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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Rules of Giving ZAKAAT (ALMS)

1) Zakaat is obligatory on the free, adult sane Muslim when:
• He possesses the nisab with complete possession.
• A lunar year has passed over it.

2) Zakaat is not obligatory on the following:
• A child, nor an insane person, nor a mukatib.
• Anyone who has a due debt encompassing his money. But, if his money is more than the debt, he pays zakaat on the excess if it reaches nisab.

3) If one advance-pay the zakaat before the year has passed over it, and he possesses nisab, it is valid.

4) If wealth is destroyed after the obligation of zakaat has become due, it is waived.

5) Zakaat is due on the following:
• Gold
• Silver
• Cash
• Trade-goods
• freely-grazing livestock kept for milk, breeding or fattening: camels, cows, sheep and goats.
• Produce (excluding firewood, reeds and grass)
• Buried treasures and metals

6) Zakaat is not due on the following:
• Residential homes
• Body clothes
• Household furniture
• Riding-animals
• Slaves in service
• Weapons of use

7) Zakaat is only valid if offered with an intention coinciding with the payment, or coinciding with the setting-aside of the obligatory portion.

Zakaat on Silver
1) There is no charity obligatory on any silver less than 200 dirhams (200 dirhams corresponds to19.69 troy oz and 612.36g).

2) Then, if it is 200 dirhams, and a lunar year passes over it, 5 dirhams are due for it.

3) There is nothing due on the excess until it reaches 40 dirhams, and then 1 dirham is due for it.

4) Similarly for every 40 dirhams, there is 1 dirham due.

Zakaat on Gold
1) There is no zakaat obligatory on any gold less than 20 mithqal (20 mithqal corresponds to 2.81 troy oz and 87.48g).

2) Then, if it is 20 mithqal, and a lunar year passes over it, then half a mithqal is due for it.

3) Then, for every 4 mithqal, 2 qirat are due. There is no charity obligatory on any gold less than 4 mithqal according to Abu Hanifa.

4) There is zakaat due on raw gold and silver, as well as on jewellery and vessels made of them.

Zakaat on Goods
1) Zakaat is obligatory on trade goods, whatever they may be, if their value reaches the nisab of gold or silver; one assesses it based on whichever of the two is more beneficial for the poor and destitute.

2) If the nisab is complete at the two ends of the lunar year, then its dropping in between that does not waive the zakaat.

3) The value of goods is added to gold and silver. Similarly, gold is added to silver in value in order to reach the nisab, according to Abu Hanifa.


CATEGORIES OF ZAKAAT RECIPIENTS

Those Who May Receive Zakaat:
Allah, the Exalted, says, (which means), “Alms are only for the poor, the destitute, those who collect them, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, for [mukatib] slaves, debtors, and in the Path of Allah, and the wayfarer. It’s an [ordained] obligation from Allah. And Allah is all Knowing, and Wise” [Qur’an, 9:60].

These, then, are eight categories:
1) The Poor: the one who has the least of things.
2) The Destitute: the one who has nothing.
3) Al-Mu’allafa Quloobuhum: those who are still not sure of Islam yet and this money is given to them to soften their hearts towards Islam and muslims.
4) The [Zakaat] Worker: is paid by the imam in proportion to his work, if he worked.
5) Slaves: the mukatibun are assisted in freeing themselves.
6) The Debtor: the one on whom a debt is incumbent.
7) In the Path of Allah: are the stranded fighters.
8) The Wayfarer: the one who has money in his homeland, but is in a place in which he has nothing.

One may divide the Zakaat to each category, or he may restrict himself to one.

Causes Not Eligible for Receipt of Zakaat:
1) It is not permissible for one to give zakaat to a dhimmi.
2) Nor may a mosque be built with it.
3) Nor may a dead person be shrouded with it.
4) Nor may a slave be bought with it to free.
5) Nor may it be paid to a rich person.
6) Nor may it be paid to a Sayyid's (Hussainy's) & Shareef's (Hassani's) (descendants of the Prophet, sallallahu alahi wa aalihi).

Relationships Making One Ineligible to Receive Zakaat:
1) Nor the payer of zakaat pay it to his father, or his grandfather even if higher up in ascendancy.
2) Nor to his child, nor his child’s child, even if lower down in descendancy.
3) Nor to his wife. A woman may not pay her zakaat to her husband, according to Abu Hanifa. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said: she may pay it to him.
4) One may not pay one’s zakaat to he one’s mukatib or slave, nor to the slave of a wealthy person, nor to the child of a wealthy person if he is a minor.
5) It may not be paid to Banu Hashim, and they are: the Household of `Ali, the Household of `Abbas, the Household of Ja`far, the Household of Harith ibn `Abd al-Muttalib; nor to their freed slaves.

NOTE: In Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith #1420 and #2907 and in Sahih Al-Muslim Hadith #1069. It is reported that Sayyiduna Hasan bin Ali once took a date from the dates of sadaqah and placed it in his mouth. At this Rasulullah sallallahu alahi wa aalihi said: "Kakh!Kakh! Spit it out! Don’t you know that we do not eat of charity?"

Miscellaneous Regulations:
Abu Hanifa and Muhammad said: If one pays zakaat to a man whom one thinks to be poor, and then it transpires that he is rich, or Hashimi, or an unbeliever, or if one paid it in darkness to a poor person, and then it transpired that he was his father or his son, then repeating it is not obligatory on him.

Abu Yusuf said: Repetition is obligatory on him. If one paid it to a person, and then he learned that he is his slave or mukatib, it is not valid according to the verdict of them all. It is not permissible to pay zakaat to anyone who possesses the nisab of whatever type of wealth it may be. It is permissible to pay it to anyone who possesses less than that, even if he is healthy and earning. It is disliked to transfer zakaat from one land to another; rather the Zakaat of each people should be distributed amongst them, unless a person transfers it to his relatives, or to a people who are more in need than the people of his land.


SADAQAT-AL FITR

1) Sadaqat al-Fitr is wajeb on the free Muslim, if he is in possession of the quantity of nisab in excess of his dwelling, clothing, furnishings, horse, weapons and service slaves.

2) He gives it out on behalf of himself, his minor children and his slaves.
• He does not pay it on behalf of his wife, nor his adult children, even if they are in his household.
• He does not give it out on behalf of his mukatib, nor his slaves who were acquired for trade.
• There is no fitrah due on either of the two masters of a slave co-owned between two partners.
• A Muslim master pays the fitrah on behalf of his unbelieving slave.

3) The obligation of the fitrah is attached to the rise of the dawn on the Day of Eid al- Fitr. So, whoever dies before that, his fitrah has not become wajeb. Whoever accepts Islam, or is born, after the rise of the dawn, his fitrah has not become wajeb.


Payment

The fitrah is as follows:
1) half a sa` of wheat, or
2) one sa` of dried dates or raisins or barley.

The sa` according to Abu Hanifa and Muhammad is 8 Iraqi ratl.

Abu Yusuf said: it is 51/3 ratl (1 sa` is a volume of 2.03 litres, and corresponds to approximately 3,149.28g. 1 sa` ~ 4 mudd; 1 mudd ~ 2 ratl; 1 ratl ~ 20 istar; 1 istar ~ 4½ mithqal {Radd al-Muhtar}).

It is recommended for people to give out the fitrah on the Day of Fitr before going out to the prayer place. If they advance-pay it before the Day of Fitr, it is valid. But, if they delayed it beyond the Day of Fitr, it is not waived, and it is still an obligation on them to give it out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

British general faults U.S. for Taliban resurgence

By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 18, 2006


The British commander of the allied forces in Afghanistan said yesterday that his U.S. predecessors moved too quickly from the 2001 invasion to a "peacetime approach," allowing the ousted Taliban to regroup and stage a counteroffensive this year in the southern provinces.
Gen. David Richards, whose NATO command this month took control of the 31,000 allied troops in Afghanistan, said that in 2001, "the Taliban were defeated, weren't they? You know, wonderful work by a lot of people, mainly American and Afghan, and it looked pretty hunky-dory."
But the general told reporters at the Pentagon that the Taliban was able to regroup because American forces remained somewhat isolated. The Afghan army was not established to the point that it could fill security roles in Kandahar, the Taliban's birthplace, and other southern towns.
"The benefit of hindsight, you know, we thought it was all done, success was there and we could adopt a sort of peacetime approach to it and didn't treat it as aggressively as a problem," he said. "Your forces were doing a great work, but they were almost in isolation because the Afghan army and police weren't there to help at that stage."
He said there also was a "disconnect" in what the U.S.-led humanitarian and reconstruction effort could provide and what the Afghan people expected.
"The Taliban exploited it," Gen. Richards said. "They exploited this sense of frustration amongst the people who just didn't see all the good things that have been talked about."
Asked about Gen. Richard's remarks, Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Associated Press, "It will take years of hard work by the Afghan people and the international community to reverse the effects of decades of occupation and civil war. Nonetheless, there has been significant economic growth and donor efforts to improve living conditions across the country."
Gen. Richards said the new tactic has been to retake control of Taliban areas, move in reconstruction programs and maintain a security presence. He is giving the allies six months to start showing the Afghans that they can expect better services and security. If not, the alliance risks losing the populace to the insurgents.
"I think that's why I'm optimistic that we have understood the issue broader, the way I've just analyzed, learned our lessons and now can take this forward aggressively to deliver on the promise," said Gen. Richards, who led British troops in strife-torn Northern Ireland. "I will now construct a security operation that allows that work to start and then will ensure a continuing level of security, so that it can go on."
The allies seemed caught off guard this spring, when the Taliban began surprise attacks on southern Afghan towns.
The coalition eventually poured more troops into the south and mounted major air and ground operations, routing the Taliban, whose spokesman conceded they had to retreat.
"We had to fight and fight we have," Gen. Richards said. "There is no doubt anymore that NATO can fight if and when it's required to do so, and it inflicted the biggest single defeat on the Taliban that had occurred since 2001."
NATO's new tactics played out this week in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province. Allied forces left the area after weeks of bloody fighting. Security will be handled by tribal chiefs and Afghan forces, with NATO on an emergency recall status.
Gen. Richards commands a force that includes troops from Britain, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark.

U.S. may have weeks, not months, to avert civil war, adviser warns

James Sterngold, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


With the violence in Iraq flaring dangerously, a national consensus is growing, even among senior Republicans, that the United States must consider a major change in strategy in the coming months.

But in a sign of the growing sense of urgency, a member of a high-powered government advisory body that is developing options to prevent Iraq's chaotic collapse warns that the United States could have just weeks, not months, to avoid an all-out civil war.

"There's a sense among many people now that things in Iraq are slipping fast and there isn't a lot of time to reverse them," said Larry Diamond, one of a panel of experts advising the Iraq Study Group, which is preparing a range of policy alternatives for President Bush.

"The civil war is already well along. We have no way of knowing if it's too late until we try a radically different course," said Diamond, an expert on building democracies who is at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and is a former adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

The co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, former Secretary of State James Baker, has already made headlines by saying that "stay the course" is no longer a viable strategy and that some kind of change will be required. The study group's final report is not due until after the November election, but Baker has insisted in several interviews over the past two weeks that the United States must place greater emphasis on diplomacy, including talks with avowed U.S. foes such as Syria and Iran, in an effort to stabilize Iraq. He has said the United States should place less emphasis on military force alone.

"I believe in talking to your enemies,'' Baker said in an interview on ABC. "'It's got to be hard-nosed, it's got to be determined. You don't give away anything, but in my view, it's not appeasement to talk to your enemies."

Baker's comments have been echoed by another prominent Republican, Virginia Sen. John Warner, the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. After a visit to Iraq, Warner said he believes a change in course might be required if the situation does not improve in the next two months. Two other Republicans, Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, also have urged changes in policy.

Because it could lead to a major policy shift, the release of the study group's report could prove a critical event in the course of the war in Iraq.

Diamond said in an interview that he was expressing strictly his personal opinions, not necessarily those of the study group. He said he was prohibited by a confidentiality agreement from disclosing any of the group's internal discussions beyond what Baker himself has publicly provided.

But having studied the situation in Iraq closely almost from the time Saddam Hussein was toppled in April 2003, and having been involved in trying to build a functioning democracy there, Diamond said the one thing the United States might no longer have is time. The Bush administration needs to initiate a "crash program" to avoid a catastrophe, he said. A key element would include bringing in new U.S. leadership to rebuild America's battered credibility in Iraq and the region.

Diamond proposes a multipronged diplomatic strategy intended to woo secular groups away from extremists and to define a more equitable power-sharing arrangement within the fragile Iraqi government to build popular support.

If the Bush administration does not move rapidly in this direction and the violence continues to rise, Diamond said he fears Iraq's central government could be overthrown or collapse and the Iraqi military might disintegrate, leaving heavily armed militias controlled by the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis in a bloody struggle for power. The already heavy civilian death toll could soar still higher, dragging Iraq's neighbors into the chaos, he said.

The result, Diamond warned, could be the transformation of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province west of Baghdad into a zone effectively controlled by Islamic extremists, filled with terrorist training camps.

"What worries me more than any other single thing," Diamond said, "is if the country does effectively get broken up through a civil war -- and Anbar province, where most of the Sunnis live, becomes what Afghanistan was before 9/11."

At best, Diamond said, it appears the United States has a few months to implement a new strategy. He added, though, that an atrocity by an Iraqi group -- such as the bombing of the Askariya shrine, sacred to Shiites, in Samarra in February -- could trigger a cycle of retaliation that might spin out of control and give the United States even less time to act.

The first step the Bush administration should take is to renounce any plan to maintain permanent U.S. military bases in the country, said Diamond. Polls inside the country have shown that the vast majority of Iraqis fear that the secret U.S. aim is to continue to occupy Iraq and control its oil, a view that has fueled the insurgency.

The administration should simultaneously open discussions with the Sunnis, the Kurds and the Shiites aimed at instituting previously discussed revisions to the Iraqi Constitution to ensure that the minority Sunnis obtain a fair share of political power and an equitable portion of Iraq's oil wealth. Even insurgents should be part of the dialogue, he said.

"We need to have comprehensive, intensive, serious negotiations with the insurgents," Diamond said.

Diamond suggested that Baker, or another elder statesmen from outside the Bush White House, might be a good candidate to lead the effort.

"That's the only thing that's going to demonstrate that we're really changing course," said Diamond.

A fair arrangement, Diamond said, could peel away secular Sunnis from jihadi extremists, providing a firmer base of support for the Iraqi government. Those discussions, Diamond said, need to involve the United Nations, the European Union and other Arab governments in the region.

The United States should also announce plans for a flexible drawdown of troops over a period of from 18 months to 3 years, he said. Some troops should be redeployed to other countries in the region, such as Kuwait and Qatar, to ensure that the United States can respond swiftly to any crises, but a substantial number should return to their U.S. bases, he said.

And a large number of those troops should be sent to Afghanistan, Diamond added, to combat the Taliban resurgence there.

He emphasized that the Iraq plan should be flexible so that, if things stabilize, the troops can leave earlier or the drawdown can be slowed if violence flares.

"That's the only way of inducing the competing Iraqi political forces to take responsibility for the future of their country," he said.

As long as U.S. troops are seen as the sole guarantor of some level of stability, Diamond argued, Iraqi politicians will continue to stake out extreme positions and compete for all the power and wealth they can gain for their constituencies, without any sense that they need to build compromises to bring about stability on their own.

Diamond stressed that the Bush administration has to move forward on all these different tracks simultaneously, in part because they are interconnected and in part because there is no time to wait for the resolution of one issue before moving on to the next.

"This is the fourth quarter, there's two minutes left in the game, and we're down two touchdowns," said Diamond. "There may not be enough time left."

E-mail James Sterngold at jsterngold@sfchronicle.com.

Hamas warns Abbas not to call hasty referendum

Israel moves tanks into gaza, kills 4

Compiled by Daily Star staff
Thursday, October 19, 2006


The Palestinian government on Wednesday dismissed President Mahmoud Abbas' idea for installing a temporary government of independent technocrats, as Israel widened its offensive in Gaza by sending tanks to take up positions on the Egypt-Gaza border and killing four Palestinians.

Months of negotiations between Abbas' Fatah party and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya's Hamas movement have stalled over the latter's refusal to renounce violence, agree to abide by past peace deals and to recognize Israel.

Abbas said on Tuesday he had to make a decision soon on the future of the government and that he might seek approval for any move in a referendum.

Speaking to journalists in Ramallah, Abbas said he would like to see a temporary technocratic government formed in order to give him and Hamas time to sort out their differences over a national unity Cabinet.

"A government of technocrats would be the simplest and most practical solution," Abbas said, adding that he still favored a coalition Cabinet that would end a Western embargo.

But Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad replied: "This question is not currently the order of the day ... We want a government that includes both political and technocrat forces. There is a large possibility to find a consensus on these two questions, the political and technocratic characteristics, and what this Cabinet should accept on a national and international level."

In another sign of deep divisions among the Palestinian leadership, Interior Minister Saeed Seyam warned that Hamas would consider as a "coup" any referendum on the fate of the Cabinet.

"We reject making the referendum like a bogeyman to resort to in such situations," Seyam said. "President Mahmoud Abbas has powers, yes, and he can exercise his powers within the legal limits.

"But the situation here is not about powers ... The referendum in itself would be a coup against the legitimacy this government enjoyed [through January elections]."

"There is American support for whoever wants to topple the government,'' Seyam told reporters in Cairo at the end of a tour that took him to Damascus and Tehran.

Seyam refused to say how Hamas would react to the possible referendum, but said the president should "carefully study" the consequences of any decision he would make.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb

Adding to the woes of the Palestinians, Israeli tanks and infantry took up positions on the Egypt-Gaza border Wednesday for the first time since the Israeli pullout from Gaza a year ago, as the army broadened its search for arms-smuggling tunnels.

For the past four days, Israel has been warning it would intensify a nearly four-month-long offensive in Gaza.

Palestinian hospital staff said Israeli troops killed two gunmen from the governing Hamas in clashes in the town of Rafah.

In the northern Gaza Strip, residents said two more Palestinians, including a civilian, were killed by Israeli forces overnight.

The Palestinian government said the deployment around the Rafah crossing - Gaza's only link to the outside world that does not pass through Israel - was tantamount to Israeli reoccupation of the border area. But Israel played down the scale of its objectives.

"We have no intention of going back and controlling Gaza," Defense Minister Amir Peretz told Parliament. "But we are obligated to provide security for the citizens of Israel. We will not make a policy of closing our eyes to the smuggling."

Palestinian officials said troops carried out house-to-house searches and bulldozers leveled agricultural land near the border. Troops also surrounded the Rafah border terminal, where about 60 Palestinian security personnel remained, the officials said.

Israel has pounded Gaza for nearly four months since Corporal Gilad Shilat was captured and two other soldiers were killed in a cross-border raid.

Seyam said that Israel had made "no serious offer" on the release of Palestinian prisoners it holds in exchange for the captured soldier.

"Israel wants the release of the soldier and claims it would then make a goodwill gesture, but this has been rejected by those who have captured the soldier," Seyam said, calling on "all Arab mediators" to give guarantees for an eventual prisoner swap.

Seyam also said he was aware that arms shipment were entering the Gaza Strip for Abbas' presidential guard force.

"We do not know the nature and the source of these arms," he said, when asked whether Israel and the United States were helping Abbas strengthen his security body. - Agencies

Troops will be out of Iraq in 16 months, Blair tells Commons

By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent
(Filed: 19/10/2006)


Audio: Colonel Tim Collins on the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq(go to the website and click this for the audio)

Tony Blair set a 16-month limit for keeping British troops in Iraq yesterday as he admitted for the first time that they would be a "provocation" if they stayed too long.

Under mounting pressure from senior military and political figures to offer an end date to the allied presence, he told MPs at Prime Minister's Questions that to withdraw before "the job is done" would be "disastrous".

David Cameron reduced Tory support for the Government and accused him of hiding the truth about Iraq but Mr Blair moved to reassure MPs that troops would be out by early 2008.

It was British policy to "withdraw progressively" when Iraq's own security forces were able to take over.

Quoting from a statement by Gen George Casey, the US coalition commander, Mr Blair said: "I don't have the date but I can see over the next 12 to 18 months the Iraqi security forces progressing to a point where they can take on the security responsibilities for the country.

"That is the policy of ourselves, our allies — not just America — but the other 20 or so countries there."

Mr Cameron had seized on comments last week from Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, who claimed that the presence of British troops in some parts of Iraq was exacerbating the violence. Sir Richard also called for troops to be pulled out "some time soon".

The Tory leader asked Mr Blair if he agreed with the general's views.

"When the Prime Minister says he wants to get the job done we need to know what he means. It is no use the Chief of the General Staff saying one thing and him saying another thing."

Mr Blair insisted he would not change the overall strategy of keeping troops in Iraq to help establish democracy but accepted that there would be a limit to the time when allied troops were welcome.

"It is our policy to withdraw progressively from Iraq as the Iraqi forces are capable of taking on the security task. That is why it is important when we are able to hand over to them that we do so.

"Otherwise, of course, we are a provocation rather than a help to them."

Attempting to turn the tables on Mr Cameron, Mr Blair added: "I do not want either to dismay our allies or hearten our enemies by suggesting we should do anything else other than stay until the job is done."

Mr Blair and President George W Bush are under pressure from a forthcoming report to Congress that is expected to suggest options for changing course on Iraq. It includes a plan for most US troops to move out, with some staying close by and move back in to extinguish terrorist cells.

Faith schools 'must help to end community tensions'

By Liz Lightfoot
(Filed: 19/10/2006)


Alan johnson, the Education Secretary, warned existing faith schools yesterday that they must become less exclusive as he spoke of the need for them to help break down tensions between communities.

All new faith schools will need to set aside a quarter of places for children from other religions or no religion at all but this was just a start, he told the a conference of the National Children and Adult Services in Brighton.

"Through the current consultation on the new admissions code, we should explore whether there is more we can do by encouraging existing faith schools to further promote community cohesion,.

"Building on the agreement signed earlier in the year by all the faith groups to teach each other's religion in their RE classes, I want to see teachers exchange between different religious schools, so that pupils and teachers are exposed to the ethos and approach of different faiths." Mr Johnson's school admissions code, which is out for consultation, forbids faith schools from insisting that parents put them as their first choice and tells them that they "should consider how their particular admission arrangements impact on the local community,".

It defines "contribution to community cohesion" as "having admission arrangements that are inclusive of other faiths and of all elements of the population of their local area".

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said there was no plan to extend the 25 per cent non-faith quota to existing faith schools.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Italian TV: Israel used new weapon prototype in Gaza Strip

By Meron Rapoport
13 October 2006


An investigative report to be aired on Italian television today raises the possibility that Israel has used an experimental weapon in the Gaza Strip in recent months, causing especially serious physical injuries, such as amputated limbs and severe burns. The weapon is similar to one developed by the U.S. military called DIME, which causes a powerful and lethal blast, but only within a relatively small radius.

The Italian report is based on the eyewitness accounts of medical doctors in the Strip, as well as tests carried out in an Italian laboratory. The investigative team is the same one that exposed, several months ago, the use by U.S. forces in Iraq of phosphorous bombs, against Iraqi rebels in Faluja.

Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen (res.) Yitzhak Ben-Israel, formerly head of the IDF's weapons-development program, told the Italian reporters that "one of the ideas [behind the weapon] is to allow those targeted to be hit without causing damage to bystanders or other persons."

The investigation, by Rai24news, follows reports by Gaza-based doctors of inexplicably serious injuries. The doctors reported an exceptionally large number of wounded who lost legs, of completely burned bodies and injuries unaccompanied by metal shrapnel. Some of the doctors also claimed that they removed particles from wounds that could not be seen in an x-ray machine.

According to those who testified, the wounded were hit by munitions launched from drones, most of them in July.

Dr. Habas al-Wahid, head of the emergency room at the Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital, in Deir el-Balah, told the reporters that the legs of the injured were sliced from their bodies "as if a saw was used to cut through the bone." There were signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation, but no signs that the dismemberment was caused by metal fragments.

Dr. Juma Saka, of Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, said the doctors found small entry wounds on the bodies of the wounded and the dead. According to Saka, a powder was found on the victims' bodies and in their internal organs.

"The powder was like microscopic shrapnel, and these are what likely caused the injuries," Saka said.

The Italian investigative team raised the possibility that the IDF is making use of a weapon similar in character to DIME - Dense Inert Metal Explosive - developed for the U.S. military. According to the official website of a U.S. air force laboratory, it is a "focused lethality" weapon, which aims to accurately destroy the target while causing minimum damage to the surrounding.

According to the site, the projectile comprises a carbon-fiber casing filled with tungsten powder and explosives. In the explosion, tungsten particles - a metal capable of conducting very high temperatures - spread over a radius of four meters and cause death.

Weapon in testing phase

According to the U.S.-based website Defense-Tech, "the result is an incredibly destructive blast in a small area" and "the destructive power of the mixture causes far more damage than pure explosive." It adds that "the impact of the micro-shrapnel seems to cause a similar but more powerful effect than a shockwave."

The weapon is supposed to still be in the testing phase and has not been used on the battlefield.

The Italian reporters sent samples of the particles found in wounds of injured in the Gaza Strip to a laboratory at the University of Parma. Dr. Carmela Vaccaio said that in analyzing the samples, she found "a very high concentration of carbon and the presence of unusual materials," such as copper, aluminum and tungsten. Dr. Vaccaio says these findings "could be in line with the hypothesis" that the weapon in question is DIME.

On the matter of DIME, Ben-Israel told the Italian reporters that "this is a technology that allows the striking of very small targets."

The report says that the weapon is not banned by international law, especially since it has not been officially tested.

It is believed that the weapon is highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment.

The non-governmental organization Physicians for Human Rights has written to Defense Minister Amir Peretz requesting explanations for the aforementioned injuries to Palestinians. Amos Gilad, a senior adviser to the minister, is supposed to meet with the group on the matter in the near future.

Blair peace quest is a waste, say Israeli and Palestinian leaders

By Andy McSmith in Jerusalem
Published: 18 October 2006


Leaders of both sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict believe that Tony Blair may prove to be a "lame duck" figure in his quest to restart the deadlocked Middle East peace process.

Senior figures from both camps warned yesterday that the Prime Minister would be wasting his time if he devotes his last months in office to an attempt to resolve the crisis.

Many view Mr Blair and President George Bush as leaders weakened by the conflict in Iraq. Even leading Israelis, who admire theMr Blair, expect nothing to come of his promised return to the area. "It won't lead to anything. It can't lead to anything. There is no solution that the sides are interested to reach," the recently retired former head of Israel's National Security Council, Maj-Gen Giora Eiland, said. He added that Mr Blair's belief that he can influence events "can't be based on any previous experience... Based on what? - his will?"

The Prime Minister visited the Middle East last month with a plan that he hoped could end the isolation of the Palestinians, who have been denied western aid and have had no formal contact with Israel since the Hamas organisation won this year's election. Hamas does not accept the existence of the state of Israel.

Mr Blair proposed that Palestine's President, Mahmoud Abbas, should form an administration modelled on the Lebanese government, which includes ministers from the equally militant Hizbollah, although the administration as a whole is committed to peace - but the idea was rejected by Hamas's Damascus-based leadership.

The Prime Minister told the Labour Party's annual conference: "Until I leave office I will dedicate myself... to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine."

A high-ranking Palestinian official, close to President Abbas, said the Palestinians see Mr Blair and Mr Bush as leaders weakened by the Iraq war, sitting out their terms in office. "Maybe these lame ducks can come together and give each other a hand," he suggested.

Leaders of both sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict believe that Tony Blair may prove to be a "lame duck" figure in his quest to restart the deadlocked Middle East peace process.

Senior figures from both camps warned yesterday that the Prime Minister would be wasting his time if he devotes his last months in office to an attempt to resolve the crisis.

Many view Mr Blair and President George Bush as leaders weakened by the conflict in Iraq. Even leading Israelis, who admire theMr Blair, expect nothing to come of his promised return to the area. "It won't lead to anything. It can't lead to anything. There is no solution that the sides are interested to reach," the recently retired former head of Israel's National Security Council, Maj-Gen Giora Eiland, said. He added that Mr Blair's belief that he can influence events "can't be based on any previous experience... Based on what? - his will?"

The Prime Minister visited the Middle East last month with a plan that he hoped could end the isolation of the Palestinians, who have been denied western aid and have had no formal contact with Israel since the Hamas organisation won this year's election. Hamas does not accept the existence of the state of Israel.

Mr Blair proposed that Palestine's President, Mahmoud Abbas, should form an administration modelled on the Lebanese government, which includes ministers from the equally militant Hizbollah, although the administration as a whole is committed to peace - but the idea was rejected by Hamas's Damascus-based leadership.

The Prime Minister told the Labour Party's annual conference: "Until I leave office I will dedicate myself... to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine."

A high-ranking Palestinian official, close to President Abbas, said the Palestinians see Mr Blair and Mr Bush as leaders weakened by the Iraq war, sitting out their terms in office. "Maybe these lame ducks can come together and give each other a hand," he suggested.

Muslim Holocaust

First they came for the extremist Muslims
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an extremist Muslim

Then they came for the fundamentalist Muslims
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a fundamentalist Muslim

Then they came for the moderate Muslims
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a moderate Muslim

Then finally they came for me the non-practicing British Muslim
And no Muslims were left to speak out for me

Europe 2006
Resembling Germany in the 30s
Parallels are apparent and
Frightening
It could never happen in this day and age
Their would be outrage
The world over
On every front page
Say the naive and gullible

Study history
See the patterns
Jews integrated and totally assimilated in Germany
Business, economy, media, culture and inter-marriage
Thought they were Germans
Accepted at last
No more pogroms or anti-Semitic witch hunts
They couldn’t have been more wrong

After WW1
German economy and society devastated
Recession, high unemployment
Economic melt down and inflation
The whole nation
Looking for a solution and scapegoat

Enter Adolf Hitler
With simple answers to complex problems
Jewish conspiracy and Aryan superiority
Counter balance to Communism
Even funded by some Jews
Sound bites and slogans
Playing the blame game
Seducing and hypnotising the masses

Using the media and playing on peoples phobias
Creating an atmosphere and public opinion
For racist violence
Individual attacks
Accelerating to state policy
Mass arrests and imprisonment without trial
Police state
No trial by jury
Deportation and extermination

No opposition
Silent collusion
Most keep silent
Evil triumphant
Assets confiscated
World is silent

End of race on German soil
Put in camps and made to toil
Buried beneath the European soil
Forgotten people until 47

Died in showers
And gas chambers
Without a struggle or a fight
Huge number
But in self inflicted slumber
Integrated and assimilated
Road to self destruction
And eventual annihilation

Today Muslims in Britain
Successful and integrated
Business, economy, education, health service etc
We are contributing to Britain’s success and prosperity
Paying taxes
And slogging our guts and back
For below minimum pay
Our success without compromise
Leading to envy

Educating our children in madrassas and masjids
Teaching Islamic values
Respect, family, honour
And halal and haram as a criteria
To become good law abiding citizens
And not binge drinking, disrespectful, hooligan, yobs
Without jobs
But still the Politicians and media create hysteria

Attack on the veil
Convenient excuse to put Islam on trial
Attacks on Muslims
Physical and verbal
On the streets and in the masjid
Nowhere is safe from the fascists

Islam we cannot deny, compromise or leave
No matter how hard it gets

Muslims arrested and locked up
Due process suspended
By Blair the Fuehrer and Pharaoh
Bell marsh and Wood hill
Modern day Auschwitz
Anti-terror police invade Muslim women’s privacy
Kicking Qurans and asking
“Where is your God now?”
Just like the SS

Society is silent
Muslims living in denial
Thinking they are safe
Muslim MPs and Police do the dirty
For a fat salary
How they can betray their own and Allah
Is a mystery

See the parallels with Nazi Germany
Beginning of Muslim holocaust
And inquisition on European soil
Convert to secular British identity
Or the stick will be used
Multi- Cultralism abandoned
Mainstream politicians make racist slurs daily
Competing to outdo each other
BNP is silent and speechless

It’s not too late
We’re still breathing
Time for us to learn our deen
Discuss with non-Muslims
Explain and refute
The state propaganda and media lies
To reverse state policy

It’s hard but we have to try
No more hiding or living in denial
The Muslim Holocaust has begun

We either die in ignorance
Or go down fighting
With honour and dignity
And meet our lord smiling

Author: Showkotali@hotmail.com

www.Islamic-education.blogspot.com

Bush signs law on terror suspects

US PRESIDENT George W Bush yesterday signed legislation authorising tough interrogation of terror suspects and smoothing the way for their trials before military commissions, calling it a “vital tool” in the war against terrorism.


Mr Bush’s plan for treatment of the terror suspects became law just six weeks after he acknowledged the Central Intelligence Agency had been secretly interrogating suspected terrorists overseas and pressed Congress to quickly give authority to try them in military commissions.

“With the bill I’m about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice,” Mr Bush said, referring to the September 11 attacks.

Among those the US hopes to try are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks, as well as Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged would-be September 11 hijacker, and Abu Zubaydah, who was believed to be a link between Osama bin Laden and many al-Qaida cells.

“It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill that he knows will save American lives,” Mr Bush said. “I have that privilege this morning.

“We will answer brutal murder with patient justice,” Mr Bush said. “Those who kill the innocent will be held to account.”

The swift implementation of the law is a rare bit of good news for Mr Bush as casualties mount in Iraq in daily violence.

The law protects detainees from blatant abuses during questioning — such as rape, torture and “cruel and inhuman” treatment — but does not require that any of them be granted legal counsel.

Also, it specifically bars detainees from filing habeas corpus petitions challenging their detentions in federal courts.

Many Democrats opposed the legislation because they said it eliminated rights of defendants considered fundamental to American values, such as a person’s ability to go to court to protest his or her detention and the use of coerced testimony as evidence.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the new law is “one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history”.

Blunkett denies order to machinegun prisoners

By Philip Johnston
(Filed: 18/10/2006)


A former prisons chief yesterday stood by his account of how a ''hysterical" David Blunkett told him to machinegun rioting inmates.

Martin Narey said the former home secretary made his remarks during disturbances at Lincoln jail in October 2002.

He had been ''reckless" in the way he had handled the problem said Mr Narey, who was head of the Prison Service.

"What you are looking for is calm guidance — it's leadership from a secretary of state, and that was sadly lacking," he told the BBC.

Mr Narey said he had decided to speak out after reading of the incident in Mr Blunkett's memoirs, which were published recently. He wanted to ''set the record straight" after he and his team were accused of dithering and Mr Blunkett was portrayed as decisive.

Writing in The Times, Mr Narey claimed: "He shrieked at me that he didn't care about lives, told me to call in the Army and machinegun the prisoners and — still shrieking — again ordered me to take the prison back immediately. I refused. David hung up."

He added: "I found him always unpredictable and inclined to rush to a decision sometimes on the basis of what had been read to him that morning from the tabloid press."

A spokesman for Mr Blunkett denied the account and said his version could be verified by a recording by officials of the conversation, which Mr Narey said he would be delighted to hear.

"Everything to do with the Lincoln riot is in the diary," said the spokesman. "The diary records precisely what happened. He did order the retaking of the prison. He did not say anything about machineguns. Quite apart from anything else they do not carry machineguns in the Prison Service."

But Mr Narey's version appeared to be gaining credence last night among others who worked with Mr Blunkett.

Brian Caton, the general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "I remember him losing his temper with officials very, very easily and very quickly and he said some quite cutting remarks to officials when we were in his presence — so I can only believe what Martin says was truthful."

Lord Ramsbotham, the former chief inspector of prisons, said the suggestion that machineguns should be used was "outrageous".

He added: "It would be outrageous if made in a bar late at night. But to be made by a home secretary to a senior civil servant is unthinkable, and you know it just makes one very glad that Mr Blunkett is no longer home secretary. To my mind it shows extraordinary lack of judgment."

Mr Blunkett also fell out badly with John (now Lord) Stevens, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. In his memoirs, Lord Stevens accused him of using the September 11 terrorist attacks to score points against officers. After one meeting between the two men, stories appeared in the media suggesting the police chief had been ''given a roasting" for warning the public that Britain could be the next target for a terrorist attack.

"There were only three people in that office — myself, the home secretary and his dog," Lord Stevens wrote. ''And it didn't come from the dog."

PM Wades Into Veil Row

PM Wades Into Veil Row

Updated: 18:48, Tuesday October 17, 2006

Tony Blair has joined the Muslim veil row by insisting the garment represents "a mark of separation" from the rest of society.

He was asked at his monthly news conference whether a woman who wore the veil could make a full contribution to society.

And he said the sight of it made people from outside the Muslim community "uncomfortable".

"No one wants to say that people don't have the right to do it," he said.

"That is to take it too far. But I think we need to confront this issue about how we integrate people properly into our society."

Lawyers for a teaching assistant who has been suspended after refusing to remove her veil during lessons have called Mr Blair's comments "irresponsible". They are considering seeking an injunction against the Prime Minister to stop him saying anything further about the case.

On health, Mr Blair predicted that there would be only "a few hundred" compulsory redundancies in the NHS this year, not the tens of thousands of job cuts claimed by the Conservatives.

Tory leader David Cameron has said the current financial crisis in the health service is to cost 20,000 jobs - a figure which managers' organisation NHS Employers said "may turn out to not be too far off the total reduction in workforce numbers this year".

Newly-appointed NHS chief executive David Nicholson insisted that the true number of jobs lost would be "significantly less" than the figure of 20,000, but admitted that he did not know what the final figure would be.

On the continuing row over British troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr Blair pledged his forces would not "walk away" from either conflict until their job is complete.

He said: "If we walk away before the job is done from either of those two countries, we will leave a situation in which the very people we are fighting everywhere, including the extremism in our own country, are heartened and emboldened and we can't afford that to happen.

"So we have got to see that job through."

His comments follow a warning last week by the head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, that the British presence in Iraq was exacerbating the difficulties the UK faced around the world.


Blair backs suspension of class assistant in debate over veil

· PM says integration and achievement go together
· Talk of 20,000 job cuts in NHS rejected


Will Woodward, chief political correspondent
Wednesday October 18, 2006

The Guardian


Tony Blair yesterday said he backed a council which suspended a Muslim classroom assistant for refusing to remove her veil, as part of what he described as a difficult but necessary debate about how Islam integrates into British society and the modern world. The prime minister said the niqab worn by some Muslim women was "a mark of separation and that is why it makes other people from outside of the community feel uncomfortable" - words likely to anger some religious leaders.

Asked if it was possible for a woman wearing a veil to make a full contribution to British society, Mr Blair said it was "a very difficult question ... no one wants to say that people don't have the right to do it. That is to take it too far. But I think we need to confront this issue about how we integrate people properly into our society.
"All the evidence is that when people do integrate more, they achieve more as well. It's a very, very sensitive issue; all I'm saying is we need to have this debate about integration. I'm not saying anyone should be forced to do anything."

Mr Blair said he could "see the reason" why Kirklees council had suspended Aishah Azmi, a teaching assistant at Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Ms Azmi has taken the council to an employment tribunal and Mr Blair said he was mindful of that. He did not go as far as the communities minister, Phil Woolas, in calling for her to be sacked. But he said he "fully" supported Kirklees. "I simply say that I back their handling of the case. I can see the reason why they came to the decision they did." Last night Ms Azmi's lawyer said he was considering taking an injunction against Mr Blair to stop him saying more about the case.

The prime minister said Ms Azmi's case, along with Jack Straw's decision to ask

women to remove their veils in his constituency surgeries and the row over British Airways' ban on a staff member wearing a cross, were part of a broader debate which was "happening in a very haphazard way".

The debate was about the degree of integration by Muslims, and - within the Muslim community itself - about "how Islam comes to terms with and is comfortable with the modern world".

The debate had begun long before ministers contributed and was going on in different forms across the developed world - in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark - as well as in Kuwait and other parts of the Middle East.

Downing Street said later that ministers had not engineered the debate, but nor could they shy away from it. "It isn't just a debate that affects Muslims, it's also a debate which affects non-Muslims," the prime minister's official spokesman said. "You can't just put your head in the sand and say these issues don't exist."

In the first of his monthly press conferences since the September revolt in Labour ranks which saw him announce his departure within a year, Mr Blair was not asked any questions about how long he intended to stay in office. After presentations from the chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, and David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, on health service reform he said reports of up to 20,000 job losses in the NHS were way out and the true figure for compulsory redundancies would be closer to a "few hundred".

In answer to several questions about comments by General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the army, last week, that the presence of British forces in Iraq exacerbated violence, he insisted that both he and the military believed their contribution was helpful.

In his own words

Blair on Afghanistan and Iraq

"What we have got to do is see that job through."

On NHS job cuts

"Most (are) vacancies not being filled or posts that are being transferred. Compulsory redundancies (are) a few hundred, not 20,000."

On Schools

"On any definition, results are improving."

On David Blunkett's revelations

"I have other things to think about."

Blunder over terror suspect's disappearance before police arrived to serve control order

· Missing man legally free of curbs, Home Office admits
· Details not revealed to MPs in written statement

Vikram Dodd and Will Woodward
Wednesday October 18, 2006

The Guardian


The government has been accused of fresh blunders over the disappearance of two terror suspects, after it emerged that one of the men disappeared before police had served him with a control order.
The man, who the government says is Iraqi, is suspected of being part of a terror cell. He should have had restrictions on his movement renewed on August 1 when a previous order ended, but police did not get to him in time, the Guardian learned.

The revelation adds to the government's embarrassment over the control orders after it was confirmed this week that the authorities have no idea of the whereabouts of the two men, said by the government to be dangerous.

One of the two, a British citizen, escaped two weeks ago from a secure psychiatric unit. But the foreign national has not been seen since August. Police failed to physically hand him the control order, as required by law. That means he is legally not subject to any restrictions, officials admitted last night.

The opposition said the revelation was further evidence of government incompetence. Yesterday Tony Blair defended the government's record on control orders amid signs that ministers may use the row to seek tougher powers.

In a second controversy, the security minister was accused of keeping news of the disappearance of the foreign national from MPs in a written statement he made to them six weeks after the authorities lost track of him.

The man had been under a control order, but that was quashed by the court of appeal at 4.30pm on August 1, with immediate effect. Three senior judges upheld an earlier court ruling in April striking down the control order regime.

According to sources with knowledge of the case, police found the man missing from his Manchester home when they went round to serve him with the new order. The Home Office says police went "at the earliest opportunity", but he had already disappeared.

The security services claim the man was part of an Iraqi terror cell. He claims to be Iranian.

Last night David Davis, the Tory home affairs spokesman, said the man's disappearance was another example of Home Office incompetence: "You would have thought they would have foreseen this. They were warned enough times they could lose, and they ought to have considered what they needed to do to keep track of people they said were terrorists who were a danger to the public. It's an act of incompetence."

Last night the Home Office said the man, who cannot be named and is known as LL, could not be prosecuted for what they claim is his breaching of the first control order against him. A spokeswoman said: "Both individuals absconded from the control orders that were in force against them at the time that they absconded. Only one of those control orders is still in force - but both individuals breached their control orders. The police and CPS cannot prosecute LL for breach because the original control order in question was quashed by the court of appeal."

The row blew up on Monday after it emerged that the British man had escaped from a psychiatric secure unit a fortnight ago. It later emerged that the Home Office minister Tony McNulty had made no mention of the Iraqi's disappearance in a written answer to MPs on September 11 updating them on the use of control order powers. The Home Office said the statement was intended to update merely on how many control orders had been issued.

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg, said: "It adds insult to injury. For a government concerned about public relations it isn't good enough to duck any meaningful scrutiny when the going gets tough. It's hardly an example of new leadership if they choose to play dumb on an issue of great concern to the public."

Yesterday, at a press conference in Downing Street, Mr Blair brushed off the claim that the control orders fiasco showed that John Reid was losing control of the Home Office. "We, of course, wanted far tougher laws against terrorism. We were prevented by the opposition in parliament and then by the courts in ensuring that that was done. Of course, we will do everything we can to make sure that control orders - which are not the same as house arrest, which we have tremendous difficulties with; which are not the same as detention, which is what we originally wanted - of course they are not as effective.

"I think people have got to be careful of forgetting completely the history of this. I wanted to make sure that the original anti-terrorist legislation was maintained in full. Control orders were never going to be as effective as detention. But of course if someone breaches their control order, then they are properly sought after, and that is a job for the police.

"The reason it's difficult is that the legislation we have in place and we wanted to maintain was then overturned. Some of the same people who are criticising us on control orders today were leading the charge against the legislation that would have allowed us to continue with this."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

never quit...(poem)

When the things go wrong
As they sometimes will
When the road you are trudging
Seem all uphill
When the funds are low
And the debts are high
And you want to smile
But you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down
A bit
Rest if you must
But don’t you quit.
Life is queer
With its twists and turns
As every one of us
Sometimes learns
And many a failure
Turns about
And he might have won
Had he struck it out
Don’t give up though
The pace seems slow
You may suceed
With another blow
Sucess is failure
Turned inside out
The silver tint
Of the clouds of doubt
And you be near
When it seems so far.
So stick to fight
When you are hardest hit
Its when things seem worst
Believe in Allah & must never quite.


And our Lord says:
"…..it may be that you dislike a thing and it is good for you ,and that you like a thing and it is bad for you. Allâh knows but you do not know."(2:216)

So, no room for despair,hope for the best ,be +ve always

"Call upon Me, I will answer you."
"And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me (trust Me-Allah is all Able) that they may walk in the right way."(Al Quran)


Need to pray for the best too

lightup0nlight@yahoo.com

For Daughters and Sons

Dear Son

The day that you see me old and I am already not, have patience and try to understand me...

If I get dirty when eating, if I cannot dress, have patience. Remember the hours I spent teaching it to you.

If, when I speak to you, I repeat the same things thousands of times, do not interrupt me, listen to me.
When you were small, I had to read to you thousands times the same story until you get to sleep.

When I do not want to have a shower, neither shame me nor scold me.
Remember when I had to chase you with thousand excuses I invented in order that you wanted to bath.

When you see my ignorance on new technologies, give me the necessary time and not look at me with your mocking smile.
I taught you how to do so many things, to eat good, to dress well, to confront life.

When at some moment I lose the memory or the thread of our conversation, let me have the necessary time to remember. And if I cannot do it, do not become nervous.. As the most important thing is not my conversation but surely to be with you and to have you listening to me.

If ever I do not want to eat, do not force me. I know well when I need to and when not.

When my tired legs do not allow me to walk, give me your hand the same way I did when you gave your first steps.

Soem day you will discover that, despite my mistakes, I always wanted the best for you and that I tried to prepare the way for you.
You must not feel sad, angry or impotent for seeing me near you. You must be next to me, try to understand me and help me as I did it when you started living.

Help me to walk, help me to end my way with love and patience. I will pay you by a smile and by the immense love I have had always for you.

I love you son...
Your father.

Decision Making

The story given here is quite interesting and really gives us an insight into Decision Making:

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other is disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.

The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the disused track and saved most of the kids.

However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrified. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make.

Analyse the situation.....
Think and reflect...
Decide your answer!!!

Now Go Ahead

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. To save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally.

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

neverthless, he had to be sacrified because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was.

This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in poilitics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrified for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable teh minority are.

The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in case he was sacrified, no one would shed a tear for him.

To make the proper decision is not to try to change the course of the train because the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens.

If the train was diverted, that lone child would probably die because he never thought that the train could come over to that track!
Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe.
If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake!
And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.

Whiel we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.
"Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."

Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils...

The 4 Wives

There was a merchant who had 4 wives:

He loved the 4th wife the most. He adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies.
He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much.
He's very proud of her and always wanted to show her off to his friends.
However the merchant is always great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife.
She is very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant confidant.
Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household.
Howerver, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly notice her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lobely I'll be!"

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I am dying, will you follow me and keep me company?". "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart.

The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?". "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. WHen I die, will you follow me and keep me company?". "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "AT the very most, I can only send you to the grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out:"I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his 1st wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!"



Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives...

The 4th wife is our body: No Matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.

Our 3rd Wife is our possessions, status and wealth: when we die, they all go to others.

The 2nd wife is our family and friends: No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

The 1st wife is something you can't see. It is in fact our soul: Often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. It is actually the only thing that follows us whenerever we go. Perhaps it's good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament.

Respect to all the Muslim youth living in the west

Respect is due to the Muslim youth
Living in the west
Amidst the corruption and Liberal filth

Still true to the game
No sell out
Still Muslims

Just holding onto Islam
Is like holding a hot piece of coal
As foretold by the Prophet
You may stumble
But you refuse to fall for their lies
And become an atheist like them
No religion, No God
Just following desires
And doing what they want
Like the beasts in the jungle

Although you free mix
And got the pics
As a trophy
You know your limits
And refuse to take your girl friends virginity
Preserving her chastity
For her husband only

You may go clubbing and partying
But you refuse to drink
And get drunk
Lose control of your mind
And do things people later regret
Not even a sip
Maintaining your Islamic identity
While the non-Muslims give you funny looks
Thinking that you’re a fundamentalist and what the hell is he in a club for?
Maybe to blow himself up
But you don’t care
For their stares

Coz you know who you are
And not a damn kuffar

So respect is due to you
For holding onto Islam

You do haram knowing it’s wrong
While the non-Muslim things its right
You have intention to stop one day
While the non-Muslim think
Drinking, clubbing, sleeping around
Is what life is all about

You go to jummah and bow your head in ruku and sajdah
And make long duas and cry as you repent
For the times that you spent
With women and in bad places
As you turn your face to Mecca
While that very evening
Your desires lead you westwards
Following the crowd

But I respect you
For being true
To Islam
Not selling out and apostatising

You have good intentions
You fast and pray sometimes
More during Ramadan
Coz of the Islamic atmosphere around you
Although when u break your fast
U have a member of the opposite sex by your side
Sometimes, but I guess
Society affects us all in some way or another

Would it not be better for all of us to live in an Islamic society?
Where the rules were from the Quran and Sunnah
And it would be easy to follow Islam
Just like in this society it’s easy to follow non-Islam.

You are proud to be Muslim
And keep your Islamic name
And feel no shame
In writing Islam as your religion
And Muslim as your identity
In university and job applications

Although you know
That to be a Muslim nowadays
Means you’re discriminated against
Security checks and suspicion
Pressure to show that you’re a moderate
And not a fundamentalist

You feel the pain
As the bombs rain
Upon your brothers and sisters
In far off places
You feel angry with those Muslims who have sold out
And work for the west
In the armies and other jobs
Which aid the killing and shedding of Muslim blood

You are to be congratulated
For having
An Islamic section on your website
Among all the impropriety and sin

May Allah guide you and protect you
Coz it wasn’t your fault
That u were born and grew up in a society
With so much fitna and temptations
Where its hard to practice Islam
And be a good Muslim

Maybe one day
As you get older
And mature in your thinking
Islam in your life may be bolder
More than fasting in Ramadhan and Jummah
And you will devote your time and energies
For the pleasure of Allah your creator

Author:Showkotali@hotmail.com

www.Islamic-education.blogspot.com

Birds and bees may be gay - museum exhibition

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - The birds and the bees may be gay, according to the world's first museum exhibition about homosexuality among animals.

With documentation of gay or lesbian behaviour among giraffes, penguins, parrots, beetles, whales and dozens of other creatures, the Oslo Natural History Museum concludes human homosexuality cannot be viewed as "unnatural".

"We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear -- homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature," an exhibit statement said.


Geir Soeli, the project leader of the exhibition entitled "Against Nature?", told Reuters: "Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species, and is well documented for 500 of them."

The museum said the exhibition, opening on Thursday despite condemnation from some Christians, was the first in the world on the subject. Soeli said a Dutch zoo had once organised tours to view homosexual couples among the animals.

"The sexual urge is strong in all animals. ... It's a part of life, it's fun to have sex," Soeli said of the reasons for homosexuality or bisexuality among animals.

One exhibit shows two stuffed female swans on a nest -- birds sometimes raise young in homosexual couples, either after a female has forsaken a male mate or donated an egg to a pair of males.

One photograph shows two giant erect penises flailing above the water as two male right whales rub together. Another shows a male giraffe mounting another for sex, another describes homosexuality among beetles.

BURN IN HELL

One radical Christian said organisers of the exhibition -- partly funded by the Norwegian government -- should "burn in hell", Soeli said. Laws describing homosexuality as a "crime against nature" are still on the statutes in some countries.

Greek philosopher Aristotle noted apparent homosexual behaviour among hyenas 2,300 years ago but evidence of animal homosexuality has often been ignored by researchers, perhaps because of distaste, lack of interest or fear or ridicule.

Bonobos, a type of chimpanzee, are among extremes in having sex with either males or females, apparently as part of social bonding. "Bonobos are bisexuals, all of them," Soeli said.


Still, it is unclear why homosexuality survives since it seems a genetic dead-end.

Among theories, males can sometimes win greater acceptance in a pack by having homosexual contact. That in turn can help their chances of later mating with females, he said.

And a study of homosexual men in Italy suggested that their mothers and sisters had more offspring. "The same genes that give homosexuality in men could give higher fertility among women," he said.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Universities urged to spy on Muslims

Vikram Dodd
Monday October 16, 2006
The Guardian


Lecturers and university staff across Britain are to be asked to spy on "Asian-looking" and Muslim students they suspect of involvement in Islamic extremism and supporting terrorist violence, the Guardian has learned.
They will be told to inform on students to special branch because the government believes campuses have become "fertile recruiting grounds" for extremists.

The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to "collaborating with the 'secret police'". It says there will be "concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)".

The proposals are likely to cause anxiety among academics, and provoke anger from British Muslim groups at a time when ministers are at the focus of rows over issues such as the wearing of the veil and forcing Islamic schools to accept pupils from other faiths.
Wakkas Khan, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, said: "It sounds to me to be potentially the widest infringement of the rights of Muslim students that there ever has been in this country. It is clearly targeting Muslim students and treating them to a higher level of suspicion and scrutiny. It sounds like you're guilty until you're proven innocent."

Gemma Tumelty, president of the National Union of Students, said: "They are going to treat everyone Muslim with suspicion on the basis of their faith. It's bearing on the side of McCarthyism."

The document, which has been obtained by the Guardian, was sent within the last month to selected official bodies for consultation and reveals the full extent of what the authorities fear is happening in universities.

It claims that Islamic societies at universities have become increasingly political in recent years and discusses monitoring their leaflets and speakers. The document warns of talent-spotting by terrorists on campuses and of students being "groomed" for extremism.

In a section on factors that can radicalise students, the document identifies Muslims from "segregated" backgrounds as more likely to hold radical views than those who have "integrated into wider society". It also claims that students who study in their home towns could act as a link between extremism on campuses and in their local communities.

The government wants universities to crack down on extremism, and the document says campus staff should volunteer information to special branch and not wait to be contacted by detectives.

It says: "Special branch are aware that many HEIs [higher education institutions] will have a number of concerns about working closely with special branch. Some common concerns are that institutions will be seen to be collaborating with the 'secret police'.

"HEIs may also worry about what special branch will do with any information supplied by an HEI and what action the police may subsequently take ... Special branch are not the 'secret police' and are accountable."

The document says radicalisation on campus is unlikely to be overt: "While radicalisation may not be widespread, there is some evidence to suggest that students at further and higher educational establishments have been involved in terrorist- related activity, which could include actively radicalising fellow students on campus." The document adds: "Perhaps most importantly, universities and colleges provide a fertile recruiting ground for students.

"There are different categories of students who may be 'sucked in' to an Islamist extremist ideology ... There are those who may be new to a university or college environment and vulnerable to 'grooming' by individuals with their own agenda as they search for friends and social groups; there are those who may be actively looking for extremist individuals with whom to associate. Campuses provide an opportunity for individuals who are already radicalised to form new networks, and extend existing ones."

The document urges close attention be paid to university Islamic societies and - under the heading "inspiring radical speakers" - says: "Islamic societies have tended to invite more radical speakers or preachers on to campuses ... They can be forceful, persuasive and eloquent. They are able to fill a vacuum created by young Muslims' feelings of alienation from their parents' generation by providing greater 'clarity' from an Islamic point of view on a range of issues, and potentially a greater sense of purpose about how Muslim students can respond."

It suggests checks should be made on external speakers at Islamic society events: "The control of university or college Islamic societies by certain extremist individuals can play a significant role in the extent of Islamist extremism on campus."

The document says potential extremists can be talent-spotted at campus meetings then channelled to events off campus.

The document gives five real-life examples of extremism in universities. The first talks of suspicious computer use by "Asian" students, which was reported by library staff. In language some may balk at, it talks of students of "Asian appearance" being suspected extremists.

A senior education department source told the Guardian: "There's loads of anecdotal evidence of radicalisation. At the same time there are people who pushing this who have their own agendas, and the government has to strike the right balance."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What to say of this noble one

What to say of this noble one
who was born asking for his peoples forgiveness
he had the heavens and the earth at his feet
and he was a cure for every illness

he had the best character
and his example was the best
no matter how hard his enemies tried
he with flying colours passed every test

he was the king of kings
and the helper of the poor
all the people who had problems
were outside knocking on his door

he helped everyone
friends or foe
wether they came with open arms
or a sword or a bow

He was and is Alalhs Habeeb
the mercy of Allah
He is our beloved
no other than Ya Rasulallah (salala hu aley he wasalam)

Ya Allah (A poem)

Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
and wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, a smile.
Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.


Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

If this poem makes you feel like I felt just
forward it to all your friends after all, it's
just a simple reminder that we have so-o-o
much to be Thankful for!!!

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

What are you to me?

You're my rainbow so high so bright,
Through the darkness my candle, my light.

My friend through thick n thin,
My smile, my laughter n my grin.

You are my guiding star, from afar,
My soul mate, that's what you are.

My walking talking dictionary,
The inspiration that I need, for my hunger for knowledge, that you feed.

You are the friend in need, the nearest,the most dearest.
You will be forever in my heart, even if we are physically apart.


You're my rainbow so high so bright,
Through the darkness my candle, my light.

My friend through thick n thin, My smile, my laughter n my grin.

You are my guiding star, from afar, My soul mate, that's what you are.

My walking talking dictionary, The inspiration that I need, for my hunger for knowledge, that you feed.

You are the friend in need, the nearest,the most dearest.

You will be forever in my heart, even if we are physically apart.

The Prophetic House Hold

The prophet peace be upon him had either eleven or twelve wives ,of whom nine were alive when he passed away.A short account of each of the mothers of the believers is given below :

1 . Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid :

The prophet peace be upon him married her when he was twenty-five years old.She bore all the prophet’s children except Ibraheem,and was the prophet’s only wife while she lived .She died at the age of 65,in the month of Ramadan,ten years after the prophet peace be upon him began his mission ,and was buried in Hajoor.

2. Saudah bint Zam’ah :

She was previously married to her cousin Sakran bin Amr.The coule ambraced Islam and migrated to Abyssinia.On their return to Makkah ,Sakran died.The prophet peace be upon him married Saudah in the month of Shawwal ,one month after Khadeejah died.She died in Shawwal,54 A.H.

3.Aishah Siddeeqah bint Abu Bakr Siddeeq:

The prophet peace be upon him married her in Shawwal, a year after marrying Saudah .Aishah as the only virgin the prophet peace be upon him married and was regarded as the best loved of all the prophet’s wives.She was the most learned female Muslim jurist in the history. She passed away on Ramadan 17 ,57 A.H and was buried in Baqi .

4. Hafsah bint Umar bin Khattab .

She was married to Khunays bin Hadhafah ,who died from a wound incurred at the battle of Badr.The prophet peace be upon him married her in Sah’ban ,3 A.H after she came out of mourning .She died in Madinah in Sha’ban 45 A.H at age of 60,and was bured in Baqi.

5.Zaynab bint Khuzaymah :

She was the window of Ubaidah bin Harith who was marrtyerd in Battle of Badr .According to some others she was married to Abdullah bin Jahsh ,who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud.The prophet peace be upon him married her in 4 A.H. In the days of Ignorance ,she was known as Ummul Masaakeen ( Mother of the destitute) for her compassion toward the poor .She died in Rabi Al – Akhir , 4 AH eight months after he marriage to the Prophet peace be upon him .The Prophet peace be upon him led her funeral prayer and buried her in Baqi .

6. Umm Salamah ,or Hind bint Abu Umayyah :

She was married to Abu Salamah .She bore several children while married to him ,but he died in Jamad Al Akhir,4 A.H .The prophet peace be upon him married her at the end of Shawaal ,4 A.H .She was a great jurist and one of the wisest women of her time .She died in 59 A.H .At the age of 84 ( other sources date her death in 62A.H ) She was buried in Baqi .

7. Zaynab bint Jahsh bin Riqab :

She was the daughter of the prophet’s aunt Umaymah bint Abdul-Muttalib .She was initially married to Zayd bin Harithah ,but the couple had problems and Zayd divorced her.Zayd had been adopted by the prophet peace be upon him ,and according to ancient Arab customs, it was unlawful for a man to marry the former wife of an adopted son .Allah ordered the prophet peace be upon him to marry Zaynab to show that this ancient Arab custom had been abolished.The marriage took place in Dhul Qa’dah ,5 A.H ( other sources date the marriage in 4 A.H ) .She died in 20 A.H at he age of 53 and was the first to die among the prophet’s surviving wives.Umar led the funeral prayer and she was buried in Baqi.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Do You Enter Salah & Come Out The Same Person?

Salah:The State of Mind

"Why must I pray when I don't get much out of it?"

"Is there anything I could do to make me love the Prayers and stay attentive?"

"Why does Salah feel like such a chore?"

These are a few of the questions that often trouble our thoughts and minds. What follows are 30 practical ways we can improve and enjoy our Prayers as they are meant to be!

Today we have indeed come to treat the Prayer (Salah) as something insignificant in our lives. Very often we hear our elders say, "I will start praying when the time comes." Others, specially the younger Muslims, do not find much comfort, and joy in their Prayers. Due to our treatment of Prayer as a burden, our love and passion for the Prayer has vanished. Our hearts have become hardened, and we have become a depressed and defeated people. As a result, many are searching for 'cures and remedies' to the distress in our lives, through any means available, but are unable to find any because they have ignored the greatest medicine - Salah!

30 Tips on Improving your Prayer!

If we look deep into our daily lives and diagnose the causes of our spiritual, social and psychological illnesses, we will realize that probably something as uplifting, revolutionary, and empowering as Salah is missing.
If we, the youth, realize the potential role of Prayer in changing our lives and as a constant source of hope, we would regret missing even a single Salah.

The Role of Salah in Changing our Lives

The whole purpose of Salah is to be ever conscious of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Salah is indeed, one of the most comprehensive forms of Dhikr (Remembrance). No wonder, Allah states in a hadith qudsi: "
Out of all the ways through which My servant gets closer to Me, Salah is the dearest to Me." (Bukhari) It is unfortunate, therefore, that we do not always take full advantage of this gift.

We may compare the obligatory Salah to bathing five times a day. If after such frequent bathing, your body still remains dirty, then we may question the usefulness and efficacy of such bathing. Similarly, if after regular observance of Prayer your heart remains unmoved and your morals remain corrupt, we may question the usefulness of your Prayer. If you enter into Salah and come out of it the same person, then you have missed something great.

How can you improve the quality of your Salah? Remember, first and foremost, that as soon as you commence your Salah, Shaytan makes it his duty to fill your mind with anything and everything but thoughts of Allah. He tries ceaselessly to disengage your mind and heart from such remembrance. It is this state of absentmindedness that destroys the quality of your Prayer. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said: "God does not accept the Prayers of an individual until his heart achieves in it what his body has achieved." [Al-Ghazali in Ihya-Uloom ad-Deen]

The ability to concentrate in Prayer may be improved by undertaking adequate psychological, mental and physical preparation before the Prayer and by utilising certain techniques during the Prayer.

i. Psychological and Mental Preparation before the Prayer

•The planning of your daily activities should revolve around the five daily Salah. Do not plan everything else and then try to fit Prayer into your busy schedule. Allah deserves a greater place in our lives than that!

•Ensure that you are conversant with all the rules and regulations governing your Prayer. Research in depth the Quranic verses and ahadith relating to the virtues of Salah. Uncertainty in how to perform one's prayer perfectly is a major cause of distraction.

•Be punctual with your Prayer. Get into the habit of praying at the earliest hour. Do not procrastinate. The Prophet said, "The deed most loved by Allah is Prayer performed on time." (Muslim) and "only the hypocrites intentionally delay their prayers"!

•Pray as much of your obligatory Salah in congregation as is possible.
This is not 'just a good thing' but an obligation on every Muslim male. According to the Prophet, if we knew the good in praying in jama'ah we would not miss it even if we had to crawl to the masjid!

•Avoid praying in a state in which you are mentally and physically fatigued.

•Keep your mind free of worldly worries , evil thoughts, and ideas.

•Plan what verses/duas you are going to recite.

•If you do not understand Arabic learn the meaning of what you recite in your Prayer.

•Remind yourself that engaging in Prayer offers you an opportunity to release yourself from the tensions of this world . The Prophet has said that in Prayer was placed the comfort of his eyes. Therefore cherish the opportunity to remove the burdens of this world from your shoulders.

•Use your Prayer to remain focused on your mission in life, which is to bring your entire being to serve only Allah.

•Use your Prayer as a source of strength , inspiration and enthusiasm for your life and activities.

ii. Physical Preparation

•Fulfill all your personal needs before you commence your Prayer , for e.g., thirst, hunger and calls of nature.

• Pray in a pure physical state. Perform your wudu with care and perfection.

•Although the whole earth is a masjid or a place of worship, choose a place that is clean.

•Pray in an environment free of noise and one where there is no distraction.

•Adorn yourself with clean and respectable clothes.

iii. Performing Your Prayer

•Assess your mental readiness for Prayer before its commencement, during the various postures, after each raka and ultimately at the end.

•Pray with humility both in your mental state and in your physical manner. Pray with hope and awe.

•Remind yourself continually that you are talking to the most important 'One' in your life - your Creator and Sustainer. He is in front of you.You are facing Him and you are involved in a dialogue with Him.

•Commence your Prayer by seeking Allah's help and protection from the influences of Shaytan.

•Lower your gaze while praying and do not allow the physical environment to distract you. Anas related that the Prophet said: "My dear son, be sure to avoid being distracted during Prayer, for, to become distracted while praying is a disaster." (Tabarani) Remember that Allah will look at you as long as you keep your eyes on the ground.

•Use a variety of Quranic verses and duas in your Prayer to achieve greater concentration and awareness.

•Adopt a whispering technique in your recitation in order to remain focused on what you are saying, and not distract others.

•As you recite the Quran, translate it into your own language so that your attention is held. As you ponder upon the meaning and implications of the words, insha-Allah, all worldly thoughts will disappear.

•On each occasion that you recite the Sifat or attributes of Allah in ruku and sajda, consider how indebted you are and how grateful you should be to Allah and express your true emotions.

•Utilize the occasion of sajda to make additional dua to Allah. The Prophet said: "A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in sajda, so increase your supplication when in sajda." (Muslim.)

•Make your Prayer of moderate duration so that you do not become physically and mentally tired but be aware that while in Prayer you must take your time praying.

•Give due regard to the proper performance of all the physical postures. Do not 'peck like acrow' when doing rukus and sajdas as every posture in Salah, even the rests, are important.

•Pray as if it is your last Prayer. The Messenger of God said: `When you stand up to pray, perform your prayer as if it were your last...'(Ahmad)

Performing your prayer in a satisfactory manner should lead to a radical change in the way you lead your daily life. Salah must be as the Quran states: Surely, Salah prevents indecency and evil [al-Ankabut 29:45.] Your improved and more disciplined life will in turn help the quality of your Prayer to increase even more. The two should continuously reinforce each other.

Remember, Salah is an obligation. Whether your heart is attentive or not, it must be performed. You cannot give up Prayer because to you it appears useless. There is punishment for a Prayer not performed satisfactorily. It will be a witness against you rather than a witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Don't give up the obligation but try to infuse it with the purpose it seeks to serve - remembrance of Allah. It is important to remember the saying of the Prophet (pbuh): "
If a man performs two rakas of Salah without the distraction of any worldly thought, all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari.)

Compiled from "In The Early Hours" by Khurram Murad

If I am right, it is from Allah; if wrong, it is from me. I ask Allah Almighty to protect you and me from errors and from all that displease Him

Companions of the Prophet: Julaybib

His name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib "small gown" being the diminutive form of the word "Jalbab". The name is an indication that Julaybib was small and short, even of dwarf-like stature. More than that, he is described as being "damim" which means ugly, deformed, or of repulsive appearance.
Even more disturbing, for the society in which he lived, Julaybib's lineage was not known. There is no record of who his mother and father was or to what tribe he belonged. This was a grave disability in the society in which he lived. Julaybib could not expect any compassion or help, any protection or support from a society that placed a great deal of importance on family and tribal connections. In this regard, all that was known of him was that he was an Arab and that, as far as the new community of Islam was concerned, he was one of the Ansar. Perhaps he belonged to one of the outlying tribes beyond Madinah and had drifted into the city or he could even have been from among the Ansar of the city itself.
The disabilities under which Julaybib lived would have been enough to have him ridiculed and shunned in any society and in fact he was prohibited by one person, a certain Abu Barzah of the Aslam tribe, from entering his home. He once told his wife:
"Do not let Julaybib enter among you. If he does, I shall certainly do (something terrible to him)." Probably because he was teased and scoffed at in the company of men, Julaybib used to take refuge in the company of women.
Was there any hope of Julaybib being treated with respect and consideration? Was there any hope of his finding emotional satisfaction as an individual and as a man? Was there any hope of his enjoying the relationships which others take for granted? And in the new society emerging under the guidance of the Prophet, peace be upon him, was he so insignificant as to be overlooked in the preoccupation with the great affairs of state and in the supreme issues of life and survival which constantly engaged the attention of the Prophet, peace be upon him?
Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet of Mercy, peace be upon him, was also aware of the needs and sensibilities of his most humble companions. With Julaybib in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, went to one of the Ansar and said:
"I want to have your daughter married."
"How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of God and what a delight to the eye (this would be)," replied the Ansari man with obvious joy and happiness.
"I do not want her for myself," added the Prophet, peace be upon him.
"Then for whom, O Messenger of God?" asked the man, obviously somewhat let down.
"For Julaybib," said the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The Ansari man must have been too shocked to give his own reaction and he merely said:
"I will consult with her mother." And off he went to his wife.
"The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, wants to have your daughter married," he said to her.
She too was thrilled.
"What a wonderful idea and what a delight to the eye (this would be)," she said.
"He doesn't want to marry her himself but he wants to marry her to Julaybib," he added.
She was flabbergasted.
"To Julaybib! No, never to Julaybib! No, by the living God, we shall not marry (her) to him," she protested.
As the Ansari was about to return to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to inform him of what his wife had said, the daughter who had heard her mother's protestations, asked:
"Who has asked you to marry me?"
Her mother told her of the Prophet's request, peace be upon him, for her hand in marriage to Julaybib. When she heard that the request had come from the Prophet, peace be upon him, and that her mother was absolutely opposed to the idea, she was greatly perturbed and said:
"Do you refuse the request of the Messenger of God? Send me to him for he shall certainly not bring ruin to me."
This was the reply of a truly great person who had a clear understanding of what was required of her as a Muslim. What greater satisfaction and fulfillment can a Muslim find than in responding willingly to the requests and commands of the Messenger of God! No doubt, this companion of the Prophet, whose name we do not even know had heard the verse of the Quran:
"Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice in so far as they themselves are concerned. And he who disobeys God and His Prophet has already, most obviously, gone astray." (The Quran, Surah al-Ahzab, 33:36)
This verse was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Zayd ibn al-Harithah which was arranged by the Prophet, peace be upon him, to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab at first was highly offended at the thought of her marrying Zayd, a former slave, and refused to do so. The Prophet, peace be upon him, prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was eventually married to the Prophet himself, peace be upon him.
It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and said:
"I am satisfied and submit myself to whatever the Messenger of God deems good for me."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, heard of her reaction and prayed for her:
"O Lord, bestow good on her in abundance and make not her life one of toil and trouble."
Among the Ansar, it is said that there was not a more eligible bride than she. She was married by the Prophet, peace be upon him, to Julaybib and they lived together until he died.
And how did Julaybib die? He went on an expedition with the Prophet, peace be upon him, and an encounter with some mushrikin ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet, peace be upon him, asked his companions:
"Have you lost anyone?"
They replied giving the names of their relatives or close friends who were killed. He put the same question to other companions and they also named the ones they lost in the battle. Another group answered that they had lost no close relative whereupon the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
"But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield."
They searched and found him beside seven mushrikin whom he had struck before meeting his end. The Prophet, peace be upon him, stood up and went to the spot where Julaybib, his short and deformed companion, lay. He stood over him and said:
"This (man) is of me and I am of him."
He repeated this two or three times. The Prophet, peace be upon him, then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no better bed than the forearms of the Messenger of God, peace be upon him. He then dug for him a grave and himself placed him in it. He did not wash him for martyrs are not washed before burial.
Julaybib and his wife are not usually among the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, whose deeds are sung and whose exploits are recounted with reverence and admiration as they should be. But in the meagre facts that are known about them and which have here been recounted we see how humble human beings were given hope and dignity by the Prophet, peace be upon him, where once there was only despair and self-debasement.
The attitude of the unknown and unnamed Ansari girl who readily agreed to be the wife of a physically unattractive man was an attitude which reflected a profound understanding of Islam. It reflected on her part the effacement of personal desires and preferences even when she could have counted on the support of her parents. It reflected on her part a total disregard for social pressures. It reflected above all a ready and implicit confidence in the wisdom and authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is the attitude of the true believer.
In Julaybib, there is the example of a person who was almost regarded as a social outcast because of his appearance. Given help, confidence and encouragement by the noble Prophet, peace be upon him, he was able to perform acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and deserve the commendation of the Prophet, peace be upon him:
"He is of me and I am of him."

Excerpted from Companions of the Prophet by Abdul Wahid Hamid

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