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Muslim manners and duties

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

There are universal values and basic commitments for Muslims as individuals and as a people but some of us are a bit lax about them. When these are followed, they bring justice, peace, and happiness in this world and they will indeed bring success and salvation in the Hereafter.


These principles are:
To worship Allah alone: “Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him.” (Quran 17:23)  This means to recognize Allah as the Lord, with no partners, to worship Him with all sincerity and to submit to Him in every aspect of life. A Muslim’s life is nothing but total commitment to Allah as He is the centre of our life and our total and ultimate concern. A Muslim turns to Allah for all His blessings and the praise and glory belongs to Allah.




To be respectful and kind to the parents: (And (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness and humility say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little. (Quran 17:23-24)


This is to acknowledge the compassion and kindness of our parents, and to be grateful to them by doing our utmost to reciprocate that love, compassion and devotion the showed to us. Respect and kindness to parents is not just a social duty for Muslims; but our religious duty and obligation.

To be good to your relatives, to the poor and the travellers: “Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer.” (Quran 17:26)


Our responsibilities are not only towards ourselves and our immediate families, but also to other relatives and to the society at large. We are all in need of each other and we are all fellow travellers in this path of life. Muslims must live a socially responsible life. Social responsibility begins with the family, other relatives and it includes all those who are in need.

To be careful with your money and not to waste your resources: “And squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.


Lo! The squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord … And let not thy hand be chained (like a misers) to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou become blameworthy and destitute. Your Lord provides sustenance to whom He pleases, and He provides in just measure, He Knows, and regards all of His servants.” (Quran 17:26-27, 29-30)


One should neither be too stingy / tight with one’s money nor too lose with it. Extravagance is not right, but also one should not become stingy and miserly. A Muslim is committed to the balanced life style. Money should be earned in Halaal (lawful) ways and it should be spent in a rightful manner. This principle can be applied to all resources that Allah has given us. Wise use of nature’s resources is also an important commitment of Muslims.

To steer clear of adultery and illicit relations: “And come not near unto adultery / fornication: for it is a shameful deed and an opening the road to other evils.” (Quran17: 32)


Islam teaches that one should not come close to adultery or fornication. Sexual perversions bring the greatest harm to us as individuals and societies, by observing the proper rules regarding this matter lead to a happier and moral society. Muslims must be committed to a pure, clean and socially responsible life style. 

To respect every life and not to kill anyone unless in the pursuit of justice: “Nor take a life – which Allah has made sacred except for a just cause”.( Quran 17:33)


This means that one should recognize the sanctity of all life and should not do anything that may jeopardize life. One should avoid aggression and violence, because these things lead to murder. Every Muslim must be committed to peaceful ways. Conflicts should be resolved by dialogue and negotiations, not by killings and murders. However, justice (law) must be maintained, because just punishment brings safety and protects life.
 To take care of the orphans: “It is righteousness …..to spend of your substance ……for orphans” (Quran 2: 177)


Orphans and all those who are vulnerable must be taken care of. Their rights must be recognized and they should be protected from all harms. A Muslim must be committed to assist the young, poor, infirm and handicapped. Kindness and compassion must be the basic commitment of a Muslim. This includes even animals.

To fulfil the promises and your commitments: (Those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants… will be the heirs who will inherit Paradise” (Quran 23: 8-10)


Promises and contracts are an important part of our human interaction and daily lives. When promises are not kept, people lose trust in each other and the whole society becomes weak. Muslims have to be true to their words. Our commitment must be to speak the truth, to be honest and when we make a pledge we do our best to fulfil it.

To be honest in business dealings and not to cheat in weight or measurement: “Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the end.” (Quran 17:35)


Honesty in all our dealings brings progress, success and blessings. All dealings whether it is commercial, social or political must be done with a sense of justice and fairness. A Muslim is committed to honesty and fair dealing in everything and with everyone. Dealing with a Muslim should give a person confidence. A Muslim businessman should be the most truthful businessman.

 

A Muslim worker should be an honest worker. A Muslim in any profession should bring honour to that profession.

To do things with knowledge and not to follow the hearsay or act on half- knowledge: “follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart—of each of these it will be asked.” (Quran 17:36)


When we hear some gossip and stories and we spread them around; we may be doing harm to people because we are not sure if the information is true or not. We should keep away from these types of stories because we should be committed to verifying the truth in our information to ensure that it is a trustworthy report. We should also be careful with our actions and reactions.

 

We should not react on hearsay or without proper evidence against anyone because if we act on wrong information it is very difficult to put things right thereafter because we may have done untold damage to others.

To be humble and have no arrogance: “And do not swell thy cheek with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth, for Allah does not love any arrogant boaster” (Quran 31: 18)


Moderation and balance should be in our behaviour and in our attitudes toward others. A Muslim should be dignified and humble. We must avoid being boastful, arrogant or conceited. 
These are some of the basic values, principles and commitments for a Muslim, as individuals and as people. These should form the basis of our character, outlook, behaviour and interaction both in our private and in public life.


Finally the ‘golden median’ in the words of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh): “My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of Allah, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich; to reunite family relations with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; forgive those wrong me and oppress me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; my speech be full of Allah’s remembrance; that my looking should be an admonition and that I should command what is right.”

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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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