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What a Great Creator!

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

“Allah! There is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to slumber, nor sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His seat of authority encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.” (Quran 2: 255)

He is Allah, The Supreme, and The Unique, Our Creator and Sustainer. The existence of Allah the Almighty is obvious, if we ignore this, we would be bringing about the beginning of the greatest damage we could ever do to ourselves. That is simply because Allah the Almighty is in no need of anything. He is the One Who shows His greatness in all things and in all ways. He is the owner of everything; from the heavens to the earth. We learn the attributes of the Almighty Allah from the Qur'an.

In which, Allah Almighty declares: “Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the skies, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.” (Quran 2: 164)

This brings to mind some crucial questions: Yes we are in this world living our daily lives and the challenges they bring. However, if we take a step back, and start to think of the conditions that make our existence possible, we will step out of our usual and routine thinking and start to reason deeply: How does the atmosphere serve as a protective ceiling for the earth? How does each one of the billions of cells in our human body know and perform its individual tasks? How does this amazing ecological balance exist on earth? How does our heart beat? And a million other such questions.

When we start seeking answers to these questions we will surely proceed on the right path. We will become sensitive to all the things that are happening around us, and we will begin to see the extraordinary nature of the world.  When we reflect on these questions we will realize that on every inch of the planet, a plan and an order reigns: How did this amazing order of the entire universe come into being? Who provided the delicate balances in the world? How did living beings, very diversified in nature, emerge and come into being?

In every sector of this very different and diverse world, people will find proof of their Creator. Allah, the owner of everything in the entire universe, introduces Himself to us through the perfect and flawless design of His creation. Everything surrounding us, our lives, our beating hearts, the birth of a child or the existence of the sun in the sky, even the insects and birds in flight, is evidence of the power of Almighty Allah and His creation.

What each person must do is to understand and accept this fact. An intelligent person notices that a plan, design and wisdom, exists in every detail of this extremely different and varied world. This should draw each and every thinking person to recognize the Creator. Therefore, we cannot plead ignorance to the fact that all beings, living or non-living, show the existence and greatness of Allah the Almighty.

Look at all the things around you and do your best to show recognition and appreciation in the best manner for the noticeable and great magnificence of Allah the Almighty. The verse quoted above captures the necessities of life. Signs of The Creator are abundantly clear, but have we ever given thought to some of the following:

Our Need for air/oxygen: From the moment when we are born as human beings open our eyes in this world we are surrounded by great order. We need oxygen to survive and it is interesting that the atmosphere of the planet on which we live provides us with just the right amount of oxygen we need. In this way, a person breathes without any difficulty – but unfortunately as humans we foul the atmosphere with carbon emissions from motor cars and other such things polluting the environment thus creating a ‘poorer’ atmosphere.

Our Need for heat/energy and water: For life to exist on this planet, it is important that there is a source of heat. Just think about it, in response to this need, the Sun is located at just the right distance to emit just the exact amount of heat and energy that is needed by living beings. We may find it ‘hot’ on some days, but remember that the sun moves between the southern and northern hemisphere giving us summer (warm climate) and winter (colder climate) depending on its location.

During this movement we have the rainy season and the dry season giving us the opportunity to plant and reap the benefits of growing crops for food. We may be situated in a dryer part of the world but there are countries that have an abundance of water because of greater rainfall. Every human being and living creature in this world needs water. Not surprisingly, three-quarters of the planet is covered with water.

Our Need for shelter and protection: All living beings need shelter, and in this world there is land that is suitable to build on as well as all sorts of materials to make shelters. We build over homes, houses and whatever shelter we can afford for our needs and protect us from the environment outside.  

Our Need for nourishment/food and other necessities: Think about it, all living beings and living creature needs regular nourishment to survive, so every corner of the world is amazingly diversified in the provision of food and other necessities in life that humans can plant, grow and produce different crops to suit their needs.

There are thousands of other issues that we can think of but not immediately find the answers to, except by serious reflection. Serious thinking  and trying to answer these questions will result in a clear recognition that everything in the universe, its order, each living being and structure is a component of a plan; a product of design.

Every detail, the excellent structure of an insect's wing, the system that enables a tree to carry tons of water to its topmost branches, the order of the planets, and the ratio of gases in the atmosphere, these are all unique examples of perfection. These are only a few among billions of details that make life possible on earth. In brief, we live on a planet that is perfectly designed for our survival. This is certainly a planet that has been created for the service of human beings. And this can only be through the glory and the will of our Creator and Lord.

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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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