My new app AfsaneDB (Beta) is now in PlayStore!

Those who love reading classic literature can now enjoy literary masterpieces in this beautifully designed app.

Friday, 28 May 2021

People I listen to...

Over the years, many have asked me to suggest what to read, watch and listen which will benefit them. For the books, I've started writing reviews about ones which I like. 

Here, I've enlisted all the channels I've been listening to. The list is not complete and subject to updates. Also, names are not in any particular order.

— Shakeeb

Note: Obviously, I don't agree with everything a speaker promotes.

Islam, Quran & Jurisprudence

Peer Zulfiqar Naqshbandi

Nouman Ali Khan

Mufti Tariq Masood

Maulana Manzoor Mengal (Tafseer Classes)

Maulana Makki Al-Hijazi

Dr. Israr Ahmad


Hanafi Fiqh

Salahuddin Saifi Naqshbandi

Dawah & Comparative Religion

Sheikh Ahmad Deedat

Dr. Zakir Naik

Mohammad Hijab (and group)

Mufti Yasir Nadeem Al Wajidi

Maulana Kaleem Siddiqi

The Muslim Skeptic

Philosophy, Psychology & Logic

Professor Jordan Peterson

Steven Crowder


Adam Ruins Everything

Ben Shapiro


Jim Browning



Mojahed Fudailat (UFC Animations)

Bad Lip Reading

Patriot Act (Hassan Minhaj)

Obayd Fox (Ar+En Vlogs)

Karan Singh Magic

Shaheer Khan

Dawood Savage


Dhruv Rathi

Maulana Sajjad Noumani

ScoopWhoop Unscripted

Shahbaz Ansar (ThePrint)

The Deshbhakt

IT & Programming

Two Minute Papers

Code Bullet




The Net Ninja

Srinivas Tamada

Graphic Designing

Mohamed Achraf

Logos by Nick

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Hamare Paas Yahi Ik Sawaal Rakkha Hai - Ghazal by Shakeeb Ahmad

To read in Urdu (Perso-Arabic script), click here.


Shakeeb Ahmad
From: Writings of Haramain, 2020


Zara sa rukh pe jo huzn-o-malaal rakkha hai 
Ise to ham ne bataur-e-misaal rakkha hai 

Nigaah-e-tishna faqat poochhti hai aapse "kab?" 
Hamaare paas yahee ik savaal rakkha hai 

Kamaal hai, ki bas airaaz-e-lan-taraani se 
Hamaare jaise divaanon ko Taal rakkha hai 

Niqaab-e-rukh ko ulatiye, ke is ki shokhi ne
Hamen ajeeb si uljhan mein daal rakkha hai 

Kabhi to khatm bhi hoga ye imtihaan-e-Shakeeb 
Isi umeed ne dil ko sanbhaal rakkha hai

(Scroll for meanings)


ज़रा सा रुख़ पे जो हुज़न-ओ-मलाल रक्खा है
उसे तो हमने बतौर-ए-मिसाल रक्खा है

निगाह्-ए-तिश्ना फ़क़त पूछती है आपसे "कब?"
हमारे पास यही इक सवाल रक्खा है

कमाल है, कि बस  ऐराज़-ए-लन-तरानी से
हमारे जैसे दिवानों को टाल रक्खा है

निक़ाब-ए-रुख़ को उलटिये, कि इस की शोख़ी ने
हमें अजीब सी उलझन में डाल रक्खा है

कभी तो ख़त्म भी होगा ये इम्तिहान-ए-शकीब
इसी उमीद ने दिल को सँभाल रक्खा है


Rukh (रुख़): Face , चेहरा

Huzn-o-malaal (हुज़न-ओ-मलाल): Sorrow , घम और अफ़्सोस

Nigaah-e-tishna (निगाह्-ए-तिश्ना): Desirous eye , प्यसी नजर

Airaaz-e-lan-taraani (ऐराज़-ए-लन-तरानी): Evasion (from showing His face) saying Lan Taraani translated "You can not see Me!", Al Quran, 7, Al-A'raaf:143 , लन-तरानी (तुम मुझे नहीं देख सकते! अल-क़ुरआन ७، अल-आराफ़:१४३) कह कर अपना दीदार कराने से गुरेज़ और इजतिनाब करना , अस्वीकार करना


Friday, 12 March 2021

App Release: OneSignal Push Manager - Secure & Free (Android+Web)

OneSignal Push Manager - Secure & Free (Android)
OneSignal Push Manager - Secure & Free
This app helps you manage your app credentials and provides intuitive UI for sending the notifications to your users.



Android app to manage & send push notifications via OneSignal


  • Manage all your apps
  • Stores all your credentials in your phone
  • Offline storage, open-source and hence trustworthy
  • CRUD for app info with lovely UI
  • Simple notepad to save other necessary stuff
  • Send notifications to any of your apps, in any segment
  • From simple heading + message notifs to fancy ones, with icon, banner and extra data to pass-in the app (useful for deeplinks)

User Guide

  1. Get your "App ID" and "REST API Key" from OneSignal Dashboard.
  2. It is recommended by OneSignal NOT to save API key anywhere, therefore our app doesn't save it by default. It's optional.
  3. In the "APPS" section of our app (Push Manager), make a list of app names and IDs.
  4. In the "SEND NEW" section, fill the details and send in a segment of your choice.
  5. Button 1 can be used to send in a segment named 'Test', which you can configure from OneSignal Dashboard for your test devices.
  6. Button 2 can be used to send in a segment named 'All'.
  7. Button 3 can be used to send in any custom segment.
  8. Notepad can be used to jot down & save other necessary stuff.
  9. Profit?

Questions, suggessions and contributions are welcome.

Shakeeb Ahmad


Thursday, 31 December 2020

My New Year Resolution for 2021

 Off you go 2020! Quite a year it was, wasn't it? 

It started with the best thing happened to me till date, the journey to the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia, for 'Umrah. It was overwhelmingly wholesome. Alhamdulillaah! [1] I'm yet to document the experience, but I do have the poetry ready, which you will see on the blogs soon.

Then just about a month later, the covid pandemic started and finally the lock-down. Ramazan [2] came and went by, we couldn't offer prayers in the mosques. Eid-ul-fitr was same. So was Eid-ul-Azha. [3] Sad sad times those were. 

It did bring some positive changes too. We had a lot of free time. People actually started working on things they were passionate about. 


First of all, note that making resolution DOES help. 10/10 recommended. It keeps you focused. It gives you a list to work on. It tells you where to concentrate your efforts. 

When you make one, it might not seem realistic at first, even to yourself. Rather, specially to yourself. But the motivation and consistency it provides easily make you more productive than you were before. 

The key is being motivated. They say, around 90% of people who make resolutions drop them by the end of January. You don't want to be one of them. 


Even when a lot of things which were in the resolution of 2020 are still in pending, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did finish off. 

The only thing I miserably lagged in was "writing" stuff. I put more effort in development and left the actual writing behind. I miss it. 


  • Releasing new apps consistently, many of which are in the queue right now, about ready for production
  • Hifz (Memorizing Quran)
  • Publishing book-reviews on blogs
  • Finishing incomplete Novel, Translations, Books/Booklets etc.
  • Magazines - Sarbakaf and Personal Bi-Weekly
  • Publishing Videos
  • Interviews
  • Portals Management
  • + Resolutions from last year

Last Words

As I'm writing this, the third decade of the 21st century is on the verge of knocking the doors of times - bringing joys and cries, hope and despair, turning the pages of  everyone's destiny. 

I don't know what this new year will bring, but I am nothing but my dreams. I will continue chasing after them.



[1] Alhamdulillah - An expression loosely equivalent to "Thank God", used for gratification/achievement. See Alhamdulillah.

[2] Ramazan is considered a holy month, 9th month as per Islamic Hijri calendar, which is observed worldwide as a month of fasting. See Ramadan.

[3] Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the 2 major Muslim festivals celebrated worldwide.

iPhone Users! Here's a Web App for Qaafiyah Expert


If you are in a hurry, here's the link to Qaafiyah Expert - Web:

The Web App and its Journey

Right from the beginning when I launched an android app for Qaafiyah Expert (an app to assist Urdu poets with rhymes, meter, dictionary, diary, designing and much more), people were requesting the same for iPhone users. As I was using the cross-platform approach for the app, building the same thing for iPhone wouldn't have taken so long. But the problem was, apple AppStore's pricing. I couldn't afford it. Well, most of us can't.

Anyway, after some research on pricings, I decided to go for a PWA (Progressive Web App), which is an installable app, but you don't need to pay a single penny to Google or Apple whatsoever. 

It does bring some drawbacks, but there are alternatives for most of the incompatible native-app functionalities. For a naïve user though, PWAs and native Android/ios apps are indistinguishable. For instance:

  • Visiting a Progressive Web App asks you to "Add it to Home Screen", which is alternative to "Installing an app"
  • It does have an icon, just like a native app
  • It can work offline using service workers etc.
This PWA for Qaafiyah Expert had been hosted on my domain '' for quite a while now, as you can see in the "first commit" here. But some of the features were not working as expected, so I didn't announce it "officially." Now that the android app has been completely rewired, performance is improved and speed is optimized, I decided to use the new code-base, modified it for the web-app and deployed it. iPhone users can now finally use this app.

If you are an android user though, I strongly recommend the android version, which has some cool extra features and obvious UX advantages.

Once again, here's the link to the web-app:

Qaafiyah Expert - Live Demo

Hope this will assist in your poetry-writing journey. 

Rab raakha! 👋

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Rekhta Content Scraper by Shakeeb Ahmad | For Programmers Only

Note: This is not yet available for non-programmers. Soon I'll make an easy-to-use version for all, iA.

This scraper with Node.js works for both prose and poetry. Check the GitHub repo for installation instructions.

You would need a text file with all the links you want to download the contents from. To get the list of links, you could manually collect all which interests you, or use the following to scrape all links from an author/poet page.

Bookmarklets - One Click Solution to get the links etc.

Rekhta loads 50 links at a time, and if user scrolls, it adds more content to the DOM. This extra fetch has not been automated in my code yet. (Well I tried, but parsing it wasted so much time that I preferred using manual scroll. Just let the page load, then press "end" on your keyboard. Wait for a moment, it will add all the remaining links.)

Anyway, once you have the complete list on the page, you can use the bookmarklets below to copy all of them with a click.

I've been testing this in browser console for a while now, i.e. open browser console, then paste the script, then change the page text to only what I need, then select and copy them manually. 

Later on I decided to use magic of bookmarklets to automate these tasks I've been doing repeatedly: 

  • Copy all the links from the Poet/Author page.
  • For LitUrdu specifically, turn them into an "object" with required properties (title, author, link, description, text) and copy it.
  • Use the "object" to automatically fill-in text-boxes on new Blogger post.
Ultimate plan is to use Blogger API and post it directly, but this bookmarklet approach doesn't hurt much because most of the things I'm doing are just a click away.

Drag and drop the links to the bookmarks bar in your browser. (Ctrl+Shift+b to toggle the bar)
Use on author/poet's page to copy all the links to their enlisted work
Use on individual poem/story page to copy an object with properties (title, author, link, description, text). Modify as per your needs.
Use on a new Blogger post after pasting the "object" from rekhta in console. This will fill in all the required fields in the new post automatically.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Magic of Browser Bookmarks - Automate Simple Tasks using JavaScript

Automation using Bookmarklet

As I promised in #LearnedToday, I'm going to show you how much you can achieve with this little bookmark feature in the browsers.

Ever wondered how to easily remove citations from a Wikipedia page? 

What are bookmarks?

The bookmarks in the browsers are to save the links to the pages you wish visiting again, or you just find them useful and save for later. 

Instead of creating a text file "Imp Links"and saving all the links there (I've done it a lot), you could use browser's bookmark feature.

The shortcut to bookmark a webpage in most of the broswsers is ctrl+b.

What more can they do?

To sum up, they can run JavaScript on a page. So instead of opening broswer console to do run a couple lines of code, you could create a bookmark and click that instead.


Whenever I needed to copy something from Wikipedia, I usually had to deal with the references/citations they have. You must've seen those, with squared brackets around numbers, something like this [1] or with a disclaimer like [citation needed] etc. I needed to remove all those. 

Initially, I used to do it in MS Word manually, by Find and Replace. I don't remember that now, doesn't matter anyway. 

Finally, I came to know about this browser bookmarklets, and then a simple regex was enough to do the work for me.

Now I have a simple bookmark. I go to any Wikipedia page, select the text I need, and click the bookmark. Viola! Citations are removed.

How to create a bookmarklet?

Got to Bookmarks Manager

1. Click three vertical dots in the upper right corner > Bookmark > Bookmark Manager

Or chrome shortcut: ctrl+shift+o

Or type in the address bar: chrome://bookmarks/

2. Click three vertical dots in the upper right corner of Bookmark manager (Shows tooltip: Organize) 

3. Add new bookmark

4. It will show a popup with two fields: Name and URL. 

5. Give any appropriate name, and in the URL bar, paste the JavaScript code you want to execute.

6. Click Save. 

You have your bookmarklet ready. 

Show/Hide Bookmarks bar with ctrl+shift+b. Clicking on the name of your bookmark will run the underlying code. 

Any easier way to do this?

If you don't want to go through all those steps, there's a simple tool called Bookmarkleter. Paste your JS code, it will generate a link which you can drag-and-drop to the bookmarks bar. 

For example, drag and drop the following link to your bookmarks bar. This will allow you to change fonts on any website. 

Which bookmarklets am I using?

  1. Citation Remover: Removes citations from a Wikipedia page. Drag&drop this link to the bookmarks bar: Citation Remover
  2. Set Font: If a website is using bad font, use this. As I use Urdu a lot, and Urdu without Nastaleeq font looks ugly. So I apply any font to the page available in my system. Payami Nastaleeq is a default one for me.
  3. Calci: A tiny calculator which returns results of simple arithmetic operations.
  4. StyleStripper: which strips all CSS styles from a webpage. Helpful if I don't want to load an entire page I want to copy something from. Also works on most of the sites which disable copying using JavaScript. Click StyleStripper and you can copy the text. 

To those who requested, don't complain now. (Abuzar :D) I have shared it finally. More such tips will follow. Keep visiting! And I know you will. :wink:

Rab Raakha!