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Going to the depths of depravity

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM


In our lives we come across so many things that show a sharp decline in morality; just looking at people’s behaviour, they do things that are ‘wrong’ yet many, us included, do so without batting an eyelid.

The serious abuse of drugs and alcohol, nudity, rape, pornography, prostitution, premarital and extra marital sex (adultery), gays and lesbians, same sex marriages, violence against women and even frighteningly against children, and all sorts of violent crime like robberies and murder, so that no one feels safe any longer.


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) predicted among his various Hadiths: ‘Divorces will be a daily occurrence’ and ‘There will be an abundance of illegitimate children’ and ‘The last hour will not be established until murder will increase’. ‘When the old have no compassions for the young, when the young show no respect to the old….when children grow angry’. And’…..meanness and greed will multiply’. And ‘There will be an abundance of critics, tale carriers, back biters and those who taunt in society’.


Sounds familiar? The world has really gone to the dogs; and who is to blame? Many will be tempted to blame our youth amongst the many factors. But the question is what have we done to provide for and to be a good example for our children?
Some parents fail to take their responsibility seriously.

They are either too busy earning a living, making money, or shed this responsibility because of indifference. It is no good lecturing our children about what they should and should not do when on the flip side we fail to do the same, ourselves. We have failed to discharge our duty as parents and elders. We failed as leaders and shepherds for our families.

Yet despite what the Quran instructs us to do we remain careless: ‘O you who believe! Save yourself and your families from the Fire of Hell’. (Quran 66: 6)

The Bible says: ‘thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children’. (Deut. 6:7)


Many adults are poor role models and must take the blame. There has been a noticeable increase in antisocial behaviour whereby adults are now the culprits for the society’s ills. We see this every day, some adults get drunk, have multiple partners, including extra-marital affairs, family strife and violence, spouse abuse, the breakdown of parental guidance and control – list is endless.


Added to that, there are a myriad of problems that society faces in this day and age. Just look at the decay in societal values that lead to family and social conflict: worse still is that there is so much family turmoil, strife, conflict and unhappiness that the home is no longer the haven of love and happiness that it once was.


There is so much meanness, greed and dishonesty in this world of ours, coupled with that is the loss of respect and love between the young and the old that has reached an all-time low; There are so many of those perennial and enduring values that were the bedrock of our societies that have been washed away so much so that many families are no longer at peace.


If we see what happens nowadays matches with what Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The Hour will come when adultery becomes widespread’ and ‘There will be a prevalence of open fornication’ and ‘The Last hour will not be established until they (wicked people) commit adultery in the public eye without shame’.


With so many divorces and broken homes our children grow up without any guidance as they are in a state of bewilderment. Even more so, look at a very common situation today, that of many couples are living together ‘out of wedlock’, as it were. To all intents and purposes this is living in sin and immorality because they live and act like a married couple without the sacred commitment of marriage.


Worse still how many young women have children out of wedlock are left literally holding the baby when the father moves on to further conquests? As a result of this state of affairs children have no ‘real’ fatherly figure that can assist with parental guidance. They grow up in an atmosphere of uncertainty, little or no role model guidance and in some cases with anger and hatred.   


Islam has a very strict code on pre-marital relations: sex before marriage is prohibited and definitely a sin.  All religions do not permit  pre-marital relations yet today’s lifestyle it is something that does not even raise an eyebrow; All religions are very clear that sex is for married couples only, and that the only other option outside of (and before) marriage is total abstinence — The Bible says:  “Flee fornication….” (1 Cor 6: 18); “….to avoid fornication let every man have his own wife” (Cor 7;1) “….that you should abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4;3)


This immoral behaviour contributes to the alarming spread in sexually related diseases including the dreaded scourge of AIDS. All this promiscuity brings with it a myriad of problems. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘When promiscuous behaviour becomes rampant in a nation, Allah will send upon them such (strange) diseases that their own ancestors never heard of.’ Let alone ancestors, a generation ago no one ever heard of or even dreamt of the dreaded scourge of AIDS that is so prevalent and taking so many lives today.


To complicate matters even more there is a much spoken of and promoted issue; that of gays; maybe they should be called sodomites, which is an appropriate and correct term for them and the demand for their so-called rights. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for that reason – read the Quran and the Bible and you will be enlightened. Lot said to them; ‘Will you not fear God? Must you, unlike [other] people, lust after males and abandon the wives that God has created for you? You are exceeding all bounds’ (Quran 26: 161-166)


The well-known singer Elton John has ‘married’ his male partner and to make matters worse they have two surrogate children. Let your mind wander a bit and think about those poor kids; how will they grow up in that environment when their young minds will be confused of having a father and father instead of father and mother. After this are we still surprised that children grow up confused and confounded?


‘Do you commit lewdness such as no people in creation ever committed……for you practise your lusts on men in preference to women; you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds’ (Quran 7: 80-81)


Similarly the Bible says: ‘If a man also lay with another man, as he would with a woman….they shall surely be put to death’ (Leviticus 20:13).


Yet we have some people shouting for individual rights for same sex couples to get married, some churches overseas even allow these ceremonies to take place. By calling for ‘gay rights’ and individual freedoms, do we want to introduce these ‘rights’ in defiance of the Commands of our Lord?


Let us join hands to ensure that we follow in the path of Righteous behaviour.

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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