Saturday, 31 December 2011
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you." The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.
Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by - still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his Seed, Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!"
Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said? Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.
But, I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!"
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
PUTTING A FACE TO INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL.
Indeed, the new source of wealth is not material, it is information, knowledge applied to work to create value.
At a charity dinner organised by the Brain Trust on 16 January, 1998, a person by the name of Leif Edvinsson was honoured with the "Brain of the Year" award. Bill Gates and Paul McCartney were amongst others who were considered for this prestigious award. Physicist, Professor Stephen Hawkings; the world chess phenomenon, Gary Kasparov; and the late prolific British author and poet laureate, Ted Hughes, were the past recipients of this award.
The above names are familiar to most of us, perhaps with the exception of Leif Edvinsson, the winner of the award. So, who is this man, Edvinsson? What contribution has he made to improve mankind, to be in league with the likes of Gates, Kasparov, Hawkings?
To know about Edvinsson, one has to know about the Stockholm-based insurance company, Skandia. Established in 1855, Skandia is today the largest insurance and financial-services provider in Scandinavia. Some 15 years ago, Skandia was a company whose operations were languishing in the mature domestic market and, it was no different from any other insurance and financial services provider in Sweden. The senior management of the company was acutely aware of the need to expand its operations quickly, into other high-growth markets, to take advantage of the global trend towards deregulation of the financial-services industry. But, it had difficulty figuring out how. What critical competencies did the company possess, in its bid to become a big player in the world of insurance and financial services; and how could they capture, measure, and use them to achieve their goals?
At the time, like any other company in the industry, Skandia also used performance measurement systems that were based solely on financial criteria. Bjorn Wolrath, the then CEO of the company, and Jan Carendi, the head of Skandia AFS, a division of Skandia started in 1986, were convinced that these traditional measurement systems ignored some factors that were most critical in the emergent economy; the knowledge flows and the intellectual capital companies had access to. Both men were alive to the fact that in the new world of competition, a company had to compete more on its organisational capability to adapt and learn quickly (that is, by managing its knowledge assets), than defending its market position. What this meant was that a company's strength now lay less and less with the assets shown in traditional balance sheets (land, buildings, equipment, and inventory), than with some hidden or intangible assets (the individual talent and creativity of workers, synergistic relationships, and the ability to manage the flow of corporate knowledge and other such competencies).
Yet, the problem was that the old measurement systems were not geared to providing any functional methodology (or taxonomy, if you like), to identify, or capture the values of these assets. It became clear that it was now imperative that they find a way to capture and package the company's intellectual capital and its best practices on branch management, and then build them into the company structure itself (through a collection of customisable software applications, manuals, and other structured know-how), which could be used worldwide to support its branch operations. So, the need was recognised as having to develop an alternative measurement system and new management processes that would enable them to manage the portfolio of these critical assets. Wolrath and Carendi set out to tackle this challenging task.
To begin the process, they did something that was unprecedented. In 1991, they created a new corporate position (reporting to Carendi) that they chose to call the Director of Intellectual Capital. The primary responsibility of this position was to transform the company's human capital the source of innovation and growth (an asset that the firm cannot own) into structural capital (an asset that the company could own).
And, it was Leif Edvinsson who was hired to fill this position, as Director of Intellectual Capital, at Skandia AFS. With this appointment, as the spectacular expansion the company experienced in the next few years reveals, Skandia had practically fired a rocket under its traditional business. Within a short period of four years, by 1995, the company had successfully established its presence in high-growth markets, with its business outside Sweden accounting for about 85 per cent of the company's total premium income. Skandia had now successfully expanded its operations into 15 countries beyond Europe, the US, and into other potential high-growth markets in Latin America and Asia. UK operations of AFS accounted for nearly half of the assets under its management, whilst in the US, American Skandia was the tenth-largest company in its market segment.
What helped Skandia's aggressive and successful foray into international markets was the so-called "branch prototype" that emerged from the work of the Director of Intellectual Capital this allowed the company to cut the investment involved in opening an overseas office by 50 per cent, and the time required for it, from 26 to six months. The knowledge system developed by Skandia also gave more than 7,000 brokers detailed, up-to-date knowledge and information on investment options and asset allocation, while also assisting in sales and client proposals.
But, Edvinsson's contribution to Skandia was not why he was honoured with the "Brain of the Year" award in 1998, though he unabashedly used the company as a virtual laboratory a touchstone for testing his revolutionary ideas on knowledge management. In the citation honouring Edvinsson with the award, the Brain Trust described the Intellectual Capital (IC) concept as a "revolutionary re-evaluation that utterly overturns the standards of traditional accountancy", and Leif Edvinsson as "one of the pioneers in the search for prime economic indicators which will prevail in the post-millennium period".
The concept of IC had been around for some time, before Edvinsson's arrival on the scene, but it was he who gave definitive direction to move discussions on the subject from an esoteric and arcane academic exchange, to a hard-nosed evaluation of performance that was of some practical value. Edvinsson was the first to attempt and succeed in developing methods to create a taxonomy for intellectual reporting that is, to measure a company's intellectual and structural capital, which is invisible in today's balance sheets.
In 1994, Skandia became the first company in the world to publish a corporate Intellectual Capital Report, to augment its Annual Reports and accounts. That marked the culmination of Edvinsson's work concerning developing a methodology for accounting for the unaccountable until then. As Edvinsson himself has remarked, the IC Report was "a landmark in the story of the standardisation of the Intellectual Capital model".
In the same year, Fortune published a feature article concerning Leif Edvinsson's work, which helped attract keen interest worldwide to this pioneering work of accounting. Following this, Dow Chemical created the position of Director of Intellectual Assets, and it set out to create an IC report for the company. Hughes Aircraft also set up an Intellectual Capital programme it called the Knowledge Highway. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada's largest bank, designed its leadership programme around the concept of Intellectual Capital.
Within a short period, thanks to the efforts of Edvinsson, Intellectual Capital has been transformed from a nebulous, hazy idea, to a full-blown working concept that has provided a new corporate disclosure standard. In his book, co-authored with Michael S. Mallone, Intellectual Capital - The Proven Way to Establish Your Company's Real Value by Measuring its Hidden Brainpower, Edvinsson quotes Charles Savage and Charles Armstrong thus: "In the short space of about three years, we already see an evolution in thinking from identifying the components of Intellectual Capital, to an understanding of the dynamic interaction between these components."
In Dubai, we repeatedly hear some of our Directors shouting from the rooftop about the value of their human capital, by which they mean the value of their people. Yet, how many of them have taken meaningful steps to give expression to the fact that the financial statements the accountants prepare are becoming less and less important in making strategic decisions relating to the future, and that we need to develop a new set of matrices to emphasise the impact of assets that are not represented in traditional balance sheets.
Recently, we heard of an attempt by a local insurance company, to put a value on its people. This, I believe, is a step in the right direction. Though meaningless by itself. If nothing is done about it. Yet, making an attempt is just a small step in a journey of a thousand miles.
Clearly, Intellectual Capital is an idea whose time has come. It is only to our detriment that we shut our eyes to this development, and continue to spend enormous blocks of valuable executive time, year after year, in "polishing" Annual targets, so that they can win awards.
Isn't it time we learned something from Leif Edvinsson?
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
MURDER, MADNESS AND THE LOVE OF WORDS
AT S THOMAS' COLLEGE IN THE SEVENTIES, MY BRILLIANT ENGLISH TEACHER MR DAVID HAD A FAVOURITE QUESTION:" DID YOU CONSULT THE OXFORD DICTIONARY?"
"NO, SIR," I REPLIED. "I GUESSED THE MEANING BY READING."
THE ANSWER SATISFIED MR DAVID WHO TOLD HIS PUPILS THAT A WORD SEEN IN CONTEXT WAS A ALWAYS AN ASSET.
WITH A WORKING VOCABULARY MORE THAN 30,000 WORDS, I FELT THAT I HAVE HARDLY REFERRED TO A DICTIONARY AND THE 'OXFORD' TO BOOT, TO FIND THE MEANING OF LESS THAN A THOUSAND.
IT TOOK FIFTY YEARS FOR THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS TO HELP IN THE MAKING OF THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY. IT WAS WILLIAM CHESTER MINOR WHO PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN COMPILING IT.
W. C. MINOR WAS AN AMERICAN MILLIONAIRE CIVIL WAR SURGEON, WHO HAD TURNED INTO A LUNATIC, AND WAS IMPRISONED IN BRITAIN'S BROADMOOR ASYLUM FOR MURDER. IT WAS THERE THAT HE SPENT ALL HIS CELL BOUND DAYS WORKING ON THE OXFORD DICTIONARY.
W.C. MINOR WAS BORN IN CEYLON. THE LUSHY OVERGROWN TROPICAL ISLAND WHICH SEEMS TO HANG FROM INDIA'S TIP LIKE A TEAR DROP, OR A PEAR OR A PEARL. IT IS A GARDEN OF EDEN FOR SINNERS, AND ISLAND LIMBO FOR THOSE WHO YIELD TO TEMPTATION.
CEYLON IS REALLY A KIND OF POST LAPSARIAN TREASURE ISLAND, WHERE EVERY SENSUAL GIFT OF THE TROPICS IS AVAILABLE, BOTH TO REWARD TEMPTATION AND TO BEGUILE AND CHARM. A COUNTRY WITH RICH HOT SWEET MOIST BREEZE, SCENTED BY THE SEA AND SPICES.
SOON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WAS TO BE ENRICHED BY THE WORD SERENDIPITY. "THESE DAYS IT IS CALLED SRI LANKA, WHILST ONCE THE ARAB SEA TRADERS CALLED IT SERENDIB. THE INVENTOR OF THE WORD, WHO NEVER TRAVELLED TO THE EAST NEVER REALLY KNEW WHY."
OF COURSE THE CINNAMON, COFFEE AND TEA, SAPPHIRES AND RUBIES, MANGOES AND CASHEWS, ELEPHANTS AND LEOPARDS.
HOWEVER, WE KNOW THAT MINOR WAS BORN IN JUNE 1834 AND THAT HIS PARENTS WERE AMERICAN MISSIONARIES, WHO ARRIVED ON A CARGO SHIP CARRYING ICE FROM SALEM TO CEYLON. THEY SETTLED IN THE NORTH EAST COAST IN MANIPAY.
MINOR'S MOTHER HAD DIED OF CONSUMPTION WHEN HE WAS THREE YEARS OLD. HIS FATHER EASTMAN LEFT HIS SISTER WITH SINHALESE MISSIONARIES IN UDUVIL, AND TOOK HIM ON A JOURNEY TO FIND A WIFE. AT SINGAPORE HIS FATHER MET JUDITH TAYLOR. HE PERSUADED HER TO COME WITH HIM ON THE NEXT JAFFNA BOUND STEAMER. THEY WERE MARRIED BY THE AMERICAN CONSUL IN COLOMBO BEFORE CHRISTMAS 1839.
YOUNG MINOR MADE GREAT USE OF THE MISSION LIBRARY AND READ PROFUSELY. HE SOON MASTERED HINDI, TAMIL AND VARIOUS CHINESE DIALECTS.
AT 29 HE NEARLY DIE FROM SEPTICAEMIA, WHICH HE GOT WHEN HE CUT HIS HAND DURING A POST-MORTEM.
MINOR JOINED THE US ARMY AS A SURGEON IN THE CIVIL WAR. HE SAW THE BLOODSHED AND THE HORRORS AND THE GANGRENE, PUS AND AMPUTATIONS FROM PAIN AND DISEASE. HE WAS APPALLED BY THE LOSS OF LIFE: 360,000 UNION TROOPS AND 258,000 CONFEDERATES. HE THOUGHT OF CEYLON AND IN 1864 HE READ WIDELY AND RESORTED TO PAINTING IN WATER COLOURS.
SOON MINOR SAW 5000 SOLDIERS DESERTING EVERY MONTH, WHILST OTHERS FLED IN THE FACE OF GUNFIRE. MINOR WAS TAKEN ABACK WHEN ONE YOUNG IRISH DESERTER WAS BRANDED ON HIS FACE.
MINOR WAS SOON DECLARED TO BE INCAPACITATED "BY CAUSES ARISING IN THE LINE OF DUTY AND SHOULD BE RETIRED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT."
ON 17TH FEBRUARY 1872 THREE GUNSHOTS WERE HEARD AT LAMBETH IN LONDON, WHERE ROADS AND RAILWAYS MEET. IT WAS NOT THE LAMBETH WALK OR THE PALAIS GLIDE. THE VICTIM WAS GEORGE MERRITT, A STOKER AT THE LOCAL BREWERY. HE WAS AN INNOCENT WORKING CLASS MAN, WITH A PREGNANT WIFE AND SIX CHILDREN, ALL LIVING IN DIRE POVERTY.
A FEW MINUTES AFTER THE SHOOTING, CONSTABLE HENRY TARRANT ARRESTED THE MAN WHO FIRED THE SHOTS. HE WAS THE 37 YEAR OLD WILLIAM CHESTER MINOR, THE QUALIFIED AMERICAN SURGEON, WHO HAD BEEN IN LONDON FOR LESS THAN A YEAR. HE WAS TAKEN TO THE HORSE-MONGER LANE GAOL ON A MURDER CHARGE.
HIS LONDON LANDLADY SAID THAT HER TENANT "WAS ODD AND FEARED THE IRISH". EVIDENCE WAS TO SHOW THAT MINOR WAS INSANE. AT BROADMOOR HE WAS "PATIENT NO. 742" HELD AS A CERTIFIED CRIMINAL LUNATIC.
AT 38 SURGEON WILLIAM CHARLES MINOR, OF NO KNOWN RELIGION, WAS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF GEORGE MERRITT OF LAMBETH. HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY ON THE GROUNDS OF INSANITY.
IT TOOK 70 YEARS TO CREATE THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY AND WALTER CHESTER MINOR PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT PART IN COMPILING THE BOOK. THE DICTIONARY DEPENDED ON QUOTATIONS FROM PUBLISHED WORKS. MINOR IN HIS CELL DID NOT GIVE UP HIS INTEREST IN 'WORDS'. AS A RICH MILLIONAIRE HE WAS ALLOWED TO PURCHASE BOOKS.
MINOR EVENTUALLY DECIDED TO MEET THE WIDOW OF THE MAN HE MURDERED AND OFFERED TO HELP HER FINANCIALLY. ELIZA MERRIT WAS HAPPY TO ACCEPT THE MONEY HE GAVE HER, AND EVEN VISITED THE SURGEON IN THE ASYLUM.
JAMES MURRAY WAS THE FAMOUS EDITOR OF THE OXFORD DICTIONARY. FROM HIS CELL WILLIAM CHESTER MINOR DID HIS PART IN THE COMPILATION OF THE OXFORD DICTIONARY. THE 70 YEAR PROJECT SAW 12 VOLUMES, 414,825 WORDS WERE DEFINED, THERE WERE 1,827,306 ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTATIONS. MINOR CONTRIBUTED THOUSANDS. THE DICTIONARY HAS 227,779,589 LETTERS AND NUMBERS. THERE WERE SUPPLEMENTS IN 1933, 1972 AND 1988.
FOR TWENTY YEARS DR. JAMES MURRAY AND WALTER CHESTER MINOR HAD CORRESPONDENT ON THE FINER POINTS OF 'WORDS', BUT THEY HAD NEVER MET. MINOR DID NOT EXPLAIN WHY HE DID NOT COME TO OXFORD. MURRAY WAS SHOCKED WHEN HE HEARD THAT MINOR WAS THE LONGEST RESIDENT IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM: A MAD SURGEON AND A MURDERER. IN 1910 MINOR WAS DISCHARGED FROM BROADMOOR ASYLUM. HE DONATED ALL HIS BOOKS TO MURRAY.
ON 28TH MARCH 1920 AT 85 WALTER CHESTER MINOR DIED. THERE WAS NO 'OBITUARY' AND THERE WAS A TWO LINE DEATH NOTICE. HE WAS BURIED IN AMERICA'S EVERGREEN CEMETERY. THE INSCRIPTION SAYS: "MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE."
AND SO, ONE OF THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTORS TO THE FINEST ENGLISH DICTIONARY IN ALL THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, DIED FORGOTTEN IN OBSCURITY AND IS BURIED NEAR A SLUM'. THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY WAS COMPLETED ON NEW YEARS EVE IN 1921. IT IS "ONE OF THE GREATEST ROMANCES IN ENGLISH LITERATURE."
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM - SALAHUDDIN AL- AYYUBI
"WHEN MANKIND SPREAD THEMSELVES OVER THE EARTH AND BECAME MANY NATIONS, SPEAKING DIVERSE LANGUAGES AND OBSERVING DIVERSE CUSTOMS AND LAWS, THE EVILS BECAME MULTIPLIED. AS ONE RACE OR NATION BECAME ALIENATED FROM ANOTHER. THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN WAS FORGOTTEN. FIRST, BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND SECOND, BETWEEN NATIONS. ARROGANCE, SELFISHNESS, HATRED AND UNTRUTH WERE SOWN AND REAPED BY THE WESTERN MEDIA. PEACE, LOVE, FAITH AND JUSTICE WERE OBSCURED BY THE ENIMIES OF ISLAM."
NINETY-TWO YEARS AFTER THE HIJRAH, ISLAM HAD SPREAD ACROSS NORTH AFRICA, MOROCCO, IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, YEMEN AND SYRIA. SPAIN WAS UNDER THE TYRANNICAL RULE OF KING RODERIC OF THE VISIGOTHS. RODERIC HAD FORCED HIS SIX MILLION SERFS AND PERSECUTED JEWS TO SEEK THE AID OF THE MUSLIMS OF NORTH AFRICA IN ORDER TO BE DELIVERED. MUSA IBN HUSAIR, THE UMAYYAD GOVERNOR OF NORTH AFRICA, RESPONDED BY SENDING HIS COURAGEOUS GENERAL TARIQ IBN ZIYAD AT THE HEAD OF 12,000 BERBER AND ARAB TROOPS. IN RAMADHAN OF THAT YEAR, THEY WERE CONFRONTED WITH A COMBINED VISIGOTH ARMY OF 90,000 CHRISTIANS LED BY RODERIC HIMSELF, WHO WAS SEATED ON A THRONE OF IVORY, SILVER, AND PRECIOUS GEMS AND DRAWN BY WHITE MULES. AFTER BURNING HIS BOATS, TARIQ PREACHED TO THE MUSLIMS WARNING THEM THAT VICTORY AND PARADISE LAY AHEAD OF THEM AND DEFEAT AND THE SEA LAY TO THE REAR. THEY BURST FORTH WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM AND ALLAH MANIFESTED A CLEAR VICTORY OVER THE FORCES OF DISBELIEF. NOT ONLY WAS RODERIC KILLED AND HIS FORCES COMPLETELY ANNIHILATED, BUT ALSO TARIQ AND MUSA SUCCEEDED IN LIBERATING THE WHOLE OF SPAIN, SICILY AND PARTS OF FRANCE. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE GOLDEN AGE OF AL-ANDALUS WHERE MUSLIMS RULED FOR OVER 700 YEARS.
ALHAMDULILLAH, ISLAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON THE ALERT, CORRECTING, MENDING AND ADMONISHING. THE NOBLE QURAN AND THE SUNNAH ARE CONTINUALLY EVER PRESENT, INTACT, UNADULTERATED AND UNPOLLUTED TO GUIDE AND TO JUDGE ON OCCASIONS OF DOUBT AND DISPUTE. THEY HAVE KEPT ALIVE THE TRUE ISLAMIC SPIRIT OF DEFIANCE AGAINST THE KUFR AND JAHILIYYAH INFLUENCES OF ITS ENEMIES.
THE WHOLE COURSE OF ISLAMIC HISTORY IS LIGHTED UP WITH THE ENDEAVOURS OF DEVOUT, DETERMINED AND BRAVE-HEARTED MEN, WHO, LIKE THE TRUE SUCCESSORS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH), FACED THE CHALLENGES OF THE TIME AND WHO RESTORED, REVIVED AND KEPT ON MOVING. THUS IT WAS THAT DARKNESS WAS NEVER ALLOWED TO SPREAD ITSELF OVER THE WORLD OF AL ISLAM. SIMILARLY, AT EVERY CRITICAL TURN OF ITS HISTORY, SOME MIGHTY MAN OF ACTION, SOME INSPIRED DEFENDER OF IMAAN DID INVARIABLY BURST UPON THE SCENE TO BEAT OFF WHATEVER THAT THREATENED THE EXISTENCE OF OUR NATION. ONE OF THE MANY SUCH OUTSTANDING PERSONALITIES PRODUCED BY THE DEATHLESS SPIRIT OF ISLAM WAS SALAHUDDIN AL- AYYUBI RAMATULLAHI ALAYHI.
SALAHUDDIN WAS BORN IN THE YEAR 532 AH/1137 CE IN TEKRIT ON THE WEST BANK OF THE TIGRIS BETWEEN MOSUL AND BAGHDAD, LOVED DEARLY BY HIS FATHER, AYYUB AND NOURISHED ON THE LOFTY PRINCIPLES, SALAHUDDIN THE KURD SOON SHOWED SIGNS OF THE BLESSINGS WHICH WERE TO FOLLOW HIM. WITHIN TWO MONTHS OF HIS COMING TO EGYPT, HIS UNCLE WHOM HE WAS FORCED TO ACCOMPANY THERE, DIED. SUDDENLY, SALAHUDDIN WAS THE RULER OF MUCH COVETED EGYPT. IN AN INSTANCE, HE WAS A CHANGED MAN. FROM THAT TIME ON HIS CAREER WAS ONE LONG CHAMPIONSHIP OF ISLAM.
“NO SOONER DID HE ASSUME THE LEADERSHIP OF EGYPT THE WORLD AND ITS PLEASURES LOST ALL SIGNIFICANCE IN HIS EYES,” SAYS IBN SHADDAD THE QADI OF HIS ARMY. HE RENOUNCED THE TEMPTATIONS OF PLEASURE AND TOOK TO A LIFE OF SWEAT AND TOIL, WHICH INCREASED DAY BY DAY UNTIL ALLAH SUMMONED HIM TO HIS MERCY.
“PERHAPS YOU HATE A THING WHILE IT IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOU MAY LOVE A THING WHILE IT IS BAD FOR YOU.”
“WHEN ALLAH GAVE ME THE LAND OF EGYPT WITH SO LITTLE TROUBLE, I KNEW THAT HE MEANT FOR ME THE BLESSED LAND ALSO, FOR HE HIMSELF IMPLANTED THE THOUGHT IN MY HEART,” SAID SALAHUDDIN. HE SOON HAD THE SATISFACTION OF SEEING HIS ADMINISTRATION RESPECTED AND ORDER ESTABLISHED IN ALL ASPECTS. HE GENEROUSLY SPENT ON THE PEOPLE FROM THE MONEY THE FATIMIDS HAD BEEN STORING UP IN THE PALACE WALLS, WON THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE, AND BROUGHT THE FACTION-RIDDEN COUNTRY UNDER OBEDIENCE AND HIS RULE. HE TOOK GREAT PAINS TO ESTABLISH THE SUNNAH MORE FIRMLY IN EGYPT WITH THE AID OF THE ‘ULAMA.
AT THAT TIME, EUROPE HAD BEEN HARBOURING EVIL DESIGNS AND INTENTIONS AGAINST THE MUSLIMS SINCE THEY HAD ANNEXED THE EASTERN WING OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. BUT, AS THE MUSLIMS THEN WERE POWERFUL ENOUGH TO DEFY ANY OR ALL INCURSIONS, THE CHRISTIAN NATIONS THROUGHOUT EUROPE COULD NOT BRING THEMSELVES TO CHALLENGING THE MUSLIMS. TOWARDS THE CLOSE OF THE 11TH CENTURY (492 AFTER THE HIJRAH) HOWEVER, THE SITUATION UNDERWENT A CHANGE AND MASSIVE ARMIES OF CRUSADERS FIGHTING UNDER THE SYMBOL OF THE CROSS WERE ORGANISED ALL OVER THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT TO ATTACK THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES OF PALESTINE AND SYRIA. WHEN THE CRUSADERS REGAINED POSSESSION OF JERUSALEM AND OVERRAN THE GREATER PART OF PALESTINE IT IS SAID THAT: "THE CRUSADERS PENETRATED LIKE A WEDGE BETWEEN THE OLD WOOD AND THE NEW AND FOR A WHILE SEEMED TO CLEAVE THE TRUNK OF THE MUSLIM EMPIRE INTO SPLINTERS."
OF THE UNSPEAKABLE CRUELTIES, INHUMANITY AND ATROCITIES PERPETRATED UPON THE MUSLIMS BY THE CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS ON THEIR WAY INTO JERUSALEM, A RESPONSIBLE HISTORIAN WRITES AND I QUOTE FROM THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITTANICA (9TH EDITION VOLUME V1):
"SO TERRIBLE, IT IS SAID, WAS THE CARNAGE AND THE SLAUGHTER WHICH FOLLOWED THAT THE HORSES OF THE CRUSADERS WHO RODE UP TO THE GATES OF MASJIDUL AQSA WERE KNEE-DEEP IN THE STREAM OF MUSLIM BLOOD. INFANTS WERE SEIZED BY THEIR FEET AND THEIR LITTLE BODIES WERE DASHED AGAINST THE WALLS."
THE CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM BY THE CHRISTIANS WAS A MOST MOMENTOUS EVENT FOR IT ANNOUNCED THEIR INTENSE FEAR AND HATRED FOR THE MUSLIMS AND THE RELIGION OF ISLAM. THIS ALSO HERALDED THE AWAKENING OF EUROPE AFTER THE DARK AGES THAT HAD FOLLOWED THE DECLINE OF ROME. THE SPIRITS OF THE CHRISTIANS ROSE SO HIGH AFTER THE MASSACRE OF THE MUSLIMS THAT REGINALD, THE MASTER OF KRAK, PROMISED TO CONQUER THE HOLY CITIES OF MAKKAH AL MUKARRAMA AND MADINAH AL-MUNAWWARA. THIS RUTHLESS AND DERANGED ENEMY OF ISLAM VOWED AND TOOK AN OATH THAT THE FIRST THING HE WOULD DO UPON CONQUERING THE HOLY CITY OF MADINAH AL-MUNAWWARA WOULD BE TO DIG OUT THE REMAINS OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHOO ALAYHI WASALLAM AND BURN IT THUS BRINGING AN END TO THIS PAGAN RELIGION. THE MOST CALAMITOUS HOUR IN THE HISTORY OF ISLAM WAS STRUCK. RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT THERE AROSE, FROM AN UNEXPECTED QUARTER, A NEW STAR ON THE FIRMAMENT OF ISLAM. IT WAS THE ZANGI DYNASTY OF MOSUL. TWO MEMBERS OF WHICH IMADUDDIN ZANGI AND NURUDDIN ZANGI, REPEATEDLY DEFEATED THE CRUSADERS AND DROVE THEM OUT OF ALMOST EVERY TOWN IN PALESTINE EXCEPT JERUSALEM.
NURUDDIN HOLDS A HIGH PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF ISLAM FOR HIS PIETY, HUMILITY, ADMINISTRATIVE MERIT, JUSTICE, LEADERSHIP AND ZEST FOR JIHAD. IBN ATHIR AL-JAZARI A CONTEMPORARY OF NURUDDIN SAID THAT EXCEPT FOR THE FIRST FOUR CALIPHS R.A. AND UMAR BIN ABDUL AZIZ R.A. THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE WHO WAS MORE RELIGIOUS AND JUST THAN NURUDDIN. WHEN NURUDDIN DIED, SALAHUDDIN AL-AYYUBI TOOK THE FIELD AS THE SPEARHEAD OF MUSLIM RESISTANCE. FIGHTING BATTLE AFTER BATTLE, SALAHUDDIN INFLICTED A CRUSHING DEFEAT ON THE CRUSADERS AT HITTIN ON THE 14TH DAY OF RABI-UL-THANI (583 A.H.) WHICH CORRESPONDENTS TO JULY 11TH, 1187. IN THE YEAR 582 A.H., SALAHUDDIN AL-AYYUBI, AFTER BATTLING WITH THE CRUSADERS FOR YEARS, FINALLY DROVE THEM OUT OF SYRIA AND THE WHOLE OF THEIR OCCUPIED LANDS IN THE MONTH OF RAMADHÂN. THE MUSLIM WORLD WAS THEN DESTINED TO MEET ONE OF ITS MOST FRIGHTENING CHALLENGES. THE DREAMS AND ALL HOPES OF THE CHRISTIANS WERE DASHED TO THE GROUND WHILE THEIR ARMIES LAY SCATTERED, BEATEN AND TOTALLY DEMORALISED. SALAHUDDIN THEN PROCEEDED TO RE-TAKE JERUSALEM. THE FIRE THAT HAD BEEN BLAZING IN THE HEARTS OF THE MUSLIMS SINCE THE CITY HAD FALLEN INTO THE HANDS OF THE CHRISTIANS WAS AT LONG LAST QUENCHED. KAZI IBN SHADDAD, AN INTIMATE FRIEND AND COUNSELLOR OF SALAHUDDIN, HAS SET FORTH THE MOST STIRRING AND EMOTIONAL SPECTACLE OF THE VICTORY OF JERUSALEM IN THE FOLLOWING WORDS:
"ON ALL SIDES PRAYERS WERE BEING OFFERED, FROM ALL SIDES THE CRIES OF ALLAHO AKBAR! ALLAHO AKBAR! COULD BE HEARD. AFTER NINETY LONG YEARS SALATHUL JUMMA'H WAS OFFERED IN JERUSALEM AGAIN. THE BIG IRON CROSS THAT THE CHRISTIANS HAD MOUNTED ON MASJIDUL AQSA WAS PULLED DOWN. ALL PRAISE AND ALL GLORY BELONGS TO ALMIGHTY ALLAH! IT WAS A MOST WONDERFUL SPECTACLE. THE GRACE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH AND THE TRIUMPH OF ISLAM WERE VISIBLE EVERYWHERE." AS PROMISED BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH IN VERSES 5 AND 6 OF SURAH AL-INSHIRAH, THE VICTORIOUS MUSLIMS REPEATED AND REMINDED THEMSELVES:
"SO VERILY, WITH EVERY DIFFICULTY THERE IS RELIEF. VERILY, WITH EVERY DIFFICULTY THERE IS RELIEF."
THIS MOST BEAUTIFUL VERSE IS REPEATED FOR EXTRA EMPHASES. WHATEVER DIFFICULTIES, HARDSHIPS, OPPRESSION AND REPRESSION THAT IS ENCOUNTERED BY THE UMMAH, INSHA'ALLAH, ALMIGHTY ALLAH WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE A SOLUTION, A WAY OUT AND ULTIMATE VICTORY THAT WILL LEAD TO SUCCESS, VICTORY, PEACE, HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT, PROVIDING WE BRING ABOUT NECESSARY CHANGES TO OUR LIVES AND STRIVE TO REMAIN FIRM ON THE PATH OF SEERATHAL MUSTAQEEM THROUGH SABUR, IMAAN AND TAQWA.
THIS WAS A SIGN THAT THIS DEED WAS PLEASING TO ALMIGHTY ALLAH. “IT WAS A VICTORY OF VICTORIES,” RECALLS IBN SHADDAD. “A TESTIMONY OF FAITH TO A MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE, SCHOLARS, NOBLEMEN, MERCHANTS AND MASSES WHO WERE BROUGHT THERE BY THE NEWS OF SALAHUDDIN’S VICTORIES AND SUCCESS IN THE LANDS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST.” ALL THE ‘ULAMA CAME TO JOIN SALAHUDDIN, BOTH FROM EGYPT AND SYRIA. THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE WELL-KNOWN DIGNITARY BUT HE HAD COME. THE JOY OF THE BLESSINGS AND THE VICTORY OF ALLAH WERE TO BE WITNESSED EVERYWHERE ON THAT DAY.
THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE COUNTRY THROUGHOUT EUROPE WHO DID NOT DESPISE AND HATE THE MUSLIM UMMAH FOR THEIR OVERWHELMING VICTORY IN REGAINING JERUSALEM. THEIR INTENSE HATRED TOWARDS ISLAM INTENSIFIED SO MUCH SO THAT OUT OF TOTAL DESPERATION, THE CRUSADERS FROM EVERY EUROPEAN COUNTRY MADE A DESPERATE RALLY TOWARDS SYRIA AND ANOTHER SERIES OF FIERCE BATTLES WERE FOUGHT. ONCE AGAIN, SALAHUDDIN AND HIS GALLANT ARMY STOOD GALLANTLY THROUGH THE CONCENTRATED CHRISTIAN FURY AND HATRED. AFTER ANOTHER 5 LONG YEARS OF RELENTLESS FIGHTING, THE CHRISTIANS CONCEDED DEFEAT AND A TRUCE WAS SIGNED AT RAMLA IN 587 A.H. (1192 A.D.). THE MUSLIMS WERE TOTALLY VICTORIOUS AND RETAINED JERUSALEM AND ALL OTHER TOWNS THAT WERE LIBERATED FROM THE CHRISTIANS.
IT IS SAID THAT WHEN REGINALD THE MASTER OF KRAK WAS TAKEN PRISONER, HE WAS INVITED INTO SALAHUDDIN'S TENT AND ASKED TO SIT NEXT TO HIM. THIS ARROGANT ENEMY OF ISLAM EVEN REFUSED TO ACCEPT A GLASS OF WATER FROM THE HAND OF SALAHUDDIN AND SHOWED NO REMORSE WHATSOEVER FOR VOWING TO DESECRATE THE QABUR AND BURN THE REMAINS OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHOO ALAYHI WASALLAM. HE WAS OFFERED TO ACCEPT ISLAM AND AFTER HE HAD REFUSED, SALAHUDDIN REMARKED THAT HE TOO HAD TAKEN AN OATH TO PROTECT THE HONOUR AND DIGNITY OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH'S BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHOO ALAYHI WASALLAM. THIS ARCH-ENEMY OF ISLAM WAS DECAPITATED AND THUS THE OATH OF SALAHUDDIN HAD BEEN FULFILLED.
PEOPLE CAME TO VISIT HIM FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE AND FLOCKED TO HIS COURT FROM ALL PARTS. HE NEVER DISAPPOINTED THE HOPES OF VISITORS NOR ALLOWED THEM TO DEPART WITH EMPTY HANDS. WHEN THE CRUSADERS HEARD THAT SALAHUDDIN WAS RULING SUCCESSFULLY THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT HE WOULD SOON OVERTAKE THEM, LAY WASTE THEIR USURPED DWELLINGS AND WIPE AWAY ALL TRACES OF THEIR RULE. THIS WOULD MOST PROBABLY HAVE HAPPENED BUT SALAHUDDIN HAD ONE SUBSTANTIAL OBSTACLE, THE DISUNITY OF THE MUSLIMS. THEY HAD IMMENSE RICHES AND NATURAL STRENGTH IN THE REGION AND SPENT MOST OF THEIR TIME FIGHTING EACH OTHER RATHER THAN THE REAL ENEMY. IT TOOK SALAHUDDIN 18 YEARS TO GET THE ATTENTION OF THE MUSLIMS IN ORDER TO LIBERATE MUSLIM LANDS. DURING THAT TIME MUSLIMS WERE BARELY HOLDING OUT IN EGYPT AND SYRIA. YET SLOWLY, SALAHUDDIN’S EXAMPLE THROUGH PERSUASION, TEACHING, TIME AND UNDERSTANDING WORKED TO UNITE THE MUSLIMS. “KURDS, TURKS, ARABS AND EGYPTIANS THEY WERE ALL MUSLIMS,” LANE WRITES. “IN SPITE OF THEIR DIFFERENCES OF RACE, THEIR NATIONAL JEALOUSIES…HE HAD KEPT THEM TOGETHER…”
THE NON-MUSLIMS OF JERUSALEM ASKED FOR MERCY AND HE GAVE IT. EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD WAS ALLOWED TO RANSOM THEMSELVES FOR A PALTRY PRICE. HE KEPT ORDER IN EVERY STREET AND REFUSED TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK TO BE VERBALLY ABUSED, MUCH LESS MOLESTED. WHAT A FAR CRY FROM THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIANS OF 1099 (AND THE 1980S) WHO KILLED, TORTURED, SHOT IN COLD BLOOD AND BURNT DEFENCELESS MUSLIMS IN THE STREETS OF AL-AQSA. “FORTUNATE WERE THE MERCILESS BECAUSE THEY OBTAINED MERCY AT THE HANDS OF THE MUSLIM SULTAN,” SAID LANE. SALAHUDDIN SAID, “WELL, WHEN BY ALLAH’S HELP NOT ONE CRUSADER IS LEFT ON THIS COAST, I INTEND TO DIVIDE MY TERRITORIES AND TO CHANGE THE SUCCESSORS WITH MY LAST COMMANDS, THEN, HAVING TAKEN LEAVE FROM THEM, I WILL SAIL ON THIS SEA TO ITS LANDS ACROSS THE WATER UNTIL THERE SHALL NOT REMAIN ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH ONE UNBELIEVER IN ALLAH OR I WILL DIE IN THIS ATTEMPT”.
SALAHUDDIN WAS A TRUE SON OF ISLAM, HE WAS A MAN OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY AND ENERGY. AFTER HUNDREDS OF YEARS HE HAD SUCCEEDED IN UNITING THE VARIOUS NATIONS AND TRIBES INTO A SINGLE UMMAH BY MAKING THEM FORGET THEIR NATIONALISTIC FEUDS AND TRIBAL JEALOUSIES FOR THE SAKE OF ISLAM. THIS FAITHFUL SON OF ISLAM (MAY ALLAH BE PLEASED WITH HIM) PASSED AWAY ON THE 27TH OF SAFAR 598 A.H. HIS GREAT LOVE FOR ISLAM, HIS SELFLESS CRUSADING SPIRIT HAD MADE THE MUSLIM WORLD SAFE FROM THE OPPRESSION, HATRED AND TYRANNY OF THE WEST. FAITH AND IMAAN IN ISLAM IS THE ONLY UNIFYING FORCE OF THE MUSLIM UMMAH AND OUR BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHOO ALAYHI WASALLAM ITS ONLY LEADER AND GUIDE.
WE ARE GREATLY MISTAKEN IF WE THINK THAT THE WAR AGAINST THE CRUSADERS ENDED 800 YEARS AGO. THIS 'WAR OF HATRED' CONTINUES UP TO THIS VERY MOMENT BECAUSE OF THE GLARING ONGOING ATROCITIES BEEN PERPETRATED AGAINST THE UMMAH IN PALESTINE, LEBANON, CHECHENYA, KASHMIR AND IRAQ. IF WE ARE TO COMPLY WITH THE DIRECT COMMAND OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH, IT IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE THAT WE AS AN UMMAH MAKE OURSELVES INDEPENDENT OF THE KUFFAR WEST AND ATTAIN A POSITION WITHOUT HAVING TO LOOK AT THE UNITED NATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION.
THIS WAS THE SPIRIT OF RAMADHAN THAT ENABLED OUR RIGHTEOUS FOREFATHERS TO FACE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGES. IT WAS A TIME OF INTENSE ACTIVITY, SPENDING THE DAY IN THE SADDLE AND THE NIGHT IN PRAYER WHILE CALLING UPON ALLAH FOR HIS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS.
TODAY, THE MUSLIM WORLD IS FACED WITH DROUGHT, MILITARY AGGRESSION, WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION AND TEMPTING MATERIALISM. SURELY WE ARE IN NEED OF BELIEVERS WHO CAN WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET, SALLALLAAHU 'ALAYHI WA SALLAM, THE ILLUSTRIOUS SAHABAH, TARIQ IBN ZIYAD, SALAHUDDIN AND THE COUNTLESS HEROES OF ISLAM. SURELY WE ARE IN NEED OF BELIEVERS WHO ARE UNAFRAID OF THE THREATS OF THE DISBELIEVERS, YET KIND AND HUMBLE TO THE BELIEVING PEOPLE, MUSLIMS WHOSE FAST IS COMPLETE AND NOT JUST A SOURCE OF HUNGER AND THIRST.
MAY ALLAH RAISE UP A GENERATION OF MUSLIMS WHO CAN CARRY ISLAM TO ALL CORNERS OF THE GLOBE IN A MANNER THAT BEFITS OUR AGE, AND MAY HE GIVE US THE STRENGTH AND THE SUCCESS TO LAY THE PROPER FOUNDATIONS FOR THEM. MAY ALLAH MAKE US OF THOSE WHO CARRY OUT OUR ISLAM DURING RAMADHAN AND AFTER IT AND MAY HE NOT MAKE US OF THOSE WHO SAY WHAT THEY DO NOT DO. SURELY ALLAH AND HIS ANGELS INVOKE BLESSINGS AND PEACE UPON OUR PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH). O YOU, WHO BELIEVE, SEND PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO HIM FOREVER.
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
LOVE, DEVOTION AND INFLUENCE OF A MOTHER
THE WORD MOTHER IS SWEETER TO THE LIPS THAN HONEY, MORE MELODIOUS TO THE EAR THAN A CARESSING POETRY, MORE PRECIOUS TO THE HEART THAN THE PUREST JOY.
WHO IS A MOTHER? A MOTHER IS THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS EARTH WHO CAN CRY WHEN SHE IS HAPPY, LAUGH WHEN SHE IS HEARTBROKEN AND WORK WHEN SHE IS FEELING ILL. A MOTHER IS AS GENTLE AS A LAMB AND AS STRONG AS A LION. ONLY A MOTHER CAN APPEAR SO WEAK AND HELPLESS YET DO MANY THINGS THAT A FATHER CANNOT DO. A MOTHER IS ALSO A PICTURE OF HELPLESSNESS WHEN FATHER IS NEAR AND A MARVEL OF RESOURCEFULNESS WHEN SHE IS ALL ALONE. AND THERE IS NO GREATER THRILL IN LIFE, THAN TO POINT TO THAT WONDERFUL WOMAN AND BE ABLE TO SAY TO THE WORLD, "THAT'S MY MOTHER!"
ONE OUTSTANDING INFLUENCE OF A MOTHER IS TRAINING OF THE YOUNG MINDS WITH A DESIRE FOR VIRTUE. A MOTHER FOLLOWS THE PROGRESS OF HER CHILDREN, AND OFTEN INSTRUCTS THEM IN THEIR DUTIES. THANKS TO THE MOTHER'S CARE, HER CHILDREN SURPASSED IN GOOD BEHAVIOUR. CHILDREN ARE REPLICAS AND REFLECTIONS OF THEIR PARENTS, PARTICULARLY OF THEIR MOTHERS WITH WHOM THEY HAVE THE MOST FREQUENT CONTACT.
MANY MEN OF THE PAST HAVE BEEN RICHLY BLESSED BY WHAT THEY LEARNED FROM THEIR MOTHERS. THE MATERNAL INFLUENCE EXPERIENCED BY THESE LEADERS BORE RICH FRUIT IN THEIR LIVES. THINK OF THE WESLEY BROTHERS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, JOHN NEWTON, EMERSON AND OTHERS. THEIR NAMES WOULD PROBABLY NEVER HAVE LIGHTED THE PAGES OF HISTORY, IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR THE WOMEN WHO RAISED THEM IN HOMES WHERE THE LAW OF LOVE WAS THEIR DAILY GUIDE AND INSPIRATION.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN DECLARED, "NO MAN IS POOR WHO HAS A GOOD MOTHER." OTHER QUOTATIONS BY GREAT PEOPLE ARE MOTHERS, YOU HAVE A HIGH AND HOLY CALLING. BY YOUR WORDS AND YOUR EXAMPLE YOU ARE TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE LOVE OF GOD. WHAT A CHALLENGE! WHAT A PRIVILEGE!
HERE ARE A FEW RULES IN TRAINING YOUR CHILDREN. TEACH THEM TO PRAY AS SOON AS THEY CAN SPEAK. GIVE THEM NOTHING THEY CRY FOR AND ONLY WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM. AND COMMEND AND REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOUR. LET US HONOUR OUR MOTHERS, NOT ONLY WITH WORDS OF PRAISE, BUT WITH LIVES THAT REFLECT THE IMPACT OF THEIR INFLUENCE! THE CHAIN OF A MOTHER'S PRAYERS CAN LINK HER CHILD TO GOD.
MOTHER'S HANDS CAN DO ALMOST ANYTHING, FROM WIPING AWAY TEARS TO MAKING AN OLD DRESS LOOK NEW AND BEAUTIFUL AGAIN. THEIR EYES WOULD TWINKLE WITH DELIGHT AT THE SMALLEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THEIR CHILDREN. THEY WAIT WITH PATIENCE WHEN ENDLESS QUESTIONS ARE ASKED AND GENTLY RESPOND TO EACH ONE. THEY CAN EXPLAIN THE BIGGEST MYSTERIES IN THE SIMPLEST WAY. WHEN THE CHILDREN ARE SICK IN BED THEY STAY AND ENTERTAIN THEM FOR HOURS AT A TIME. THEY CARRY THEM OFF TO BED WHEN THEY DROP OFF TO SLEEP IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACES. WHEN THEY ARE LONELY THEY SNUGGLE CLOSE TO THEM WITH THEIR REASSURING ARMS AROUND THEM. WHEN THE CHILDREN, AS TODDLERS, WALK AROUND THE HOUSE OR GARDEN, THEY ADJUST THEIR STEPS TO THE CHILD'S SMALL FEET. AND THEY WALK BY THEIR SIDES READY TO CATCH THEM IF THEY FALL.
BEING A MOTHER IS NEVER WITHOUT PROBLEMS. DIRTY DIAPERS, INTERRUPTED SLEEP, 24-HOUR DUTY WITHOUT PAY, AND THE RISK OF HEART-BREAK AND REJECTION TO NAME A FEW. BUT NO WOMAN WHO CHOOSES MOTHERHOOD OVER A CAREER EVER NEEDS TO FEEL THAT SHE HAS MISSED LIFE'S BEST. WE MUST NOT IDEALISE MOTHERS. THEY HAVE THEIR WEAKNESSES AND FAULTS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. NO WOMAN IS PERFECT. YET OUR PROHET (PBUH) HONOURED MOTHERS, AND SO SHOULD WE. LET'S GIVE MOTHERS THE LOVE AND RESPECT THEY DESERVE!
WHAT IS A MOTHER'S IDEA OF A DREAM HOUSE? THREE BEDROOMS, TWO LARGE BATHROOMS, A BIG FAMILY SITTING ROOM, A MODERN KITCHEN, AND A SPACIOUS GARAGE? OR MAY BE HER DREAM HOME WOULD HAVE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AND A VIEW OVERLOOKING A QUIET LAKE.
AS GOOD AS THESE FEATURES MAY BE, MOST MOTHERS KNOW IT TAKES MORE TO MAKE A HOUSE A HOME. THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS OF A HOME ARE THE SPIRITUAL QUALITIES AND THE LOVE BETWEEN FATHER, MOTHER AND CHILDREN. IT'S A PLACE WHERE MOTHER AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY WILL FIND TRUE JOY. A HOUSE IS BUILT BY HUMAN HANDS, A HOME BY HUMAN HEARTS!
A TEACHER GAVE HER CLASS A LESSON ON THE MAGNET AND WHAT IT DOES. THE NEXT DAY, IN A WRITTEN TEST, SHE INCLUDED THE QUESTION: "I AM A 6 LETTER WORD. THE FIRST LETTER IS M. I PICK UP THINGS. WHAT AM I?" WHEN THE TEST PAPERS WERE TURNED IN, THE TEACHER WAS ASTONISHED TO FIND MOST STUDENTS ANSWERED THE QUESTION WITH THE WORD MOTHER. YES, MOTHERS DO PICK UP THINGS. BUT THEY ARE MUCH MORE THAN 'MAGNETS', GATHERING UP CLOTHES AND PICKING UP TOYS AROUND THE HOUSE.
A GOOD MOTHER LOVES HER FAMILY AND PROVIDES AN ATMOSPHERE WHERE EACH MEMBER CAN FIND ACCEPTANCE, SECURITY AND UNDERSTANDING. SHE IS THERE WHEN CHILDREN NEED A LISTENING EAR, A COMFORTING WORD, A WARM HUG OR A LOVING TOUCH ON A FEVERED BROW. AND FOR THE MOTHER, HER GREATEST JOY IS IN HELPING HER CHILDREN. MOTHERS LIKE THAT DESERVE TO BE HONOURED NOT JUST ONE DAY OF THE YEAR BUT EVERYDAY. AND THAT RECOGNITION SHOULD INVOLVE MORE THAN WORDS. IT OUGHT TO BE SHOWN IN RESPECT AND THOUGHTFULNESS AND LOVING DEEDS.
ALTHOUGH THE MY MOTHER IS DEAD NOW, I STILL RETAIN VIVID PICTURES OF HER. SHE SHOWED A DEEP AFFECTION TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF US.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
The Big Issues:
(1) What makes him angry and how does he deal with his anger?
When choosing a life partner, there are numerous questions that should be asked and scenarios that should be explored. Following the principle that prevention is better than cure, it seems wise to air these questions and scenarios before a match is finalised. Some of the issues may appear trivial or mundane, but the stuff of everyday life is also the stuff of laughter, companionship, compromise and let's not forget the 'constructive criticisms'!
Other issues are more serious, and may be indicative of the potential for a dysfunctional marriage. Each marriage will have its ups and downs, but settling some of these matters may avoid the emergence of problems and consequent heartbreak and ultimately lead towards a genuine relationship.
The object of the quest for marriage is to explore all avenues that would clear up any confusion for both parties and lead towards bliss and contentment.
Questions may be asked directly or "researched" by observation, asking his relatives, members of the community, etc. The prospective bride may ask some of these questions when the couple meet, but many women may feel too shy to ask outright. Family or friends can also help with the research. In many Muslim countries, relatives of prospective partners often visit to check the person out!
Asking and answering such questions about him is not a bad thing and people should not hesitate to tell the truth when it concerns a possible marriage; the intent is to establish whether these two people are compatible. Avoiding a poor match will save all concerned from much heartache. At the same time, whether the marriage proceeds or not, any information thus gathered should be kept confidential. Any "faults" uncovered should not be generally broadcast in the community! We hope that inshAllah these questions below help you to find the best suitable match and may Allah bless your choice and make it a happy one for you and the world. Zawajun Mubarakoon!
These suggested questions are derived from two sources: an article entitled "Spousal Abuse and its Prevention" by Br. Abdul Rehman in Islamic Sisters International, and the feedback I received during a workshop I led on "Choosing a Marriage Partner" at the ISSRA Conference on Health and Social Issues, Toronto, May 25, 1996.
The questions below may not be relevant for everyone, but they are listed here as a guide and catalyst to help in identifying issues that may be important. In the section below most of the questions are for women who may want to ask their prospective husband. On the following page the 100 questions to ask before marriage are for either prospective husband or wife.
The Big Issues:
(1) What makes him angry and how does he deal with his anger?
Does he blame everybody but himself?
Does he stop talking to the person involved?
Does he bear grudges ("I'll get him back one day!")
Has he ever physically or mentally abused anyone with whom he was angry?
Does he get angry when those who may be wiser disagree or suggest an alternative point of view?
Does he ever forgive those with whom he was angry?
(2) How does he behave during a crisis?
Does he become hostile towards an uninvolved member of an ethnic group which is known to abuse followers of Islam?
What steps does he take to face and deal with pressure?
Does he remain optimistic that things will get better, and that after every difficulty comes ease?
(3) How does he feel about women's rights in a Muslim home?
Did he ever observe abuse from his father towards his mother?
Did he ever act to prevent abuse at home? How?
Did he believe that his father was always right?
How does he make decisions? Does he rely on his own wisdom? Does he consult with close friends?
Will he be willing to consult with his spouse on any decision?
Does he stick firmly to his decisions?
(4) How does he deal with money matters?
Does he save his money for the future?
Does he give money to charities?
When he decides to buy something, will he consult his spouse in making the decision?
How does he describe his own spending and attitude towards money?
(5) What does he expect from his wife and children?
How would he react if his expectations are not met?
What is his vision of family life?
Would he pitch in and co-operate in family chores and the upbringing of children?
Would he be willing to change to accommodate your views?
(6) What is his family like?
What level of religiousness is in his family?
Does their approach to Islam differ from yours?
If this is a mixed match, are his folks open to outsiders, or will you face exclusion?
(7) What is his medical background?
(Many Imams in the US are now refusing to conduct Nikah until they see proof that the couple have undergone blood tests and have been given a clean bill of health)
Is there any history of major illness in his family?
Does he suffer from any illnesses?
(8) What are his views on education of women and children?
Will he allow you to continue and/or return to education?
What are his views on education and schooling of children? If you have strong views on Islamic schools, home schooling, etc., find out if his views coincide with yours.
Will he take part in the children's upbringing and education? Will he teach them Qur'an?
(9) Where does he want to live?
Does he want to settle in the country where you now live?
Does he want to return to his homeland? Does he want to move to a new country altogether?
Will the family have to move frequently because of his profession?
Will he take your feelings into account when deciding where to live?
Does he aspire to a large and luxurious home, or will he settle for less? Does he want to live in the heart of the city, in the suburbs, or in an isolated rural setting?
Some of these are individual preferences- what may deeply concern some may not even be an issue to others, but if you have some strong feelings on a matter, it is better to get it out into the open before you make a commitment:
Do you agree on the "Zabiha or non-Zabiha meat" issue?
Does he insist on only eating the food of his own ethnic group, or are his tastes more eclectic?
Will he insist on having every meal cooked from scratch, or will you be able to have convenience food or take-away on busy days?
Does he have some strong preferences for meat, or will you "go vegetarian" some days?
Does he smoke? Do any of his family or friends smoke? Will he let people smoke in your non-smoking home?
(3) Going Out:
How does he feel about women going outside the home? studying outside? working outside?
Will he want to "check out" your friends and only let you visit those of whom he approves?
How does he feel about women driving?
Are either of you very keen to keep pets at home?
Do either of you have any allergies, dislikes, or phobias when it comes to animals?
Bent Rib: A Journey through women's issues in Islam by Huda al-Khattab 100 Premarital Questions
1. What is your concept of marriage?
2. Have you been married before?
3. Are you married now?
4. What are your expectations of marriage?
5. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
6. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
8. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
9. What is the role of religion in your life now?
10. Are you a spiritual person?
11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
13. What is your relationship between yourself and the Muslims community in your area?
14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
15. What can you offer your zawj (spouse), spiritually?
16. What is the role of the husband?
17. What is the role of the wife?
18. Do you want to practice polygamy?
19. What is your relationship with your family?
20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
26. How did you get to know them?
27. Why are they your friends?
28. What do you like most about them?
29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?
32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?
35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
38. Do you travel?
39. How do you spend your vacations?
40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
41. Do you read?
42. What do you read?
43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favor for you?
47. Do you like to write your feelings?
48. If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want (s) he to apologize to you?
50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
53. Do your friends use foul language?
54. Does your family use foul language?
55. How do you express anger?
56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
57. What do you do when you are angry?
58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
59. 5When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the conflict get resolved?
60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?
67. What is you definition of wealth?
68. How do you spend money?
69. How do you save money?
70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
72. Do you use credit cards?
73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?
77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
81. Do you want to have children? If not, how come?
82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
84. Do you believe in abortion?
85. Do you have children now?
86. What is your relationship with your children now?
87. What is your relationship with their other parent?
88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
89. What is the best method (s) of raising children?
90. What is the best method (s) of disciplining children?
91. How were you raised?
92. How were you disciplined?
93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
94. Do you believe in public school for your children?
95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of a different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL
"IS MONEY" A ROUTE TO FREEDOM. "MONEY" IS A HUMAN CONSTRUCT DESIGNED PRIMARILY AS AN INSTRUMENT OF CONTROL. HOW?
WELL IN GENERAL TERMS THE PERCEPTION IS THAT PEOPLE MUST "WORK" TO "EARN" THE "MONEY" THAT THEY "NEED" FOR THEIR DAILY NEEDS AND THOSE OF THEIR FAMILY, AND FOR REST AND RELAXATION AS WELL AS ALL THOSE OTHER LIFE "LUXURIES". THIS OF COURSE IS THE VERY BASIS OF THAT CONTROL.
MONEY FORCES PEOPLE IN TO A SYSTEM WHEREBY THEY ARE TOLD THEY MUST GO TO SCHOOL, GET GOOD ENOUGH GRADES TO GO TO UNIVERSITY, GET A DEGREE AND THEN GET A GOOD "JOB" TO WORK IN FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS BEFORE "RETIRING" ON A "PENSION", SOON TO LOSE INTEREST, BECOME "OLD" AND DIE.
IN REALITY THE CONTROLLERS OF THE HUMAN SYSTEM ENSURE THAT "WORKERS" RECEIVE JUST ENOUGH "PAY" TO FEED AND CLOTHE THEMSELVES AND FAMILY, BE GRANTED TWO DAYS PER WEEK AND THREE WEEKS "VACATION" OR "HOLIDAYS" FOR REST, IN ORDER TO REMAIN HEALTHY AND MOTIVATED ENOUGH TO KEEP WORKING FOR THE CONTROLLERS. THIS HAS BECOME ACCEPTED TO SUCH AN EXTENT, THAT GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES PERCEIVE IT AS "NORMAL" IN SOME WAY. IN FACT THE WHOLE "WORK" SYSTEM STRIPS PEOPLE OF THEIR TRUE FREEDOM.
WE CAN EXPERIENCE, AND HAVE THE FUNDAMENTAL DIVINE RIGHT TO EXPERIENCE ANYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE, PROVIDED WE HAVE GUIDANCE FROM THE CREATOR, WHICH IS THE NOBLE QUR'AN.
ONE OF THE GREAT PARADOXES THAT MANY HUMANS FACE IS THE INABILITY TO SEPARATE "MONEY" FROM "SUCCESS", "WEALTH" AND INDEED "EXPERIENCE" ITSELF, BELIEVING THAT THE ONLY ROUTE TO HAPPINESS IS BY ACQUIRING THE MONEY TO PURCHASE IT. IN REALITY, WE CAN EXPRESS IN TO EXPERIENCE ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMAGINE INSTANTLY BUT FEW PEOPLE HAVE THE NECESSARY FAITH AND GUIDANCE FROM OUR CREATOR TO ACHIEVE THAT AT THIS STAGE.
SO THE QUESTION ARISES, IF FAITH IS NECESSARY TO EXPERIENCE MATERIAL "THINGS" WHICH CAN ONLY BE GAINED IN THE CONTEXT OF "MONEY", IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE USE OF OUR GOD GIVEN ABILITIES TO ACTUALLY EXPRESS THE "MONEY" IN TO OUR EXPERIENCE TO "PURCHASE" OUR WISHES, NEEDS AND DESIRES?
WELL THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION, BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE FIND IT MUCH EASIER TO RELATE TO THE CONCEPT OF "PURCHASING" SOMETHING WITH "MONEY", WHICH IS "TANGIBLE", RATHER THAN EXPRESSING IT DIRECTLY WITHOUT HAVING TO "PAY" FOR IT.
WE SHOULD FOCUS ON USING OUR GOD GIVEN POWERS OF EXPRESSION FROM OUR CREATOR TO EXPRESS ANY EXPERIENCE OF OUR CHOOSING DIRECTLY, RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON "ATTRACTING" MONEY WHICH REALLY DOES NOT EXIST, EXCEPT AS BITS AND BYTES ON COMPUTER NETWORKS. ONLY 4% OF ALL MONEY IN CIRCULATION ACTUALLY HAS A TANGIBLE EQUIVALENT IN COINS OR NOTES, AND ONLY A FRACTION OF THAT HAS ANY TANGIBLE VALUE SUPPORTED WITH REAL ASSETS SUCH AS GOLD. HAVING SAID THAT, YES OF COURSE WE EXPRESS MONEY IN TO OUR EXPERIENCE IF WE SO WISH. SO HOW DO WE APPROACH THIS QUESTION?
"THE REASON WHY MOST PEOPLE FIND IT SO DIFFICULT TO MAKE MONEY IS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT MONEY REALLY IS. THEY PERCEIVE IT AS AN EFFECT ONLY, SOMETHING OUTSIDE THEMSELVES WHICH HOLDS THE EQUIVALENT OF ANY SPECIFIC WEALTH OR ADVANTAGE THEY MAY DESIRE. IN ITS TERMS ARE CONDENSED THE DIFFERING VALUES OF ALL THINGS; THEREFORE THE OBVIOUS WAY TO OBTAIN POSSESSION OF ANY PARTICULAR THING IS TO ACQUIRE FIRST THE SUM OF MONEY WHICH REPRESENTS ITS VALUE. BUT WHILE THE RELATION BETWEEN MONEY AND WHAT IT WILL DO IS VERY CLEAR TO EVERYONE, THAT IS AFTER ALL A VERY SUPERFICIAL ASPECT OF SOMETHING DEEPLY BEYOND MONEY ITSELF.
MONEY IS ACTUALLY COINED AS POWER, A MATERIALISED FORCE. IT IS THE EXPRESSION IN SUBSTANCE OF A STRENGTH WHICH HAS ITS ORIGIN IN THE INDIVIDUAL. TO SPEND MONEY MEANS TO TRADE THE CRYSTALLISED EFFORTS OF HUMAN BEINGS FOR AN OBJECT WORTH THAT AMOUNT OF WORK. TO EARN MONEY MEANS TO EXERT THROUGH YOUR OWN INNER QUALITIES A MEASURE OF POWER WHICH COMMANDS A CORRESPONDING RECOGNITION IN THE MATERIAL WORLD. TO FAIL TO ACCUMULATE MONEY IS TO ALLOW THOSE QUALITIES TO LIE IDLE AND UNUSED EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT OF BARE NECESSITY.
THE INDIVIDUAL, THEREFORE, IS LIKE A MILL ACROSS A RIVER; THE STREAM OF THE LIFE FORCE IS THE SOURCE OF ITS OWN ENERGY AND ACTIVITY, THE MOTIVATING POWER WHICH MAKES HIM FUNCTION. IN PROPORTION AS HE SCOOPS THAT DRIVING ENERGY FROM THE PASSING CURRENT, TRANSMITS IT ALONG THE VARIOUS RODS AND PISTONS OF HIS NERVOUS MECHANISM, AND STAMPS IT FINALLY THROUGH HIS DISTINCTIVE QUALITIES INTO THE RAW STUFF OF THE MATERIAL OR MENTAL WORLDS, HE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE POOL OF WEALTH AN ADDED QUOTA WHOSE VALUE MUST BE RETURNED TO HIM IN THE IMPERSONAL FORM OF MONEY. YET UNLESS HE DOES REALLY MAKE SUCH A CONTRIBUTION FIRST, NO AMOUNT OF ULTERIOR SCHEMING OR ACTIVITY WILL AVAIL TO BRING HIM THE CASH REWARD HE COVETS.
THIS IS WHY THE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO MAKE THE ACQUISITION OF MONEY THE MAIN OBJECT OF THEIR LIVES USUALLY FALL FAR SHORT OF THEIR AIM, WHILE OTHERS TO WHOM MONEY IS OF ONLY SECONDARY IMPORTANCE BESIDE SOME OTHER DOMINANT INTEREST OFTEN REAP ITS RICHEST REWARDS WITH NO APPARENT EFFORT IN THAT DIRECTION AT ALL. THE FORMER SEE ONLY MONEY, AND ARE BLIND TO THE MINT WITHIN THEMSELVES BY WHOSE OPERATION THEY CAN OBTAIN IT; THE LATTER ARE EXCLUSIVELY CONCERNED WITH OPERATING THEIR MINT WITHOUT ANY PERCEPTION OF WHAT IT PRODUCES. NEITHER HAVE QUITE ENOUGH VISION TO LINK THE CAUSE WITH THE EFFECT AND DISCERN THE INFALLIBLE NATURAL LAW WHICH THROUGH THEIR BUSINESS OF LIVING IS TRANSACTED.
THAT LAW, WHICH GOVERNS ALL THE EXCHANGES WHOSE SUM MAKES UP THE EXISTENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL, IS VARIOUSLY KNOWN AS THE LAW OF EXCHANGE, THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, OR THE LAW OF COMPENSATION. IT DETERMINES THAT WHATEVER AN INDIVIDUAL GIVES TO THE WORLD OF CONSTRUCTIVE PERSONAL EFFORT, NO MATTER IN WHAT DEPARTMENT OF LIFE, THE WORLD MUST RETURN ITS VALUE TO HIM IN THE ASPECT OF THAT WHOLLY IMPERSONAL POWER CALLED MONEY. IN OTHER WORDS, THE INDIVIDUAL STANDS MIDWAY BETWEEN THE VAST UNDIFFERENTIATED TIDE OF LIFE ENERGY AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS AS MATERIAL WEALTH. HE IS THE CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH IT PASSES FROM ONE CONDITION INTO THE OTHER, AND IN THE RATIO THAT HE CONTACTS IT AND THRUSTS IT INTO EXPRESSION THROUGH HIS ACTIVITIES, ITS EQUIVALENT IN CASH IS RETURNED TO HIM".
WELL FIRST AND FOREMOST MONEY IS ENERGY, IT FLOWS AND MUST BE ALLOWED TO FLOW. MANY PEOPLE BLOCK THE FLOW OF MONEY WITH A "NOT ENOUGH" STATE OF MIND. THEY ARE AFRAID TO SPEND MONEY ON ANYTHING BUT THE BASICS IN CASE THEY DO NOT "HAVE ENOUGH" IN FUTURE.
OTHER PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY "MISERLY", NOT SPENDING MONEY SO THEY CAN HANG ON TO IT. IF YOU ALLOW MONEY TO FLOW OUT OF YOUR LIFE NOT FRIVOLOUSLY, BUT ON THINGS THAT YOU EITHER GENUINELY NEED OR MAKE YOU HAPPY, THEN MONEY MUST FLOW IN TO YOUR LIFE IN THE SAME DEGREE. THE MORE YOU SPEND JOYOUSLY, THE MORE YOU WILL RECEIVE.
THOSE WHO ARE OBSESSED WITH MAKING MONEY WILL INEVITABLY MEET WITH LITTLE SUCCESS, WHILE THOSE THAT FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS, IN PARTICULAR SERVICE TO OTHERS BEFORE SERVICE TO SELF, WILL FIND THAT MONEY FLOWS TO THEM EFFORTLESSLY. ANOTHER IMPORTANT ASPECT OF MONEY FLOW IS GIVING AND RECEIVING. THE SIMPLY BUT PROFOUND ACT OF GIVING NOT ONLY IMPLIES SERVICE TO OTHERS, BUT ALSO IMPLIES ABUNDANCE, THUS ALLOWING EVEN MORE MONEY TO FLOW IN THE DIRECTION OF THE GIVING.
"EVENTUALLY MONEY ALWAYS SEEKS ITS OWN LEVEL, IN SPITE OF THE ARTIFICIAL BARRIERS ERECTED BY HUMAN SOCIETY TO RESTRAIN IT. TO MAKE MONEY IS ONE THING, TO KEEP IT IS ANOTHER. WHEN THE CAPACITY OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO EMPLOY CONSTRUCTIVELY DECREASES, THE AMOUNT HE IS ABLE TO COMMAND DECREASES ACCORDINGLY. MISUSE OF MONEY THROUGH APPLYING IT IN A DESTRUCTIVE AND WASTEFUL MANNER, DOES DECREASE THAT CAPACITY BY CLOSING UP THE CHANNELS IN THE INDIVIDUAL. THE RESULT IS THAT THE VOLUME OF ITS FLOW SHRINKS TO ACCOMMODATE ITSELF TO THE NARROWER CHANNEL, LEAVING THE INDIVIDUAL MUCH WORSE OFF THAN HE WAS BEFORE. ON THE OTHER HAND, THOSE WHO ARE CONSTANTLY ENLARGING THEIR CAPACITY TO HANDLE MONEY PROPERLY GET THE BENEFIT OF WHAT OTHERS LOSE.
UNFORTUNATELY, VERY FEW HUMAN BEINGS KNOW HOW TO USE MONEY PROPERLY, ESPECIALLY IF IT HAS COME TO THEM THROUGH NO SPECIAL EFFORT OR MERIT OF THEIR OWN. THE CYNICAL OBSERVATION THAT IT IS "INHERITTED". IN FACT, NOT BECAUSE THE SON OF A RICH MAN IS NECESSARILY LESS ENDOWED WITH THE NATURAL ABILITY TO HANDLE MONEY, BUT BECAUSE HE HAS NEVER BEEN OBLIGED TO EXERT HIS OWN QUALITIES IN PAYMENT FOR IT. CONSEQUENTLY HIS CAPACITY TO HANDLE IT IS NOT DEVELOPED; HE IS BLIND TO ITS VALUE BECAUSE HE CANNOT SEE ITS CONSTRUCTIVE USES THROUGH HIMSELF; AND LIKE A LEAKY FAUCET NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE TO REPAIR HE LETS IT SPURT IN WASTEFUL EXTRAVAGANCE THROUGH EVERY VENT BUT THE RIGHT ONE, MEANWHILE JUSTIFYING HIS FOLLY WITH THE SELFISH CONTENTION THAT THE MONEY HE FLINGS AWAY IS HIS OWN. BUT HE IS WRONG. NOBODY REALLY OWNS MONEY, ALTHOUGH IT SOMETIMES SEEMS TO BE A PERSONAL POSSESSION.
INDIVIDUALS ARE SIMPLY TRUSTEES APPOINTED TO LOOK AFTER ITS PROPER USE AND DISTRIBUTION. THEIR TERM OF OFFICE COMMENCES WITH THEIR FIRST RESPONSIBILITY AND EXPIRES WITH THEIR LAST, AND THE TRUSTS BESTOWED UPON THEM ARE IN PROPORTION TO THE WORTH THEY PROVE. IF THEY FULFIL THEIR DUTIES INTELLIGENTLY AND HONESTLY, A GREATER POWER IS PLACED AT THEIR DISPOSAL. IF ON THE CONTRARY THEY ARE VAIN AND FOOLISH, AND FAIL TO MEASURE UP TO THE DEMANDS OF THEIR POSITION, THEY ARE DOOMED SOME DAY TO SEE THEIR AUTHORITY DRAIN AWAY LIKE AN EBBING TIDE, LEAVING THEM STRANDED ON THE BLEAK SHORE OF POVERTY. THIS APPLIES NOT ONLY TO THE SPEND-THRIFT, BUT TO HIS COUNTERPART, THE MISER, AS WELL.
SINCE MONEY COMPREHENDS ALL THE WEALTH OF THE TWO WORLDS OF MIND AND MATTER, IT IS THE GOLDEN KEY AT WHOSE TOUCH EVERY DOOR WITHIN THOSE PRECINCTS FLIES QUICKLY OPEN. THEREFORE MANY OF TIMID VISION ARE DAZZLED BY IT AND WORSHIP IT AS THE SUPREME POWER ON WHOSE ALTAR THEY ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEIR DEAREST POSSESSIONS, EVEN THEIR OWN SOULS. SUCH AN ATTITUDE IS UTTERLY WRONG.
MONEY CAN NEVER BE THE SUPREME POWER, BECAUSE THERE IS ONE DOOR WHICH IT CAN NEVER UNLOCK, THE DOOR OF LOVE. THE CLEAN AND PERFECT PART OF OUR TRIUNE NATURE, WHERE OUR HIGHER SPIRITUAL QUALITIES ARE ENTHRONED, IS BEYOND ITS REACH ONCE AND FOREVER. THOSE WHO ABANDON THEIR TRUE ALLEGIANCE AND PLACE MONEY IN ITS STEAD BOW THEIR HEADS TO FALSE GODS AND INVITE THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION, BECAUSE THEY PUT IN THE PLACE OF MASTERY THAT WHICH IS MEANT TO BE A SERVANT TO THEM.
THE RIGHTFUL PLACE OF MONEY IS THE SEAT OF HONOUR AT THE FOOT OF THE THRONE, NOT THE SEAT OF AUTHORITY ON IT. MONEY IS A SECONDARY POWER, WHICH WILL SERVE YOU AS NOTHING ELSE SO LONG AS YOU DIRECT AND GUIDE IT TO THE SATISFACTION OF YOUR NEEDS OR AMBITIONS. BUT THE MOMENT YOU GIVE THE SCEPTRE INTO ITS HAND, YOU SUBMIT YOUR NECK TO A YOKE OF SLAVERY THAT WILL GRIND YOU MERCILESSLY INTO THE DUST, BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE DEPRIVED YOUR HIGHER QUALITIES OF THE CONTROL WHICH THEY ALONE CAN EXERCISE.
JUST AS VERMIN BREED IN THE DARK, SO WILL ALL NEGATIVE EMOTIONS BREED WHEN YOU CLOSE THE DOOR OF LOVE THROUGH WHICH YOUR HIGHER NATURE SHOULD POUR ITS CLEANSING LIGHT. TO DESPISE MONEY, OR TO ENVY IT IN OTHERS, WILL NEVER BRING IT TO YOURSELF. CONTEMPT AND ENVY ARE SIMPLY DIFFERENT FORMS OF HATRED. HATRED REPELS AND DESTROYS. THEREFORE TO HATE ANYTHING IS TO BUILD A WALL OF CONSUMING FIRE BETWEEN IT AND YOURSELF. YOU CRIPPLE YOUR OWN ABILITY TO OBTAIN IT, BECAUSE IT WITHERS AT YOUR TOUCH. SO, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE MONEY, YOU MUST LEARN FIRST HOW TO APPRECIATE IT, HOW TO LOVE AND VALUE IT, NOT AS A GOD OR MASTER, BUT AS A FAITHFUL SERVANT ALWAYS OBEDIENT TO YOUR CONTROL.
A PROPER DEVELOPMENT OF MONEY CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGHOUT ALL MANKIND WOULD MAKE UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE THE TREMENDOUS CONTRASTS BETWEEN WEALTH AND POVERTY SO PREVALENT TODAY. THE IDEAL OF AN EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF RICHES, WHICH SOME EXTREMISTS URGE SHOULD BE IMPOSED FORCIBLY UPON PEOPLE WHOLLY UNDESERVING OF IT, WOULD THEN EMERGE NATURALLY, BECAUSE THROUGH A MORE EVEN DEVELOPMENT OF THE MONEY CONSCIOUSNESS OF EVERYONE THE DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THEIR CAPACITIES TO HANDLE MONEY WOULD BE WIPED AWAY. REFORMS START FROM WITHIN, NOT FROM WITHOUT. THE ONLY WAY TO GET TWO QUARTS OF WATER AT ONCE INTO A ONE-QUART MEASURE IS TO REFORM THE MEASURE FIRST".
THE TRUTH THAT ULTIMATELY MONEY IS NOT AN ENTITY, OR AN AUTHORITY IN ANY WAY, BUT RATHER A STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS THAT SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF IN THAT CONTEXT AND IN THE RIGHT WAY, AS ENERGY THAT FLOWS; NOT A SOURCE OF OBSESSION.
YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT MONEY IS A LIVING FORCE, AND THAT HAVING BEEN BROUGHT TO A CLIMAX IT CANNOT BE HELD THERE INDEFINITELY WITHOUT STAGNATING. IF IT IS NOT KEPT HEALTHY BY A CONSTRUCTIVE AND REFRESHING FLOW, IT WILL MOST CERTAINLY DISSIPATE ITSELF IN AN UNHEALTHY AND DESTRUCTIVE RIOT OF SELF-CONSUMING NEGATIVE ACTION. MOVEMENT FORWARD IS LIFE, AND LIFE IS THE ONLY ASSURANCE AGAINST THE DECAY OF DEATH. CONSEQUENTLY YOUR TASK IS TO KEEP THE MONEY OVER WHICH YOU HAVE CONTROL IN CONSTANT CIRCULATION, SO THAT IT DOES NOT PILE UP BEHIND THE DAM OF YOUR NEGLECT AND TURN YOUR HEALTHY MONEY CONSCIOUSNESS INTO A POISONOUS VENOM. YOU MUST REGULATE ITS OUTPOUR TO ITS INFLOW.
IN THIS PROCEDURE BE CLEARLY CONSCIOUS OF WHAT MONEY REALLY IS. KNOW THAT IT IS A POWER FLOWING TO YOU AND THROUGH YOU CONTINUALLY. LET YOUR REALISATION OF ITS TRUE NATURE DICTATE YOUR PERCEPTION OF IT. FEEL YOUR IDENTITY WITH THE LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF ABUNDANCE AND WEALTH. DO NOT BEG FOR MONEY, OR INDULGE A SUBSERVIENT ATTITUDE TOWARD IT. EXPERIENCE, RATHER THE JOY AND CERTAINTY OF POSSESSION, THE SENSE OF YOUR RIGHT TO IT AS ONE OF THE INHERENT POWERS TO WHICH YOU ARE BORN. RECOGNISE AND DEVELOP YOUR CAPACITY TO CONTROL IT, AND BE CONFIDENTLY READY TO RECEIVE IT IN PROPORTION.