Benson C Saili THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER
Pro-mankind Anunnaki god saves lives as nuclear cloud rages then goes into seven-year hibernation to sleep over the abominable event
Both the upheavalling of Sodom and Gomorrah (by Nergal, Enki’s second-born son at the orders of Jehovah-Enlil) and the ravages of the “Evil Wind” in Sumer took place in 2024 BC. The fateful year was the sixth of Sumer-Akkad ruler Ibbi-Sin, making him an ill-fated king in the greater scheme of things. Although practically all of Sumer was affected by the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that emanated from the nuclear bomb blitz on the five cities of Canaan’s Jordan plain, Ur and Uruk bore the harshest brunt.
Says the Uruk Lament text: “When the Evil Storm passed over, the people were piled up in heaps … a hush settled over Uruk like a cloak … The loyal citizens of Uruk were seized with terror … Mob panic was brought about in Uruk … Its good sense was distorted." But it is Ur which is the most documented in the context of the Evil Wind in that it was the seat of the great god Nannar-Sin. The Lamentation Over the Destruction of Ur, a long poem of some 440 verses, is particularly graphic in its portrayal of the woes of the Cloud of Death.
“The city into ruins was made, the people groan … Its people, not potsherds, filled its ravines … In its lofty gates, where they were wont to promenade, dead bodies lay about … Where the festivities of the land took place, the people lay in heaps … The young were lying in their mothers' laps like fish carried out of the waters … The house has become a house of tears … The storm crushed the land, wiped out everything; it roared like a great wind over the land … The cultivated fields are not hoed, no seeds are implanted in the soil, no songs resound in the fields.”
Whereas in the past people would hasten to Sin’s temple-house to seek solace in times of hardship and distress, that simply was no longer the case: practically all the gods were nowhere to be seen. “Thus all its gods evacuated Ur. They kept away from it. They hid in the mountains. They escaped to the distant plains … Ur and its temples have been given over to the wind … The counsel of the land was dissipated … The song has been turned into weeping … Ur has been given over to tears.” Left in chaos, leaderless, and helpless, and as they gasped under a fog of nuclear “poison”, the people of Ur broke into the gods’ abode, temples, and shrines and angrily smashed their contents. “Why did the gods' benevolent eye look away?” they asked as they wailed and gnashed their teeth in anguish. “Who caused such worry and lamentation?"
Productive work came to a total standstill. “In the city's fields, there is no grain, gone is the fieldworker … The palm groves and vineyards, with honey and wine abounded, now bring forth mountain thorns.” Convinced that death was certain, that this was the apocalyptic end of the world, people no longer attached an abiding value to wealth of any guise. “Precious metals and stones, lapis lazuli, have been scattered about …”
In the countryside, both wild and domesticated animals were in dire straits. “On the steppe, cattle large and small become scarce, all living creatures come to an end." The domesticated animals, too, were left to their own devices. "The sheepfolds have been delivered to the wind … The hum of the turning churn resounds not in the sheepfold … The stalls provide not fat … In the storehouses that abounded in the land, fires were kindled …
The ox in its stable has not been attended, gone is its herdsman … The sheep in its fold has not been attended, gone is its shepherd boy … In the rivers of the city dust has gathered … Into fox dens they have become …” Meanwhile, the “holy” city-state of Nippur was equally reeling. "On that day, on that single day: on that night, on that single night … the storm, in a flash of lightning created, the people of Nippur were left prostrate."
NANNAR-SIN TAKEN ILL, NINURTA’S WIFE IS NO MORE
Seized by fear and confusion, the gods were just as frenetic in their panic as their Earthling subjects. It was “each man for himself”: using sky vehicles or sea-borne vessels, they ventured as far away from the vicinities of the Evil Wind as possible. The term “abandonment” features repeatedly in the lamentation texts. Nannar-Sin and his spouse Ningal abandoned Ur. Enlil, “the wild bull”, and his wife Ningal abandoned their temple-abode, the Ekur, at Nippur. Ninmah abandoned her city Issin.
Inanna, “the queen of Uruk”, abandoned her cult city. Ninurta forsook his Lagash-based temple, the Eninnu. Evacuating from Issin, Ninmah “wept in bitter tears” as she jetted off. Nanshe, Enki’s smartest and soulful daughter, was inconsolable: as she departed, she cried over “my devastated city" as "her beloved dwelling place was given over to (the Evil Wind) misfortune".
But it is the equally recurrent phrase “gone by the wind” that is the more telling. “Enlil has abandoned his temple … he was gone by the wind. Ninlil from her temple was gone by the wind. Nannar has abandoned Ur … his sheepfolds were gone by the wind”, and so on and so forth. What was this “wind” that forced the gods to turn tail? It was the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that was precipitated by the nuclear blasts in Canaan.
However, the haste with which the gods departed their respective cities was not uniform. At least three gods procrastinated, with the result that one god was taken gravely ill and another actually met her fate. These were Nannar-Sin and Bau, Ninurta’s wife, respectively.
When Enki announced to fellow gods by way of radio communication that a death-carrying storm was on its way to Sumer, Sin and Ningal opted to stay put in their cult city Ur.
They vowed that they just could not abandon their people, their Earthling subjects. Instead, they appealed to Enlil to do his magic and either tame or divert the Evil Wind. Enlil told the couple they were out of their mind: neither he nor the all-knowing Enki was capable of averting the looming disaster. The Evil Wind advanced not at the pace of a whirlwind but rather slowly, which made Nannar and Ningal somewhat complacent. “Of that day I still tremble,” Ningal personally stated in a lamentation text she penned herself, “but of that day’s foul smell we did not flee.
As doomsday came, a bitter lament was raised in Ur, but of its foulness we did not flee.” By the time the couple decided to stash themselves in a “termite house” (an underground chamber in their ziggurat), the damage was already done. Sin was already affected and was so acutely ill the couple finally capitulated: early the following morning, “when the storm was carried off from the city”, they took off from Ur. Sin did eventually recover but he required round-the-clock attention from the Anunnaki’s best physicians, who included Ninmah and Ningishzidda.
As the couple overflew Ur on their way out, Ningal wept at the gut-wrenching spectacle below her. "The people, like potsherds, filled the city's streets. In its lofty gates, dead bodies were lying about. In its boulevards, where the feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay. In all of its streets, dead bodies were lying about. In its places where the land's festivities took place, the people lay in heaps. The dead were not brought to burial: like fat placed in the sun, of themselves melted away.”
Ur and its temples had been “delivered to the Wind”. Bau, sadly, was not as fortunate as Sin. Trained as a doctor, Bau had an abiding attachment with the people of Lagash, who had a mutual affection for her and addressed her as “Mother Bau”. She too was adamant that she was going to stay put in Lagash: she just could not leave “my people” to their own devices like her husband Ninurta, who was busy levelling the Sinai Peninsula with nuclear bombs, had. “On that day,” say the Lamentation texts, “the storm caught up with the Lady Bau; as if she was a mortal, the storm caught up with her.” Days later, she was deceased from the effects of the Evil Wind. She was one of very few Anunnaki royals to die on planet Earth.
ENKI CARRIES THE DAY AS EVIL WIND LASHES OUT
Just as Sin, Ningal, and Bau were concerned about the fate of their Earthling subjects in the face of the dreaded Evil Wind, Enki and Marduk were too. Babylon, Marduk’s Sumerian base, happened to be just on the edge of the Evil Wind’s wide sweep. As the Evil Wind loomed large over Sumer, Marduk sent an urgent message to his father Enki as to what he and his people should do to keep its effects at the barest minimum since it was unavoidable.
Enki’s response was that the people of Babylon should head north and as they did so under no circumstances should they turn back or look backwards lest they inhale the full force of the Evil Wind. In the event that the Evil Wind caught up with them in their onward march, they should seek shelter underground. “Get them into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness.” Enki proceeded to advise that once the Evil Wind had run its course and the people returned to the city or resurfaced, they were not to eat any food grown from the soil or drink any beverage for a spell as these may have been “touched by the ghost” as the radioactive wind was dubbed.
Of the Anunnaki pantheon, only Enki and Marduk at the end of the day did not depart Sumer to escape the Evil Wind. And they got away with that for they had taken sufficient and timely precaution. “The Lord of Eridu stayed outside his city.” He “took cover some distance away from the wind's path, yet close enough to be able to return to the city after the cloud had passed”. Quite a number of Eridu’s citizens hovered around Enki, “camping in the fields at a safe distance as they watched – for a day and a half – the storm ‘put its hand on Eridu’.”
But despite Enki’s spirited efforts to alert his people about the approaching poisonous storm, laggards did abound and therefore Eridu too had casualties. “After the evil-bearing storm went out of the city, sweeping across the countryside, Enki surveyed Eridu. He found a city smothered with silence … its residents stacked up in heaps … For the fate of his city, he wept with bitter tears.” The survivors fell at his feet and wondered aloud why a city that was presided over by the mighty Enki had been “cursed, made like an alien territory!"
Using his scientific paraphernalia, Enki calculated that although the Evil Wind had dissipated, the city still was unsafe. As such, he led "those who have been displaced from Eridu to the desert, towards an inimical land,” where he used his scientific knowledge to provide food (manna, the edible form of Ormus) and safe water.
SUMERIAN EVIL WIND HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY BORNE OUT!
The advent of the Evil Wind practically marked the abrupt collapse of the Sumerian civilisation about 4000 years ago. Curious as to why Sumer and Akkad collapsed at such a time virtually in the twinkling of an eye just after the 3rd millennium BC wound to a close, archaeologists, geologists, and climatologists have in recent times teamed together to get to the bottom of the matter. They used radiological and chemical analysis analysis of dust layers of the Middle East of that period, more so of the Gulf of Oman.
Their rather interesting findings were reported in n the scientific journal Geology in its April 2000 issue and in another scientific journal Science in its issue of 27 April 2001. The scientists concluded that “an unusual climate change in the areas adjoining the Dead Sea gave rise to dust storms and that the dust – an unusual ‘atmospheric mineral dust’ – was carried by the prevailing winds over southern Mesopotamia all the way beyond the Persian Gulf”.
This was the very course of Sumer’s Evil Wind! The scientists attributed the unusual “fallout dust” to an “uncommon dramatic event that occurred near 4025 years before the present”. 4025 years prior calculated from 2024 BC gives us the year 2025 BC – barely different from 2024 BC, the year of the Sodom and Gomorrah atomic blasts!
Similarly, Science reported that based on “evidence from Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria”, the “widespread abandonment of the alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was due to dust storms commencing 4025 years before the present. Again, this is precisely 2024 BC. The scientists did not explain or name the force that gave rise to the “dust storms” but the Sumerian records do: it was Nergal’s atomic blitz on the five “sinning cities” of Canaan. The Sumerian chronicles are not only legit folks: they are scientifically attested.
ENKI IN SEVEN-YEAR HIBERNATION
Yet of the entire Anunnaki top brass, it was Enki who was the most psychologically affected by what he called the “Great Calamity” – the nuclear blasts and the resultant Evil Wind, both of which laid waste to millions of lives. Enki was so downcast and so upset that he decided to withdraw from all interaction with the broader society, gods and Earthlings alike, and become a recluse for seven years. The place he chose to sequester himself was an island on the River Nile in Egypt.
Throughout the entire seven years, he was never seen by a single living being. He concentrated wholly on pondering the total depravity of his fellow gods. He just couldn’t bring himself to understand how beings who were supposed to be at the pinnacle of creation could be so unconscionably evil and baser than the lowest forms of life.
ENKI DECIDES TO DOCUMENT STORY OF GREAT CALAMITY
At the conclusion of the seven years and precisely on February 17, 2017 BC, Enki decided to resume contact with the world and there and then sent for a renowned scribe known as Endubasar, who was a directly descendant of his son Adapa and was based at Eridu.
“In the seventh year after the Great Calamity, in the second month, on the seventeenth day, I was summoned by my master the Lord Enki, great god, benevolent fashioner of Mankind, omnipotent and merciful,” Endubasar, who introduces himself as the master scribe of Eridu city, writes in a Sumerian tablet. “I was among the remnants of Eridu who had escaped to the arid steppe (that is, seven years before) just as the Evil Wind was nearing the city.”
Endubasar had set out alone to gather twigs for firewood when a flying saucer suddenly swopped down on him. “I looked up and lo and behold, a Whirlwind (UFO) came out of the south. There was a reddish brilliance (fiery hue) about it and it made no sound. And as it reached the ground, four straight feet spread out from its belly and the brilliance disappeared.” Cognizant of the fact that he had been visited by the gods – the Anunnaki – Endubasar straightaway took a devotional posture.
“I threw myself to the ground and prostrated myself, for I knew that it was a divine vision. And when I lifted my eyes, there were two divine emissaries (an Anunnaki deputation with a special message, called “angels” in the Bible) standing near me. And they had the faces of men, and their garments (airman’s uniform) were sparkling like burnished brass.”
What the two Anunnaki messengers said to Endubasar was most unexpected. “And they called me by name and spoke to me, saying: you are summoned by the great god, the Lord Enki. Fear not, for you are blessed. And we are here to take you aloft, and carry you unto his retreat in the Land of Magan (Egypt), on the island (Abu Island) amidst the River of Magan (River Nile), where the sluices are.”
ENDUBASAR BEFORE THE GREAT GOD
It was the first time Endubasar had ridden in a sky vehicle and he was naturally overwhelmed by the occasion. But it was the grandeur of the great god’s courts and his sort of mystical presence that had Endubasar pass out from the shock of disbelief. “They let me down on the island at the gateway of the great god's abode. And the moment they let go of my hands, a brilliance as I had never seen before engulfed and overwhelmed me, and I collapsed on the ground as though voided of the spirit of life.
My life senses returned to me, as if awakened from the deepest sleep, by the sound of the calling of my name. I was in some kind of an enclosure. It was dark but there was also an aura. Then my name was called again, by the deepest of voices (that is, through the studio-like acoustics of a loud speaker). And although I could hear it, I could not tell whence the voice came, nor could I see whoever it was that spoke. And I said, here I am.”
For a while, there was pin-drop silence. Then the still invisible Enki spoke again. “Endubasar, offspring of Adapa, I have chosen you to be my scribe, that you write down my words on the tablets.” Things then proceeded at the press of a button. “And all at once, there appeared a glowing in one part of the enclosure. And I saw a place arranged like a scribal workplace: a scribe's table and a scribe's stool, and there were finely shaped stones upon the table. But I saw no clay tablets nor containers of wet clay. And there lay upon the table only one stylus, and it glistened in the glowing as no reed stylus ever did.”
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.
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.
“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.