The loss of Amir ul Jamea Shazada Aali Waqar Abbas Bhai Saheb Fakhruddin

The walls of Al Madrasa tus Saifiya tul Burhaniyah echo the blessings and bounties of Duat Mutlaqeen and their Hudood Kiram. Every festivity multiplies in the institute and each sorrow bonds us a bit more. The recent loss of Assayedu ajal Amir ul Jamea Shazada Aali Waqar Abbas Bhai Saheb Fakhruddin has not only been heart breaking for each one of us but also leaves a significant void in the mechanics of Dawat e Hadya.

Son of Aqa Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and an intellectual of the highest standard, Shahzada Saheb’s precision and perfection for detail remains unknown to none. Deservingly so he was handed over the finance department of Dawat e Hadya and ever since with his diligent and exemplary performance he has carved his name in the history of financial and accounting books of Dawat.

Shahzada Saheb held the highest prestige of being one of the rectors of Al Jamea tus Saifiya. “He would look into the intricate details of Al Jamea tus Saifiya while in Karachi. He would be the first one to be up and about and not only concern himself in academics but also the administrative details. He himself would make sure that every department of Al Jamea was in perfect working order to the extent that he would look after the details of cleanliness in washrooms as well.” Quaid Johar bhai of Burhani Guards fondly recalls memories of Shahzada Saheb during his visits to Karachi.

Come hail, come storm, Shahzada Saheb tirelessly performed his khidmat with diligence and integrity and was in no time recognized as a methodical and logical mind of the revered office of Aqa Maula.

He served three Dais Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS with utmost dedication and piety.

His melodious voice while reciting takbira in Maula’s namaz was a singular feat and stood out as one of his most recognized features.

Aqa Burhanuddin Maula RA would often remember his name during sabaqs whenever ‘hisaab’ was mentioned. This recognition and Dua of Maula RA is evident in Shahzada Saheb’s children who are themselves notable khidmat guzars of Dawat.

May Allah grant our Maula TUS forbearance to bear this colossal loss and grant Him TUS a life of health and prosperity ta qayamat.

Amate Syedna TUS,

Xeynab

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The Helen O’ Grady fever!

“Lights, camera and Helen O’ Grady!”
If there is anything synonymous to action today it is the programme of Helen O’ Grady. Jam packed with energy and zest, once enrolled in the programme, you have got yourself in a win-win situation. Not only the programme offers heightened sense of self-esteem but promises a complete skill set of confidence, expressiveness and of course command over the English language, all of them being integral objectives of educational institutions today.

A London based programme, Helen O’ Grady today has received international acclamation for the outstanding results it has produced. Their trainers are vivacious, vibrant and definitely know their tambourine use well! The use of tambourine as a symbol makes the entire programme very engaging, keeping everyone on their toes throughout.

The recent launch of the event showcased similar vibrancy and creativity. Enactment and drama indeed fosters interaction and breaking our shells to bring about and discover the interesting sides within us!

Enjoying creativity,

Xeynab

My little new friend :)

She looked at me,

I looked at her,

Though she liked my glasses,

But I loved hers…


She walked next to me and stared,

I noticed and rejoiced!

As she mirrored me while I moved,

There wasn’t an inch of me left unamused


I shook her hand and asked

If friendship is her desire?

Her smile so sweet, 

A reply was of no need 


‘Zahabiya is my name, 

Grade 1 is where I am found’

As I walked out the gate 

A promise I made;

‘Adios my friend, I will meet you again

In the courtyard tomorrow wearing the same frame… ‘

Love,

Xeynab

16th Rabi ul Akhar, 1439

Each brick and wall, say Your RA name and recall

The blessings You gave, the love You graced.

Each question asked, every concern so great,

From the foundation to elevation, staunch You stayed.

Every nook and corner You visited the same,

Never a hint of exhaustion, alert and agile,

Year after year, days after days, close to your heart, Saifee hospital remained.

The dream of Your father, material You made,

State of the art equipments and methods so modern,

Never settling for less; highest standards you maintained.

Envious were the ailing, whose health You enquired,

To those whom you smiled, never knew pain again.

With the vasila of Husain SA, you always prayed,

For the health of the patients and their hale.

Each brick and wall, say Your RA name and recall

The blessings You gave, the love You graced.

Amate Syedna TUS,

Xeynab

Lessons taught by 2017

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Time is the best teacher and what a teacher it was. Unfailing. Uncompromising. Unforgiving. Ruthless.

What a year it was. Summing up what I learnt from 2017 might take yet another year. But as I reflect on the last twelve months this is what I need to remind myself as I step into 2018.

  1. Life is unpredictable.
  2. Follow your heart.
  3. Bolster yourself with faith.
  4. Carpe Diem-seize the day.
  5. Prize the present moment.
  6. Don’t say anything which challenges fate.
  7. Leave the future to God. You can’t control it no matter how hard you try.
  8. You can’t escape from your destiny.
  9. Play your part. Play it well.
  10. Rely on your own skills.
  11. Inspire and be inspired.
  12. Express your love to people who have been by your side.
  13. Be grateful for every breath.
  14. Squeeze the good from every moment.
  15. If life gives you a reason to smile–smile.
  16. Don’t explain yourself to people who don’t matter.
  17. Don’t stoop to the other’s level.
  18. Some people will never change so you will have to change.
  19. Never take off your armour. Be poised for a shock; be ready for trouble.
  20. Just when you feel you’re in your comfort zone, something will jarr you.
  21. Do your best. Leave the rest to God
  22. Don’t complain. Find a remedy. Concentrate on the solution not on the problem.
  23. Allow yourself to cry but only in front of God.
  24. Tears will cleanse your heart.
  25. Be picky about what to feed your mind.
  26. Life is about moving. Sometimes forward, sometimes backwards. But don’t forget to move.
  27. The world will show you signs. Pay heed to them.
  28. Nothing is permanent.
  29. Everyone is on another page. No one can understand the other’s dilemma.
  30. Indulge in a dream. But remind yourself it’s a dream not reality.
  31. Life is not black and white. There are certainly more than fifty shades of grey.
  32. Don’t judge anyone. The only judge is God because only he knows the whole story.
  33. Work hard. There are no short cuts.
  34. Try to be where you are respected.
  35. Give sadaqa generously. Generosity is a sign of courage.
  36. Never show you are afraid.
  37. Be unreadable.
  38. Be genuine.
  39. Write your pain down.
  40. Family is not blood ties. It is ties of the soul that matter.
  41. Know what to ignore.
  42. Never lose your cool. The calm are powerful.
  43. Love deeply but quietly.
  44. Some things are unforgivable.
  45. People will talk no matter how hard you try to do what is ‘right’. Ignore the chatter.
  46. Revel in the company of positive people.
  47. Trust is precious. Give it warily.
  48. Give the benefit of doubt to those who deserve it.
  49. There are angels.
  50. There is justice.

Amate Syedna TUS

Maryam

Are you guided?

Guidance. There is nothing else that’s better in this world than guidance. To be guided is beautiful. It’s putting your trust on someone and letting that entity take control of your actions leading you towards your ambition. It’s the complete faith that you put and belief that what you are told to do will benefit you in taking where you want to go or see yourself to be. 

Life is simple once you have trust and faith. Life is simple when there is a direction for your eyes to see. Life is simple when you can use the wisdom and experience of someone and do not need to learn through trial and error and by making your own mistakes. Life is easy; like a mathematical problem for which you are provided a formula to resolve. For with guidance only you can get your desired result with ease in the shortest possible time.

Life with the right guidance is like a ride through a jungle, where there are wild beasts and fruits yet with your guide not only it helps you surpass all your challenges with ease but meanwhile it makes the ride enjoyable as well. But, if you falter,  you may get hurt, fall sick, or worse, at times your guide has to slow down and wait for you, at times your guide pays the price of your mistakes and then may penalize you for your benefit, to refrain from faltering the next time.

But, all this for the love and benefit of yours. Hence they say its better to be blind and let yourself be driven fully by your guide. And then they also say ‘Love is blind’. So if you have faith and trust and you completely believe in your guide, then let yourself be blindfolded in the love of your guide, and follow through and through out.

However all this is simple only when there is complete faith and your actions and thoughts mirror your belief and your guide’s mentoring.  

Having a guide is God’s way of displaying His love for His creations. For those who are guided are blessed. They are the chosen ones who God decides to shower His mercy on. They are the ones for whom God decides to gift a simpler journey, a journey with less troubles and pain.

So it is wise to ask ourselves…

Are you blessed? Are you amongst the chosen ones? 

Amate Syedna TUS,

Xeynab

A student amongst them…

The process of teaching is a unique one. It’s that of continuous learning and research. In my humble opinion a profession that requires the most R&D is that of teaching. From a kindergarten to a post graduate teacher, for teaching you must not only be aware of the evolving trends and techniques or teaching methodologies but also the ever revolutionary matter of your subject, the stakeholders involved and the various parameters that affects it.

For me the past 3 decades which actually spans my entire lifetime has been based on either learning or teaching. From the very early years of my life I juxtaposed both aspects and gradually adopted teaching as my sole profession. I always believe that teaching and learning are two interlinked concepts and to deattach them from each other is abnormal. Hence all these years have been a wavelength of teaching and learning, at times ensuring the students spend sleepless nights while at times it was me studying history of Pakistan for months to bring out the historian in me, to educate, affect and actually make the students love the subject and retain interest in it. 

Similarly I never fathomed as a student of business administration with an inclination towards marketing, studying finance and dealing with numbers would lead me towards a learner and teacher of English Language. However like everything else, I always threw myself whole heartedly to everything life put me through and hence likewise took up the challenge of teaching English Language to the secondary classes. 

However the point of all this detailed preview is that learning has been a significant aspect of my journey in this field of education. Of course all of us understand its not only the knowledge we get from books and the internet but the life experiences which we attain and offer and that these experiences undoubtedly leave the most significant marks in our lives. 

The domain of photography is one such arena which interested me due to my students. I still remember the day when Husain Mansoor Mandviwalla told me about how his interest involves around being behind the lens of the camera and capturing the world around. It was an unusual art, a logical scientific one involving the most creative eye to be able to capture with precision what should and must be cherished that a normal eye seemed to miss. Looking at Husain’s work amazed me at how beautifully and naturally he did so! Though a not very language person, his expression through pictures and images was stunning. 

Day after another my interest in photography deepened, I started to many times capture and look at the world, the way my student did. I attended a few sessions of Tapu Javeri and a few other renowned photographers, not only out of curiosity but also with a mission to be able to nurture the ambition of my student. 

When we initiated the venture of “Descriptive Photography” I was amazed to see the number of students who actually had a natural creative eye and just turned  the most ordinary tales into extraordinary ones with a simple click. Hence this club of “Descriptive Photography” turned into an online blog where along with pictures we posted captions and articles, serving the  purpose of expression through both Language and Arts. Groups were formed. There was a bombardment of pictures with words, which for me to manage singlehandedly became a strenuous challenging job. So we had my friends from media come to rescue which included alumnis like Huzefa Hazari, Shabbir Hazari and the renowned Mehlum Sadriwala. We had Mujtaba Paliwala to back us up as well for his wide experience in story telling and media made sure the words with images provided the aimed fine balance and instigated critical thought process in the young minds. 

Husain Mandviwala

Khadija’s work

Mustafa Mushtaq’s

Photography has been one distinct venture which I developed a love for, a good blend of words with images brings out life in your work. It makes it exciting, relatable and interesting.

Even after the students graduated we would meet to discuss our photography aims where we would invite the notable practicing ones like Mehlum to review our work. Our group initiated with the batch of 2015 and 2016 and later minimized to a few members like Mufaddal Lakdawala, Tayeb Giani, Khadija Hazari, Shabbir Kapasi, Husain , Alifiya Malirwala and Ajab Shabbir. 

Along with photography there have been novel experiences each year. Each year has provided me an exposure to the unique world of students. I have with them read new books, newspapers, watched Sc-Fi movies, developed products, sold them, recycled stuff, played games, earned money, drew, pasted and glued stuff, wrote articles, designed captions, learnt management, practiced leadership and made many many reports. I with them have lived my life and with the grace of Allah continue to do so. In my ambition to enlighten them and educate them I have done a great deal for myself. So in the words of Bryan Adams I shall end my piece with my honest dedication to my beloved students:

“Everything I do, I do it for you…”

Love,

Your teacher, mother, sister, student and most importantly a friend,

Amate Syedna TUS,

Xeynab

Exploring Northern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 

Taking swings in a children’s play area, breathing greedily a giant gulp of air after another, aiming to cleanse myself off the ailments of the mind and body, I respire generously for a good overhaul of the mechanics of my system.

Exhaling pessimism while aiming to bottle up all the positive energy around me, cherishing the purity of the atmosphere with the soothing gusts of wind caressing my hair, the clear blue sky cottoned around with candy-floss like clouds, the picturesque view of the snow white mountains just at my eye level, surrounded lavishly by the plush garden embellished smartly with vibrant flowers with tall smartly trimmed trees, the fine rocky pathway and the soft music of Christmas played in the background..

someone just pinch me or convince me of being awake!

& so I figured…

Alert and in control, embracing the vivid details of the wonderful nature of the northern Punjab, I sat swaying and swinging to it’s beauty.

From the archipelago of Africas to the balmy beaches of the Far eastern countries, there is nothing that could beat the candelar-perfect beauty of the northern Punjab. The flimsily snow laden hills of Murree, the tall pine trees, the savory aroma of freshly fried pakoras complimented with scrumptious chatnis and the ever treasured horse rides at Kashmir Point, the love for Northern Punjab definitely goes deep down my ancestry. 

A colonial vintage house next to the civil hospital with a modest shop located on the main Mall Road of Murree Hills near Prince hotel, the well known Esajees of Rawalpindi-Islamabad once were also natives of the Murree Hills, also known as ‘The White City’. I had the fortune of spending some toddler years here, while I witnessed members of the family run one of the several network of shops of the Esajees around the country. With time, shrinking families and the need to move to the city, the Esajees wound up their business in the year 1995, and left Murree Hills settling permanently in Rawalpindi.

Everytime I visit the northern areas, there follows an inevitable feeling of nostalgia. My father always comments longingly “Muree is our lost native land, which we long left behind.”

Hence today as I am on an expedition exploring Murree and its vicinity, I can only remain enrapt a bit more, still in its beauty and splendour. Each blissful sight that it offers today and every feeling that I am blessed with, neither do I seem to count, nor thank enough!

Blissful,

Xeynab

The delayed flight 

Life is unpredictable and a recent turn of events just endorsed the entire concept. Although earlier had no doubts about it but STILL it made things very very clear…

We had an early morning flight to Islamabad and all upbeat and excited, the three of us were just in the right mood to embark on an exciting excursion towards Punjab.

However little did we know that this anticipation to reach the snow kissed mountains in a few hours would switch into a back breaking 24 hour debacle!

Layering a clothing on another, the three of us had successfully managed to double our weights and look freshly red, plump and nicely rounded. Though the temperature on the cell phone read “22°C”, yet the anticipation of the weather ahead got the better of us and we felt all the wisdom vested within us with our wise preparation of double decker jackets and multiple layers of clothing, and trust you me with all  those layers on, it sure stayed within us safe and sound!

For our credit: well we looked cute. Husain and myself didn’t had to work a lot towards looking all round and plump, cause of natural characteristics, yet Ali we had to definitelly work on! Our little heads squeezed its way out of our bouncy bodies to ensure some part of us breathes to remain alive…

Neverthless we somehow turtled our way out and  reached the door when Husain ‘s cell phone rang and he somehow managed to get a few fingers inside his  pocket and slid the phone off, while it dropped on the floor with a shrill thud. It took every effort to bend and retrieve but that wasn’t really much of a spectacle compared to the expression and a loud curse that followed. “Damn the flights delayed!”

More than the thought of delay, our main concern seemed to be the thick artificial cotton and wool skin that we now would need to shed off and the thought of it was enough for us to count each bead of sweat rolling down our faces forming tiny polka dots on our clothing.

Wearily and painstakingly we relaxed ourselves for another two hours till it was time for our scheduled flight. Dragging the three bags and our three lazy selves we again managed to settle in the car and just when we were about to leave for the airport we received another call from the airport enlightening us that we must remain at the safety of our home for another 6 hours!

Taking a 180 degree turn towards our home, each one of us didn’t had much to say and for the first time our actions seem to be louder than our words, as each one of us pulled the suitcases till they banged along the walls as we not very happily dragged them behind us like a parent pulling a naughty stubborn toddler adamant for a toy!

“I’m so not going anymore!”  I blurted out half sneaking out from my blanket at the 7th call from the airport. “I want my money back! You morons” I could hear Husain blaring into his phone, while Ali Asghar looked dejected and helpless.

With a splitting headache, a few marked exam papers sprawled on the floor, I could feel my green pen rolling along my feet, I had no energy left to feel anything about the trip anymore. All I could manage was thinking of sleep, a good movie and then of course a few more hours of sleep!

However Ali Asghar, the level of energy he owns, his adventurous streak and the hyperactivity he projects got his lazy parents beaten hands down. We succumbed to the pressure of the tiny tot and played along the endless game of phone calls, constant delays and spontaneous abusive words from our end. Nevertheless we hung on displaying excellent sportsmanship only that when we finally reached the airport, the only wisdom left with us made us attired better suited for a summer Hawaii trip rather than that for the chilly winters of Punjab. 

Cranky, frustrated and disturbed our expressions in 14 hours changed from chirpy to hawk-y, ready to pounce on every opportunity we could grab. 

So then what seemed like a long freedom struggle, finally we were successfully boarded in… I looked at my son and his growing resilience and energy and looked at my own tired grumpy self. Then for my own benefit, I decided not to think any further… 

Fingers crossed- still,

Xeynab

From Words to Pearls

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Just like a pearl is made
From a drop of water pure
Caught in an oyster shell
Over the years it becomes
A thing of unsurpassed loveliness

Just so are your words
Each syllable a drop so prized
Which when ensconced in our souls
Becomes a pearl so pristine

Your words are like music
Your wisdom an eternal melody
Your call is a herald of the Heavens
The land for which we pine.

Amate Syedna TUS

Maryam