Aastha/Faith and Belief – Islam.

Aastha/Faith and Belief – Islam.

Maszid-Place for Prayer

Islam is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allah), An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Muslim girl prays (dua) after namaz . She take TASBIH in her hand

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets .

Muslim girl prays (dua) after namaz . She take TASBIH in her hand

The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the “Articles of Faith”:

  • Faith in the unity of God
  • Faith in angels
  • Faith in prophets
  • Faith in books of revelation
  • Faith in an afterlife

Recital of Holy Quran by muslim girl

5 Pillars of Islam:

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān-al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān ad-dīn أركان الدين “pillars of the religion”) are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory by Sunni Muslims. These are summarized in the famous Hadith of Gabriel.

The Qur’an presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are (1) the shahada (creed), (2) daily prayers (salat), (3) fasting during Ramadan (sawm), (4) almsgiving (zakāt), and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.

1 Shahada

2 Salat (Namaz)

3 Sawm (Rozah)

4 Zakāt (Donation)

5 Hajj

“Rozah” which is called “Saum” in Arabic, means to restrain and keep silence. The Holy Qur-aan defines “Saum” as “patience” too which means “self-control, perseverance and determination”. Thus Rozah (Saum) stands, according to Islaam, for guarding oneself against selfishness, sensual and carnal desires and protecting one’s instinctive restraint and perseverance. Food, drink and sexual relation between man and woman play very important role in human life that usually destroy human values and merits if not checked. Regulating and keeping oneself away from such human needs for a certain period is Rozah (Saum). But according to Shar’ee terminology “Saum” means conscious abstinence (of a Muslim) from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk with the sole intention of worship. It is conditional for woman to be free from “Haiz-o-Nifaas” (menstruation and discharge of blood of the child-birth) for the observance of fast.

Zakat means purity and cleanliness. A portion set apart from your wealth for the needy and the poor is called Zakat. because in this manner a man’s wealth and along with it his own Nafs ?(self) becomes purified. The wealth of that person is impure who does not take out from the God-given wealth what is due to the poor and the needy. And along with his wealth his Nafs too is impure because it is filled with ungratefulness. His heart is so narrow, he is selfish and so much a worshipper of wealth that it pains him to render what is due in return for the Divine favour of bestowing on him wealth in excess of his real requirements. Can it be expected from such a person that he will ever do any good deed to please God and will make any sacrifice for the sake of his religion and faith ? This is why the heart of such a person is impure as also his wealth which he amasses in this manner.

Muslim girl prays (dua) after namaz .

The book Zadul-muqwin writes, “It was written by the early savants that he who does not do five things will be deprived of five other things:

1 – He who does not give the zakat of his property will not benefit from his property.

2 – He who does not give the ‘ushr (a kind of zakat) will not get barakat, use from his field, from his earnings.

3 – He who does not give alms will not be healthy.

4 – He who does not pray will not get what he wishes.

5 – He who does not want to perform namaz when the time for namaz comes will not be able to say the kalima-i shahadat as he dies. He who does not perform namaz because of indolence, although he believes that to perform it is the first duty, is a fasiq. He is not kufw for a pious girl. In other words, he is not worthy of or suitable for (marrying) the girl.”


Allah (SWT) has said in the Noble Qur’an: “I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship Me.” (Noble Qur’an 51:56)

Muslim boy pray( dua) after namaz

It is clear from the above verse of Noble Qur’an that the purpose of our birth and of our life is no other than that of the worship of Allah (SWT). There are many acts of worship (Ibadah, Ibadat) in Islam, and Salah is one of the most important obligatory acts.

Muslim girl prays( dua) after namaz

Salah (Salat, Namaz) is the ritual prayer practiced by Muslims in supplication to Allah (SWT). The term is commonly used to refer to the five daily prayers, which are compulsory upon all mature Muslims. Salah (Salat, Namaz) is considered the most important act of worship (Ibadah, Ibadat) in Islam and its importance is such that under very few circumstances it can be omitted.

Salah (Salat, Namaz) strengthens the foundations of our faith. It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and obedience to Allah (SWT), and it builds courage and determination. Every time we perform Salah, we renew our commitments to Allah (SWT) and we rid ourselves from worldly pressures five times a day.

According to a Hadith a companion of Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) came to him one day and asked him “What is the thing that Allah (SWT) loves most?” Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) replied “The thing that Allah (SWT) loves most is when his people pray Salah on time.”

( Source: http://www.ezsoftech.com/stories/mis44.asp)


Zuma ki Namaz during Ramzan(Prayer during Ramaz)

All males and females are supposed to perform Namaz 5 times a day depending upon the time and convenience.


The five daily prayers

Muslims are commanded to perform prayers five times a day. These prayers are obligatory on every Muslim who have reached the age of puberty, with the exception being those who are mentally ill, too physically ill for it to be possible, menstruating, or experiencing post-partum bleeding. Those who are ill or otherwise physically unable to offer their prayers in the traditional form are permitted to offer their prayers while sitting or lying, as they are able. The five prayers are each assigned to certain prescribed times (al waqt) at which they must be performed, unless there is a compelling reason for not being able to perform them on time.

Name Prescribed Time period (waqt)
Fajr (فجر) Dawn to sunrise,
Dhuhr (ظهر) After true noon until Asr
Asr (عصر) Afternoon.
Maghrib (مغرب) After sunset until dusk
Isha’a (عشاء)(it is makrooh to read Isha after midnight) Dusk until dawn 

The five daily prayers

The compulsory prayer is obligatory for those who meet these three conditions:

  • are Muslim
  • are of sound mind
  • are ten years of age or older (beginning at age seven is recommended).

There are five elements that make a prayer valid:

  • Confidence of the time of prayer. Being unsure invalidates even if the time turns out correct.
  • Facing the qibla, with the chest facing the direction of the Ka’ba. The ill and the old are allowed leniency with posture.
  • Covering the awrah
  • Clean clothes, body, place of prostration.
  • Pure from hadath (wudu, tayammum, ghusl)
  • Praying in front of a sutrah.
Zume ki Namaz during Ramzan

Zume ki Namaz during Ramzan

Prayer in congregation

Prayer in congregation (jama’ah) is considered to have more social and spiritual benefit than praying by oneself. When praying in congregation, the people stand in straight parallel rows behind the chosen imam, facing qibla. The imam, who leads the congregation in salat, is usually chosen to be a scholar or the one who has the best knowledge of the Qur’an, preferably someone who has memorised it (a hafiz) . In the first row behind the imam, if available, would be another hafiz to correct the imam in case a mistake is made during the performance of the salat. The prayer is performed as normal, with the congregation following the actions and movements of the imam as he performs the salat.

Zume ki Namaz during Ramzan

Upon entering the mosque, “Tahiyyatul masjid” must be performed; this is one of the rites of the mosque. Every Muslim entering the mosque is encouraged to perform these two rakats.

Zume ki Namaz during Ramzan

When the worshippers consist of men and women combined, a man is chosen as the imam. In this situation, women are typically forbidden from performing this role. This point, though unanimously agreed on by the major schools of Islam, is disputed by some groups, based partly on a hadith whose interpretation is controversial. When the congregation consists entirely of women and pre-pubescent children, one woman is chosen as imam.

When men, women, and children are praying, the children’s rows are usually between the men’s and women’s rows, with the men at the front and women at the back. Another configuration is where the men’s and women’s rows are side by side, separated by a curtain or other barrier, with the primary intention being for there to be no direct line of sight between male and female worshippers, following a Qur’anic injunction toward men and women each lowering their gazes (Qur’an 24:30-31).

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salah)

All The Images Contained May Not Be Reproduced, Copied, Edited, Published, Transmitted Or Uploaded In Any Way Without My Permission. My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
© Mukesh Srivastava 2011.


Aastha(Faith) and Belief..Budhism.

I was pondering over the issue of Astha(Faith) and Belief lying in the core of major religions in the world such as Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Budhism. During my travel across the country, I happened to talk to the COMMON MAN of every religion. I got one thing very common i.e. everyone believes in God. And every God teaches almost the same things like disciplined life, spend some time for prayer help needy people etc.


For me I believe in only one religion i.e. HUMINITY without getting biased with a particular religion. Let us peep through the faith in every religion. To start with I wish to show a glimpse of Budhism through the images which  I captured at various locations in India……..

Buddhism  is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha.The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering (or dukkha), achieve nirvana, and escape what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.

Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). Taking “refuge in the triple gem” has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist.

Every image speaks the aastha(Faith) and belief prevailing in Budhism.  These images were captured at Bodhgaya and Leh.

The kind of musical instruments used during prayer are very unique attracts the viewer.

Thanx for reading my blog!!!!!

All The Materials Contained May Not Be Reproduced, Copied, Edited, Published, Transmitted Or Uploaded In Any Way Without My Permission. My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
© Mukesh Srivastava 2011.

The Homeless

I have seen the pain, the joy, the hunger and innocence in the eyes of several homeless children and people I came across during my Photography trips. I wish to dedicate this blog to such Homeless people…………

“On Homeless Empowerment”: “There seems to be an atitude that homeless people are homeless only because they were too stupid to keep their homes and are therefore not very competent at thinking for themselves, and that they therefore need the guidance of more intelligent, “enlightened” people to help them back onto the path to a “normal” life. To any person with an I.Q. of more than 50 who is homeless because of the worsening economic conditiions in the country this attitude is, to say the least, extremely insulting. What is lacking here, or maybe only partially formed, is the concept of homeless empowerment: that we should have the power to control our own lives, to use our intelligence to find out own creative solutions to our predicament, and that we are entitled to keep our dignity in the process; that we have the same constitutional rights as every other citizen, and that the very last thing we need is to be treated like criminals or idiots while we are struggling to survive.” -Bridget Reilly

I mean, I don’t think I’m alone when I look at the homeless person or the bum or the psychotic or the drunk or the drug addict or the criminal and see their baby pictures in my mind’s eye. You don’t think they were cute like every other baby?
Dustin Hoffman

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
Mother Teresa

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
Mohandas Gandhi

What we have found in this country, and maybe we’re more aware of it now, is one problem that we’ve had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless, you might say, by choice.
Ronald Reagan

All The Materials Contained May Not Be Reproduced, Copied, Edited, Published, Transmitted Or Uploaded In Any Way Without My Permission. My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
© Mukesh Srivastava 2009

Tranquility in Nature

A true purist, I wish to convey my inspiration without artificially manipulating the images and thereby allows the viewer a window into the artist’s mind. When I traveled by road fom Manali to Leh and further to Ladakh valley, a leisurely road trip through the Himalayan range of Himanchal Pradesh and Ladakh valley reveals a world of beauty and legends, still lakes and towering mountains.

I saw the brilliant view of the mountain with  the pattern and contrast of snow just after crossing  Rohtang Pass, I couldn’t resist and immediately took out my Nikon D700 with 18-200mm lens and the CPL filter. Just see the beauty which I captured:

The taxi(Inova) continued zigzagging through the sheer ridges and hairpin bends, the clouds parting every now and then to reveal breathtaking sights. After traveling for few hours, I crossed Jispa. Just before Sarchu, I was spell bound to see the color, stillness and tranquility of the water of Deepak Taal….Amazing… and gives a true feeling of peace and tranquility… Have a look:

The road beyond Sarchu was horrible… I can say there was no  road. Full of bolders, water flow and dusty road. It is a test drive for all the new vehicles manufactured by automobile companies in India. And I can say with my experience, it was also a test drive for me to judge my body fitness.  By the time I reached Leh, I felt as if my waist and neck have been shaken with full force.

But the beauty around Leh cooled me down little bit. In the night took a few pegs of my favorite Rum to make my muscle fit for the next day journey.

From Leh I started my first journey to Ladakh valley and the destination was Pangong Lake. On the way I crossed world’s third highest Pass at an altitude of 17,400 feet. There was acute shortage of oxygen, so I felt a bit uncomfortable. But the hunger to see the beauty of nature kept it bearable.

On the way I saw yaks with a wonderful background of mountains:

When I reached Pangong Lake, the first idea stroke in my mind to make home here. It looks like  a heaven. See the colors of water and its variations with the light conditions…just amazing…..

Another destination was the most exciting journey to Nubra Valley. I was excited to cross the Khardug La Pas-World’s Highest Pass. And the God helped me to sustain the condition of acute Oxygen shortage and finally I saw the view of that Pas from just a few kil. Mts….. Have a look:

It was a  wonderful memory for my life to see me at that height- 18,380 feet.:

Thanx lot to my friend photographer Rajeev Kashyap to capture this frame for me.

Further I reached the village Panamik, which is located just 45Kms from the China border- Siachin. I was overwhelmed to reach there:

The next destination was to see the natural beauty towards real Nubra village. I reached the village Diskit and was amazed to see the white sand dunes. What a variety of natural scenes.

I couln’t resist to capture the fine art of sand dunes:

Here comes the village Nubra where I could see the magnificent view of the mountains with awesome texture and colors:

And then I could enjoy the camel ride at the camel safari located near Nubra Valley:

While coming back, I saw this reflection of the mountain in a small Taal near the road:

One should never forget to have a ride on motorbike in the Leh city. I enjoyed the ride on bike- a feeling full of adventure and excitement.

All The Materials Contained May Not Be Reproduced, Copied, Edited, Published, Transmitted Or Uploaded In Any Way Without My Permission. My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
© Mukesh Srivastava 2011