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Copycat Tilts at Baalbek

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

Further quests for immortality by  ancient rulers

Having lost the vital Plant of Eternal Youth, Gilgamesh was so sickly depressed he asked his escort Urshanabi, Noah’s boatman, to accompany him all the way to Uruk so he could comfort him. Urshanabi kindly obliged him.  The two set sail in a chartered royal ship on which they were the only passengers other than  the crew.

Throughout the seaborne journey, Gilgamesh kept weeping as he feverishly paced up and down the deck, wondering why he should be so unfortunate as to let the Rejuvenation Herb slip through his fingers. Exactly who filched it from his chariot? Was it the Enkites of the Enlilites? The propaganda pitch  that soon spread far and wide was that he was sabotaged by the agents of Enki given that Utu-Shamash,  an Enlilite, had done all he could to help him attain eternal life.

It must be borne in mind, however, that the Enlilites, were not in one accord concerning Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality. Ishkur-Adad, for instance, had  frowned upon the idea. Nannar-Sin was non-committal.  So to single out the Enkites as the party that put the spanner in the works was rash. Moreover, although the Anunnaki who guarded the spring where the Rejuvenation Herb grew were called Snakes, a metaphor for Enkites, they were not necessarily Enkites. In fact, they were in all probability Enlilites in that it was Enlil who had decreed that the plant be jealously guarded.

If it had been up to Enki alone, Gilgamesh would have clinched the Rejuvenation Plant given that it was Enki who created mankind and his personal wish was to see mankind live as long as the Anunnaki did. That is not to mention the fact that being the son of Ninsun, Enki’s daughter, Gilgamesh was a grandson of Enki. As such, Enki wouldn’t want to administer a demolition job to his quest for an indefinite lifespan.  

GILGAMESH HONOURS ENKIDU

After an absence of about one year, Gilgamesh was back home. When he saw the grandeur and splendour of Uruk,  “with its cultivated fields and orchards and its towering ziggurat devoted to Ishtar, all of it enclosed by intricately wrought walls”, all his sorrows were immediately subsumed by a sense of pride and awe.

A great number of his people had long set up camp on the shores of the Persian Gulf awaiting his uncertain return and when they saw him, they thronged him, shedding tears of joy in their ecstasy.  All the Uruk elders were sent for to come and receive him and accompany back to Uruk  as per official protocol.

After he had been debriefed on the happenings in Uruk whilst he was away by his council of elders, Gilgamesh  informed them,  with a catch in his voice,  that his quest for immortality had not been successful and that he would soon sit down to write all his experiences, including his meeting with Noah, the hero of the Deluge. The Noah encounter particularly excited the elders, whereupon  Gilgamesh recounted to them all that had transpired in Noah’s subterranean Paradise. Then he asked the elders to get all the people of Uruk to assemble at a public square.  

When the people accordingly gathered, Gilgamesh announced to  them the death of Enkidu.  They all broke down in loud lamentation in a manner akin to a mass funeral. “Gilgamesh proclaimed his grief,” says The Epic of Gilgamesh. “Everyone mourned, including the creatures of the field and plain, the elders of the city, and the prostitute who domesticated Enkidu. The pathways to the Cedar Forest, the rivers Ulaja and Euphrates, and the farmers and shepherds in their fields all mourned Enkidu’s death.”

Gilgamesh proceeded to summon the craftsmen of Uruk, comprising metalworkers, stone carvers, goldsmiths, and engravers, and commanded them to raise a statue of Enkidu to honour his deeds and celebrate his fame. That done, he assembled  a team of scribes to help him document his story and the accompanying depictions on clay tablets and cylinder seals. That was how The Epic of Gilgamesh came to be.

The chief scribe  introduced the epic thus:  “Let me make known to the country him who the Tunnel (Noah’s abode)  has seen: of him who knows the waters (where the Plant of Rejuvenation grew)  let me the full story tell. Secret things he has seen, what is hidden from man he found out. He even brought tidings of the time before the Deluge.

He took the distant journey, wearisome and under difficulties. He returned and upon a stone column all his toil he engraved … When the gods (the Anunnaki)  created Man,  wide understanding they perfected for him. Wisdom they had given him.  To him they had given Knowledge. Everlasting life they had not given him.” And so it was that for generations thereafter, scribes copied and translated, poets recited, and storytellers related the tale of the first determined but  futile search for immortality by a mortal.
 
ENLIL ORDERS ACCOMPANIED BURIAL FOR GILGAMESH

For the   remainder of his years, Gilgamesh continued to lament the fact that he had failed to secure immortality like Noah and that death for him was an inevitability. But he never gave up hope. Now advanced in years and lying on his death bed, “pursued by the Angel of Death”, he made one final appeal to Enlil to relent and confer immortality on him, especially seeing that both his Anunnaki  mother Ninsun and his Anunnaki grandmother Ninmah still looked as youngish as he had always known them.  It was his godfather Utu-Shamash who he urged to approach Enlil on his behalf.

Enlil’s response was a foregone conclusion: Gilgamesh wasn’t getting a new lease of life but was rejoining his ancestry. What Enlil, the Jehovah of the Bible, did next illustrated what a diabolical being he was. He decreed that since Gilgamesh was “special” – a demigod who was at once king of a great city-state in Uruk – he was not going to the Nether World, the world of the dead,  alone. He was to be accompanied by “his beloved wife, his beloved son, his beloved concubine, his musicians, his entertainers, his beloved cupbearer, the chief valet, his caretakers, and the palace attendants” as compensation for his denial of immortality.

Thus it was that on the day of his burial circa 2600 BC, all the above-mentioned people were given a drug which scrambled  their senses and in what  is called a “accompanied burial” were buried alive in the same huge grave in which Gilgamesh was laid to rest. Jehovah, folks, hardly had any regard for the sanctity of human life: to him, we were little more than animals.

We were expendable apes. When British missionaries came to Africa  in the 19th century and learnt that Shaka the Zulu, on his mother Nandi’s death, ordered that   ten handmaidens be buried alive with her, they denounced his legacy as that of a savage. Yet the very god they worshipped was guilty of exactly the same barbarity and even worse if  Old Testament accounts of  his penchant for mass murder are  anything to  go by.

Altogether, Gilgamesh lived for about 300 years, having been born circa 2900 BC, and  ruled for 126 years. After his death, he was succeeded by his son Ur-Lugal, who in turn was succeeded by his son Utu-Kalamma. The two ruled a combined 45 years. Five more kings followed after Utu-Kalamma and they ruled for a total of 95 years. At the time kingship was transferred from Uruk to Ur, Nannar-Sin’s cult city, 12 kings had sat on Uruk’s throne for a total of 2310 years, beginning with Enmerkar, the grandfather of Gilgamesh. 

But of all the 12, the greatest was no doubt Gilgamesh. It is he who is the most comprehensively documented. Even his father and predecessor Lugalbanda pales in comparison to feats wrought by Gilgamesh. Yet Gilgamesh owed his greatness not to he himself as such  but to his bosom friend Enkidu, who was genetically engineered into existence by Enki with a view to help mould him into a better person. Before Enkidu’s advent, Gilgamesh was a despicable king who ruled his domain like a thug.     

THE CONTENDING FOR BAALBEK

The thunderclap failure by Gilgamesh to obtain immortality did not deter other mortals from trying their luck. In their case though, their pilgrimage was restricted to the Landing Place at  Baalbek in modern-day Lebanon, where Gilgamesh, accompanied by his great friend and mentor Enkidu,  had his first futile attempt  at securing access to a Nibiru-bound shem  circa 2860 BC.  Tilmun, the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula,  was too remote and doubly difficult to access than the Cedar Forest in Lebanon.  

Even when the Anunnaki had officially departed Earth, Baalbek remained of great symbolic and religious value compared to Tilmun, which the Anunnaki obliterated with a nuclear blast in 2024 BC, an event we shall relate in detail in due course.   Since Baalbek was,  courtesy of the saga of Gilgamesh,  associated with man’s efforts to live forever, the terrestrial allegory of Heaven (that is, Nibiru), it became a religious monument  over which ancient superpowers fought.  

When it came under the control of the Greeks in 331 BC, they  built a temple  they  dedicated to their god Zeus, that is, Nannar-Sin, Enlil’s second-born son, who is today best-known as Allah.  When the Romans occupied the place in 63 BC, not only did they erect a vast, 4000 ft-above-sea-level horizontal platform  there but they also built a temple for the worship of their god Jupiter. Jupiter was actually Enki but the Romans wrongly (or was it deliberately) used the name to refer to Nannar-Sin.

Constantine the Great (A.D. 306-337)  upon turning Christian (deceptively)  accordingly turned Baalbek into a Christian shrine after scrapping all the works that had been going on there to date. In 440 BC, Roman Emperor Theodosius II  “destroyed the temples of the Greeks. He transformed into a Christian church the Temple of Heliopolis (Baalbek as it  was called by the Greeks) to that of Baal Helios (Utu-Shamash, Nannar-Sin’s most prominent son)”.  In 637 AD, it was the turn of the Muslims, who “converted the Roman temples and Christian churches atop the huge platform into a Mohammedan enclave. Where Zeus and Jupiter had been worshiped, a mosque was built to worship Allah”. The names had changed but it was still  the same god, Nannar-Sin.   

In the Bible, the prophets Ezekiel and Amos referred to Baalbek  as “The Place of the Gods” (note the plural, suggesting that these were  the Anunnaki being spoken about) or “The Eden Abode”. At the time, Baalbek was in the hands of the Phoenicians, not the Israelites, but the prophets still venerated it as the holy place of the gods because it  had been a space facility of the Anunnaki and was therefore a consecrated place. Rockets, along with a place where rockets landed and took off, were synonymous with the  gods or holiness in that rockets were a means by which eternal life could be conferred by way of travel to Nibiru, the planet of the Anunnaki.  

FATE OF  THE KING OF BABYLON

Post-Gilgamesh, the mortals who like him set their sight on Baalbek to try their luck at gaining immortality were Nebuchadnezzar, Ithobalus III, and  Alexander the Great. We will start with Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar (634-562 BC) was the King of Babylon from 605-562 BC. It was     Nebuchadnezzar who presided over the Babylonian captivity – the capture of the Jewish people in 582 BC and heir deportation to Babylon, where they were held for 70 years as punishment by their god Enlil for repeatedly defying his decrees.

Unlike Gilgamesh, Nebuchadnezzar did not set foot on the Baalbek platform or ride in a shem: he was in the process of setting out for Baalbek when he was tactfully intercepted by Ishkur-Adad, Enlil’s third-born son, who at the time  was the most powerful  Enlilite.    Nebuchadnezzar could not be allowed to come near Baalbek, a “holy place”, because he was a protégé of Marduk, an Enkite, and Baalbek was controlled by the Enlilites.

As such, what he planned to do as the most powerful  king of the day was force his way to Baalbek, commandeer a shem, and blast off to Nibiru to be conferred eternal life by King Anu,  “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”. But Adad stopped him in his tracks by afflicting him with a disease that made him deranged, roam among animals, feed on grass, and finally die in ignominy. Isaiah’s mockery of Nebuchadnezzar, who was in the throes of death at the time  of the pronouncement,   is recorded in ISAIAH 14:12-20, which partly reads as follows, with my own comments in brackets:

“O, how fallen from heaven (kingly glory  in a mocking way)  art thou, a Morning Star, son of Dawn! (literally ‘Shining One’, how the Anunnaki were characterised because of their light-skinned complexion and their surpassing knowledge. This is spoken in jest by the prophet  as being an Anunnaki was what Nebuchadnezzar prospectively fancied himself as). Felled to the ground is he who the nations enfeebled.

Thou didst say in thine heart, ‘I will ascend unto the heavens (the cosmos on way to Nibiru), above the planets (the solar system) of El (Enlil) I shall raise my throne. (This is a false accusation: Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Marduk and so there was no way he would have wanted to exalt himself above any of the Anunnaki gods.) On the Mount of Assembly (Baalbek) I shall sit, on the Crest of Zaphon (Baalbek). Upon the Raised Platform (BaaIbek rocket-launch tower) I  shall go up (ride in a shem), a Lofty One (an Anunnaki) I shall be!’ But nay, to the Nether World (where evil people go at death) you shalt go, down to the depths of a pit (Hell).”

Tragically, this very earthly incident has been over-spiritualised by the hopelessly ignorant Christian clergy. It has been span as talking about the fall of Satan in Heaven! What hogwash. Why? Because in the Vulgate, a translation of the  Old Testament from Hebrew to Latin by Jerome, one of the church fathers, “Morning  Star Son of Dawn” is rendered as “Lucifer”, now a byword for Satan or Devil. But what these same Christian preachers will not admit to you is that Jesus is also referred to as Lucifer in REVELATION 22:16! The term Lucifer thus has no evil  connotations whatsoever as it even applies to the planet Venus, the brightest object in the dawn and evening sky. It is the Illuminati who corrupted the term Lucifer to  represent prime evil.
      
FATE OF THE KING OF TYRE

Tyre (today part of Lebanon) was a wealthy Phoenician city on the eastern Mediterranean coast as well as a strategic centre. In the 6th century BC, Ishkur-Adad instructed the prophet Ezekiel to pronounce doom on the King of Tyre. This diatribe against the king is recorded in EZEKIEL 28:12-19. Once again, the Christian clergy have falsely interpreted  the above passage as referring to the fall of  Satan in Heaven.

According to the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, the object of Adad’s wrath was King Ithobalus III of the city-state of Tyre, who reigned from 591-573 BC. This was in the waning days of the Anunnaki’s direct rulership of Earth. As his name implies, Ithobalus (meaning, “With Baal”) was a protégé of Utu-Shamash, who the Canaanites called Baal. Just as he had done with Gilgamesh, Shamash facilitated Ithobalus’s visit to the Baalbek aero-facility but went further: he got him to ride in a shem – a shuttlecraft, not an interplanetary rocket.   This time around, Shamash managed to obtain the express blessings of Adad, who was the overall god of Lebanon. So it was under the aegis, ultimately, of Adad, that Ithobalus was allowed to set foot in the Landing Place and board a shem.

But Ithobalus in due course  rubbed Adad the wrong way. Having been to Baalbek and having ridden in a shem (but only as far as Earth’s lower orbit, not all the way to Nibiru), Ithobalus became swell-headed: he literally grew wings. He began to boast to mankind that he had now become a god, that is, an Anunnaki. Like the Anunnaki, he bragged, he too had become immortal. This of course was false in that one only became like the Anunnaki (that is, was able to live nearly as long as they did) if he had travelled to Nibiru or partook of either the Rejuvenation Herb (the one that eluded Gilgamesh) or Ormus, the monoatomic white powder of Gold. Ithobalus did none of these.

“Thou hast been to a sacred mount (Baalbek),” Ezekiel said to Ithobalus on behalf of Adad. “As a god (Anunnaki) werest thou, moving within the fiery stones (the shems) …  And you became haughty, saying, a god am I, at the place (Baalbek) of the Elohim (the Anunnaki ruling pantheon) I was. But you are just man, not god.”

Because of being so full of himself and for propagating falsehoods, Ithobalus was to die at the hands of strangers. “I will cast you to the ground (be dethroned),” Adad said of Ithobalus through Ezekiel. “I will lay you before kings, that they may behold (mockingly) you … I will bring forth a fire (symbol/metaphor of judgement) from the middle of you (that is, from among his own reign). It   shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.” Adad was the cruellest and most irascible of the Anunnaki royalty: once you offended him, you were a goner.  

NEXT  WEEK: FATE OF HISTORY’S GREATEST GENERAL

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Technology saves Lions from angry Okavango villagers

22nd November 2022

Villagers in the eastern Okavango region are now using an alert system which warns them when collared lions approach livestock areas. The new technology is now regarded as a panacea to the human/wildlife conflict in the area as it has reduced mass poisoning and killing of lions by farmers.

The technology is being implemented by an NGO, Community Living Among Wildlife Sustainably (CLAWS) within the five villages of Seronga, Gunutsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa in the eastern part of the Okavango delta.

A Carnivore Ecologist from CLAWS, Dr Andrew Stein explained that around 2013, villagers in the eastern Okavango were having significant problems with losses of their cattle to predators specifically lions, so the villagers resorted to using poison and shooting the lions in order to reduce their numbers.

He highlighted that as a form of progressive intervention, they designed a programme to reduce the conflicts and promote coexistence. Another component of the programme is communal herding, introduced in 2018 to reduce the conflict by increasing efficiency whereby certified herders monitor livestock health and protect them from predators, allowing community members to engage in other livelihood activities knowing that their livestock are safe.

They are now two herds with 600 and 230 cattle respectively with plan to expand the programme to other neighbouring villages. Currently the programme is being piloted in Eretsha, one of the areas with most conflict incidences per year.

Dr Stein explained that they have developed the first of its kind alert system whereby when the lions get within three or five kilometers of a cattllepost or a homestead upon the five villages, then it will release an alert system going directly to the cellphones of individuals living within the affected area or community.

‘So, if a colored lion gets to about five kilometers of Eretsha village or any villagers in the Eretsha that has signed up for, the system will receive an SMS of the name of the lion and its distance to or from the village”, he stated. He added that this enables villagers to take preventative action to reduce conflicts before its starts.

Dr Stein noted that some respond by gathering their cattle and put them in a kraal or put them in an enclosure making sure that the enclosure is secure while some people will gather firewood and light small fires around edges of the kraal to prevent lions from coming closer and some when they receive the SMS they send their livestock to the neighbours alerting them about the presence of lions.

He noted that 125 people have signed to receive the alert system within Seronga, Eretsha, Beetsha, Gunutsoga and Gudigwa. He added that each homestead is about five people and this means more than 600 people immediately receive the messages about lions when they approach their villages. He also noted that last year they dispersed over 12 000 alerts, adding that this year is a bit higher as about 20 000 alerts have been sent so far across these villages.

Stein further noted that they have been significant changes in the behavior of the villagers as they are now tolerant to lions. “85 percent were happy with the SMS and people are becoming more tolerant with living with lions because they have more information to reduce the conflicts,” he stressed.

Stein noted that since the start of the programme in 2014 they have seen lion populations rebounds almost completely to a level before and they have not recorded cases of lion poisoning in the last three years which is commendable effort.

Monnaleso Sanga from Eretsha village applauded the programme by CLAWS noting that farmers in the area are benefiting through the alert system and take preventative measures to reduce human/lion conflict which has been persistent in the area. He added that numbers of cattle killed by lions have reduced immensely. He also admitted that they are now tolerant to lions and they no longer kill nor poison them.

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THE IDEAL QUALITY OF A MUSLIM

8th September 2022

A Muslim is supposed to be and should be a living example of the teachings of the Quran and the ‘Sunnah’ (the teachings and living examples of Prophet Muhammed (SAW – Peace be upon Him). We should follow these in all affairs, relations, and situations – starting with our relationship with our Lord, our own self, our family and the people around us. One of the distinguishing features of the (ideal) Muslim is his faith in Allah, and his conviction that whatever happens in the universe and whatever befalls him, only happens through the will and the decree of the Almighty Allah.

A Muslim should know and feel that he is in constant need of the help and support of Allah, no matter how much he may think he can do for himself. He has no choice in his life but to submit to the will of his Creator, worship Him, strive towards the Right Path and do good deeds. This will guide him to be righteous and upright in all his deeds, both in public and in private.

His attitude towards his body, mind and soul

The Muslim pays attention to his body’s physical, intellectual and spiritual needs. He takes good care of his body, promoting its good health and strength. He shouldn’t eat in excess; but he should eat enough to maintain his health and energy. Allah, The Exalted, Says “…Eat and drink; but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” [Quran 7: 31]

The Muslim should keep away from alcohol and drugs. He should also try to exercise regularly to maintain his physical fitness. The Muslim also keeps his body and clothes clean, he bathes frequently. The Prophet placed a great emphasis on cleanliness and bathing. A Muslim is also concerned with his clothing and appearance but in accordance with the Islamic ideal of moderation, avoiding the extremes.

As for his intellectual care, the Muslim should take care of his mind by pursuing beneficial knowledge. It is his responsibility to seek knowledge whether it is religious or secular, so he may understand the nature and the essence of things. Allah Says: “…and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [Quran 20: 114

The Muslim should not forget that man is not only composed of a body and a mind, but that he also possesses a soul and a spirit. Therefore, the Muslim pays as much attention to his spiritual development as to his physical and intellectual development, in a balanced manner which ideally does not concentrate on one aspect to the detriment of others.

His attitude towards people

The Muslim must treat his parents with kindness and respect, compassion, politeness and deep gratitude. He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them. Allah Says “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents…” [Quran 4: 36]

With his wife, the Muslim should exemplify good and kind treatment, intelligent handling, deep understanding of the nature and psychology of women, and proper fulfilment of his responsibilities and duties.

With his children, the Muslim is a parent who should understand his responsibility towards their good upbringing, showing them love and compassion, influence their Islamic development and giving them proper education, so that they become active and constructive elements in society, and a source of goodness for their parents, community, and society as a whole.

With his relatives, the Muslim maintains the ties of kinship and knows his duties towards them. He understands the high status given to relatives in Islam, which makes him keep in touch with them, no matter what the circumstances.

 

With his neighbours, the Muslim illustrates good treatment, kindness and consideration of others’ feelings and sensitivities. He turns a blind eye to his neighbour’s faults while taking care not to commit any such errors himself. The Muslim relationship with his wider circle of friends is based on love for the sake of Allah. He is loyal and does not betray them; he is sincere and does not cheat them; he is gentle, tolerant and forgiving; he is generous and he supplicates for them.

In his social relationships with all people, the Muslim should be well-mannered, modest and not arrogant. He should not envy others, fulfils his promises and is cheerful. He is patient and avoids slandering and uttering obscenities. He should not unjustly accuse others nor should he interfere in that which does not concern him. He refrains from gossiping, spreading slander and stirring up trouble – avoids false speech and suspicion. When he is entrusted with a secret, he keeps it. He respects his elders. He mixes with the best of people. He strives to reconcile between the Muslims. He visits the sick and attends funerals. He returns favours and is grateful for them. He calls others to Islam with wisdom, example and beautiful preaching. He should guide people to do good and always make things easy and not difficult.

The Muslim should be fair in his judgments, not a hypocrite, a sycophant or a show-off. He should not boast about his deeds and achievements. He should be straightforward and never devious or twisted, no matter the circumstances. He should be generous and not remind others of his gifts or favours. Wherever possible he relieves the burden of the debtor. He should be proud and not think of begging.

These are the standards by which the (ideal) Muslim is expected to structure his life on. Now how do I measure up and fit into all this? Can I honestly say that I really try to live by these ideals and principles; if not can I really call myself a true Muslim?

For the ease of writing this article I have made use of for want of a better word, the generic term ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘him’ and the ‘male’ gender, but it goes without saying that these standards apply equally to every female and male Muslim.

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OUR BELOVED CHILDREN

29th August 2022

“Homicide and suicide kill almost 7000 children every year; one in four of all children are born to unmarried mothers, many of whom are children themselves…..children’s potential lost to spirit crushing poverty….children’s hearts lost in divorce and custody battles….children’s lives lost to abuse and violence, our society lost to itself, as we fail our children.” “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” (Quotation taken from a book written by Hillary Clinton).

These words may well apply to us here in Botswana; We are also experiencing a series of challenges in many spheres of development and endeavour but none as challenging as the long term effects of what is going to happen to our youth of today. One of the greatest challenges facing us as parents today is how to guide our youth to become the responsible adults that we wish them to be, tomorrow.

In Islam Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has enjoined upon the parents to take care of the moral and religious instruction of their children from the very beginning, otherwise they will be called to account for negligence on the Day of Judgement. Parents must inculcate God-consciousness in their children from an early age, whereby the children will gain an understanding of duty to The Creator.

 

The Holy Qur’an says: ‘O you who believe! Save yourself and your families from the Fire of Hell’. (Ch. 66: V6). This verse places the responsibility on the shoulders of the parents to ensure that training and guidance begin at home. The goal is to mould the child into a solid Islamic personality, with good morals, strong Islamic principles, knowledge and behavior so as to be equipped to face the demands of life in a responsible and mature manner. This should begin with the proper environment at home that inculcates the best moral and behavioral standards.

But what do we have instead? Believers of all Religious persuasions will agree that we have children growing up without parental guidance, a stable home environment, without role models, being brought up in surroundings that are not conducive to proper upbringing and moulding of well-adjusted children. These children are being brought up devoid of any parental guidance and increasingly the desperate situation of orphaned children having to raise their siblings (children raising children) because their parents have succumbed to the scourge of AIDS.

It is becoming common that more and more girls still in their schooling years are now falling pregnant, most of them unwanted, with the attendant responsibilities and difficulties.

Observe the many young ladies who are with children barely in their teens having illegitimate children. In the recent past there was a campaign focused on the ‘girl-child’; this campaign targeted this group of young females who had fallen pregnant and were now mothers. The situation is that the mother still being just a ‘child’ and not even having tasted adulthood, now has the onerous responsibility of raising her own child most of the time on her own because either the father has simply disappeared, refuses to takes responsibility, or in some cases not even known.

We cannot place the entire blame on these young mothers; as parents and society as a whole stand accused because we have shirked our responsibilities and worse still we ourselves are poor role models. The virtual breakdown of the extended family system and of the family unit in many homes means that there are no longer those safe havens of peace and tranquility that we once knew. How then do we expect to raise well-adjusted children in this poisoned atmosphere?

Alcohol has become socially acceptable and is consumed by many of our youth and alarmingly they are now turning to drugs. Alcohol is becoming so acceptable that it is easily accessible even at home where some parents share drinks with their children or buying it for them. This is not confined only to low income families it is becoming prevalent amongst our youth across the board.

 

It is frightening to witness how our youth are being influenced by blatantly suggestive pop culture messages over television, music videos and other social media. Children who are not properly grounded in being able to make rational and informed decisions between what is right and what is wrong are easily swayed by this very powerful medium.

 

So what do we do as parents? We first have to lead by example; it is no longer the parental privilege to tell the child ‘do as I say not as I do’- that no longer works. The ball is in the court of every religious leader (not some of the charlatans who masquerade as religious leaders), true adherents and responsible parents. We cannot ignore the situation we have to take an active lead in guiding and moulding our youth for a better tomorrow.

In Islam Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “No father gives a better gift to his children than good manners and good character.”  Children should be treated not as a burden, but a blessing and trust of Allah, and brought up with care and affection and taught proper responsibilities etiquettes and behaviour.

Even the Bible says; ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein’. (Mark 10:14-15)

The message is clear and needs to be taken by all of us: Parents let us rise to the occasion – we owe it to our children and their future.

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