at Work

Corporate Slavery

A Note from “Corporate Slavery” by M B A Khan.

When I was living in the UK I used to see people whine about “Mondays“. Now something similar has started to pop up in the Minds, Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts of Corporate Workers here in Pakistan too, in fact almost everyone except for the “Self-Employed“. We understand that we have to follow “the Goras/the west” because we have their systems employed in our social, economical and political mix of both our individual lives and as a country, but that too, to an extent where we even have to be upset and/or be happy about life according to their perception of it?

Self-Employed people on the other hand like Mondays way too much, and for many reasons. So, are we headed in the wrong direction or totally in the opposite direction?

By the way, just a little info at the end of my stance, being Self-Employed is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Your comments would benefit us all.

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Simplicity is the best policy!

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

‘Cause they’d fill the open air
And leave tear drops everywhere
You’d think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems

‘Cause I’d get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A Foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
‘Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I’m far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I’m weird ’cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I’ll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
‘Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

Fireflies
Owl City
Adam Young

Now this song never stops amusing me! Whenever I listen to it I fall back in love with it. Takes me back to my dreams, where I’m in control of everything, and by everything I mean everything and everyone! It reminds me of the little details of life that we often fail to cherish when these  details require our prompt attention and care. I’ve always believed that real beauty lies in real details. We shouldn’t always be aiming for bigger goals in life, ignoring all the smaller achievements by not sharing them with our loved ones, because at the of the day why do we do things in life really? The only true answer is because we want to share them. Anyway, It’s needless to say one should be ambitious in life but at the same time one should always take time out for the little things that matter to most of us!

Another essence that I’d like to talk about from the song, is that one should always take his time doing things. There are no shortcuts in life, and it’s for all the good reasons, only that we don’t see the reasons then. Life can only teach its lessons by letting us experiment all the way through it, from the day we are born till the day we stop existing. People who look for shortcuts they keep doing so for the rest of their lives up until when it’s time for them to go back to the (ALLAH)Creator and then they realise that there were no shortcuts, really. It’s just like when they say that the journey is as important as the destination. There’s one more thing, until and unless you prove yourself worthy of something you can’t really enjoy it, it doesn’t matter you earn it or get it for free! So yeah, I think we should cherish each moment that we live and live it as if it is our last!

The last thing that it reminds me of, is childhood innocence and childhood on the whole. It makes me think about why and how our lives become so complicated. Why do people become complicated? Why don’t things and relationships stay the same forever? Where does our own simplicity go? Why do people start having different opinions about things? Why do people start hating other people? Why?

Anyway, I think these questions cannot be answered or maybe I don’t have the wisdom to go about answering these complex questions about the philosophy of life, because at least I don’t want to participate in this chaos. Not anymore! I always lived a simple life and simple life is what everyone should live.

So yeah, this song is all about wanting to keep things simple like they were in our childhood. It’s about remembering and trying to hold on to our childhood and never letting it go! Which I think is a brilliant idea, because life was so much more beautiful then, than what it has become.

Thanks for the read,

M B A Khan


PTI – Jalsa in Karachi 25th Dec

“Imran” ko rokna abh mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai! – Imran has now become unstoppable!

Yeah, Alhumdulillah that’s true and that too for good. So Congratulations to all Pakistan who supported him all the way through. He has become the flavour of this era and there is no doubt about his overwhelming public support from all over the country and even from overseas. It is also clear now that not even establishment can provide you with such huge support. I mean I watched it online because I was not in the country, there were people from all walks of life and that too in very large numbers and not a single reported mishap at Mazaar-e-Quaid – MashAllah and Alhumdulillah!

It was clear that people over there were the true Pakistanis who were fed up with whatever previous governments have been playing them up with, and now they’re very much interested in what PTI – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has got to offer! People want ‘change’! Something different, something lively and fresh, something that will make this country what Allama Iqbal dreamt about it and what Quaid-e-Azam struggled for, and I think Imran Khan will succeed inshAllah in providing people with exactly that!

Many politicians joined the PTI after watching it making it big in Lahore Jalsa where people were shockingly blown away by the huge number of people that turned up. These politicians need no introduction as they’re the same old players from other political backgrounds. After this influx of new politicians the media and of course the general public raised their eyebrows over issues like how will Imran Khan bring about the revolution that he keeps on talking about with these previously tried faces. Well, this question was well handled by one of PTI’s senior member, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter if the people are the same or not, because the mission and the policies are not the same and these people are only joining only after understanding the mission and policies of the PTI, not because they have their own interest’. According to me, I think if Imran and his lot live up to their words, then this will be surely bring about a revolutionary change in the country.

Making it happen in Karachi – the city of lights or better known as the city of mights, is an achievement on its known because who wouldn’t agree upon Karachi being owned by MQM, forcefully or peacefully that is a different question, but yeah, Karachi ‘was’ MQMs’ but alas, not anymore by the looks of it Today at Mazaar-e-Quaid. People of Karachi are very much done with MQM, I guess, they are looking forward to keeping their cellphones to themselves for a while, they have decided not give in to those  ‘bhatta collectors’ every week. Karachites are done with the ‘Target Killings’.  Karachites are done with ‘Load-shading’. Karachites are done with ‘Telephonic Speeches’. People of Karachi are done with you ‘Altaaf Hussain’ and they’re done with your ‘MQM’. Yeah that’s about it. People of Karachi have had enough and they showed it to the whole world Today at PTI’s Jalsa.

The Lahore Tsunami, as they called it, was the ignition and now it has become a full on blazing fire which cannot be stopped by any means. I hope and pray that all this is happening for the good, because if it’s not then like they say, ‘Allah hi Hafiz hai is mulk ka to’!

Thanks for the read, I really wanted to write something on this historic day and wanted to be a part of it somehow!

Cheers,
M B A Khan


10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person

Reblogged from AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM):

There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage.  The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility.  One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone.  A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are.  The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them.  The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent. Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc.  Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised. When you consider these  limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place?  Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences.  If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase,  the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid:

1) Do Not Marry Potential:  Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change.  This is the wrong approach on both accounts.  Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential.  There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them.  These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc.

2) Choose Character over Chemistry:  While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love.  The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:

  • Humility: The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort.  They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
  • Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money?  How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
  • Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character.  You can you rely on this person and trust what they say.
  • Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have.  They very rarely complain.

3) Do Not Neglect The  Emotional Needs of Your Partner:  Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership to be successful those needs must be mutually met. The fundamental emotional need of a woman is to be loved.  The fundamental emotional need of a man is to be respected and appreciated.  To make a woman feel loved give her the three AAAs:  Attention, Affection, & Appreciation.  To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs:  Respect, Reassurance, & Relief.  It is the obligation of each partner to make sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well. As long as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the intimate relationship will thrive.  When a man takes seriously the emotional needs of his wife she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his sexual desires. Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way encourages both giving and receiving.

4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans:  In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow together.

  • You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about?  Then ask yourself, “Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?”
  • The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with.
  • Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination.

5) Avoid Pre-Marital Sexual/Physical Activity:

  • Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman.
  • Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets physical before its time, important issues like character, life philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently, everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the important issues let alone talk about them.
  • Intellectual commitment must be established before emotional or sexual commitment.

6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection:  There are four questions that you must answer YES to:

  • Do I respect and admire this person?  What specifically do I respect and admire about this person?
  • Do I trust this person?  Can I rely on them?  Do I trust their judgment?  Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say?
  • Do I feel Safe?  Do I feel emotionally safe with this person?  Can I be vulnerable?  Can I be myself?  Can I be open?  Can I express myself?
  • Do I feel calm and at peace with this person?

If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married.  If you don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married!

7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety: Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage.  Feeling emotionally safe is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage.  When you don’t feel safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions.  Learn how to identify whether you are in an abusive relationship.  If you feel you always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you feel you can’t really express yourself and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship.  Look for the following things:

  • Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab and the way you spend your time.  Know the difference between suggestions and demands.  Demands are an expression of control and if the demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive personalities.
  • Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put downs, and curses at you, etc.  You don’t have to put up with this type of treatment.  Many people who tolerate this behavior usually come from abusive backgrounds.  If this is the case with you or someone you know, get help right away.  Deal with those issues before getting married or before even thinking about getting married.

8) Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner:  Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the table for discussion from the onset.  Ask yourself, “What do I need to know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What bothers me about this person or the relationship?”  It’s very important to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you, and things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength of your relationship. Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a great opportunity to really evaluate how well you communicate, negotiate, and work together as a team.  When people get into power struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well as a team.  Also important is being vulnerable around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds.  How do they handle it?  Are they defensive?  Do they attack?  Do they withdraw?  Do they get annoyed?  Do they blame you?  Do they ignore it?  Do they hide or rationalize it?  Don’t just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it!

9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility: It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for getting married.  People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are married.  If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving those areas of your life before considering marriage.  Don’t bring these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them.

10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner:  Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster.  Also important to consider are the following:

  • Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside.  These include people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts.  They are in a perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and often distrust people or are afraid of them.  Another clear indication about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people should take care of them and they don’t.  They feel burdened by other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them.  These people can not be emotionally available to build healthy relationships.
  • Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to build a strong emotional relationship.  Never marry an addict.  Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol.  They can be about addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports, shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc.  When someone has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available to develop an intimate relationship with you!

Additional Points to Consider:

  1. The fact is no one looks 25 forever.  Ultimately, we love the person we marry for more than their appearance.  When we get to know someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty and overall essence.
  2. Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of others, is rude to you, etc.  We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of this mean about their character?”
  3. Never separate someone from their family, background, education, belief system, etc.  Asking clear questions can clarify this.  Ask questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What are your expectations of marriage?”  “How would you help around the house?” Compare your definition with theirs.
  4. Be flexible.  Be open-minded!
  5. Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom.  It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as happy because of your connection with them.
  6. Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health.  The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship.  If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who considers giving a gain and not causing a loss.  Having a mutual and shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage.  Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well.  Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and thriving marriage.
————

by Dr. Nafisa Sekandari & Hosai Mojaddidi

The above article was [in part] inspired by and adapted from a presentation by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.