The region of space in which we dwell is known as the Solar System. It is a family comprising of the Sun and nine planets. The planets are in two categories. Those closest to the Sun are known as the inner planets. The furtherest are known as the outer planets.
The inner planets are, in order of their orbital positions, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The outer planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Of course Pluto was in 2006 stripped of its status as a planet but that was sacrilegious: the ancients, who had a better grasp of cosmology than we do today, trust me, called it a planet. That’s what we too ought to.
The Sun and its 9 planets – the familiar version – are called the Solar System (or Sun System) after the Sun itself. “Sol” is the Sun’s astronomical name. Sun Systems are frequently forming in the universe. Our Sun System was formed about 5 billion years ago. That makes it a young, middle-age system. In 2010, a group of NASA astronomers discovered a newly formed star, as suns are also known, in the Perseus region of the universe, about 800 light years away from the
Milky Way Galaxy. They called it L1448 IRS 2E.
However, the 9 planets are what we can call native planets in that they are direct offspring of the Sun. For the fact of the matter is that there is actually a 10th planet in our Solar System. This planet is an immigrant from some other region of our cosmic neighborhood. It joined the Solar System fold 4 billion years ago. Among the UFO community, it is best known as Planet X. The Sumerians, however, called it Nibiru. They also referred to it as “The Imperishable Star”. The Babylonians referred to it as Marduk. The Egyptians called it “The Planet of a Million Years”. In the Bible, it goes by several names – Olam, The Star of Jacob, and most notably “The Lord”. Christians do not know how often the term “Lord” in the Old Testament actually refers to Nibiru. Even our own African cousins, the Zulus, knew about Nibiru. The legendary Zulu Shaman, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, says they called it “Mushoshonono”.
The Old Testament for one is replete with overt and covert references to Nibiru. The great Jewish Rabbi Gamaliel, a contemporary of Jesus who also trained the apostle Paul, made tell-tale hints about it. Even the iconic scientist Isaac Newton was familiar with its existence and this was four centuries before the Hubble Telescope was invented. And at least three to five Earth-born humans have been to it, some even settling there permanently!
What is ironic is that although NASA knows about Nibiru, they have never directly come to acknowledge its existence. Hints have been given all right but they have not been matter-of-fact. Some of the hints have in fact been withdrawn the day after being made. Why have official astronomers chosen to keep the existence of the planet under wraps? THE SITCHIN ILLUMINATION
The planet Nibiru has existed since days immemorial and is older than the Sun. In our day, the foremost illuminator on the planet’s existence no doubt has been my departed friend Zechariah Sitchin. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for the pioneering works of the Azerbaijan-born Israeli Sitchin, yours and my knowledge of Nibiru would be greatly diminished. In fact, it would border on zero. Sitchin, who was only one of a handful of experts in the ancient language of Sumer, devoted practically all his adult life to the study of myriads of Sumerian tablets. In these millennia-old clay tablets is etched the saga of the Anunnaki – the Nibiruian spacefarers who created us.
In 1976, Sitchin published a book titled The 12th Planet, the first in a slew of more than a dozen that were to follow. In it, he made the case that contrary to popular belief, the Solar System was not a family of only nine planets. There was a tenth planet called Nibiru. Nibiru, Sitchin declared, was not a lifeless planet. It was an inhabited planet, and its inhabitants were a race of technologically advanced human-like beings the Sumerians, the world’s first-known civilisation that thrived in modern-day Iraq 6000 years ago, called the Anunnaki and who fashioned mankind here on Earth about 300,000 years ago. It is these same Anunnaki who the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) for the most part addresses as “God” – Jehovah or Yahweh.
Now, if such a planet indeed did exist, why hadn’t 20th century cosmology detected it? Anticipating such a question, Sitchin pointed out the reason why, which had to do with its elongated, comet-like orbit that sent it much deeper into outer space for the greater part of its around-the-Sun journey. Nibiru, wrote Sitchin, took 3,600 years to make one complete revolution around the Sun. In other words, one year on Nibiru – which the Sumerians termed a shar – was equivalent to 3,600 years on earth. Taking the average lifespan on earth as 100 years, it meant Nibiru could be seen only once in 360 generations.
Nibiru, Sitchin continued, had further peculiarities beyond an elongated orbit (as opposed to a generally circular one that typified all the other planets in the Solar System). It revolved around the Sun clockwise – like a comet – when the other planets save for Pluto did so anticlockwise. Further, Nibiru generated its own heat through brisk volcanic activity to compensate for its bleak weather conditions: it, for the greater part of its circuit, languished in the cold and pitch darkness such was its distance from the Sun. .
Sitchin went on to assert that although he was arguably the first to outrightly point the modern world to Nibiru’s existence, he wasn’t its discoverer: the planet was well-known by the Sumerians of 6,000 years ago. They wrote about it, depicted it, sang and recited venerational poetry in its honour, generally revered and extolled it. Modern cosmology was way behind that of the Sumerians of yore. The likes of NASA, with their superfluously educated cadre of rocket scientists and their outsized IQs, had precious much to learn from the Sumerians. The 12th Planet was a bold statement indeed.
Although Sitchin’s book overnight shot to the acmes of the international best seller list, the scientific community received it dismissively and even contemptuously. Charges flew thick and fast that his was a shot in the dark, that as a mere researcher and not a trained astronomer or cosmologist Sitchin had no business poking his lay nose in a territory way beyond his ken. Even his acknowledged mastery of the Sumerian language now became the butt of unbridled vitriol. But was Sitchin as black as he was being painted? Was he nothing more than a cheap sensationalist whose only agenda was to make a quick buck, to reap where he did not at all sow?
It turned out that unbeknown to most of the world, America’s scientific establishment had been searching for the tenth planet from as early as 1968. In that year, the National Security Agency (NSA) in a study of UFO phenomena pondered the possibility and aftermath of “a confrontation between a technologically advanced extraterrestrial society and an inferior one on Earth”, that is, us, to put it more bluntly. Would we stand a chance? Maybe it was time Earthlings launched a quest for just such a society lest we be taken unawares and dealt a preemptive, crushing blow. The starting point was south of the furthermost planets, Neptune and Pluto.
The sought-after planet was dubbed “Planet X”, which epithet at once denoted its mysterious nature and its status, potentially, as the Solar System’s tenth planet. But why did Zechariah Sitchin call it the 12th planet? Well, Sitchin termed it as such in deference to the Sumerians. In the Sumerian cosmogony, there were ten literal planets and two putative planets. The ten planets were the nine we know today plus Nibiru. The putative planets were the Sun and the moon. The Sumerians knew the Sun was the Solar System’s parent star and the moon was simply a satellite of planet Earth. But they banded the two with the ten planets because of the cosmic eminence of the number 12 (which eminence we will explore in future). Hence, Sitchin’s preference for the term “12th Planet”.
Now, are you getting the photo folks? The Sumerians knew, 6,000 years ago – before astronomy’s greatest luminaries like Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler were born – that our Solar System comprised of ten planets. Modern man actually only came to know about the nine planets gradually. Whereas Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been known since no-one-knows-when (they can be seen with the naked eye as guises of big bright stars), Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930. Yet the Sumerians had knowledge of all the nine planets plus an extra one – Nibiru. Where did they get the knowledge from, the knowledge that even today we are yet to master in its fullness?
“We learnt all we know from the Anunnaki,” the Sumerians repeatedly and emphatically stated in the treasure trove of their clay tablets and cylinder seals. The popular meaning of the term “Anunnaki” is, “Those Who From Heaven to Earth Came”. We will stick to this version for now. So what the Sumerians were saying was that they learnt all they knew from people who came from “Heaven”, people they called their gods. By “Heaven”, they did not mean the spiritual dwelling place of God, the First Source: that is a modern interpretation. To the ancients, Heaven was any place in outer space that housed their “gods” or “Goddess”, that is, the Anunnaki or the Orion Queen. In the main, Heaven was the Orion star system, the Sirius star system, and the planet Nibiru. Nibiru means “The Planet of the Crossing”. Why they called it so we will explain in due course.
THE SEARCH FOR PLANET X
Planetary bodies exert a force on each other called perturbation. Perturbation largely arises from the gravitational effect of one planetary body (such as Jupiter) on the other (such as Saturn). When the perturbation is much pronounced, it results in making the path of the neighbouring planets more erratic than steady. In other words, the planets will from time to time veer from their regular orbit.
Astronomers have used the phenomenon of perturbation to detect the existence of another planet hitherto unknown. For instance, Neptune was discovered because of perturbations in the orbit of Uranus, and Pluto’s existence had long been suspected because of the perturbations in the orbits both of Neptune and Uranus. But when Pluto was discovered in 1930, it turned out to be too small to cause marked disturbances in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. The orbits of Uranus and Neptune are the most irregular in the Solar System. The two planets from time to time actually cross each other’s paths. So astronomers wondered thus: if Pluto was not responsible for perturbations in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus, what alternative force was?
It was not until 1972 that astronomers came up with a definitive hypothesis. In that year, Joseph L Brady of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California discovered as he worked on the anticipated trajectory of Halley’s Comet that the comet, which is seen only once in 75 years (it last appeared in 1986) had a perturbed orbit. This and the perturbations in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus led him to suggest, by mathematical computations, the existence of one more planet beyond Pluto. The planet was designated “Planet X” to denote both its unknown status and its tenth position in the Solar System. The search for Nibiru had in earnest begun.
In 1979, the US Naval Observatory’s two scientists Robert Harrington and Thomas Van Flandern joined in the search for Planet X, and in June 1982 NASA came on board too. NASA’s statement on June 17 1982 said: “Persistent irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune strongly suggest that some kind of mystery object is really there – far beyond the outermost planets”. NASA said it would use the infrastructure of the Pioneer spacecraft, which had been in orbit since 1958, to look for Planet X. In September of the same year, the US Naval Observatory announced that they were seriously pursuing the search for Planet X, with Dr. Harrington saying according to their observations, Planet X was “moving much more slowly than any of the planets that we know”. In other words, the planet had already been located. Meanwhile, Russia had silently joined the search: its cosmonauts aboard the Salyut space station were busy scanning the skies for the mysterious planet. NASA’s Pioneer-based search for Planet X was to be augmented by the all-sky searching Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). IRAS was to trace Planet X by sensing the heat it had lost to space in the form of infrared radiation.
A joint US-British-Dutch venture, IRAS was launched into orbit 896 km above the Earth at the end of January 1983. It was equipped to sense a planet the size of Jupiter at a distance 277 times that of the Earth from the Sun, or 277 Astronomical Units (AU).
On January 30, 1983, The New York Times, quoting Ray Reynolds of the Ames Research Centre, reported that “astronomers are so sure of the 10th planet that they think there’s nothing left but to name it”. The bold astronomers (the official response from NASA was still that no tenth planet had been found) characterised Planet X thus: it was the size of the planet Neptune; it had an elongated, not a circular orbit; and that it moved in a retrograde orbit, that is, clockwise, not anticlockwise as the other planets did. Now, that is exactly the way the Sumerian clay tablets described Nibiru 6,000 years ago!
Meanwhile, US papers were in January 1983 agog with the discovery of Planet X. Here is a sample of the front page headlines: Mystery Body Found in Space; Heavenly Body Poses a Cosmic Riddle to Astronomers; At Solar System’s Edge, Giant Object is Mystery; Giant Object Mystifies Astronomers. The opening paragraphs of The Washington Post read thus: “A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this Solar System has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope called IRAS … When IRAS scientists first saw the mystery body and calculated that it could be as close as 50 billion miles (80 billion kilometres) there was some speculation that it might be moving toward Earth.”
Zechariah Sitchin, who in The 12th Planet had persuasively put forward the case for the existence of the 10th planet was waltzing on cloud nine. His phone rang non-stop as friends, fans and admirers tripped over each other to congratulate him. On January 30, 1983, Sitchin wrote the following letter to the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California:
“In view of very recent reports in the press concerning the intensified search for the 10th planet, I am forwarding you copies of my exchanges on the subject with Dr. D. Anderson. According to The New York Times of this Sunday (see enclosure), ‘astronomers are so sure of the 10th planet they think there’s nothing left but to name it’. Well, the ancients had already named it: Nibiru in Sumerian, Marduk in Babylonian; and I believe I have the right to insist that it so be called.”
Sitchin never received a reply. The rocket scientists, with their surfeit of grey matter, would never come to admit that lay, ordinary men 6,000 years removed knew something that they, the best brains of the modern world, were just beginning to grapple with now. This Earth, My brother …
Villagers in the eastern Okavango region are now using an alert system which warns them when collared lions approach livestock areas. The new technology is now regarded as a panacea to the human/wildlife conflict in the area as it has reduced mass poisoning and killing of lions by farmers.
The technology is being implemented by an NGO, Community Living Among Wildlife Sustainably (CLAWS) within the five villages of Seronga, Gunutsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa in the eastern part of the Okavango delta.
A Carnivore Ecologist from CLAWS, Dr Andrew Stein explained that around 2013, villagers in the eastern Okavango were having significant problems with losses of their cattle to predators specifically lions, so the villagers resorted to using poison and shooting the lions in order to reduce their numbers.
He highlighted that as a form of progressive intervention, they designed a programme to reduce the conflicts and promote coexistence. Another component of the programme is communal herding, introduced in 2018 to reduce the conflict by increasing efficiency whereby certified herders monitor livestock health and protect them from predators, allowing community members to engage in other livelihood activities knowing that their livestock are safe.
They are now two herds with 600 and 230 cattle respectively with plan to expand the programme to other neighbouring villages. Currently the programme is being piloted in Eretsha, one of the areas with most conflict incidences per year.
Dr Stein explained that they have developed the first of its kind alert system whereby when the lions get within three or five kilometers of a cattllepost or a homestead upon the five villages, then it will release an alert system going directly to the cellphones of individuals living within the affected area or community.
‘So, if a colored lion gets to about five kilometers of Eretsha village or any villagers in the Eretsha that has signed up for, the system will receive an SMS of the name of the lion and its distance to or from the village”, he stated. He added that this enables villagers to take preventative action to reduce conflicts before its starts.
Dr Stein noted that some respond by gathering their cattle and put them in a kraal or put them in an enclosure making sure that the enclosure is secure while some people will gather firewood and light small fires around edges of the kraal to prevent lions from coming closer and some when they receive the SMS they send their livestock to the neighbours alerting them about the presence of lions.
He noted that 125 people have signed to receive the alert system within Seronga, Eretsha, Beetsha, Gunutsoga and Gudigwa. He added that each homestead is about five people and this means more than 600 people immediately receive the messages about lions when they approach their villages. He also noted that last year they dispersed over 12 000 alerts, adding that this year is a bit higher as about 20 000 alerts have been sent so far across these villages.
Stein further noted that they have been significant changes in the behavior of the villagers as they are now tolerant to lions. “85 percent were happy with the SMS and people are becoming more tolerant with living with lions because they have more information to reduce the conflicts,” he stressed.
Stein noted that since the start of the programme in 2014 they have seen lion populations rebounds almost completely to a level before and they have not recorded cases of lion poisoning in the last three years which is commendable effort.
Monnaleso Sanga from Eretsha village applauded the programme by CLAWS noting that farmers in the area are benefiting through the alert system and take preventative measures to reduce human/lion conflict which has been persistent in the area. He added that numbers of cattle killed by lions have reduced immensely. He also admitted that they are now tolerant to lions and they no longer kill nor poison them.
A Muslim is supposed to be and should be a living example of the teachings of the Quran and the ‘Sunnah’ (the teachings and living examples of Prophet Muhammed (SAW – Peace be upon Him). We should follow these in all affairs, relations, and situations – starting with our relationship with our Lord, our own self, our family and the people around us. One of the distinguishing features of the (ideal) Muslim is his faith in Allah, and his conviction that whatever happens in the universe and whatever befalls him, only happens through the will and the decree of the Almighty Allah.
A Muslim should know and feel that he is in constant need of the help and support of Allah, no matter how much he may think he can do for himself. He has no choice in his life but to submit to the will of his Creator, worship Him, strive towards the Right Path and do good deeds. This will guide him to be righteous and upright in all his deeds, both in public and in private.
His attitude towards his body, mind and soul
The Muslim pays attention to his body’s physical, intellectual and spiritual needs. He takes good care of his body, promoting its good health and strength. He shouldn’t eat in excess; but he should eat enough to maintain his health and energy. Allah, The Exalted, Says “…Eat and drink; but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” [Quran 7: 31]
The Muslim should keep away from alcohol and drugs. He should also try to exercise regularly to maintain his physical fitness. The Muslim also keeps his body and clothes clean, he bathes frequently. The Prophet placed a great emphasis on cleanliness and bathing. A Muslim is also concerned with his clothing and appearance but in accordance with the Islamic ideal of moderation, avoiding the extremes.
As for his intellectual care, the Muslim should take care of his mind by pursuing beneficial knowledge. It is his responsibility to seek knowledge whether it is religious or secular, so he may understand the nature and the essence of things. Allah Says: “…and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [Quran 20: 114
The Muslim should not forget that man is not only composed of a body and a mind, but that he also possesses a soul and a spirit. Therefore, the Muslim pays as much attention to his spiritual development as to his physical and intellectual development, in a balanced manner which ideally does not concentrate on one aspect to the detriment of others.
His attitude towards people
The Muslim must treat his parents with kindness and respect, compassion, politeness and deep gratitude. He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them. Allah Says “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents…” [Quran 4: 36]
With his wife, the Muslim should exemplify good and kind treatment, intelligent handling, deep understanding of the nature and psychology of women, and proper fulfilment of his responsibilities and duties.
With his children, the Muslim is a parent who should understand his responsibility towards their good upbringing, showing them love and compassion, influence their Islamic development and giving them proper education, so that they become active and constructive elements in society, and a source of goodness for their parents, community, and society as a whole.
With his relatives, the Muslim maintains the ties of kinship and knows his duties towards them. He understands the high status given to relatives in Islam, which makes him keep in touch with them, no matter what the circumstances.
With his neighbours, the Muslim illustrates good treatment, kindness and consideration of others’ feelings and sensitivities. He turns a blind eye to his neighbour’s faults while taking care not to commit any such errors himself. The Muslim relationship with his wider circle of friends is based on love for the sake of Allah. He is loyal and does not betray them; he is sincere and does not cheat them; he is gentle, tolerant and forgiving; he is generous and he supplicates for them.
In his social relationships with all people, the Muslim should be well-mannered, modest and not arrogant. He should not envy others, fulfils his promises and is cheerful. He is patient and avoids slandering and uttering obscenities. He should not unjustly accuse others nor should he interfere in that which does not concern him. He refrains from gossiping, spreading slander and stirring up trouble – avoids false speech and suspicion. When he is entrusted with a secret, he keeps it. He respects his elders. He mixes with the best of people. He strives to reconcile between the Muslims. He visits the sick and attends funerals. He returns favours and is grateful for them. He calls others to Islam with wisdom, example and beautiful preaching. He should guide people to do good and always make things easy and not difficult.
The Muslim should be fair in his judgments, not a hypocrite, a sycophant or a show-off. He should not boast about his deeds and achievements. He should be straightforward and never devious or twisted, no matter the circumstances. He should be generous and not remind others of his gifts or favours. Wherever possible he relieves the burden of the debtor. He should be proud and not think of begging.
These are the standards by which the (ideal) Muslim is expected to structure his life on. Now how do I measure up and fit into all this? Can I honestly say that I really try to live by these ideals and principles; if not can I really call myself a true Muslim?
For the ease of writing this article I have made use of for want of a better word, the generic term ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘him’ and the ‘male’ gender, but it goes without saying that these standards apply equally to every female and male Muslim.
“Homicide and suicide kill almost 7000 children every year; one in four of all children are born to unmarried mothers, many of whom are children themselves…..children’s potential lost to spirit crushing poverty….children’s hearts lost in divorce and custody battles….children’s lives lost to abuse and violence, our society lost to itself, as we fail our children.” “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” (Quotation taken from a book written by Hillary Clinton).
These words may well apply to us here in Botswana; We are also experiencing a series of challenges in many spheres of development and endeavour but none as challenging as the long term effects of what is going to happen to our youth of today. One of the greatest challenges facing us as parents today is how to guide our youth to become the responsible adults that we wish them to be, tomorrow.
In Islam Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has enjoined upon the parents to take care of the moral and religious instruction of their children from the very beginning, otherwise they will be called to account for negligence on the Day of Judgement. Parents must inculcate God-consciousness in their children from an early age, whereby the children will gain an understanding of duty to The Creator.
The Holy Qur’an says: ‘O you who believe! Save yourself and your families from the Fire of Hell’. (Ch. 66: V6). This verse places the responsibility on the shoulders of the parents to ensure that training and guidance begin at home. The goal is to mould the child into a solid Islamic personality, with good morals, strong Islamic principles, knowledge and behavior so as to be equipped to face the demands of life in a responsible and mature manner. This should begin with the proper environment at home that inculcates the best moral and behavioral standards.
But what do we have instead? Believers of all Religious persuasions will agree that we have children growing up without parental guidance, a stable home environment, without role models, being brought up in surroundings that are not conducive to proper upbringing and moulding of well-adjusted children. These children are being brought up devoid of any parental guidance and increasingly the desperate situation of orphaned children having to raise their siblings (children raising children) because their parents have succumbed to the scourge of AIDS.
It is becoming common that more and more girls still in their schooling years are now falling pregnant, most of them unwanted, with the attendant responsibilities and difficulties.
Observe the many young ladies who are with children barely in their teens having illegitimate children. In the recent past there was a campaign focused on the ‘girl-child’; this campaign targeted this group of young females who had fallen pregnant and were now mothers. The situation is that the mother still being just a ‘child’ and not even having tasted adulthood, now has the onerous responsibility of raising her own child most of the time on her own because either the father has simply disappeared, refuses to takes responsibility, or in some cases not even known.
We cannot place the entire blame on these young mothers; as parents and society as a whole stand accused because we have shirked our responsibilities and worse still we ourselves are poor role models. The virtual breakdown of the extended family system and of the family unit in many homes means that there are no longer those safe havens of peace and tranquility that we once knew. How then do we expect to raise well-adjusted children in this poisoned atmosphere?
Alcohol has become socially acceptable and is consumed by many of our youth and alarmingly they are now turning to drugs. Alcohol is becoming so acceptable that it is easily accessible even at home where some parents share drinks with their children or buying it for them. This is not confined only to low income families it is becoming prevalent amongst our youth across the board.
It is frightening to witness how our youth are being influenced by blatantly suggestive pop culture messages over television, music videos and other social media. Children who are not properly grounded in being able to make rational and informed decisions between what is right and what is wrong are easily swayed by this very powerful medium.
So what do we do as parents? We first have to lead by example; it is no longer the parental privilege to tell the child ‘do as I say not as I do’- that no longer works. The ball is in the court of every religious leader (not some of the charlatans who masquerade as religious leaders), true adherents and responsible parents. We cannot ignore the situation we have to take an active lead in guiding and moulding our youth for a better tomorrow.
In Islam Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “No father gives a better gift to his children than good manners and good character.” Children should be treated not as a burden, but a blessing and trust of Allah, and brought up with care and affection and taught proper responsibilities etiquettes and behaviour.
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)
The message is clear and needs to be taken by all of us: Parents let us rise to the occasion – we owe it to our children and their future.