Wake up call

Our struggle to put first things first can be characterized by the contrast between two powerful tools that direct us: The Clock and The Compass.

The Clock represents our commitments, appointments, schedules, goals, activities-what we do with and how we manage our time… The Compass represents our vision, values, principles, mission, conscience, direction-what we feel is important and how we lead our lives.

The struggle comes when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass-when what we do doesn’t contribute to what is most important in our lives.

For some of us, the pain of the gap is intense. We can’t seem to walk or talk. We feel trapped, controlled by other people or situations. We are always responding to crises. We’re constantly caught up in ‘the thick of thin things’ -putting out fires and never making time to do what we know would make a difference. We feel as though our lives are being lived for us.

For some of us, the pain is a vague discomfort. We just can’t get what we feel we should do, what we want to do and what we actually do all together. We are caught in dilemmas. We feel so guilty over what we’re not doing; we can’t enjoy what we do.

Some of us feel empty. We’ve defined happiness solely in terms of professional or financial achievement, and we find that our `success` did not bring us the satisfaction we thought it would. We’ve painstakingly climbed the ‘ladder of success’ rung by rung-the diploma, the late nights, and the promotions-only to discover as we reached the top rung that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. Absorbed in the ascent, we’ve left a trail of shattered relationships or missed moments of deep, rich living in the wake of the intense, over focused effort. In our race up the rungs, we simply did not take time to do what really mattered most.

Others of us feel disoriented or confused. We have no real sense of what ‘fist things’ are. We move one activity to another on automatic. Life is mechanical. Once in a while, we wonder if there is any meaning in our doing.

Some of us know we’re out of balance, but we don’t have confidence in other alternatives. Or we feel the cost of change is too high. Or we’re afraid to try. It’s easier to just live with the imbalance.

We may be brought to an awareness of this gap in a dramatic way. A loved one dies. Suddenly she’s gone and we see the stark reality of what could have been, but wasn’t, because we were too busy climbing ‘the ladder of success’ to cherish and nurture a deeply satisfying relationship.

We may find out our teenage son is on drugs. Pictures flood our minds-times we could have spent through the years, doing things together, sharing, building the relationship…..but didn’t because we were too busy earning a living, making the right connections, or simply the newspaper.

The company is downsizing and our jobs on the line. Or our doctor tells us we have just a few months to live. Or our marriage is threatened by divorce. Some crisis brings us to an awareness that what we’re doing with our time and what we feel is deeply important don’t match.

In the absence of such ‘wake-up calls’, many of us never really confront critical issues of life. Instead of looking our deep chronic causes, we look for quick-fix Band-Aids and aspirin to treat the acute pain. Fortified by temporary relief, we get busier and busier doing ‘good’ things and never even stop to ask ourselves if what we are doing really matters most.

Khuzema Hassanali
Dar es Salaam

Social Responsibility of Restaurants

The social responsibility or should I say a moral one of any commercial or non-commercial house providing food to anyone is to look at the aspects of health of those that they serve. Earning a profit is in no way a devilish act of any business but to undermine the the wellfare of the society and that of life for the soul purpose of making those extra dimes and pennies is in no way acceptable.
Al Farooj Fresh is a fast food franchise similar to the KFC in product and price. The main branch of this franchise was probably in Sharjah where I used to dine and love the food. It was less oily and served Arabic bread freshly baked in the oven.
The branch suddenly closed down and since then I still search for a place where those freshly baked arabic breads are served.
My latest visit to Al Farooj Fresh was at an outlet at the Emarat Petrol Station on Sharjah Beach. The order was my regular one but the food and the way it was served ruined my dinner.
There were only 2 plates they didn’t have any extra nor did they have any disposables. How do they expect someone to eat without proper plates. No spoons even.
The food extremely oily with so much skin and breadcrumbs dipped in oil that it would make anyone sick. The photo below shows the oily skin that we just had to throw away. What a waste of resources and bad for health approach.


I rest my case voting this as bad customer service.

The hardest trial of all…

Humans have the tendency to weep and complain about petty things. When we humans have tons of work we complain being buried under its load, when we have lots of money we complain of not having enough time to spend it, when we have enough time to spare we lack the health that stops us from enjoying it. So what is this in human life I keep wondering. Life is a journey most saints and philosophers tell us, not a destination and we keep on moving as minutes turn to hours and hours turn to days and finally it seems that decades have passed by and the sand of time has slipped from our hands leaving nothing to rejoice at. But then there are those who keep telling us to think and act positively to fill our journey with happiness as we pass by the different scenic panoramas of life filled with various colors, some of happiness and joy while a few of sadness and loss.

The hardest trial of all is the long wait that life brings upon us day after day and time after time, the wait to be finally happy but does it ever happen. The blissful happiness for some simply lies in the heavens promised to us by our ancestors and can never be experienced in the material life. While some believe that all the talk of the heavens is simply a fairy tale for grownups. A very few are those who believe that the path to the blissful life of heaven is indeed a track of joy in itself for if there was a heaven then it could not be surrounded by the walls of sorrow and guilt nor can a beautiful place of eternal contentment be engulfed with greed and never ending hunger to have more. The trial of passing over this road is a long wait in itself, probably, a wait where one can enjoy every relaxing moment and that would lead to eternal growth or a never ending wait to get to the heaven that is already there both in this life and the hereafter. The journey of life is a trial with many long layovers which at times makes us believe we might have just reached the destination or drain the energy out of most of us never knowing which way to head.

A thought pops up as I write this, the entire universe, the cosmos and the billions of years we calculate and count are simply nothing but a long wait where time seems to have frozen and everything is moving towards eternity while the rest is still in time, and time itself has no value of its own though it may posses every bit and piece of existence in this world to the last minute proton or neutron or whatever that is the smallest bit.

Let us all make this wait a moment to energize and rejuvenate our very existence. I keep waiting and try to understand the hardest of all trials, that leads to consciousness personified.

An experiance in Iraq

Moulana Mufaddal Saifuddin made us remember Moulan al-Muqaddas Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA for 40 days and nights and them immediately made us do niyat and took those fortunate ones for Iraq KUN safar or to Yemen or both.
During these times certain elements outside the Dawat fortress could only shout and rant on the rooftops and do nothing else but no point talking about that. Action speaks louder than words. Mufaddal Maula TUS was active cleansing souls and helping the bosy as well not just one or the other. Its is east for those who have only a house to manage to talk and criticize. Pakistanis and Bangladeshi Mumineen would need a month usually to get Iraqi visas but due to Safar of the true Dai and Azamat as-Sultan they and all Mumineen got on arrival visas subject to the list given by Dawat-e-Hadiyah as per raza received and date of arrivals and departure. All ziyarats and sites were visited and there was no sign of violence nor security being an issue.
At least not in the Najaf and Kerbala area! In fact life and business of locals seemed to boom. There was tight security and check points, Roads between cities close from midnight to 5 am but other wise life went on.

Moiz Mohsinally Hasanally Esufally
Amatullah Villa
10 Jawatte Road
Colombo 5
Sri Lanka
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