Archive for November, 2011

Arabic Calligraphy

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Arabic

Life is funny isn’t it? All through school we’re told to get good grades so that we can get into college.

Once we get into college we are told to get good grades so we can get a good job.

Once we get a good job, we work a ton of hours so that we can move up the ranks and get a better job, which usually requires more time and more pressure so that we can set ourselves up with the next promotion.

We do all of this in hopes that once we reach a certain job status or certain level of income that it will provide us with happiness.

We want more money to accumulate more things, which just take up more time that we don’t have, which leads us to wonder at some point in life,

Is this all there is?

A Merry Minimalist

Are promotions and hard work bad things? Of course not! But, many times, we have it all wrong. I need to constantly remind myself of this, so maybe we all need a bit of reminder:

True wealth is not found in our promotions or our jobs or by helping a company turn a profit! It is found in the quality of relationships and pursuing our passions!

So maybe we need to take a step back and simplify. We just might find that minimizing our pursuit of stuff may just lead to a greater quality of life.

Simplifying lifestyles leads to owning fewer “things”, but let’s take a look at how owning fewer trinkets can lead us to owning more:

Own more time

You’ll free up time to do things you enjoy. Maybe it’s spending time with family and friends. Maybe it’s sitting down and reading a good book. Maybe it’s a home project you’ve wanted to get done.

It’s amazing how quickly our “I’d like to do” list gets piled up.

For example, we say, “Oh, I’d like to take the kids to the museum, or I’d like to take my wife out, or I’d like to spend more time volunteering at a non-profit organization” and then those things never happen because we’re too busy.

Maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at how much time we spend building our own little earthly kingdom rather than investing into others.

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Own more money

The whole premise to the Millionaire Next Door, the popular book by Thomas Stanley and William Danko is that based on their research they found the majority of those who lived in upscale neighborhoods and had high incomes were not weathy – they just lived high on the hog.

When we kill ourselves to move up the ladder so we can make it into the next upscale community and keep pace with the next income bracket, a funny thing happens. Our net worth typically doesn’t increase.

Those who realize the foolishness of keeping up with the Joneses and are satisfied with what they have tend to see an increase in net worth because they save money rather than blow it!

Own more happiness

Remember the song “Cats in the Cradle“? It’s a sad song about a dad who never played with his son because he was always so busy. The tables turned on the dad down the road when his son told him he didn’t have time to visit with his father because he was too busy himself.

You could be the best employee at your job, moving quickly up the ranks, but if your spouse and kids can’t stand you because you are never home or never involved with them, what good is it?

Simplifying our lifestyle or decluttering your life from “stuff” will free up more time for you to invest into and enjoy things that will bring greater returns – like quality of relationships.

Source : http://www.redeemingriches.com

Spirit of RIS 2011

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Islam
Tags: ,

Alcohol has been the scourge of human society since time immemorial. It continues to cost countless human lives, and causes terrible misery to millions throughout the world. Alcohol is the root cause of several problems facing society. The statistics of soaring crime rates, increasing instances of mental illnesses and millions of broken homes throughout the world bear mute testimony to the destructive power of alcohol.

1. Prohibition of alcohol in the Qur’an

The Glorious Qur’an prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following verse:

“O ye who believe!
Intoxicants and Gambling,
(Dedication of) stones,
And (divination by) arrows,
Are an Abomination –
Of Satan’s handiwork;
Eschew such (abomination),
That ye may prosper.”
[Al-Qur’an 5:90]

2. Prohibition of alcohol in the Bible

The Bible prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following verses:

1. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
[Proverbs 20:1]

2. “And be not drunk with wine.”
[Ephesians 5:18]

3. Alcohol inhibits the inhibitory centre

The human beings possess an inhibitory centre in their brains. This inhibitory centre prevents the person from doing things that he considers wrong. For instance a person does not normally use abusive language while addressing his parents or elders. If he has to answer the call of nature, his inhibitory centre will prevent him from doing so in public. Therefore he uses the toilet.

When a person consumes alcohol, the inhibitory centre itself is inhibited. That is precisely the reason that an inebriated person is often found to be indulging in behaviour that is completely uncharacteristic of him. For instance the intoxicated person is found to use abusive and foul language and does not realize his mistake even if he is addressing his parents. Many even urinate in their clothes. Neither do they talk nor walk properly. They even misbehave.

4. Cases of adultery, rape, incest and AIDS are found more among alcoholics

According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice) in the year 1996 alone everyday on an average 2,713 rapes took place. The statistics tell us that the majority of the rapists, were intoxicated while committing the crime. The same is true in cases of molestation.

According to statistics, 8% of Americans commit incest i.e. one in every twelve to thirteen persons in America is involved in incest. Almost all the cases of incest are due to intoxication of one or both the persons involved.

One of the major factors associated with the spread of AIDS, the most dreaded disease, is alcoholism.

5. Every alcoholic was initially a social drinker

Many may argue in favour of liquor by calling themselves ‘social drinkers’. They claim that they only have one or two pegs and they have self-control and so never get intoxicated. Investigations reveal that every alcoholic started as a social drinker. Not a single alcoholic or drunkard initially starts drinking with the intention of becoming an alcoholic or a drunkard. No social drinker can say that I have been having alcohol for several years and that I have so much self-control that I have never been intoxicated even a single time.

6. If a person is intoxicated just once and commits something shameful, it will remain with him for a lifetime.

Suppose a ‘social drinker’ loses his self-control just once. In a state of intoxication he commits rape or incest. Even if the act is later regretted, a normal human being is likely to carry the guilt throughout his life. Both the perpetrator and the victim are irreparably and irreversibly damaged.

7. Alcohol is prohibited in the Hadith

The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

1. In Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3371.

“Alcohol is the mother of all evils and it is the most shameful of evils.”

2. In Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3392

“Anything which intoxicates in a large quantity, is prohibited even in a small quantity.”

Thus there is no excuse for a nip or a tot.

3. Not only those who drink alcohol are cursed but also those who deal with them directly or indirectly are cursed by Allah.

According to Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3380.

It was reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“God’s curse falls on ten groups of people who deal with alcohol. The one who distills it, the one for whom it has been distilled, the one who drinks it, the one who transports it, the one to who it has been brought, the one whom serves it, the one who sells it, the one who utilizes money from it, the one who buys it and the one who buys it for someone else.”

8. Diseases associated with alcoholism

There are several scientific reasons for the prohibition of consumption of intoxicants i.e. alcohol. The maximum number of deaths in the world related to any one particular cause is due to the consumption of alcohol. Millions of people die every year only because of intake of alcohol. I need not go into the details of all the ill-effects of alcohol since most of them are commonly known. Below is a simple list of few of the alcohol related illnesses:

1. Cirrhosis of Liver is the most well known alcohol associated disease.

2. Others are Cancer of Oesophagus, Cancer of Head and Neck, Cancer of Liver (Hepatoma), Cancer of Bowel, etc.

3. Oesophagitis, Gastritis, Pancreatitis and Hepatitis are linked with alcohol consumption.

4. Cardiomyopathy, Hypertension, Coronary Artherosclerosis, Angina and Heart Attacks are linked with heavy alcohol intakes.

5. Strokes, Apoplexy, Fits and different types of Paralysis are linked with alcohol intake.

6. Peripheral Neuropathy, Cortical Atrophy, Cerebellar Atrophy are well-known syndromes caused by alcohol consumption.

7. Wernicke – Korsakoff syndrome with amnesia of recent events, confabulations and retainment of memory to old events with different types of paralysis are mainly due to thiamine deficiency due to excessive alcohol intake.

8. Beriberi and other deficiencies are not uncommon among alcoholics. Even Pellagra occurs in alcoholics.

9. Delerium Tremens is a serious complication that may occur during recurrent infection of alcoholics or post operatively. It also occurs during abstention as a sign of withdrawal effect. It is quite serious and may cause death even if treated in well equipped centres.

10. Numerous Endocrine Disorders have been associated with alcoholism ranging from Myxodema to Hyperthyroidism and Florid Cushing Syndrome.

11. Hematological ill effects are long and variable. Folic acid deficiency, however, is the most common manifestation of alcoholic abuse resulting in Macrocytic Anemia. Zeive’s syndrome is a triad of Hemolytic Anemia, Jaundice and Hyperlipaedemia that follows alcoholic binges.

12. Thrombocytopenia and other platelet abnormalities are not rare in alcoholics.

13. The commonly used tablet metronidazole (flagyl) interacts badly with alcohol.

14. Recurrent infection is very common among chronic alcoholics. The resistance to disease and the immunological defense system are compromised by alcohol intake.

15. Chest infections are notorious in alcoholics. Pneumonia, Lung Abcess, Emphysema and Pulmonary Tuberculosis are all common in alcoholics.

16. During acute alcoholic intoxication, the drunk person usually vomits, the cough reflexes which are protective are paralysed. The vomitus thus easily pass to the lung causing Pneumonia or Lung Abscess. Occasionally it may even cause suffocation and death.

17. The ill effects of alcohol consumption on women deserves special mention. Females are more vulnerable to alcohol-related Cirrhosis than men. During pregnancy alcohol consumption has a severe detrimental effect on the foetus. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is being recognised more and more in the medical profession.

18. Skin diseases are also related to alcohol indulgence.

19. Eczema, Alopecia, Nail Dystrophy, Paronychia (infection around the nails) and Angular Stomatitis (inflammation of the angle of the mouth) are common diseases among alcoholics.

9. Alcoholism is a ‘disease’

Medical doctors have now turned liberal towards alcoholics and call alcoholism a disease rather than an addiction.

The Islamic Research Foundation has published a pamphlet that says:

If alcohol is a disease, it is the only disease that:

– Is sold in bottles

– Is advertised in newspapers, magazines, on radio and television

– Has licensed outlets to spread it

– Produces revenue for the government

– Brings violent deaths on the highways

– Destroys family life and increases crime

– Has no germs or viral cause

ALCOHOLISM IS NOT A DISEASE – IT IS SATAN’S HANDIWORK

Allah (swt) in His Infinite Wisdom has warned us against this snare of Satan. Islam is called the “Deen-ul-Fitrah” or the natural religion of Man. All its injunctions are aimed at preserving the natural state of man. Alcohol is a deviation from this natural state, for the individual as well as for society. It degrades man to a level below that of the beasts he claims to be superior to. Hence the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam.

Source : http://digiartport.net

Back to Tahrir Sqaure

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Egypt
Tags: , ,


by : Riaz A. Siddiqui

   ALL religions of the world have laid great emphasis on the rights of parents and the duties of children towards them. According to Islamic teachings, to be obedient and to show kindness to parents has been enjoined in the Holy Quran in such a manner as to say that among the noble deeds, to obey parents, treat them respectfully and to show kindness to them is next to worshipping Almighty Allah. The Holy Quran says, “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.” – Surah Al Isra (17:23).
According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the parents of a certain person arehis Heaven or Hell. What this means is that if a person obeys his parents, attends to their needs and keeps them happy and comfortable, he will attain Paradise. On the other hand, if he is disrespectful and rude to them, offends them by ignoring their needs and feelings or causes them grief in any manner, his place shall be in Hell. In modern times, a trend has arisen whereby when parents come to be seen as a liability because of old age and physical weakness. They are then sent to ‘old people’s homes’.

But the stricture ordained by Islam makes it clear that shrugging off the responsibility of old parents serves as an invitation to Hell. Both the father and mother are equal when it comes to caring for them and providing them all possible physical comforts and mental peace. The time that the parents need to be looked after most, is in their old age. To serve them devotedly at that stage of their lives is the best way of pleasing Almighty Allah. It is also one of the easiest ways of attaining Paradise. Abu Hurairah, a companion of the holy Prophet, has said that “a person is indeed disgraced, who does not earn Paradise by caring for his parents during the life time and old age of his/her parents”.

A person once asked the holy Prophet, “Who has the greatest claim on me with regard to service and kind treatment?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Your mother and again your mother and once again your mother. After her is the claim of your father, then that of your near relatives, and then of the relations next to them”. This shows that the claim of a mother is greater than a father over the care that you endow upon them in their old age. Serving and obeying parents is a matter of give and take. Those who treat and obey their parents can rest assured that their children will also show kindness and compassion to them. Respecting and caring the parents is a virtue of the highest order that continues to transcend generation after generation.

Asma bint Abu Bakr relates that her mother had come from Makkah to Madinah to meet her. Her mother was not a Muslim and followed pagan tribal customs and beliefs. Asma enquired from the holy Prophet how she was supposed to treat her. The holy Prophet told her to be kind and considerate and to behave towards her as was a mother’s due from a daughter. Obeying one’s parents and treating them with respect and affection is a great virtue and it serves as repentence for a person’s sins. Similarly, to ask Almighty Allah to have mercy on them after death is an act that brings them comfort in their graves. It is the duty of sons and daughters to pray for the forgiveness of their parents after their death and treat their relatives and friends with due respect. In the Holy Quran, Muslims have been urged to pray for the salvation of their parents as shown in the following verse: “And say, My Lord, Have mercy on both of them as they cared for me when I was little”.

The holy Prophet has said that to abuse one’s parents is a major sin. So much so that if a person abuses someone else’s parents and that person, in retaliation, abuses his parents, then it is as though he himself has abused his parents. On another occasion, when asked about the major sins, the holy Prophet replied, “To associate someone with Almighty God, to disobey parents, to kill unlawfully, and to give false evidence”.

In the light of the Holy Quran and holy Prophet’s sayings, one can understand that the respect for parents occupies a special place in the moral and social teachings of Islam.

Source : http://www.guidedones.com