The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon

The Best Laid Plans
by Sidney Sheldon

Ok, here is the best novel of Sheldon. I mean seriously, you guys got to read this book especially if you have interest in politics.

This indeed is a very well structured novel full of conspiracy and mystery. When you start reading the novel, there is no way you can even go to sleep that night (lol). I started the novel and couldn’t stop it until I was done with like 3/4 of it and next day I had to finish it. You just want to know more and more and what comes next right away. Its like one of those suspense movies, you watch the whole thing and keep on guessing who the bad guy is, and guess what at the end you get electric shock, with just an ‘oh…’

Anniversary of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal is the anniversary of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal. On 21st April, 1938 he left this worldly life and set to his afterlife journey. This post is to pay tribute to this great scholar of Islam and Urdu Poet. I thank you for giving us vision of Pakistan. May Allah (God) bless you and grant you one of the highest places in Heaven. [Aameen Sum’Aameen]

Allama Iqbal was not just a poet but a philosopher and a politician. Sir Iqbal’s  vision of an independent Muslim state brought the state of Pakistan under the great leadership of a brilliant man Quad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah [Father of Pakistani Nation].

Allama Iqbal is officially recognized as the national poet of Pakistan and the anniversary of his birth is a national holiday in Pakistan. He is also recognized with many titles like: “The Thinker (dreamer) of Pakistan”, The Poet of the East” and “The sage of Ummah (Muslim nation).

Allama Iqbal wrote both in Urdu and Farsi [Persian] and is considered among the most brilliant poets and thinkers of modern era.  He is also very famous and loved in Afghanistan and Iran because of his Farsi (Persian) poetry. In Iran and Afghanistan he is known with slightly different name, “Iqbal Lahori” , because of his burial in the city of Lahore (heart of Pakistan).

Even though he studied in Europe and became a lawyer, he loved Urdu and Farsi languages more an wrote about politics, economics, and religious philosophy in both of these language but mostly in Persian.About Urdu and Persian languages he said: [quote in Persian]

  • گرچہ اردو در عذوبت شکر است
  • Even though “Urdu” language is like sugar in its sweetness.
  • طرز گفتار دري شيرين تر است
  • but because of its speech method Farsi (Persian) is even sweeter.

We love you and Allah bless you !!

Words of Wisdom by Wasif Ali Wasif

Wasif Ali Wasif was a poet and a Mystic Scholar (an inner mystical dimension of Islam).

Some of the wise sayings of Wasif.

  • جتلایا ہوا احسان ضائع ہو جاتا ہے۔
  • Translation: (After doing the deed, if someone repeats it with taunting sound, it diminishes its value.)

Another beautiful saying from his book “Dil, Darya, Samandar” about how the purification of intentions and desires frees us from fear.

  • نتیجے سے بے نیازی ہی خوف سے بے نیازی ہے۔ اندیشہ ہماری خواہش کے برعکس کسی نتیجے کا امکان ہے۔ جب خواہش خوش نیت ہو تو کسی بھی قسم کا نتیجہ خوف پیدا نہیں کر سکتا۔ جب خواہش بدنیت ہو تو کسی بھی قسم کا نتیجہ خوف سے نہیں بچا سکتا۔ (دل، دریا،سمندر)
  • Translation: (Abundance from the consequesnces ultimately [happens to be ] result in the abundance of fear.
    Fear is a likely contrary consequence to our desires. It depends on what type of wishes we hold. When desire has good intention, any consequesnce resulting from it can not create any type of fear. But if one has desire with any kind of bad inetention,  there is no way to escape fear, no matter what type of result is acquired [there is simply no escape]. So, the main point in this quote lies to purify our desires and wishes. Once our intentions are purified, anything out of it will have good results. Intensions matter.)

“The Wheel” by [W.B.Yeats]

A very beautiful poem by Yeats. A short poem but with such a huge canvas. He dealt with and explained one of the biggest realities of life in just few verses.

“The Wheel”

Through winter-time we call on spring,
And through the spring on summer call,
And when abounding hedges ring
…Declare that winter’s best of all;

And after that there’s nothing good
Because the spring-time has not come —
Nor know that what disturbs our blood
Is but our longing for the tomb.

[W.B. Yeats]

انا اک ناؤ ہے از ‘فاخرہ بتول‘

A very beautiful poem about ‘Ego’ by famous Urdu poetess Fakhira Batool.

انا اک ناؤ ہے

انا وہ ناؤ ہے
جس کا مسافر صرف موجوں کے
جلو میں زندگی اپنی
بیتا دیتا ہے کچھ ایسے، نہیں اس کو خبر ہوتی
کہ چاروں سمت پانی میں
لگائے گھات بیٹھا ہے
بڑا گمبھیر سنٌاٹا

(فاخرہ بتول)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

This is a classic novel and yes I’m the craziest lover of classic novels. This novel is my most favorite of English classic novels and very close to my heart. I would not rate it as a romantic novel but as a tragic one. Being a woman myself, the tragedy of Tess breaks my heart.

In this novel Hardy depicted Tess as ” a pure woman”, and the issue of the society’s double standards were indicted though the story’s plot and construction of the novel.

The idea of whether Tess was “a pure woman” has been under constant controversies and critics ever since Hardy represented it. It is up to all of you now to read the book and figure out whether she was ‘a pure woman’ or not, and if not, whom to accuse for her dilapidation: Alec who put the first brick towards the building of her destruction or Angel Clare, who claimed to be in love with her and was too coward to stand up high to his own words.

Its a story of young Tess who travels away from her home first time in life in order to find lost family fortune after finding out they had rich a ruling ancestors. But what happened to Tess when she traveled along the road to restore her family’s fortunes with a claim of connection with an aristocratic family of D’Urbervilles who were in power years back. Was she successful in the search? What happened to her in this search? Was that fair to her? Could she be blamed for what happened to her and what was to come latter in life and an unfortunate end of an unfortunate start….

Thomas Hardy’s indictment of society’s double standards, and his depiction of Tess as “a pure woman,” caused controversy in his day and has held the imagination of readers ever since. Hardy thought of it his finest novel and Tess the most deeply felt character he ever created.

I leave it up to you, to read and book and see if you feel sympathized to Tess and think of her as “a pure woman”.

Couplet by Shaikh Saadi(سعدی)

بنی آدم اعضائے یک دگر اند
کہ در آفرینش ز یک جوہرند

چو عضوے بدرد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوہا را نماند قرار

تو کز محنتِ دیگراں بے غمی
نہ شاید کہ نامت نہند آدمی

(گلستانِ سعدی)

Another legend of Persian Poetry “Sheikh Saadi”. I took these above verses from his book called “Gulistan-e-Saadi”.
He talks about human values and right of human beings being treated nicely and duty to treat others nice too.
In above mentioned three verses, he says:

-1- Human being are like organs to each other, and are members of a whole. Because they have been created by one essence and soul.
-2- Thats why if one organ(member) is being hurt at time, the other organs(members) feel the anxietry and  uneasiness because of that pain too.
-3- So, if you are not sympathetic for the pain of the other human beings, you are not worthy of being called the precious title of human being.

Verse by Hafiz Sherazi

حافظا خلدِ بریں خانۂ موروثِ منست

اندریں منزلِ ویرانہ نشیمن چہ کنم

(حافظ شیرازی)

A beautiful piece of poetry by Hafiz Sherazi, one of the best poet of Farsi(Persian) of all time. Hafiz talks about the short wordly life with comparison to ever-lasting after life.

He says, Paradise (Khild,Jannat) is my inherited house, and world (dunya) is my empty house. So, then why should I worry about building mansions like I’m going to live here forever, why not worry about and prepare for after life instead, by living a pious live.

A couplet by “Imam Shafi’i (شافعي‎)”

خاطبني السفيه بكل قبح

فأكره أن أكون له مجيبا

يزيد سفاهة فأزيد حلما

كعود زاده الإحراق طيبا

(امام شافعی رحمہ اللہ)

Just read a beautiful Arabic couplet by Imam Shafi’i and wanted to shared on my blog. There is always something valuable to learn in every word of his poetry.

– In this couplet Imam Shafi’i teaches a lesson of tolerance by giving an example of a fool, who addresses him with all the ugliness and bad manners. But Imam says, i hate to reply back to him in any such manner because his bad manners are helping me to increase in tolerance. He says, as this behavior increase the fool’s ignorance, it increase my tolerance.  As we see in sandalwood, just like when the fire burns sandalwood, it adds to the value of its fragrance increases.

Very beautifully message indeed, our tolerances gets increased once we learn to refrain ourselves from reacting in the same manners as a fool would react.  There won’t be any difference between us and the fool when we reply in the same manner as the fool does.

Peer-e-Kamil (SAW) by Umaira Ahmed

Peer-e-Kamil (پیرکامل صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم)  by Umaira Ahmed

Peer-e-Kamil (SAW) is another brilliant and inspiring books in Urdu Literature. It is among one of my most favorite novel by any female Urdu writer about religious philosophy. It is an inspiring book full of the inspiration to live a pious life in accordance with Islamic values. Indeed, a very well written book with great theme and brilliant way of writing. Of-course the construction of the story is just amazing.

Its a story of Imama Hashim, belonging to a family of Qadiyanis, a group of people who choose divergence by selling their faith for money and were considered non-believers by Islamic Law. Imama grew up in that family but feels something to be missing. She found what she was looking for in Islam to fulfil the void of her heart. Her conversion to Islam brought challenges to her life,  and faced rejection and harsh behavior of her family on her becoming a Muslim. Her family planned her wedding with her cousin who belonged to Qadiyani firqa too. It isn’t permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim, so she asks for her Muslim neighbor, Salar’s help.

It is also the story of Salar Sikandar, who has I.Q. of 150+ , a very different and complicated character, who was living a sinful perverse life, life of anyone in the world but not that of how a good Muslim should live. Getting involved in helping Imama, gave him a chance to study and examine Islam and get the chance to examine himself closely and see how sinful life he has been spending all life long.

Latter half of the book is about the time after the salutation, and hardship these characters face in life. Persistence and repentance is what makes Salar get closer to Allah(God) and leads them to love Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and live a pious life.

The novel’s plot, facts, the scenes hence, everything was heart touching and heart shaking. It is not just a novel, it lets you examine your own life and see if the type of lives we are living are in accordance with what Allah (God) wants us to live like, or we are getting trapped in worldly desires Satan puts in our heart.

A very good book, but unfortunately not available in any other language than Urdu yet. I would recommend all Muslims who understand Urdu to read it. You all will love it Insh’Allah.

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