Wednesday, 11 April 2012

It's 12th Of April - Drop Everything And Read

Posted by Muhammed Khan on 20:19 1 comments

Recently just experienced a benefit of signing up to different websites' emails newsletters. While I was checking my emails, I saw an email from Harper Collins (a book publishing company), about a promotion of a day they call D.E.A.R which actually stands for Drop Everything And Read.

The name elaborates itself and sounded interesting and more interesting was to know that the world actually celebrates a day dedicated to book reading. But to a very little extent, this excitement eroded when I came to know that it's more of an American national day rather than being international.

But who cares, as far as something is useful and healthy? It's good that more and more celebrate these kind of days. Therefore I'd share some information of this day with my readers who, like me, happen to have no or very little knowledge about this day. Of course to spread something good.

"National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis as a family priority." 
Initiated by Beverly Cleary, the famous children's book author, it all started when she celebrated the same day in her famous book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona's Class where she included a passage about this DEAR day when Ramona Quimby (a character in the book) starts receiving
numerous letters from readers who mentioned the great reading program they were doing in class.

Beverly Cleary - DEAR - Drop Everything And Read
Beverly Cleary - Image From

Though started on fictitious grounds, the day has started to gain some popularity and many institutes have started to support it as well. Some of the institutes which officially support the day are:

  • The National Education Association (NEA)
  • Parent Teacher Association (PTA) 
  • The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) 
  • A division of the American Library Association (ALA) 
  • Reading Rockets The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) 
  • The Newspaper Association of America Foundation(NAA) 
  • First Book
  • HarperCollins Children’s Books.
The main reason Drop Everything And Read day is celebrated on April 12th is because its Beverly Clearly's birthday on this day.

Of course being a day allotted to some thing doesn't mean that it should be done only on that day. Therefore, don't just limit your reading habit to this day only.

Looking at the support of this day, it seems that some day it'd be celebrated in the entire world. Its only a matter of time.

 For more information about D.E.A.R visit Drop Everything And Read's official website.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Jub Zindagi Shuru Hogi By Abu Yahya - Review

Posted by Muhammed Khan on 12:18 1 comments

From the very beginning, ever since man has started pondering about his existence he has become more concerned about his mortality than his life. But even as a primitive man, there was an idea (though vague but still existed) in their minds that mortality or death (if simplify it even more) does not mean non existence but what it actually means is that you cease to exist in current form or transform in to something else as a result of embracing death.

So the question that, "What would become after death" was always there. All the religions that were preached, spread, dominated the society and even forgotten, all have at least one thing in common. All of them purports a life after death and that the fate of  the spiritual life hereafter would be decided by the deeds you perform in this physical world and heaven (جنت)  and hell (جھنم) will be the reward of the good and bad souls respectively where they would abode forever where they would cherish the blessings or face the wrath and torment from their creator, Allah.

"Jub Zindagi Shru Hogi" (جب زندگی شروع ھوگی) is a didactic but fictional novel (in Urdu of course) written by Abu Yahya (ابو یحیٰٰی). The sole purpose of the writer to write this book is to make it possible to the maximum extent that people change their lifestyles after reading the book and start living as Allah has prescribed them to live. Since the purpose pf the book is not to collect any applause or homages, the writer hasn't even disclosed his original identity. Therefore, Abu Yahya is a Pen Name. I came to know about this fact after reading Amir Khakwani's column, "Jub Zindagi Shuru Hogi".   

So talking about the book, it's of course fictional (just the characters). A short story about a journey of a person named, "Abdullah" (عبدللھ) who dies and experiences the events after death. The writer doesn't limit the span of the story to Abdullah. In fact he has picturised the events of Qimayah (The day of Judgement / Akhirah) that Abdullah experiences. 

He is led by an angel, "Saleh" (صالح) during the entire journey from the beginning of accountability, during accountability and then the rewards and punishment that people receive according to their deeds in the world here. 

Being a pious man, Abdullah is given a privilege as he wanders around and sees that what people, good or bad, are going through and these people include his own family and teacher as well.        

All the events are within the purview of the Islamic teachings as explained in Quran and Hadiths. The writer has referred to the incidents of lives of different prophets and that how they'll testify for and against those who followed or denied their teachings respectively. 

The book is definitely for people to revert back to the Islamic teachings. So that they spend their lives according to the Islamic teachings and are not dissuaded from their purpose, the reason why Allah has send them to this world and that the world is nothing but a test and all its glitz and glamour and  the attractions will come to an end one day.

From literary point view, one thing I would appreciate is the skillful way with which the writer has painted the picture of the events and the scenes of the Judgment day. But on the downside, I believe that much more could be done when portraying the paradise. It looked like that he just wanted to wrap up and quickly went on explaining the heaven's environment too quickly (I just started to get relaxed and enjoy heaven after having a hell of a trip in "HELL"). The counter argument could be that the writer never tried it to be a piece of art so he didn't waste his time on explaining further.

Another commendable aspect is the good use of words and phrases which really spice up your reading.

It'd not take your great time to read the entire book. Couple of days are more than enough to go through it.

I read the e-book version of it as I came to know about it when someone emailed me. If you people want to download the same book and I'd highly recommend you to read this one as it is no doubt a life changing and soul shakening book, just click on  "Jub Zindagi Shru Hogi"