Allah says in the Qur’an that ‘Whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed attained the highest achievement’. (33:71) In other words, real success of man in this life and the Hereafter lies only in the obedience to the orders of Allah and in practically following and emulating the Sunnah (the advice, guidance, actions and personal conduct) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in every aspect of life.
Every Muslim knows this, but that obedience will only come within us only when we have developed proper yaqeen (faith and conviction) in the promises of Allah and His Messenger. As Muslims, our first priority should therefore be to individually and collectively make every effort to increase our faith to the required level.
The following are some of the virtuous actions and deeds which would, according to Hadees of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), to help us to wipe out our sins and earn us tremendous rewards in this world and the Hereafter. For the better understanding of readers they have been put into a simpler form of language.
TAUBAH (Repentance): “Whoever makes taubah (repents to Allah) before the rising of the sun from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.” “Surely Allah, the Mighty and the High accepts the repentance of His slave until he last gurgles (when he is in the throes of death)”.
GOING OUT IN SEARCH OF DEENI KNOWLEDGE: “Whoever sets out in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the Way to Jannah.” ZIKR (Remembrance) OF ALLAH: “Should I not inform you about the best of your deeds, and the purest in the sight of Your Master (i.e. Allah), and that which will elevate you to the highest of ranks, and that which is better for you than the spending of gold and silver in charity is the Zikr of Allah.”
DOING OF GOOD DEEDS AND LEADING OTHERS TOWARDS RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Every good deed is sadaqah (an act of charity). And whoever guides others towards good is equal to the doer of good.” ENJOINING GOOD AND FORBIDDING EVIL: “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil act (being committed) should prevent it with his hands, If he is unable to do so, he should (prevent it) with his tongue. Then if he is unable to do so, he should do so (i.e. prevent it) with his heart. And this is the lowest form of Imaan (faith). “
RECITATION OF THE QURAN: “Recite the Quran for indeed it will appear on the Day of Qiyaamah (the Day of Reckoning) as an Intercessor for its companions (reciters).” GREETING (Salaam): “You will not enter Jannah until you have Imaan (firm faith) and you will not attain (complete) Imaan until you love one another. Shall I not show you something by doing which there will be love between you? Make salaam common amongst yourselves.”
VISITING THE SICK: “A Muslim who visits his sick Muslim brother in the morning, seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the evening. And if he visits him in the evening, then seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the morning. And he will be granted a mansion (for it) in Jannah.”
HELPING THOSE IN DEBT: “Whoever provides ease for someone who is burdened with debt, Allah will provide ease for him in this world and the Aakhirah (the Hereafter).” CONCEALING THE FAULTS OF OTHERS: “The Muslim who conceals the faults of another Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)”
MAINTAINING FAMILY TIES: “Family ties are suspended from the Throne of Allah. It proclaims: Whoever upholds me, may Allah keep good relations with him and whoever severs me, Allah may sever His relation (of mercy) from him.” GOOD CHARACTER: The Prophet was asked about the deeds which lead most of the people into Jannah. He replied, “The fear of Allah and good manners.” TRUTHFULNESS: “I enjoin upon you truthfulness for indeed truthfulness guides towards virtue, and virtue certainly leads to Jannah (Heavenly Paradise).”
PATIENCE: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick from a thorn but that Allah wipes out (some of) his sins for that.” KINDNESS TO PARENTS: “The person who finds one or both of his parents in old age, yet fails to serve them will not enter Jannah (Paradise).”
TO FULFILL THE NEEDS OF WIDOWS AND THE POOR: “He who fulfils the needs of widows and the poor is like one who strives in the path of Allah, like one who continuously spends the night in Ibaadah (worship) and like one who fasts without breaking it.” TAKING CARE OF ORPHANS: “I and the person who supports an orphan shall be as close in Jannah as these (index and middle) fingers are to each other’. BUILDING A MUSJID (MOSQUE): “Whoever builds a musjid for the pleasure of Allah, Allah will build for him (a house) like it in Jannah (Paradise).
GOING TO THE MUSJID (Mosque): “The person going to the musjid during the day or night, Allah prepares for him a special form of hospitality (in Jannah/ Paradise) for each time he goes to the musjid during the day or night.” FIVE TIMES DAILY SALAAH (PRAYERS): “Whenever it is time for the Prayers, and any Muslim carefully performs wudhu (ablution) for it and discharges it with proper concentration, then, this becomes an atonement for his past sins as long as he does not commit any major sins.”
PRAYER OF REPENTANCE AFTER COMMITTING SIN: “Whenever a Muslim, after committing a sin performs wudhu (Ablution) properly and thereafter stands up to perform two raka’aat of Salaatut Taubah (Prayer for Forgiveness) and then seeks Allah’s forgiveness, Allah certainly forgives him.”
THE FAST OF RAMADAAN: “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadaan (the month of Fasting) out of Imaan (sincere faith) and hoping to attain reward (from Allah), all his past sins will be forgiven.” FEEDING A FASTING PERSON: “Whoever feeds a fasting person at the time of breaking fast, earns the reward equal to his, without the reward of the fasting one diminishing in the least.” SADAQAH (Charity): “Sadaqah (the giving of charity) wipes out sin just as water extinguishes fire.”
STRIVING IN THE PATH OF ALLAH: “To stay on guard for one day in the path of Allah is better than this world and whatever is upon it, and a place in Jannah as small as that occupied by the whip of one of you is better than this world and whatever is upon it, and a morning’s or an evening’s journey which a person travels in the path of Allah is better than the world and whatever is upon it.”
SPENDING IN THE PATH OF ALLAH: Whoever prepares a Ghaazi (person striving in Allah’s path) gains a reward equal to that of the Ghaazi and whoever takes proper care of the family of a Ghaazi gains a reward similar to that of the Ghaazi. TO PERFORM THE JANAAZAH SALAAH ( Funeral Prayer) AND ACCOMPANY THE FUNERAL PROCESSION: “He who attends a funeral and performs the Janaazah salaah (funeral prayers) will receive a reward equal to one Qeeraat (a huge mountain) and he who goes to a funeral and remains until the burial will receive two Qeeraat.
These are just a small portion of the advice, guidance and teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) that he gave to us so that we may become better and more faithful Muslims. For a non-Muslim these may be difficult to grasp and understand, hence, they have been put into an easier format.
The Central Bank has by way of its Monetary Policy Statement informed us that the Botswana economy is likely to contract by 8.9 percent over the course of the year 2020.
The IMF paints an even gloomier picture – a shrinkage of the order of 9.6 percent. That translates to just under $2 billion hived off from the overall economic yield given our average GDP of roughly $18 billion a year. In Pula terms, this is about P23 billion less goods and services produced in the country and you and I have a good guess as to what such a sum can do in terms of job creation and sustainability, boosting tax revenue, succouring both recurrent and development expenditure, and on the whole keeping our teeny-weeny economy in relatively good nick.
Joseph’s and Judah’s family lines conjoin to produce lineal seed
Just to recap, General Atiku, the Israelites were not headed for uncharted territory. The Promised Land teemed with Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These nations were not simply going to cut and run when they saw columns of battle-ready Israelites approach: they were going to fight to the death.
Parliament has begun debates on three related Private Members Bills on the conditions of service of members of the Security Sector.
The Bills are Prisons (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Police (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Botswana Defence Force (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bills seek to amend the three statutes so that officers are placed on full salaries when on interdictions or suspensions whilst facing disciplinary boards or courts of law.
In terms of the Public Service Act, 2008 which took effect in 2010, civil servants who are indicted are paid full salary and not a portion of their emolument. Section 35(3) of the Act specifically provides that “An employee’s salary shall not be withheld during the period of his or her suspension”.
However, when parliament reformed the public service law to allow civil servants to unionize, among other things, and extended the said protection of their salaries, the process was not completed. When the House conferred the benefit on civil servants, members of the disciplined forces were left out by not accordingly amending the laws regulating their employment.
The Bills stated above seeks to ask Parliament to also include members of the forces on the said benefit. It is unfair not to include soldiers or military officers, police officers and prison waders in the benefit. Paying an officer who is facing either external or internal charges full pay is in line with the notion of ei incumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negat or the presumption of innocence; that the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.
The officers facing charges, either internal disciplinary or criminal charges before the courts, must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Paying them a portion of their salary is penalty and therefore arbitrary. Punishment by way of loss of income or anything should come as a result of a finding on the guilt by a competent court of law, tribunal or disciplinary board.
What was the rationale behind this reform in 2008 when the Public Service Act was adopted? First it was the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered “innocent until proven guilty”. In terms of the constitution and other laws of Botswana, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.
Withholding a civil servant’s salary because they are accused of an internal disciplinary offense or a criminal offense in the courts of law, was seen as punishment before a decision by a tribunal, disciplinary board or a court of law actually finds someone culpable. Parliament in its wisdom decided that no one deserves this premature punishment.
Secondly, it was considered that people’s lives got destroyed by withholding of financial benefits during internal or judicial trials. Protection of wages is very important for any worker. Workers commit their salaries, they pay mortgages, car loans, insurances, schools fees for children and other things. When public servants were experiencing salary cuts because of interdictions, they lost their homes, cars and their children’s future.
They plummeted into instant destitution. People lost their livelihoods. Families crumbled. What was disheartening was that in many cases, these workers are ultimately exonerated by the courts or disciplinary tribunals. When they are cleared, the harm suffered is usually irreparable. Even if one is reimbursed all their dues, it is difficult to almost impossible to get one’s life back to normal.
There is a reasoning that members of the security sector should be held to very high standards of discipline and moral compass. This is true. However, other more senior public servants such as judges, permanent secretary to the President and ministers have faced suspensions, interdictions and or criminal charges in the courts but were placed on full salaries.
The yardstick against which security sector officers are held cannot be higher than the aforementioned public officials. It just wouldn’t make sense. They are in charge of the security and operate in a very sensitive area, but cannot in anyway be held to higher standards that prosecutors, magistrates, judges, ministers and even senior officials such as permanent secretaries.
Moreover, jail guards, police officers and soldiers, have unique harsh punishments which deter many of them from committing misdemeanors and serious crimes. So, the argument that if the suspension or interdiction with full pay is introduced it would open floodgates of lawlessness is illogical.
Security Sector members work in very difficult conditions. Sometimes this drives them into depression and other emotional conditions. The truth is that many seldom receive proper and adequate counseling or such related therapies. They see horrifying scenes whilst on duty. Jail guards double as hangmen/women.
Detectives attend to autopsies on cases they are dealing with. Traffic police officers are usually the first at accident scenes. Soldiers fight and kill poachers. In all these cases, their minds are troubled. They are human. These conditions also play a part in their behaviors. They are actually more deserving to be paid full salaries when they’re facing allegations of misconduct.
To withhold up to 50 percent of the police, prison workers and the military officers’ salaries during their interdiction or suspensions from work is punitive, insensitive and prejudicial as we do not do the same for other employees employed by the government.
The rest enjoy their full salaries when they are at home and it is for a good reason as no one should be made to suffer before being found blameworthy. The ruling party seems to have taken a position to negate the Bills and the collective opposition argue in the affirmative. The debate have just began and will continue next week Thursday, a day designated for Private Bills.