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Honesty: A Key Ingredient of Happiness

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

 

 

‘O you who believe be conscious of Allah and be with the truthful (Quran 9:119) “He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness.” Proverbs 12: 17

 

Honesty is one of the universal practices and principles which all civilized communities and peoples agree with. Honesty is one of the greatest of moral virtues and it forms the foundations of our religious belief, because from it comes forth many of the noble human qualities like integrity, uprightness and morality.

 

Without it individuals and the society at large will live in suspicion of each other and can lead to turmoil in each of our lives. In the world that we live in today there is an erosion of some of the keys values of society, leading the pack is honesty – or let me say it has disintegrated into dishonesty. In every area of our daily lives today we come face to face with this ‘social disease’.

 

Honesty covers a wide range of desirable traits. It covers telling the truth, sincerity in work, carrying out our duties, fulfilling one's word, not drawing conclusions and judging others without knowing the truth. Honesty is the opposite of lying, the opposite of bluffing, the opposite of hypocrisy, the opposite of favouritism, and the opposite of lies and deceit.

 

There are two types of honesty one is external and the other is internal. Our external honesty is that which is seen and judged by other people. And the internal honesty is that which is judged by the person himself, but always remembering that the Almighty watches over us and knows all the secrets of the heart. ‘..….for He knows well the secrets of all hearts…. And He knows all that you do……. for He is with His servants well acquainted and ever watchful. (Quran 42: 24- 28) And: ‘If he be a liar on him is the sin of his lie….then  will fall on you something of a calamity……Allah does not guide one who transgresses and lies’ (Quran 40: 28)

 

First and foremost is that we must be honest in our relationship with Allah, our Lord and Creator. This not only covers the expression of honesty but also that of sincerity in our hearts because we must be constantly aware that Allah is ever watchful of everything we say or do.

 

This means that we should lead our lives in such a manner that there remains in our hearts no other motive for what we do but to seek His pleasure. ‘They were nearer to unbelief than to faith, saying with their lips what was not in their heart. But Allah has full knowledge of all they conceal’. (Quran 3: 167)

 

As a great ethical thinker mentioned: “For honesty to be complete, it must exist on three things: it must exist in the heart as ones faith, it must exist in ones intentions behind ones deeds, and it must be present in the words that one speaks.”

 

A Muslim or for that matter any believer regardless of your faith has to have a consciousness and awareness about the presence of Allah in his daily life. Whatever one thinks, does or says, in the open or in private are all known to our Creator. Therefore to be truly happy – contented, at peace with oneself – one must be true to oneself, honest with those around.  One must treat other people fairly.

 

This therefore means that integrity forms the basis for our honesty, truthfulness, fair dealing, trust worthiness and sincerity and they are all part of a long list of positive qualities that make up our personalities.

 

Islam orders a Muslim to be honest with himself and also to others. This order repeatedly comes in the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muslim is ordered by Allah to be honest in his words and deeds, privately and publicly alike.

 

Therefore a believer is required to be honest, internally and externally, privately and publicly, whether he is being observed by other people or not, whether he acts or speaks. This overall honesty makes a person feel confident of himself, of his behaviour, and of his words and deeds.

 

Honesty makes the person feel that he trusts others and is trusted by others thus building integrity. This mutual confidence makes the believer feel self -satisfied and socially secure. “Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies.” (Quran 40:28)

 

In our relations with the world out there honesty with other people is very important. We should not behave deceptively and present a ‘false’ face to people, as much as possible we need to be genuine and straightforward with people.

 

We should be honest in what we say including when giving advice to people. To be truly happy – contented, at peace with oneself – one must be true to oneself, honest with those around.  One must treat other people fairly.

 

When friends, family, work colleagues and couples are not honest with each other, we cannot create and develop a society that is conducive to the stability that God desires for us, as a result the life of those and others in the wider society will be in jeopardy. This starts in the home.

 

For those who have spouses will realise that to build a happy home will realise that honesty should be the cornerstone of every marriage – there needs to be honesty between spouses. Marriages are built on honesty and trust. We must be able to confide in them and speak freely about our concerns, secrets, and our ambitions.

 

A husband or a wife is a life partner, a friend, a confidant. The more openly the husband and wife are able to communicate with each other with trust and confidence the stronger the relationship will be. Unfortunately many homes of today are torn apart because of the lack of honesty within the marriage.

 

We are living in a society which is very beautiful externally but internally, due to our detachment from God and His commandments, the moral and social fabric of society is slowly rotting away. Observing and keeping to the principles of honesty is basic to creating the mutual trust, responsibility and reliability among humans. It may sound like a pipe dream or a fantasy but if there was more honesty in this world, a great deal of our human problems would disappear, including lying, cheating, bluffing, stealing, forgery, and many other social diseases. In other words, honesty is something you give and something you take: others enjoy your honesty and you enjoy their honesty.

 

In the absence of honesty, many social diseases flourish. If a person is dishonest, he is ready to tell lies, to bribe, to be bribed, to distort the truth, to cheat, to forge, to deceive others, and to break his promises.

 

A dishonest person is a total sum of many diseases put together. He is ready to misbehave at any time, and each time he misbehaves, he causes a great disturbance or harm to some person or to a group of persons or to the whole nation, in some cases.

 

The reward of external honesty comes from Allah, from people, and from the psychological satisfaction the honest person feels. When you are honest, you are liked by God and people whom you deal with.

Your honesty gives you the social approval you need and here comes the social value of honesty. But more importantly we must remember what Allah says in the Quran: ‘Therefore do I warn you of a fire blazing fiercely; none shall reach it  but those unfortunate ones who give lie to truth and turn their backs. But those devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it’. (Quran 92: 14 – 17) 

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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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