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Islam teaches Righteousness and Forbids Evil

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

All religions teach righteousness, in Islam, it covers all virtuous teachings; in our daily lives examples include righteous piety, truthfulness, equality, respect for others, justice, and peace.

Unfortunately righteousness is in short supply in this world of ours. Regrettably we now have set out and created man made standards under the guise of human ‘freedom / my rights’, and placed them above our moral and religious teachings. In so doing we have elevated the laws of man to be above the Laws of God, regardless, of whether they are in conflict with those moral teachings.

Allah not only commands the believers to fear Him but to be among those who are righteous.  Amongst the things we have to do to be righteous is that we have to wholeheartedly give of the things that we love and also avoid those that lead us to evil. We should be charitable to others out of our sincere feeling to please Allah and not because we want people to recognize us.  To give freely of that which we love implies that Allah enjoins upon the righteous to love one another.   

Allah bestows love on those who believe and work deeds of righteousness (Quran 19:96).  He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and gives them an increase of His Bounty (Quran 42:26). He grants the need of every creature (Quran 55:29).  The bounties of your Lord are not closed to anyone (Quran 17:20). 

Many of us desire and work for material prosperity, fame and other worldly needs in this life so that we can become wealthy, famous or attain worldly success.  If we desire happiness in this present world and work for it, then if we do it in a righteous manner and toil for it, in many cases, Allah grants us our need. We receive Allah’s reward for any righteous deed or virtuous act done in this world. “If any do wish for the transitory things of this life, We readily grant them such things as We will to such as We will… (Quran 17:18). But we have to remember: “No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint….” (Quran 41: 35)

However, our happiness could be temporary, because many of us, once we reach a certain level of standing easily become haughty, arrogant and could lose our righteousness because we become slaves to our wealth and our social standing or position. In the quest for wealth we lose sight of our true purpose on this earth because we focus on the transitory and temporary world rather than the Eternal world to come.

In Islam, the righteous individuals are expected to be assets and not liabilities to the society and to humanity as a whole. In line with the concept of righteousness the Quran says: By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah knows it well. (Quran 3:92)

We are told to do all the good deeds solely for Allah’s pleasure and if we follow the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), the Almighty will reward us, if not in this world, then in the Hereafter. Allah will surely grant us eternal peace, prosperity and happiness in Paradise. Allah has said to us; “whoever expects to meet His Lord let him work righteousness and in worship of his Lord (Quran 18:110). He has commanded us; “to serve Him with sincere devotion” (Quran 39:14).  “Allah is never unjust in the least degree.  If there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from His Own self a great reward. (Quran 4:40)

Believers are expected to live in peace and tranquility and to promote brotherliness and peace among them and to the rest of humanity. A simple thing like greeting others promotes brotherliness: “Allah commands us to extend and answer greetings of peace to others (Quran 4:86). Furthermore, our Creator commands us the following: to fear Him and be with those who are truthful (Quran 9:119); to help one another in righteousness and piety and not in sin and rancor (Quran 5:2); to be moderate in our pace and lower our voices (Quran 31:19); to show kindness not only to our parents, kin and the orphans but to all those in need; to speak fair to the people” (Quran 2:83)

Patience and perseverance is another element of righteousness: Allah the Most Glorious also wants us to patiently persevere as: “He shall test us with something of fear, hunger, loss in wealth, lives, and the fruits (of our toil)” (2:153 and 155). And: “to establish regular prayer, enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong and bear with patient constancy whatever befalls us” (31:17).

To be righteous we have to maintain peace and to avoid all evil and indecency, as the Almighty instructs us in these various verses: “He forbids all shameful deeds, evil and injustice” (Quran 16:90), transgression (59:19), mischief (28:77), arrogance, selfishness, niggardliness (4: 36- 37), pride (31:18), ungratefulness (2:276), boasting (4:38), envy (2:109), making oaths to deceive others (16:92), dishonesty (3:161), slandering (68:11), laughing at others, sarcastic attitude, or calling others by offensive nicknames, suspicion, spying, or speaking ill of others behind their backs (49:11-12). 

In Islam, even to speak maliciously about someone in his absence is a sin. Other forbidden acts in Islam include: “……indecent deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; rebellion (Quran 49:7); ….squander not your wealth in the manner of a spendthrift” (17:26); “…that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery or fornication, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood; (60:12). Further; “He has prohibited the taking of life, which He has made sacred, except by way of justice and law (6:151).  If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell”. (Quran 4:93).

Allah reminds us not to let Satan seduce us to follow his way for he is an avowed enemy to us. The Quran admonishes us: “O you who believe follow not Satan’s footsteps.  If any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong.  And were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure.  But Allah does purify whom He pleases.  And Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things).”  (Quran 24: 21)

Another Quranic teaching that Allah guides us to is justice.  Our Creator commands us to:” render back our trusts to whom they are due and when we judge between man and man, that we judge with justice” (Quran 4:58).  We are to: “stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, your parents, or your kin, whether rich or poor.  Never should we decline to do justice because Allah knows all that we do (Quran 4:135).  : He tells us: “not to depart from justice….to be just….is next to Piety (Quran 5:8).  

These are the stepping stones to achieve righteousness they may appear overwhelming and difficult to follow. But they are the standard guidance and teachings of virtually every religion. We need to set our sights on being aware of these injunctions we will set in motion something that will tug at our conscience and that is the beginning of the road to righteousness and in following the Quranic injunctions.

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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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