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Man bites dog

Man bites dog

A not very originally-named dog called Fido was found dead in the backyard of one Yar Ashfaq Mazlum’s house.

He’d been lying there dead for over a day, but Ashfaq and his family simply refused to touch the dog’s body.

“It is paleet (dirty),” explained Ashfaq. “Call the Hindu bhangees (sewerage workers). They’ll pick him up.”

“They cost too much these days,” said Ashfaq’s neighbor, Qurban. “This was my dog, by the way.”

“Well, then you pick him up!” said Ashfaq.

“I can’t. I am Muslim like you, remember?”

“Then why did you keep a dog in the first place?”

“I didn’t know it was forbidden to keep dogs. I only got to know a week ago. I’ve been repenting ever since.”

“So you killed the dog?”

“No, I just let it go. I just threw a few stones at it.”

Another neighbor, Kamran, joined the conversation: “Isn’t that your dog, Qurban sahib?”

“Yes. It was. Until last week.”

“How did he die?”

“Who cares how he died!” said Ashfaq, agitated. “It’s a paleet animal and it deserves to die!”

“But it is one of God’s many creatures,” Kamran replied.

“Keeping dogs is forbidden. Period.” Ashfaq announced.

“How can you be so sure?” asked Kamran.

“Are you questioning God?” asked Ashfaq.

“Are you God?” replied Kamran.

“No! Of course not.”

“Well, then kindly answer the question.”

“I read it in a book.”

“The Holy book?”

“No, some book by an aalim.”

“And you believed him?”

“It’s also a hadith.”

“But there are thousands of hadith. Not all are correct. How do you know this one is correct?”

“I just know. Now please help me get this paleet animal off my property. Some one call a bhangee!”

Paleet Hindu bhangee, you mean,” Kamran sarcastically interrupted.

“Us Muslims can’t touch dogs, okay.” said Ashfaq.

Meanwhile, Qurban, who was listening to the scintillating theological dialogue between Ashfaq and Kamran, decided to pitch in: “You know, brothers, I think either the CIA or Blackwater agents killed him.”

He was serious.

“What?” Kamran reacted. “What the hell for?”

“Well, you see, I was trying to convert him, and …”

“Convert a dog?”

“Yes. I was trying to convert him into becoming a rooster,” Qurban explained.

“Wonderful!” Exclaimed Ashfaq. “What a superb thought. This neighborhood certainly needs a rooster who can wake us up for worship every morning.”

Kamran snickered: “Why not just get one, instead of getting a poor dog to turn into a rooster?”

“Ah, brother Kamran. There is more sawab in converting paleet things and people,” said Ashfaq.

“But why can’t a dog be a dog and a rooster a rooster? Why does a dog have to be converted into a rooster just because you don’t like dogs? Have you ever asked a rooster to turn into a dog?” asked Kamran, irritated.

“God forbid! What are you saying? That rooster would become an apostate. We would have to kill it then.”

“But we already kill roosters. We love their meat.”

“Yes, but a rooster eaten by a real Muslim actually goes to heaven.”

“Really? Who told you that. The aalim?”

“No, actually my grandmother, God bless her soul.”

All the while, Qurban was deep in thought, scratching his head: “Ashfaq bhai, had I been able to convert Fido into a rooster, would we have been able to eat it too?”

“Of course, Qurban. We can eat roosters. It is allowed.”

“But, Ashfaq bhai, he would still be looking like a dog, if you know what I mean?”

“Not if he was properly dressed,” said Ashfaq.

“Properly dressed?” said Kamran, shocked.

“Of course,” replied Ashfaq. “Can’t let a converted dog run around naked. Nudity is forbidden.”

“But roosters run around naked too!” said Kamran.

“Yes, but whereas you can see everything on a naked dog, you can’t on a rooster. They’re born covered.” Ashfaq explained.

“But you were born naked! Did your mother throw stones at you?” Kamran was now really losing it.

“What do you know, Kamran sahib?” Said Ashfaq. “You wear western clothes, don’t have a beard and, your wife and daughters don’t adorn the hijab!”

“Well that’s because I don’t want to turn into a rooster and ask my wife and daughters to become hens! I’d rather remain human.”

“You see, brother Kamran, there lies your problem. Wanting to become human before Muslim,” said Ashfaq.

“Oh, but I thought it meant the same thing. Doesn’t being a good Muslim amount to being a good human too?” asked Kamran.

“Oye, hoye! What have all those western books that you read done to you, brother Kamran? Here, read this instead. Get to know your roots.”

“What’s this?”

“My grandmother’s recipe for a mouth-smacking chicken burger.”

“What has a burger to do with my roots? And anyway, isn’t it a western dish?”

“Ah, that is what western propaganda has made you believe. Burgers were originally created by the Muslims 1400 ago.”

“And who told you that? Zaid Hamid?”

“Well, I should know. I have Arab blood in my veins.”

“Nonsense!” said Kamran.  “You are clearly of sub-continental stock, like every Pakistani.”

Ashfaq smugly shook his head: “My ancestors were Arabs, my friend. We used to raise roosters in south Yemen”

“But, of course,” Kamran sighed.

Enter Qurban: “But, brothers, what about the poor dog?”

Ashfaq glared at him.

“I mean the dirty, filthy, paleet, forbidden creature from hell!” Qurban checked himself. “So what should we do with him?”

“Well, if you say you were trying to convert him then I guess the Hindu Indians, Israeli Jews or Christian Americans killed him,” said Ashfaq.

Qurban started to quietly sob: “My poor rooster. Dead.”

“Rooster?” Asked Kamran, baffled.

“Don’t cry,” said Ashfaq. “He died for a good cause.”

“But you used to throw stones at him, Qurban,” said Kamran.

“Yes, but only when I caught him fornicating in public.”

“But where else would a dog fornicate? In your drawing room?”

“Well, as long as he doesn’t do it in public.”

“But roosters fornicate in public too!” Said Kamran.

“Yes, but they are properly dressed. And are male.” Qurban replied.

“What farce! It’s wrong if a dog fornicates in public, but its okay to stone him in public?”

“It’s celestial law!” Ashfaq announced.

“Whose law, your spaced-out grandmother’s?”

“Hold your tongue, Kamran. Or you too will end up like that dog. I can’t have more dogs roaming around naked and fornicating in this neighborhood.”

Suddenly there was a 16.2 second silence. Qurban looked at Ashfaq: “Ashfaq bhai,  so you … killed … Fido?”

Stumped, Ashfaq started to sweat: “Err … no, no, as you said, it must’ve been the Indians.”

“But there are no Indians in this neighborhood,” said Kamran.

“Then it must be the Jews.”

“What Jews?” ssked Qurban.

“I tell you it was Blackwater!” said Ashfaq.

“Blackwater killed a naked, fornicating, paleet dog. Shouldn’t  you be thanking them instead?” said Kamran.

“Oh, right. But, you see, he had become a rooster. It wasn’t me, Qurban! Muslims don’t lie. It was him!” said Ashfaq, pointing at Kamran.

“But why him, Ashfaq bhai? He is Muslim too.” Qurban asked.

“No, he isn’t!” Ashfaq half-shouted. “He’s no Muslim. He is … he is … he is human!”

NFP80 Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com.

Photo illustration by Eefa Khalid

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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292 Responses to “Man bites dog”

  1. Hard core Fan says:

    I love dogs and any living thing as long as they are peaceful and great to be around.LONG LIVE NFP

  2. AP says:

    Awesome stuff Nadeem bhai.

  3. omer farooq says:

    Great as usual!
    But please Zaid Hamid is a thing of the past, you are giving him publicity…………I mean people read your articles.

  4. Bint E Mehmood says:

    Excellently written… Paracha is really good at shaking people’s grey matter:)..keep up the good work…

  5. vijay says:

    Only peace, love and tolerance glorify the religion. When god created all the people who is enemy to whom? God has no personal bias to any individual but he see how his creation is doing as a whole. So i think its collective responsibility of all the human beings to see the smile of the god never fades.

  6. SK says:

    OMG, hats off to you Nadeem, simply stunning…I am impressed…keep rocking, I am with you.

  7. Nasir says:

    That is why you are always ahead of Fasi Zaka ;)

  8. Cheetah says:

    Good Nadeem sahib
    very nice

  9. Faizan says:

    Very NFP style article, very rarely I find ur articles a bit positive this was one of them, a very serious issue highlighted actually quite more than one issue!! I wonder if you ever think weather you actually reach and address the people correctly like the people who are liberal(if i may say that) always appreciate and praise your article but people in whom the NFP articles should ignite a thought would not appreciate this heavy sarcasm, i wish they do though..

  10. rabia zia says:

    i wish apart from the two sorts of characters in the story, there was a third one too. there’s
    kamran (NFP personified) who looks suspiciously at anything and everything religious. and there
    are ashfaq and qurban who refuse to have a brain of their own.
    but i wish there was a fourth examplary muslim character who’d politely and intelligently resolve
    the matter and bury the poor dog!!!

    oh but then it could not have been a writing by NFP who only thinks there are two sorts of muslims ….. civilized humans taking religion forgranted and calling it being liberal ….and
    animals!

  11. Old Gold says:

    NFP sure has a strange effect on people.
    Some love him, some want him banished to Mars.
    Hidden, quiet and hardly ever seen in public, NFP’s been around for a good 15 years now, and man, he’s still swinging generations of Pakistanis left and right. Kudos.

  12. Goga Nalaik says:

    Pardon me about this message which has nothing to do with the great article written by NFP. Some people have completely misunderstood it (as usual) and some of them are trying to drag me into another debate.
    ______________________________
    To Muzammil,

    With respect, as far hadtis writings are concerned, I would like to tell you that Abu Hurera has never been a reference to me. What I wrote was my personal opinion. It is your right not to share it but please for heavens sake, don’t take me for an ignorant.

    So I persist and I sign!

    Goga Nalaik

    • Abid says:

      Goga jee,you may persist but logic wins. One may disagree with Newton’s gravitation laws but he has to provide sound reasons for his stance,otherwise he will be considered ignorant.nothing personal

      • Goga Nalaik says:

        Dear Abid,

        Your reasoning is partially logical. Newton was a scientist and in science, there is no “inbetween solution”. Abu Hurera was not a scientist but a narrator. This is the partial response to what you wrote.

        You will have the second part of my answer when you will confirm me the following:
        - DOB and DOD of our Holy Prophet pbuh
        - DOB and DOD of Abu Hurera

        Goga Nalaik

  13. Farhad says:

    Not Impressive.
    You have written better than this one Nadeem

  14. Awais says:

    There is so much more to write about..
    but I guess I’d still call this piece of writing an article.. :p

  15. Hammad says:

    Kinda Murky Article… Two Points

    1. If Mr NFP is hitting on the ubiquitous so called religious scholars across the country claiming to be the harbinger of truth and directing us to follow the Quran then its OK…. Great Article!

    2. But if, he is sarcastically making a mockery of our half Muslims brothers, then a character needed to be added for a happy ending .. what I mean to say is that what is projected is wrong, what should be done needs to be incorporated for those, who most people referred to as ‘Illiterate’ in their comments, so that this article will become a conduit of correctness.

    Last but not the least .. AGAIN ‘ZAID HAMID’ .. come on man leave this guy alone ..

    P.S. Great Article .. Enjoyed Reading and Spreading ..

    • Goga Nalaik says:

      What do you mean by “half muslim brothers” ???
      Explain please

    • Lala Kahn says:

      Dude, exactly what is a ‘half Muslim brother?’
      This is the kind of stuff NFP’s satire thrives on.

  16. Uzair says:

    Accentuates the narrow-mindedness of average Pakistani people in a very typical NFP style. Nicely done.

  17. Aisha Choudhry says:

    ok NP .. u really make me laugh out loud .. and really turn things around ..

    i have never lauged out loud on any blog before in my life ..!!

    u rock .. =)

    i shared this on my facebook ..

  18. Hammad Khawaja says:

    Politics and Religion should be kept separate, you will never be able to finish all these stupid disputes otherwise.

  19. tamil says:

    Hi started reading you articles before one month .But every article written by you is impressive….

    You and jawed naqvi are always impressive..

  20. Abid says:

    Paracha endeavours to be “Jon Stewart” of Pakistani media.He needs airtime and Urdu language for widespread propagation.Anyway,average Pakistani’s main plight is economics.He will follow the one who will get rid of this problem.Till that,religious parties will have a strangle hold in certain areas and liberal parties would still make compromises with them.A radical change in mindset seems still a long shot.

  21. Taimourstool says:

    Good think NFP. your articles continue to reflect the typical thinking of the narrow minded Pakistanis. however, all humour by you tends to be quite similar to the last.

  22. Amber says:

    Now that’s what I call hitting the bull’s eye!

  23. Micky Shetty says:

    Dear NFP,

    Why people are so adamant that they are not able to decide what is wrong and what is right in our country after so much of HAVOC in our country. They are still of the view that their knowledge is best about Islam. I can bet that they have not read even 10% of the books related to Islam.

  24. Goga Nalaik says:

    Excellent!

  25. jibran says:

    Confusing taunting and then misleading..! hope you will consider our opinions in your favour..!

  26. Abbas says:

    Really funny….typical Nadeem’s style

  27. shafikshafikk says:

    Just brilliant and very honest work , hinting at our pan Islamic debility and utter incompetency to call our selves even human beings .

  28. Rajesh says:

    Have you ever written positive on Islam religion as a whole! I would love to read praising Islam in his article,I will wait!

    • manulegend says:

      Rajesh.. Bro.. NFP has never insulted Islam. He has never written anything that is negative about Islam. He has never dreamt of defaming Islam.

      He is just pissed with the people who walk around him talking utter nonsense and getting useless inferences from the Holy Book. He always is against ideologies of men who are born in this generations but left their brains in the stone age.

      Again, NFP is a patriot and his specialty is social and political satires. Each one has a job to do. Dogs bark and donkeys bray. You wouldnt like Microsoft selling flowers now will you? Same case. NFP writes brilliant satires. Period.

      Dont expect him to give solutions, that is your politician’s job. Dont ask for advice, that is your preacher’s job.

    • Goga Nalaik says:

      Rajesh,

      Please don’t misunderstand NFP and this article.
      We have no problem with our religion Islam which is indeed a religion of peace. Things become complicated when it comes to interpret it … What would you when you are given 100 different interpretations of the same chapter from our holy book! In a country where 60% of its population is illiterate, it is damn easy to misguide innocent people and prepare them to commit acts of absolute horror.

      One suggestion: please do read NFP regularly.

      Goga Nalaik

      • It is true there is no problem with the religion Islam but the interpretation by some so called mullahs, who are totally illiterate,with their wrong interpretation are not only misleading the 60% illiterate people but also damaging Islam,and helping enemies of Islam in their propaganda against Muslim around the world, its such a sad situation, and our government should try to tackle this problem by making sure that in future if any one want to be a mullah or a religious preacher are educated and in full knowledge of Islam, holding a proper degree or diploma from a recognised institution or university.

      • Micky Shetty says:

        Well said Goga,
        This is the real problem. Different people have given different meanings to the readings and finally the situation has reached to this level. One ultimate solution is to seperate out State working and religion totally.
        One request Please rename yourself as “GOGA HOSHIYAR”

  29. Wow, i didn’t stopped reading till i was finished. Great article, with a even greater insight.

  30. Madan LalMadan Lal says:

    I wonder that Aalims want Muslims to be the Muslims first or Humans ? That is greatest dilema within the community. I don;t know when and how Moulives/Aalims would bring out thier ppl out of this Paradox.


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