Saturday, September 12, 2009

Live Like Ali Die Like Hussain

Allaahummal'an Qatalatal Ameeril Momeneen

chants of ya ali moulah
hyder maulah rend the air
the shias of mumbai
on the enemies
killers of ali and hussain
a war declare
allahummanalan qatalatal
ameeril momeeneen
an ancestral pain they share
collectively binding shias
to make them aware
our heritage of pain
our resurgence
through the dark pages
of history
that we bare
nade ali words
without borders
our spiritual prayer
our shia souls
that rabid yazidiyat
could not ensnare
hussain humanity's
rightful heir
live like ali
die like hussain
into the eyes of despair
a thought that
gives them nightmares
hussainiyat our souls welfare
our chldren's children
to a path of righteousness
as we prepare

Allaahummal'an Qatalatal Ameeril Momeneen

Thank You Biz Stone

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Reliving the Pain of Imam Ali 21 Ramzan

Taboot of Imam Ali

All pictures of this set on Flickr only..

Ma Tujhe Salam

The little Shia kids gain from the tutorial of their faith and its spirituality thanks to mothers like this lady, juloos , processions are the learning school of Shia Life..towards the path of Hussainiyat.

Our mothers sisters aunts grand parents are the corner stone of our Faith and its core strength..very soon this little kid will be cutting his back open , his head ready for kama matam.. yes these moments of Shia pain he will always remember , and in his eyes you can see the bright spark of Hussainiyat the Shia Way of Peace ..

The greatest teacher of Life is our Mother ..and through her I pay tribute to all Shia mothers the bulwark of our children's growth in all aspects of his or her personality.

Among the Shia mother , my mother is dead and gone I respect Mrs Yusuf Nasser whose feet I touch, she is mother of my friends Habib and Baqar Nasser ..I see my own mother in her eyes , she treats me like her own and I call her Ma.

Shia mothers are torch bearers showing us light , their influence on our lives is of paramount importance..the source of Shiasm lies in Mother ..the Supreme Mother who gave her two beloved sons so Islam could relive and be rejuvenated.

Than there was yet another mother who did not cry for her own children when they were brutally killed but wept for her brothers children - a unique mother the formidable Princess Zainab sister of Hazrat Imam Hussain.

I dont know what the child saw in my eyes this morning at 4 am near Zainabia, but yes he did beckon me and I took permission and shot this family.. to describe to you the emotion of Motherhood and Sacrifice in Shiasm.

I also met a guy a Hindu boy who assisted Deep steady cam operator Shiv Shankar Singh who dressed in black ,mourning for Hazrat Ali had accepted Shia Faith as his walk of Life..This is a personal matter between him and his faith..I dont believe in conversions at all, but he was happy and contented and was happy that he told this to Deep Pal and I worked for Mr Nitin Manmohan producer Neha Arts..

So this life in Mumbai..and nothing can stop me telling you the story of Shia children.. through pictures..

A person who now holds the place of my Mother is my mother in law Wassim Bano Qazilbash , she is a puny woman but a very formidable one, Imam Hussain is her Faith,.a faith that touches her love for Humanity , but than all alone at Nakhas she has faced the might of rioters during the Shia Sunni riots holding a rolling pin in her hand..and Ya Ali on her lips..

This woman from Sivan Bihar married Abbas Qasim Qazilbash my father in law - they have their ancestry , their Shajrah up to this date..a family that migrated from Iran..

She means a lot to me and though I have self exiled myself from the city of my birth Luckow I can never forget her for the values she has imparted to her children and my own three kids including 22 month old Marziya grand daughter and street learning photographer waiting in the wings.

Yes this post is my tribute to Shia Motherhood - the first chapter of Pain we call Ghame Hussain.. is taught to us by our Mothers..

My eyes are moist with tears as I write this but they were moist too when I shot this picture..Maybe I saw Marziya in the eyes of the kid..she has hardly been to any major juloos , she has never seen a man cutting his head or flagellating his back..but if I place a knife in her hand she will cut her head apart and this is the power of a Shia Womb only a Shia will ever understand..

Shiasm is sown as a seed of Faith in a mother's womb.. nothing more nothing less..

For those who dont know the meaning of my title it states
Mother I Salute You..with tears cascading down the slope of my motherless cheek..

21 Ramzan Mumbai 2009

94,295 items / 576,603 views

This morning at about 3.30 am I left for town to shoot the Juloos of 21 Ramzan at Zainabia which ends at Imamiya Masjid ..
21 Ramzan is the day of the Martyrdom of Hazrat Ali cousin of the Holy Prophet of Islam and his son in law.. who married his only daughter Princess Fatimah mother of Hassan and Hussain.
Hazrat Ali is the Fourth Caliph of Islam and the first Imam of the Shias..he is the quintessential soul of Shiasm.

I have never shot this before , and this is my new series at Flickr..I shot this barefeet and in spiritual austerity, no jewelery on my person , no turban just me and my camera the Shias of Mumbai all dressed in mourning..attired in black.

After a Majlis at Zainabia by sibling Athar Saab , the taboot made a round of the hall and than made its way on to the streets followed by hordes of weeping crying chest beating humanity..outside Zanabia the flagellation began, kama matam and recital of nohas.

This moment is charged with emotions akin to Moharam , men women children all shouting Ya Ali Moulah Hyder Moulah..Baqar Nasser was there , and I pushed my way into the crowds , and finally shot the Namaz at Moghul Masjid my favorite Shia mosque..a mosque that harbors the soul of Shiasm..

I did my Sairi at Bohri Mohalla pictures I will post in my Ramzan series also on Flickr.

I was approached by a person who organizes the Bajra at Gateway of India , he tied a nada on my hand from the Taboot , and was keen to know when I would post all this on Flickr..Flickr is synonymous with the soul of the barefeet Shia Muslim Blogger of Mumbai.. of course I heard a Shia mutter , he shoots Ganpatis too..

Yes Mumbai is everything for everybody, I shall shoot every spirituality that is part of my Mumbai it my Hindu cultures an inheritance of my birth in India , a culture I respect and shoot with the same passion as I shoot my Shia faith..
Flickr is my soul that opens its doors and windows to all religiosity..

This is a very long series too..


Imam Ali (A.S.) had prophesied his departure from this world several days before hand, and on the day of his martyrdom he mysteriously desired his sons Hasan and Husain to offer their morning prayers in the house and not to accompany him as they usually did to the mosque. When Ali was leaving his abode, observes S. Ockley in his famous work the History of the Saracens, the household birds began making a great noise and when one of Ali's servants attempted to quieted them, Ali said, "Leave them alone, for their cries are only lamentations foreboding my death."

The fateful nineteenth of Ramadhan

On the 19th of Ramadhan Hazrat Ali came to the mosque in Kufa for his morning prayers. Ali gave the call for prayer and became engaged in leading the congregation. Abdur Rahman Muljim pretending to pray, stood just behind Ali, and when Ali was in a state of prostration, Abdur Rahman dealt a heavy stroke with his sword, inflicting a deep wound on Ali's head.

The Holy Prophet(S.A.W) had prophesied the assassination of Ali and his issues. Regarding Ali he had said, "O Ali! I see before my eyes thy beard dyed with the blood of thy forehead."

His last moments His blood-drenched lips parted into a thanksgiving prayer and he said, "Lord! I thank Thee for rewarding me with martyrdom; how kind art thou and how gracious. May thy mercy further lead me to the realm of Thy grace and benevolence." The murderer was caught and brought before him. When Hazrat Ali saw that the ropes with which his murderer was tied were cutting into his flesh, he forgot his own agony, and requested that he be untied and treated more humanely. Touched by these words the murderer started to weep. A smile played on Hazrat Ali's lips and in a faint voice he said, "It is too late to repent now, you have done your deed. Was I a bad Imam or an unkind Ruler?" He expressly ordered that no harshness should be shown towards his murderer. He should not be tortured before his execution, his body should not be mutilated, and members of his family should not be made to suffer on account of his crime and his property should not be confiscated. Ali's justice was always tempered with mercy, even to the worst of his own enemies.

Ali was taken home from the mosque, and lay mortally wounded, yet he was answering all questions put to him. His sons Hasan and Husain were given the last advice, and finally Ali told them that his coffin was to be lifted only from behind, as the front would of itself be automatically carried, and they would have to take the route guided by the coffin itself. At the place where the coffin would stop, they would find a grave already dug for him. Hazrat Ali also requested his sons that he should be buried secretly, because he feared that his enemies would desecrate his grave. The coffin stopped at Najaf, which is about four miles from Kufa.

Ali's last testament

To his sons Ali spoke thus:

"Remain steadfast in piety and resign yourself to the will of God. Never aspire to anything, which is beyond your reach. Always be truthful and merciful towards the orphans. Help the poor and needy, and try to live in the world in a way which may help it to become better. Stop the tyrant from his oppressions. Assist the afflicted and act upon the commandments of God; and do not be put off by any obstacles. Lastly, I ask you to bury me in some place, which is unknown to the public. No less than 10,000 persons have I killed by my own hands on different occasions, and I do not wish their relatives to violate the sanctuary of my repose, and expose my corpse to indignity."

After this talk with Hasan and Husain, Ali addressed his third son, Muhammad ibn Hanfia, and said,

"You have heard what I have told your other two brothers. I also want you to do the same. In particular, I command you to respect and obey your elder brothers. They have a right to claim your fealty. Always do whatever they command you.

He entrusted all to the care of his eldest son Hasan, except Abbas. Then he heard Abbas, hardly twelve years old, sobbing. Hazrat Ali asked him to come near and gave his hand to his second son Husain, saying :

"Husain, this child I am entrusting to your care. He will represent me on the day of your supreme sacrifice and will lay down his life in defending you and your dear ones."

And turning to Abbas, he said:

"Abbas, my child, I know your unbounded love for Husain. When that day comes, consider no sacrifice too great for Husain and his children."

Then, addressing the other members of his family, he continued,

"O thou Hashimites! After I am gone, do not spill Muslim blood, and do not kill any one except my murderer."

Right until the end Ali continued to talk of the good of the Muslim community, to fulfil the commands embodied in the Holy Qur’an and to submit to the will of God. Repeatedly calling upon the name of God and constantly re-affirming the belief in the Unity of God and in the Divine Mission of the Holy Prophet. Ali was to survive the mortal wound for three days. Speech was finally silenced at the approach on the third day.

article courtesy

Facebook Lights My Fire

The world's biggest social networking site has launched a slimmed-down version for people with slow or poor internet connections.

Facebook has said the Lite site will be faster and simpler because it offers fewer services than the main site.

Initially it is meant to support users in developing countries and where bandwidth constraints make the current version too slow to use.

At the moment it is only available in India and the US.

The company said around 70% of its more than 250 million users were from outside America. Countries in Southeast Asia and Europe are seeing a massive increase in growth where fast internet connections are more common.

News that Facebook was testing the Lite site was first leaked in August.


The options on Facebook Lite are limited to letting users write on their wall, post photos and videos, view events and browse other people's profiles. There are no apps or special boxes.

"It appears, at a quick glance, to be a better site for Facebook newbies or for anyone who finds the current site overwhelming and noisy," said Rafe Needleman at technology website Cnet.

"The new layout feels almost Twitter-like."

Terence O'Brien at gave the slimmed-down version of what he called "ol' blue" the thumbs-up because it "strips away distractions".

"The simple site loads noticeably faster, is easier to navigate, and is much easier on the eyes thanks to the lack of people sending you 'virtual booze' or asking you to join their 'vampire fraternity'.

"The new layout seems like a direct challenge to Twitter, which can attribute much of its success to is simplicity and portability," said Mr O'Brien.

'Worldwide rollout'

Many industry watchers said they believed that even users with good internet connections might well flock to Facebook Lite because of its new look and ease of use.

"That is what some US users are planning to do," said Eric Eldon of

"Indeed the reaction from US users has prompted Facebook to release it intentionally for US users, something it hadn't previously planned on doing."

Mr Eldon said he believed a "worldwide rollout doesn't seem too far away".

Facebook has acknowledged this is a possibility in a statement on the site which said the firm was "working on translating Lite into other languages".

So far those who have posted comments on Facebook seem to like the company's new Lite approach.

"It's good to see Facebook listening to their users," wrote one user.

Another said: "Facebook Lite should be great for college campuses like mine that are hung up on bandwidth."

Having no third-party apps on the site also garnered a fair amount of support.

"The no-apps thing is killer. There's nothing about them I'll miss," noted one user, while another said: "Whatever you do, please, PLEASE do not allow the quizzes, games, or apps to ruin this pristine version of Facebook."

Anyone who switches to Facebook Lite and does not like it can switch back to the fuller version of the site.

facebook lights my fire
connected to the big wide world
blogging away with links
that do not tire
from flickr to twitter
to my hearts desire
embedded as tweet
day by night flyer
a pesky mouse on hire
no groups no invitations
no birthday gifts
to light a bonfire
no more swimming
in the mire
facebook lite
slim easy
like a sapphire
a body and a soul
in a new attire
the older version
they can soon retire
on mark this time
success sweet surefire

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