Enlightening Souls

There are very few people in this world who are still remembered because of their purity and positive traits. We read and recall, commemorate and commend the names of exceptional people whose tireless and selfless effort brought comfort and peace and illuminated the lives of the suffering humanity. They die but their death makes them immortal because they remain alive in our hearts. They die but their doings smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

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It was like life came to a halt after my nana’s death on 16th Rabi-ul-Awal. After I returned to Karachi, for months I have been avoiding anything that reminded me of him. Especially the dreadful fact of arriving at nani’s exactly 5-8 minutes late after his death. However, maybe because of the positive vibes of Maula’s dua mubarak that bestowed him after the araz, the date of death & the fortunate events that took place for him even after his demise & summing up this avoidance is the reason I plucked up courage to finally gather my thoughts and unzip the bag I had filled of his things which I carefully carried along while returning. It was like opening a beloved treasure of his shabby diaries, old dull filmed photographs, his personal stuff, one of his shirts & an Olive-Green sweater that hangs in the corner of my wardrobe now. Oh such a charming handsome gentleman he looked in it! Indeed, our family lost a pure gem.


He saved all the cards I bought/made for him.

I knew about his diaries which he had told me about. But it holds much more meaning to it now, as he is no longer here.  It was like he had left his entire life for me to ruminate on. It is now I understand the quote, “when you keep a diary, the diary keeps you”. Flipping some sepia toned pages of one of his Maroon leathered diaries, I am so moved & inspired of his thirst for knowledge & his occasional habit of writing & jotting down meaningful stuff. He wrote great English but Urdu-the qaumi zabaan was his favorite! There is a heading with ‘Enlightening Souls’ on the front page and below is food for thought which I would love to share (some of it):


*Asal khushi dolat se nahi khareedi ja sakti. Kabhi ye mat socho keh dolat tum par muskurahaton kee baarish keregi. Khush rehne ke liye bare bare waqeyaat ka intezaar mat kero. Khushi choti choti baatein aur ittefaaq se janam leti hain.


-Thakay huway insaan ke liye aaram

-musibat zada logon ke liye roshni kee kiran

-be dil aur mayoos ke liye behtereen tohfa

“Mathematics with Words”

*naseehat + burhapa= buzurg

*degree + achi nokri= shadi kee umeed? LOL

*aadmi + akhlaaq=insaan

*ashraf-ul-makhlooqaat – aqal= animal.


Aek bachay ne apni ami se kaha, abu kitne boorhe hogaye hain bilkul dada kee tarha. Aur aap tou itni khoobsurat hain. Ami ne khush ho ker bache ko 10 ka note diya aur kaha, “jao ice-cream khaa lo.” Bache ne muhn banate huway kaha, “lekin abu ne tou 20 diye the! ;( “…..


“KIRAN KIRAN ROSHNI” (There are a load of them. Just sharing a few)

*Raat ke baad din zaroor tulu hota hai, aur jo raat sabar se guzari jai, uski subah bohaut haseen hoti hai.

*Itna uncha mat uro keh sooraj kee garam shuain tumhe pighla dein aur tum bejaan sheh kee tarha zameen par aa giro.

*Baarish Cheete kee jild ko bhigo deti hai magar uske dhabbay nahi dhoti”

*Dunya darya hai aur aakherat kinara. Kashti taqwa hai aur log musafir.

*Ye dekho ke galati kia huwi. Ye na dekho kis se huwi.

*Burhaape se pehle jawani aur jawani se pehle burhape kee ganimat jano.

*Bachon ke saath bache banjao aur unko zindagi guzarna sikhao.

*Sab se bari fateh apne nafs ko qabu kerna hai.

* Pahaar se girh ker utha ja sakta hai magar nazron se nahi.

*Kisi ka dil mat dukhao kyun ki, usmai khuda rehta hai.

*Agar kisi ke dil mai jaga banana chahte ho tou uski izzat kero.

*Bure logon ke saath bethne se behtar tanhai hai.

*Ilm aesa baadal hai jisse rehmat barasti hai.

*Agar bara banne ki khuahish rakhte ho tou pehle chota banne kee koshish kero.

*Jo tumhare saamne doosron ki burai kerta hai who doosron ke saamne tumhari burai kerega.

*Baarish kee tarha raho jo phoolon par hee nahi, kaaton par bhi barasti hai.

*Insaan ka Insaan banjana uski jeet hai.

*Pehli naakami se na ghabrao. Yahi tumhari urooj kee pehli seerhi hoti hai.

*Dunya mai woh shaksh kamyaab hote hai jo apni galtiyon ko na dohrai.


-daulat se ho tou maraz ban jati hai,

– Khuda se ho ton bandagi ban jati hai,

-ustaad se ho tou roshni ban jati hai,

-waaldein se ho tou ibadat ban jati hai,

– inke ilawa insaan se ho tou zindagi ban jati hai.


(I’m writting down some interesting riddles he has jotted down, lets see if you guys can come up with the answers)

* Bigray baal, aur kamar par patti hogi, kisi kone mai leti hogi.

*sab sakhyon(friends) ka dekha khel, kamar pakar ker diya dakhel.

*Chao se ussay galay lagaya, lekin usne tou gala dabaya.

*Ek abba ke so betay. Gol matol ek hee jesay. Chalay bhi sab ek hee sath, sab ke pait mai ek suraakh.

*Janaab-e-aali, sar par jali, enteries bari magar pait khali.

*Mun khula tou bigri huwi shakal banai, magar shukr kia woh jab bhi aayee.

This is it for now. Hence,

Never has a day passed when he hasn’t crossed my mind. But I’m pleased by the fact that I have a load of his photos of almost every moment & that I spent a satisfactory amount of time with him-but not satisfactory enough.

It is true, people leave a void– every space irreplaceable–but the motions of life continue. We can only repay them by learning from their traits & practicing them. Therefore, enlightening our soul as well as the souls around us.

Sarrah M.Mustafa Malirwala.

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15 thoughts on “Enlightening Souls

  1. Dear Sarah,
    The wonderful relationship you had with your grandfather comes to life with this post. I know it comes right from the depth of your heart. You are lucky to have had someone like him and he will live on through you, in your heart, your memories and your actions.

    Also, the fact that he used to write a diary, that is simply remarkable and something so close to my heart. I used to jot down excerpts and sayings I liked too when I was in University but iv stopped doing that. This post has motivated me to start again.

    Thank you for sharing all those wonderful lessons which he sifted out. How must be very proud of you! May Allah give your nana the highest place in Jannat under the Saya of Hayyul Muqaddas Maula RA. He passed away on Maula’s RA first Urus and that in itself says so much about the kind of person he must have been.

    • Dear Maryam ben,
      Thank you so much for your valuable input.
      Tbh, it is not easy to become the kind of person he was but one can always try. l am glad this post inspired & motivated people. I am myself totally inconsistent & lazy with diaries but I still somehow manage to do it with my technologies & other ways of saving stuff, hehe.
      Best Regards,

  2. ammar

    Thanks for sharing Sarrah, motivating and inspiring thoughts indeed

  3. ibrahim shabbir

    Oo sarah it was so touching…and can i have that diary for some time..i really like that ‘kiran kiran roshni’ part..

  4. Firstly, you know I’ve never had a grand parent so close to me, but considering all the elders in my life , I realize of all the little things they tell me to take care of. Although most of the times i ignore it but soon I realize they are right.
    Secondly, some times I feel that those people who have passed away, those we used to see everyday , how could they just go away all of a sudden, which says it all they’re here with us but just can’t be seen. When I heard about your grandfather, even I was left in a shock because I knew you were so close to him. although I haven’t met him but whatever you used to tell me I could picture that old and smart look of Naseeruddin Shah.
    At times, we don’t do things for people that we do after they go away (physically).
    Such a touching post friend, and all those ‘naseehat’ are worth following, thank you for sharing here. 🙂

    • I know..people who know me, know exactly how it was. You ALL were such a support system. You guyswere kind enough to feel my pain. And thank you all for that.
      BTW, Naseeruddin Shah just by looks haan!….Hahaha
      Thanks for such a detailed feedback, amigas!

  5. Arwa Qusai

    Nice yrr… a very touchy article…

  6. What comes from the heart, touches the heart:) your nana was an exemplary humanbeing, and today he must be proud of you. A lovely write-up. And the naseehats he has jot down, and you have shared with us, will be treaured forever:) I being a lazy diary holder, am motivated to keep one too, lets just hope i do.;) Love, Maria.

  7. Hussain Muslim Mithai Wala

    Sarrah…. The Treasure of write-up of your Nana endowed upon you, is a priceless everlasting gift which he left for you to take and learn lessons of the lifetimes. I honestly didn’t knew that you were so much close to your Nana , but after what I read I realized it. His words bequested to you has made him immortal in your thoughts and heart.Loved that “Kiran Kiran Roshni” part❤.. Riddles are 😅 Keep writing 😊☺.. Remember: When someone You love dies, You never quit , You just learn to slowly go on without them But always keeping them Tucked safely in your Heart..☺

  8. Burhanuddin Iqbal

    Beautifully written and expressed.
    Nasihats in his diary are purely gems. 🙂

  9. Sarrah, I have no words.. Really. I know what your nana was and is for you. And I can actually relate. I can assure you that you are lucky to have such a gem in your part. Your nana’s wise words have literally shone light upon all those things which we let go off. I Salute his skills. And one thing is clear, creative writing runs in the family huh?;):P amazing piece of work sarrah! 🙂 it’s ssimply inspiring. Your nana must be really very proud of you. Keep writing. Truely inspired!

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