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I was in Karachi recently. I visited several areas of the city and as per my habit kept looking around. I had many observations, some of which I would like to share with you. It is with a tinge of regret that I share these observations.
Allama Iqbal Poetry
Passing by a school building, I saw some verses written on the wall. Below the verses, the name of Allama Iqbal was written to impress that this was his poetry. I have not read entire poetry of Iqbal, but we do have an idea what kind of poetry did he write. The verses were clearly not his. The balance (wazn) was out, choice of words was poor, and the message was so superfluously meaningless. I saw a similar thing on a school wall while coming from airport in Lahore.
School walls are not the only place where we find petty poetry with the name of some famous poet. WhatsApp forwards are notoriously busy with these. Small time magazines use these as fillers as they do not need to pay anyone. The maulvis are known for the fact that they would never utter correct poetry. We cannot say if it is by design or by mistake.
The point is why do we have to write wrong poetry? It is not difficult to get the correct one. The internet is full of such material, if we do not wish to search the books. For schools, it is a double sin as they are supposed to impart knowledge. If their own knowledge is incorrect, then the whole chain will become adversely affected. For others who like to quote Ghalib and Iqbal, it is humbly requested that either the quote be correct, or it should be avoided. An ‘out-of-wazn’ verse is easily discovered by everyone, even by those who do not have any love for poetry.
Aamil Parkash Bengali
We were passing through a busy area of Karachi. An ad was painted on at least one hundred panels of the wall. It said ‘Aamil Parkash Bengali’, solver of all problems related to ‘Jadoo’ and other such ‘Amaliyat’. Not much is given about his proficiency as he does not need to prove anything. Only his cell phone is given. Do consider that he is a non-Muslim, and he is advertising in a Muslim area and it can be understood that most of his clients would be Muslim. Parkash is among scores of other such ‘Aamils’ who claim extraordinary magical powers to destroy some and save others.
I have a question based on the scenario that these ‘amaliyat’ work. Whether they do or not is a separate matter. Let us say person A goes to Parkash and asks him to do some ‘Amal’ to destroy person B. Parkash complies. After few days, person B goes to Parkash and asks him to destroy person A. What will Parkash do, other than making money from both and making fool of both?
Another question. As Muslims, we believe that ‘Jadoo’ or ‘Seher’ does exist. We also know that practitioners of Seher commit an offence which shall have a huge punishment here and in the hereafter. Why do we still engage in such heinous activities? Why do we encourage people like Parkash to run their business in open daylight? Why do have so many such shops open and advertised? What is the responsibility of the government? What is the responsibility of people? Have we lost belief in Allah? Have we started (God forbid) believing in the devil? Have we become disciples of devils? The ‘hezb us shaitaan’? Where are we? What is our belief? What are our values?
These are all questions worth answering. I am not an expert on this matter to talk about its authenticity. I am talking about its legitimacy. The entire business is illegitimate, perverted and sinful. May Allah save us all from these things. Aameen.
I had had the opportunity to attend several marriages in the last few weeks. COVID SOPs were not observed anywhere. There were large gatherings and people interacted freely, without masks and social distancing. Women particularly considered themselves exempt because they had spent good money of make-up which would be damaged/destroyed/rendered useless by wearing mask. So, it was a matter of choosing between looking good or being safe. Looking good won hands down.
I am not exactly complaining about not observing SOPs. We are all included in it, me as well. Having said that, COVID is still lurking around and our laxity should not go beyond a certain point.
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