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Respect

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

We have all grown up and were taught the basics of respect and behaviour in our interface with our parents, family, the community and the world at large. These principles are not limited to one religion, culture, race, tribe or group; they are universal in their scope and application as they encapsulate the broad element of desirable human behaviour.

In the world today, in our homes and communities there is noticeable erosion in the quintessential values system, thus, respect and etiquette, are no longer those honourable and desirable attributes.  We are deprived of what was once a noble human characteristic.

I read a line that captures and describes the essence and importance of respect in a person. ‘An Orphan is not only the one who has no parents; but it is also he who is deprived of respect, etiquette and knowledge.’ For a Muslim proper behaviour is a of our Imaan (faith), the Quran and the advices of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) cover virtually every aspect of our conduct and behaviour in our daily  life. There are certain areas of compulsory respects that we have to fulfil in some of those basic duties which summarize the universal values of Islam.

The first respect is that for our Lord and Creator, Allah.

In Islam it is an article of faith and belief that Allah is One, who has no partners to share His Divinity; and to only worship Him with all sincerity and to submit to Him in every aspect of our lives. Our belief cannot be sincere and faithful if there is not complete and unquestionable respect for our Lord and Creator. Simply put this means that all praise and worship is due to Allah alone:
 
‘And those who honour the distinguishing signs of Allah, verily it (this respect) stems from the piety of the heart’. (Quran 22:32).And: ‘Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him’. (Quran: 17:23). And ‘…do not join in worship others with Allah; for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing (Quran 31: 13). ‘…. Worship none but Allah’ (Quran 2:83).

The Bible says: ‘The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love him with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment’ (Mark 12:30).

To respect the Quran

The Book of Allah deserves great honour and respect. Among the dictates of this honour and respect is that the Qur'an should be learnt, it should be recited regularly and it should also be handled correctly. The Qur'an should always be kept, handled and be carried with respect. For a Muslim to be able to handle or touch the Quran it is necessary that we do so in a state of purification.

This means that before touching to read from it we have to be in a ‘paak’ state, i.e. we should be in a state of purity, to have performed the wudhu (ablution), which is the purification that every Muslim has to undergo before offering any of their five times daily prayers. ‘This is indeed a Quran most honourable …….. which none shall touch but those who are clean’ (Quran 56: 79).

To be Kind and respectful to our parents

While respect for elders is fast decreasing in general, shocking incidents that regularly come to light indicate that respect for parents has also fallen. ‘….And that you show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour……’ Quran 17: 23-24. The Quran uses the Arabic word ‘uff’ for contempt, this word denotes the slight degree of displeasure.  
 

For a Muslim, respect and kindness to parents is not just a social responsibility but, it is our religious duty and obligation. However this obligation is not only limited to our parents but to the elderly in society. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: ‘He who does not respect the elders amongst us and is not merciful upon the young is not one of us.’

Our parents deserve to be treated with love, kindness and compassion because not only did they bring us into this world but they also cared for us through our transition from childhood to adulthood. It is our religious obligation to reciprocate that type of love and commitment in return. ’We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents…show gratitude to Me and your parents’. (Quran 31: 14).  

The Bible is also clear about respect for parents; in the Ten Commandments the instruction is ‘honour thy father and thy mother’ and further, ‘Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord’ (Col 3:20)

Respect for the Mosque.

Another of the symbols of our respect is to honour the sanctity of the Mosque. Among the actions that we undertake before we enter the Mosque is that we should be in a state of purity: There certain states of impurity that do not allow us to enter the Mosque unless one takes a bath.

Before every prayer (Namaaz) one is also required to be in a state of Wudhu (the ablution as explained above). ‘O you who believe, when you prepare for prayer, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows; rub your heads with water and wash your feet to the ankles. If you are in a state of impurity, bathe your whole body’. (Quran 5: 6)

Worldly talk is prohibited and one should refrain from idle chit chat in the Mosque. We are also not allowed to enter the Mosque with our shoes, we have to remove them and leave them at the entrance because a Mosque is considered a consecrated and Holy ground.

Readers will recall that when Prophet Moses (pbuh) was told by Allah: ‘O Moses, verily I am your Lord, therefore in My presence remove your shoes for you are sacred valley of Tuwa’ (Quran 20:12).
Similarly, in the Bible: ‘….do not come closer, put off they shoes from thy feet, for the place thou standest on is Holy ground.’ (Exodus 3: 5)   

The above are some of the compulsory respects that we have to observe and fulfil in addition to the normal standards of behaviour that are and should be the corner stone of our interaction in our daily life.

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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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