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Patience in adversity

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM


‘O you who believe. Seek help with patient perseverance and Prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere (Quran 2: 153)


In our daily worldly life when a person enjoys good health, security, power, wealth and fulfilment of his worldly physical desires, we should not assume that this time of ease will last forever, and we should not let this good fortune make us arrogant, extravagant or careless in any way.


We must realise that that this ‘good fortune’ does not last forever because every individual has to face and bear many of life’s hardships and unpleasant experiences. This is because at any given moment in our lives we will be faced with challenges, difficulties and situations beyond our control. These may be anything from losing one’s employment, home, car, possessions or even the death of our family and loved ones.

 

These events can be discouraging and at times bitter experiences that can disturb and shake a person’s confidence and make him fall into a spiral of negative feelings. These unfavourable events can at times be very traumatic for some and they will fall into despair – but for the believer who has places his trust in Allah and has patience, these burdens become more bearable. ‘’Those who believe and whose hearts are filled with satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah; for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction’ (Qur’an 13:28)


We have to accept that in the cycle of life and in our daily lives we have both our good times and we our bad times; but how we react to them is what really counts. We tend to worry about everything whether it is real or imagined. Some of us will see our problems as insurmountable, interminable and unbearable and we will lose all hope of ever solving them.

 

We turn to family and friends for advice and comfort, some will just keep quiet and patiently persevere, others may just give up hope, others may go to faith healers or traditional doctors – but for those who are strong and sincere in faith will turn to the Lord in prayer and will find comfort. Our problems may not be solved overnight but that is part of the test from our Creator to see who is best in patience and trust.  


‘To those whose hearts, when Allah is mentioned, are filled with awe, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend in charity out of what we have bestowed upon them, are the true believers’ (Qur’an 22: 36). Also another verse says: ‘And your Lord says; call on me and I will answer your prayer’. (Qur’an 40: 60)


Therefore those with firm faith and belief will turn to the Lord in prayer for guidance and assistance to overcome our difficulties. The truth is that sometimes because of our impatience or even, shall we say weakness of our faith in the Allah we feel that the Lord is not answering our prayers and resolving our problems to ‘our’ satisfaction. A Muslim is always reminded that when he prays for his problems to be solved he should always trust his Creator to help him.

 

Sometimes we feel that our prayers are not being answered and it is taking ‘too’ long – remember that Allah in His Infinite Wisdom and Mercy has a plan for every believer; He may not answer it in the way we want it done, but for the faithful the answer will be revealed in its time. So it is important to learn to live with patience.


We must console ourselves that just as there is a dawn after every night fall, similarly for every hardship there is ease. Therefore we must place our Faith and Trust in our Creator: ‘By the glorious morning light; and by the night when it darkens, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased with you, and the Hereafter will indeed be better for you than the present life; soon you will be gratified with what your Lord will give you’. (Qur’an 93: 1-5)


There are some situations when we feel that our problems are insurmountable and that we do feel that we do not have any strength to bear those burdens. But never ever despair because the Almighty says: ‘On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear’ and even then the verse further goes to instruct us to pray ‘……..Our Lord lay not on us a burden greater than the strength we have to bear’.  (Qur’an 2:286). Therefore we should put our faith and trust in the Hands of our Creator


Let us face it we all have to learn patience and faith to deal with situations that are to say the least challenging, we cannot do without patience. So we need to learn in dealing in situations beyond our control because some of us may have any of the following reactions:  A feeling of helplessness, discontentment, panicking and complaining. Some may respond with patience, accepting and being contented with the situation with trust that the Almighty will guide them through those challenges. All of this takes patience, and nobody can exercise patience at a time of ease except people of very strong faith: ‘So be patient…. and glorify your Lord with His praise before the rising of the sun and before it’s setting… so that you may find comfort (Qur’an 20:130)


 It is important to remember that we need to develop patience and trust in ourselves and in our Creator, once we can do that the hardships will strengthen our hearts and our faith. But to bring these two qualities into our lives we need to learn to look at the world in a different light because to bring peace to our lives we need to bring about a complete change of outlook in our own personality because the way we view and treat others we will also bring about a change in the way others treat and view us.


I read the following piece recently written by an author of a book called: The Power of Positive Thinking. In it he says that when we have challenges that we think are unsurmountable we get into a panic mode, but we should stop to think:
In life, there are enough times when we are disappointed, depressed and annoyed. We don't really have to go looking for them. We have a wonderful world that is full of beauty, light and promise. Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying when we can look around us, and see the wondrous things before us!


This can be read as "GOD IS NO WHERE" or as "GOD IS NOW HERE" everything depends on how you see it. So think positive always. Thinking positive is the key to your success. All successful people have one thing in common: Positive thinking and passion for what they are doing!


Further there is a motivational quote: "Be sure that you appreciate everything you've got; and be thankful for the little things in life that mean a lot." And also an inspirational quote: "It is not what you have but it is how you think has a profound effect on your life." (Unquote)  


I also read the following inspirational clips: “Prayer is not a spare wheel that you pull out when in trouble – but it is a steering wheel that directs the right path throughout life.” “All things in life are temporary. If they are going well enjoy them, they will not last forever. If they are going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.” “Worrying does not take away tomorrows troubles; it takes away todays peace.” “Often we lose hope and think this is the end, Allah says relax its just a bend and not the end.” When Allah solves your problems you have faith in His abilities; when Allah doesn’t solve them He has faith in YOUR abilities. So be strong and have faith.

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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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