A Reflection on the Tragedy in Karachi

Editor’s note: For the first time in recent memory, an act of violence and terror was directed against the Ismaili community on Wednesday, August 13, 2013 at two of their Jamatkhanas located in Karachi. Two deaths as well as several dozen injuries were reported by the media in Pakistan. It was indeed a sad day for Ismailis and non-Ismailis alike. Statements of condemnation were issued by numerous sources, and were particularly reported on Pakistan TV networks. A peaceful and generous community had been targeted senselessly by individuals who do not value life, the most precious gift from Allah.

Navyn Naran reflects on the tragedy that has brought profound sadness to countless people. We pray that peace prevails in the entire nation of Pakistan which has seen so much sectarian violence over the past two decades. We also pray for the peace and rest of the departed souls from this tragedy, and wish everyone who was injured from this act of terror quick and complete recovery.

(Following Navyn Naran’s reflection we have provided a few external  links to stories and comments about the tragedy) 

Of Karimabad, A Place of Generosity

By Navyn Naran

it was a place of comfort, a quiet haven in the wood
a cove where a mother fish and her young made home,
by the bank of a trickling brook,
he found solace there in this nook.
hot it became day by day, how shallow the water and nightly he prayed,
would there be rain droplets, just some?
it rained everywhere on earth it seemed, but here in this city,
the brook was drying

the fish drew closer to the bottom.
“Rain! please rain!” his heart implored
taking a few bottles of water, near the fish he poured.
And then the beginning of the end, it came!
Bhoommm!!! Crashh! lightning cracked
the heavens opened and buckets of rain fell
he danced in his shorts, his hair flying wet around his face,
his feet drenched in his sneakers,
soaked from the lovely rain

A mother and a child, many people.
A man finds it not easy to cry
But today men cried as bodies bled
and lives were hurt
What was the sense of the two scenes?
The boy, his heart generous, is a seesaw with yours

His action against yours.
What is the message you were sending?
 A message of good? Of right? Of admiration? Of envy? Of strength?
few on this earth will agree.

People were praying!
Prayers for peace where there is conflict

For health where there is illness
For abundance where there is poverty
in those prayer halls women and men seek to better their world
in Karimabad

The Karachi Bomb Attackes

Cowards!! you are cowards, envisioning bloodshed,
tormenting your fellow-man, with nothing gained,
Just Loss.
Our Loss.
For the mothers and children, the men and women you kill
are still alive within our hearts. That,
you can never take.
‘Do not take a life’ it is said, ‘for it is like taking all mankind’.
and who will you face then, but the Face of God?

Is it fear of peace, of the goodness of humanity which sickens you?
That there could be unity amid the plurality
does that threaten your space?
Is the Aga Khan and his teaching abominable to you?
Is the education and growth despicable to you?
How will you erase the entire goodness in humanity?
How will you bow to Nature’s Hand?

For we are one…have you read ?
From one woman and one man we came, do you know?
The family you cared for is the same one you killed.
What did it benefit you?
It is in ripples, you fearful man.
It is in ripples we send an energy;
and behind us is the force of the world.
Beside us is the force of the Universe.
cast a stone into a quiet pool and see ripples form…
Fight for an ethic
befitting your home

Date posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013.
Date updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 (links to stories on the tragedy, see below)

Copyright: Navyn Naran/Simerg.


The tragedy on external websites:

1. Victims Laid to Rest
2. So then to this now
3. Three killed in bomb blasts on I-Day Eve
4. Consecutive blasts in Karachi Jamaat Khana leaves 2 dead, 28 injured
5. Altaf Hussain condemns attacks on Ismaili Jamaat Khanas
6. Two Ismaili Shias Killed in hand grenade attack
7. Violent evening

Dr. Navyn Naran was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, to Anaar and Badrudin Naran. After beginning her high school in the UK, her family immigrated to the USA where she has lived since. Dr. Naran went to medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. She currently works in Paediatric Critical Care.

2013 Navroz Readings: (IV) “Amen Khudavind” and “Hope” by Navyn Naran



a window opens.

a green meadow, lush
new tufts of grass under her feet,
running across these verdant, undulating hills.
weathering the storms past,
she tills the moist, brown soil.
emerald shoots peer fresh as a new-born baby’s cheeks
what news will spring bring?
what did i sow?
and how will i reap?

“i’m late to catch the train!
stop at the lights.
did i grab my lunch? my ticket?
presentation is 7am , room 337”
huffing up the stairs,
“did i remember my gym bag?
will he remember to call the dentist?
what will we eat tonight?
ok, gather self and be ready
here comes the first of the audience”

everyone is looking ahead
while living in the present.
i prayed for siratal mustaqu’eem,
and iman ji salamat
for jan, mal, aal, izat and abru
thumb on my chin and finger resting on my lip i ponder…
“but did i keep balanced?
did i make an ethical choice?”
was there time for my spiritual space
or did i let it go another day?

“this is such a mirage in Time!”
i sit back resting in my chair…
like a continual accordion of days
as if in pieces we organise it.
each ritual is a reminder,
as practice of submission and perfection
towards a stillness of thought and mind.

if you stop and give your Time
there will be naught but LIFE
a philanthropic donation if you will,
to venture out of the chatter or vision
familiar to oneself

“it’s Navroz”
and am i too rushed to notice?
Time does not rush…it provides, as promised,
sunshine, blossom and rains
if only we disrupted not its natural flow.
“have i done my work?”
do i stop long enough to reflect and answer?
the undulating specks or motion of time as we see,
are pregnant with change and gift
what was my gift to Mawla?
was it something i thought would “just happen”
by virtue of my breath?
or did i consciously plan and rise?
there is always the next second
“yet tomorrow never comes”.
so we live in the present with regard to future
and miss the essence because we are expectant.

Mawlana Hazar Imam said
“I say to you all on Navroz,
Navroz Mubarak.
I pray that in this New Year your worldly and your spiritual happiness should progress tenfold
and that this be the case every year.”

 “Amen, Khudavind”

a window opens.
into a prayer hall of contemplative men and women
only their souls are alight

will mine enter here today?



Spring Day Around the World

Syria, your hopes and your struggles
are not forgotten,
nor forgotten are other struggles in our world
Navroz Mubarak to all around the globe
we look forward with HOPE
as time promises a new morning,
so Navroz promises a New Day.

a day of peace, good health, security,
a day when stranger greets stranger like brother and sister
where as children, our compassion and tolerance burn bright
for all wish for goodness and grace
even the earth’s submissive tilt
renders it perfect for season and change

the sun on this spring equinox
equates the day and the night
and symmetry magically stabilises our earth in motion
now daylight will become unbroken in the North, as ying,
and darkness will cover southern skies as yang
let us breathe
let us pray that all is fresh
and at moment’s peace on Navroz

Date posted: March 21, 2013.

Copyright: Navyn Naran/Simerg


Navyn Naran

Navyn Naran

Dr. Navyn Naran was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, to Anaar and Badrudin Naran. After beginning her high school in the UK, her family immigrated to the USA where she has lived since. Dr. Naran went to medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. She currently works in Paediatric Critical Care.

“Crystal Clear” – A New Year Observation by Navyn Naran

here’s to crystal magic, clink!
and starlight.
cool and clearest,
p e a c e
in the vacuum of purple night
of unseen and
a magic so hidden
you scarce believe in its reality..
for they say, it is the most real thing there is.

light of all light
shimmering ….
but yes, conscionable.

clinking glass and platefuls..
musically cheery and
mirrors, mirrors,
reflecting glamour and light
what a happy night!
faces  are smiling, lips moving, masterful chatter
practising attitudes.
beautiful shimmers, radiant!
glitter and glory
oh, happy night and new year!

there are  sparkles of crystal and bangles
rushes of laughter and giggles
all in tonight…thank you God for this another moment,
thank YOU.
what we have learnt and gained this year,
are Blessings beyond truths.
who have we hurt and cared for?
been hurt by and healed from?
only children make it real delight,
a time of play and being,
a reality of truth

ah yes, a respectable consort you are indeed.
how beautifully perfect.
behind festivities and food and dance and happiness
grateful for the safety and health of your space.
and the world crumbles on

hurting exposures, crying and deceit
lies and lip service
a rich, heavy deep velvet
fertile for an inner fortitude ..
here’s to a very happy new year
in these mirrors of charm.
and he rewards you for your heights and emblems,
‘ there are those i see with my eyes and
there are those i feel with my heart’.
which one am i?
which? in the limelight?
in the mirror perhaps?
in the crystal shimmers
there’s a seen.
and in magic, we are told,
and perhaps we pray,
and maybe we can really try to believe..
a practice of faith,
in action, yes, perhaps there IS

the  unseen.


Navyn Naran

Navyn Naran

About the author: Navyn Naran was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, to Anaar and Badrudin Naran. After beginning her high school in the UK, her family immigrated to the USA where she has lived since. Navyn went to medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. Dr Naran, has a subspecialty in Paediatric Critical Care.

An Ode to Pir Hasan Kabirdin: A Thank You Note to the Author of the Ginan Anant Akhado by Navyn Naran @Simerg

“…The Nav Chugga are our choice. In the poem, if all goes well, the inevitability is for the butterfly (or silk moth) to emerge and do its butterfly thing, remembering its delicate wings can intricately avert the forces of evil with strength of flight and purpose. Only by guidance, reflection and intention can this occur for the ruh (spirit)…”

Navyn Naran’s Ode to Pir Hasan Kabirdin – the Author of Anant Akhado and the Nav Chugga

Please click for “An Ode to Pir Hasan Kabirdin.” Image in frame is copyright Istockphoto.com.

For series, please click Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures