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A Born-Again Planet

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER…

We call our planet Earth. Why that is so we  will explain at the appropriate time. It is the name by which ancient Greeks and the Sumerians of 6000 years ago called the planet whose relevance and aptness we wish to address at this juncture.

The ancient Greek name for Earth was GAEA. In what has been termed Greek “mythology”, GAEA is supposed to be the name of the Earth Goddess. It is therefore synonymous with Earth itself. But as we have said time and again, mythology is not simply mythology: all mythology has a basis in fact as we shall demonstrate shortly.

GAEA means the “Cleaved Watery One”.  It was at times rendered as GAIA and shortened as GA or GE. GE is the closest to what the Sumerians called the planet. They called it KI (which came to be pronounced as GE or GI by future civilisations) but this was an abbreviation. The full name was MUL-KI, meaning “a celestial body that has been cleaved apart”.    The term KI thus conveyed the meaning of something cut off (like a fragment), severed (like a stump), or hollowed out (like a valley, canyon, cleavage or ravine).  For example, KILA meant “excavation,” KIMAH meant “tomb,” and KI-IN-DAR meant “crevice or fissure”.  Today, KI is in most languages pronounced as GE. In English, all studies about some aspect of Earth’s physical features start with GE – Geology, Geography, Geometry. In Hebrew, “GAI” (which stems from GE/KI) means “valley”, a hollowed out landscape. What we refer to as Gehenna, the crevice-like narrow ravine south of Jerusalem, is actually Gai-Hinnom, meaning “Valley of Hinnom”.  

According to the ancient Greeks, GAEA came into existence after a chaotic cosmic event. In his famous epic, Theogony (meaning “Divine Genealogy”), Hesiod, the great Greek Poet (c. 750 to 650 BC),  writes thus of this incident: “Verily, at first Chaos came to be, and next the wide-bosomed Gaia—she who created all the immortal ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus: Dim Tartarus, wide-pathed in the depths, and Eros, fairest among the divine immortals … From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Nyx; And of Nyx were born Aether and Hemera.”

The “chaos” Hesiod talks about is the Celestial Battle and the tumultuous formation of the Solar System we read of in the Sumerian tablets, in consequence of which Earth arose from the destroyed planet Tiamat. Like the Sumerian chronicles, Hesiod recognizes that GAEA (Tiamat in this case) as the mother of the rest of the planets of our Solar System when he says GAEA “created all the immortal ones”.  Hesiod also lists the formation of three planets in pairs – Tartarus and Eros, Erebus and Nyx, Aether and Hemera, corresponding to what the Enuma Elish says in relation to Venus and Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.     

Note that at this stage of Hesiod’s   narration, “Heaven” is not yet in existence. It comes later as encapsulated in these following verses: “And Gaia then bore starry Ouranos —equal to herself—to envelop her on every side, to be an everlasting abode place for the gods. Equally split up. Gaia ceased to be Tiamat.” Listen carefully here: Hesiod says after Ouranos comes into being, GAEA is no longer known as Tiamat. That’s exactly what we’re told by the Enuma Elish – that GAEA (Earth) came out of the destruction of Tiamat. “Starry Ouranos” (Heaven) is what Genesis calls the “firmament” but whose literal translation is “Hammered out Bracelet”, that is, the Asteroid Belt. How true! The Asteroid Belt came into being only after Nibiru split Tiamat into two major components – Earth and the Asteroid fragments themselves.

KILLED PLANET THAT LIVED

Until January 1, 1801, when Guiseppe Piazzi “discovered” the first known asteroid called Ceres, astronomers thought the vast expanse between Jupiter and Mars was simply dark void. But 6,000 years ago, the Sumerians wrote in their clay tablets that in that space, there coursed a “watery” planet called Tiamat, which was broken up by an incoming Nibiru into two parts: one whole part which assumed a new orbit – our Earth – and pieces of floating debris which continued to drift in the same place – the Asteroid Belt. The Sumerians referred to the Asteroid Belt as RAKIA, meaning “Hammered-out Bracelet”. In the opening verses of Genesis, the term RAKIA is translated “firmament”. The firmament is alternatively called “Heaven” in these same verses, which is misleading as the word translated “Heaven” is SHAMAIM. SHAMAIM means “where the waters used to be”, that is, the place where planet TIAMAT used to be.  

That there existed a gigantic planet between Mars and Jupiter is not a matter of conjecture. It is scientifically and cosmogonically valid. As far back as 1776 in the modern age, the German astronomer and professor Johann Daniel Titius postulated that mathematical calculations made a planet between Mars and Jupiter warranted. In 1772, his compatriot Johann Elert Bode turned the Titius hypothesis into what became known as Bode’s Law. Bode’s Law holds that there by rights ought to be a planet between Mars and Jupiter. The Sumerians affirm that that indeed was the case: the planet was Tiamat and after its destruction by Nibiru, its remnants are what constitute Earth and the Asteroid Belt.

Now, we did at some stage put the Sumerian term Tiamat (meaning “The mother of all Life”, from ti = Life, ama = Mother, and t = feminine suffix)   in context. Tiamat in Akkadian is  rendered as TAMTU as per another respected Earth chronicler Robert Morning Sky whose mastery of ancient languages is staggering, and its meaning changes significantly but in fact reveals more.  TAMTU means “place of killed life” (from Ami [life]; Ata [to kill]; and Tu [at the place  of]), or simply Tamu, which means “of killed life”. Tamu is rendered Tehom (abbreviation for Tehomat) in the Old Testament, e.g. GENESIS 1:2, where it is translated as the “deep”.     

From the above, we can now appreciate why TAMTU was so-called. It means a “late planet”, a planet that was killed. That is the exact fate of Tiamat: it was killed by Nibiru! This scenario explains why in biblical times, the term Tehom no longer meant “of killed life”. It assumed new meanings, albeit related ones, which according to the authoritative Strong’s Concordance, could connote any watery deep such as the sea, large body of fresh water, or underground river; or abyss (a bottomless pit which could be the abode of the dead or a prison of fallen angels).  These newer meanings do have a direct bearing on Tiamat. Tiamat was a watery planet. After its destruction, the major remnant of Tiamat was planet Earth. For a time, Earth was figuratively a place of the dead since it existed for millions of years without life before it was seeded with life forms as related in the opening chapters of Genesis.  Earth is the killed planet Tiamat that reanimated and began life anew.     

The prophet Isaiah talks about the “Haughty One” (Tiamat) or “Tehom-Raba” (Mighty Tehom) who was “carved” by the “Lord” (Nibiru). Job makes mention of the “Lord” (Nibiru) who smote the “assistants (moons) of the Haughty One”. Job goes on to say, “The hammered canopy (Asteroid Belt)  stretched out in the place of Tehom; the Earth suspended in the void … His powers (Nibiru) the waters (of Tiamat) did arrest; His energy (Nibiru)  the Haughty One did cleave; His Wind  (Nibiru’s moon) the Hammered Bracelet (Asteroid Belt) measured out …”

Christians may deny the existence of Nibiru, not to mention the destroyed planet Tiamat but their very Holy Writ, the Bible, is replete with references to these most eminent celestial bodies!

THE WATERY PLANET

Earth is a watery planet because Tiamat was a watery planet. But not all of Tiamat’s water was own-nurtured: much of it came from Nibiru, when it impacted Tiamat 4 billion years ago.

The Sumerian chronicles which characterise Nibiru as a watery planet abound. A considerable number of the 50 names that were assigned to the planet underscore its watery makeup. One of the planet’s other names was NAMTILLAKU, which meant "the god who maintains life” and there can be no life without water. Another was ASAR, the "watery king". The planet was also called   ASARU (“lofty, bright watery king") and ASAR-ULU-DU ("lofty, bright watery king whose deep is plentiful").  Furthermore, Nibiru was described as "bestower of cultivation," "creator of grain and herbs who causes vegetation to sprout … who opened the wells, apportioning waters of abundance", and the “irrigator of Heaven and Earth”.  The prophet Isaiah recalled to mind when the “Lord” (Nibiru) "carved the Haughty One (Tiamat), made spin the watery monster, dried up the waters of Tehom-Raba” and the Psalmist also says, in reverence to Nibiru, that "By thy might, the waters thou didst disperse; the leader of the watery monsters (Tiamat) thou didst break up."

When Nibiru slammed into Tiamat, a great deal of its water was imparted to the severed chunk that became Earth. As a cleaved, watery planet, how could Earth have looked like? Astronomers have puzzled as to why our planet is the way it is and no single astronomer has ventured a convincing answer. When we look at pictures of Earth that have been supplied us by NASA, we see a sexy, smooth, round globe. That is simply not the case. It is an exaggeration. What most people don’t know is that pictures of celestial bodies are first touched up by NASA before they are made public. Also, we have to bear in mind that when you take a picture of a celestial body, you are doing so at a considerable distance.  As a result, the picture will be substantially distorted because it is not a close-up.  

Certainly, pictures of celestial bodies all look perfectly spherical like a marble. Even the moon, not to mention the Sun, look perfectly globular when we look at them with the naked eye. That, rest assured folks, is an optical illusion. In 2014, the highly respected world-renowned black astrophycist Neil DeGrasse Tyson presented the world a more accurate image of Earth. He said Earth was not a perfect sphere but it was “pear-shaped” and was slightly wider south of the equator than north of it. This was quite a departure from what we had been given to understand all along – that Earth was a sphere albeit “slightly flattened at the poles”.  

What is not very obvious when we look at the traditional pictures of Earth is that it has  two distinct sides.  On the one side are all the seven continents, the land masses, and on the other side is a huge cleft that harbours a body of water we call the Pacific Ocean. If the Pacific Ocean were empty, Earth would have a huge gaping wound on its one side! Earth is the only planet in the Solar System which is like this and as we said earlier, planetary scientists are hard-pressed to come up with a viable explanation.

But the Sumerians did provide us the answer in their cuneiform clay tablets. They told us very plainly that Earth was once part of a large planet called Tiamat and when Tiamat was destroyed by Nibiru in the Celestial Battle, a huge piece was cut off to become the new planet Earth. Since this huge piece was “snapped” off another larger, watery one, it had a cavernous fracture on the one side. It was in this cavernous fracture that most of Earth’s waters collected as the Pacific Ocean.

PANGAEA AFFIRMS SUMERIAN RECORDS

At the time Earth became its own planet in the aftermath of the Celestial Battle, it was not made up of several separate continents like it is today. It consisted of one continuous land mass, a supercontinent surrounded by only one ocean – the Pacific. There were no other oceans such as the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and there were no seas like the Mediterranean for instance.

The primeval supercontinent has been dubbed “Pangaea” (from the Greek terms pan, meaning “all’, and gaia, meaning “Earth”) courtesy of the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener who first postulated the Theory of Tectonics in 1915.  According to this theory, the Earth’s crust, its uppermost layer, rests on a foundation which consists of movable plates known as Tectonic plates – about a dozen large ones and several small ones. From time to time in millions of years, these plates not only drift from one another but also come together as well as slip past each other. For example, it has been observed that the Pacific Ocean is actually narrowing whilst the Atlantic Ocean is widening.  

Pangaea, which covered about half the planet according to geophysicists, began to break up about 225 to 65 million years ago to give rise to the seven separate continents we have today. The Pangaea theory is a resounding attestation to what the Sumerians relate in their cuneiform clay tablets – that when Earth was severed from Tiamat 4 billion years ago, it was surrounded by water. Then over time, the water gathered into the other side which had a huge, canyon-like hole, leaving one intact side bare.  This intact side was what we now call Pangaea.   

The Theory of Tectonics was also pointed out in the Sumerian records as well as the Old Testament. There are several passages in the Old Testament that allude to the Earth as being established on a “foundation” of sorts. For example, PSALM 24 states that, “The Lord’s (Nibiru) is the Earth and its entirety, the world and all that dwells therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”

NEXT WEEK: THE MYSTERY  OF KINGU

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GONE FISHING

28th March 2023

In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device).  But as employees skip between corporate tools and personal applications on their own devices, their actions introduce a number of possible risks that should be managed and mitigated with careful consideration.  Consider these examples:

Si-lwli, a small family-run business in Wales, is arguably as niche a company as you could find, producing talking toys used to promote the Welsh language. Their potential market is small, with only some 300,000 Welsh language speakers in the world and in reality the business is really more of a hobby for the husband-and-wife team, who both still have day jobs.  Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, the business is now fighting for survival after recently falling prey to cybercriminals. Emails between Si-Iwli and their Chinese suppliers were intercepted by hackers who altered the banking details in the correspondence, causing Si-Iwli to hand over £18,000 (around P ¼ m) to the thieves. That might not sound much to a large enterprise, but to a small or medium business it can be devastating.

Another recent SMB hacking story which appeared in the Wall Street Journal concerned Innovative Higher Ed Consulting (IHED) Inc, a small New York start-up with a handful of employees. IHED didn’t even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the company’s payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli.  As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.

And in May 2019, the city of Baltimore’s computer system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers using a variant called RobinHood. The hack, which has lasted more than a month, paralysed the computer system for city employees, with the hackers demanding a payment in Bitcoin to give access back to the city.

Of course, hackers target governments or business giants  but small and medium businesses are certainly not immune. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported that they had experienced a cyber attack across a period of 12 months, according to a 2018 survey carried out by security research firm Ponemon Institute. Additionally, Verizon issued a report in May 2019 that small businesses accounted for 43% of its reported data breaches.  Once seen as less vulnerable than PCs, smartphone attacks are on the rise, with movements like the Dark Caracal spyware campaign underlining the allure of mobile devices to hackers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission released a statement calling for greater education on mobile security, coming at a time when around 42% of all Android devices are believed to not carry the latest security updates.

This is an era when employees increasingly use their smartphones for work-related purposes so is your business doing enough to protect against data breaches on their employees’ phones? The SME Cyber Crime Survey 2018 carried out for risk management specialists AON showed that more than 80% of small businesses did not view this as a threat yet if as shown, 67% of SMBs were said to have been victims of hacking, either the stats are wrong or business owners are underestimating their vulnerability.  A 2019 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests the latter, stating that the majority of global businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.

Consider that a workstation no longer means a desk in an office: It can be a phone in the back of a taxi or Uber; a laptop in a coffee shop, or a tablet in an airport lounge.  Wherever the device is used, employees can potentially install applications that could be harmful to your business, even from something as seemingly insignificant as clicking on an accidental download or opening a link on a phishing email.  Out of the physical workplace, your employees’ activities might not have the same protections as they would on a company-monitored PC.

Yet many businesses not only encourage their employees to work remotely, but assume working from coffee shops, bookstores, and airports can boost employees’ productivity.  Unfortunately, many remote hot spots do not provide secure Wi-Fi so if your employee is accessing their work account on unsecured public Wi-Fi,  sensitive business data could be at risk. Furthermore, even if your employee uses a company smartphone or has access to company data through a personal mobile device, there is always a chance data could be in jeopardy with a lost or stolen device, even information as basic as clients’ addresses and phone numbers.

BOYDs are also at risk from malware designed to harm and infect the host system, transmittable to smartphones when downloading malicious third-party apps.  Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a system’s data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.  Ransomware attacks are on the increase,  predicted to occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.

Lastly there is phishing – the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise –  whereby  cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data –usernames, passwords, credit card details –usually through a phoney email designed to look legitimate which directs the user to a fraudulent website or requests the data be emailed back directly. Most of us like to think we could recognize a phishing email when we see it, but these emails have become more sophisticated and can come through other forms of communication such as messaging apps.

Bottom line is to be aware of the potential problems with BOYDs and if in doubt,  consult your IT security consultants.  You can’t put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!

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“I Propose to Diana Tonight”

28th March 2023

About five days before Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed landed in Paris, General Atiku, a certain Edward Williams was taking a walk in a woods in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. Williams, then 73, was a psychic of some renown. He had in the past foretold assassination attempts on US President Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30, 1981, and Pope John Paul II, which came to pass on May 13, 1981.

As he trudged the woods, Williams  had a sudden premonition that pointed to Diana’s imminent fate as per Christopher Andersen’s book The Day Diana Died. “When the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,” Williams was later to reminisce. “In the middle was the face of Princess Diana. Her expression was sad and full of pathos. She was wearing what looked like a floral dress with a short dark cardigan. But it was vague. I went cold with fear and knew it was a sign that she was in danger.”

Williams hastily beat a retreat to his home, which he shared with his wife Mary, and related to her his presentiment, trembling like an aspen leaf as he did so. “I have never seen him so upset,” Mary recounted. “He felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.”

The following day, Williams frantically sauntered into a police station to inform the police of his premonition. The officer who attended to him would have dismissed him as no more than a crackpot but he treated him seriously in view of the accuracy of his past predictions. He  took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch Investigative  Unit.

The report read as follows:

“On 27 August, at 14:12 hrs, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die. In previous years, he has predicted that the Pope and Ronald Reagan were going to be the victims of assassination attempts. On both occasions he was proved to be correct. Mr Williams appeared to be quite normal.”

Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.

Meanwhile, General,  even as Dodi and Diana were making their way to the Fayed-owned Ritz Hotel in central Paris, British newspapers were awash with headlines that suggested Diana was kind of deranged. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana in Pursuit of Love: “In The Independent Diana was described as ‘a woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anything’. She was ‘suffering from a form of arrested development’. ‘Isn’t it time she started using her head?’ asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled ‘A Story of Love’; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: ‘William can’t help it, he just doesn’t like the man.’ William was reportedly ‘horrified’ and ‘doesn’t think Mr Fayed is good for his mother’ – or was that just the press projecting their own prejudices? The upmarket Sunday Times newspaper, which had first serialised my biography of the princess, now put her in the psychiatrist’s chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana ‘On the Couch’, asking why she was so ‘depressed’ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications – about Prince Philip’s hostility to the relationship, Diana’s prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.”

DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ

Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodi’s bodyguards Trevor Rees-Jones furtively asked Diana as to what the programme for the evening was. This Trevor did out of sheer desperation as Dodi had ceased and desisted from telling members of his security detail, let alone anyone else for that matter, what his onward destination was for fear that that piece of information would be passed on to the paparazzi. Diana kindly obliged Trevor though her response was terse and scarcely revealing. “Well, eventually we will be going out to a restaurant”, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleagues’ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal.  Dodi certainly, General, was being recklessly by throwing such caution to the winds.

At about 16:30, Diana and Dodi drew up at the Ritz Hotel, where they were received by acting hotel manager Claude Roulet.  The front entrance of the hotel was already crawling with paparazzi, as a result of which the couple took the precaution of using the rear entrance, where hopefully they would make their entry unperturbed and unmolested. The first thing they did when they were ensconced in the now $10,000 a night Imperial Suite was to spend some time on their mobiles and set about touching base with friends, relations, and associates.  Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.

Rita, General,  was alarmed that Diana had proceeded to venture to Paris notwithstanding the warning she had given Dodi and herself in relation to what she had seen of him  in the crystal ball when the couple had consulted her. When quizzed as to what the hell she indeed was doing in Paris at that juncture, Diana replied that she and Dodi had simply come to do some shopping, which though partially true was not the material reason they were there. “But Diana, remember what I told Dodi,” Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, “Yes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.” Well,  she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.

As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, “I have decided I am going to radically change my life. I am going to complete my obligations to charities and to the anti-personnel land mines cause, but in November I want to completely withdraw from formal public life.”

Once she was done with her round of calls, Diana went down to the hair saloon by the hotel swimming pool to have her hair washed and blow-dried ahead of the scheduled evening dinner.

THE “TELL ME YES” RING IS DELIVERED

Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the “Tell Me Yes” engagement ring  Dodi had ordered in Monte Carlo a week earlier, Dodi decided to check on Repossi Jewellery, which was right within the Ritz prencincts, known as the Place Vendome.  It could have taken less than a minute for Dodi to get to the store on foot but he decided to use a car to outsmart the paparazzi invasion. He was driven there by Trevor Rees-Jones, with Alexander Kez Wingfield and Claude Roulet following on foot, though he entered the shop alone.

The Repossi store had closed for the holiday season but Alberto Repossi, accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law,  had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco  and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrative  Dodi transaction.  Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the one  he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but Dodi  was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ploy  on the part of Repossi to make a real killing on the sale, his excuse to that effect being that Diana deserved a ring tha was well worthy of her social pedigree.  With Dodi having expressed disaffection, Repossi rendered his apologies and assured Dodi he would make the right ring available shortly, whereupon Dodi repaired back to the hotel to await its delivery. But Dodi  did insist nonetheless that the pricier ring be delivered too in case it appealed to Diana anyway.

Repossi delivered the two rings an hour later. They were collected by Roulet. On inspecting them, Dodi chose the very one he had seen in Monte Carlo, apparently at the insistence of Diana.  There is a possibility that Diana, who was very much aware of her public image and was not comfortable with ostentatious displays of wealth, may have deliberately shown an interest in a less expensive engagement ring. It  may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious  choice for her.

The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodi’s apartment after the crash,  has been estimated to be between $20,000 and $250,000 as Repossi has always refused to be drawn into revealing how much Dodi paid for it. The sum, which enjoyed a 25 percent discount, was in truth paid for not by Dodi himself but by his father as was the usual practice.

Dodi was also shown Repossi’s sketches for a bracelet, a watch, and earrings which he proposed to create if Diana approved of them.

DIANA AND DODI GUSH OVER IMMINENT NUPTIALS

At about 7 pm,  Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodi’s apartment at a place known as the Arc de Trompe. They went there to properly tog themselves out for the scheduled evening dinner. They spent two hours at the luxurious apartment. As usual, the ubiquitous paparazzi were patiently waiting for them there.

As they lingered in the apartment, Dodi beckoned over to his butler Rene Delorm  and showed him  the engagement ring. “Dodi came into my kitchen,” Delorm relates. “He looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldn’t hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box … He said, ‘Rene, I’m going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinner’.” Rene described the ring as “a spectacular diamond encrusted ring, a massive emerald surrounded by a cluster of diamonds, set on a yellow and white gold band sitting in a small light-grey velvet box”.

Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz  that night, and told him that he hoped to get married to Diana by the end of the year.

Later that same evening, both Dodi and Diana would talk to Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi’s dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. “They called me and said we’re coming back  (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are

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RAMADAN – The Blessed Month of Fasting

28th March 2023

Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims, where over one billion Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset, and pray additional prayers at night. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to Allah, and self-control. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As you read this Muslims the world over have already begun fasting as the month of Ramadan has commenced (depending on the sighting of the new moon).

‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people, in it are clear signs of guidance and Criterion, therefore whoever of you who witnesses this month, it is obligatory on him to fast it. But whoever is ill or traveling let him fast the same number of other days, God desires ease for you and not hardship, and He desires that you complete the ordained period and glorify God for His guidance to you, that you may be grateful”. Holy Qur’an  (2 : 185)

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. The other four are: the declaration of one’s belief in Allah’s oneness and in the message of Muhammad (PBUH); regular attendance to prayer; payment of zakaat (obligatory charity); and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

As explained in an earlier article, fasting includes total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, refraining from obscenity, avoiding getting into arguments and including abstaining from marital relations, from sunrise to sunset. While fasting may appear to some as difficult Muslims see it as an opportunity to get closer to their Lord, a chance to develop spiritually and at the same time the act of fasting builds character, discipline and self-restraint.

Just as our cars require servicing at regular intervals, so do Muslims consider Ramadan as a month in which the body and spirit undergoes as it were a ‘full service’. This ‘service’ includes heightened spiritual awareness both the mental and physical aspects and also the body undergoing a process of detoxification and some of the organs get to ‘rest’ through fasting.

Because of the intensive devotional activity fasting, Ramadan has a particularly high importance, derived from its very personal nature as an act of worship but there is nothing to stop anyone from privately violating Allah’s commandment of fasting if one chooses to do so by claiming to be fasting yet eating on the sly. This means that although fasting is obligatory, its observance is purely voluntary. If a person claims to be a Muslim, he is expected to fast in Ramadan.

 

The reward Allah gives for proper fasting is very generous. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes Allah as saying: “All actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.” We are also told by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the reward for proper fasting is admittance into heaven.

Fasting earns great reward when it is done in a ‘proper’ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of one’s feelings and emotions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that when fasting, a person should not allow himself to be drawn into a quarrel or a slanging match. He teaches us: “On a day of fasting, let no one of you indulge in any obscenity, or enter into a slanging match. Should someone abuse or fight him, let him respond by saying: ‘I am fasting!’”

This high standard of self-restraint fits in well with fasting, which is considered as an act of self-discipline. Islam requires us to couple patience with voluntary abstention from indulgence in our physical desires. The purpose of fasting helps man to attain a high degree of sublimity, discipline and self-restraint. In other words, this standard CAN BE achieved by every Muslim who knows the purpose of fasting and strives to fulfill it.

Fasting has another special aspect. It makes all people share in the feelings of hunger and thirst. In normal circumstances, people with decent income may go from one year’s end to another without experiencing the pangs of hunger which a poor person may feel every day of his life. Such an experience helps to draw the rich one’s conscience nearer to needs of the poor. A Muslim is encouraged to be more charitable and learns to give generously for a good cause.

Fasting also has a universal or communal aspect to it. As Muslims throughout the world share in this blessed act of worship, their sense of unity is enhanced by the fact that every Muslim individual joins willingly in the fulfillment of this divine commandment. This is a unity of action and purpose, since they all fast in order to be better human beings. As a person restrains himself from the things he desires most, in the hope that he will earn Allah’s pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.

The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a “season of worship.” Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qur’an more frequently and also strive to improve on their inner and outer character. Thus, their devotion is more complete and they feel much happier in Ramadan because they feel themselves to be closer to their Creator.

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