The biggest dream of my life

I know that I did not add this in the list of 10 things I want to do before I die. I thought of doing that. But then I was already planning to write a post on this and that is why I started with the Iqra wali discussion a few months back.

I dont know whether Id ever be able to achieve this or not but this has been my dream since I was a young child. I always wanted to develop a Hi-Tech research center in Pakistan….specifically since the time I started reading about Bells Research Labs. You know, wouldnt it be just so cool to have our very own journal of International Standard, something like the ACM or the IEEE!

Khair, I think I am getting a lil carried away and better get back to the real reason. It is my faith that Allah (SWT) wanted man to study that he has created and come up with things that could benefit him, something which man has been doing for centuries. Whatever we might have achieved so far, the inspiration has always been the nature itself: Be it the aeroplanes or submarines, dams or the seemingly petty idea of camouflaging, the origin is nothing but Allah’s (SWT) design and artistry.

We all know that muslims have had a great victorious past not only in terms of military advantage but we have had some of the greatest mathematicians, philosphers and artists. Today, we are lagging behind in every field. We only talk about the golden era and that it should be brought back, completely forgetting that during those days technology was usually not defining the course of wars, strategy was usually more important and studying all the wars we can very well say that muslims were strategically correct in all the wars that we fought and also won. Secondly, the muslims were quick to adopt new weaponry and technology.* But look at us now. Its been two centuries since we last won decisively in a war.The reason is that now we are not only lagging behind in technology but also in strategy.

Looking at our academics side, have you ever noticed how hugely dependent we are on non-muslim sources? We hardly write our own books? When was the last time you picked up a book on a technical topic that was written by a Muslim author? I cant remember a single book. This is so shameful. Look at your system, do you know of any component (hardware or software) that was developed by Muslims? None that I can think of. So many of the luxury items that we have now started considering a our basic needs from the television to our cell phone, they have all been developed by non-muslims too. What do we do? Boycott the products which we do not consider as bare necessities and keep using the ones which we consider as bare necessities (convenient boycotting!)? Torch their flags on the streets of Karachi, ending the demonstration with burning down the nearest KFC killing 6 innocent young men (who also happen to be the sole bread earners for their families)? Keep day dreaming that Allah (SWT) is on our side and if we will throw an onion towards a fighter jet, it will become an anti-aircraft missile? Or try to come up with something of our own to truly compete with them?

*There are two incidents that I would like to quote here:

1. The trenches were a concept used in Turkey Persia during wars and was completely alien to arabs. The Prohet (SAW) adopted the idea tactfully during ghazwa-e-khandaq.

2. The Arab Muslims had never seen elephants and once in Persia and thus the muslims did have a setback initially. The muslims were quick to adapt and found a way to overcome the beast during the war. It wasnt long before the elephants were being used as tanks in wars by Muslim armies.

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22 thoughts on “The biggest dream of my life”

  1. Hahaha… Yeah right! Oh but from all the beautiful ‘examples’ that I ‘ve seen, it seems to have just that effect. Its either such a bliss that people dont want to dream at all, or its such a hell that people just forget how to dream. My guess is its the latter (Being a cynic and all). All in all, in general I wish things were different, heck, one of the reason I DONT want to get married.

  2. Oh we have our own books. They suck. I don’t remember the name of that author who wrote a book on Mathematics that our Math-II instructor at PNEC compelled us to use. It had a half dozen formulas that didn’t make any sense at the beginning of each chapter, and then a three dozen problems that made no sense.

  3. Oh yeah! When you come across a book like that, you feel grateful that we don’t have many more like those!

    Abay you aren’t qualified enough to use the internet πŸ˜› My blog is up just fine. And I’ve had my own domain for four years now πŸ˜›

  4. Dude I AM an illiterate person!!! I can hardly spell my name, but four years of using your own domain has nt taught you anything!!!

    And I checked again! It is nt working, I keep getting an apache message! There is a this called a cache on your browser, try flushing it! Oh dont tell me you dont know how to do that!

  5. Abay chal!!! I m sure it does nt work. I tried logging to it from a different IP and a different computer. I m telling you, Your. Website. Is Not. Working! Its a piece of crap anyway!

  6. @ Safi and Absar
    Most of the books by our authors are the ones which are usually compiled by copying stuff from different sources. We dont make anything of our own.

    @ Safi
    u have ur dadi as an example…

    @ farooq
    being ambitious doesnt hurt πŸ˜› khair, seriously speaking, it always starts with a dream. The creation of Pakistan itself was a consequence of dream for a Muslim State. Obviously the man himself with this dream did not live long enough to even see indian muslims supporting this idea (remember, Muslim League lost terribly in 1935 elections and Allama Iqbal died in 1938).

    Btw, I am sorry, I wont be able to respond very frequently and/or individually to the comments for a while.

  7. I agree with you when you say that we hardly write our own books, and even if we do, most of the content is copied. Although I very strongly believe that Muslims in general, and Pakistanis in specific are much more capable than they have shown to the world. I just hope our state of affairs improve and we realize the importance of knowledge.

    You have a nice blog. I like the way you fluently express yourself. Keep up the good work.

  8. The point of a research ceter is to output viable and usable research (Books are pretty secondary) and you cant do that without an infrastructure for publishing and registration. Like Patent offices and Publishing houses. And currently both are in the sewers in Pakistan! Have you even seen the Patent office? I bet not, plus there are so many dismal stories of leg pulling and back stabbing associated to it.

    My point is nt discouragement, I just want you to actually start realizing your dream rather than dreaming on!

  9. @ Haris
    welcome to the blog, hope to keep seeing you around πŸ™‚

    @ Safi
    I already am doing what I can…researching on my own. We have also set up a small research center at the uni which obviously lacks a lot of facilities of hi-tech research center but something is better than nothing.
    As for books, its not necessary that you can only write books on your own discoveries and inventions…i am sure most of the books that children study at school or the books that are recommended at Universities have been penned by those scientists who have made those discoveries/inventions. We have also lost the art of writing

    @ SAWJ
    oops sorry, thanks for pointing it out. I have corrected it in the post.
    As for those who might be interested in knowing more about Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (RA):

    Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (RA) was born outside the great Persian city of Isfahan to a devout Zoroastrian family. he had converted to Christianity and had pursued his studies by traveling from one monastry to another. On one such journey, he joined an Arab caravan but was seized by his gides and sold of as a slave to a Jewish landowner of Medina. From the moment he Prophet (SAW) had arrived in Medina, Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (RA) had been drawn to Islam although he remained a slave. The Prophet (SAW) arranged to ransom Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (RA).
    Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (RA) was an engineer and he designed the defence of Medina for the battle of trenches: a moat that encircled the central belt of the oasis. Hazrat Salman al-Farisi’s (RA) design made use of every feature of the land within Medina’s boundaries, turning existing houses into fortresses and outcrops of rocks into watchtowers.

  10. Why do people settle for something when they should be working for the next best thing (I know thats greedy and ungrateful). Cool that you have a research center, our university did too, you know what people used to do there? Play couterstrike, or worse, run old MATYLAB simulations. Even writing papers is nt good enough lady (no offense to you)!!!

    My point is, research means generating viable solutions… heck is there any institute in the country working on solving the power crisis? Ok that might be a too big an ambition, ok lets start small… How about just building something like this…
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

    It does nt take much to build that too… or this…
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jeff_han_demos_his_breakthrough_touchscreen.html

    This I have actually built this and its CHEAP!

    We have pretty much given up and are grateful for just the most pathetic things…. Why have a car when you can have a spaceship? So I was supposed to come to a point…. which is simple, Dont settle for less…. EVER! Ask for more (and I dont mean pepsi) A waqiyah involving Hazrat Omar comes to mind.

    I hope you dont mind.

  11. it was actually the three links that got ur msg spammed.

    Anyway, back to the topic, I am definitely not thinking that I am doing enough. I know I can do a lot more and I will Insha Allah. All I am doing right now is trying to take little steps every day.

    Finally, coming to the power crisis problem, I actually know a few people who tried doing a lot for this…but sadly, they werent able to do so cuz of lack of funds. No one is willing to donate anything for a noble cause like this, ask money in the name of Taleban…and u’l get all the money that you want.

  12. My grand mother used to say…

    Qisht e Awwal chune haad maymaar kash
    Taa’a Surayya meer e waaj deewaar kash

    This is farsi so I might have got a few words wrong, but loosely translated to urdu, it means:

    Agar pehli eenth maymaar tehrheeh rakh de,
    Tou aasaam uunchi dawaar bana bhi leh tou seedi nahi ho sak’e gi.

    I m posting the same message on another post in another blog too.

    But here I need to add more to make some sense. Our society and our world is so screwed up that we need to get the basics correct ourselves first, then make a concrete plan on how to fix this and then execute that plan, rather than doing disparate and ineffective things which are great, but dont really solve anything, They just simply give us an excuse that we are doing ‘something’, ‘is ke aage tou Allah ki marzi hai!!!’, I think is similar to those who do nothing at all and say Allah hafiz hai.

    I believe in the saying ‘Tie your camel but believe in Allah’ which means do everything in your power and beyond, and then believe in Allah to make your efforts a success, the keyword here is to do everything and beyond! And everything and beyond means dedicate our lives to the cause of better humanity ‘not just a segment of people’.

    I hate those NGOs who say we do everything in our power…, What power man? If you really want to achieve something you do it and try and try again, you dont make excuses that you do everything in your ‘power’! Power? Its either you dont have any, or you have it all! The only thing is the will that you really need!

    Sorry, but I m in the same boat so I should judge myself with what I preach, Hell I would nt even level up to the people who are doing something, cuz I lay in the category of couch potatoes.

  13. I just passed by – searching for that phrase from Iqbal – and found it here.

    Taa’a Surayya meer e waaj deewaar kash

    My teacher once recited this while teaching us about bringing up children.

    Thanks Mr. Safi.

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