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Satan – our avowed enemy

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

‘Verily Satan is an avowed enemy to you; so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents that they may become companions of the blazing fire.’ (Quran 35: 6)


In virtually every religion there is the belief, the basis and the concept of good and evil; what is good is Godly and Heavenly; what is evil belongs to Satan and leads one onto the path to Hell.


Evil began many eons ago, in Islam the Quran says of the time when Allah created Adam and commanded the Angels to prostrate themselves before him, they all did except Iblis (Satan): ‘It is We who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; not so Iblis (Satan); he refused to be of those who bowed down. Allah said: what prevented you from bowing down when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he, You created me from fire and him from clay’ (Quran 7: 11-12)


Following this misguided pride, Iblis (Satan) was cursed. Satan’s response was to ask Allah for reprieve till the day of resurrection. He appealed to Allah to give him a chance to mislead those who will follow in his (Satan’s) path: ‘Give me respite till the day they are raised up,…..lo! I will lie in wait for them on Your Straight Way: I will assault them from before them and from behind them’ (Quran 7:16-17).


Thereafter Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Quran relates that Adam and Even were given freedom to enjoy the good things in the Garden, except forbidden to eat of a certain tree. It is at this point that Satan whispered suggestions to them that; ‘Your Lord forbade you to eat from this tree, lest you should become Angels or such beings as live forever’. (Quran 7:20). Having succumbed to the evil temptations of Satan, they broke God’s command, thus Adam and Eve were banished to this earth.


Therefore it is clear from Satan’s promise that he sets his trap for us and assails us from every angle to divert us from the path of righteousness by leading us astray, and those who follow his ‘whisperings’ are doomed. Most of us are aware of the menace of Satan that is ceaselessly trying to derail us from the path of righteousness, thus we should be ever watchful and take steps to protect ourselves from being deceived by him.


But whilst we do so, there is unfortunately the other enemy we should guard against, that enemy is within ourselves. If we are not aware of this evil side of our soul we can become a slave to our passions. This is the big challenge and struggle for us because it is from within the mind, soul, emotion, and wishes that instigates us with many of these evil thoughts. We entertain many vain passions and desires of this world so much so that some of us are completely seduced getting carried away and provoked in spending our lives chasing those dreams.


‘The Evil one threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties. And Allah cares for all and He knows all things’. (Quran 2: 268)


For example, there is nothing wrong in working towards improving our living standards or working towards making our lives more comfortable by improving our financial status and thereby securing our future – However this seduction should not become an obsession.    


In the process of improving our worldly life many people dream of a posh home, a fancy car, the latest mobile apparatus, the fanciest television, wearing the best designer clothes and living a lavish lifestyle, but in pursuit of these desires we can become so obsessed that we can do anything to obtain them. Some of us will be willing to ‘break the bank’ as it were. ‘Men’s souls are swayed by greed…. But if you do good and practice self-restraint, Allah is well acquainted with all that you do’.  (Quran 4:128)


Most of those earthly dreams and desires can only be satisfied by having more money, this unfortunately can become a driving force in amassing more money and wealth in order to gain a ‘higher’ status in life; we start throwing out self-restraint and that is when insatiable greed can set in. Unless we check ourselves it can become an obsession and this can lead to us onto the road of cheating, lying, deception and doing all sorts of other illegal things including stealing to achieve those dreams.


Once we reach a certain status level we can start breeding the elements and attitudes of selfishness, jealousy, arrogance and evil within the realm of that greed – usually it then becomes a game of arrogance. But once arrogance sets in, apart from chasing the glitter of this world we easily get side-lined and involved in many activities that are in direct conflict with our religious beliefs and dictates.       

 
We can become pompous and begin to show off our new found status of having gone up the ladder. We begin to feel that we are above others and walk around on a cloud of superiority thinking that we are the special ones because of our status, hence worthy of broad respect. We tend to forget that respect is earned and is not a given.   


 ‘You all know that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying in rivalry among yourselves, riches and children……but what is the life of this world but goods and chattels of deception?’ (Quran 57: 20)


This is the time for us to step back and ponder on the two sides of our souls; the good and the evil. We are not born evil it is only when we allow our evil side to overcome the good that we fall into the downward spiral of evil. Almighty Allah reminds us in the Quran: By the soul and Him who perfected it in proportion and inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it. Truly he succeeds that purifies it. And he that fails that corrupts it’. (Quran 91: 7-10).


Believers should always be aware of the machinations of Satan, and should therefore train their minds to resist the evil and the corrupt onslaught of our avowed enemy. We should remember and turn to our Lord in prayer: ‘Verily, those who are pious, when an evil thought comes to them from Satan, they remember Allah, and indeed they then see aright’. (Quran 7: 201).

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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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