Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is the nation in a coma?

I found this article is written by Mohan Murti, former director of CII, Europe at Hindu Business line..and thought of sharing with you all here. It’s a good read, I wish the nation wakes up!
A few days ago I was in a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by Euroforum and The Handelsblatt, one of the most prestigious newspapers in German-speaking Europe.
The other panellists were senior officials of two of the largest carmakers and two top insurance companies — all German multinationals operating in India.
The panel discussion was moderated by a professor from the esteemed European Business School. The hall had an audience that exceeded a hundred well-known European CEOs. I was the only Indian.
After the panel discussion, the floor was open for questions. That was when my “moment of truth” turned into an hour of shame, embarrassment — when the participants fired questions and made remarks on their experiences with the evil of corruption in India.
The awkwardness and humiliation I went through reminded of The Moment of Truth, the popular Anglo-American game. The more questions I answered truthfully, the more the questions get tougher. Tougher here means more embarrassing.
European disquiet
Questions ranged from “Is your nation in a coma?”, the corruption in judiciary, the possible impeachment of a judge, the 2G scam and to the money parked illegally in tax havens.
It is a fact that the problem of corruption in India has assumed enormous and embarrassing proportions in recent years, although it has been with us for decades. The questions and the debate that followed in the panel discussion was indicative of the European disquiet. At the end of the Q&A session, I surmised Europeans perceive India to be at one of those junctures where tripping over the precipice cannot be ruled out.
Let me substantiate this further with what the European media has to say in recent days.
In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”
Banana Republic
One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”
An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.
A third story narrated in the damaging article is that of the former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was reported to have funds in various tax havens that were partly used to buy mines in Liberia. “Unfortunately, the Indian public do not know the status of that enquiry,” the article concluded.
“In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”
The Telegraph of the UK reported the 2G scam saying: “Naturally, India's elephantine legal system will ensure culpability, is delayed.”
Blinded by wealth
This seems true. In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.
My father, who is 81 years old, is utterly frustrated, shocked and disgruntled with whatever is happening and said in a recent discussion that our country's motto should truly be Asatyameva Jayete.
Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.
In a way, it seems to have already started with the monstrous and grotesque acts of the Maoists. And, when that rot occurs, not one political turncoat will escape being lynched.
The drumbeats for these rebellions are going to get louder and louder as our leaders refuse to listen to the voices of the people. Eventually, it will lead to a revolution that will spill to streets across the whole of India, I fear.
Perhaps we are the architects of our own misfortune. It is our sab chalta hai (everything goes) attitude that has allowed people to mislead us with impunity. No wonder Aesop said. “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

1.4 lakh crore spectrum scam – India remains silent

"You (the government) have done nothing on the complaint. The nature of the complaint is serious, but the minister continues till today. One year has gone by. Is that the way the government functions?" the court said. Putting the CBI under the scanner, it asked, "How long will it take to complete the probe? Ten years? It's only are dragging your feet." – Supreme Court of India

Read more: SC blasts CBI for dragging feet on 2G scam probe - The Times of India

Going by the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report that the exchequer had lost about Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the spectrum allocation, Union telecom minister A Raja has allegedly presided over the mother of all Indian scams.

Read more: SC remarks on Raja may give grist to opposition in run-up to TN polls - The Times of India

Truth is, nothing will happen to A. Raja, the telecom minister of India. For the government to exist, it needs support of 270 odd MLAs and whenever coalition UPA government cannot take any action on A. Raja. If they do, DMK would withdraw support from UPA and government would fall. This is the irony of this nation. The same goes with Sugar scam done by the agriculture minister of India in return of NCP support.

So, where are we heading?

India is clearly heading towards a civil war. Had this been any other western country, by now, it would have been initiated. But this is India… people here are used to oppression, slavery and lack of respect. As long as corruption is directly not affecting their lives, they would tolerate. If it affects, they would compromise. That’s the nature of Indians. But as we move into global age, younger generations are getting exposed to living habits of different nations across the world. And their dilemma has already begun.

My gut feeling is that, very soon, they they would abandon this ‘ahimsa’ crap preached by lot of Indians and do what Ram did with Ravan.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Totally out of mind

I am returning back to Hyderabad in few more hours… Was feeling extremely alone and don’t know why doesn’t feel like talking with anyone… so writing this blog. Last few days have been intensely crucifying… as if I have been hanged but not yet dead… swinging to the rope and trying to survive. I don’t know what’s happening in my life. The dream seems to fading away… and reality is piercing through my heart. What happened? Why it happened? What’s next? I have no answers to these questions. I am just lost....
I keep saying all these dialogues of not giving up, fighting hard, keeping hope, blah-blah but the truth is … I am just a weak lonely soul. Sometimes, I look at life… I find it all perfect… amazing… everything happening as per a well-defined plan of God …. And sometimes, when I look at the same life… I find it… screwed up due to my own limitations and inability to push further. Sometimes, I walk on this planet as if I am the most intelligent man alive… and sometimes, I walk like a loser who has lost everything that he has. The truth is … it hurts to live. It hurts to give up … It hurts to lose faith… it hurts to breathe…. Everything hurts.
Now-a-days… sleep has become very occasional. And whenever it arrives… it brings along the nightmares. The worst experience of life is… when dreams become nightmares and you can do nothing about it. Yes, I had seen some beautiful dreams… and I have made some daring promises. I accept… I was over-confident but I refuse to accept… I was wrong. I was honest about those dreams and promises… and I still continue to be.
I can walk this lonely path… I don’t know for how long before I fall… but I will. Though the dreams are fainting away … though the promises appear to be unrealistic... I still believe… everything will be alright. When I die… I will take an appointment to meet God… and I will have an interesting conversation. It’s either God has very high expectation of me or I am making fool of myself …. I don’t know… that’s why I need to talk to God. The problem is… during this lifetime… I can only pray… but not talk to God directly. And irony is that… my heart wants to achieve those dreams and keep those promises within this lifetime.
Am I sounding like someone who is totally out of his mind? Maybe I am. But hey, I am not drunk. What can I say… I am in love and I have no idea what’s going to happen in future. It reminds me… without love, life is nothing. It’s just lifeless. It’s the love that brings all the passion, focus, pain, promises, hope, prayers, etc. Also… the most important thing… love reminds us that life is short and teaches the value of time. I think… this is the most sensible sentence I have spoken in last few days. Wow… let me write it again… this time, I will write it in double quotes “love reminds us that life is short and teaches the value of time”. You know what… if I succeed… will use this line is some speech … and I fail… I will still use this line.
Of all the creations of God I have spent time with, it is her that I really miss and would like to spent rest of my life. But damn it… somebody has to spend time understanding the other creations of God, otherwise… we won’t know the purpose of why God created them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Overcoming workplace restrictions

I came across this well-written article about overcoming workplace restrictions and thought of sharing with you all. Though, this is written in the context of Muslims, I think this is valid for people of all religions.


At the workplace (i.e. in non-Muslim environments), we sometimes feel we need to compromise and maybe even do things which may go against the Islamic teachings. These dilemmas arise and are encountered by Muslims daily: when one is going for a job, when asked to do something that conflicts with the deen, to please others, or even to a crude extent, to show others that we are not ‘extremists’. Some amongst us even fear we may lose our jobs if we do not ‘go with the flow’, using necessity as an excuse and “Oh, Allah knows my heart!” as a trump card. The worst case scenario, sad to say is that some of our brothers and sisters do not even pray due to weakness of emaan and out of embarrassment – in reality meaning embarrassment of their deen, the very deen, that has given them honour, dignity and the legacy of past civilisations and prophets! They have to ask themselves why?

When faced with such a dilemma, the most important thing is to stay strong towards your deen and not to compromise in clear cut matters and to do the right thing in Islam. Why please the people, when it will displease your Lord? Why be shy of the people when you should be wary of your Lord? Why choose to be punished and risk entry to Paradise for the sake of others at the expense of your own self? We forget easily, brothers, sisters, we really do, we forget…

The Quran:

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe”, and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. (29:2-3)

When you have the strength of emaan, have sufficient knowledge to impart some the wisdom behind Islamic teachings and most importantly to please your Lord, surely Allah will be on your side. If a job was meant to be for you, then no matter what obstacles you may have, if Allaah wants you to get that job – you will get it, conversely, if the job was not meant for you, then you will not get it. This is one’s fate that Allah willed, which one must believe in, whether it be good or bad. Allah is the Most Wise and he knows what is best for you. The following hadith is conclusive proof that we should follow our deen and not to compromise …

An-Nawawi Hadith 19

On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said: One day I was behind the Prophet and he said to me: “Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if a nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Most importantly if one sets their stall from the outset, then practicing your Islam in your workplace will be unhindered Insh’Allah. Not only that, they (non-Muslims) will respect your deen/choice and will endeavour to cater for your needs and not put any barriers for you. Here are some true tales to illustrate how sticking to yourdeen paves the way to happiness and the real success…

By brother S.H

This is a summary of my recent interviewing experience. I applied to a large global media company. I had a telephone interview with a lady called Jane who was to be my senior in the role. We discussed my experience and suitability and then chatted about what it was like to work there. At the end, she asked if there was anything else and I mentioned that for interview purposes and to avoid any embarrassment I wanted her to know that as a strict Muslim I didn’t make physical contact with women i.e. I don’t shake hands. She was intrigued and asked more so we discussed it further and then the call ended.

At the interview, I was interviewed by three women in three roles related to my future role. All very different and very strong personalities with a significant vested interest in the success of the person in the role as they were all going to be depending on me in one way or another. None went to shake my hand when they met or left and all were extremely courteous and polite. I was later offered the job.

Some time later, I applied for a position at one of the world’s biggest charities. The first stage interview was with two men. I was informed that the second stage interview would involve a range of people including one woman. I emailed the recruiter to let him know that as a strict Muslim, I avoided shaking hands with women so would he please inform the interviewers to avoid any potential awkwardness. I called the recruiter to check he’d got the email and understood it and he said that was perfectly fine and had passed the message on. At the next interview, the first part was with a man and then when he was bringing in the next interviewer he asked if there was anything else about the situation that I wouldn’t be comfortable with and I mentioned that because the office was open and not secluded there was no problem with the interview going ahead between just me and her.

Several interviews later at the same organisation, including one with an extremely senior female employee where the same ‘etiquette’ was adhered to, I was then also offered the job. Which I accepted!

At each point where I made a request or made my feelings known, there was a slight embarrassment and insecurity and the feel of making myself vulnerable to criticism or ridicule. I was clear and up-front about my requirements which made the whole process very straightforward! Afterward, the overwhelming thought was why was I so worried!

By brother A.Z

I prayed my Istikhara prayer and went to my job interview. After being successful at the interview, the job was offered to me. I took the opportunity to tell them that I am a Muslim and I need to have Fridays 1pm to 2pm free to go the mosque, could they cater for my need? The Deputy Head teacher without hesitation affirmed with “OK, no problem” – Alhamdulillah. When I started my job, my timetable for teaching had no lesson for me between 1pm to 2pm, this was protected time for me, meaning nobody could disturb me, thus I was free to go to Jumuah prayers.

By brother M.S

Recently, my boss at work wanted to take our team out for a ‘thank you’ for the hard work we had completed. He approached me asking if I would go with them to a pub-restaurant. I explained that I would go if we were in the restaurant area only and there was no drinking involved where I was sitting. I went on to explain, “Alcohol is something that has issues, it is not regarded favourably in my religion and even to the extent I cannot sit at a place where people are drinking alcohol. You can drink anything you want, eat anything you want, even pork. I can go anywhere with you, like McDonald’s or Burger King, but only thing is, if alcohol is at the table, then I cannot go – I am sorry!

Later on my boss came back and said to me, “Look, we want to go to that restaurant because they have good food and I want you to be there with us and there won’t be any alcohol.” I replied, “Thanks, that’s nice. However, I can’t tell other people not to drink or to stop them because of my beliefs. You guys go ahead I’ll be OK with that. He replied, “No we want you to be there and I can assure you, nobody will be drinking alcohol.”

I did go, I had some seafood, whilst others from my team had their steaks and chicken and guess what – nobody had alcohol!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Live Spaces blog transferred to

I am deeply saddened that my Live Spaces blog( will not exist anymore. Microsoft has decided to close down Live Spaces and has given an option to all its users to transfer their blogs to I have been using Live Spaces blog from last three years and have felt that Live Spaces is one of the best blogging services around. Hence, the announcement of close down of Live Spaces by 2011 came like a shock!

Nonetheless, there are exciting features that offers and now that Microsoft is officially recognizing as its partner in Blogging Services, soon many new features might get added. Also, do let me know your feedback on this blog theme.

Last but not the least; I have decided to use ‘mohdabubakr’ instead of ‘nextnewton’ as the blog name. Hence, the blog address from now on would be

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From the Nicole Queen’s blog


Found this wonderful post by Nicole Queen and thought of sharing with you all. Nicole was earlier a page 3 photographer and now has converted to Islam. I would highly recommend reading her blog (


I was born in Houston, Texas to some very young parents. My grandparents are devout Baptist Christians who raised us close to this religion. Our parents didn't really follow any religion, so I used to ride the bus to church alone. When I got my license I drove myself there each Sunday. I stopped attending church after I graduated high school and began life as an adult. I spent some time in college and began working as a photography studio manager. I came back to Dallas from New York and, after managing for five years, began my own photography company.
I scored a few huge jobs shooting celebrity events for Ghost Bar, inside the infamous W Hotel in Dallas. Only the most beautiful and successful people partied at this place. I shot everyone from Justin Timberlake to Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson, and lots of other sports and pop stars that graced our doors.
With this job came lots of other restaurant openings, and every other main street night club had me shooting their private parties. My work then went into all the Dallas magazines, sometimes even in People and Paper City. I got to hang out with publicists from Vogue and worked with the best in the media business. It was simple and glamorous and along came with it lots of glam friends. I could walk into any party and it seemed I couldn't go anywhere at night without spotting friends.
I even had to look the part while working. I had to wear sexy clothes, loads of makeup, and "fohawk" style hair — it was popular at the time. I often found that I had fans. People actually came up and wanted to have their picture with me, on their own cameras. Later I would see it posted on Myspace or Facebook. I partied, and drank, and only cared about one person: me.
Deep down inside though, this life and the people in it started to wear down on my soul. It's a wicked life. I remember standing next to Justin Timberlake and all the flashes from the crowd going off, and we could barely see five feet in front of us. I only took about three shots of him, so I wouldn't get fired and then I slid my lens to the side. I couldn't do it more. It felt horrible all these people screaming, flashing, body guards around him, managers yelling — and this was after he had finished a three-hour concert. What kind of life was that?
I felt dirty that I was part of the reason he couldn't have a normal life. I started wondering what was so great about my life, what was I doing to better anything around me. Nothing, just shooting pictures of people partying and drinking and wow, "Here is my contribution America. I'm here to make the world a more materialistic and vain place!" Not exactly something that would make my grandmother proud.
So here it came, the overwhelming sensation of doubt about who I was and what I was doing with my life. I couldn't sleep. I began having nightmares with people screaming out to help them. I also couldn't escape the thought of the most important question that I had ever asked myself, "What will you say when you must explain your life to God?" OMG, what do you say, "Umm sorry God I am too busy drinking and hanging out with cool people to think about You or to help others."
This is definitely a defining moment in my life where I knew it was time for some changes. I talked with friends about what I was feeling. They tried so hard to help. One friend recommended that I watch a few lectures on YouTube. One of which from a guy named Yusuf Estes, a Muslim convert who used to be a Christian pastor. The best part was he was from Texas! I watched the lectures and when I got to his I heard a bearded man explain everything I was going through right to me as though he was reading my mind.
He told the story of his conversion to Islam from Christianity. Said he needed a greater purpose in life, a better reason to wake up in the morning. Oh how nice this sounded to me. To wake up without thinking, "What did I do last night, and how did I get home alive?"
I became obsessed with learning more about his religion. I would come home from shooting around 2:30 a.m. and get online till the sun came up. It was so relieving to listen to other converts too! Holy cow I found some help! Of course when studying and believing in this religion, you start to look at yourself differently. It's like you see yourself from outside your body!
I remember a friend of mine (who is now my husband) said to me, "Who is it that thinks your so glamorous and cool? What kind of people are they. They are just like you only caring about themselves and living for nothing better." Ouch, those words drove straight through me. He became my biggest supporter in my transition.
I remember one day I wanted to start going to the New Muslim classes at the local masjid and I went into my huge closet to find something suitable to wear. Ha! Good luck! This day I went crazy I think. I teared up as I thrashed through the hangers of sexy tops and tight jeans and pants — not one single thing that I could wear to a holy place. Most of the tops had to be taped on to avoid the loose fabric from exposing your chest! I began crying at myself. What kind of girl was I!
I tore through the clothes, throwing them behind me in a huge pile of slinky embarrassment. When I was done there was only a small rack of barely modest things left. I couldn't afford to replace them all so I slowly began the process of a new wardrobe. I started with looser pants, shirts with long sleeves, modest shoes instead of stilettos, and a low pony tail became my daily routine. Then it went from there, and slowly but surely God carved his way through my black heart and planted Himself deeply inside.
I said my Shahada in April of 2007 in the office of Dr. Yusuf Kavacki, the father of Elif Kavacki. My later husband Hassan was there supporting me, as well as a few new girlfriends I had made from the New Muslim classes. I have a slew of new friends now, who follow the same lifestyle as me. I didn't get rid of any of my old friends, but if your not down for meeting people at the bar, then they tend to stop calling as much, until it's just never at all. No problem for me. I am busy as I ever was and happily married with a wonderful family of in-laws not far away.
I asked Hassan if I could visit Jordan; he is from Amman and his parents and siblings live there. His family was so happy to have me. Muslims have the best sense of family and welcome guests as if they are blood. I stayed with his Mom and Dad for a month. I started wearing the hijab full-time there, it made being out in public easier for me, less men harassing you and people really respect you more. Wow, people respecting me for the way I dress and carry myself in public, that was a new and wonderful feeling.
When I came back to Dallas, I couldn't take off the scarf. I just couldn't stand the thought of going back to being just another "piece of meat" for men to glare at. I didn't want to go back to competing with women based on whose boobs look bigger, and what brand are you wearing and are you sexy enough to be my friend. No more of this life for me. I wanted to be free from those chains and wearing the hijab was the only answer for this. I wore it proud, wore it with style, and actually more men than ever in my life opened doors for me and showed me respect.
One day a man in his 40's came up to me at a store and said, "Where did you get these clothes, you look so classy and stylish. I wish my wife would start dressing this way." Why wouldn't men love this. They have a beautiful wife who shows her skin only to him and in public she covers demanding respect for herself and her religion with every public appearance she makes. I am currently working on designing new headpieces for hijab-wearing women to wear. Soon, Inshallah, I will have the first set completed.
I still do photography, but I keep it clean, you know. I don't shoot clubs or crazy parties anymore. I stick with charity functions, fundraisers, and my newly started wedding and bridal photography is going quite well. I also take part in MAS (Muslim American Society) and WCTI (Woman Converts to Islam). I speak sometimes to schools about Islam, and even to Muslim schools to the younger girls, I try to tell them to stay away from the wrong kind of life. I tell them from experience that it gets you nowhere, a vicious lonely circle where everyone is lonely and rich and it never gets any better.
I have a huge following on Myspace, thanks to the YouTube interview done on me. I use the page on Myspace to reach out to other "party girls" and show them that you can escape that life. Even if you don't wanna become a Muslim, just clean up your life and you will change forever for the best. Having God in your life is the best therapy you could ever hope for, and it's free!
I also love working with Sr. Elif Kavacki. She is a great woman and really trying to open doors for Muslim women everywhere. I am happily married, and we are hoping one day Allah will bless us with an addition to our new little family. My husband and I enjoy living in downtown and keeping each other close to our religion. We frequent trips to the masjid and enjoy nights with friends for dinner. We have picnics by the lake and watch the sunset, and attend a lot of functions with his career. This replaced all the late-night parties and people who don't really care about you. I think it's a pretty good trade, Hamidillah

Monday, October 11, 2010

The last sermon by Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him)

O People
Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefor listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People
Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest); therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.

Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib (the Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived.

Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People
It is true that you have certain rights in regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives, only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People
Listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat.

Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefor, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The tale of four wives

Once upon a time, there was a rich merchant who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!" Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.

The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart.

The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition.

Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!"

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure.

Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Prelude and Epilogue from Justice Khan’s Judgement– Babri Masjid Dispute


Here is a small piece of land (1500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable land mines. We are required to clear it. Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when occasion for the same arises.

Once angels were made to bow before Man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour. This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause.

Accordingly, herein follows the judgment for which the entire country is waiting with bated breath.


My judgment is short, very short. Either I may be admired as an artist who knows where to stop, particularly in such sensitive, delicate matter or I may be castigated for being so casual in such a momentous task. Sometimes patience is intense action, silence is speech and pauses are punches.

I have not delved too deep in the history and the archaeology. This I have done for four reasons. Firstly this exercise was not absolutely essential to decide these suits. Secondly I was not sure as to whether at the end of the tortuous voyage I would have found a treasure or faced a monster (treasure of truth or monster of confusion worst confounded). Thirdly having no pretence of knowledge of history I did not want to be caught in the crossfire of historians. Fourthly, the Supreme Court in Karnataka Board of Waqf Vs. Government of India, 2004 (10) SCC 779 has held in Para-8 as follows:-

“As far as a title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room for historical facts and claims. Reliance on borderline historical facts will lead to erroneous conclusions.”

As this judgment is not finally deciding the matter and as the most crucial stage is to come after it hence I remind both the warring factions of the following.

The one quality which epitomized the character of Ram is tyag (sacrifice).

When prophet Mohammad entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudayliyah, it appeared to be abject surrender even to his staunch supporters. However the Quran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. Within a short span therefrom Muslims entered the Mecca as victors, and not a drop of blood was shed.

Under the sub-heading of demolition I have admired our resilience. However we must realise that such things do not happen in quick succession. Another fall and we may not be able to rise again, at least quickly. Today the pace of the world is faster than it was in 1992. We may be crushed.

I quote two verses of Iqbal which were also quoted by Justice R.S. Dhawan in A.C. Datt vs. Rajiv Gandhi, AIR 1990 Allahabad 38:


An observation of Darwin is also worth quoting at this juncture (what an authority to quote in a religious matter/ dispute!):

“Only those species survived which collaborated and improvised.”

Muslims must also ponder that at present the entire world wants to know the exact teaching of Islam in respect of relationship of Muslims with others. Hostility – peace – friendship – tolerance - opportunity to impress others with the Message -  opportunity to strike wherever and whenever possible – or what? In this regard Muslims in India enjoy a unique position. They have been rulers here, they have been ruled and now they are sharers in power (of course junior partners). They are not in majority but they are also not negligible minority (Maximum member of Muslims in any country after Indonesia is in India.) In other countries either the Muslims are in huge majority which makes them indifferent to the problem in question or in negligible minority which makes them redundant. Indian Muslims have also inherited huge legacy of religious learning and knowledge. They are therefore in the best position to tell the world the correct position. Let them start with their role in the resolution of the conflict at hand.

Before parting I thank Hon’ble the Chief Justice C.K. Prasad (now an Hon’ble Judge of Supreme Court) for giving the responsibility and providing opportunity to me to decide this historical case by inducting me in this Bench. We are also thankful to Hon’ble the Chief Justice H.L. Ghokhale (now an Hon’ble Judge of Supreme Court) for inducting Hon’ble Sudhir Agarwal, J.
in this Bench who is extremely labourious, very upright and considerably balanced.

PDF Copy of Justice Khan’s Judgment can be found in my SkyDrive at:

Windows Live Writer– Live Essentials

New beta version of Windows Live Writer is a now available with Live Essentials. You can download it from Windows Live Essentials 2011.

As a blogger (and not a Microsoft Employee), I have always found Windows Live Writer is one of the best free products from Microsoft. I maintain several blogs (,,, along few blogs which I have discontinued writing and to write content on all these blogs, it is tedious to learn all the different formatting options available. With Windows Live Writer, I have been able to compose content, set the formatting and publish the content, without even bothering about the formatting options provided by Live Spaces or Blogspot. Just format once in Windows Live writer and it automatically takes care rest of it. 

Here’s some cool things about Windows Live Writer

  1. Ribbon Menu (similar to MS Office applications). image
  2. Options to format (enhance/style) photographs. (Also available in older versions)
  3. Easy to post the content across multiple blogs without bothering about formatting. (Also available in older versions)
  4. Plugin to link videos on YouTube. (Also available in older versions)
  5. Posting Emoticons.  (Note: You can find the same Emotions in MS Office Communicator)image
  6. You can insert Bing Maps. (I believe this is a new … and looks very cool).