Friday, February 29, 2008

Are you NICE or do you CARE - Azara Feroz Sayed

Came accross this article by David Meyer at

This is a topic very close to my heart. I rate myself as being closer to CARE manager but was always given a feedback for missing on the NICE manager while working with my team. Most importantly, I feel good today doing what I did and that beats everything else!!

Most people and most managers want to be nice. After all, it's easier to be nice than to not be nice.

How do you spot a NICE Manager?
- When someone brings them a problem, a NICE manager provides them with a solution.
- When a report is late because the employee in question and their spouse went to a movie instead of completing the assignment, a NICE manager understands. After all, it's important to balance work and home.
- When the presentation lacks clarity, or the conclusions aren't supported by the facts, a NICE manager thanks them for their efforts and doesn't dig any deeper.
- And when the production numbers for the month are down for the 3rd consecutive month, a NICE manager clearly understands the reasons that are causing the problems and knows that they are not the fault of the employees.

A NICE manager avoids the controversy and confrontation that goes along with employees who are not quite performing up to par. A NICE manager defends their employees regardless of the situation, because there are always extenuating circumstances.

And that's the problem with a NICE manager. They always understand and always relieve the employee of the responsibility as N - Nothing, I - Inside, C - Cares, E - Enough

Nothing inside cares enough
- to hold the employee accountable for their own actions.
- to tell the employee when they are falling behind or failing.
- to be willing to upset the employee even if it is for their own good.
- to help the employee achieve everything that they are capable of achieving.

Frankly, being a NICE manager doesn't really help the employee, because it leaves them without any accountability, and it does no good for the manager either, as they now have more work to do. Being a NICE manager is a "lose - lose" scenario.

As a Manager, it is your responsibility to the company and to your employees to see that peak performance is achieved. You also have a responsibility to your employees to maximize their talents and growth, to see that they are ready for the promotions that may come their way, and to ensure that they learn the skills to achieve and succeed at higher and higher levels. You owe it to your employees to give them honest feedback on their performance so that they can develop their own skills and prepare for their future. And you can do it all in a positive, reinforcing manner.
That's the difference between being a nice Manager versus a NICE Manager.

Instead of being NICE, I suggest that you CARE. A Manager who CAREs
- will coach an employee on a problem, not assume the work for him.
- will communicate with an employee when their work does not meet expectations and coach them until it does.
- will identify the talents in their people and help cultivate those talents to even greater levels and coach them in areas where they can still develop.

What does it mean to CARE?
C - Coaching
A - Allows
R - Real
E - Excellence

So you have two clear choices. You can be NICE to your employees, or you can CARE.
Which will you choose?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Creative Romanticism - Azara Feroz Sayed

Do we count these chores as romanticism in our lives - is what I was thinking as I read the article available at - excerpt below

But he did teach me how to fly a kite last summer, and sometimes early in the morning I overhear him playing "tea party" with our daughter, and sometimes late at night I overhear him playing "Blackbird" with his guitar. He has genuine integrity, he has serious style, and he's pulled me through more than one bout of the stomach flu. Anybody can sprinkle rose petals across a big brass bed, but only a real man will hold your hair while you're throwing up.

Now, there are those who will say that references to intense nausea don't belong in a column about romance, but I'm thinking maybe it's time we broaden our definition of what constitutes romance. Ask yourself this: When the man you love realizes that half the screws are missing from the Ikea bookcase he's attempting to assemble for you, does he:
(a) Complain bitterly about herring and Volvos -- vowing to forsake all things Swedish for the rest of his natural days?
(b) Leave the shelving in a heap on the living room floor and question your need to read in the first place?
(c) Complete construction using a combination of rubber bands and Krazy Glue while suggesting you fill the thing with pamphlets rather than actual books?

If you answered (c), then, my friend, life is good -- because it means somebody out there loves you enough to try to get your bookcase together. That creative effort is the kind of everyday gesture on which great romances are built.

The article made me think about the stuff that we don't tag as romanticism. I can only thank God for blessing me with Feroz - for his patience with me, while I go thru the process of 'change management' by complaining - adjusting to a smaller kitchen, adjusting to a life without car etc - Thanks to Feroz, our house is a Museum of Creativity - with wall hangings being sticked to curtains instead of walls, lamp shades made of table matt, Flower Vase in a fish tank etc. Feroz's Director brought his kids home to show them creativity at work. Feroz loves to spend time on doing stuff for the house and me watching him go thru the process of creation. That is a $o cost romanticsm with a life long memory value!!

As always, I can never be pleasesd, I wish he would have been interested in tidying/cleaning too - like a software engineer - he likes to work only on development projects :)

Most of our shopping life together has been spent in buying stuff for our house - trying to make it the most wonderful and comfortable place as we can. I am just putting down stuff that we consider as chores and don't count them as romanticism and as the article mentions, 'each day is a valentine's day'

Like the artice mentions about 'learning to fly a kite', In my life with Feroz, I have surparssed the number of 'Firsts' in the few years of my life with him than to those I did till I met him. I was a very timid, non-adventurous person and Feroz worked with me patiently in driving my fears out, stretching my self-imposed ideas of what I cannot do. I owe my physical, mental fitness to his continous gyan on staying fit. His patience in making me understand basic science principles, nature, music, religion, psychology...His biggest gift is, making me be aware of change, taking me thru it and showing me the benefits when crossed over!! Thank You Feroz!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Strong v/s Strength - Azara Feroz Sayed

I came accross the lines below at

The poem alludes to Strength of Mind, Body over Sprit. I would say for the sake of poetry, a woman is referred here.

The idea of how union of strong spirit along with a sound mind and body makes us love and cherish life and all it has to offer!!

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape…

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear…

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…
but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone…

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
but a woman of strength realises life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalises on them…

A strong woman walks sure footedly…
but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls…

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face…
but a woman of strength wears grace…

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…
but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong…

Friday, February 22, 2008

Presenting Ideas Creatively - Azara Feroz Sayed

This story drives the importance of presenting our ideas creatively, for others to accept them and help us be successful

There are two shops next to each other - one selling candy and the other selling vinegar. The vinegar shop was doing well while the candy shop was moving towards bankruptcy. People would buy gallons of vinegar but would walk empty handed out of the candy shop. Finally the candy shop had to file for bankruptcy.

The candy shop owner couldn't keep himself from asking the vinegar shop owner, the secret of his success, "how come your business of selling a product - that tastes so bitter and smells so bad - is doing good - while no one was buying my sweet product".

The vinegar shop owner replied "It is because you are selling a sweet product with a vinegar face"

The presenter of this story also mentioned about a research that was done in US asking "which is the living being other than human whom you hate" - the outcome of the research was 80% said mice - in that case why is that Mickey mouse is so much liked in the world - Is it because Disney packaged and marketed it so well that Mickey is everyones favourite. Isn't it interesting how the creative presentation of the mice, kick started the success story of Disney.

Such an important aspect on our path to success is good presentation of our ideas - ensuring others buy into our idea and act according to what we want them to do!!

I had come accross these ideas in a presentation by an Islamic Scholar, Siraj Khan, on PeactTV ( In an email forward that I received yesterday - It was mentioned that Walt Disney was afraid of Mice. That reminded me of this presentation.

This Islamic Scholar was talking on the need for understanding Quran and spreading the wonderful ideas in the book to all. He emphasized - we have the candy - the Quran - we have to sell it with a candy face - till now we have been selling candy with a vinegar face. He insisted on understanding the Quran well and spreading it to all its content - selling candy with a candy face!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can't v/s Won't - Should v/s Want - Azara Feroz Sayed

Came accross these wonderful insight in "Taming the Gremlin". This is a 20+ yr old book by Rick Carson which I belive is out of print now. Libraries should be of help. A new book is to be released next month.

This technique for managing the Gremlin, our inner critic, have been used by many over the years to help manage transitions, disbilities and disorders etc and yes can be used very effectively with kids - wouldn't it be awesome to grow as a child controlling thoughts that make you uncomfortable about yourself!!

This technic focuses on noticing or being aware of our thoughts and beliefs, especially the self limiting ones which are based on fear and out-dated information. Being aware of this inner critic, helps us to validate & correct the self limiting thoughts and beliefs. This ensures we are utilising all our natural resources to lead a happy - creative - life, by being in control of the inner critic, the Gremlin, rather than the Gremlin controlling us.

Please visit for more info. I have included an overview of this technic at the tail end of this post.

When we say to ourselves, "I can't skate on ice", we are not accepting the responsibility. This may be an excuse that we have been using, for the fear of managing a change. These may be our inner fears, beliefs that we don't want to get out of. At times some situations might be valid like, "I can't grow tall at 80". When we say to ourselves, "I won't skate on ice", we take the responsibility for our limitation and is a very powerful statement. Ability to respond to life using our "true essence" - our natural resourcefullness - without interference of our self limiting beliefs - is Response Ability.

When we say to ourselves, "I should complete cleaning", "should" indicates that we are forced to complete the task - there is no motivation and you want to do it because the consequences of not doing it - are not desirable. When there is no motivation - the activity becomes stressful. But when we say to ourselves, "I want to complete cleaning", it indicates a task that we are committed to and will provide us pleasure - seeing it being completed.

Once we have practiced awareness, within ourselves, we can interpret statements made by others in our relationships, at work/family/friends, to understand them and help US - in a relationship it is always "US", as the fruit of it is going be shared by all those involved in the relationship. If one person changes - everyone touched by the person changes - the impact of these small changes are BIG!!

Some interesting thoughts on Gremlin Taming...
The theory of Gremlin-Taming says that each one of us has a Gremlin inside — a monster of the mind that keeps sending self-limiting messages and tries to squelch the natural resourceful person within. The Inner Critic voice is the persistent negative voice (or series of voices) that constantly and irrationally questions our ability, chastises us for our mistakes, downplays our accomplishments and wants us to stay firmly in our comfort zone at all times. This negative chatter in our mind, limits us from being happy and being the natural resourceful person that we are.

In the book, Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey, it is mentioned, Potential minus interference equals performance. Silencing the Gremlin's interference helps us to live life fully!! To arrive at solutions, our creativity and resourcefullness have more room to grow now - as we can now tap into more of our personal resourcefullness by not being limited - by our self limiting beliefs. The experience that we can be successful in resolving some of the life long issues increases our self confidence. This increased self confidence helps us in resolving all other life's challenges.

Refer audio for learning how to be aware.

We all know our body changes every day. Our personality is a network of behaviours, that emerge from matrix of beliefs that we hold about ourselves. Our personality changes every day based on our responses to life - a.k.a.experiences. Our performance, preferences, body, personality, mind all change over time - with this ever changing aspects we are not defined by our thoughts, beliefs, bodies or personalities but by what is called by different names - our soul, spirit, and prana, re, chi, ki, God, true love, life

Our beliefs are opinions we are loyal to. We hold onto our beliefs which are based on our past experiences, past fears. These beliefs are not based on the natural, resourceful person that we are at this moment.

This is where the Gremlin comes in - the vile, viscious, bully in shadows of our own mind. The Gremlin uses our past experiences to hypnotize us into forming and living our life in accordance with self-limiting and sometimes frightening generalizations about us and what existence holds for us. Gremlin wants us to feel bad and convinces us to waste time reliving the past, worrying about the future and analyzing relationships between all sorts of people and things. I personally liked this thought and worked on it, if we think for more than 10 minutes - we are not thinking - we are ruminating - we are worrying!! When alone, I would spend hours in a trance, watching the beautiful moments of my life with my dear ones or worrying about the future. Being aware, helped me control my thoughts and guide them and use them for enriching my present. Using the time for praying for my dear ones. A personal testimony that it works!!

We get stressed up when we analyze things - simply noticing involves simply noticing - that is not predicting the future, undoing the past, analyzing or intellectually understanding anything - simply noticing needs effort but no stress - like watching a entertaining movie. We take the effort to notice - this effort helps us to develop ourselves while stress impedes our development. While working with the Gremlin simply notice - be aware of him - if we try to change the Gremlin - we build resistance and it will be deterrent to the process of controlling the Gremlin or Guiding our thoughts.

Trust in Self, is to have an optimistic and realistic belief in our inherent potential, both actualised and not yet actualised. The higher the trust in ourselves, the more likely that our performance, learning and fulfilment will reflect our true potential. As we become aware of the Gremlin - we will see that our Gremlin has no hold on us!!

Word Play - Azara Feroz Sayed

One more post on being postive ....this caught my attention due to the perspective, it brings of Open Energy System.

Refer for the complete article.

Skip the story in italics and move on with the post if you have heard it already

An old Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A battle is raging inside me….it is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, friendship, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The old man fixed the children with a firm stare. “This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather,”Which wolf will win’”

The old Cherokee replied: “The one you feed.”

Motivational speaker Zig Ziegler says that the most influential person that you’ll talk to all day long is you. So, you should be particularly careful about what you say to YOU. Your mouth controls your life by what comes out of it and by what you put into it.

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks, and hypertension or high blood pressure are some of the signs of "not feeling good" physically, emotionally, spiritually.

To relate the "not feeling good", think of the body as an Open Energy System. Basing on Quantum Physics, an Open Energy System takes the energy coming from the universe, takes the energy from the food, takes the energy from its surroundings, and sends that energy back into the universe as work, love, movement, etc.

Anytime that we interact with something or someone, we interact with its energy field. One of the laws of Quantum Physics states that once two energy fields intermingle, they can never fully separate.

The key to feeling better is to have the energy in a positive form instead of a negative form. Entertaining only positive energy within ourselves. Training ourselves to ignore negative energy of the environment. Feeling good and energetic all the time - infecting everyone - we touch!! Making us feel we are not thanking God enough for all of his blessings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Withdrawing from Memory Bank - Azara Feroz Sayed

Some of you must have already read this story about choosing to be Happy and Memory bank....skip the story in italic and read the post from there on
The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room .... Just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it - it’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.” And with a smile, she said:
“Remember the five simple rules to be happy”:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Choose to be happy.

The thoughts in this post are from the book "The Lemonade Principle" - a self help book - downloadable in PDF format at

The book is a quick read of few hours. This book uses the life of Prophet Jacob as a backdrop to present thoughts on Wisdom of Living.

In the book, Jacob is introduced as a Hebrew patriarch. Just to add, In Quran, One Chapter (Titled - Yusuf - Arabic Name of Jacob - Chapter#12) is devoted to the life of Jacob. In short, Prophet Jacob's life is revered by all the three religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The "The Lemonade Principle" is a light reading material for few hours - when you are looking for a break from the routine.

Below are some more ideas from the book....that we all have read in the many forward mails - a referesher
1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING...But, you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen.
2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”
4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal,” can make someone’s day.
6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard, to say, “Hello” or “Thank You.”

Life is a test - God will always be there!!

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy…” –John Heywood

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Emotion Reverse Engineering - Azara Feroz Sayed

Emotional Intelligence, Empathy are being used increasingly to perceive, assess, and manage self emotions and emotions of others. For some reasons, I wasn't introduced to Emotional Intelligence, as an area of pyschological research, till Feroz took it up as his research.

I liked the idea of Emotion Reverse Engineering that the article ( - refer section Exercise Two) mentions.

To assess emotions of others, by imitating the other person's communication (body language, tone, words).

We know, Empathy is about being in other person's shoes - this technique is about using the other person's communication as a tool for being in the person's shoes.

Wouldn't it be good too - to try this in one of the sessions on Communication Skills or NLP or in our teams just for fun!! Can you see the traits of a wife of a corporate trainer here. Feroz does corporate training - Didn't I promise you will hear lot about Feroz!! To have a role play with two people using a pre-scripted talk on a topic. Each of the role player, gets their part of the script and emotional background for the role play. Having the audience replay the two people's communication and guess what their emotional backgroud was should be exciting and Fun!! Remember the Tigger!!. This would help us know the effectiveness of this technique and also a beautiful reminder - to keep Empathy alive in us!!

I tried the technique suggested by the below article. I added one more step, relating with my emotions - the other persons emotions that I am imitating. Trying to relate in the past when I experienced similar emotions. What was going on with me when I felt the same emotions. In my case it was easier to know the answer.

I would let you all try this and share your experience. Wouldn't the earth be a better place to live - even by a small atom of it - if we did this exercise - if not always - sometimes while we are looking for a break from our routine - wouldn't this help us manage our relationships better - what say?

Quote from the article
Some mechanical engineers spend their time disassembling machines to see how they were originally put together. You can use a similar technique to develop empathy, by working backward from the observable effects of emotion to the emotion itself.

Think of someone you'd like to understand -- your enigmatic boss, your distant mother, the romantic interest who may or may not return your affections. Remember a recent interaction you had with this person -- especially one that left you baffled as to how they were really feeling.

Now imitate, as closely as you can, the physical posture, facial expression, exact words, and vocal inflection they used during that encounter. Notice what emotions arise within you. What you feel will probably be very close to whatever the other person was going through. For example, when I "reverse engineer" the behavior of people I experience as critical or aloof, I usually find myself flooded with feelings of shyness, shame, or fear. It's a lesson that has saved me no end of worry and defensiveness.

I train life coaches to use reverse engineering in real time by subtly matching clients' body language, vocal tone, even breathing rate. It's so effective that clients often think the coach must be psychic -- how else could anyone "get them" so quickly and completely? Elementary, my dear Watson. The body shapes itself in response to emotion, and shaping one's own body to match someone else's is a quick ticket to empathy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Professor's Last Lecture - Azara Feroz Sayed

Came accross this presentation done by Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch, who has been fighting cancer. A truly remarkable and inspirational segment about childhood dreams and how to achieve them and lessons learnt on the way which will help others enable achieve their dreams

See the video at or download the transcript

Some thoughts from his presentation that I noted down

- We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.
- Enabling the dreams of others is even more fun - being a professor helped it
- Providing the Inspiration and Permission to dream in childhood is important
- Believe in your childhood dreams
- Get the fundamentals right as otherwise the fancy stuff isn't going to work - practice footbal without a ball as other 21 don't have the ball
- Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want
- When you do a bad job and nobody points it out - they don't care for you - your critics are the ones telling you they love you and still care
- Participating in sports such as football, swimming etc provides for indirect training in Teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, etcetera, etcetera
- It is a tremendous gift to get other people excited and happy
- You can tell if the world is good by body language. If they are standing close to each other, the world is good
- When you do something young enough and train for it - it becomes part of you
- When people care they spent hours helping you improve
- Brick walls (obstacles) are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
- We need to wait long enough and people will surprise and impress us. When we are pissed off at somebody and we are angry at them, we just haven’t given them enough time. Just give them a little more time and they’ll almost always impress us.
- Oppurtunities to express Creativity most important for upbringing
- Instill importance of people over things
- Being humble
- Helping others
- Never give up - some door will open
- How do you get people to help you? You can’t get there alone. You get people to help you by telling the truth. Being earnest.
- Get a feedback loop and listen to it. When people give you feedback, cherish it and
use it.
- Advice for woman looking for man in their life - Just ignore everything men say and only pay attention to what they do. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.
- Decide if you are Tigger(enthusiastic) or Eeyore - Have fun - Never lose the child like wonder
- Theory - people who come from large families are better people because they’ve just had to learn to get along.
- Work and play well with others - live with integrity - tell the truth - Aplogize (I am sorry, It was my fault, How do I correct) - How do I correct? is the part which we all miss and to pay attention to that aspect while apologizing
- There is no one who is all evil - People will eventually show their good side
- Show Gratitude
- If you’re such a good salesman that any company that gets you is going to use you as a salesman. And you might as well be selling something worthwhile like education - being a professor
- Don't spend time whining and complaining
- Build something for others to learn from your life
- Be good at something. It makes you valuable
- Be prepared. Luck is when preparation meets oppurtuinity
- Say your story to belong in family, relationship, world

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Until death do us part - Azara Feroz Sayed

In the wedding vows, we hear of "Until death do us apart" - Don't we wonder is that right - Doesn't our book tells us that if you make it to Heaven - God will have a place there for you with your spouse.

"Until death do us apart" would be refering to the separation between the actual death of the spouse and the Day of Resurrection - meeting in Heaven

What a motivation to be in the path of God - to do good things in this world - to strive to make it to Heaven - to make sure you are together forever with your spouse!!

Blessed is the bond of Marriage!!

Talking about Day of Resurrection - I came across these interesting thoughts on religions believing in Resurrection.

Out of the two religion fighting the most today - Judaism and Islam - are the most common religions - have the most commonalities - amazing similiarities - a stamp that the source of these two religion is the same - Prophet Mohammed never studied Judaism - never interacted much with Jews yet the theology of Islam - the legal system of Islam - are much the same as Judaism laws regarding dietary, purification etc which God revealed to Prophet Moses

Man has not changed from the time Prophet Moses received his revealation or when Prophet Mohammed received his revealation - what was bad when Prophet Moses received his revealation - was bad when Prophet Mohammed received his revealation - laws of God don't change over time.

One point where Islam differs though is the fact that Jews deny some of the Prophets of God - like not believing in Prophet Jesus and Prophet Mohammed - Quran says believe in all Prophets - for a Muslim - denying any prophet of God i.e. Prophet Jesus or Prophet Moses - is like denying God - Concept of God also differs slightly - no negative attributes are given to God in Islam - God doesn't cries, God doesn't rests, God doesn't forgets

All prophets agree with another in theology and in the basic and broad outlines of morality - there is no difference of theology between all the Israelite Prophets, Prophet Jesus, Prophet Mohammed - Quran in one verse mentions to Prophet Mohammed - Announce to the People - Say - "I am not bringing anything new that the Prophets haven't said before" - It is a sign that a man is a Prophet - that He brings the same theology - the theology of Prophet Christ - the Old testament is same - the Christians today believe in theology of Constantinople and other individuals and not of Prophet Jesus

Murders, Stealing, Lies are always evil - Being good to Parents, Orphans, Neighbours, Charity doesn't change - the only thing that changed with Prophets are the minute details of the law e.g. requirements for Kosher are stricter than Muslim requirements of Halaal - Certain things would be allowed or prohibited and vice versa - but the broad premise of Morality remains the same - Theology even in the minute doesn't change - aspects of belief doesn't change - God doesn't changes - Angels don't change - manifestations of how we are going to worship God changes from Prophet to Prophet

Incredible isn't it to believe - we all believe in the same Theology and yet fight on earth - Pray we will have Heaven on Earth soon - security for all of us to live in peace - Amen!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Understanding Evil - Azara Feroz Sayed

Some interesting thoughts that I came across about Evil

All religions believe that God is Powerful and Merciful - If God is Powerful and Merciful - How come we have wars, calamities, misfortune?

To understand existence of Evil we have to understand that there is no such thing as pure evil in existence. There might be things that are evil but there would always be some good in it.

There are some things which have no evil they are all good.

In most of the things there is good and evil - like we Human Beings.

There is pure good but no pure evil. Every evil also has some good in it i.e. if there were no poor, we will not be generous - when there is misfortune, as mentioned in "First Post" blog - this provides us an oppurtunity for self-judgement, to correct our actions before it is too late - when calamities strikes, we all come together to help those affected. So there is some good in all evil.

We use our limited knowledge to understand the evil. We judge the moral and immoral based on our limited mind. We can't judge God based on our limited knowledge. It is like vaccinating a infant. The kid doesn't likes it but we know it is for his good. We should not be arrogant and judge God's acts using our limited mind.

We also know that those who suffer patiently - undergo a trial in this world patiently - God will make it up for them in the Kingdom of Heaven, the hereafter. When the People will be in the Kingdom of Heaven for patiently enduring their trials - they would wish they had suffered even more. The rewards are Eternal!!

There are evil things but the patient sufferings are always rewarded - if not in this world - the hereafter.

Pray, God gives us the strength of mind to endure

Friday, February 15, 2008

Heaven on Earth - Azara Feroz Sayed

I came over this video about How muslims behave differently at work - it is a good presentation - please view it at the link belov

Qur'aan: al-Kafirun 109:006 mentions - To you your religion and to me my religion!
Which can be interpreted as "You have your way of transacting, the way which you choose to replenish yourself and interact with other people, with whatever entity you consider as absolute and I have my way!". Practicing this makes it so much easier to co-exist with everyone.

Interesting part in this video is the part where the presenter is questioned if he was a Irani and he immediately adds that he was raised in US. I found it paradoxical - aren't we supposed to be proud of our association to the country we were born too and not feel insecured about mentioning it

It is mentioned a few times in the Quran that "God guides Whom He Wills and misguides Whom He Wills" - it makes it so much easier to understand the unfortunate stuff going on in this world with this

Peace we all know is external peace and internal peace.

The blessing of being able to walk in the street without fear of being attacked by someone - a secured environment, the security and freedom for practicing your religion and way of living without fear of society, security of being provided for food, shelter etc are some of the factors contributing to external peace.

Goal of every individual is to obtain internal peace - peace of mind, heart and soul. The only way to accomplish internal peace is to satisfactorily answer the Question to ourselves - what is the purpose of my life - how do I get there?

Inner peace is the seed for the external peace - the converse is not true

The best judge of where we will “be” (heaven or earth) is not determined by what we say or believe but how we behave in this life. For eternity touches our lives in the here and now, and “heaven on earth” is a very real experience, as is “hell on earth” We want to know where we’re going? Take a moment to examine the heart at this moment, for it’s a pretty clear indication. We are practicing today for what will come tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

End of Valentine Celebrations!! - Azara Feroz Sayed

Happy Valentines Day to all!!

Make sure you buy gifts for others too on this occassion and don't expect from others only - the part of growing in love - maturing in love - I would say is this realisation - I never bought a valentines gift and miss on the years that I could have sweetened for my sweetheart all the more - want to make sure this reminds you of buying a gift on your way home.

Am I a pessimist? I am looking at the end of the celebrations rather than celebrating the day - What I meant was the end of warm, cuddly ambience - thanks to Media, Retail - in the cold days post christmas - the stuffed toys, 'painting the town in red' - makes us feel warm in thinking about the love we have been blessed in our life.

I came over this song "Heaven/Where True Love Goes" by Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens - I hope you will like it too use this link for the video use this link for the lyrics

More on love...agapé is love stripped of expectation, in which the lover is humbled and disciplined before the beloved. The Arabic word for agapé is mahubb and it is fascinating for two reasons: one, because it comes from hub-in its feminine form. Two, because of the prefix ma.

Adding the letter 'mim' to the beginning of a word in Arabic means "one who is/does", "that which is/does", or "in a state of" the word that follows it.

a few interesting examples
Junun is mad and Majnun is "one who is mad" or "in a state of madness"
Baraka is a blessing and Mubarak is "one who is blessed" or "in a state of blessedness"
Islam is submission, and Muslim is "one who submits" or "in a state of submission".
Thus, mahubba is quite literally 'in love', but it is rarely used in an erotic sense

Trivia :
Since we know now that Majnun is ma + junun = one who is in a state of madness so what was Majnun's real name?

while we are talking about Majnun...a related tidbit on the love of Laila, Majnun, the mayor of the city thought that he should actually see with his own eyes the girl whom Majnun's love have made famous. When Laila was brought before him, he was astounded to see that she was just an ordinary girl without any extraordinary features, figure, or complexion. He said to her, You are no prettier than any other girl. She retorted, Keep quiet. You are not Majnun (Qais is his real name)!!

Implicit in mahubba is service; the lover puts the beloved at the center of the discourse, and submits to his/her demands. Author Fethullah Gulen describes mahubba as "obedience, devotion and unconditional submission" to the beloved, quoting Sufi saint Rabi'a al-Adawiya's couplet, "If you were truthful in your love, you would obey Him/for a lover obeys whom he loves."

While it is, again, primarily Sufis who have propagated the ideal of mahubba over the centuries, the word and the concept have roots in mainstream Islamic tradition: verse 3:31 of the Qur'an is sometimes called 'ayat ul'mahubba', and reads "Say: if you do love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you." A hadith qudsi included in the Muwatta of Imam Malik is even more explicit: "God said, 'My love [mahubbati] necessarily belongs to those who love one another [mutahubinna] for My sake, sit together for My sake, visit one another for My sake, and give generously to one another for My sake'."

Have a blessed Valentine's day!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My First Post!! - Azara Feroz Sayed

Like everything else writing the first post too - is an experience - feeling excited and nervous - hopefully Feroz will be proud of me - as I am finally taking his advice of writing.

Don't know if you have had this oppurtunity of walking down for 15 mts in single digit Fahreneit - with wind chill below zero - the thoughts that come to mind when we undergo the ordeal of the walk or similar miserable situation - don't we feel that the situation should end too soon - also doesn't the experience makes us ponder over our situation in life - contemplate on why are we in this situation - to stop and think with our full strength of mind - an oppurtunity for self judgement - an oppurtunity for self examination of our actions - the wrong we have done - and an oppurtunity to improve our situation before it is too late (in the grave) to mend our actions

I never thought of failures this way - till I heard about this thought in a presentation - that when the going is good - we all are busy in enjoying our lives without much thought to our actions - we are narrow minded - but when bumped into failure - we use our full strength of mind - it forces us to think about our actions and correct those - ignites spirituality.

Miserable times also take us closer to God - Praying to God with fervour, to get us out of our situation - we participate in charity ( doing good works - least charity that one can do) - we examine and acknowlege all the good things in life - we are blessed with and thank God for them - asking God for 'strength to be humble' - a paradox - strength to stay in his path and not go astray (by complaining about prayers not being answered) and accepting his supernatural powers (being humble as a servant) to define the outcome of our supplications.

Another beautiful thought I heard - explained in form of anecdote - One rich man asks a beggar can you give me one of your leg for 10,000 bucks - he says no - then he asks will you give me one of your hand for 10,000 bucks - he says no - then he repeats the same for each of his eyes, ears, brain, heart and the beggar continues to say no - the rich man then tells the beggar - you are a millionaire - what are you unhappy about ? I really feel blessed with the treasure I have been blessed with - my family - my friends - my one in a million husband - mashallah - I pray to God to take care of my treasure and bless it.

The 15 mts walk in below zero weather also takes us to our destination - to expereince the good things awaiting for us in our destination - so the ordeal of the walk in the cold is worth the trouble

Sometimes we take the walk and find the destination is closed i.e. our expectations after the ordeal were not met - these times are the much troubled ones for us and the most crucial ones to not lose heart - but take strength from those situations - look at the long term gains rather than short term - not to be like the infant who is suffering from fever and wants to eat candy (instant good feeling) but not the sour medicine (getting cured of the fever) - I always remember the words 'If God loves a person he tests him all the more - as God wants to raise him in the ranks in this world and hereafter' - These words give me strength and the least I can do - for my dear ones - going thru the trying periods is - pray for their peace and strength - Amen!!

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