Saturday, 26 January 2008

Chilled Punch with Garam Garam sabzi wala nan

Islooites, you got to try out this drink at Crunchies Juice Shop in Jinnah Market Gol Chakar. It's the fruit punch. With every sip you get to taste a different flavor varying from apple, pineapple, pomogranate, cheeko, gauava, orange and other seasonal fruits. It's chilled, nourishing and refreshing. Try it out. My brother relates it to the multi flavoured beans from Harry Potter =). The taste keeps changing to different flavors, and you keep guessing whats next.
Also the garam garam sabzi wala nan straight from the tandoor from the nan shop behind Shaheen chemist in Super market is yummy and worth a try.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Mobiles linked to disturbed sleep

BBC: Using a mobile phone before going to bed could stop you getting a decent night's sleep, research suggests.The study, funded by mobile phone companies, suggests radiation from the handset can cause insomnia, headaches and confusion.It may also cut our amount of deep sleep - interfering with the body's ability to refresh itself. Read On
This research suggests that if you need to make a make a phone call in the evening it is much better to use a land line

Monday, 21 January 2008

Some good words

1. If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.

2. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention

3. Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

4. The best vitamin for making friends....B1.

5. The 10 commandments are no multiple choice.

6. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

7. Minds are like parachutes,they function only when open.

8. Ideas won't work unless YOU do.

9. One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

10. One who lacks the courage to start has already finished.

11. The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge.

12. Don't learn safety rules by accident.

13. We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

14. Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise.

15. A turtle makes progress when it sticks its head out.

16. One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

17. A friend walks in when everyone else walks out.

AND FINALLY...

18. The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!

~Courtesy Sameer

Saturday, 19 January 2008

20 Qualities for a successful life

I liked this compilation of traits (listed below) to lead a modest fulfilling life originally posted at Dumb Little Man Tips for Life. David B. Bohl of Slow Down Fast writes:

How do you define a successful life? Is it by how much money or stuff you have amassed, or is it by the legacy you leave behind? All too often we equate a successful life with material possessions. Yet, there are millions of people out there who lead successful, fulfilled lives who may be of modest means. They may not be rich in the financial sense, but they are rich in life and values.

So what are the things we should strive for to make our lives successful and have a positive impact on those around us? Here is a list of traits that I think defines what true success in life is all about. Does your list differ?

1.Sincerity. Be sincere in your actions. Don’t try to deceive or impress others. Be yourself, and do what you feel is right based on your values and beliefs. You will be surprised at how people accept you when you stop trying to be someone you aren’t.

2.Unfeigned. Be genuine in what you do; your actions speak louder than your words. Don’t falsify or embellish events that may have happened. Don’t say one thing and do the other.

3.Wholehearted. Be enthusiastic about what you do. Show it. Be committed to life and everything that you set out to accomplish in life. Devote yourself to your family, friends, and community and commit yourself to being the best father, husband, wife, mother, friend, and neighbor you can be.

4.Honest. Be honest in your dealings with yourself and with others. When others interact with you, let them see someone who is reputable, respectable and genuine. Do what you say you will do and never use fraud or deception to get ahead in life. Let ethics, morals, and honor be your compass.

5.Heartfelt. When you do something for someone, or they do something for you, let your thanks and emotion be openly and outwardly expressed towards them.

6.Hearty. Be someone who displays an honest, warm, and exuberant personality to those around them. Let your feelings show and let them be genuine when they do.

7.Humility. Don’t lead a life thinking you are better than others or are superior to those around you. Modesty and humbleness will leave a far more ever lasting impact on people than trying to show off.

8.Personal integrity. Always follow your heartfelt values, and never let a situation or anyone steer you away from doing what you know is right. Be someone that people can look up to and respect and not someone who trades his or her moral values for material gains in life.

9.Incorruptibility. Let it be known that you stand firm for what you believe in and that your morals, values and actions are not for sale. Don’t let outside forces corrupt the person you are.

10.Sound. Show good judgment and sense in life. Don’t let prejudices or emotions cloud your judgment.

11.Whole. Be focused on what you want to achieve in life. Give everyone you interact with your complete and undivided attention.

12.Courtesy. Practice good manners even though others around you may not.

13.Civility. Graciousness and respect go a long way in life. What is more, they are viral – when people see you doing it they are more apt to practice civility themselves. Be kind to others and extend courtesy towards them. Don’t interrupt people when they speak and don’t dominate the conversation.

14.Wisdom. Gain from the wisdom that is inside you. Understand the inner qualities of people and learn how to understand situations that might be different than we are used to.

15.Charity. Practice kind, gentle, and compassionate treatment of others – especially those who may be undeserving. Learn to extend a hand to help others, even though they themselves may not have helped you.

16.Empathy. Be aware that each person is different and may have different values and beliefs than those that you hold. Be understanding of the feelings and thoughts of others without having to be told or reminded of them.

17.Sympathy. Share your feelings with others and understand the emotional situations that people go through. Put yourself in their shoes.

18.Compassion. When someone is in distress, reach out with a genuine interest in helping alleviate their suffering.

19.Altruism. Think of others without thinking of yourself. Do good things for people without expecting something in return for yourself.

20.Magnanimous. Be generous in life. Give of your time, money and wisdom. Share with others so they can see the true joy and adventures of life themselves.

There are the qualities I think helps lead a person to life a successful life. Clearly everyone's views will differ, as they should. What are some qualities that you think define success in life?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Scientists use monkey's brain signals to control robot

Computer World: Scientists in the U.S. and Japan have successfully used a monkey's brain activity to control a humanoid robot over the Internet. This research may only be a few years away from helping paralyzed people walk again by enabling them to use their thoughts to control exoskeletons attached to their bodies.
The brains signals of the monkey were transmitted over the internet and fed into a humanoid robot that immediately began to respond to the monkey's brain activity -- walking at the same pace, slowing down when the monkey slowed, and changing its walking pattern to exactly match the animal's. Read More

This research reminds me of a cute movie; Ratatouille in which a rat controls a humans action by pulling his hair and helps him make the delicious of dishes.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

In God we trust, all rest we virus scan

Even if it seems like nobody is paying attention to you or notices or appreciates the good things that you do, Allah Almighty has seen them and He will not forget them. Even when it seems like the whole world is against you, Allah Almighty is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember this. Allah Almighty always wants the best for us and in His wisdom He knows why each thing that happens to us is in fact best for us. When it seems like everything is going wrong and life is just one disaster after another, it is easy to forget this and to become bitter and skeptical. Yet we must remember always to have faith that Allah Almighty knows best why He has willed this for us, and we must always ask Him only "Make me pleased with what You have willed for me" Read More

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It does not matter what you do, obey or disobey, the result will be that you will receive what Allah has ordained for you. You cannot add to it or subtract from it. What you do is either benefit yourself with the blessings of obedience or harm yourself with the fruits of your disobedience. We have been told that what is for us can't miss us and what is not for us can't hit us. Read More

Locked Words

"I try to talk to you, but I don't know what to say. I am afraid you don't want me to say anything. So I don't. But inside of me there are words waiting to come out. And tell you how I feel, like how I miss you. And how I love you despite my broken heart. And how I need you in my life. And especially how much I want you. But those words may forever stay in my heart, locked inside. Sometimes I wonder if there are words locked inside you too... but I'll never know."
~ Unknown Author

What stops the person from unlocking the words, expressing his\her feelings and seeking the truth? By keeping the words locked in heart, isn't the person keeping himself\herself in a locked state of mind? Is wondering better than knowing?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Treatment through Colors

Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or using colors to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colourology and is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment.

In this treatment:
  • Red was used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.

  • Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.

  • Orange was used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.

  • Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.

  • Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Olay in Isloo








This one reminds me of the white forest pastry


Mr Hail, Outside STP-1


Source: Friends n Co workers

Think

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.
~ Bernard Baruch

Do our schools, society and set up hamper our thinking? Or are we compromising our own capacity to think? Do the social or cultural filters in place defer our judgment? Do we question the norms, preconceptions, traditions before agreeing on to them? Or do we follow them blindly?

Monday, 7 January 2008

The Doll Maker

In a little village, there lived a crafts man named Bun, who made wooden dolls for children. Bun was so naturally gifted in his handwork that his fame spread to all the neighboring villages. People from all over the region came to buy wooden dolls from him or bring their broken dolls for repairs. He carefully studied the broken dolls and looked for the best way to mend it such that it looked exactly the way it was when he first made it.

Bun had a little daughter for whom he made a very beautiful doll on her tenth birthday. The little girl was so much in love with her little doll that she always played with it along with her friends. One day while playing with the doll, the wooden doll broke and the little girl cried and ran to her father with the broken doll. When she got to him, she complained that her doll's arm broke while she was playing with it.

The father took time to listen to her complaints and then told her to leave the doll with him and come back later for it. The little girl said, "No daddy, you don't understand, all I want you to do is carve out another arm and polish it, and then use some glue or nail and join it back. That's all!!"

The father still tried to explain to her to leave the doll with him and come back after sometime for it because he made the doll and he knows how best to mend it when it is broken. The little grew impatient and said to her father, "Daddy, you are not doing it the way I want, you are too slow." With that statement the little girl grabbed the doll and left her father's workshop. The father called after her but she wouldn't come back.

Like that little girl, most of us take our problems to God and try to dictate how He should solve them. We often fail to realize that God made us and He understands how best to handle all our daily problems if left at his doorstep. Also we lack patience and want our problem solved immediately. We should hang on to the faith that God answers are prayers in His good time and in a way that is best for us.

To Pong from Yin

Alright Pong, now here we go.
It's a brand new version of the dosido.
Just stomp your feet and clap your hands.
Come on Pong its the hamster dance.

=) =) =)

Ping and Yang are dancing to the tune too


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Thursday, 3 January 2008

On Backbiting

We have to recognise that when it comes to morality and values, Islam is the standard. Want to know a prime example? Ever heard of the Golden Rule? It says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Sound familiar? It should, Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) stated the same basic thing.

He said, Narrated Hadhrat Anas (Radhi Allaho anho): The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12)

What about the statement, "If you can't say something good, say nothing at all." Here it is in our beloved Prophet's words. Narrated Hadhrat Abu Huraira (Radhi Allaho anho): Allah's Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbour..." (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 482)

All this goes to preface the idea that we have to care about each other in a way that is in line with Islam. When we think of 'Gheebat' (gossip, backbiting), most of us think that this is the speech as defined by the non-believers -- saying something negative about someone -- whether truthful or not.

But Islam has given it a stronger definition: Narrated Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho): Allah's Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said: Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) know best. Thereupon, he (the Holy Prophet) said. "Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner that he does not like." It was said to him, "What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He said, "If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbitten him, and if that is not in him, it is a slander. (Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6265, Abu Dawood, Ahmad and Tirmizi)

And Muttalib bin Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said, 'Gheebat (gossip, backbiting) means that a man mentions about a person something which is true, behind his back." (Majma'-uz-Zawaid)

Just imagine the high standards that Islam has set, that this horrible sin is not even confined just to the oral or written statement. Hasan bin Al-Makhaariq reported that "Once a woman visited Hadhrat Aisha (Radhi Allaho anha), and when the woman got up to leave, Hadhrat Aisha made a sign with her hand indicating to the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) that the woman was short. The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) immediately chastised her, saying, "You have backbitten!" (Tafseer Ibn Jareer, vol 4, p 328)

Scholars agree that backbiting is a major sin, and that the committing of this sin necessitates repentance (Taubah) to Allah." (Tafseer Qurtabi)

The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) has warned us of great punishments, which may befall us as a result of committing this sin. Narrated Abu Barzah al-Aslami: The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said: "O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts! Do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault. And if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in the open for everyone to see, even if he hid it in the innermost part of his house." (Abu Dawood: Book 41, Number 4862, Tirmizi and Ibn Hubban)

See, we talk about others, exposing them and Allah gives us a taste of our own medicine -- exposing us. Which of us has no secret, which would harm us if exposed? Who among us can afford to risk this punishment? May Allah protect us form His wrath!

We have to be very careful. Remember, on the Day of Judgement, Allah may forgive us the sins we committed against Him, but He will not take away our rights as individuals. On that day, people will have the right to take our good deeds or even the bad deeds of theirs would be given to us in case of crimes we have committed against them. One of these crimes is Gheebat, where we sacrifice the honour of our brothers and sisters.

Narrated Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho): Allah's Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said: Do you know who is poor? They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: A poor man from amongst, who neither has dirham nor wealth with him. He (the Holy Prophet) said: "The poor of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others, and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of the one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire." (Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6251)

Let's reflect on this. Here we are. We thought we were doing good. We prayed. We fasted. We worked hard on doing good deeds. Yet, there we will be on the Day of Judgement. We will have survived all of the horrible trials, the Judgement, the Bridge and the huge thorns, which snatch us according to our deeds and throw us into Hell. (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 577)

We will have been through all this, only to lose all our good deeds because we could not or would not control our tongue. On this day, we will stand there and be asked by those whom we harmed for their rights. A person whom we have backbitten may take that one crucial deed that means Heaven or Hell. How many deeds can you afford to give away?

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho) narrated: Allah's Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) told that the servant whose fault Allah conceals in this world, Allah would also conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim: Book 31, Number 6266)

Hadhrat Uqbah bin Amir (Radhi Allaho anho) narrated: Whoever covers the faults of believer is like one who has brought to life a female child buried alive. (Abu Dawood: Book 41, Number 4873)

The rewards are so great. We should be so careful in this matter to avoid the punishment and to receive the great blessings. There are a few situations where it is allowed for us to talk about something, but these are limited. Here are a few allowed situations:

Marital advice or protection from possible harm:

Fatimah binte Qays went to the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) seeking marital advice when both Mu'awiyah bin Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahm had proposed to her. The Holy Prophet told her, "Muawiyah is stingy and tight fisted and Abu Jahm beats his women." So marry Usamah instead. (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nisai and Ibin Majah)

Complaint:

Narrated Hadhrat Aisha (Radhi Allaho anha): Hind, the mother of Mu'awiya said to Allah's Apostle (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam), "Abu Sufyan (her husband) is a miser. Am I allowed to take from his money secretly?" The Holy Prophet said to her, "You and your sons may take what is sufficient reasonably and fairly." (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 34, Number 413)

Seeking advice from someone who has the power to help:

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho) narrated that a man said, ""O Messenger of Allah! I have a neighbour who is harassing me." He (the Holy Prophet) said, "Go and put your belongings on the street." So, the man went and put his belongings on the street. People gathered and asked, "What's wrong with you?" He said, "I have a neighbour who is harassing me; I told the Holy Prophet about that and he told me to go and put my belongings in the street." The people began to say, "O Allah curse him! (about the neighbour). The neighbour heard about that, so he came to the man and told him, "Go back to your house. By Allah, I will not disturb you again." (Bukhari)

Now, once we have seen this, we have to reflect upon it. What if we have committed Gheebat, what should we do? Well, Imaam Nawawi said, "The Ulama have said that if you have committed Gheebat, then ask forgiveness for it. So, how do we repent from this awful deed?

We have to first ask Allah to forgive us and make a decision not to repeat it. Then, we have to go to the people whose Gheebat we did, if possible, and ask them to forgive us, and if they are dead, ask forgiveness from Allah for their sins and ask of Him to give rewards of His to them and make them happy from us. Remember, Allah will forgive us his right, if we ask sincerely, but He will not remove a right from a believer. So we must ask the believer for his forgiveness as well.

One thing more I would like us to note that what shall we do if we are in a situation where others are backbiting? We have to first remember Allah and advise them not to do so as well by in a nice and gentle manner. If this does not work, we must leave that place or that gathering at once, because sitting there and listening is as bad as doing the deed. For the scholars agree that a person who is in attendance when a sin is being committed is as guilty as the ones who are committing the sin.

Your presence is a kind of approval of the deed. If your friends are angry with you for not participating in their sins, they are not really your friends. Why would they want to harm you and, of course, your religion, and want to hurt your chances to get into Paradise?

Also, remember in doing so, you are protecting the honour of your brother or sister, and look to the reward of doing so. The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will deflect fire from the face of the one who defends his Muslim brother's honour in the latter's absence." (Tirmizi)

O Allah! Guard our tongues! O Allah! Guard our actions! O Allah! Forgive us our sins against You and ease the hearts of those we have harmed.

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We love KFC

Yang's mighty zinger


Pong's Zinger extreme


Ping settled for fries only


Yin's not so chicky meal for a change


Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Reminders from the Sunnah

Hadhrat Amr bin Abasah (Radhi Allaho anho) said: I came to the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who is with you in this matter: He said: "A free man and a slave." (Meaning Abu Bakr and Bilal). I asked: What is Islam? He replied: "Good speech and serving food." I asked: What is faith? He replied: "Patience and excellence." I asked: What Islam is the most excellent? He replied: The one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe." I asked: What faith is most excellent? He replied: "Good character." I asked: What prayer is most excellent? He replied: "Standing in humility and recitation for a long while." I asked: Which migration is most excellent. He replied: "That you leave that which your Lord hates." I asked: What Jihad is most excellent? He replied: That in which one's stead is injured and one's blood is shed." I asked: What hour is most excellent? He replied: The last half of the night."
(Sahih, related by Ahmad)

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Hadhrat Abu Jaree Jaabir bin Saleem said: Are you the Messenger of Allah? The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: "I am Allah's Messenger, whom if an affliction touches you and you were to invoke Him, He removes it. And if a year of famine comes upon you and you invoke Him, He causes the crops to sprout for you. And if you were in a water-less desert and your she-camel strays and you invoke Him, He returns it to you."

We shouldn't hesitate in invoking Allah to assist us in the slightest of matters.

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