Houstonian Corner (V12-I14)

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Unity Faith and Discipline

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Census 2010 Meeting at ISGH Main Center…

Pakistan Day of March 23 Celebrated at the Consulate of Pakistan in Houston…

Need to Revitalize the Golden Principles of the Quid: Unity – Faith – & – Discipline: Khalid Khan of PAGH – Honorable Aqil Addressed the Community Especially Media

“I have just returned from Pakistan: What I have seen on the roads, streets and public places over there and then also have closely observed the Pakistan community in USA, I reach this conclusion that individually Pakistanis are the brightest of all and most talented. Somehow when it comes to working together, we have issues. And this is because we have forgotten the golden principles of Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah of Unity – Faith – & – Discipline”: These were the words of youngest ever President of Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH) at the Pakistan Day March 23rd Festivities at the Consulate of Pakistan in Houston. Mezban Restaurant catered sumptuous brunch on the occasion and everyone appreciate Sohail and Tariq of Mezban for as always grand food.

“We have big egos and instead of positively using our egos, we indulge in negativity.  It is time for us to make a comeback and revive Unity – Faith – & – Discipline, through which we achieved the biggest bounty of independence,” added Khalid Khan.

Before that Counsel General of Pakistan Aqil Nadeem, Commercial Attaché Government of Pakistan Dr. Zia Ahmed, various leaders of the Pakistani community, their spouses and community media joined together at the lawn besides the Consulate to raise the flag of Pakistan amidst the national anthem. Some of the distinguished members of the community like Shamshad Wali (who read a patriotic poem); Reverend Dr. Afzal Firdous; Ali Kamal (former seven times president of PAGH); Dr. Aziz Siddiqi (President ISGH); Ghulam Bombaywala (former President of PAGH); Abdul Qayyum; Zafar Khan (office bearer of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce); Mirza Ashraf; and others.

For the first time at a community event like this, members of local Pakistani media were given chance to say their feelings. Tariq Khan; Chairperson of Pakistani Media Council, informed briefly the historical significance of March 23rd and said main lesson we can take from Pakistan Movement is that without combined and unified effort, it was impossible to achieve Pakistan and that unity we need today not only in Pakistan, but living in USA as Pakistani Community, we need to rise up beyond our differences and unite. He pointed out that the community leadership at times ignore the media and do not give due respect. There is need for mutual respect between the media and the leaders of the community. He appealed to Consul General Aqil Nadeem to mediate and resolve the ongoing issue between a member of the media and community leader. Shamim Syed of Pakistan News also gave a message of hope for concord within the community. Shaikh Najam Ali of Pakistan Times said that money is not the criteria of someone being a big man.

After reading the message of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari on the happy occasion of March 23rd, which talked about need to strengthen the democratic values and system in Pakistan after years of dictatorships; in the midst of ovations, the Counsel General of Pakistan in Houston Honorable Aqil Nadeem announced “Jinnah Scholarship” for someone of Pakistani Origin doing a four year degree program in journalism. He said in mainstream American media, there is lack of Pakistanis presence and this is one small way to enhance our presence in a positive manner. He urged all Pakistanis to help in collecting the necessary funds for this scholarship.

Honorable Aqil Nadeem showed his antagonism towards those elements in the society, including some media outlet in Houston, who gives air to disunity. He said as Pakistan is transforming back into the folds of fully functional democracy, it is also incumbent upon all the Pakistanis abroad to recognize that their motherland has given them identity and education that today they are excelling in a foreign land: One way of pay back is to strengthen the Pakistani community wherever they may be.

Census 2010 has Chosen Two of ISGH Centers for their Community Information Places

“We have more than eighteen major centers across the Greater Houston Region, where Census 2010 can establish the informational centers. Presently Census 2010 has chosen two locations, including ISGH Masjid in Bear Creek Area:” This was informed by President of Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), as he greeted staff members of Census 2010 and The Alliance For Multicultural Community Services (which mainly deals with issues of immigrants and refugees). Present on the occasion were staff members of ISGH Main Center and Shaikh Omar Inshanally, who started the proceedings with recitation of Quran.

Census 2010 Staff informed that if people need help with understanding of Census Questionnaire that arrived in all Americans mail by March 15th, 2010, they can assist in more than 50 languages’. For all the Desi and Muslim community, The Alliance For Multicultural Community Services Center located at 6440 Hillcroft, Suite 411, Houston, Texas 77081 (Phone: 713-776-4700) provides an excellent centrally location place to get help with Census 2010 Forms.

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Bomb Blast near FIA Building in Lahore

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Mahvish Akhtar, MMNS Pakistan Correspondent

A bomb blast near the FIA building in Model Town Lahore on March 8th 2010 shook the entire city. “Eleven people have been killed and several others injured in the suicide car bombing. The target was the FIA building and the Special Intelligence Agency which also had a building in the vicinity.

Reports state that 14 people were killed in this blast and 61 are injured and out of those 29 are in critical condition. Out of those 9 were policemen and the rest were women and children. Seven of the constables killed in the explosion were identified, their names are: Naveed, Habib Ullah, Arif, Manzar Alam, Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Afzal and Aziz Ahmed. The bodies were later shifted to the city morgue.

The DCO of Lahore and the Inspector General of Punjab, Tariq Azeem both confirmed that an explosive laden vehicle rammed into the Investigation Agency’s building.

Around 600 kilograms of explosives were used in this attack. The police said that the massive explosion has managed to create an 8 foot deep crater. The bomb even killed a woman who lived 300 meters away from where the bomb originally exploded. Many buildings, including houses, were damaged and a considerable number of cars were also damaged and destroyed because of the blast. Security has been placed on high alert across the entire city.

Witnesses say that they saw two people step out of the van which means the suicide bomber had accomplices.However, a case under Sections 302 and 324 of the PPC, 7 of ATA and 3/4 of Explosives Act was registered against the unknown suicide bomber and “his two accomplices” on the complaint of an assistant director of the SIA.

Witnesses have told the media that the FIA building completely collapse people were buried under it. Khusro Pervez, the top administration official in Lahore said on Monday, “I fear the death toll may rise. We believe there are still people trapped under the rubble.”

This statement came out to be true since on Monday the death toll was 11 and by the next day I had risen to 14; if there are anymore bodies under the ruble that is still to be discovered.

“The blast also severely damaged a nearby religious school and houses. All schools have been closed in the area in order to avoid further losses or to prevent the possibility of another attack,” said Mr. Parvez Rathore who is Lahore City Police Chief.

Police said 30 to 50 people were in the building, used by police and intelligence agents, at the time of attack.

Interior Minister Mr. Rahman Malik stated while talking to the media that people who are carrying out these acts are not Muslim and these people are agents from outside who are committed these crimes. He also added that Muslims cannot kill other innocent Muslims so brutally. Mr. Malik also added that in his opinion the target was the Special Investigation Agency and not the FIA building.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for these acts soon after the fact, “We claim responsibility for the Lahore blast. We will continue such attacks in future,” Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP reporters in telephone calls from an undisclosed location.

“The attack was to avenge (US) drone attacks and (Pakistani) military operations in the tribal areas. We will carry on such attacks as long as drone strikes and operations continue.”

The concern by the public that has been raised in the past has become a more prominent voice in the wake of Monday’s attack. This concern is that official government and police institutions in the middle of a residential area are a bad idea.

The public of Lahore are too familiar with this drill, where there is a police building or some kind of army, police or intelligence building suicide bombers are sure to follow. As much as this situation saddens the public just as much they hope to be far away form it. The residents of Model Town claim that they had brought this issue to the notice of the government because they knew this was a disaster waiting to happen-which it actually was.

We are left to wonder whether this is going to start a string of attacks as the attackers claimed that this was one of the many attacks that they plan on carrying out against the government. If this is a first of many the question now is what is the government going to do to protect the public now? As we speak the drone attacks in the northern area keep killing more people. It is obvious that there is no negotiating or stopping of the war against terror and war against Al-Qaida.

This question of how the public of Pakistan should be protected is on the minds of every body who is living and beathing in this country even if they didn’t feel the physical shock this attack. Even though they haven’t felt this one many people in Pakistan have heard other bomb blast from close up, many have lost someone they loved or knew in these attacks, many of them are not with us today to ask the same question we are asking-how will our leaders protect us now.

12-11

The Ritual Prayer of the Spiritual Elite

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

The traditional report (hadith) of Abu Hazim al-Araj (R)…

One day, while I was at the seashore, one of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) came up to me and said: “O Abu Hazim, do you know how to perform the ritual prayer?”

“How could I not know how to perform the ritual prayer”, said I, “since I am thoroughly familiar with its strictly obligatory elements, as well as with the customary observances [ma ‘stanna] established by Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)?”

….

“He said: ‘With what do you mark the opening of the ritual prayer’
“I said: ‘With the affirmation of Allah’s Supreme Greatness [bi’t’takblr].’
“He said: ‘And what [element of the prayer] is its manifest proof [burhan]?”
“I said: ‘Its Qur’anic recitation [qira’a].’
“He said: ‘And what is its jewel, its very essence [jawhar]?’
“1 said: ‘Its glorification [of the Lord] [tasbih].’
“He said: ‘And what is its animation [ihya]
“I said: ‘Its humble submission [khushu ].’
“He said: ‘And what is its humble submission [khushu’]?’
“I said: ‘Fixing one’s gaze on the spot where the act of prostration [sujud] is to be performed.’
‘He said: ‘And what is its solemn dignity [waqar]
“I said: ‘Its state of calm tranquility [sukun].’
“He said: ‘And what is its consecration [tahrim]?’
“I said: ‘The [initial] declaration of Allah’s Supreme Greatness takbir].’
“He said: ‘And what is its deconsecration [tahlil].’
“I said: ‘The [concluding] salutation [taslim].’
“He said: ‘And what is its emblem [shi ar]?
“I said: ‘The glorification [of the Lord] [tasbih] when its performance has been duly completed.’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to all of that, O Abu Hazim?’
“I said: ‘The ritual ablution [wudu].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to the ritual ablution [miftah al-wudu]?”
“I said: The invocation of Allah’s Name [tasmiya (Bismillah)].
“He said: ‘And what is the key to the invocation of Allah’s Name [miftah at-tasmiya]‘!’
“I said: The intention [niyya].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to the intention [miftah an-niyyaj]?
“I said: ‘Certitude [yaqin].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to certitude [miftah al-yaqin]?.’
“I said: ‘Absolute trust [in the Lord] [tawakkul].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to absolute trust [miftah at-tawakkul]”
“I said: ‘Fear [khawf]”
“He said: ‘And what is the key to fear [miftah al-khawf]?
“I said: ‘Hope [raja’].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to hope [miftah ar-raja]?
“I said: ‘Patience [sabr].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to patience [miftah as-sabr]?’
“I said: ‘Contentment [rida].’
“He said: ‘And what is the key to contentment [miftah ar-rida]‘!’
“I said: ‘Worshipful obedience [ta’a]
“He said: ‘And what is the key to worshipful obedience [miftah at-ta’a]?”
“I said: ‘Acknowledgment [of truth and reality] [i’tiraf]‘
“He said: ‘And what is the key to acknowledgment [of truth and reality] [miftah al-i’tiraf]?
“I said: ‘Acknowledgment of the Divine Oneness and Lordship [at-i’tiraf bi’l-wahdaniyya wa r-rububiyya]‘
“He said: ‘And by what means did you become acquainted with all of that?’
“I said: Through knowledge [ilm].’
“He said: ‘And by what means did you acquire knowledge [ilm]?
“I said: Through the process of learning [ta allum].’
“He said: ‘And by what means did you pursue the process of le [ta allum].’
“I said: Through intelligence [aql]
“He said: “And by what means did you acquire intelligence [aql]?”
“I said: There are two kinds of intelligence. For the making of one kind of intelligence, Allah is solely responsible, to the exclusion of His creatures. The other kind of intelligence is one that human beings can develop, through the discipline of training and education. When the two kinds are combined together as a team, each of them assists and supports the other.”
“He said: ‘And by what means did you accomplish all of that?”
I said: “Through the enabling grace of Allah. May Allah enable us, and you, to succeed in achieving that which is worthy of love and approval’

Excerpted from Al Ghunya li Talibi Tariq al-Haqq Vol 4