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Like Father, Like Son

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

How King David and his controversial heir Solomon made Israel great amid glaring personal  flaws

As far as the Anunnaki timetable was concerned, the 10th century BC was a crossroads, both literally and figuratively. It was in that century that Nibiru, their planet, and its King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, became all the rage.  The sign of the cross, the symbol of a near-at-hand Nibiru, was practically everywhere, more so in Babylon and Assyria, regions which constituted the old Sumer and the erstwhile Anunnaki hub.

When David set up base in Palestine after being ejected from the Egyptian throne as Pharaoh Psusennes II by General Shosheng, he had a specific brief from the Anunnaki god Ishkur-Adad geared to the reappearance of Nibiru, which circa 1000 BC was now roughly 400 years away. First, he was to capture all the Palestinian domains General Joshua could not conquer way back in 1315 BC. In particular, he was to take Jerusalem once and for all.

The native Jebusites had tenaciously held on to the city and although it was counted as part of Benjamite territory, the Benjamites did not have total  jurisdiction  over it.   Why was Jerusalem central in the geopolitical blueprint of the Anunnaki?  IT WAS SO BECAUSE ISHKUR-ADAD, THE FACE OF THE ENLILITE GODHEAD AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS, HAD TOLD MOSES THAT IT WAS IN JERUSALEM THAT HE WISHED TO SET UP HIS EARTHLY ABODE IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ARRIVAL OF KING ANU. This was a symbolic home, not a literal home: his presence would be in the form of the Ark of Covenant, which would reside in a compartment of the Temple forever.

Second, David was to lay the groundwork for the establishment of Jerusalem as Mission Control Centre – the equivalent of Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre of Merrit Island in Florida.  This was crucial given that when King Anu touched down on Earth, his ultimate destination would be Jerusalem. This would practically make Jerusalem the capital of the world, hence its characterisation as the “Navel of the Earth”, meaning the place through which “God” – the Enlilite godhead – would sustain the planet in one way or the other. 

Third, David was to ensure that Baalbek, the Landing Place in today’s Lebanon, was under Israelite control, so that both space-related sites within the Canaanite precincts were completely off limits to the rival Enkites. Baalbek was the airport that catered to Earth-based aviation and shuttlecraft operations. With David toppled from his Egyptian pedestal, the Enlilites had lost one other space-related site, the Giza Pyramid, but Baalbek, Jerusalem, and Nazca in South America would suffice anyway.

Fourth and of fundamental importance, David was to build Israel’s first formal Temple to replace the portable and stop-gap Tabernacle.  In the past, a temple was primarily the home of a god. All residences of gods were known as temples. The Jerusalem Temple would not physically house a god but would be a place where the Jews gathered to worship their god and observe and perform a whole host of religious rites in the name of the god. IT WAS IN THE TEMPLE BASEMENT THAT MISSION CONTROL CENTRE WOULD OPERATE, with a tiny helipad set aside for the god Ishkur-Adad. In there, Adad would land, park, and lift-off his sky-ship, called a shem in Sumerian. 

DAVID CONTENDS WITH SOUL

Yet in making a reality of the above imperatives, David had his work cut out. The major stumbling block was the dude known as Saul.  Saul had been mandated to rule Palestine whilst the hereditary King David concentrated on the affairs of Egypt as Pharaoh Psusennes II. Since Jerusalem was still a bone of contention, Saul had set up his capital of what was called the United Kingdom (of Israel in the north and Judah in the south) in Gibeah in his tribal territory, Benjamin. He was the first King of the Jews after 300 years of being led by the so-called judges.

But when David returned to Palestine to take the reins there now that he had lost Egypt, Saul refused to budge, telling David to go get stuffed. Power is sweet and absolute power corrupts absolutely. THE SAGA OF DAVID VERSUS SAUL AS RELATED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS FANTASY FOR THE MOST PART: it is an amalgamation of various strands of traditions woven together and in so clumsy and crude a fashion. It’s almost wholly pure legend.

David arrived in Palestine as an ex-Pharaoh and as the linear King of Israel. He didn’t grow up in Palestine as a poor shepherd boy and as the youngest son in a family of eight.  He was Jesse’s firstborn, himself an ex-Pharaoh of Egypt going by the throne name Siamun. There was no David vs Goliath clash: it’s all a figment of some scribal spin-doctor’s imagination.

Being the clever operator he was, David refrained from a confrontational approach when Saul declined to defer to him.  As the linear King, he had the support of the Jewish priesthood as well as the Jewish prophets. So he opted to use tact and diplomacy as a ruse,  with a view to eventually  repossessing the throne instead of mobilising outright for a civil war. Soon he and Soul had met and it was decided that in order to foster peace between the two,  David should take the hand of one of  Saul’s daughters  in marriage. It was likely vice versa but having falsely portrayed David as a relative youngster,  the biblical scribes desisted from highlighting this state of affairs.

Being from the tribe of Judah, David based himself in Hebron, the then capital of the province of Judah. For a time, the blindfold worked as the linear King and the pretender got along well. Then when  time was ripe, David pounced. He opportunistically allied with the Philistines, Israel’s arch-enemy, and took on Saul. In the process, Saul was killed in a battle, or rather he fell on his own sword so determined was he to avoid the ignominy of being put to death by his foes. His three older sons were also killed.

That, however, did not put paid to David’s troubles as Soul’s fourth-born son Ishbaal declared himself King with the support of a sizeable constituency in the north. As such, for the next two years or so, the United Kingdom was split between Israel and Judah, a scenario which was anathema to David. In the event, war broke out between the two kingdoms but it was not at the hands of David’s forces that Ishbaal met his fate as he was slain by two of his lieutenants. David was at long last the undisputed King of the re-united Kingdom.   The year was circa   988 BC.

DAVID TURNS ISRAEL INTO A MIGHTY MILITARY AND ECONOMIC POWER

As  Israel’s uncontested King, David went to work straightaway. He descended on Jerusalem and decisively trounced the native Jebusites, a feat General Joshua could not accomplish 300 years before. Although he is generally regarded as a warrior King,   David was seldom  a provocative belligerent: he typically reacted to offensive action by his enemies. In the process, he defeated the  mighty Philistines, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites, and the Arameans.

With this haul of victories, Israel now controlled the two space-related sites, Jerusalem and Baalbek, exactly as per David’s brief by Ishkur-Adad. Ultimately, the Davidic empire extended over both sides of the Jordan River, as far as the Mediterranean Sea. King David not only made Israel a great power militarily but also turned it  into an economic power through gaining control over international trade routes. He himself became filthy rich from the spoils and  tributes brought to Israel.

Next, David embarked on the preliminaries to the Temple project. Jerusalem had two major  landmarks. They were Mount Moriah and Mount Zion, separated by a small valley.  On the latter,  David established his seat of power. Then he set about the construction of  a “filling” to bridge the two mounts. The Temple was to arise on a pre-existing platform on Mount Moriah that had been built by the Anunnaki.  

Sadly,  all David was allowed to erect on Mount Moriah was an altar. The honour to construct the Temple was reserved for his heir because David, according to the prophet Nathan, had shed too much blood in his military exploits. Albeit, David pleaded with Adad to at least give him a visual idea of what the great Temple would look like. Adad obliged him and presented him with a Tavnit – a scale model of the Temple (Archaeological finds throughout the near East have indeed unearthed scale models of chariots, wagons, ships, workshops, and even multi-level shrines.) 

KING SOLOMON BUILDS FIRST JEWISH  TEMPLE

The Jewish  Temple is variously known as  the First Temple or Solomon’s Temple. The latter designation derives from the fact that it was built by King Solomon, David’s son and heir as per Adad’s pronouncement. Construction began in the second  month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.  This was exactly 480 years after the Nation of Israel’s exodus from Egypt commenced. 

The Temple was as expensive as it was a magnificent and imposing edifice. It used vast quantities of gold, silver, and bronze, with its entire interior inlaid with gold only. All utensils were made of copper or bronze. One estimate puts the value of the gold and silver used at over $200 billion in today’s money, which puts Saudi Arabia’s 120-storey,$15 billion Abraj Al Bait Hotel,  the world’s most expensive building, well in the shade.

Some 153,000 forced labourers and 3,300 officials were enlisted in the construction effort. Much of the gold that went into the project was imported from Ophir, today’s Zimbabwe.  The Temple was built over seven and a half years. At its conclusion, Solomon was so deep in debt he was forced to pay off  King Hiram of Tyre, who supplied vast quantities of  the cedar wood needed of the structure, by handing over 20 towns in Galilee.

As expected, the Temple was commissioned with a great deal of fanfare.  Ishkur-Adad did not put in a personal showing,  but it sufficed that he was represented by the so-called “Cloud”, his alter ego who was actually a sentient ET with smoke-like quantum building blocks. This Cloud had always  accompanied the Israelites since the onset of the exodus, hovering over the Tabernacle as a stand-in for Adad. In a vote of thanks and veneration, King  Solomon referred to Adad as “the Lord who has chosen to dwell in the Cloud”. As many as 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were sacrificed, which was then followed by a great public feast.

RICHEST, WISEST, AND ABLEST  MAN OF HIS DAY

King Solomon reigned for about 39 years, in what has been described as the Golden Age of  Israel, himself becoming the wealthiest man of his day across the globe and still remains one of the richest  figures of history. He was also staggering wise and was in fact regarded as the wisest being who ever lived, courtesy of Ormus, the monoatomic white powder of gold which he manufactured right within the  Temple precincts.   

It is said Solomon made silver and gold “as common in Jerusalem as stones”.  During his rule, he is said to have received 25 tons of gold per annum. One estimate puts his net worth at $2 trillion dollars in today’s money,  making Jeff Bizos’ approximately $120 billion a drop  in the ocean. Thanks to  Ormus, Solomon had such staggering metaphysical insights and capacities that he was able to command Reptilians  (demons in the Bible) of the Lower Fourth Dimension  to manifest in this physical realm and do his every bidding. As such, in ancient occultic literature, he is  hailed as the greatest witch who ever lived.  

Unlike his war-prone father, Solomon was a consistently peaceful king. He forged abiding international relationships, forming alliances with surrounding powerful nations such as Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through royal marriages and the giving of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him 700 wives and 300 concubines (again thanks to the wonder of Ormus, he was easily able to satisfactorily “’serve” each one of this vast harem). One instance of his great wisdom is related in  1 KINGS 3:16-28 as follows:

“One day two women came to King Solomon, and one of them said: ‘Your Majesty, this woman and  I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home,  and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.  One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died.  Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.  In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.

“’No!’ the other woman shouted. ‘He was your son. My baby is alive! The dead baby is yours.’ the first woman yelled. ‘Mine is alive!’
“They argued back and forth in front of Solomon,  until finally he said, ‘Both of you say this live baby is yours.  Someone bring me a sword.’
A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, ‘Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.’
“’Please don’t kill my son,’ the baby’s mother screamed. ‘Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.’
“The other woman shouted, ‘Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.’
"Solomon said, ‘Don’t kill the baby.’ Then he pointed to the first woman, ‘She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.’
“Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realised that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.”

PLOTTING AND COUNTER-PLOTTING LEAD TO KINGDOM SPLIT

King Solomon was about 80 years old when he died. His death simultaneously marked the demise of a unitary Israel, making him the third and last king to preside over the United Kingdom. Solomon’s reign did not enjoy total tranquility. The relative instability actually began in the waning days of his father David. It stemmed from David’s habit of hitching too many wives and siring too many children, a lesson that rather strangely was lost on the otherwise wise Solomon. 

David had at least ten sons from different wives. The eldest was Amnon, who he sired by his third wife. As the King’s firstborn son, Amnon naturally considered himself heir. In order to make a reality of this prospect, he began to hit on his half-sister Tamar. Tamar was David’s daughter with his own daughter-cum-wife Bathsheba. David had designated Bathsheba as his queen, making her leapfrog other senior wives – a precondition she had given him for keeping under wraps his tactical elimination of her erstwhile husband Uriah. 

What that meant was that whomever of Tamar’s half-brothers took her to the altar stood the best chance of inheriting after David. It was with this in mind that Amnon began to make overtures at a blushing Tamar (the Bible says Amnon raped her but that is a smear: the two were love birds with a promising relationship).

Tamar’s full brother Absalom,   who was David’s third son (his second son Daniel seemed to have died young), also had designs on the throne and he feared that if Amnon and Tamar tied the knot, that would bring his monarchical ambitions to a dead-end. Consequently, he had Amnon murdered to forestall just such an eventuality.

For some time, Absalom was on the run from the wrath of his kindly father, but he was forgiven after three years. He repaid his father by declaring himself King four years later, by which time David had lost much of his effectiveness as monarch, and bedding his father’s concubines at will. Absalom based himself in Hebron, where he raised an army to resist his father. David, however, had very determined generals and Absalom was killed at the Battle of Ephraim’s Wood.

Following the death of his two older brothers, Adonijah, David’s third son,  entered the lists. He declared himself King and had the support and blessings of army general Joab and the influential  priest Abiathar. But an even more influential trio of Zadok the priest; the KIng’s chief bodyguard  Benanaiah; and Nathan the court prophet threw in their lot with Solomon and had David officially announce him as his heir.

That’s how Solomon, who was David’s 10th son, supplanted everybody else to become  Israel’s next King and ruled illustriously for the next 40 years. Sadly, the Kingdom  came apart at the seams in the aftermath of his death. Exactly how that ensued we demonstrate in the forthcoming piece. 

NEXT WEEK: JEWISH PROPHETS SOUND OFF ON NEARING NIBIRU

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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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