UPSC Topper Faesal Creates History For Kashmir

May 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nilofar Suhrawardy, MMNS India Correspondent

NEW DELHI:  Kashmir is in news again, with its resident Dr. Shah Faesal (27) having topped the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Examination. With Faesal being the first Kashmiri to have topped the all-India elite services examination, the state is delighted – celebrating his success as their own. Enthusiastic Kashmiris burst crackers, beat drums and shouted slogans welcoming Faesal when he returned to Srinagar on Friday (May 7), a day after the results were declared. “Kashmir ka sitara, Faesal hamara (Kashmir’s star, our Faisal),” hailed the delighted Kashmiris. Faesal ranks first among the 875 candidates declared successful in the civil services examination. He reached the top in his maiden attempt, putting behind him around 409,110 candidates who had applied for the examination in 2009.

Crediting his success to God and his family’s support, Faesal said: “I am humbled. I had faith in my hard work, Allah’s grace and the blessings of my family. My mother, brother and sister equally share the honor as they supported me like a rock when I decided to sit for the most coveted exams in the country.”

Faesal’s father Ghulam Rasool Shah was killed by militants in 2002. But rather than be cowed down or feel defeated, Faesal and his family moved on to face the challenges lying ahead. Within days of his father’s murder, the first test that Faesal appeared for was the professional entrance examination for MBBS. He cleared it. But he was not satisfied by being just a medical doctor and decided to take the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) examination. “I saw patients who had no money to purchase medicines, a large number of them. I wanted to make differences for them. I thought IAS will help me to contribute in a different way,” he said.

Crediting his late father, a respected schoolteacher, for his success, Faesal said: “Many things that my father taught me for my class XI helped me in the exams.” If only his father were also around to share his joy, as Faesal said: “I am missing him today.”

Faesal hails from a remote village in frontier Kupwara district, more than 90 km from Srinagar. Soon after his father’s death, sense of insecurity gripped his family. “Such was the level of fear that I had not visited my home for eight years,” Faesal said. His mother Mubeena Begum migrated to Srinagar with her three children. She worked here as a schoolteacher to help her children live a better life. For her, Faesal’s success is “like a new birth.”

Though he has always been an achiever, his mother and Faesal himself had not imagined his being a topper. Faesal had expected to be in the first 50. Jubilant at being the topper, Faesal said: “There was nothing in my background that would make anybody think that I can achieve this. But I did it. So can thousands of other students with similar difficult backgrounds.” Faesal feels that his “success” is not just his “own.” “I feel I have broken the jinx that Kashmiri students cannot reach the top. I am the first from Jammu and Kashmir to top this examination and I am sure my story will become a model for our students who fear to dream big. I am an orphan with a scarred childhood. There was a tragedy in my family, my father was killed. I was raised by my mother who is a schoolteacher. I belong to a far-flung village and I studied in a government school.”

Faesal prepared for the examinations “normally.” “I did not find it difficult. I studied normally and passed my prelims without coaching. It was after qualifying for the mains that I decided to go for coaching,” Faesal said. The three-phase examination requires passing the preliminary test. Those who clear the prelims have to appear for the main written examinations, after passing which they face the final stage – the interview. Faesal selected Public Administration and Urdu Literature for the mains. He opted for Urdu as he is “emotionally attached to the language.” He received coaching at the Jamia Hamdard Study Center, New Delhi. Among the first to congratulate him in Delhi on his success were senior officers, including the Jamia Chancellor and many students.

Endless streams of people continued streaming in at his residence in Srinagar and the phone there did not stop ringing. J&K Governor N.N. Vohra congratulated Faesal and invited him and his mother to Raj Bhawan for felicitation. Among others, who congratulated Faesal were J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and leader of opposition in State Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti.

Back home, his villagers burst crackers and began preparations to celebrate Faesal’s success. Describing it as a great event for the entire Kashmir Valley, Mir Fayaz, a lecturer said: “We are proud of his success. He will be a role model for the youngsters and a source of inspiration too.”

Faesal’s success proves that Kashmiri talent was “unmatched,” according to Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. “Wherever Kashmiris have worked, they have excelled. I am proud of Faesal, who hails from a remote village. He has worked so hard and made us real proud,” he said.

Faesal is confident that his success will “change the mindset of ordinary Kashmiris.” If they work hard enough, “nothing is impossible,” Faesal said. Though he is ready to be posted anywhere, Faesal is keen to serve his community. “I want to contribute in my small way to peace of Kashmir,” he said. “If Kashmiris need anything – it is peace, since the people have lot of expectations from the government as an agent of change and guarantor of peace, and myself being a part of the government, I’ll definitely be trying my bit on that regard,” he said.

The Right to Information (RTI) Act is another area that is extremely close to Faesal’s heart. He has been an RTI activist since his college days. In his opinion: “The RTI act is a harbinger of change. We can make a difference if we know how to use it.”

Two other Kashmiris have succeeded in civil services examination. They are Rayees Mohammad Bhat (rank 124) and Showkat Ahmad Parray (256). Faesal, Bhat and Parray are three of the 20 Muslims who have passed this competitive examination. Headlines are focused on Kashmir for a change on news that has nothing to do with conflict. Faesal has created history by bringing Kashmir in limelight by being the UPSC topper! 

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Rasheed Wallace the Lone Muslim Remaining in NBA Playoffs

May 6, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

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By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

And then there was one.

A handful of Muslim players had brought their teams to the National Basketball Association playoffs. But, Nazr Muhammad and DeSagana Diop could not get their Charlotte Bobcats out of the first round. And while Mehmet Okur’s Utah Jazz team is still alive, battling the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, Okur himself is out for the remainder of the playoffs due an Achilles tendon injury incurred in the first round. So, Rasheed Wallace now stands alone as the only Muslim still playing.

Rasheed Wallace is in his first year with the Boston Celtics, but he has achieved success at every step of his career. The 6 foot 11 inch Wallace had spent the previous 5 ½ seasons with the Detroit Pistons, having led them to an NBA title in 2004 and an NBA runner-up spot in 2005. Prior to that, he starred for the Portland Trailblazers, and took them to the Western Conference finals in 1999 and 2000. He has been a four time NBA all star. And, in college, he led the University of North Carolina to the Final Four in his sophomore season.

Wallace and the Celtics currently have their hands full with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. But, Rasheed has seen all situations at this point in his illustrious career. There is no reason not to expect continued success.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Hypocrites Never Vanquish Prophets

Those who anticipate the worst for you say, “Were we not with you?” whenever you gain a victory from Allah, but if the disbelievers have a success they say, “Did we not have the upper hand over you and yet in spite of that keep the believers away from you?” Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection. Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers.

An-Nisa’: 141

All through history, hypocrites have rebelled against the truth and waged a war against believers from inside their community. As revealed in the verse “. . . But all might belongs to Allah and to His messenger and the believers. But the hypocrites do not know this” (Surat al-Munafiqun: 8), hypocrites have always claimed that they are superior to believers and will overcome them. Yet despite all these baseless claims, they have never been able to vanquish the believers. Messengers and the believers around them have always emerged victorious. This situation has persisted, just like a law, throughout history.

When events are viewed through the perspective of the Qur’an, the reason for this is easy to see. Allah never permits hypocrites to gain an advantage over the faithful. On the contrary, he overthrows them by means of the messenger and the faithful. Allah reveals in the Qur’an that He has warned all deniers, hypocrites included, who engage in actions aimed against believers and that He will punish them unless they put an end to their cunning activities:

If the hypocrites and those with sickness in their hearts and the rumor-mongers in Madina do not desist, We will set you onto them. Then they will only be your neighbors there a very short time.

Al-Ahzab: 60

Allah also reveals, with examples, how He will always support sincere believers who turn to Him in all they do against the deniers. By means of Allah’s help and support, His messengers have always secured victory, even under the most seemingly difficult conditions.

This is described with several examples in the Qur’an. One of these is Talut, who assumed command of the army in a war waged against the deniers in the time of the Prophet Dawud (as). Talut, placed in command of the believers due to his superior military abilities, made a number of recommendations to the army. However, a number of people of weak faith turned their backs on this advice, though they should have obeyed him, and acted in accordance with their own desires:

When Talut marched out with the army, he said, “Allah will test you with a river. Anyone who drinks from it is not with me. But anyone who does not taste it is with me—except for him who merely scoops up a little in his hand.” But they drank from it—except for a few of them. Then when he and those who believed with him had crossed it, they said, “We do not have the strength to face Goliath and his troops today.” But those who were sure that they were going to meet Allah said, “How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission! Allah is with the steadfast.”

Al-Baqara: 249

At the moment of battle, the hypocrites sought to create difficulties for the faithful by their sudden disobedience, though the believers displayed not the slightest disobedience and supported the messenger in the fighting:

When they came out against Goliath and his troops, they said, “Our Lord, pour down steadfastness upon us, and make our feet firm, and help us against this disbelieving people.” And with Allah’s permission they routed them. . . .

Al-Baqara: 250-251

Allah grants success to believers and victory over the deniers in response to their sincerity and determination. While they enjoy great success in this world, and the approval and paradise of Allah in the Hereafter, deniers are cursed and punished by Him.

Correct Approach Towards Hypocrites

O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh with them. Their refuge is Hell. What an evil destination!

At-Tahrim: 9

The approach to be taken towards hypocrites receives much attention in the Qur’an. In the same way as the believer learns all he needs from the Qur’an, he also learns how to behave in this regard.

The exemplary advice given to believers in the Qur’an is this: that believers should never take hypocrites as their friends, and that they should warn the hypocrites by means of the Qur’an so long as the two remain together. And if the advice given bears no fruit, they should expel the hypocrites from among them. At this point, of course, Allah’s messenger must take the final decision regarding the hypocrites. By means of His messenger, Allah enables believers to take the correct decision.

Let us now examine those verses concerning the attitude to be adopted towards hypocrites.

1. Not to Confide in Them

You who believe! Do not make friends of people with whom Allah is angry, who have despaired of the Hereafter as the disbelievers have despaired of the inhabitants of the graves.

Al-Mumtahana: 13

As we have seen from the beginning, in the light of the verses of the Qur’an, hypocrites are definitely not the kind of people that one should befriend or confide in. Only those of weak faith or in whose hearts faith is not yet fully established take these people, who fail to befriend Allah and who are in consequence not befriended by Him, as their confidants.

The verses revealed by Allah on this subject encourage believers to be on their guard against hypocrites at all times and never to confide in them. It is a matter of great importance to be on one’s guard against hypocrites, who hate the believers and wish them to be dispersed and suffer difficulties.

2. To Rule with Justice Among Them

They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains. If they come to you, you can either judge between them or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. But if you do judge, judge between them justly. Allah loves the just.

Al-Ma’ida: 42

Implementing the stipulation in the above verse is a matter for the messenger at the head of the people alone. The messenger either rules among the hypocrites, as he desires, or else turns his back on them.

3. To Give Advice if They Will Receive That Advice

Allah knows what is in such people’s hearts, so turn away from them and warn them and speak to them with words that take effect.

An-Nisa’: 63

As can be seen from this verse, it is recommended that hypocrites be given effective advice. By this important and effective method, they can come to realize what they have done and regret it. The main thing here is to issue reminders so that they can feel such regret. Someone who fails to heed such advice has declared open war on the religious moral values. Therefore, one must never forget that these people should be spurned, not befriended.

Believers give these people advice in the hope that they will mend their ways. But certainly, every piece of advice increases the suffering in the Hereafter of the hypocrite who turns his back on it. All the advice given to hypocrites is actually a snare, set for them by Allah. By remaining among believers and working in secret, hypocrites imagine that they are being very clever, never realizing that in the Hereafter, they will be recompensed for every piece of advice they received while remaining among believers. In this way they fall into an eternal trap while seeking to set their own snares for believers.

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