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Deeds That Benefit The Dead

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

Each one of us is on this earth but for an allotted time, we don’t know for how long we will remain here. The truth is that from the moment we are out of the womb we are destined finally for the tomb. ‘Every soul shall have a taste of death, in the end, shall you be brought back to Us’. (Quran 29: 57).


Whilst on this earth we are expected to live a life that is in congruence with and in line with our religious beliefs and teachings. The good or evil that we do here will be accounted for on the Day of Judgment.


Muslims we are required to live by the dictates of the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as our lighted path towards guidance and achieving a place in that Heavenly city that has been promised to the faithful.


Therefore each one of us will fundamentally only be benefited or harmed by the deeds which he or she actually did on this earth. ‘No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another’ (Quran 6:164) ‘Every human being is credited only to what he / she has personally done (Quran 53: 39). We will be answerable for all our actions and inactions and no human can carry the sin of another.


Consequently, when a person dies, the opportunity for that person to do good deeds ends. However, the chance to harvest good from deeds which were done prior to death still remains. In Islam we believe that any deeds that were done prior to our death will continue to bear us ‘fruit’ if people benefit from them after our death. For example even a simple thing like, having planted a tree before death, that person’s soul will get the benefits should people eat of its fruit, or birds finding shelter therein or even when a person finds comfort in its shade.


The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "When a person dies, his acts come to an end, except in three cases: an ongoing charity, knowledge from which people continue to benefit from, and a righteous child who prays for him."


In Islam children are expected to accord their parents with the highest respect and to learn from them guidance and the wisdom of the years. Therefore in a home where there is proper parenting and guidance, that home will be filled with love and affection. And the loss of one or both parents will be a sad blow to the family. What should kick in is that the children will have been raised in such a manner that will automatically offer prayers for their departed parents.


Parents will benefit from whatever righteous deeds their children do, without decreasing the reward of their children's good deeds. A righteous child is considered to be part of the parent's earnings. Going further it is the expected responsibility of their children to offer prayers and seek forgiveness on behalf of and for their departed parent’s souls.

The Quran urges us to pray: “and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’” (Quran 17:24). And: “And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith’”.(Quran 59:10)


During their lifetime some people who can afford to do so may donate funds to construct a classroom or even a complete school; they will continue to reap the benefits after their death because of their beneficial work. One may ask what about us that cannot afford to do such works. The answer is simple, even if we had passed on beneficial knowledge and education to others, this too will be an act of charity.


I know of cases where people have donated wells or boreholes to ease the plight of those who were in desperate need of water. In Islam the blessing for this type of act is that it will continuously benefit that person even after his death.  


Hence many of the loved ones of the departed persons may do things such as this for the benefit that person. For a Muslim it is important to do whatever good is possible on behalf of the departed souls. Many will do charitable works and pray that the blessings be passed on to the departed this type of action is desirable to do on behalf of their souls. In all instances whatever we do for and on behalf of the departed we should ask the Almighty to pass on the benefits to the departed one – this is called Esale-thawaab.      


In Islam, when a person dies, those left behind will offer duas (prayers) and supplications and beseech Allah to pass the blessings on for the benefit of and on behalf of the deceased. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "The prayer of Muslim for his Muslim brother in his absence will be answered. As long as he prays for the good of his brother, there is an Angel assigned who says: Amen, and may the same be for you."


There are additional responsibilities for the departed person’s family to fulfil as soon as possible. There are those responsibilities that each Muslim has to fulfil during their lifetime, examples among them are; we are required to fast in the month of Ramadan: if we are or become eligible to do so we have to undertake the compulsory Haj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca; we have to give out our yearly Zakaat (compulsory alms giving on our wealth) and even paying the debts of the departed person. 

 
Fasting is compulsory in Islam therefore if we are aware of any fasts missed by dead persons, this may be done on their behalf by their close relatives. Had the deceased become eligible and had shown the desire to perform the Hajj we should fulfil the deceased person’s wishes by performing it on their behalf.


If we become aware that the departed has a debt unpaid, anyone may cover the debts of a dead person, whether they are relatives or not.  Furthermore, the payment of outstanding debts can benefit the dead by relieving them from some of the punishment due to them for their negligence in repaying them.


Therefore, those close to the departed are urged where possible to fulfil that person’s obligations, desires and wishes.


For those of us remaining behind it is our duty to visit whenever possible the graveyard to offer prayers for the departed souls. The importance of this is that it becomes a reminder to us that we too will join those departed souls when our time comes. This becomes a silent ‘incentive’ to change our ways in life and follow the righteous path.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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