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Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Woman's Rights Over Her Husband

The principle duty of a man is to provide food, clothing, shelter and all other basic needs of his wife according to his ability and capacity. All this should be done with love and kindness by which their relationship will glow and become stronger. He should always support his wife with courage and bravery so that she may feel a sense of security. Also he must guard her chastity and modesty, while overlooking her minor faults and errors which are inevitable. As Mullah Mohsin Faiz Kashani in his book "Al-Waafi" in the chapter of "A Woman's right over her husband" writes that it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (SAW) that some people enquired from him regarding the rights of a wife over her husband. He (SAW) answered, "He should overlook her minor faults and if she commits a major mistake then he should forgive her."

We all know that human life is not confined to food and drinks. Rather love, affection and sacrifice are the emotions which take humanity to great heights and form the core of its civilisation and culture. A woman who is emotions personified along with her other necessities expects to see the smiling face of her husband when he returns to his house. This is one of her basic rights which has not been overlooked due to its importance by the religion of Islam and therefore it is enumerated as one her rights over her husband.

Shahab Abdo Rabbeh relates that I asked Imam Sadiq concerning the rights of a woman over her husband. He answered, "He should fulfil all her basic necessities and must not terrrorise her by becoming angry time and again. If he does this i.e. after fulfilling her needs, is kind and affectionate towards her, then I swear by God, he has fulfilled his wife's rights. (Kafi).

Among the other rights which a women enjoys over her husband is that he should sleep with her. This matter has been dealt in detail in the books of jurisprudence. Those who are interested can refer to Al-Kafi, Wasailush Shia, Mustadrak and other similar books.

The importance of these rights can be gauged from the basic expectation of the fairer sex that her husband treat her kindly and respectfully. He must give due importance to her rights and observe them. The Holy Prophet (SAW) himself has endorsed this view by saying, "The best among you is the one who observes the rights of his wife in the best possible way and I am the best among you to observe the rights of my wives." (Mun la Yahzorohul Faqeeh).

The Importance of Helping One's Wife in Domestic Works

One day the Holy Prophet (SAW) paid a visit to the house of Ali and Fatema (SA). He saw that Ali is sieving the pulses and Fatema (SA) is busy cooking. On observing this the Holy Prophet (SAW) remarked, "O Ali, I do not speak except what is revealed unto me. Anyone who helps his wife in her domestic affairs obtains a reward of one year of worship equal to the amount of hair on his body. This year of worship will be as if he has fasted during it's day and prayed during it's night. Allah will reward him equal to the reward of all the patient ones, Hazrat Dawood and Hazrat Esa . [ Jami us Sadaat, Vol. 2, Pg. 142).

In the same reference another tradition from the Holy Prophet (SAW) is recorded where he says, "O Ali, whoever helps his wife and children in their domestic affairs and does not consider it as an obligation upon them, Allah will enumerate him among the martyrs. The reward of one thousand martyrs is written in his book of deeds (by the angels) each day and night. His one step bears the reward of one Hajj and one Umrah and he gets cities in paradise equal to the number of veins in his body."

Again in Jami us Sadaat, the Holy Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said, "One who stays in his house and helps his family members in their domestic affairs, his reward is better than the one who has worshipped God for one thousand years, performed one thousand Hajj, one thousand Umrah, released one thousand slaves, participated in one thousand battles along with the Holy Prophet (SAW), visited one thousand patients, worshipped on one thousand Fridays, participated in one thousand funeral processions, fed one thousand hungry people, clothed one thousand beggars, distributed one thousand horses in the way of God, gave one thousand Dinars (gold coin) to the poor, recited one thousand times each the Taurat, the Injeel and the Quran, freed one thousand prisoners and donated one thousand sheep to the poor. And the one who helps his family members in their house affairs, sees his place in paradise before departing from this world."

Ibne Abi Zar-e-Naraaqi narrates a tradition from the Messenger of Islam (SAW) that he said, " To serve one's family members helps in erasing the capital crimes (Gunnahane Kabeera) and cools down the divine wrath. It acts as a dowry paid to the Huris, increases one's good deeds and raises one in stages. [Jaame us Sadaat].

In the book Makaaremul Akhlaq, one tradition is quoted from Imam Sadiq on the authority of Ishaq Ibne Ammar who says, I asked him ,"What is the right of a woman over her husband?" He replied, "To feed her, to clothe her and if she commits some silly mistake or error he must forgive her."

Dailami in his book, Irshadul Qulub writes that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "Whoever beats his wife unnecessarily, I will be his enemy on the Day of Judgement." Therefore one should never torture one's wife physically or otherwise because whoever does so has violated the norms set by the Almighty and His Messenger.

The great traditionist of the sixth century, Abdul Wahid- e-Amudi in his book Gorarul Hikam, narrates a tradition on the authority of Ameerul Momeneen Ali ibne Abi Talib who said, "Certainly a woman is like a toy, whoever takes her (marries her), should advise her." Sheikh Hurre Amili in Wasailush Shia narrates a tradition from Imam Zainul Abedeen that he said, "Whoever makes the lives of his family members more comfortable and provides them more rest he is worthy of maximum divine pleasure." In the same reference Imam Reza says, "Every man should strive to make his wife and children comfortable according to his capacity for if he is strict and unkind to them and because their rights are being deprived they will desire his death."

The author of Makaaremul Akhlaq narrates a tradition from Holy Prophet (SAW) on the authority of Ibne Abbas that "Whoever brings some gifts from the market for his family members enjoys the same status before God as the one who has helped the oppressed." Then further explaining the method of distribution he (SAW) says, "First he should give to his daughters then to his sons. Whoever keeps his daughter happy will get a reward equal to the one who has freed a slave from the progeny of Hazrat-e- Ismail and whoever keeps his sons happy his reward is like the one who has cried due to the fear of God and the reward of the one who cries due to the fear of God is a Paradise full of bounties.

Muhaddith-e-Noori, the great traditionalist of the last century narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet (SAW) in is book Mustadrakul Wasail, "Anyone who has been provided with bounties but is strict and miserly with his wife and children is not from us."


And the last call is this, "All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."

A Relationship of Mutual Love

Although the flames of lust are extinguished by the physical relationship between a husband and a wife yet if there exists a relationship of mutual love and understanding which is quite natural if they care for each other than a new kind of warmth will be created between the two. Both of them will enjoy their lives to the hilt, basking under the rays of attachment and care.

The Holy Quran has drawn attention to this emotional relationship which exists between husband and wife as it clearly states: "And among his signs is that he has created spouses from among yourself so that you may rest in them and initiate love and mercy among all of you."

As one matures physically, sexual desires make their way in the individual and gradually both girls and boys start getting attracted to each other which slowly develops into some sort of psychological pressure. This natural and undirected emotion gradually seeks solace in whatever possible form. Unfortunately more often than not it results in the youngsters deviating from the right path and indulging in some unwanted and undesired habits. Before becoming victims of ill-directed lust it is better for them to get married and settle down. Therefore, the leaders of Islam have advised their followers to follow this most important Sunnah. As the Holy Prophet (SAW) states: "O youths, whosoever among you can marry he should do so because marriage protects your eyes (from indulging in sin by looking lustly at others) and privacy." (Makaaremul Akhlaq).

Imam Sadiq narrates that one day the Holy Prophet (SAW) went on the pulpit and said, "O people, Jibraeel has brought unto me a divine command stating that girls are like fruits from a tree. If they are not plucked in time then they get rotten by the rays of the sun and a slight blow of the wind will result in their falling down from the tree. Similarly, when girls attain maturity, then like other women they develop emotions related to sex and there is no cure for it except her husband. If they are not married, prevention of character corruption becomes a remote possibility because after all they are human beings and no human is free from vice." (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 337).

The Holy Quran has talked about the chastity and fidelity of both the husband and wife in the following verse: "They (your wives) are dress for you and you are dress for them."

A dress conceals ones defect and hides the private parts of a person. Moreover, it also acts as a protector from various infections which can arise due to the body being uncovered. The Holy Prophet (SAW) says , "Whoever desires that he should meet his Lord in a pure and clean state, he should seek for himself a legal wife and make provisions of chastity and modesty for himself."

To sum it up, the leaders of Islam on one hand dissuade their followers from indulging in adultery and other extremities related to sex. On the other hand, they admonish them and emphasise to get married and settle down in life. They have even gone to the extent of stating that marriage is one of the best divine traditions. This concept has been explained very clearly in the following tradition of the Holy Prophet (SAW): "No foundation of Islam is as beloved and as mighty as the foundation and institution of marriage." (Mustadrak, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

In yet another tradition from Mustadrakul Wasail it is narrated that "When a youngster marries early in his youth Shaitaan cries out of desperation and says, Alas! this person has protected one third of his religion , now he will protect the remaining two thirds also."

A person named Akkaaf came to the Holy Prophet (SAW), who asked him, "Do you have a wife", he replied, "No, O Messenger of God." The Holy Prophet (SAW) enquired again,"Do you want to improve the safety of your body and increase your wealth", he replied, "Certainly". Then the Holy Prophet (SAW) admonished him to get married and made him fear the consequences of not doing so. Later he (SAW) proclaimed, "O Akkaaf! woe unto you, get married, get married because now you are enumerated among the sinners. Get married, otherwise you will be counted among the strayed ones. Get married, otherwise you will be listed among the Christian priests. Get married, otherwise you will be named among the brethren of Shaitaan." (Mustadrak, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

Imam Reza narrates that a lady asserted before Imam Baquir that, "I am a Mutabattela." Imam Baquir asked her, "What do you mean by that?". She answered, "I have decided that I will never marry." Imam enquired from her the reason for her decision. She replied,"To go higher in the stages and levels of perfection." Imam Baquir retorted,"Take your decision with justice. If remaining a spinster was a matter of greatness than Hazrat Zehra (SA) deserved it much more than you. There is no lady who can exceed her in any of the excellencies."

Once some companions of Holy Prophet (SAW) had forsaken sexual relationships, eating food during the day-time and sleeping at night and considered them as forbidden for themselves, to attain purification of soul, spiritual heights and divine satisfaction. When Ummul Momeneen Umme Salma (SA) was informed of this strange attitude, she in turn informed the Holy Prophet (SAW), who went to them and asked,"Have you left your wives and turned your faces away from them? I am your prophet. I go near my wives, eat during the day, sleep during the night and whoever turns away from my Sunnah, he is not from me."

To get a good, modest and chaste wife is among the good fortunes and good luck of a person according to the leaders of Islam and is also considered as one of the sources by which the religion of a person can be protected. They have conveyed this message quite often that the worship of a married person is much more significant and important before Allah than that of a bachelor or a spinster.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) says: "Among the good fortunes of a man is to have a good wife." (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 327).

Imam Sadiq narrates from the Holy Prophet (SAW) that he said, "Those believers who marry, protect half of their religion from danger." In yet another tradition, Imam Sadiq says, "Two rakaats of a married person is better than seventy rakaats of an unmarried one." (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 1)

The Holy Prophet (SAW) once said, "Whoever marries, protects half of his religion, then for the remaining half he must only fear God." (La'alil Akhbar).

The sixth Imam, Imam Sadiq says, "A sleeping married man is better than a fasting unmarried man." (La'alil Akhbar).

The Messenger of Islam (SAW) said, "Do not marry a woman for the following four reasons: Wealth, beauty, ancestry and lust. It is obligatory upon you to marry a woman on account of her religion." (Jaame ul Akhbar).

In yet another tradition, the Messenger of Islam (SAW) has prohibited his followers from marrying a beautiful woman from a disgraceful background." (Bihar ul Anwar, Vol. 23, Pg. 54).

Imam Sadiq narrates from the Holy Prophet (SAW), "Refrain from marrying foolish women for surely their company is a calamity and their offsprings are imbeciles." (Jafariyat, Pg. 9).

A man named, Husain ibne Bushar -e- Wasiti, once wrote to the eighth Imam, Imam Reza that "one lady from my clan intends to marry me but is very ill-behaved", Imam replied, "If she is really ill-behaved, then never marry her." (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 10).

In one tradition the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said, "Never give your daughter to a drunkard when he intends to marry." (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 9).

This problem (of not giving daughters to drunkards) was considered so important by Ahle Bait that Imam Sadiq declared,"A woman who beds with a drunkard husband, has committed sins equal to the number of stars in the sky and any child born out of this unison is unclean. Allah will not accept any of her acts be they obligatory or a recommended until and unless her husband dies or releases her from the bond of this marriage." (La'alil Akhbar.)

Conjugal Rights

The sacred contract of marriage, which according to the laws of nature is the most pleasurable, has not absolved men and women of their responsibilities in this holy relationship. It has tied man and his wife in the chain of conjugal rights. It scrapped all those laws prevalent in the period of ignorance and found in extremes in other civilisation by which a woman would become a pawn in her husband's hands. Islam advised them to take their marriage seriously, fulfill their responsibilities and pay appropriate attention to each others' rights. So that their offsprings would be saved from destruction in the cesspool of corruption.

Saddam Hussein Execution (Banned from Media)

New Videos Show Graphic Saddam Images

Saddam Hussein Execution (Banned from Media)





Saturday, December 30, 2006 8:25 PM EST
The Associated Press
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — The scene was at once macabre and riveting.

One of the most notorious dictators of the late 20th century, his hands bound behind him, was led up the stairs of the gallows by masked men in leather coats. A few seconds later, a trapdoor snapped open and — with a crash — Saddam was dead.

He may have been the first chief of state executed in the age of the Internet and the camera phone. Probably because of that, his death was graphically documented on video, and available worldwide, within hours.

By several accounts, Saddam was calm but scornful of his captors, exchanging taunts and accusations with the crowd gathered to watch him die — insisting that he was Iraq's savior, not its tyrant and scourge.

State television did not broadcast footage of the actual hanging. But camera phone video, posted in full or in part on several Web sites, picked up where the TV coverage left off.

In the videos, Saddam calmly recited verses from the Quran in a calm, clear voice as the trap door opened.

Finally, his body can be seen swinging in the dim light — his neck apparently snapped.

Saddam had reportedly asked that, as Iraq's commander in chief, he be sent before a firing squad. Instead, he was condemned to die on the gallows — as though he were a garden variety murderer.

The 69-year-old former president struggled briefly as the U.S. military, which had custody of Saddam, handed him over to the Iraqis, said Sami al-Askari, a political adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Saddam did not wear his familiar military uniform with its jaunty beret but a black coat over a white shirt, black trousers and black shoes. His jet black hair was carefully combed, his salt-and-pepper beard neatly clipped.

From that moment on, his last acts of defiance, it seems, consisted of verbal jousting and silent contempt.

Saddam was taken to a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, in northern Baghdad. During his regime, he had numerous dissidents executed in the facility.

Munir Haddad, an appeals court judge who witnessed the hanging, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Saddam was not sedated.

"Not at all, Saddam was normal and in full control," Haddad said. "He was aware of his fate and he knew he was about to face death. He said, 'This is my end, this is the end of my life, but I started my life as a fighter and as a political militant so death does not frighten me.'"

After his captors brought Saddam into the execution chamber, his hands — which were tied in front of him — were untied, then tied in the back, Haddad told the BBC.

"He said we are going to heaven and our enemies will rot in hell and he also called for forgiveness and love among Iraqis but also stressed that the Iraqis should fight the Americans and the Persians," Haddad told the BBC.

The New York Times reported that Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the national security adviser for Iraq, stood next to Saddam before he mounted the scaffold, and asked him if he felt remorse and fear.

"No," the Times quoted Saddam saying. "I am a militant and I have no fear for myself. I have spent my life in jihad and fighting aggression. Anyone who takes this route should not be afraid."

Al-Rubaie told the Times that one of the guards grew angry. "You have destroyed us," he reportedly shouted. "You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution."

"I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Persian and Americans," Saddam responded, al-Rubaie told the Times.

"God damn you," the guard said.

"God damn you," Saddam said, according to the Times.

A silent, minute-long video that aired on Iraqi television showed Saddam on the scaffold. He seemed to have little to say, and his eyes appeared lost in a 1,000-yard stare.

Four or five burly men guided him gently but firmly toward a red metal railing marking the trap door. A thick rope hung like a sinister vine from the low ceiling. An unseen photographer's flash created fleeting stark shadows.

With a blank expression, Saddam refused a black hood — but he did so with a shake of his head that seemed more distracted than defiant.

Then he appeared to agree to let one of his executioners tie a black scarf around his neck. The Times reported that his guards explained the rope could cut off his head, and offered to protect his neck with the scarf.

In the televised video, Saddam stood stoically as the noose was slipped over his head. The noose was tightened. Then the Iraqi TV footage ended.

But the camera phone video, broadcast in part on Al-Jazeera and aired in full on Arabic-language Web sites, continued.

In the video, one of those attending the execution called out praise for Dawa Party founder and Shiite cleric Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, who was executed along with his sister by Saddam in 1980. The Islamic party has been locked in a fierce decades-old battle with Saddam's now outlawed secular Baath party. Muqtada al-Sadr, the powerful and radical Shiite cleric in Iraq, is a distant relative of the Dawa founder.

Saddam appeared to smile at those taunting him from below the gallows, and said they were not showing their manhood.

Then Saddam began reciting the "Shahada," a Muslim prayer that says there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger.

"Saddam did so but with sarcasm," Haddad said. But to others, Saddam's tone sounded calm and measured, neither sarcastic nor frightened.

Saddam made it to midway through his second recitation of the verse. His last word was Muhammad, according to a translation by the Associated Press.

The floor dropped out of the gallows, there was a crash and the chamber erupted in shouting.

"The tyrant has fallen," someone called. The video showed a close-up of Saddam's face as he swung from the rope.

Then came another voice: "Let him swing for three minutes."

The video also shows the former leader's death, when he drops through a trapdoor on the gallows and swings from a rope, his neck twisted and eyes open.


Asked if Saddam suffered, Haddad told the BBC: "He was killed instantly, I witnessed the impact of the rope around his neck and it was a horrible sight."

Iraqi television broadcasts included a shaky image of the aftermath: a shot of what appeared to be Saddam's corpse, laid out on a hospital gurney, his head wrenched grotesquely to the right. His neck appeared to be bruised.

Saddam's half brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were originally scheduled to be hanged along with their former leader.

Iraqi officials, though, decided to reserve the occasion for Saddam alone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

المرأة العراقية تحت الاحتلال , Women of Iraq under Occupation

















عدد الأرامل العراقيات تجاوز الثلاثة ملايين سيدة، و 25% من النساء الحوامل يمتن خلال الحمل أو

الولادة، أي ربع النساء الحوامل. و نسبة العنوسة في العراق وصلت لمرحلة مرعبة بنسبة 400 % وأن عدد النساء أضحى يعادل اربعة اضعاف عدد الرجال بسبب القتل اليومي والإرهاب الذي أتى به الاحتلال.

جاء هذا في تقرير بثته فضائية الجزيرة اليوم، مصدره احد المراكز العراقية المهتمة بشؤون المرأة

الزواج بين أبناء العمومة... هل يفاقم مشكلات العراق؟

آن بوبروف هاجل – الاتحاد الإماراتية

تعد الولايات المتحدة بلداً شاباً، مقارنة مع بقية العالم؛ ترك أفراد شعبه الكثير من هياكلهم الاجتماعية التقليدية خلفهم، وعبروا محيطات واسعة ليستقروا في العالم الجديد ويبدأوا حياة جديدة. وبالتالي، ففهماً لحياة أغلبية الشعوب في العالم التي تعيش داخل مؤسسات حددت ملامح الوجود الإنساني لقرون، يتعين على الأميركيين أن يبذلوا جهداً خاصاً لرؤية الأشياء من زاوية مختلفة جداً.
في أحيان كثيرة، تطبق الولايات المتحدة سياستها الخارجية من دون فهم جيد للمجتمعات التي تواجهها، وهو ما قد يؤدي إلى عواقب غير مقصودة ولكنها كثيراً ما تكون مُدمرة. ولعل أحد العناصر الرئيسية للنسيج الاجتماعي العراقي التي لا يعرفها الأميركيون جيداً هو المعدل المذهل للزواج بين أبناء العمومة في العراق. ذلك أن نصف حالات الزواج في هذا البلد تتم بين أبناء العمومة. ومن بين البلدان الأخرى التي تعرف أرقاماً قياسية من حيث الإقبال على هذا النوع من الزواج، لا توجد دول شبيهة غير باكستان ونيجيريا.
ولكن، من يأبه لمن يتزوج مَن في بلد غزوناه؟ ولماذا نتحدث مع علماء الاجتماع الذين يدرسون موضوعاً لا يهتم به إلا القليلون؟ الواقع أن أولئك الذين يعيشون في مجتمعات حديثة وفردانية فقط هم من يمكنهم أن يكونوا على هذا القدر من النسيان؛ ذلك أن الزواج بين أبناء العمومة، ولاسيما الشكل الفريد منه السائد في الشرق الأوسط، يخلق عشائر تتميز بإخلاصها وتلاحمها الداخلي القوي. وبالتالي، فعلاوة على العنف الطائفي في العراق، فربما تواجه الولايات المتحدة حدة أكبر من العنف بين العشائر مما رأته في فيتنام أو الحرب الأهلية الطاحنة في لبنان.
والحقيقة أن الولايات المتحدة لا يمكنها التعاطي مع مشكلة لا تعترف بها، ناهيك عن حقيقة أنها لا تستطيع استيعابها. وقد شبه الأنثروبولوجي "ستانلي كوتز" عشائر العراق بـ"حكومات مصغرة" تعمل على توفير الخدمات والمساعدات الاجتماعية التي يتلقى الأميركيون مثيلاتها بشكل روتيني من حكوماتهم الوطنية والمحلية. وهو ما يعني أنه لا يمكن لأي كان في منطقة تفتقر إلى حكومة نزيهة ومستقرة أن يصمد خارج عشيرة قوية وموحدة.
ولكن ما علاقة هذا الكلام بزواج أبناء العمومة؟ يحدث زواج أبناء العمومة لأن المرأة التي تتزوج رجلاً من عشيرة أخرى قد تشكل تهديداً لوحدتها. ذلك أنه إذا تغلبت علاقة زوج بزوجته على روح التضامن مع أشقائه، فقد يأخذ الزوجان أملاكهما ويتركان الجماعة، وهو ما يُضعف العشيرة. وتلافياً لهذا التهديد المحتمل، وُجد الزواج بين أبناء العمومة حيث يتزوج الرجلُ بنت عمه بدلاً من الزواج بامرأة من نسب آخر. وفي هذه الحالة، لا تعد زوجته غريبة، وإنما فرداً موثوقاً به من أفراد عائلته. كما تتمسك الزوجات جداً أيضاً بعشائرهن لأن أصهارهن لا يُعدون غرباء، وإنما أعماماً وعمات لديهم مصلحة كبيرة في دعم زواجهن.
وهكذا، فإن المحسوبية في القطاع الحكومي وقطاع الأعمال ليست بالأمر السيئ بالنسبة للكثير من العراقيين، بل تعد واجباً أخلاقياً. ويرى "ستيفن سيلار" في مجلة "ذي أميركان كونسيرفاتيف" في 2003 أن تفضيل الأقارب لا يترك إمكانيات كثيرة "تكفي ليكون المرء عادلاً مع من ليست بينهم قرابة. وبالتالي، فإن المحسوبية منتشرة في بلدان مثل العراق".
اللافت أن الأنظمة الديكتاتورية الفاسدة التي تحكم أجزاء كثيرة من منطقة الشرق الأوسط تشتغل في أحيان كثيرة باعتبارها عشائر من حيث سعيها إلى تحقيق مصلحتها الذاتية أكثر من سعيها لتكون حكومات وطنية. وهو ما يدفع الأشخاص لعدم الوثوق بالدولة، ويظلون بدلاً من ذلك مخلصين للدعم الثابت الذي يضمنه النسب والقبيلة.
وقد ساهم الولاء للقبيلة والمحسوبية اللذين تكرسا بفضل قرون من الزواج بين أبناء العمومة في إضعاف حلم الرئيس جورج بوش المتمثل في خلق حكومة ديمقراطية وطنية في العراق. وبالتالي، فإنه لا يجوز للولايات المتحدة أبداً أن تغزو بلداً لا تعرف الكثير حول نسيجه الاجتماعي كيفا اتفق.
لقد ذُهلت منذ المراحل الأولى من حرب العراق للنزر القليل جداً الذي يعرفه الأميركيون عن المجموعات التي تسميها الولايات المتحدة بـ"المتمردين". والواقع أن التغطية على الجهل الأميركي تزداد اليوم أكثر من خلال استعمال عبارات فضفاضة مثل "الفوضى". وهنا أتساءل عما إن كان المواطنون الأميركيون، في حال أخذوا الوقت لـ"معرفة عدوهم"، سيعرفون أن ثمة أشكالاً كثيرة من المنطق في أنواع ما يسمى بالفوضى في العراق. وأتساءل عما إن كان الاكتشاف اليومي تقريباً لـ40 أو 50 أو حتى 60 جثة عراقية، تعرضت للاختطاف والتعذيب قبل أن تُقتل، هو بسبب أن عشائر تحارب إحداها الأخرى.
إن المنحى الذي نحته الأمور في العراق يدعم الفكرة القائلة بضرورة أن تعرف الولايات المتحدة، إذا كانت تحرص على نسج علاقات إيجابية مع أي مجتمع خارجي، كيفية عمل وتداخل عناصره المختلفة. كما عليها أن تستوعب جيداً اللحمة الاجتماعية التي تدعم الحياة البشرية داخل حدود اجتماعية واقتصادية وجغرافية.

آن بوبروف هاجل
ــــــــــــــــــــ
مؤلفة كتاب "النساء العاملات في روسيا تحت حكم القياصرة"
ـــــــــــــــــــــ
ينشر بترتيب خاص مع خدمة "كريستيان ساينس مونيتور"

Why cousin marriage matters in Iraq?

Clan loyalty fixed by cousin marriage was always bound to undermine democracy in Iraq.
By Anne Bobroff-Hajal

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Compared with the rest of the world, the United States is a young country. Its people left many of their traditional social structures behind, crossed vast oceans, and started anew. So to understand the lives of the majority of people around the world, who live within institutions that have shaped human existence for centuries, Americans need to make a special effort to see things from a very different perspective.
All too often, the US carries out foreign policy with little comprehension of the societies it confronts. This can lead to unintended - often destructive - results.

One central element of the Iraqi social fabric that most Americans know little about is its astonishing rate of cousin marriage. Indeed, half of all marriages in Iraq are between first or second cousins. Among countries with recorded figures, only Pakistan and Nigeria rate as high. For an eye-opening perspective about rates of consanguinity (roughly equivalent to cousin marriage) around the world, click on the "Global Prevalence" map at www.consang.net.

But who cares who marries whom in a country we invade? Why talk to anthropologists who study that arcane subject? Only those who live in modern, individualistic societies could be so oblivious. Cousin marriage, especially the unique form practiced in the Middle East, creates clans of fierce internal cohesiveness and loyalty. So in addition to sectarian violence in Iraq, the US may also be facing a greater intensity of inter-clan violence than it saw in Vietnam or the ferocious Lebanese civil war.

The US can't deal with a problem it doesn't recognize, let alone understand.

Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz has described Middle East clans as "governments in miniature" that provide the services and social aid that Americans routinely receive from their national, state, and local governments. No one in a region without stable, fair government can survive outside a strong, unified, respected clan.

But still, what does this have to do with marrying cousins? Cousin marriage occurs because a woman who marries into another clan potentially threatens its unity. If a husband's bond to his wife trumped his solidarity with his brothers, the couple might take their property and leave the larger group, weakening the clan. This potential threat is avoided by cousin marriage: instead of marrying a woman from another lineage, a man marries the daughter of his father's brother - his cousin. In this scenario, his wife is not an alien, but a trusted member of his own kin group.

Wives are also bound tightly to their clan because their in-laws are not strangers but aunts and uncles who have a strong interest in supporting their marriages. (The risk that cousins' offspring will suffer genetic anomalies is somewhat mitigated by genetic benefits too complex to discuss here.)

Thus, to many Iraqis, nepotism in government and business isn't a bad thing - it's a moral imperative. The flip side of favoring relatives is that, as Steven Sailer observed in The American Conservative in 2003, it leaves fewer resources "with which to be fair toward non-kin. So nepotistic corruption is rampant in countries such as Iraq."

The corrupt dictatorships that rule much of the Muslim Middle East often function more like self-interested clans than as national governments. That, in turn, motivates people not to trust the state, but to instead remain loyal to the proven support of kin and tribe.

Clan loyalty and nepotism strengthened by centuries of cousin marriage were always bound to undermine President Bush's fantasy of creating a truly national democratic government in Iraq. Never again should the US blithely invade a country knowing so little about its societal fabric.

I have been struck since early on in the Iraq war by how little Americans know about the groups the US so vaguely labels "insurgents." US ignorance is now further camouflaged by the label "chaos." I wonder whether, if US citizens took the time to "know thy enemy," they would learn that there are many forms of logic in the layers of Iraq's so-called chaos. I wonder if the almost daily discovery of 40, 50, or even 60 Iraqi bodies, kidnapped and tortured before being murdered, are clans battling one another.

The debacle in Iraq reinforces the idea that to have a positive relationship with any foreign society, America needs to know how its various elements work and interrelate. It must fully understand the social glues that sustain human life within particular geographic, economic, and social constraints - especially the adhesives that seem strangest and least comprehensible to us.

• Anne Bobroff-Hajal is the author of "Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars: Political Activism and Daily Life."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thought For The Day

Thought For The Day
Thought For the Day- Prophet (SAW)Importance of Sile-Rehmi ( To Keep Good Relation with Relatives)The invocation (dua) of the person who breaks family ties shall not be answered.In the night of Shabe Qadr Allah (SWA) forgives the sins of all the people except1)The one who drinks wine.2)The one who disobeys their Parents.3)The one breaks the ties with the relatives or harbour enmity towards the believers.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons
The Four seasons:There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no--it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are -- and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life -- can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Some People Come Into Your Life For A Reason

Some People Come Into Your Life For A Reason
SOME PEOPLE COME INTO YOUR LIFE FOR A REASONPeople come into your life for a reason, a se ason or a lifetime.When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season!LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

70 Years Of Your Life!

70 Years Of Your Life!
IF Allah WAS TO GRANT YOU 70 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE.........You would spend:24 years sleeping14 years working8 years in amusement6 years at the dinner table5 years in transportation4 years in conversation3 years in education3 years reading3 years watching televisionIf you prayed 5 Times every day,You would be giving God 5 months of your life.Can't we give 5 months out of 70 years?Let's all give Allah a minimum of 5 months of our lives! (try)If you don't believe this calculation, try yourself !!!!

[LOUNGE]New Alphabets

At a certain age we must re-learn the alphabet:
A is for Apple, and
B is for Boat,That used to be right, But now it won't float!Age before Beauty is what we once said, but let's be a bit more realistic instead.Now...
A's for arthritis,
B's the bad back,
C is the chest pains,perhaps car-d-iac?
D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight, can't read that top line!
F is for fissures and fluid retention,
G is for gas which I'd rather not mention.
H is high blood pressure--I'd rather it low;
I for incisions with scars you can show.
J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend,
K is for knees that crack when they bend.
L for libido, what happened to sex?
M is for memory, I forget! what comes next...
N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;
O is for osteo, the bones that don't grow!
P for prescription's, I have quite a few, just give me a pill and I'll be good as new!
Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?
R for reflux, one meal turns to two
S for sleepless nights, counting my fears,
T for Tinnitus; there's bells in my ears!
U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;
V is for vertigo, that's "dizzy," you know.
W is for worry, NOW what's going 'round?
X is for X ray, and what might be found.Y is another year I'm left here behind,
Z is for zest that I still have-- in my mind.I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,And I've kept twenty-six 'doctors' fully employed!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Edward FitzGerald's Translation.
Ref:
1
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.
2
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
"Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."
3
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted--"Open then the Door!
"You know how little while we have to stay,
"And, once departed, may return no more."
4
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.
*****
5
Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.
6
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
"Red Wine!"---the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.
7
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly---and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
8
And look---a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke---and a thousand scatter'd into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.
*****
9
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot!
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper---heed them not.
10
With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known,
And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne.
11
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse---and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness---
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
12
"How sweet is mortal Sovranty!"---think some:
Others---"How blest the Paradise to come!"
Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum!
*****
13
Look to the Rose that blows about us---"Lo,
"Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
"At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
"Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."
14
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes---or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two---is gone.
15
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.
16
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.
*****
17
They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep;
And Bahram, that great Hunter---the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.
18
I sometimes think that never so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
19
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean---
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!
20
Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears---
To-morrow?---Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.
*****
21
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.
22
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch---for whom?
23
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and---sans End!
24
Alike for those who for TO-DAY prepare,
And those that after a TO-MORROW stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There!"
*****
25
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.
26
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
27
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.
28
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd---
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
*****
29
Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
30
What, without asking, hither hurried whence?
And, without asking, whither hurried hence!
Another and another Cup to drown
The Memory of this Impertinence!
31
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Knot of Human Death and Fate.
32
There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of ME and THEE
There seemed---and then no more of THEE and ME.
*****
33
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
"Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And---"A blind Understanding!" Heav'n replied.
34
Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd---"While you live
"Drink!---for once dead you never shall return."
35
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make; and the cold Lip I kiss'd
How many Kisses might it take---and give!
36
For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd---"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"
*****
37
Ah, fill the Cup:---what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW, and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!
38
One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste---
The Stars are setting and the Caravan
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing---Oh, make haste!
39
How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.
40
You know, my Friends, how long since in my House
For a new Marriage I did make Carouse:
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.
*****
41
For "IS" and "IS-NOT" though with Rule and Line,
And "UP-AND-DOWN" without, I could define,
I yet in all I only cared to know,
Was never deep in anything but---Wine.
42
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas---the Grape!
43
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemist that in a Trice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.
44
The mighty Mahmud, the victorious Lord,
That all the misbelieving and black Horde
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul
Scatters and slays with his enchanted Sword.
*****
45
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub coucht,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.
46
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.
47
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in ---Yes---
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be---Nothing---Thou shalt not be less.
48
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam the Ruby Vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee---take that, and do not shrink.
*****
49
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
50
The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
*He* knows about it all---He knows---HE knows!
51
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
52
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to *It* for help---for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
*****
53
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man's knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.
54
I tell Thee this---When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parvin and Mushtara they flung,
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul
55
The Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my Being---let the Sufi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without
56
And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrathconsume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.
*****
57
Oh, Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestination round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?
58
Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give---and take!


KUZA-NAMA ("Book of Pots.")
59
Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.
60
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried---
"Who *is* the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"
*****
61
Then said another---"Surely not in vain
"My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
"That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
"Should stamp me back to common Earth again."
62
Another said---"Why, ne'er a peevish Boy,
"Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
"Shall He that *made* the Vessel in pure Love
"And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy!"
63
None answer'd this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for learning all awry;
"What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"
64
Said one---"Folk of a surly Tapster tell
"And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell;
"They talk of some strict Testing of us---Pish!
"He's a Good Fellow, and 't will all be well."

*****
65
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
"But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
"Methinks I might recover by-and-bye!"
66
So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
One spied the little Crescent all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
"Hark to the Porter's Shoulder-knot a-creaking!"
67
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in the Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.
68
That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

*****
69
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.
70
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore---but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.
71
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour---well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.
72
Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

*****
73
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits---and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!
74
Ah, Moon of my Delight who Know'st no wane
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me---in vain!
75
And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one---turn down an empty Glass!
TAMAM SHUD (It is completed.)
And now the modified and added version which is the Text of
the Fifth Edition (1889).
1
Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n, and strikes
The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light.

*****
Edward FitzGerald's Translation.
Modified and added version which is the Text of
the Fifth Edition (1889):
2
Before the phantom of False morning died,
Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,
"When all the Temple is prepared within,
"Why nods the drowsy Worshiper outside?"
3
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted---"Open then the Door!
"You know how little while we have to stay,
"And, once departed, may return no more."
4
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Boug
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.
5
Iram indeed is gone with all his Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still a Ruby kindles in the Vine,
And many a Garden by the Water blows.

*****
6
And David's Lips are lockt; but in divine
High-piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
"Red Wine!"---the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That sallow cheek of hers to incarnadine.
7
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter---and the Bird is on the Wing.
8
Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keeps falling one by one.
9
Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say:
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

*****
It is us, the wine, the music, and this run-down corner;
Our flesh and heart, the wine glass, and our cloths,
all filled with the desire for wine;

Free from the hope of forgiveness and free from the
fear of punishment and pain
free from dirty wind, fire, and water.
*****
Go to the Persian Archive

Mutah

Ref: Shia Chat

QUOTE
I would like to ask, can a muslim man marry beside his permanent wife, mutah? (i suppose, the answer is yes)
yes
QUOTE
I would like to know also, is there any restriction about it, namely, does he need the permanent wife's permission
According to Sistani - not sure about other marjis - if the mutah is Ahlul Kitab he needs his Muslim wife's permission.
QUOTE
or does he need to present some circumstances, what makes him feel, he NEED to marry? (e.g. the wife cant have a child, he lives abroad, etc)Or can he just go on and marry in mutah?
Nope no reason required, he can just go..
QUOTE
Also, can he marry more than one wife in mutah, beside his perm. wife? Is it possible for a wealthy man, according to Islamic laws, that if he needs, he marries like 12 mutah wives? Or are there restrictions?Unlimited

Ayatollahs/Hojjatoleslam val moslemin kept under arrest/torture

Ref: ShiaChat
Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shirazi, born in Najaf, Iraq, comes from a family of well-known marjas and religious scholars of Iranian origin. He left Iraq for Kuwait in 1971 to escape persecution by the Iraqi Government. He then moved to Qom in Iran in 1979 after the establishment of the Islamic Republic. With many followers outside Iran, Grand Ayatollah Shirazi has maintained a stance of non-involvement in Iranian political affairs. However, he reportedly refused to accept that Ayatollah Khamenei was a mojtahed when the latter became the current Leader and has since reportedly refused to recognize Ayatollah Khamenei as the most eminent marja-ye taqlid in Shi’a Islam or even as a Grand Ayatollah.Over the years, reports indicate that hundreds, if not thousands, of his supporters and relatives have suffered harassment, and scores, if not hundreds, have been arrested, some on more than one occasion. Many have reportedly been tortured. Some were released without charge, whereas others were sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials, believed for the most part to have taken place before the Special Court for the Clergy. Some of these cases from recent years are outlined below.Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Ja’far GhaniHojjatoleslam Sheikh Makki Akhound, married with three children, was arrested in the first half of 1994 in Isfahan, reportedly without an arrest warrant. He was said to have been tortured during his initial incommunicado detention which is believed to have lasted about six months. He was later tried before the Special Court for the Clergy, on charges which apparently related to having connections with, and supporting the views of, Grand Ayatollah Shirazi. He was reportedly sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and 75 lashes. He is said to have had no access to a lawyer since his arrest. In early 1996 he was moved from Saheli prison in Qom to a prison clinic in Khorramabad (said to hold psychologically disturbed patients), making it more difficult for his family to visit him and reportedly increasing his sense of isolation. Sheikh Makki Akhound reportedly suffers from various ailments, including ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure and nervous problems and was apparently not granted access to a doctor of his choice during his detention. In December 1996 he was released early from prison. Amnesty International members around the world had sent mass appeals on his behalf to the Iranian authorities.(23)Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Makki AkhoundUp to 13 others were also arrested at around the same time in 1994, reportedly including Sheikh Makki Akhound’s father, Abdolamir; his uncle Abdolrasoul (who is also his father-in-law); two of his brothers; seven cousins; his wife; and a sister-in-law. They were all held in solitary confinement for some time(24), before being released, apparently without charge.Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Ja’far Ghani, an Iraqi national, was arrested on 30 September 1995, and was reportedly held in incommunicado detention until early 1996. After a trial before the Special Court for the Clergy, he was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, but was released early in mid-1996. According to a March 1996 response from the Iranian Embassy in London (see Appendix C), he was convicted of offences including "...travelling illegally and repeatedly to foreign countries such as Iraq;...forging ID cards with Afghan identity and also forging Afghan passports; ...membership of the illegal organization of Sayed Morteza Shirazi(25);...[and]disseminating lies and rumours". Sources close to the Grand Ayatollah have denied that he was involved in forgery, or that he went to Iraq illegally, arguing that as an Iraqi national, he was allowed to travel there.Hojjatoleslam Muhammad Saleh Hedayati, Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad Taqi Dhakeri, Hojjatoleslam ‘Abdolrahman Ha’eri,Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed ‘Abdolrasoul MusawiHis arrest was followed by that of Hojjatoleslam Muhammad Saleh Hedayati on 17 October 1995. He was later reportedly sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and banned from wearing the clothing of a cleric(26), apparently in connection with his association with Grand Ayatollah Shirazi. The scale of arrests increased on 11 November 1995, when ten men, all prominent religious figures or businessmen known to be close to Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, were arrested, reportedly without arrest warrants by members of the security forces, from their homes in Qom and Tehran. They were Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad Taqi Dhakeri; Hojjatoleslam ‘Abdolrahman Ha’eri; Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed ‘Abdolrasoul Musawi; Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Taleb Salehi; Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad Fazel Mohammad al-Saffar; Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad ‘Ali Ma’ash; Hojjatoleslam Fu’ad Fujian; Mohammad Ghaffari; Hadi Dhakeri and Iyad Fujian. Most of them, and some of their relatives were also reportedly beaten during the arrests, which took place at night. The wife of Sheikh Mohammad al-Saffar reportedly had her hand broken, and the young son of Sheikh Mohammad ‘Ali Ma’ash was said to have sustained an eye injury from a gun butt. Both reportedly received hospital treatment for their injuries.On the following day, 12 November 1995, security forces reportedly raided the Martyr Ayatollah Sayed Hassan Shirazi religious school in Qom, arresting approximately 120 students. Most were released several hours later, but seven remained detained. Despite repeated requests to the Iranian Government for clarification, their fate is unknown to Amnesty International.Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Taleb Salehi, Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad al-Saffar,Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Mohammad ‘Ali Ma’ash, Hojjatoleslam Fu’ad Fujian, Mohammad Ghaffari, Hadi Dhakeri, Iyad Fujian,Hojjatoleslam Sayed Abbas MusawiOn 21 November, Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed Morteza Shirazi, the second son of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, was arrested in Qom. Arrests continued in December and January. Hojjatoleslam Sayed Abbas Musawi, who works in the office of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi was detained in Qom on 6 December 1995. He was later sentenced to six months’ imprisonment by the Special Court for the Clergy, also apparently on account of his association with Grand Ayatollah Shirazi. The brothers Ahmad and Jalal Akhound (relatives of Sheikh Makki Akhound, see above) were arrested in Tehran in early January 1996.Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed Morteza Shirazi, Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mehdi ShiraziArrests ceased for almost six months, but started again on 19 June 1996 with the arrest of Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mehdi Shirazi, the fourth son of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, while in a car between Qom and Tehran. On the same day Hojjatoleslam ‘Ali Rumaythi, a member of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi’s staff, was arrested in Qom. On 20 June, Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Hossein Dhakeri (the brother of Sheikh Mohammad Taqi Dhakeri and Hadi Akhound Dhakeri), another member of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi’s staff, was arrested, also in Qom. On 20 or 21 June, Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sheikh Azizollah Hassani (aged about 60) was arrested in Tehran. Also in June, the wife of Sayed Sadeq Fali, a follower of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi said to have been exiled to Iranshahr in 1995 by the Special Court for the Clergy, was reportedly arrested in Qom following an argument with security forces surrounding an Islamic centre linked to Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, who are said to have beaten her in public. She was released on bail after a couple of days to await trial before the Special Court for the Clergy. Other members of the Fali family, who also follow Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, are reported to have been arrested, tortured and some sentenced to prison terms in previous years.In September 1996, Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Fazel Fazeli, a follower of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi and a poet, was arrested from his home in Qom. According to unconfirmed reports, he was released shortly afterwards. Several others were arrested on 14 and 15 January 1997. They included Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sheikh Mohammad Amin Ghafoori, a well-known religious figure and writer on Islamic themes, and his wife, and Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed Hossein Fali who has reportedly been arrested several times before for association with Grand Ayatollah Shirazi. He is said to have been tortured during his previous detentions and to have undergone surgery as a result. Unconfirmed reports suggested that the latter three were all beaten during their arrests. Reports from detention have also indicated that they have been tortured during their detention.Most of those listed above have been released at various times since July 1996. They include Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Abdolrahman Ha’eri; Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed Abdolrasoul Musawi; Hojjatoleslam Taleb Salehi; Hojjatoleslam Mohammad ‘Ali Ma’ash; Iyad Fujian; Hojjatoleslam Sayed Abbas Musawi; Ahmad and Jalal Akhound; Sheikh Hossein Dhakeri; ‘Ali Rumaythi; Hojjatoleslam Sheikh Azizollah Hassani; Mohammad Ghaffari; and Mohammad Fazel al-Saffar. Sayed Morteza Shirazi was released for almost 48 hours between 21 and 23 October, after which he was summoned back to prison. He was released again on 1 January 1997; his younger brother Sayed Mehdi had been released a few days earlier on 28 December 1996. Among those still held are Sheikh Mohammad Taqi Dhakeri; Hadi Dhakeri; Iyad Fujian; Sheikh Mohammad Amin Ghafoori; and Hojjatoleslam val moslemin Sayed Hossein Fali.Most, if not all of those from Qom arrested in 1995 were transferred to Tehran for further interrogation. They were held in incommunicado detention, probably in Tawhid Prison in Tehran until early 1996, when most received at least one family visit.During their detention, there have also been reports that most, if not all of the detainees referred to above, have been tortured. Methods are reported to include:* beatings on different parts of the body, including prolonged beatings on the soles of the feet, after which the detainee is forced to walk on injured feet* cigarette burns on the tips of the fingers and the soles of the feet* burning with hot metal elements such as an iron, or hot liquids poured onto the body* prolonged enforced standing (sometimes on one leg) including in the snow during winter* detention in extremely confined spaces* suspension by the hands, ankles or other body parts from the ceiling and occasionally from a ceiling fan which was rotated with beatings administered at the same time* exposure to heat and cold for long periods* the plucking of hair from the beard or the head (which causes severe humiliation to religious figures, as well as physical pain)* shackling the arms in contorted and painful positions, such as the right arm behind the right ear and the left arm behind the back, and shackled at the wrist* prolonged sleep deprivation, reportedly up to 16 days* electric shocks, including in the mouth* threatened execution by electrocution after telling the detainee to write his will and attaching electrodes to the body* prolonged blindfolding for up to two months* the playing of extremely loud music or screams of other people apparently being tortured* stating that relatives of the detainee have been arrested and threatening to torture them.At least one, Sheikh ‘Ali Ma’ash, is reported to have required medical treatment after his release as a result of torture, including for a toe on his right foot which was broken and left untreated. At least one of the detainees is reported to have severe burn marks on his arms and neck, which is said to look like "a creased piece of material". There have also been reports that detainees were denied access to medical treatment and given inappropriate treatment in prison for illnesses such as diabetes.Responses received by Amnesty International members or sections from Iranian Embassy officials concerning 11 of the detainees (see Appendix C) deny that they were "ill-treated", but give no information as to whether any investigation has been carried out into the allegations of torture of these and other detainees.The responses from Iranian officials also outlined the main charges against the 11 detainees referred to. Among other charges, Sayed Morteza Shirazi is accused of setting up an illegal organization to pursue unlawful objectives such as disturbing public order; forging documents; dissemination of lies and rumours; insulting the country’s officials and despatching unauthorized reports abroad. Other accusations included disturbance of public order and promotion of ghameh zani(27), and making contacts with wanted criminals resident in foreign countries. The others were accused of a variety of offences including membership of Sayed Morteza Shirazi’s organization; insults to the Leader of the Islamic Republic; forgery; helping people to leave the country illegally; dissemination of lies and rumours; possession of illegal material; and insulting officials.Amnesty International recognizes that activities such as forgery are criminal offences and that governments have a right to bring people accused of such acts to justice. However, despite repeated requests for full details of the charges against all the detainees, and the evidence against them, the Iranian authorities have so far failed to provide such information. In addition, in the Embassy responses, many of the charges are extremely vaguely worded and would appear to allow the possibility that those so accused are being detained for what could be the non-violent expression of the internationally recognized rights to freedom of belief, expression and association. In the other cases, no information at all has been provided by the Iranian authorities about the nature of the charges against the detainees. In May 1996, newspaper reports suggested that Iranian officials were claiming behind the scenes that the reason for the arrest of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi’s followers was their involvement in anti-government unrest in Bahrain, including forgery of documents and passports.(28) However, no public statement to this effect has been made by Iranian officials, and although forgery is mentioned in the Iranian Embassy response of March 1996, the only two foreign countries mentioned among the various charges are Iraq and Afghanistan.Amnesty International therefore believes that the main, if not the sole, reason for the arrests of the followers and relatives of Grand Ayatollah Shirazi and the continued detention of some of them, is their association with him, and that these measures are intended to pressurize the Grand Ayatollah to change his views. If this is the case, then these detainees are prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally. Otherwise they should be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and promptly tried in accordance with international standards for fair trial.(From Amnesty report 13/18/97)

Montazeri attacks clerical regime

QOM, Iran (Reuters) - Iran's Islamic system has been abused to deny the president real power, sapping public interest in next month's election, the country's top dissident cleric says.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, an architect of the Islamic revolution, told Reuters Iranians would not vote in large numbers on June 17 because real authority lay not with the president but with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Some figures have power, while responsibilities have been given to the president," Montazeri, one of the authors of Iran's constitution, said on Thursday at his office in the holy city of Qom, a centre of Shi'ite Muslim learning.

"That is why young Iranians do not want to cast their votes. That is why I have remained silent about this election," he said, adding that the constitution had been misused by people who wielded Islam "as a tool to put pressure on people."

Opinion polls have predicted a low turnout in the presidential election.

Montazeri, a frail but mentally sharp 83-year-old, called the seizure of American hostages at the U.S. embassy in 1979 a mistake and said Tehran should now resume ties with Washington.

He also said the United States had done well to topple Saddam Hussein, but should get out of Iraq for its own good.

"Some people criticise America, saying they invaded Iraq in search of an atomic bomb while there was no bomb.

"I say that Saddam himself was more dangerous than 1,000 atomic bombs. It was a great job, but they should let Iraqis enjoy their freedom," Montazeri said.

Asked whether Iraq's new Shi'ite-led government could quell a raging insurgency on its own, he said:

"The presence of Americans in Iraq causes the insurgency. If they leave, then this thing will be finished."

FALL FROM GRACE

Montazeri was hailed as "the fruit of my life" by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual father of the 1979 Islamic revolution, who designated him as his successor.

He fell from grace in 1988 after criticising Iran's rulers and was kept under house arrest in Qom from 1998 until 2003.

Montazeri helped develop the political system in Iran, which is based on a theory called the "rule of the jurisprudent" that says clerics should directly supervise political life.

He said the constitution he helped to write had not only been misused but also was flawed -- a mistake he put down to inexperience.

He said it should be changed to give the president control over state matters, including the military, the police and official media.

"There is a contradiction in our constitution. It gives a lot of responsibilities to the president without giving him enough authority," Montazeri said.

"Responsibility and authority should come together. You cannot give responsibility to someone (the president) without giving him authority."

He said Iran's Supreme Leader should limit his role to religious matters and to ensuring that laws conformed to Islam.

LEARNING FROM MISTAKES

Montazeri said he had an important message for the United States -- that it had lost popularity in the Middle East by seeking to impose democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"You cannot impose democracy on Islamic countries. You should help people to develop their country and decide their own fate," he said.

Montazeri was among leaders who endorsed the 444-day occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, when radical Islamic students held 52 hostages. The event led Washington to break diplomatic ties, which Montazeri said should now be restored.

"What Americans are doing in the region is against their own interests. One of the mistakes was occupying Iraq. One of our mistakes was occupying the American embassy," he said.

"Our Prophet says all human beings make mistakes but the wise learn from their mistakes."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Easy and Difficult

Easy is to get a place is someone's address book.Difficult is to get a place in someone's heart.Easy is to judge the mistakes of othersDifficult is to recognize our own mistakesEasy is to talk without thinkingDifficult is to refrain the tongueEasy is to hurt someone who loves us.Difficult is to heal the wound...Easy is to forgive othersDifficult is to ask for forgivenessEasy is to set rules.Difficult is to follow them...Easy is to dream every night.Difficult is to fight for a dream...Easy is to show victory.Difficult is to assume defeat with dignity...Easy is to admire a full moon.Difficult to see the other side...Easy is to stumble with a stone.Difficult is to get up...Easy is to enjoy life every day.Difficult to give its real value...Easy is to promise something to someone.Difficult is to fulfill that promise...Easy is to say we love.Difficult is to show it every day...Easy is to criticize others.Difficult is to improve oneself...Easy is to make mistakes.Difficult is to learn from them...Easy is to weep for a lost love.Difficult is to take care of it so not to lose it.Easy is to think about improving.Difficult is to stop thinking it and put it into action...Easy is to think bad of othersDifficult is to give them the benefit of the doubt...Easy is to receiveDifficult is to giveEasy to read thisDifficult to followEasy is to keep the friendship with wordsDifficult is to keep it with meanings.

Bein Happy

* Being happy requires looking for the good things. One person sees the beautiful view and the other sees the dirty window. Choose what you see and what you think.* There is an inner core in all of us, which is simply beautiful. When we see the plight of the starving around the globe on TV we ache for them. We all care. Accept that you have these capacities to love and emphasize and be HUMAN.Key to Happiness* The key to happiness is not that you never get upset, frustrated or irritated. It is how quickly you decide to snap out of it.* Spend time with children. Learn more about laughter, spontaneity, curiosity, acceptance, resilience, trust, determination, and your imagination. They are here to teach us! * Happiness is not dependent on your circumstances or your bank balance. * Happiness is a daily decision.Do not Postpone your Happiness* We postpone our happiness - “I’ll be happy when....â€‌ (When the house is paid off, when we go to Bali, or Hawaii, etc., when I find a better job...)* We look back to the past and say, “If I have known today was going to be so awful, I would have been happy yesterday.â€‌* HAPPINESS is not a when - Happiness is a now.The Secret of Enjoying* Lots of people will tell you, “I’ll be happier if my job was easier.â€‌ But when work gets easier, they quit, and look for another challenge.* The truth is that we love challenge. Let’s stop kidding ourselves! Nearly every job is repetitious.* Often, the secret to enjoying a job is not to change your job but to change your attitude.Ups and Downs* Everything has ups and downs - nothing travels in straight lines. This applies to your own progress in any project. Keep your eye on your target, keep putting in the effort and you reach your target despite the ups and downs. * Successful people realize that they reach their goals by continuously correcting. We get off course, correct, and get back on course. Ships do it. Rockets and missiles do it.The Risk• To learn to walk, we must risk falling over.• To make a dollar, we must risk losing it.• In loving and caring, we risk breaking our hearts.• Getting a job is a risk. Crossing the road is a risk. Eating in the restaurant is a risk. Starting a family is a risk.• Life is a risk. Winners take more risk than losers. That is why they win so much. Necessarily then, winners lose more than losers, but they are playing so often that their wins add up. • We have a choice between living and merely existing.Give a Compliment• Ever notice how good you feel when you give a compliment?• Even if people are awkward in receiving them, they appreciate them.• When we make it a habit to GIVE genuine compliments, we’ll always be looking out for the good in people.The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

DAHWUL ARDH - The Spread of the Earth

DAHWUL ARDH - The Spread of the Earth (falls on 7/01/05)A day that Islam Introduced for more than 1400 years now. Almighty Allah in Surat al-Nazi'aat 79:30 speaking clearly about Dahwul Ardh says:and the earth-after that He spread it out (dahahaa).."1. What is Dahwul Ardh?Dahwul Ardh" - the 25th of Dhulqa'dah, according to a tradition of the Holy Prophet (saww) reported by one of his Sahabas - 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud , is the day when the earth was spread for the advantage of human beings. The phrase "Dahwul Ardh" literally means "The spread of the earth". In another tradition it is reported that the first Rahmah & blessing descended on this very day.Hence it is a very important occasion indeed. According to a tradition of the Holy Prophet (saww), whosoever fasts on this day his fast would equal to 70 years of fasting.Having known these merits, should we limit our celebration with fasting and the expression of joy, or should our struggle transcend beyond that? This obviously would depend on our vision about this important day. And in order to understand properly the importance of this day, we should understand the earth better.2. How is Dahwu'l Ardh applicable in the present era & How must we celebrate it?Islam was not revealed for a certain time and a particular people. Its laws and teachings apply for all ages to come. We should try to appreciate this vital truth and behold the "universality" of the religious teachings. The day of Dahwul Ardh that the Holy Prophet (saww) and our our `Aimma ('as) mentioned in the traditions was not a day of celebration for their time only. Rather it is a day to be celebrated in every epoch and land. The problems the earth faced in their time may be different from the problems the earth confronts in our age. However both have lived in the same earth.Our duty in every age when this Islamic earth day is celebrated should be to ponder over this God-given blessing, the reason why it was created, whether it is utilized for the purpose it was created, the crisis it faces at present, the remedy for such crisis, etc. This would really make the celebration a celebration of true faith and concern, and a celebration of thanking the All-Merciful Creator who created the world for man's good. One must also try to "fast" the true fasting by ensuring that every member of one's body is also fasting. He should also feel the pain of hunger and think about the reason why there exists a class in the world that starves while the giant economic countries like the US have to throw food every year to maintain the value of its currency. Du'as likewise can be recited with sincerity and attention. These noble devotions are very vital elements to enable the human being to come closer to his All-Merciful Creator.But besides all this we should try to understand the contemporary problems of the earth and contribute whatever we can in this auspicious day. Our contribution can take various forms. Examples of a few are as follows:a. Writing thought provoking articles to the news-magazines and informing the public of the crisis the human beings have created for themselves on this transient earth.b. Educating the public on the methods of eradicating these problems that also consist of practical signs of danger that await the human beingc. Practically putting into practice what we can teach the public about the dangers facing the earthd. Making a firm decision and resolve in utilizing this earth as a means for a good and eternally secure Hereafter. We pray to Allah (swt) to enable us utilize this earth for the purpose it was created and we sincerely ask him to uproot the influence of the capitalistic traders of the world whose voluptuous and greedy nature is never satiated, and because of whom the earth is in great crisis.*****************************************************************************************************Understanding the Earth Better1) WHY WAS THE EARTH CREATED?The Holy Qur'an in chapter 20, verse 53 says:He who appointed the earth to be a cradle for you."Allamah Tabataba'i in his Al-Mizan says:Thus Allah stationed man in the earth to live an earthly life, so that he may earn a provision for his heavenly and exalted life, in the manner that a baby is stationed in the cradle, and is brought up for a more sacred and developed life..." (vol. 14, pg. 171)From this we come to realize that the earth was created as a preparing ground & means for human perfection and the purity of the heart. Sadly, however, many a people, instead of maintaining it for a good Hereafter, tend to destroy it for selfish gains.2) DO THE HUMAN BEINGS EMPLOY THE EARTH FOR THE PURPOSE IT WAS CREATED?The Holy Qur'an in chapter 30, verse 41 clearly talks of a people who instead of practically thanking Allah (swt) by utilizing the earth for its sacred purpose cause mischief therein and subsequently face its evil consequences:Corruption has appeared in the land and sea, for that men's own hands have earned, that He may let them taste some of that which they have done, that haply so they may return."And in chapter 7, verse 10, Almighty Allah says:Indeed We made you live in the earth and made therein for you the means of livelihood; little is it that you thank."In this verse, "little is it that you thank" should not merely taken as "verbal thanks," for the reality of "shukr" is to use the gift for the purpose it was created.3) WHAT IS OUR DUTY TOWARDS THE EARTH TODAY?From the above discussion the answer is evident: Because the earth was created for achieving human perfection, we should make a firm resolve to utilize it solely for that. This however should not mean that we stop scientific advancements, for such ventures are also a means to help the creation of the earth. But making a resolve in utilizing the earth as a means for achieving human perfection requires us to have a good understanding of how to go about utilizing the earth and its resources properly. Revelation is the best source for guiding us here.We should first try to study the elements that are responsible for mischief both in the physical as well as the spiritual world. So long as we have not searched for the root problem, our resolve to change, however firm it may be, would be futile. And as we make a firm resolve we should humbly pray to Allah (swt) to enable us maintain our resolve so that we have done our duty and removed ourselves from the group that is responsible for the earth crisis.THE ROOT CAUSE:Different seminars and discussions on the issue of the earth crisis have been, are being, and will be held in different parts of the world. Days like "the Earth day" is also celebrated to make the people realize the dangers facing the earth. The earth lovers mention several problems. The brevity of this speech however does not allow me to enumerate all. Some of the problems they cite are:1. The depletion of the ozone layer [which acts like a sunscreen shielding the earth from harmful ultra violet radiation]. This is due to the usage of goods that contain CFC gases. Some dangers of ozone depletion are: skin cancers, eye disorders, global warming, etc.2. The contamination of water. This is due to throwing industrial wastes in the water bodies. The Capitalistic and egoistic attitudes of the producers & manufacturers have no concern about the health risks of those using the waters. It is evident that using contaminated water has great health risks and dangers3. The contamination of air through Industrial wastes and other factors. Those who would like to know the details of the environmental problems may look at encyclopedias and the Internet.But, we ask a fundamental question to ourselves: What is the ROOT CAUSE of the senseless attitude towards environmental pollution? If we answer that, we would then be able to respect the earth and lessen and perhaps even eradicate the ecological crisis that transpires in this oppressed earth.The fundamental reason for such a crisis is an incorrect world-view or a narrow outlook towards this world. So long as the human being has not understood the meaning of this life, the purpose of His creation, the link between the Creator and the creation, he would never be merciful to himself, let alone the earth. The earth is merely a means for the aim of creation, which is the nearness and proximity of Allah (swt). It is due to ignorance of this fact or the lack of obedience on the part of us that causes the chaos in this transient earth. In fact why should the activists that struggle for bettering the physical environment forget the spiritual environment? The spiritual pollution is more grave than the physical one. Rather, the spiritual pollution is the cause of the physical pollution. In conclusion, two reasons may therefore contribute to the chaos that exists in the earth:1. A wrong outlook towards the reality: disbelief in God, Revelation, the Hereafters, or having a concocted belief that is against the innate nature of the human being. These kinds of trends are followed by wrong judgments which come about as a result of ignorance of the correct method of getting to the truth. And when one has a wrong outlook, and does not know the meaning of life, he would do whatever his ego wants. He would tend to forget the serenity of others.2. Disobedience on the part of the believer: If a believer who has convictions about his true faith remains steadfast in following what Allah (swt) commands, the earth would be a place of serenity. Contrarily if he allows his desires to rule over his intellect, and is lax in his belief, he would cause great dangers not only for man, but the entire creation that lives on this earth.

A very powerful story (Prayer on time)

He remembered his grandmother's warning about praying on time: "My son, you shouldn't leave prayer to this late time". His grandmother's age was 70 but whenever she heard the Adhan, she got up like an arrow and performed Salah. He, however could never win over his ego to get up and pray. Whatever he did, his Salah was always the last to be offered and he prayed it quickly to get it in on time. Thinking of this, he got up and realized that there were only 15 minutes left before Salat-ul Isha. He quickly made Wudhu and performed Salat-ul Maghrib. While making Tasbih, he again remembered his grandmother and was embarrassed by how he had prayed. His grandmother prayed with such tranquility and peace. He began making Dua and went down to make Sajdah and stayed like that for a while. He had been at school all day and was tired, so tired. He awoke abruptly to the sound of noise and shouting.He was sweating profusely. He looked around. It was very crowded. Every direction he looked in was filled with people. Some stood frozen looking around, some were running left and right and some were on their knees with their heads in their hands just waiting. Pure fear and apprehension filled him as he realized where he was. His heart was about to burst. It was the Day of Judgement. When he was alive, he had heard many things about the questioning on the Day of Judgement, but that seemed so long ago. Could this be something his mind made up? No, the wait and the fear were so great that he could not have imagined this. The interrogation was still going on. He began moving frantically from people to people to ask if his name had been called. No one could answer him. All of a sudden his name was called and the crowd split into two and made a passageway for him. Two people grabbed his arms and led him forward. He walked with unknowing eyes through the crowd. The angels brought him to the center and left him there. His head was bent down and his whole life was passing in front of his eyes like a movie. He opened his eyes but saw only another world. The people were all helping others. He saw his father running from one lecture to the other, spending his wealth in the way of Islam. His mother invited guests to their house and one table was being set while the other was being cleared. He pleaded his case, "I too was always on this path. I helped others. I spread the word of Allah.I performed my Salah. I fasted in the month of Ramadan. Whatever Allah ordered us to do, I did. Whatever he ordered us not to do, I did not." He began to cry and think about how much he loved Allah. He knew that whatever he had done in life would be less than what Allah deserved and his only protector was Allah. He was sweating like never before and was shaking all over. His eyes were fixed on the scale, waiting for the final decision. At last, the decision was made. The two angels with sheets of paper in their hands, turned to the crowd. His legs felt like they were going to collapse. He closed his eyes as they began to read the names of those people who were to enter Jahannam.His name was read first. He fell on his knees and yelled that this couldn't be, "How could I go to Jahannam? I served others all my life, I spread the word of Allah to others". His eyes had become blurry and he was shaking with sweat. The two angels took him by the arms. As his feet dragged, they went through the crowd and advanced toward the blazing flames of Jahannam. He was yelling and wondered if there was any person who was going to help him. He was yelling of all the good deeds he had done, how he had helped his father, his fasts, prayers, the Qur'an that he read, he was asking if none of them would help him. The Jahannam angels continued to drag him. They had gotten closer to the Hellfire. He looked back and these were his last pleas. Had not Rasulullah [saw] said, "How clean would a person be who bathes in a river five times a day, so too does the Salah performed five times cleanse someone of their sins"? He began yelling, "My prayers? my prayers? my prayers." The two angels did not stop, and they came to the edge of the abyss of Jahannam. The flames of the fire were burning his face. He looked back one last time, but his eyes were dry of hope and he had nothing left in him. One of the angels pushed him in. He found himself in the air and falling towards the flames. He had just fallen five or six feet when a hand grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back. He lifted his head and saw an old man with a long white beard. He wiped some dust off himself and asked him, "Who are you?" The old man replied, "I am your prayers". "Why are you ! so late! I was almost in the Fire! You rescued me at the last minute before I fell in". The old man smiled and shook his head, "You always performed me at the last minute, did you forget?" At that instant, he blinked and lifted his head from Sajdah. He was in a sweat. He listened to the voices coming from outside. He heard the adhan for Salat-ul Isha. He got up quickly and went to perform Wudhu.