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Weakness of morals or lack of faith?

Iqbal Ebrahim

‘Do those who seek after evil ways think the We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds?’ (Quran 45:21)

Surely our Faith cannot be perfect without morality because these two are inter-twinned. This column has repeatedly alluded to the fact that we seem to have misplaced our morality somewhere along the line. This translates into the uncomfortable truth that we may have also placed our religious faith ‘on hold’ too. ‘Those who reject faith after they have accepted it……..are those who have gone astray’ (Quran 3:90)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Modesty and faith are twins. One who gives up one has to lose the other too’. Here too, modesty is part and parcel of morality. Can we have religiousness without good morality? For example is it possible that a man claim to belong to Allah and yet at the same time deal in say, corruption?

This encapsulates the concept that when faith is firm and belief is strong, then strong and lasting morals will be developed, and if the moral character is low then faith will accordingly be weak. Faith is such a power and a driving force that it keeps us away from sin and evil acts, and encourages us to achieve higher morals.

Our lives must be built around faith in our Lord and Creator and follow in the path of righteousness: ‘Those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden; therein shall they abide forever’ (Quran 2:82). ‘Is there not a home in hell for those who reject faith?’ (Quran 29:68)

One wonders, where is our ‘faith’ and belief today, any sign of it? We just have to pause and look around us to witness the immoral behaviour that seems to have gripped humanity. Our communities are suffering from the curses of rape, nudity, pornography, prostitution, drugs and alcohol abuse. On the home front marriages are no longer sacred because we have adultery (extra marital affairs), children born out of wedlock, domestic violence especially against women and now increasing against children. Even more worrying is that our children are no longer safe as paedophilia is on the increase worldwide.

Today’s homes are filled with domestic violence, vulgar language, family strife, the lack of respect and a whole host of modern day ills. As a result of this homes are no longer the havens of safety, peace, tranquillity and comfort that we knew.    

There is an increase in all sorts of violent crime like robberies and murder, so that no one feels safe any longer. On a wider scale worldwide, there is so much wickedness as shown by wars, killings and all sorts of violent acts that bear testament to man’s inhumanity to man. Not only that, we have also moved away from the solid values that were embedded in our traditional and cultural upbringing that gave us a solid grounding. All these show that mankind has moved away from our true religious faith and beliefs, as a result we have lost the moral high ground.

Allah calls us towards virtue and to refrain from evil which is an essential requirement of faith in our hearts, but do we listen? “O, you who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true in word and deed (9; 119)

However, we will find people thinking themselves as good Muslims or good Christians, yet they violate the basics of their religious teachings. This relationship between faith and morality is clearly shown in the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he said: "The man who has these three habits is a hypocrite even if he observes fast, offers prayers, performs Umra (pilgrimage), and calls himself a Muslim: when he talks he speaks untruth, when he makes a promise he does not keep it, and when he is given something in trust, he commits dishonesty."

Yes we find those people who show an ‘air of piety’, offering prayers or performing certain forms of worship, but immediately after that perform certain evil deeds, or even behave rudely with the people, treat the poor and helpless people cruelly, how then can such a person be righteous?  ‘Miserable is the price they have sold their souls…..and humiliating the punishment of those who reject faith’. (Quran 2: 90).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has explained by quoting an example. He said that ‘the best moral character melts errors like water, and bad morals spoil man's record just as vinegar spoils honey’. It becomes quite clear that faith, goodness and morality are all dependent on each other, they are interconnected. Therefore the onus is upon us to build on our faith so that we can reap the benefits of the goodness that has been promised us. ‘Whoever works an act of righteousness and has faith, his endeavour will not be rejected; We shall record it in his favour’. (Quran 21: 94)

Just to show how far evil has crept into society, last week there was a headline article in the Voice which reported of a release onto social media of pornographic material showing two boys and a girl performing acts of a sexual nature. Is there no shame anymore? People who are immodest and ill-mannered and who adopt bad and sinful habits without shame cannot be on the right path. Can you imagine the harm that this has caused the parents and families of those children? Where do we draw the line between evil and good or between morals and faith?

To send out a clear message to others the authorities must act and have these kids arrested and sent to the Kgotla where they can be punished for distributing pornographic material, they should be given long community service sentences as a warning to others. They should also be sent for counselling and compulsory HIV testing. Regrettably these are the signs of the times that show that humanity is depraved and on the road to self-destruction. Even the Bible says: ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein’. (Mark 10:14-15)   

Let alone the children, but to us adults too the message that we should be echoing is that we should turn our backs on the evil ways of this world and turn to our Lord and Saviour with sincere faith, belief and action, otherwise we are on the slippery road to damnation. ‘They are on true guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper. As to those who reject faith, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe’. (Quran 2:6)

Some may not believe it but there is a Quranic verse that reads: ‘Jesus said; fear Allah if you have faith’ (Quran 5: 112).

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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

… 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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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    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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