Categories
Deen of Peace

TheRamadhanBaby 14: Cradle to Grave

Civilizations throughout history have flourished on knowledge. Today, countries regarded as developed in which there are better prospects for citizens are those who place high value on knowledge and thus enjoy advancement.
The first revealed verses were a command to read, with references to teaching, writing and the pen (Q96:1-5). This and many other verses talk about books, and Him being the source of all knowledge thus showing the great importance of knowledge. The Prophet always had scribes to record revelations, his narrations, political affairs and various treaties and agreements.

The companions and those who came after them spent their lives constantly gaining knowledge, with much sacrifice and going through great lengths of time and distance to do so. Gender and age were no barriers. It is how we have the Qur’an in written form, collections of Hadith and treatises on many other areas like medicine, genealogy, politics, algebra, astronomy, commerce, and other sciences and arts. Much of this is still relevant today. Try doing some research on the first university in the world, Al- Jabr, Al- Khawarzmi, the libraries of Baghdad and Damascus centuries ago. It is saddening how we have trivialized and even destroyed our own heritage.

It is not something to be slack about. We should not live our lives content with what we learnt as children or worse, the knowledge of our ancestors. We also need to stop giving excuses as the early Muslims had greater challenges. It is a lifelong duty.

We must always seek answers to our problems and learn more about our religion. Through that can we truly make our existence on earth a worthwhile one and be of benefit to others whether they share our beliefs or not. For it is a lack of correct knowledge that would make a person destroy innocent lives ostensibly to defend Allah, His Prophet and the religion. What they achieve instead is harming everyone regardless of creed.

Learn the aspects of Iman, how to perform Salah as the Prophet(peace be upon him) said, “Pray as you have seen me pray.” Learn the conditions of fasting, Zakat and Hajj. Learn about family life in Islam, treatment of relatives, neighbours, men , women and children. Learn the Qur’an, Hadith, stories of the Prophets. For we would find nought in this except goodness.

Learn whatever skills you have a flair for, are good at or are interested in and seek to be the best at it. Support and carry out research. Use this knowledge to benefit humanity. Just think where we would be in the absence of vaccines, aeroplanes, cars , trains, satellites, the Internet and countless other aspects of the modern world we take for granted.

If we do not know, we can not teach. The best thing we leave after we die is our body of knowledge.

Categories
Cerebral Pops

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 16
I prefer people who are smart, reasonable,confident etc

What would the world be like without them? When I meet people, there are certain traits I look out for. I like it if they are organized, confident and calm.

Shifty and timid people put me off. Confidence opens otherwise closed doors. Being able to carry out tasks efficiently is endearing to bosses. Intuition and common sense are also required to get by in life. 

I am of the opinion that self-respect and the right amount of pride go a long way in defining someone’s  personality. People have a high level of dignity rarely engage in activities that demean them. Most criminals were bullied as children and thus grew up with low self-esteem. Crimes attract attention to them and give them a false sense of control.

It pays off to be rational and make sense of current happenings with an unbiased mind. It is also neccessary to be practical and realistic in all situations. I like to tell others, ‘Be optimistic but not so much as to be unrealistic’. It helps to separate the idyllic nature of dreams from the reality of life.

I’m not even sure these are the only qualities I like to see in people. I however believe that some of us just have them all. This does not mean the rest of us should give up. 

There is always room for character improvement.

Categories
Cerebral Pops

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 14
I stand against injustice.

Everywhere around us, people are being cheated, stolen from or being deprived. I feel  very sad when these kind of people can neither fight back nor defend themselves. 

Why must the strong oppress the weak? Why do the rich rip off the poor? Why are our leaders treating us this way? The degree of injustice is just too appalling.
I’d illustrate with a few examples.

~ starving a child because she was naughty is not fair. This form of discipline makes no sense

~ sending your wife packing at the slightest provocation or going as far as battering her for silly reasons(only weak men beat their wives) 

~ refusing to pay workers’s wages for their labour.
Maltreating casual workers also falls in this category.

~ when the police becomes your enemy and murder unharmed civilians for refusing to pay bribe

~ the rich using the police and thugs to deal with opponents

~ rape is a form of injustice

~ selling the same piece of land to more than one buyer

~ landlords ejecting tenants on whim

~ bus conductors holding on to passengers’ change
 while drivers wantonly hike fares

~ all forms of cheating in business transactions

~ armed robbers smashing the heads of babies just because the parents have nothing they can steal

~ aborting a foetus because you do not want to face responsibility

~ political office holders helping themselves to the public treasury while they abandon the masses and their needs

~ bullying

~ doctors denying a patient adequate treatment because he is poor

~ discrimination on basis of gender, race, tribe or religion

~ a suicide bomber setting off his bomb in a crowded marketplace, church or mosque

~ sexual harassment

~ blackmail

~ election rigging

~ when siren-blaring governors  brutalize a young mother and her children because she did not  give way

~ when militarymen beat up a woman and her colleagues for daring to compete with them on the road 

~even traffic officials brutalise motorists

~ forcing women and children into hard unpaid labour or prostitution( home and abroad)

~ when drug manufacturers sell fake drugs that kill patients including babies

~ starting a war based on lies, occupying a country under false pretexts,causing the death of innocent  civilians, destroying their heritage and future

~ taking inadequate safety measures around nuclear establishments leading to horrible diseases and mutation in the local population

~ keeping people in prison without trial
 
I said a few right? If you can identify each of these scenarios, then you know many more.
In every case of injustice, the one with the upper hand subjugates the weaker. The latter can not resist. The oppressor knows this and exploits the victims. 
No matter how insignificant it may seem, injustice is injustice.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the world’s major religions condemn injustice yet ‘believers’ are the worst culprits when they commit atrocities in the name of religion.

Please let us stop this in whatever way we can, even if it means returning a stolen sweet to a crying child.

Categories
Cerebral Pops

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 2
I hate lies.

It has become a widely accepted norm to lie with impunity. The lies I detest the most are the totally unnecessary ones.

You are in a Lagos-Oshodi bus and the person beside you says to someone over the phone, “Yes, I’m in Abuja right now”. I feel disgust each one of the many times this happens.

Sometimes people lie to cover up some bad thing they have done. My question is, “Why did you do it in the first place?” Don’t you know that you would need a bagful of lies to cover your tracks?

Lies wreck marriages, destroy families, erode trust, devalue integrity and cause terrible wars.

We learnt in religious class that lying is a sin. We teach our young children the same and then we lie to our friends, classmates or co-workers.Doesn’t the saying, ‘Honesty is the best policy’ ring a bell anymore?

I know how difficult it is to stick to the truth especially when we stand to lose something important.
Yet we all must try to be as truthful as we can. The world can do with a lot less deceit.