Class of Today – Parliament of Tomorrow


In this fast paced and ever-changing world, we do not even know where 70% of today’s nursery kids would apply for jobs. According to a study, a child in nursery is going to enter a professional field that does not even exist right now.

A Common Assumption

It is believed that schools and classrooms are places where our children learn all their subject related skills – they are taught to solve math problems and hone their literary skills. Here, they are being prepared to become future engineers, creative writers, successful bankers and excellent doctors. As such, in these early years, many intellectual foundations are laid for our children to become superior professionals. However, the reality is that schools and classrooms are so much more. Educationists now see that the role of a school extends beyond just scholastic development.

Parents often say: “My child has learned it at school.” A student once asked her mom to cover her hair just like her teacher. When asked to think, before they answer a question, my children would say “nummm, nummm, nummm” – a sound their teacher made, while pondering over something. There are also instances, when children become agitated, if parents throw wrappers out of the car’s window or breach a traffic signal. These are a few of the innumerable examples of what children learn at school.

Yet another dimension is the behaviour patterns that children learn from school friends and even from the supporting staff. In short, children absorb the school environment as a whole. Considering this further, children are actually learning much more than what is written down in the syllabus. This is the “uncatalogued” or unwritten curriculum of the school or the hidden curriculum. This is the curriculum, which would actually help the next generation learn to fish instead of waiting for being given one.

Role of an Effective Teacher

A teacher has to be a reflective person, who understands the diversity among the students and is able to evaluate their overt and covert behaviours. She would then sift through these actions to keep the good ones and discard the not so constructive ones, before they became part of her students’ lifestyles. The best practice for an engaged teacher is to inculcate in her students the core values of a moral society. This is the reason why Prophet Muhammad (sa) held teaching in high esteem: “Whomsoever Allah (swt) intends to do good, He gives right understanding of religion, and knowledge is maintained only through teaching.” (Bukhari)

For Bringing a Real Change

The need of the time is an engaged discussion on the hidden and obscure dynamics of classrooms. We should re-evaluate our schools’ rituals and normal routines as promptness, neatness, adult authority, docility and even such seemingly small things as making cues.

Bullying and counterproductive behaviour must also be taken into serious consideration. We can see their effects on our society even with half an eye. Then, speaking in native language and celebrating culturally relevant events is something that helps children to honour their existence and feel happy about their identity.

How to Achieve Simple Living

Simple Living

For us, as Muslims, the best example for conducting our lives lies in the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa). It is a well-known fact that he wore simple clothes, sometimes with patches.  He also had few spare clothes, but he kept them spotlessly clean. (Bukhari) His house was of simple clay with almost no decorations. His room contained a cot and a pillow stuffed with palm leaves.  He would sit on the bare floor or on a mat. Living simply in today’s world has many benefits:

  • Less debt. If we purchase less, we will have money in our pocket for the more important things like Sadaqah, Zakah and so on.
  • More savings. Not only will you be saving money by buying less, but you will be saving time and energy by not having to clean, maintain or fix all those possessions. You will have more time to spend on your priorities: family, friends, Dawah, reading, reciting or teaching the Quran.
  • Environmentally friendly. By possessing less, we are putting less into the landfills. Before tossing away anything, think: can I fix it, donate it, recycle/reuse it or compost it?
  • More contentment. Eventually, we will learn to be content with what we have, rather than what we don’t have. There will be no need to keep up with the latest trends. We will be less pressurized to impress with material possessions and can focus on impressing with good deeds and exemplary character. Instead of buying another toy for your child, spend and enjoy your time with them.

Simple living means different things to different people. Figure out what it means to you. Using our Prophet’s (sa) example, you can start with the following:

  • Live simply in a clean, uncluttered and organized space.
  • Live within your means.
  • Stay out of debt.
  • Trim unnecessary stress.
  • Be content with your life right now.
  • Make a list of your priorities and set smaller goals to achieve those priorities. Actively work toward those goals, starting with just ten to fifteen minutes a day.


For an instant impact, start de-cluttering the room you are in. Here is a step-by-step:

  1. Take a basket and put in anything that does not belong in that space; then, put it in its proper place.
  2. If that thing does not have a proper place, ask yourself: do I really need this? Do you want to keep it, donate it, throw it (if it is broken beyond repair), fix it, reuse it or recycle it?
  3. If you keep it, make sure it has a place; if you want to donate it, start a donation box; if it needs tossing, throw it in the garbage; if it needs attention (like repairing), put it in another box.

Keep all this in your mind, as you go through each space in your home.

You can slowly work from room to room, initially to get things back into their proper places. Do this at your own pace, fifteen minutes daily or from top to bottom. Once the first round is complete, considering going deeper. Take it room by room, starting with drawing, dining, lounge, kitchen and bathroom areas first. Except for the kitchen, these rooms tend not to have a lot of storage area. They do have clutter hot points, like tables and counters, which provide a big impact when de-cluttered first. It will give you that positive boost and sense of accomplishment to continue simplifying.

Be respectful, though, of others’ space. Your husband, in-laws, or older children may not like you going through their things, so be sure to ask or, better yet, enroll their help in your project and get them to live simply, too.  It really helps if you work together as a team.

As you are moving room by room, make sure to dust, while you have the tables, counters and decorative shelves cleared. If the space looks nice, you will give it a second thought before placing something there. Cluttered spaces tend to attract more clutter; therefore, keep it clear.

Clothing and closet de-cluttering need special attention. You can tackle them using the following steps:

  1. Start by taking everything out and make a quick run through.
  2. Toss into the keep, donate or fix pile.
  3. Dust out the closet and examine each item before putting it back in. Is it something you really need or like? Does it fit?
  4. Group clothes by use: daily wear, party wear, etc., and then by colour.
  5. Turn all the hangers around backwards.
  6. As you wear each item, put it back into your closet with the hanger the correct way.
  7. After six months or when the season is over, you can see what you have worn and what you haven’t. We mostly wear our favorite few outfits anyway.

Break the Shopping Habit

Make a conscious effort to reduce spending by not shopping and staying away from malls for at least ninety days. Shopping can be a habit that needs to be broken. Purchase only when necessary. Also, if you stop going to the mall, you will not be tempted to buy unnecessary items. If you do purchase something new, get rid of the old item it replaced. If you wear fewer colours, there won’t be any need for all the extra accessories, shoes, purses, jewellery, etc.

If you do go the mall, set a limit and make a list beforehand. Ensure that you stick to it. Go with a specific purpose and not only for window shopping. Also, purchase quality over quantity. If you can spend a little more upfront for something that will last longer and get more use, it is well worth it.


Once you have de-cluttered and organized the house, it is time to move to finances and your computer. Make a budget and see if there is excess that can be trimmed from the budget. Are you and the kids in too many activities? This can take up a lot of money and time. Make more time to spend together as a family. This can also lead to trimming unnecessary stress, like over-committing yourself to school, social events, etc.

For your computer and desk area, go through all emails and paperwork to see if you need it anymore. If you need to keep it, put it into a proper folder, paper or virtual.

Congratulations! You are now on your way to a simpler life. Make a conscious effort to maintain what you have just accomplished.

  • Take fifteen minutes daily to de-clutter.
  • Twice a year, do a spring and winter cleaning from top to bottom; you may not need now something that you needed then.
  • When something new comes into your space, get rid of the old.

Lastly, be content with your life, as this is what Allah (swt) has given us. Be grateful for what you have. Say a lot of Duas and prayers for guidance to live simply and be an example for others.

Sina – Health, Education and Welfare Trust


Hiba got in touch with Sina, a team of committed, educated and privileged experts who have chosen to reach out to the slums of Karachi to offer relief

1) Why was Sina born? What was your basic aim and vision?

SINA is named after Ibn Sīnā/Avicenna (980-1037), the Persian polymath who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects. His The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many universities until as late as 1650, provides a complete system of medicine. With our inspiration coming from this pioneer in the field of medicine, we started our first clinic in 1998 when Dr. Asif Imam returned to Pakistan after practicing medicine in the USA for over two decades. The vision guiding this beginning was simple – to provide quality primary healthcare to those in need regardless of financial means available. The Clinics gradually grew with SINA Trust formally coming into being in 2007.

2) How is Sina different from similar work that others are doing in the field of healthcare?

What differentiates us is our focus and our quality system. We are focused exclusively on primary healthcare delivered by building clinics in the heart of urban slums. On quality, Sina’s greatest asset is its quality management system. This system is unique, as it has adapted quality international healthcare protocols, used in developed healthcare systems for application in low-income settings. Simply put, this is the foundation, on which we believe a scalable quality primary healthcare system can be created for catering to the needs of less-privileged communities across Pakistan. Our aim, therefore, is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan.

3) Can you tell us about your team members?

The Sina Board of Trustees include highly committed professionals, who have joined hands to provide quality healthcare to those in need. Our trustees include Dr. Asif Imam (Allergist & Immunologist), Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood (Pediatrician), Mohammad Fazil Bharucha (Lawyer), Sohail Ahmed (Industrialist) and Jalauddin Idrus (Educationist/ Social Worker). Our CEO Riaz Ahmed Kamlani has held positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President at The Citizens Foundation prior to joining Sina.

4) How can others help you in your work? Would you need human resource or financial assistance?

Our key focus is to help save children from critical illness and help women look after their health, who constitute 80% of our patients. A majority of our patients are Zakah eligible, based on Zakah eligibility evaluation conducted under the guidance of our Shariah Advisor. Our greatest need is to fund the cost of treatment which is Rs. 350 per patient. We, therefore, encourage individuals to help treat as many patients as they can through Zakah and other contributions.

Our future aim is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan, Insha’Allah. For this, we would continue to be in need of both financial and volunteer time contributions for eg. from female doctors who have not been able to consistently practice given family commitments, but are keen to contribute to our cause. We would, therefore, invite you to support us in bringing quality healthcare to those in need.

5) Can you tell us more about your projects in slum areas?

Sina is a not-for-profit organization, focusing on providing primary healthcare in less-privileged communities. Our vision is that quality healthcare should be accessible for all. To achieve this, we build clinics in the heart of deserving communities and provide both curative and preventive care. As of 2013, Sina has seven clinics in the urban slums of Karachi, in areas including Baldia Colony, Ittehad Colony, Machar Colony and Old Sabzimandi. Over 80% of Sina’s patients are women and children who benefit from quality healthcare provided at their doorstep. This costs us Rs 350+ per patient whilst the fee from patients is Rs 5-30 with free medicines, test and follow up care.

6) Would you like to share with us any of “Sina’s” success stories?

Two-year-old Sahil was born blind because of bilateral congenital cataracts. While being treated for the flu at Sina clinic, he was diagnosed and referred to an ophthalmology hospital and recommended for surgery. With a diagnosis of severe anemia combined with intolerance for oral iron supplements, our experts initiated a blood transfusion process prior to surgery, which was successful. Today, for the first time, Sahil can experience the joy of seeing with both eyes.

We pray to Allah (swt) to grant Barakah and life to “Sina” as a critically needed project for the forgotten and less-privileged segment of our society. Individuals who can add any value to their mission can reach Sina at:

F-3/3, Block 2, Clifton, Karachi.
Website: Email:
Tel:  +92 21 35861320 / +92 21 35861331