Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shab-e-Baraat (The night of Accountability / Salvation)

Hadith :
From Hazrat Ala ibne Haris (R), Hazrat Ayesha Rad says, “Once Rasulullah SallallahuAlaiyhiwa Sallam stood for Salat at night and he stayed in Sajdah for such a long time that I thought he had passed away. I then woke up and shook his thumb. His thumb shook. He got up from Sajdah and completed his Salat and told me,“O `A’ishah (or O Humaira [as he would call her]), have you thought that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would not give you your right?” I said, “No, by Allah, Allah’s Messenger. But when you stayed prostrating so long, I thought you had passed away.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then said, “Do you know what night this is?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “This is the 15th night of Sha`ban. Almighty Allah turns towards His servants on the 15th of Sha`ban and forgives those who ask for His forgiveness, grants mercy to those who ask for it, and delays (punishing or bringing to account) the evil people.”
Shuabul Iman, Baihaqi 3/382 – 368

Another Hadith :

Mu-az Ibne Jabal (RA) quot es Rasulullah SallallahuAlaiyhiwaSallam: “Allah Ta’la looks on to His creation at the half of Shaban, and without ‘mushrik’ (who make partners wit h Allah Taala and jealous people – He forgives all.” (Shahih Ibne Hibban)

Ibn Majah also reported with a weak chain of reporters on the authority of `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
''After sunset on the night of Middle of Sha`ban, Allah in His great mercy and kindness turns towards His creation and asks, "Is there anyone who would seek My forgiveness and I forgive him (or her)? Is there anyone who is in need to ask Me and I provide for his (or her) needs. Is there anyone who is in pain and seeks My help and I help him (or her)? Is there…? Is there…?” until the time of Dawn."

Shab-e- Baraat is observed on the night of 15th of Shabaan (15 days prior to Ramzan). As Muslims worldwide, calculate the beginning of a new day from sunset, Shab-e-Baraat this year is on the night of 27th July, 2010.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is said to have recommended prayers during this night and fasting during the following day.

It reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit the Muslim cemetery on this evening and he used to pray for the deceased Muslims.

It is also believed that the all the events, deaths, 'rizq' for the coming year (till next Shab e baraat) is accorded on this night.

To avail full benefit of the night, one has to offer Nifil namaaz throughout the night, recite the Quran, ask for forgiveness, offer supplication (dua). Some formats of Nifil namaaz are circulated these days. Though the formats do not appear in Quran / Hadeeth, they are recommended as they include duas and verses from Quran, which will be beneficial for all of us.

May Allah guide us and show us the right path

Note : The attached video was made in previous Shabaan, hence the timings and venue mentioned towards the end may be ignored

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tere Bin Laden

Seen a movie after a long long time. Last one I saw in Feb 2010 with my family - 'My Name is Khan'. After that none interested me enough to go and watch. Sunday I was totally down -with stress, hectic life and dull health. Since all were at home for the weekend, my sister suggested we watch 'Tere Bin Laden' as the reviews were good. Though I wasn't keen, she suggested it would cheer me up as from the recent stress of my life. I'd seen some funny promos and it was a short movie after all and at a cinema hall 10 mins walk from our house. Also, offbeat cinema by new film-makers are good food for thought, so the deal seemed fair enough. I said 'yes' and decided to be part of the gang.

I didn't regret the decision to watch the movie. The entire movie was interesting as the name. We laughed right from the first frame to the last. It was one helluva crazy movie! My sister put Archana Puran Singh to shame with her non-stop laughter. The film storyline is set in Pakistan, though the shooting took place in India only. It is about a young Pakistani journalist, Ali Zafar (the good looking singer from Pak) who dreams of going to America (USA). And the amount of tricks he does to get there. The first frame begins with a cover story on the first flight going to USA from Pakistan after the 9/11. There is only one Pakistani (Ali) in the all American passenger list (including the cabin crew). Everyone gives him a strange n suspicious look. To make matters worse, the air hostess drops a butter knife and apna Ali gets up in hero-style to return it back to her! Holding up the butter knife, he moves behind the air hostess telling her that she dropped something down and flashes the butter knife! That's it ! The air hostess yells and all hell breaks loose! Ali is taken into custody and questioned and news is twisted and flashed everywhere..... That's how the film opens!

Like the first scene, every scene is crazy but with a lot of message. The Bin Laden in the movie is a fake Osama look-alike set up for earning big bucks, to go to America! The casting, accent, scenes, everything is done with a lot of care to create a Pakistani feel. And all this with an all Indian cast and locations. Only Ali Zafar is the Pakistani actor in the movie. The film is funny as well as satirical. It speaks volumes of US policies, the reality behind the actual 'breaking' news we see on television and has lot of anti-Bush'ism' ! The character of Osama lookalike, played by Pradhuman Singh is too good. A simple village guy, who runs a poultry farm and is crazy about his 'kukkads' and 'kukdis' unwillingly becomes a man-on-the-run after he becomes wanted by the US Army! All characters appear realistic. And though the movie is shot in Hyderabad, you feel you are in Pakistan ! A truly well-made movie with no dull moment and no lecture baazi. Everything is said joking, but hits where it should !

A clean masterpiece by debutante writer-director Abhishek Sharma, the film is recommended for young and old !

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shab-e-Mehraj : The night of Ascent

Many non Muslims wonder what Shab-e-Mehraj is. 'Shab' here means 'night' and 'Mehraj' was Prophet Mohammed SAS's ascent to the seven heavens on this particular night. This was a indeed a miracle of Allah. Though a lot of things happened there and Muhammed SAS met many too, the earthly time taken for the entire episode was merely a few minutes. It is reported that his bed was still warm when he returned back from his journey. The video details the entire episode very beautifully. Though the language is Arabic, the subtitles are English. With the subtitles, I need not add more descriptions about Shab-e-Mehraj in my post as it is self explanatory. I like this particular video because of the beautiful rhythm and tune.

For those who do not know, music is prohibited in Islam. The only permissible instrument is the 'Daf' (flat and round- similar to a drum, but with only one side). The entire rhythm is only on 'daf'' and the beautiful rendition of the words / lyrics. Though music is prohibited, beautiful recitation of Quran is part of Islamic culture. It is called the 'Qiraat'. When you hear a 'Qiraat' of some Hafiz (one who knows the entire Quran by heart)- the octaves, balancing of low and high pitch and controlling of breath, the best of best singers appear nothing. It is that amazing ! And when a Qiraat or Nasheed (religious song) is accompanied by a beautiful voice, then the entire effect is breath-taking ! And no music (not even a Daf) is required as the words flow with such musical perfection.... Subhanallah!

Monday, July 05, 2010

5th July - Holiday or Bandh or just fun ?

It's a holiday in US today due to their Independence Day yesterday. In US, the holidays falling on a Saturday/ Sunday are moved to a Monday. So the Dollar market (which forms major part of our forex) is closed today.

In some suburban areas of Mumbai, markets are closed on Mondays instead of Sundays. Mira Road is always closed on Mondays, except for 'Monday Markets' selling low cost wares on the road during evenings.

So, today's bandh by opposition doesn't affect some people. To me it looks like we're celebrating American Independence with USA! But this is with a difference. The celebration or fun is being had by the Opposition. Whereas the people are being inconvenienced. Here, we're pelting stones at the public, stopping trains where people are travelling and causing inconveniece to the 'junta', whereas this Bandh is supposed to be aimed at the Government !

To me, the entire bandh/ strike concept (which has almost become neglible in Mumbai in the recent past) looks like a big picnic for the party workers who're involved in it. Just like before a picnic or some major event, volunteers gather early morning with food supplies. Then they go out and have fun... puncturing tyres, pelting stones, troubling people. The fun of some is troublesome for many. Who doesn't like to bully others? It's often the target who suffers! Many people who stay away from home (like my youngest brother at Pune!) and depend on outside food are sitting sans a breakfast now. Lunch is again another big question !!! People wanting to go out for emergency work, will be stranded. Sick people will suffer. India will suffer financial losses in crores! Maybe this will further add to prices! So, who will benefit anyways?

Most people are at home due to fear. Some just want a holiday and are glad this is some excuse to stay home. June-July have no Bank Holidays anyways! Over a period of time, I've noticed that strikes and bandhs are called during months when there are no holidays! Interesting, ain't it ?

At such times, people in the service industry are in the most odd situations! Banks, Hotels (not restaurants) and other service providers, on whom public depend cannot just close the shutters and vanish! We just do not know what is to be done. All such organisations make their own action plan. That also differs from department to department, depending on what needs they are catering to! Due to one such decision of giving ladies the benefit of not coming, I am at home! :-) Some organisations have called their staff at 6 / 7 am so that they can work while the commotion, if any, goes on outside. And most such agitations get over by 5 / 6 pm, which is by when offices also shut. And service providers work till much later! Maybe, customers/ clients might not come and might have to eventually go back home. But you cannot predict such things in advance. Clearing/ RTGS / CMS sections of banks depends on RBI to take a call in such cases. If RBI itself is closed due to low attendence, then banks can relax....

Just got a call from my office too. My team and others from South Mumbai (no incidents reported from that side as yet!) who'd braved their way to office are now going back home on boss's instructions...... No customers, forex closed, more untoward incidents in suburbs........ now its more an ego war between parties, all of whom are trying to prove who has more power and say!

For me, it's an extended weekend ! Hmm....