Starting off with an apology from the readers because I could not review Aab-e-Hayat last month, I would try to make up for it with this month’s review. The 12th and 13th episodes remained mostly focused on Salar, his thought process and his actions.
Guess Who the New World Bank Vice-President is
Yes you are absolutely right! Salar Sikandar is now VP at the World Bank. After doing way with Ibaka, the World Bank and CIA are in such a mess that they have no option but to ask for Salar’s help because of his heavy influence on the people of Congo. He was lured into taking this new post with extra authorities so that he could save their face. Salar takes this job very unwillingly because of…
The Guilty Conscience
The realization comes to Salar that the turmoil his life has been in, lately, is because the curse of Riba (interest) in his life (told you so Salar!). He rushes to Dr. Sibt-e-Ali for scholarly advice who increases his guilt further. He tells Salar that earlier in his married life when the Earth rotated around Imama, Salar was tried by Allah (SWT) by Imama’s constant misbehaviour and ungratefulness. Now that he has other responsibilities too (kids, carrier etc) Allah (SWT) is putting him through these tests so that he can quit doing this deadly sin. It’s not that Salar was directly involved in Riba transactions but wherever he used to work and whatever he used to study was indirectly related to Riba and empowered this structure. Salar finally decides to continue the contract with the World Bank, only to be able to use this post to create the world’s first Islamic Financial System (IFS). Only then, can he rest his super-guilty conscience in piece. He also decides to abandon the dream estate he had mortgaged for Imama because it also involved Riba.
The Last Sermon for the Last Tribute
The people of Congo demand Ibaka’s dead body so that they can pay him a last tribute according to their own customs. There is an angry mob at this funeral and no white man dares attend this… except You-Know-Who. Our dare-devil (remember Salar from Peer-e-Kamil sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wasallam?) daringly attends this ceremony despite serious security threats. He comes to the mic and starts off with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Without realizing this himself, he starts quoting the last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wasallam)
“No white is superior to a black and no black is superior to a white, except on the basis of piousness.”
Allah (SWT) and his Messenger’s (sallallahu alaihi wa aalihi wasallam) words have great impact on the crowd and they all collectively cry and pray for Ibaka’s soul.
Apparently, Salar is contacting his peers who have the same mind-set to start his dream IFS. The CIA (acting like a curious child) is unable to get a clear picture of his plans. Around the globe, people having similar background as Salar are now having casual meetings but the CIA suspects that this must not bid well for the western banking system. The CIA keeps a closer watch on Salar because of his potential fundamental Islamic self that emerged at Ibaka’s funeral.
Our beloved Chunni has returned again, this time as a temporary guest at Salar’s house. I so look forward to see how Humain and Chunni interact as according to the author, Chunni is the perfect antidote for Humain, the soya hua jinn.
By the way, the best part of episode 13 for me was the name by which Humain calls Salar :-D What a creative little devil he is.
At one hand, we have Salar who does not seem religious at all by his appearance but has a strong conscience and deep sense of responsibility, while on the other hand we have Saad who dons the most perfect Islamic apparel and is extremely (I couldn’t find a better word for him) cheap. No matter how much I love and support Umera Ahmed’s writing, I find this imagery a little uncomfortable. Why do we have to portray those who follow Islamic dress code and involved with some religious group as mean, narrow-minded and hypocrite? Perhaps the writer has planned to give a strong message with this huge contrast in characters.
Episode 13 had more substance and I liked it more than episode 12. The pace remains the same as the previous ones and some scenes appear stretched. Character development was great, we see Salar evolving further in each episode. I would rate episode 12 with 3 out of 5 and episode 13 with 4 out of 5 in overall quality.
Please share your own review of Aab-e-Hayat with us in your comments :)