August 2, 2014

The Massacre of Karbala - by Dr. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

I had been meaning to watch the Massacre of Karbala by Dr. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi for quite a few months. Finally watched it today! I request everyone to take out time and listen to the 2-hours talk. Please also get your family to sit with you and watch it! You owe this much to the Ahlal Bayt of Rasool Allah (saw)!

It was refreshing to be able to hear about Karbala without any digressions to Tabarrah against the Khulfa. May Allah's La'anah be upon Yazid, Ibn Ziyad, Sinan bin Anas and the people of Kufa. The people of Kufa still punish themselves for their betrayal and may they continue to do so eternally ameen!

You can find the video here:

February 9, 2014

The Legend of Layla and Majnun

THIS IS THE legend of Layla and Majnun.

Once, a boy of exceeding beauty was born into the family of a noble Shaykh. He was named Kais, and as he matured it became obvious to all that he would one day become a source of great pride to his family and tribe. Even from a young age, his knowledge, his diligence, his learning, and his speech outshone that of all his peers. When he spoke, his tongue scattered pearls, and when he smiled, his cheeks were violet tulips awakening to the sun.

One day, Kais met a girl so lovely that he was instantly struck with a yearning he could not understand. Her name was Layla, meaning “night,” and like the night, she was both dark and luminous. Her eyes were those of a gazelle, her lips two moist rose petals.
Layla too felt an emotion for Kais she could not comprehend. The two children were drowning in love, though in their youth they knew not what love was. It was as though love were a wine-bearer, filling the cups of their hearts to the brim; they drank whatever was poured for them and grew drunk without understanding why.
Kais and Layla kept their feelings secret as they roamed the alleyways and passages of the city’s markets, close enough to steal a furtive glance and share a giggle, far enough not to arouse gossip. But a secret such as this cannot be contained, and a whisper is all it takes to topple a kingdom. “Kais and Layla are in love!” someone said on the street.
Layla’s tribe was furious. Her father removed her from school and banned her from leaving her tent; her brothers vowed to ensnare Kais if he ever came near. But one cannot keep the baying hound away from the new moon.
Separated from his beloved, Kais wandered from stall to stall, from tent to tent, as if in a trance. Everywhere he went he sang of Layla’s beauty, extolling her virtues to whoever crossed his path. The longer he went without seeing Layla, the more his love gave way to madness, so that soon people began pointing him out on the streets, saying “Here comes the madman! Here comes the majnun!”
Kais was mad, it is true. But what is madness? Is it to be consumed by the flames of love? Is the moth mad to immolate itself in the fires of its desire? If so, then yes, Kais was mad. Kais was Majnun.
Clad in rags and stripped of his sanity, Majnun left the city and wandered aimlessly through the mountains and wastelands of the Hijaz, composing mournful odes to his absent beloved. He was homeless and tribeless, an exile from the land of happiness. Good and evil, right and wrong, no longer had any meaning for him. He was a lover; he knew nothing but love. He abandoned reason and lived as an outcast in the desert, his hair filthy and matted, his clothes tattered.
In his madness, Majnun came to the Ka‘ba. Pushing through the crowd of pilgrims, he rushed at the sanctuary and hammered upon its doors, shouting, “O Lord, let my love grow! Let it blossom to perfection and endure. Let me drink from the wellspring of love until my thirst is quenched. Love is all I have, all I am, and all I ever want to be!”
The pilgrims were appalled. They watched as he fell to the ground, heaping dust on his head, cursing himself for the weakness of his passions.
Majnun’s actions shamed his family and tribe, but he himself knew no shame. When he heard of Layla’s arranged marriage to a man of untold wealth named Ibn Salam, Majnun lost all sense and reason. Tearing off his clothes, he crawled naked through the wilderness like an animal. He slept in ravines with the beasts of the desert, eating wild plants and drinking rainwater. He grew famous for his love. People from all over the land sought him out, sometimes sitting with him for hours as he spoke of his beloved Layla.
One day, while he was idly reciting his verses to a captive audience, a scrap of paper, borne by the wind, landed on his lap. On it were written two words: “Layla” and “Majnun.” As the crowd watched, Majnun tore the paper in half. The half on which was written “Layla” he crumpled into a ball and threw over his shoulder; the half with his own name he kept for himself.
“What does this mean?” someone asked.
“Do you not realize that one name is better than two?” Majnun replied. “If only you knew the reality of love, you would see that when you scratch a lover, you find his beloved.”
“But why throw away Layla’s name and not your own?” asked another.
Majnun glowered at the man. “The name is a shell and nothing more. It is what the shell hides that counts. I am the shell and Layla is the pearl; I am the veil and she is the face beneath it.”
The crowd, though they knew not the meaning of his words, were amazed by the sweetness of his tongue.
Meanwhile, trapped by the restrictions of her tribe and forced to marry a man she did not love, Layla was plunged into a lonely darkness. She suffered as deeply as Majnun but did not have his freedom. She too wanted to live with the beasts of the desert, to declare her love for Majnun from the tops of the mountains. But she was a prisoner in her own tent, and in her own heart. When one morning an old merchant passing by her tribe brought her news of Majnun, Layla felt like a reed swaying in the wind, hollow and weightless.
“Without your radiance,” the old man told her, “Majnun’s soul is like the ocean in a winter’s night, whipped up by a thousand storms. Like a man possessed, he roams the mountainside, screaming and shouting. And there is but one word on his lips: ‘Layla.”
“The blame is all mine,” Layla cried, flinging curses on herself. “I am the one who has set fire to my lover’s heart and reduced his being to ashes.” Desperate, she removed the jewels from her earrings and handed them to the old merchant. “These are for you. Now go to Majnun and bring him here. I only want to see him, to look upon his face for a little while, to bathe in the light of his countenance for but a moment.”
The old man agreed. For days he searched the desert for Majnun. When he finally found him, he relayed Layla’s message. “Could you not bring yourself to break your vows of separation from the world to look upon her tearful face, just for a second?” he pleaded.
“Little does anyone understand me,” Majnun thought. “Do they not realize that their idea of happiness is not mine? Do they not see that while it may be possible for them to have their wishes granted in this life, my longing is something else entirely, something that cannot be fulfilled while I remain in this transient world?”
But Majnun could not resist the opportunity to look upon the face of his beloved. Putting on a cloak, he followed the merchant to a palm grove and hid there while the old man left to fetch Layla.
As the merchant led her by the hand to the grove, to Majnun, Layla’s entire body trembled. When no more than twenty paces separated her from her lover, she froze. The old man tugged on her arm, but Layla could not move.
“Noble sir,” she pleaded, “this far but no farther. Even now I am like a burning candle; one step closer to the fire and I shall be consumed completely.”
The old man left her and went to Majnun. Pulling him out of the palm grove, he brought the boy—his face drained of color, his eyes glass—under the moonlight and pointed him toward Layla. Majnun stumbled forward. Light from the stars peeked through the tops of the palm trees. There was a movement in the darkness, and suddenly, under the dome of heaven, Layla and Majnun faced each other.
It was only a moment: a rush of blood to the cheeks. The two lovers stared at one another, drunk with the wine of love. Yet though they were now close enough to touch, they knew that such wine could be tasted only in paradise. A breath, a sigh, a stifled cry, and Majnun turned and ran from the grove back into the desert, vanishing like a shadow into the night.
Years passed. The leaves on the palm trees lost their color. The flowers shed their petals in mourning. As the countryside turned yellow and wan and the gardens slowly withered, so did Layla. The light in her eyes dimmed, and with her final breath she breathed her lover’s name.
When Majnun heard of the death of his beloved, he rushed back home and writhed in the dust of her grave. He lay down and pressed his body to the earth as though in prayer, but his parched lips could utter only one word: “Layla.” Finally, he was released from his pain and longing. His soul broke free and he was no more.
Some say Majnun’s body lay on top of Layla’s grave for months; others say years. No one dared approach, for the grave was guarded night and day by the beasts of the desert. Even the vultures that swooped above the tomb would not touch Majnun. Eventually, all that remained of him was dust and bones. Only then did the animals abandon their master to lope back into the wilderness.
After the animals had gone and the dust of Majnun was swept away by the wind, a new headstone was fashioned for Layla’s tomb. It read:

Two lovers lie in this one tomb
United forever in death’s dark womb.
Faithful in separation; true in love:
May one tent house them in heaven above.”

Excerpt From: Reza Aslan's "No god but God.”

Sufi Poem by Ayatullah Imam Khomeini

“Oh, I desire a cup of wine from the Beloved’s own hands.
In whom can I confide this secret?
Where am I to take my grief?

I have yearned a lifetime to see the Beloved’s face;
I am a frenzied moth circling a flame,
A wild rue seed pod roasting in the fire.
See my stained cloak and this prayer-rug of hypocrisy;
Can I, one day, tear them to shreds at the tavern door?"

- Imam Khomeini

August 11, 2013

Four Beautiful DU'AAS

Allahumma ja'alni min at-tayyibeen, wal mutta-tahireen, wal muhsineen, wa ma'al ladheena yahfadhohum fooroojahum.

'Oh Allah please keep me chaste, pure, away from the lewdness, and amongst those who guarded their private parts.'


Allahumma baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib. Allahumma naqqini min khataayaaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas. Allaahumma ighsilni min khataayaaya bi’l-thalji wa’l-maa’i wa’l-barad.

'O Allah, put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West. O Allah, cleanse me of sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth. O Allah, wash away my sins with snow and water and hail.'


Ya Muqallib al Quloob, thabbit qalbi 'ala deenik.

'O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion.'


Allahumma arinal-haqqa haqqan warzuqnat-tiba'ah, wa arinal-batila batilan warzuqnaj-tinabah, bi rahmatika ya arhamar-rahimeen.

'O Allah! Let us see the good as good (haq is also translated as the truth/reality), and bless us with following it. And show us the falsehood as falsehood, and bless us with staying away from it, with Your mercy, O Most Merciful!'

July 10, 2013

The Hunger Games!

I got this from's facebook page :-)

My Goals for Ramadan this year!

My goals for Ramadan this year, inshaAllah! Sharing them here as they might give others ideas to do the same I haven't had a Ramadan which I'd call very spiritual in the past two or three years, because of my surroundings and because well, I was lazy. InshaAllah this year I will try to be different

1) Read 1/30th of the Quran in Arabic every day and thus finish it in one month inshaAllah!

2) Read the same 1/30th of the Quran with easy translation in English and thus finish the translation of the Quran in one month too inshaAllah. Reading Quran with translation is something I have never been able to do with consistence (never finished it either) and I guess part of it is because I was focusing on the heavy-duty translation + explanations of the Quran. Step by step this time inshaAllah!

3) Go for Tarawih more than any Ramadan before.

4) Lose some much-hated fat by eating less at both Suhur and Iftar (especially Iftar!)

5) Try to exercise and be active instead of being a lazy ass while fasting!


Ramadan is here!! :D

Ramadan Kareem to Muslims and non-Muslims alike!

Alhamdulillah I have been lucky enough to get a few days of Ramadan at home and in Saudi Arabia after 3 years! Alhamdulillah, I look forward to making the best of my time here and in Ramadan as a whole ameen!

May this Ramadan be a means of turning back to Allah & may He enable us to take maximum benefit from these blessed days. May we earn His blessings, seek his forgiveness and freedom from hell fire. Ameen!

First day of fasting starts in just three hours :D :D

June 23, 2013

I felt fear in Belfast.

So, Bhaijan and I were roaming around Belfast and were on the Shankill road looking at the political mmurals there. I asked a guy for directions towards the central library. He told us the directions and then asked us where we were from. We said Pakistan. He then pointed towards his shirt which said BNP. He asked if we know what it meant. We said we do not know exactly. He said it stands for the British Nationalist Party. So we said that means you support the UK? (Because there is a conflict between Britain & Ireland). He said no it means that I believe in white skin. You immigrants will come otherwise. We told him that we are here for just two days, don't worry. We thanked him and were going to leave when he waves at the three guys across the road and tells us those guys are from EDL (English Defence League)!!

The rest of our walk back to the hostel was spent looking behind us every few seconds and seeing every other person suspiciously because we were shit scared.What an experience! However, to their credit they warned us and did not beat us up :D

Goodbye, UK :)

And UK comes to an end. Life goes on. It was an absolutely amazing six months Alhamdulillah! I met so many people and learnt so much from them! I made friendships which I will cherish forever. I have left the UK with changed perceptions, broadened horizons and hopefully a better person inshaAllah!

Though, I do not want to risk forgetting names, a special shout out to my Italian and my Pakistani friends and others who made my time at Warwick so much good!

I cannot stop thanking Allah for my dearest brother. Alhamdulillah for him! We bonded so well and became even closer than we ever were. He truly is a brother unlike any other! Thank you so much Bhaijan for everything. I love you so much and will miss you a lot! ♥ May Allah give you all the happiness in the world ameen! :')

Jis shehr-e-muhabbat ne humein loot liya hai,
Uss shehr se ab kooch ka imkan hai Mohsin

May 26, 2013

Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa

I write this for the two masterpieces of Dr. Muhammad Allama Iqbal, Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa. A month ago, I discovered these two poems by him which, despite my not understanding them completely, have affected me in a positive way.

I belive that everyone should study these two poems as they have the power to change how the Pakistani society (any Urdu-speaking Muslim, really) thinks. I myself am still studying them so that I can understand them in a much better way. I request you to read SHIKWA (1909) and JAWAB-E-SHIKWA (1913). I believe sense can be knocked into all Muslims if only we were all aware of these two masterpieces. Infact, all Muslims can benefit from it as they can simply read the English translation. I present to you:



And a nice article about them:

May 11, 2013

Pakistan Election 2013! It is time to Wake up!

Please don't forget to wake up and get your lazy butts moving. Do not regret, do not abstain and do not be scared of threats! Fight against oppression. It is time for a Naya Pakistan! BOHT HOGAYA!

I am so excited for tomorrow. I cannot sleep and I feel how I feel right before exam results are supposed to come out. This is better and bigger than all of that! Do not forget to pray Salat-al-Haajat. Pray to Allah for change in Pakistan And bring change in yourselves as well!

Even Indians and Bangladeshis are supporting Imran Khan in Pakistan! Vote for PTI, Vote for Change, Vote for stability and prosperity not just in Pakistan but for the whole subcontinent region and beyond!

I can't be in Pakistan to vote, but you are there and you must use your head and vote IMRAN KHAN and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf!


April 2, 2012

The meaning of "Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elaihe Raaji'oon"

I received this in an email just now. I couldn't find it on the Internet so I decided to reproduce it here so that others can benefit from it. JUST AMAZING!

Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elaihe Raaji'oon

Yeah, sure we say this statement when someone dies.Also some of us may say this sentence when they lose something, suffer a setback or harm. But do you know what it means?

Sure, everyone knows that it means 'To Allaah we belong and to Him is our return.'

But that's not what I am talking about.

I mean do you REALLY, TRULY understand these words and their implications in a Muslim's life?

It means whatever we have is not really ours. It belongs to Allaah.

Take a look around you; everything you see, all that you have and all that there is in you, on you, around you belongs to Allaah, alone.
It is Allah Who has given you all the property and goods you possess, and that He is the true Owner of them all.

So the cars that you own, the houses that you live in, the businesses you possess all truly belong to Allaah.

The kids that He blessed you with, the health that He gave you, the time that He has allowed you are all Allah's property.
Even the bodies we live in and the life that we have belongs to Allaah alone.

"And to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth…." (Surah Aal-Imraan:180)

"The kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in them belongs to Allah. He has power over all things." ( Surah al-Ma'ida: 120)

'Say: 'To Allah belongs the East and the West…' (Surah al-Baqarah:142)

Now, since everything belongs to Allah, then we have to include even our souls in that list

The very souls that we think of as our "self "; our "nafs"; our "being" -- whatever you want to call it -- that very thing that distinguishes you from the rest of the world, belongs to Allaah. It's not YOURS.

In fact, YOU are not YOURS.
You belong to Allah.
And this is the essence of the concept of slavery to Allah in Islam.
And since He is the true Possessor of everything, and everything is His property, He allots what He wills to whomever He wills… and then He takes it away. After all, it was Allah's to begin with.
So He may give you some thing and then take it back after a while.
He will bless you with a precious child that you love dearly…and then He may take it away.
He will grant you money, honour and status…..and then He may take it away.
He will give you youth, vitality and health and then surely He will take it away.
In fact everything you have will only be with you for a very short while.
And then the Owner will claim His Right. So when Allah does reclaim what was rightfully His, WHY MOURN OUR LOSSES?

Just like a friend who lends you his book. And then after a few days, he wants it back and you give it back to him…no regrets… sorrow…. no questions asked.

Similarly, if Allah takes back some of His blessings upon you for some reason…. so be it.

Say Alhamdulillaah.
Don't grieve. Be patient.
Submit to the will of Allaah, being pleased with His decision for you. For surely He will only do what is best for you.
Just think…..The Owner came and took it back.

Remember…. that you're not the real owner… were NEVER the real owner to begin with. You only had everything because it was Allah who gave it to you in the first place. If He didn't give it to you, you wouldn't have had it in any way…in fact, you couldn't have had it.

Remember…. man enters into this world empty handed…and leaves it empty handed.

Remember…. that everything we have, all the blessings we enjoy, are gifts from Almighty that we enjoy for a limited period until He takes them away whenever He deems fit.

They are a trust from Allah…a loan to you…to see how you respond to these gifts from Allah and how you use them….in the obedience of The Almighty, thanking Him and worshipping Him…or by disobedience to the One Who blessed you with His grace in the first place.

Take note of the words of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) on the occasion of the death of his son, Ibrahim:

'Our eyes are filled with tears, our hearts with grief, but we say nothing with our lips except that which pleases Allah. Verily, to Allah we belong, and to Him we return.' (Bukhaari)

And we all know the famous incidence about the companion Abu Talha and his wife when one of the sons died and Abu Talha was not at home. She washed and shrouded him and when Abu Talha came home and asked about his son, she said,
'The child is quiet and I hope he is in peace….' (Bukhaari)

Subhaan Allah….such patience!

And such Emaan in the statement "Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji'oon"!
She truly understood its meaning and the affect it should have on her life as a Muslimah, submitting to him and being pleased with whatever He has decreed for her.
She knew that whatever she has, is not truly hers. Rather, it is Allah's….and He took back whatever He owns at its appointed time.
And it is because of this Emaan so strong, this understanding, that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) made dua for them and Allaah blessed them immensely.

"They (i.e. Abu Talha and his wife) had nine sons and all of them became reciters of the Quran (by heart)." (Bukhaari)

"Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allah we belong and to him is our return.' They are those on whom descend blessings from Allah and mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance." (al-Baqarah: 155-157)

The Prophet (PBUH) said 'Pass on knowledge from me even if it is only one verse'.

February 15, 2012

Published in Ink Magazine

Two of my poems were published in a quarterly Pakistani magazine by the name of Ink Magazine in their May-July 2010 issue.

This was the first time I was published in a proper print magazine.

Here's a scan from the Contributor's section:

January 28, 2012

Poem - My Country

I wrote this poem in the February of 2010 after visiting Pakistan. Sent it to a newly starting out magazine-website and they published it. Small step in getting published :)

A few days ago I visited my homeland Pakistan,
I hate to admit it: I figured I was a deadman.
The security conditions there were not too good,
Thank God everything went just like a smooth wood.
There was no limit to my happiness when my plane landed,
To rejoice and shout out with joy I was sorely tempted.
I was in PAKISTAN, the land of the Muslim Nuclear Bomb,
A place with history; whose enemies want to spray it with napalm.
I set my foot, took a deep breath and kissed the ground,
What I felt at that time is undescribable, I was spellbound.
Ignoring the growing neckache, I looked on the roads left & right,
I just could not help grinning ear to ear with delight!
It is hard to believe that love could be so blind,
Even the polluted atmosphere smelled most divine.
The fields were filled with flowers so very bright,
They seemed to set the atmosphere with fire alight.
My country celebrates Earth Day each and everyday,
Electricity is shed for hours and hours without delay :D
I can't be more thankful to this land, for it's my identity,
Mark my words; one day it will be a place of complete chastity.
Because I've had many memories of this place since childhood,
I feel I'll always crave for it like a priest for sainthood!

January 23, 2012


I am embarrassed. The last update to this blog was two years ago. People visit it and then run away. It's time to change that =D I got published a few times and I shall be posting those to the blog soon. Also, I will be writing whatever I feel like here now :D It's no longer just a 'Portfolio' blog :))

March 19, 2010


Aljomaih Automotive Company is the main dealer in Saudi Arabia for Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer and SAAB cars. As part of their marketing campaign, they wanted to distribute CDs to their customers which have all the details of the products they sell. One such CD to be distributed was for Cadillac, Hummer and SAAB. I was given the charge of designing the SAAB part of the CD.

I absolutely adore this design of mine! I believe it's both professional and simple, AND easy to use for the customer :)

December 6, 2009

Newspaper Advertisement for SAAB

This one is an oldie. Made it last year for the dealer of SAAB cars in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, they cancelled the campaign and never used this :(

November 16, 2009

Layout of Al-Nahda Club

This is the layout of the Al-Nahda Club, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which I made a few months ago, for a function.

Gulf College Get Together

The Gulf College for Hospitality and Tourism Management, Bahrain held a Get Together for their alumnis some time ago. I designed the flyer for the function and the layout of the hall where the function was to be held. Check them out!

Pakistan National Day Function

I made this flyer for a function for the Pakistan National Day (23rd March) in Bahrain a while back.

April 15, 2008


I was asked to design the Official website of Pakistan International School, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The website's going good Mashallah. Check it out here!

February 16, 2007

I once made a website for the Automotive Division of a company in Saudi Arabia. It consisted of 4 sections: SAAB Cars, Mack Trucks, Marangoni Tyres and the main division site. I made it when I was 12 years old and I do wish they would update their design because the designs I made were so so ugly! You can check the website out here or view the screenshots here:

Updated: The website's finally closed. Please make do with the screenshots.

Awards! and received many awards when they were active. Following are some of the awards Muggle-Central received:

February 15, 2007

Muggle-Central :: Last Layout

This was Muggle-Central's layout before I closed the website :(

Muggle-Central :: Version 5

This is Muggle-Central's version 5. It was the best of all the layouts Muggle-Central had ever had!

Muggle-Central :: Version 4

This is Muggle-Central's version 4. The layout was green-coloured. It was made just after the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Muggle-Central :: Version 3

Muggle-Central's 3rd version had a black and gray layout. This is my third layout after learning the slicing technique. What do you think of it?

Muggle-Central :: Version 2

Muggle-Central's version 2 had 2 layouts. These two were one of my best layouts at that time. This was the first time I used the slicing technique while graphics designing. is Born!

Eventually, we had to close due to a conflict between us mergers and I finally created on August 14, 2004, when I was 13 years old. Muggle-Central's first version had 4 layouts. Following are screenshots of the splash and four of the five layouts.

A year after opening, in 2003, W-W merged with to form a much bigger website, I made many layouts for the website out of which only one remains with me.

Me, like most webmasters, made by first website on GeoCities. I do not have any screenshot of those earlier layouts. The layout I made for my first top-level domain website,, was one of my best in those days.


Welcome to Talal's Blog! This blog will portfolio all the websites and graphics I have designed to date. Do leave comments about each design! Thank You!