Summers in Pakistan

Originally published at youth club in summers of 2013.

Being in the luxury of 24/7 air conditioning at Cayman Islands had me believing that I deserve it. And Four years later when I had to endure the Summers of Pakistan again, it saw me sweating and angry and complaining.

The following is an old article I wrote when I was a happy and perhaps much more patient person. Re-reading it was such a reality check for myself first and I thought it has the potential to inspire others to rethink the stereotype of heat and summers as well.

It was written in the background of Ramadan about to set in, and today when we had just bade farewell to Ramadan it still feels relevant. Please read on:

The one and only thing that is constant in our lives is change. The night and days alter, the weeks and months pass by and the seasons come and go.

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Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala has not created a single thing without purpose, so the change, in itself, also has a purpose. The change perhaps is a blessing in disguise. It teaches us that nothing in life is permanent. This life, this Dunya, is not permanent. In fact it is meant to change.

Time runs and before we knew it, June is right here. It started in March when the spring was subsided before it could officially depart. With the blazing sun and with markets oozing with lawn collections in every other city across Pakistan, summer set in.

Summer in Pakistan comes with scorching sun, excessive load-shedding, lawn collections, ice creams & beverages and eternal love for mangoes.

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And well, a lot of complaining about how hard and tough summer is.

This year the complain has transformed into a concern about upcoming Ramadan (uff itni germi mei rozay kesay rakhain gay?) – “How are we ever going to fast in this extreme heat?”

Well this summer let’s not complain, and for change let us rejuvenate our Iman by following these DO’s and DON’Ts. Keep a positive attitude. 🙂

Do not:

1) Be lazy / procrastinate / miss Salah.

2) Wear revealing lawn clothing or half/quarter sleeves in public (for women). Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam cursed the women who wore clothes but were still naked (May Allah Ta’ala not make us from them).

3) Wear revealing thighs (for men).

4) Have bad odor.

5) Put excessive perfumes – women!

6) Complain!! Absolutely no to complaining. Insha Allah.

DO’s:

1) Make dua to Allah to keep you from laziness. (Al Bukhari 7/158)

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2) Make dua for ease in everything – (dua from Hisnul Muslim – Ibn-e-Habban Al-Sahih)

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3) Remember that if this is so hot, Hell is much hotter. Make Istighfar and seek refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.

Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala is making us experience the high temperature because of a reason. The discomfort that we are made to face in form of summer is a direct guide to learning the ultimate lesson that Hell is hotter. And surprisingly, we get to know from an authentic Hadith of Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam that the reason of heat in summers is hell itself:

Abu Hurayrah RadiAllaahu Anhu reported that the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam said: “The (Hell) Fire complained to its Lord saying: ‘O my Lord! My different parts consume each other, so allow me to breathe.’ Therefore He (i.e., Allaah) allowed it to take two breaths, one in the winter and the other in summer, and this is the reason for the severe heat and the bitter cold you find (in weather).” [Al-Bukhaari]

Subhan Allah! We’re frail and we cannot even tolerate the heat of this Dunya, may Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala protect us all from hell fire. Ameen!

4) Take bath! Summer is not a license to badodor. Muslims should love and practice cleanliness. Wear fragrance too.

One hot day, the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam came out while these people were sweating profusely due to the type of clothes they were wearing and a very bad smell emanated from them, to the extent that it offended others. When the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam smelt this, he said: “O people! On this day (i.e. Friday) you need to perform Ghusl and each of you should use the best perfume he has.”

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5) Drink water. It is said that drinking chilled water helps in bringing Ikhlas (sincerity) in Shukar (thanking/being grateful) of Allah! Feel the love of chilled water and pray to Allah that may our love for Allah become greater than the love we have for this chilled water. (Al-Tirmidhi)

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6) Offer drinks and water to your fellow beings and earn good deeds.

7) Put water for animals to drink as well!

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8) Enjoy summer fruits like watermelon and mango, and thank Allah for this amazing opportunity!

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9) Make Shukar of Allah, and be thankful to HIM for summer too. Summer offers plenty of opportunities to get Sawab (reward), no?

10) If you find it hard to sleep on your mattresses, sleep on a mat or directly on the floor. Remember it is Sunnah! Sleeping on floor is said to inculcate humbleness in one’s self. May Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala make us more humble!

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11) Yes! There is excessive load shedding. But Alhamdulillah we have alternates, even if it is just a manual fan. Alhamdulillah summa Alhamdulillah! Let’s make our hearts full of Shukar of Allah. As Brother Nouman Ali Khan says, ‘if we were really the people of Alhamdulillah we would have never found the energy, opportunity or even desire to complain!’

12) Last but not the least, let’s learn to be patient in this heat and still have tongues that are wet in remembrance of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala.

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Originally Published at Youth Club Blog.

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