Thursday, April 17, 2014

Commercialization of religious acts including the mandatory ones

There is a huge difference between my recent visit to Haramain Shareefain and my first one in 1981. I wish to record some of my feelings here that some may consider objectionable.

  A lot of good new construction has taken away dirt problems and air-conditioned shopping centers have replaced lot of open shops that still exist and are as busy as before but
 food quality has gone down
 Zamzam has been diluted,
K'aba has become overshadowed with tall business buildings mostly 5-star hotels
and most prominent clock tower has been built next to Haram so Kaaba is no more 'the object of worship' but the business is (it seems)
 I did see a new good-looking musalla (Ja-e-namaz) with the picture of kaaba small closer to the feet and the clock tower's top at the place of sajda.
 One would think that most religious Muslims are all filthy rich that can afford 5-star hotels all the Western big Giants, like Intercontinental, Sheraton, Hilton etc. and the poor Muslims now must walk distances from the masjid staying in 'ordinary hotels named in Arabic.
 Dont get me wrong, it all looks so nice and clean and posh that all other religions would envy. At least this way Hajj has become Fardz only for filthy rich Muslims and on poor Muslims it is not mandatory any more. Good for them. However now that everything is on sale it seems this 5th rukn of Islam is undergoing lot of alterations under the Saudi regime. Zamzam is now sold strictly under the orders of Kingdom whereas I clearly remember getting a can of Zamzam at the airport when returning home from Hajj in 1994 'free' and also a copy of newly printed Quran,  all given by the King free of charge as a gift and it was real zamzam not 55% Zamzam mixed with 45% ordinary water
I remember the comment of "Commercialization of "Hajj&Umra" by the new Muslimah who had returned after Hajj and talked to us in our Masjid here. The lady who was a British journalist prisoner of Taliban who accepted Islam, I forget her name.
Next I see (Future) they will start charging one riyal per Salat in the masjid-Nabawi and may be two Ryals per Salat in Makkah -after all these prayers (Salat) are not ordinary ones each one is equivalent to 50K or 100K salats and Saudis are "Custodians of these places of worship", so they deserve to be materially benefitted
for all the money they have spent on these places. Only Allah knows where all this going to end.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blogging blocked?

 For some weeks there appeared a block in my blogging so I had to wait till I find what it was
 My children/Grandchildren visits are associated with computer corrections counselling, thank God.
 So it got uncovered. Unfortunately my acoustic abilities being severely retarded I could not have gotten this thing myself anyway because there was a "Video Instruction' about it and how to remove the block or, as a matter of fact it was how to reinstate the blogging with more advanced apps.
 Anyway folks now I am back in business and  will restart soon.
 Late happy Pakistan Day (23rd March) for my Pakistani viewers

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Religion and filmland

I have previously made some comments about religious topics/ film-names chosen by Hollywood like the ones that depict the life directly or indirectly of Jesus Christ PBUH
 Muslims have been forbidden to make stories for drama or film of prophet Muhammad SAWS and in a way it is good as it keeps Muslims from entering into this projest
 However the Christians are free and seem to walk freely in this 'land' with some good and many disastrous results. (some undertakings that were rightly suppressed, like the one suggesting homosexuality, astaghfirullah) and then you are familiar with Da Vinci's Code movie.
 Now I hear another one "Son of God" coming in soon and the controversy has started already.
I hear words like
 "There is money to be made"
 That is the whole motivation and it is not expensive to make such movies.  It is ridiculous that you praise a person giving him so high a position to call him God or son of God and then drag him down to such low human level and chose a handsome white man to pose as such "person". It seems a  despicable idea to me to make 'money' on the religious emotions of the people, and you have freedom to disagree with me. I hear
"That is a powerful story" (Reason for making it into a movie).
So all your religious beliefs are a just a "powerful story"?

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow-storm in NC

Snow storms or heavy snow falls are uncommon in this part of NC.
 I was new from North when I joined hospital staff in Fayetteville NC Jan. 31 1973
 Within a week my neurosurgeon Colleague went off for his 'holiday' or vacation. I started off pretty busy.
 Weather was nice and I was in my new Apartment, within walking distance from the hospital. On 9th February there was heavy snowfall, unusual for Fayetteville but not for me. I had spent nearly four years in Cincinnati Ohio and prior to that I had spent time in England. I was familiar with the use of special tires and chained tires during snow etc. But Fayetteville could not do much for snow and most people stayed home. I put my boots on and walked to the hospital where everybody was surprised to see me but it was good for the patients.
 How do I remember 9th Feb.? - Well, it is because I wrote in my diary which I still have with me.
 Anyway, now seeing this snow does not bother me but being retired, I have no worries, no reason to get out on the roads  and after two days of below freezing point temperatures we got out this afternoon and temp was close to 60 degrees F.  actually it was a beautiful day today. Strictly speaking I feel kind of 'guilty' calling this a snow storm in Raleigh NC. Thank God however that we live in such nice place. But we were fully prepared for loss of water supply or loss of electricity etc. (Elec. was off for just  a few seconds) I was thinking how fortunate we are we have continuous supply of water (hot&cold Running), continuous supply of gas, central heating arrangement plenty of good food. Having lived many times in my life without such luxuries I cannot thank God enough what He has provided us during our old age

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Drones and Groans

Last year some criticism started in our country about the use of Drones particularly for "target killing of "terrorist leaders, in other countries. The number of Innocents killed were calculated by the President as justifiable even though many local people did not agree with him.
 The criticism/groans continues.
 The use is unethical to say the least but what is apparent is that so many innocent children and elderly have lost their lives. I am not going into statistics because in my judgment even a single innocent life taken is too much but then "war" is war and everything is justified  in the end. Such is the power of the powerful.
 I was reminded of this injustice as I read the article about it in Islamic Horizons "Judge, Jury & Executioner". The point is made, do the Americans realize innocent children are killed Nabila and Zubair children of Rafiq-ur-Rehman whose mother was killed but the two children were wounded and survived. They came her for Congressional hearing in Oct. 2013 Only 5 of the 535 members of Congress showed up at the hearing
 Compare that with the Girl who survived Taliban attack, Malala Yusufzai, as to how she and her father were treated. I cannot blame Pakistanis when they tend to minimize Malala's case. Once President Musharraf agreed with Drone attacks allowing USA, nobody seems to be concerned with such innocent killing. They only look at  the terrorist killed or missed.
 When I was in Pakistan Waziristan was a place of attraction for us college/university boys, known for natural beauty but I was never able to make it 

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Sunday, January 26, 2014


  There is hardly any old movie that I have not seen (exaggeration)
 I just watched "Pride of the Yankees", with tears in my eyes frequently (Yes I am rather 'emotional' so to say)
 I practiced Neurology for 30 years and  diagnosed/treated many patients with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) which I had learned in England to call "Motor Neuron Disease". After coming to America (Yes BTW I like "Coming to America"), I learnt that here it is also called
 Lou Gehrig's Disease (for the love of this Base ball player)
 It took me back a few years about one Muslim woman who got this dreadful disease and I 'helped' her to accept and supported her throughout her illness until she died. I would visit her and she would ask me to recite various surahs short as well as long for her. I would stand by her bed in her home and recite S, Rahman, Sura Yaseen, Sura Ikhlas etc. and she would listen. Her children were all supportive too.
 During her last days I had mentally prepared her (somebody else was treating her) disabilities that she is going to encounter so she could dictate as a Muslimah to her doctor what to do and what not to do.
 May Allah forgive her and reward her alJannah.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Year of 2014

 Happy new year to all
 We have come up to "MLK day" already, I did not consider myself as lazy as that but yes I have been pre-occupied with grandchildren visiting.
   News have been dominated by the New Jersey Governer's "Bridge Scandal" , poor fellow, Christie was surely the leading contender for Republican nomination for US presidential election coming up in 2016. I think he has suffered a significant set back. It is amazing to me that such somewhat unrelated thing as traffic lanes for crossing a bridge can explode into such out of proportion scandal becoming "Bridgegate"
May be there is time enough for him make some amends and improve his image and electability.
   They say in Panjabi "buddh  kamm suddh" meaning that wednesday will make the day 'right' for you, so this year starting on a Wed. may mean something good? We always think that all will be OK.
 So we should pray for that inshaAllah

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