The Great Migration

On this 65th Independence day of Pakistan when everyone is in a jubilant mood, patriotic songs which many deemed paindo (villager-taste) are blaring out on every Radio and TV channel, while some armchair-Internet-pundits are discussing the relevance of Pakistaniat and Government is as usual busy doing everything but Nation-building. Makes me wonder how many of us still remember what Pakistan meant for our elders? Here are just three stories among countless others which personally touched me.

First story is of my Maternal Grandfather who until 1947 was a relatively successful businessman in Amritsar (now Indian Punjab). Being informed about political dynamics, he was smart enough to safely move all his family before time to the present Pakistan. Being one of the last to reach Pakistan amongst his family, he witnessed first hand how friendships were tested and how centuries of connection were lost in mere moments.Continue reading

The Muslim beard paradox: tale of my beard

I always knew that one day I will keep beard, even when I was a little kid. When during my 8th grade I made my first website even then it was based around a man’s bearded face with navigation buttons around it. And no it wasn’t that I was influenced by my surrounding. My father is still a clean shaven man – and before me I cannot even recall cousin or Uncle who kept a beard.

Though I wasn’t “born” with a beard but started shaving as soon as I got a few hair on my face, like a ritual to enter the adulthood while my father trying to tell me that hey you can avoid few more years of misery if you stop shaving and just stick with a trimmer. But well a boy needs to do things his way to be a man. It was only quite later when I finally realised for myself what an annoying cycle it becomes to shave every morning.

Around end of my second semester during my undergraduate I decided to keep a goatee (to be told that I look like a Qadiyani!), then a line beard (to be told that I look like a Jew!) to finally a proper small beard (to get more criticism). The series of misplaced criticism including on my small beard was that it is not good enough – the length is short and I should be keeping a longer beard, at least a fistful! Interestingly the criticism on my hair which cover my face always came from people who were clean shaven and practically had no experience of keeping a beard. Perhaps even more interestingly one of the Continue reading

Dude where is the woman in Islam?

If Islam is the perfect religious and social model of life with high emphasis on fairness for all, where does it go when it comes to the women? To an outsider and thinking insiders, Islam today dictates a patriarchal society where women take a back seat in every regard while being reminded that it is for their own good. Women are easily objectified and are without hesitation compared with walking piece of meat if not properly dressed and termed as the reason for Man’s temptation. She cannot travel without permission and custodian, but worse of all does not have equal access to legal system as in case of Rape which unfortunately even to this date is not defined in religious jurisprudence and falls in the category of adultery.

It is easy for anyone to be repulsed by these things and it is even rightly so what should be expected out of any sane person, because this does hint at a very serious problem in Muslim world – the disappearance of women from Religious life.

To understand what has happened let us take it from the start. Islam comes in the time when women did not have any rights, access to inheritance, even other two Abrahamic religion were not in favour of divorce and especially in region Continue reading