Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Assalam-o-Alaikum (May peace be unto you)

You won’t believe what happened to me Yesterday…

Since the earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan, I have been in a state of shock, tension and fear –fear… for another quake. It’s just this tense situation where no one seems to want to do anything.
All the News channels are full of heart-breaking news and horrible scenarios…And all day long rumours fly about: “Karachi next…” or “More Aftershocks…”

That’s what has been happening for the past two days now. But yesterday night, in particular, I felt more tense than ever for an aftershock had been felt all the way in Balochistan, the northwest part of Pakistan, next to Sindh. Though it had resulted in no casualties, it had left karachites on the hook: everyone was pretty tense.

So, when I lay down in bed yesterday, it wasn’t a surprise that I reiterated my prayers over and over again, invocating Allah subha na tu alla, asking for his mercy and guidance. I kept reciting Surah Fatihah and Durood Shareef for they always seem to calm me the most. After doing so, I sleep soundly unaware that a shock rippled through my building only a few hours later. I came to know of it in the morning at “Sehri” and it was pretty shocking news. My mother and sister hadn’t slept the whole night, but had remained awake watching the News channel.

Our fear and tension eased down a little when we came to know that the quake had no relation with the earthquake in the northern areas, but had been due to some other reason.
Nevertheless, as I offered my Fajr prayers and got ready for school I realized I had fully understood Mad Eye’s slogan: “Constant Vigilance”

In school, there was another little dram prepared for my counterparts and myself…But first let me tell you that –while I lay comfortable in bed- several closeby building had been vacated for security measures and most of the Karachites had spend their night roaming on the streets of Karachi, in their cars, or in parks. It seemed a funny little situation though grave and tense.

About the drama:
About five minutes to “Chutti”(when the school ends), our senior headmistress came into the classroom and seriously stated: “Pack up your bags, leave as soon as possible”

The havoc, the pandemonium, the rush, the frenzy, the mayhem that those nine words created, I had never seen before in my entire life. Students began hurling stuffing things into their bags like crazy. Chairs scraped, pencils fell...
With the nine words revolving in our head, we staggered out of the classrooms gasping, heaving our bags along us. Students thundered down the stairs in such a state of panic!

When we finally made it down 2 flights of stairs into the ground, our principal announced that it had been merely a “Drill”. Argh!

But, I tell you-seriously that the senior headmistress had scared the living daylights out of us. Her manner, her tone and her sudden appearance in the Math classroom and had created a strange scenario in the classroom. It did make me wonder about my shortcomings and was definitely an eye-opener.
The Holy Quran warns the trangressers:

"When We decide to destroy a town, We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against (them). Then we destroy it with complete destruction." (17:16)

Ahmad relates in a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho) that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said, "The Hour will not happen until knowledge is taken out, time passes quickly, earthquakes increase in number, tribulations (fitan) appear, and "al-Harj" increases in number." It was said, "What is al-Harj, O the Holy Prophet?" He said, "Al-Qatl, al-Qatl (Killing)." A lot of what is mentioned in this Hadith has already materialised.

Pray,make Dua, and keep evaluating yourself in order to keep on the straight path. The path on whom Allah has bestowed the light of his grace and mercy...

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