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John Trashes Priesthood

Benson C Saili

When the Essenes referred to the year AD 6 as the Year of Wrath, It was not a mere figure of speech.  The loss of their high priest Zechariah to the thrust of a dagger wielded by an agent of Judas of Galilee was a crushing blow. For the next 20 years, they were practically leaderless, though by no means rudderless,  as Simeon, Zechariah’s deputy, had bowed out to  pursue purely philanthropic causes untainted by political chicanery of whatever guise.  Indeed, a line in a Dead Sea Scroll dubbed the “Damascus Document” bemoans that “for 20 years we were like blind men groping for the way”.    

Yet on a somewhat optimistic note, the Essenes had given the year AD 6 another moniker – the Year of the Plant Root. This primarily referred to Jesus, a “shoot” from the Davidic “root”, who had officially been inducted into the Essene fold  at his Bar Mitzvah ceremony in AD 6. They pinned on him their hope for  a popular political messiah who would spearhead the apocalyptic war against the “Kittim” – their sneering nickname for the Roman occupiers.  Morally allied with him would be a counselor, a counterpart messiah of the House of Aaron.

The messiah of Aaron, namely John,   would be the priest who would promote Jesus to the body politic before he finally strode onto the public stage. John would be the Elijah foretold in the Old Testament through a pronouncement by the prophet Malachi that “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (MALACHI 4:5-6).  

Meanwhile, Annas, the new high priest of the Jerusalem temple, was mandated to stand in for John till he was 30 years of age. Annas, however, was content with being a symbolic high priest of the Qumran temple: all his efforts were devoted to enriching himself from the loot of both temples. When it came to providing spiritual, moral, and ecclesiastical guidance particularly at the Qumran temple, he was as detached as made no difference: he did not care a damn at all. The provisional Qumran priesthood was little more than an opportunistic feather in the cap for him.  Age was also probably a factor: he was only 26 years old when he was appointed high priest and was way short of the qualifying  priestly age of  30, meaning for at least four years or so, he did not command commensurate priestly authority at Qumran.   

Sadly for the Essenes, their cherished hope for liberation messiahs  did not crystalise. It turned out neither Jesus nor John had that much of a zest for armed revolutionarism Zealot-style. Even worse, the two messianic mascots began to work at cross purposes with one another.

The second decade of the first century was not exactly epoch-making but it was fairly eventful as   Annas ceased to be high priest, a new Roman governor was installed, and the second Caesar was crowned.  

Augustus Caesar, who had been emperor since 27 BC, passed on in August 14 AD. He was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius, who had carved himself a reputation as one of Rome’s greatest generals.

Annas had been appointed high priest of the Jerusalem temple in AD 6. Sometime in AD 15, he was deposed by Valerius Gratus, who had just assumed office that very year as Roman governor of Judea. Gratus, Pontius Pilates’s predecessor, was a hard-to-please oddball. Of the four priests who followed after Annas, only one lasted for more than a year.  This was Joseph Caiaphas, the son-in-law to Annas.  Caiaphas was appointed in AD 18 and was in office up to AD 36, making him the longest serving high priest alongside Simon Boethus under Roman rule.  It was Caiaphas and his father-in-law Annas who as members of the Jewish Supreme Court jointly heard the marathon “treason” case of Jesus in the early hours of March 20 AD 33.  

Unlike the Annas priests (that is, Annas and his son Eleazer) who had lent unequivocal weight to the messiahship of Jesus,   Caiaphas took the Boethusian view that Jesus did not qualify for the Davidic title as he had been born in sexually scandalous circumstances. As such, he promoted James as the next in line after Joseph. In AD 23, Joseph died aged 67 and Caiaphas officially recognised James as the new David. Until then, James had been known by his given name Cleopas.

At his father’s demise, he became the Jacob, which was his more familiar title as the David. And since he had been declared messiah of Israel by the religious establishment, he also assumed the name James, by which he was best known. In Aramaic, James was Iah-Mes, or Mes-Iah when reversed. Iah- Mes meant “Son of God”. All Davidic kings were addressed as Son of God as per PSALM 2:7.  That in fact was the original meaning of “Messiah”: the widely held view that it meant “anointed one” was a derivative and not primary interpretation.      

With such sagacious and sensible Essene elders such as Zechariah and Simeon no longer on the scene, James’s designation as the Davidic King de facto did have quite a resonance at Qumran and the national grapevine.  However, James, now aged 23, still privately deferred to his brother as the bona fide Davidic messiah at this stage at least. It was only in later years that he actively contended with Jesus for the title at the urging, unstintingly, of his mother Mary and not on account of personal ambition but in heed  of the sway, generally, of the politics of the day.   
In AD 23, John turned 30 years of age: remember he was born in  September 8 BC. As the Essenes’ Zadok priest, he had long been tipped to commence his priestly duties in that year. A priest, according to the Torah,  was to serve in the temple from 30 years to 50 years  of age (NUMBERS 4:3). It transpired, however, that John had decided he was not going to follow in the footsteps of his late father Zechariah and substantively assume the position of the Michael-Zadok – the high priesthood of the Qumran temple.

Instead of becoming a monastic priest hidebound by ecclesiastical ritual, he disavowed all this, opting instead  for the life of an ascetic and reclusive  Nazarite in the Judean wilds.  He had decided to be the Elijah proper. John’s actions were informed by specific Old Testament injunctions which he read as applying to himself. One of these was ISAIAH 40:3, which said, “Prepare the way of Yahweh in the desert.”  Yahweh had also announced, through the  prophet Malachi, that, “I’m sending  my messenger to prepare the way before me” (MALACHI 3:1).

Read on the surface, John’s decision comes across as self-impelled, as the  stirrings of a purposeful impulse of a wayward, non-comformist  man. But the Anunnaki undertones behind  the move are loud and plangent. In ancient Egypt was a river called Iarutana. In modern, anglicized spelling, this is … the river Jordan. It was in the river Iarutana that Anup, the Egyptian John, baptised Horus, the Egyptian Jesus.  Indeed, the gospels themselves do not say John decided to retreat into  the wilderness proper of his own accord:  they say he heard a “voice” – that of Yahweh if we are to go by Old Testament prognostications.

Today, in 2015, we know who Yahweh was. He was Enlil, the head of the Anunnaki pantheon, the Anunnaki being Aliens from a little-known planet of the Solar System called Nibiru, seen only once  in 3600 years by Earthlings. Of course in the Age of Pisces, which mathematically began in AD 1, Enlil is not in direct charge of Earthly affairs.

It is his grandson Utu-Shamash (called Abbadon in Revelation) who sits at the reins (he was not uncontested though: the Enkites, led by Enki’s eldest son Marduk, challenge him to this day as the Age of Pisces was contractually one of those in which they were to exercise  hegemony as per the compact between the two ever-feuding clans). John’s move, therefore, was not voluntary  as such: it was a prompting – a setup.

From a purely mundane point of view, however, John’s course of action followed the pace the Essenes themselves had set. About 200 years before, some ranks of disaffected Jews had read the same Isaiah scripture and made a kind of  “Great Trek” from mainstream society to sequester themselves in the Judean wilderness at a settlement by the Dead Sea called Qumran, where they embarked on writing what have come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In the Community Rule, their foundational document, they state that they had “separated from the habitation of unjust men”  with a view to “prepare in the wilderness the Way… This is the time for the preparation of the Way in the wilderness”. They in future would become best known as Essenes but initially they did not call themselves that:  they referred to themselves as “The Way”, that is people who were paving the morally and spiritually upright way for God’s imminent direct rule of Earth. That must ring a bell, or doesn’t it?

Early Christians called themselves “Followers of the Way” (ACTS 19:20) and Jesus said ,“I am the way, the truth, and the life” (JOHN 14:6). All this is unequivocal enough evidence that Jesus, John, and the entire Christian movement were forged in the Essene crucible. A mature John, however, had now decided his concept of preparing for the Way did not exactly dovetail with that of the monastic Essenes.

Whilst the Qumran Essenes pretty much kept to themselves and did not proselytize, John had decided on a strategy of  reach-out. He wanted to actively minister to the nation of  Israel by clarion call so he could effectually get the message across to them and the only the only he could do this was to set up his own base well beyond the orbit of the Qumran establishment.    

The exact place in the Judean desert John chose as his hermitical perch was where the Jordan River flowed into the Dead Sea. This is 429 metres below sea level, the lowest inland spot on Earth. Called the Aravah, it was not totally barren desert: it was a valley with scattered stands of savannah vegetation in a general terrain of  colouful cliffs and sharp-topped mountains. There, John, with a handful of disciples who included Simon Peter and Andrew began life as a Nazarite and the new Elijah. This was his southern redoubt.

A Nazarite (very different from “Nazarene”) was a Jew who had taken a special vow of separation from society in line with NUMBERS 6. Accordingly therefore, he let his hair and beard grow long Rasta-style, abstained from liquor, and wore a rough camel’s hair garment with a leather belt. Nazarites did marry, examples of whom where Samson and James the brother of Jesus, but John took the institution to another level: he never married and never pursued a trade. His aversion  to an intimate relationship with women was almost certainly inherited from his father, who had to be bidden – if not browbeaten – to consummate his marriage and produce a heir.     

In addition to a southern, Judean lair,  John had a northern lair just within sniffing distance of Galilee. This was just south of the Sea of Galilee at a place called Aenon near the settlement of Salim. This was a strategic location for two reasons in the many. First, it was associated with the prophet Elijah, whose birthplace, Tishbe,  was just across the Jordan River to the east along a brook called Wadi Cherith. Wadi Cherith is the area around which Elijah hid from Ahab and his wicked queen Jezebel and was fed by ravens. But just as important, the spot John chose lay at the intersection of the Valley of Jezreel and the Jordan River.

This was the route the Galilean pilgrims used in travelling south to Judea for annual  festivals such as  the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles. Thus John literally stood at the crossroads of a national thoroughfare  where  a captive audience for his apocalyptic sermons every now and again  processed.

Yet John did not begin to court the public straightaway. He waited for three years before he stepped into the public spotlight. This was not by mere happenstance: it was purposeful. He had a schedule based on the messianic timetable of the prophet Daniel. In working to this schedule, he was partnered by one of his cousins, a dynastic one like he was.
This was Jesus.  


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10th February 2023

Speaking at a mental health breakfast seminar last week I emphasised to the HR managerial audience that you cannot yoga your way out of a toxic work culture. What I meant by that was that as HR practitioners we must avoid tending to look at the soft options to address mental health issues, distractions such as yoga and meditation. That’s like looking for your lost bunch of keys, then opening the front door with the spare under the mat.  You’ve solved the immediate problem, but all the other keys are still missing.   Don’t get me wrong; mindfulness practices, yoga exercise and taking time to smell the roses all have their place in mental wellness but it’s a bit like hacking away at the blight-ridden leaves of the tree instead of getting to the root cause of the problem.

Another point I stressed was that mental health at work shouldn’t be looked at from the individual lens – yet that’s what we do. We have counselling of employees, wellness webinars or talks but if you really want to sort out the mental health crisis that we face in our organisations you HAVE to view this more systemically and that means looking at the system and that starts with the leaders and managers.

Now. shining a light on management may not be welcomed by many. But leaders control the flow of work and set the goals and expectations that others need to live up to. Unrealistic expectations, excessive workloads and tight deadlines increase stress and force people to work longer hours … some of the things which contribute to poor mental health. Actually, we know from research exactly what contributes to a poor working environment – discrimination and inequality, excessive workloads, low job control and job insecurity – all of which pose a risk to mental health. The list goes on and is pretty exhaustive but here are the major ones: under-use of skills or being under-skilled for work; excessive workloads or work pace, understaffing; long, unsocial or inflexible hours; lack of control over job design or workload; organizational culture that enables negative behaviours; limited support from colleagues or authoritarian supervision; discrimination and exclusion; unclear job role; under- or over-promotion; job insecurity.

And to my point no amount of yoga is going to change that.

We can use the word ‘toxic’ to describe dysfunctional work environments and if our workplaces are toxic we have to look at the people who set the tone. Harder et al. (2014) define a toxic work environment as an environment that negatively impacts the viability of an organization. They specify: “It is reasonable to conclude that an organization can be considered toxic if it is ineffective as well as destructive to its employees”.

Micromanagement and/or failure to reward or recognize performance are the most obvious signs of toxic managers. These managers can be controlling, inflexible, rigid,  close-minded, and lacking in self-awareness. And let’s face it managers like those I have just described are plentiful. Generally, however there is often a failure by higher management to address toxic leaders when they are considered to be high performing. This kind of situation can be one of the leading causes of unhappiness in teams. I have coached countless employees who talk about managers with bullying ways which everyone knows about, yet action is never taken. It’s problematic when we overlook unhealthy dynamics and behaviours  because of high productivity or talent as it sends a clear message that the behaviour is acceptable and that others on the team will not be supported by leadership.

And how is the HR Manager viewed when they raise the unacceptable behaviour with the CEO – they are accused of not being a team player, looking for problems or failing to understand business dynamics and the need to get things done.  Toxic management is a systemic problem caused when companies create cultures around high-performance and metrics vs. long-term, sustainable, healthy growth. In such instances the day-to-day dysfunction is often ignored for the sake of speed and output. While short-term gains are rewarded, executives fail to see the long-term impact of protecting a toxic, but high-performing, team or employee. Beyond this, managers promote unhealthy workplace behaviour when they recognize and reward high performers for going above and beyond, even when that means rewarding the road to burnout by praising a lack of professional boundaries (like working during their vacation and after hours).

The challenge for HR Managers is getting managers to be honest with themselves and their teams about the current work environment. Honesty is difficult, I’m afraid, especially with leaders who are overly sensitive, emotional, or cannot set healthy boundaries. But here’s the rub – no growth or change can occur if denial and defensiveness are used to protect egos.  Being honest about these issues helps garner trust among employees, who already know the truth about what day-to-day dynamics are like at work. They will likely be grateful that cultural issues will finally be addressed. Conversely, if they aren’t addressed, retention failure is the cost of protecting egos of those in management.

Toxic workplace culture comes at a huge price: even before the Great Resignation, turnover related to toxic workplaces cost US employers almost $50 billion yearly! I wonder what it’s costing us here.


We can use the word ‘toxic’ to describe dysfunctional work environments and if our workplaces are toxic we have to look at the people who set the tone. Harder et al. (2014) define a toxic work environment as an environment that negatively impacts the viability of an organization. They specify: “It is reasonable to conclude that an organization can be considered toxic if it is ineffective as well as destructive to its employees”.

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Heartache for Kelly Fisher

9th February 2023

o date, Princess Diana, General Atiku, had destroyed one marriage, come close to ruining another one in the offing, and now was poised to wreck yet another marriage that was already in the making. This was between Dodi Fayed and the American model Kelly Fisher.

If there was one common denominator about Diana and Dodi besides their having been born with a silver spoon in their mouths, General, it was that both were divorcees. Dodi’s matrimonial saga, however, was less problematic and acrimonious and lasted an infinitesimal 8 months. This was with yet another American model and film actress going by the name Susanne Gregard.

Dodi met Susanne in 1986, when she was only 26 years old. Like most glamourous women, she proved not to be that easy a catch and to readily incline her towards positively and expeditiously responding to his rather gallant advances, Dodi booked her as a model for the Fayed’s London  mega store Harrods, where he had her travel every weekend by Concorde.  They married at a rather private ceremony at Dodi’s Colorado residence in 1987 on New Year’s Day, without the blessings, bizarrely, of his all-powerful  father.  By September the same year, the marriage was, for reasons that were not publicised but likely due to the fact that his father had not sanctioned it,  kaput.

It would take ten more years for Dodi to propose marriage to another woman, who happened to be Kelly Fisher this time around.




Kelly and Dodi, General, met in Paris in July 1996, when Kelly was only 29 years old. In a sort of whirlwind romance, the duo fell in love, becoming a concretised item in December and formally getting  engaged in February 1997.

Of course the relationship was not only about mutual love: the material element was a significant, if not vital, factor.  Kelly was to give up her modelling  job just  so she could spend a lot more time with  the new man in her life and for that she was to be handed out a compensatory reward amounting to   $500,000. The engagement ring for one, which was a diamond and sapphire affair, set back Dodi in the order of    $230,000. Once they had wedded, on August 9 that very year as per plan, they were to live in a $7 million 5-acre  Malibu Beach mansion in California, which Dodi’s father had bought him for that and an entrepreneurial purpose.  They were already even talking about embarking on making a family from the get-go: according to Kelly, Dodi wanted two boys at the very least.

Kelly naturally had the unambiguous blessings of her father-in-law as there was utterly nothing Dodi could do without the green light from the old man. When Mohamed Al Fayed was contemplating buying the Jonikal, the luxurious yacht, he invited Dodi and Kelly to inspect it too and hear their take  on it.

If there was a tell-tale red flag about Dodi ab initio, General, it had to do with a $200,000 cheque he issued to Kelly as part payment of the pledged $500,000 and which was dishonoured by the bank. Throughout their 13-month-long romance, Dodi made good on only $60,000 of the promised sum.  But love, as they say, General, is blind and Kelly did not care a jot about her beau’s financial indiscretions. It was enough that he was potentially a very wealthy man anyway being heir to his father’s humongous fortune.


                                              KELLY CONSIGNED TO “BOAT CAGE”                 


In that summer of the year 1997, General, Dodi and Kelly were to while away quality time  on the French Rivierra as well as the Jonikal after Paris. Then Dodi’s dad weighed in and put a damper on this prospect in a telephone call to Dodi on July 14. “Dodi said he was going to London and he’d be back and then we were going to San Tropez,” Kelly told the interviewer in a later TV programme.  “That evening he didn’t call me and I finally got him on his portable phone. I said, ‘Dodi where are you?’ and he said he was in London. I said, ‘Ok, I’ll call you right back at your apartment’. He said, ‘No, no, don’t call me back’. So I said, ‘Dodi where are you?’ and he admitted he was in the south of France. His father had asked him to come down and not bring me, I know now.”

Since Dodi could no longer hide from Kelly and she on her part just could not desist from badgering him, he had no option but to dispatch a private Fayed  jet to pick her up so that she join him forthwith in St. Tropez.  This was on July 16.

Arriving in St. Tropez, Kelly, General, did not lodge at the Fayed’s seaside villa as was her expectation but was somewhat stashed in the Fayed’s maritime fleet, first in the Sakara, and later in the Cujo, which was moored only yards from the Fayed villa. It was in the Cujo Kelly  spent the next two nights with Dodi.  “She (Kelly) felt there was something strange going on as Dodi spent large parts of the day at the family’s villa, Castel St. Helene, but asked her to stay on the boat,” writes Martyn Gregory in The Diana Conspiracy Exposed. “Dodi was sleeping with Kelly at night and was courting Diana by day. His deception was assisted by Kelly Fisher’s modelling assignment on 18-20 July in Nice. The Fayed’s were happy to lend her the Cujo and its crew for three days to take her there.”

Dodi’s behaviour clearly was curious, General. “Dodi would say, ‘I’m going to the house and I’ll be back in half an hour’,” Kelly told Gregory. “And he’d come back three or four hours later. I was furious. I’m sitting on the boat, stuck. And he was having lunch with everyone. So he had me in my little boat cage, and I now know he was seducing Diana. So he had me, and then he would go and try and seduce her, and then he’d come back the next day and it would happen again. I was livid by this point, and I just didn’t understand what was going on. When he was with me, he was so wonderful. He said he loved me, and we talked to my mother, and we were talking about moving into the house in California.”

But as is typical of the rather romantically gullible  tenderer sex, General, Kelly rationalised her man’s stratagems. “I just thought they maybe didn’t want a commoner around the Princess … Dodi kept leaving me behind with the excuse that the Princess didn’t like to meet new people.” During one of those nights, General, Dodi even had unprotected sexual relations with Kelly whilst cooing in her ear that, “I love you so  much and I want you to have my baby.”




On July 20, General, Diana returned to England and it was only then that Dodi allowed Kelly to come aboard the Jonikal.  According to Debbie Gribble, who was the Jonikal’s chief  stewardess, Kelly was kind of grumpy. “I had no idea at the time who she was,  but I felt she acted very spoiled,” she says in Trevor Rees-Jones’ The Bodyguard’s Story. “I remember vividly that she snapped, ‘I want to eat right now. I don’t want a drink, I just want to eat now’. It was quite obvious that she was upset, angry or annoyed about something.”

Kelly’s irascible manner of course was understandable, General,  given the games Dodi had been playing with her since she pitched up in St. Tropez. Granted, what happened to Kelly was very much antithetical to Dodi’s typically well-mannered nature, but the fact of the matter was that she simply was peripheral to the larger agenda, of which Dodi’s father was the one calling the shots.

On July 23, Dodi and Kelly flew to Paris, where they parted as Kelly had some engagements lined up in Los Angeles. Dodi promised to join her there on August 4 to celebrate with her her parents’ marriage anniversary.  Dodi, however, General, did not make good on his promise: though he did candidly own up to the fact that he was at that point in time again with Diana, he also fibbed that he was not alone with her but was partying with her along with Elton John and George Michael. But in a August 6 phone call, he did undertake to Kelly that he would be joining her    in LA in a few days’ time. In the event, anyway, General, Kelly continued to ready herself for her big day, which was slated for August 9 – until she saw “The Kiss”.




“The Kiss”, General, first featured in London’s Sunday Mirror on August 10 under that very headline. In truth, General, it was not a definitive, point-blank kiss: it was a fuzzy image of Diana and Dodi embracing on the Jonikal. A friend of Kelly faxed her the newspaper pictures in the middle of the night and Kelly was at once  stunned and convulsed with rage.

But although Kelly was shocked, General, she was not exactly surprised as two or three days prior, British tabloids had already begun rhapsodising on a brewing love affair between Dodi and Diana. That day, Kelly had picked up a phone to demand an immediate explanation from her fiancé. “I started calling him in London because at this time I was expecting his arrival in a day. I called his private line, but there was no answer. So then I called the secretary and asked to speak to him she wouldn’t put me on. So Mohamed got on and in so many horrible words told me to never call back again. I said, ‘He’s my fiancé, what are you talking about?’ He hung up on me and I called back and the secretary said don’t ever call here again, your calls are no longer to be put through. It was so horrible.”

Kelly did at long last manage to reach Dodi but he was quick to protest that, “I can’t talk to you on the phone. I will talk to you in LA.” Perhaps Dodi, General, just at that stage was unable to  muster sufficient  Dutch courage to thrash out the matter with Kelly but a more credible reason he would not talk had to do with his father’s obsessive bugging of every communication device Dodi used and every inch of every property he owned.  The following is what David Icke has to say on the subject in his iconic book The Biggest Secret:

“Ironically, Diana used to have Kensington Palace swept for listening devices and now she was in the clutches of a man for whom bugging was an obsession. The Al Fayed villa in San Tropez was bugged, as were all Fayed properties. Everything Diana said could be heard. Bob Loftus, the former Head of Security at Harrods, said that the bugging there was ‘a very extensive operation’ and was also always under the direction of Al Fayed. Henry Porter, the London Editor of the magazine Vanity Fair, had spent two years investigating Al Fayed and he said they came across his almost obsessive use of eavesdropping devices to tape telephone calls, bug rooms, and film people.”

Through mutual friends, General, Porter warned Diana about Al Fayed’s background and activities ‘because we thought this was quite dangerous for her for obvious reasons’ but Diana apparently felt she could handle it and although she knew Al Fayed could ‘sometimes be a rogue’, he was no threat to her, she thought. “He is rather more than a rogue and rather more often than ‘sometimes,” she apparently told friends. “I know he’s naughty, but that’s all.” The TV programme  Dispatches said they had written evidence that Al Fayed bugged the Ritz Hotel and given his background and the deals that are hatched at the Ritz, it would be uncharacteristic if he did not. Kelly Fisher said that the whole time she was on Fayed property, she just assumed everything was bugged. It was known, she said, and Dodi had told her the bugging was so pervasive.




To his credit, General, Dodi was sufficiently concerned about what had transpired in St. Tropez to fly to LA and do his utmost to appease Kelly but Kelly simply was not interested as to her it was obvious enough that Diana was the new woman in his life.

On August 14, Kelly held a press conference in LA, where she announced that she was taking legal action against Dodi for breach of matrimonial contract. Her asking compensation price was £340,000. Of course the suit, General, lapsed automatically with the demise of Dodi in that Paris underpass on August 31, 1997.

Although Kelly did produce evidence of her engagement to Dodi in the form of a pricey and spectacular engagement ring, General, Mohamed Al Fayed was adamant that she never was engaged to his son and that she was no more than a gold digger.

But it is all water under the bridge now, General: Kelly is happily married to a pilot and the couple has a daughter. Her hubby  may not be half as rich as Dodi potentially was but she is fully fulfilled anyway. Happiness, General, comes in all shades and does not necessarily stem from a colossal bank balance or other such trappings of affluence.

Pic Cap

THE SHORT-LIVED TRIANGLE: For about a month or so, Dodi Al Fayed juggled Princess Diana and American model Kelly Fisher, who sported Dodi’s engagement ring.  Of course one of the two had to give and naturally it could not be Diana, who entered the lists in the eleventh hour but was the more precious by virtue of her royal pedigree and surpassing international stature.


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EXTRAVAGANCE One of The Scourges in Society.

9th February 2023

Extravagance in recent times has moved from being the practice of some rich and wealthy people of society in general and has regrettably, filtered to all levels of the society. Some of those who have the means are reckless and flaunt their wealth, and consequently, those of us who do not, borrow money to squander it in order to meet their families’ wants of luxuries and unnecessary items. Unfortunately this is a characteristic of human nature.

Adding to those feelings of inadequacy we have countless commercials to whet the consumer’s appetite/desire to buy whatever is advertised, and make him believe that if he does not have those products he will be unhappy, ineffective, worthless and out of tune with the fashion and trend of the times. This practice has reached a stage where many a bread winner resorts to taking loans (from cash loans or banks) with high rates of interest, putting himself in unnecessary debt to buy among other things, furniture, means of transport, dress, food and fancy accommodation, – just to win peoples’ admiration.

Islam and most religions discourage their followers towards wanton consumption. They encourage them to live a life of moderation and to dispense with luxury items so they will not be enslaved by them. Many people today blindly and irresponsibly abandon themselves to excesses and the squandering of wealth in order to ‘keep up with the Joneses’.

The Qur’aan makes it clear that allowing free rein to extravagance and exceeding the limits of moderation is an inherent characteristic in man. Allah says, “If Allah were to enlarge the provision for his servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds.” [Holy Qur’aan 42:  27]


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Observe the middle course whereby you will attain your objective (that is paradise).” –  Moderation is the opposite of extravagance.

Every individual is meant to earn in a dignified manner and then spend in a very wise and careful manner. One should never try to impress upon others by living beyond one’s means. Extravagance is forbidden in Islam, Allah says, “Do not be extravagant; surely He does not love those who are extravagant!” [Holy Qur’aan 7: 31]

The Qur’aan regards wasteful buying of food, extravagant eating that sometimes leads to throwing away of leftovers as absolutely forbidden. Allah says, “Eat of the fruits in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. And waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” [Holy Qur’aan 6:  141]

Demonstrating wastefulness in dress, means of transport, furniture and any other thing is also forbidden. Allah says, “O children of Adam! Wear your apparel of adornment at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but do not be extravagant; surely He does not love those who are extravagant!” [Holy Qur’aan 7:  31]

Yet extravagance and the squandering of wealth continue to grow in society, while there are many helpless and deprived peoples who have no food or shelter. Just look around you here in Botswana.

Have you noticed how people squander their wealth on ‘must have’ things like designer label clothes, fancy brand whiskey, fancy top of the range cars, fancy society parties or even costly weddings, just to make a statement? How can we prevent the squandering of such wealth?

How can one go on spending in a reckless manner possibly even on things that have been made forbidden while witnessing the suffering of fellow humans whereby thousands of people starve to death each year. Islam has not forbidden a person to acquire wealth, make it grow and make use of it. In fact Islam encourages one to do so. It is resorting to forbidden ways to acquiring and of squandering that wealth that Islam has clearly declared forbidden. On the Day of Judgment every individual will be asked about his wealth, where he obtained it and how he spent it.

In fact, those who do not have any conscience about their wasteful habits may one day be subjected to Allah’s punishment that may deprive them of such wealth overnight and impoverish them. Many a family has been brought to the brink of poverty after leading a life of affluence. Similarly, many nations have lived a life  of extravagance and their people indulged in such excesses only to be later inflicted by trials and tribulations to such a point that they wished they would only have a little of what they used to possess!

With the festive season and the new year holidays having passed us, for many of us meant ‘one’ thing – spend, spend, spend. With the festivities and the celebrations over only then will the reality set in for many of us that we have overspent, deep in debt with nothing to show for it and that the following months are going to be challenging ones.

Therefore, we should not exceed the bounds when Almighty bestows His bounties upon us. Rather we should show gratefulness to Him by using His bestowments and favours in ways that prove our total obedience to Him and by observing moderation in spending. For this will be better for us in this life and the hereafter.

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