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Liars and lying

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

Lying comes in many forms surely I don’t have to explain it to you. We all have done it: Gossip, slander, misrepresentation, breaking of promises, and most of all, making deliberately misleading and vague statements. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all prone to it and have done it one time or another or even continue to do so, on a daily basis – the habit of lying. Because of its abhorrent nature we have created prettier names for it and coined such excuses as fibbing, white lies, forgetting, bending / stretching the truth a bit, misinterpretation, miscommunication, and so forth, but admittedly they are lies nonetheless.

‘O People shall I inform you on whom it is that the Evil ones descend? They descend on every lying, wicked person, into who ears they pour hearsay vanities, and most of them are liars’. (Quran 26: 221-223)

Lying is the source of many evils, because those of us to whom lying comes easy, we actually begin to believe that we can get away with any misdeed by covering them up with suitable lies. Thus the cycle begins and we go on to commit numerous other sins or crimes with ease, impunity and no conscience at all. We can become so obsessed with lying that in order to appease our inner-self we have created those ‘pretty’ names for it. There are many of ways to try to convince and make yourself feel that you haven't lied, but deep down, you know that you are misrepresenting the truth and if you feel that way, deep down within yourself, it is very likely that you have lied.

We are all prone to it at one time or the other: If you say, ‘I will be there around six’, and you do not intend to get there until seven, you have lied. If you say to someone who is waiting, ‘I will be right there’, while you know you are running one hour late, you have lied. If you say to your child, ‘I will get you some ice-cream if you do this’ while you did not mean to do so, you have lied.

Lying is a sin, according to the Quran: ‘And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).’ (Quran 2:42). This was elaborated further by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he said: "Verily, truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to the Paradise. A person speaks truths until he is recorded by Allah Almighty as a truthful person. Whereas, lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to the Hell-Fire. A person lies until he is recorded by Allah Almighty as a liar."

Lying has a cycle and unfortunately it perpetuates itself. Those of us who have perfected the art of lying do not continue to tell simple lies that can be proved to be false. When we tell lies we fall into the cycle of having to remember those lies so that we don’t get ‘caught out’. We move further or rather deeper in the game and become hard core liars. And when you have spoken a lie you will feel a sense of restlessness because you know that what you have said is contrary to the truth –  and you are now constantly in fear of being caught out. And in the process you begin to think of further lies. And the question is: How long will you then continue fooling yourself and none other?
 
The worst thing about lying is that hard-core liars never admit that they are lying. In most cases, no matter how hard you try, a well-oiled liar can get out of even the most of situations where it has been proved that they had lied. In fact, at times, their inner conscience become so clouded by their lies that they do not even notice that they are lying – yet they go on spinning falsehoods by way of habit.

The constant uttering of lies makes us become desensitised to lying and for some of us it brings excitement and pleasure. While lying we may feel excitement during the very moment of lying. Afterwards, when we “get away” with the lie – there is the false sense of pleasure that comes with a type of relief, pride in the achievement of getting away with it, or even feeling smug. This is attitude becomes destructive for our general and social well-being. Lying can become the source of evil leading to many wrong things, hence liars cannot really be true believers because it is against our belief and faith. A true Believer will find it difficult to bring himself or herself to tell a lie. In other words, the habit of lying cannot exist in a person whose heart has true faith in Allah.

A verse in the Bible says: ‘Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord; but they that deal truly are His delight’. (Proverbs 12;22)

On the receiving end many of us when we know we are being lied to, feel a sense dismay, disappointment and even anger. This can create an uncomfortable barrier between people when we feel that we are being made a ‘fool of’.

Unfortunately lying can begin at home at an early age. How many times have we promised our kids a ‘gift’ if they do something and never follow up on our promise? You know simple things such as: ‘if you behave yourself I will buy you an ice cream / sweets’, and never do so. For example when someone calls you on the phone and you tell the kids to respond: ‘he is not at home’. Yes we teach them those little lies!

Being honest, truthful and trustworthy are the cornerstones of being a believer. Honesty is one of the greatest of all moral virtues. From it, springs forth many of the noble human qualities like integrity, chastity, and valour. Some people might suppose that honesty is restricted to words. This is not the case. Honesty can manifest itself in our actions as well as in our innermost state of being.

Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said: ’Truthfulness is tranquillity, and lying is restlessness.” Meaning that when you have spoken the truth, nothing else but the truth, you will feel a sense of peace and calm because there can be nothing contrary to it – because in reality and no matter how much anyone tries to misbelieve you, they will find nothing else but the truth.

‘O, you, who believe. Keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, and keep the company of the truthful (9: 119). AND: Only those are the believers who have truly believed in God and believed in His Messenger……. Those are they who are truthful and honest in their profession of faith’ (49:15)

‘Do not confound the truth by mixing it with falsehood, and do not conceal the truth while you know.’ (2 ; 42)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): ‘ Promise me six things and I can promise you Paradise: speak the truth, keep your promises, fulfil your trusts, remain chaste, do not look at what is unlawful, and avoid what is forbidden.’

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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