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Simple but straight message

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

Allah Be praised, earlier this week we passed the midpoint of our month of fasting. Without doubt fasting can be challenging in one way or another to many of us. There are some days that pass without any hassle but, there are some days that are ‘difficult’ because we may feel the pangs of hunger and feel thirsty and the time for breaking the fast will be a few hours away. However it has brought about an air of ‘calmness’ and religious focus to the minds of the vast majority Muslims.

This week the column will contain words of wisdom that are light hearted but carry a strong message and also verses from the Quran that encapsulate our daily actions, our thoughts, our daily lives that we have to lead. The Quran says: Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation, reason with them in ways that are best, most decent and gracious. [16/125].

You can be sure of 10 Things Allah Almighty Won't Ask.. 
Allah Almighty won't ask what kind of car you drove, He'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation…
 Allah Almighty won't ask the square footage of your house, He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home. 

Allah Almighty won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, nor what labels they had, He'll ask how many less fortunate people you helped clothe. 

Allah Almighty won't ask what your highest salary was; He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.

Allah Almighty won't ask what your job title was; He'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

Allah Almighty won't ask how much money you made; He'll ask you how you spent it. Allah Almighty won't ask how many friends you had; He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend. 

Allah Almighty won't ask in what neighbourhood you lived, He'll ask how you treated your neighbours. 

Allah Almighty won't ask about the colour of your skin, He'll ask about the content of your heart and character.

Allah Almighty won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation; He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven, and not to the gates of Hell. 

So what are you waiting for……..?

 Another simple message that we need to ponder upon…. 

Give Allah what's right — not what's left.
Man's way leads to a hopeless end — Allah's way leads to an endless hope
A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing
He who kneels before Allah can stand before anyone.
In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma –but never let him be the period.
Don't put a question mark where Allah puts a period.
Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the mosque for a face-lift.
When praying, don't give Allah instructions — just report for duty.
Haven’t been to Mosque recently? Hurry up, before six strong men arrive to carry you to the mosque…….. for your funeral prayers.
We don't change Allah's Message — His Message changes us.
The mosque is prayer-conditioned.
When Allah ordains, He sustains.
WARNING: Exposure to Allah may prevent burning.
Plan ahead — It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
Most people want to serve Allah, but only in an advisory position.
Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Al-Quran.
Exercise daily — walk with Allah.
Never give the devil a ride — he will always want to take over and drive.
Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
He who angers you controls you.
Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
Give Satan an inch and; he'll be a ruler.
Be ye fishers of men — you catch them and He'll clean them.
Allah doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Read the Al-Quran — It will scare ‘Hell’ out of you.

In our lives we must follow the three “R”s: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions. Smile, think and even seriously ponder over the subtle messages of these little gems of wisdom – they may just help us all to look at life from a more positive angle and who knows maybe embrace a life changing attitude.

Here are some Words of Wisdom from the Qur'an that that will give the reader a perspective and an understanding of what the Almighty wants us to do to achieve His …. They have been simplified for our readers to understand. The verses can be followed up as the Chapter and verse numbers follow each quote.

Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53)
Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and false [22/30]
Do not cover truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth when you know what it is [2/42]
Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]
Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]

Do not swell your cheek with pride, nor walk with insolence through the earth for Allah does not love the arrogant boaster [31/18]
Do not be disdainful or arrogant with people…. Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]
Be moderate in thy pace and lower your voice for the harshest of sounds is the braying of a donkey.  [31/19]
Walk on this earth with humility and sedateness [25/63]
Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous or lewd stares [24/30-31,

If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [24/15-16]
Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge there is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76].
When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [24/12-13]
Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did [49/6]

The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].
Do not make mockery of others or ridicule others …..Do not defame others ……Do not insult others by calling them by nicknames [49/11]
Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy……. Spy not on one another….. Do not back-bite one another [49/12]
When a greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]

Treat kindly "Your parents, your Relatives, the travellers, the orphans, those in need and those who have been left alone in the society ….. Take care of "The needy, and those who have no jobs. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition. Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]

Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [2/262].
Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].
Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]
Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]
Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]

The above are the guidance and advice from the Quran for Muslims to practice and follow in their daily lives.

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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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