایک اطالوی جنرل جین بیپٹائسٹ وینٹورا اس قلعے کے کمانڈر تھے اور دفاع کی ذمہ داری بھی ان کے سپرد تھی تاہم مہاراجہ نے دفاع میں ناکامی کا ذمہ دار قلعے کے دروازے کو قرار دیتے ہوئے اسے 100 سال قید کی سزا سنائی۔

سنہ 1940 میں یہ سزا پوری ہو گئی لیکن آج بھی یہ دروازے ایک مینار کے ساتھ زنجیروں میں جکڑے ہوئے ہیں۔


Posted by on March 11, 2018 in History, Jokes


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