Generation of adulterated milk

 

It seems Indian and Pakistani Punjab is in the race when it comes to contaminated and adulterated milk. United Punjab was known for health before partition. Regrettably, in recent decades, both sides of Punjab are known more for scandals. For years now people of Punjab on both sides are suffering.

As much as 80 percent packed as well as unpacked milk is adulterated and contamination is posing serious health hazards to Lahorites, says data collected during five years by City District Government Food Department in 2008. In June 2008 Mr Shahbaz Sharif became the Chief Minister of Punjab, in December 2008 he led some serious steps. CM Punjab announced to set up a Food Authority to mark off the phenomenal increase in adulteration.

According to a report published in national newspapers in 2008, adulterants in milk include urea, sub-standard cooking oil, unhygienic water, formalin, a chemical used by doctors to preserve the human body, penicillin for enhancing the thickness and fragrance of milk, hair removing powder, sweetening agents to improve its taste and urea to lend it uniformity.

Milk suppliers use Formalin, a chemical used by doctors to preserve the human body, to preserve large quantities of milk during transportation to Lahore from rural countries. The report added that milkmen also injected unsupervised and inconsistent doses of steroids and other chemicals into cattle to obtain more milk, but this brought down the calcium content in the milk and the affected human body adversely. The report disclosed that during the examination of samples, the presence of the industrial chemical, melamine, have been found in milk powder manufactured by multinational milk companies. The report informed that melamine is an industrial compound found in plastics that has been practiced by unscrupulous manufacturers. Melamine, that has caused kidney stones or kidney failure, especially among infants, is added to the milk in order to lower prices, the report said.

Pakistan was the sixth largest milk producer in the world in 2010. In 2016 Pakistan with a 40 billion liters per year production capacity, have become the third largest milk producer in the global. Overall, the industry contributes to 11% of the country’s GDP.

In 2010 Khawaja Muhammad Asif of PMLN submitted a study submitted to the University of Cambridge revealed that Pakistan produced 17 billion liters of milk and consumed 38 billion liters and anybody could explain how it was doubled. He stated that companies mixed urea and other contaminations in the milk.

“Pakistanis are drinking white poison in the shape of packed and unpacked milk”

PMLQ’s Riaz Fatyana said during the proceedings of a parliamentary committee on food adulteration that government laboratories had found that milk companies were adulterating it with bleaching powder, urea and muddy water and that milk supplied by none of the companies was fit for human ingestion. He said his own investigation had revealed that the most of the adulterated milk came from military farms in Okara. The supply of adulterated and substandard milk was naked cruelty to the citizenry and the government should seriously look into it. The loose milk available with milkmen was much better, he said. Bushra Gohar of ANP said the food adulteration was a life-threatening issue, but it should be expected that imposition of RGST would improve the milk quality. She stated she was also concerned that profits of the milk companies were going out of the country.

The above revelations were submitted during a public hearing of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue in 2010.

In September 2011, an inter-court appeal (ICA) was registered after an LHC single bench’s judgement on December 22nd, 2010 that dismissed a petition filed by the Watan Party through Barrister Zafarullah Khan, who had asserted that melamine and other chemicals injurious to human health were being used in the packaged milk. The bench had held that a report by a German laboratory had declared the milk fit for human consumption and hence the media reports which claimed the milk was adulterated had no value.

The petitioner submitted that MNAs, including Khawaja Asif of the PMLN, Riaz Fatyana the PMLQ and Faisal Saleh Hayat of the PML-Q had also set up the issue during proceedings of the parliamentary committee on food and adulteration. He contended that out of 19,718 samples of milk collected by the Food Department in the last five years, almost 17,529 samples were found adulterated

In April 2016 the Punjab Food Authority wasted more than 6000 litres of unhealthy and unhygienic milk during a crackdown.

Justice Ayesha A Malik took up the request filed by the Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Watan Party on April 2016 The Lahore High Court today sought assistance from the Advocate General Punjab in a petition challenging the sale of poor and adulterated milk in the province, causing fatal diseases to citizens.

In July 2016 the two-member bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman heard the appeal filed by Watan Party against the sale of adulterated milk at Supreme Court Lahore Registry. The bench made remarks that no one would be permitted to play havoc with the lives of citizens and converted it into a show moto notice due to the seriousness of the matter.

On September 2016, Supreme Court ordered a chemical examination of all domestic and international brands selling packed milk in Pakistan. The order was brought out by a two judge bench after a petition from Barrister Zafarullah Khan against the government of Punjab for not banning these products.

On 27th Dec 2016 a hearing was kept back in Supreme Court Lahore registry against selling of unhealthy milk in Punjab. The lawsuit was heard by Justice Saqib Nisar, and Justice Sheikh Azmat Syed. An examination report was submitted proving contaminated elements in milk produced and propagated by some companies. Ten pasteurized milk samples were tested by the Pakistan Council of Scientific and industrial research (PCSIR). Out of 10 pasteurised milk samples only one found fit for human consumption.

Justice Saqib Nisar stated that we are allowing the Punjab Food Authority to carry out its activity throughout Punjab. He called for the Director General of Punjab Food Authority to visit all districts in Punjab and take samples for test as a representative of the court. He further said that this case is of great importance, we will conclude the case of unhealthy milk as clean water and pure milk are basic necessities of all residents. The court ordered Punjab Food Authority to bring action against unhealthy milk vendors throughout Punjab and submit a report in the coming hearing in January, 2017.

Unfortunately even in 2016/2017 percentage of this criminal activity is equally strong as it was in 2005 or 2008 or 2010.

Despite Supreme Court’s strict stance and in the bearing of strict Chief Minister of Punjab couple of headlines I caught in media last month;

On 17th January 2017 Punjab Food Authority wasted 800 litres of milk adulterated with toxic chemicals in Faisalabad.

On 17th January 2017 Punjab Food Authority seized over 2,000 litres of substandard milk from various localities of Rawalpindi.

On 19th January 20,000 litres of adulterated milk caught in Peshawar.

How come our government fails to address this serious issue of unfit milk being sold under the banner of top brands? Regrettably, this is a neglected subject that requires a great deal of attention, as there is a glaring absence of safeguards on food items in Pakistan. The culprits of this crime against humanity sell unhygienic milk openly and without any fear of being caught or punished.If strict government of Punjab couldn’t bring any improvement and adulterated milk is still sold openly, imagine the situation in rest of the provinces. We can merely hope for an improvement.

Naqab

 

In 2013 the Birmingham Metropolitan College had told all the students, staff and visitors to remove all hoodies, hats, crowns and veils while on the premises so that they were easily identifiable at all times. But the controversial ban of the Niqab a veil that leaves only a slot for the eyes sparked fury among some Muslim girls, who say they are being discriminated against. More than 9,000 people signed an online petition set up by Students’ Campaign calling on the college’s principal, to remove the proscription.

David Cameron the then PM of United Kingdom, backed the decision and said through his spokesperson; he believed educational institutions should be able to, set and enforce their own school uniform policies.

But only after three days, the Metropolitan college decided to modify its stance to permit individuals to wear, specific items of personal clothing to reflect their cultural values. The conclusion came after thousands signed a petition against the ban and just before a planned protest by hundreds of students in Birmingham.

Recently Morocco has been in the headlines for the same ground. I am more interested because I have spent nearly four years in Marrakech and I am quite familiar with Moroccan culture and King Mohammad’s moderate policy and his strict stand against religious extremism. I have witnessed the increase of tough security all over Morocco, police check posts in cities and on freeways, the Army has been posted at the airports and busy places since the Syrian War. Adult females are free to wear whatever they feel like, whether it’s a skirt or a traditional hijab or burqa. But hijab is not admitted on National television. Around two weeks ago I saw the news of ban on production of Burqa in Morocco.

 

China Lahsini a freelance journalist, reported from Rabat that the Moroccan Ministry of Interior notified Burqa producers and retailers of the immediate prohibition on the sale as the destruction of current stocks. Traders have disclosed that the decision is motivated by security reasons, about criminals having repeatedly used this garment to commit their crimes.

 

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam the concept of traversing the head is or was associated with appropriateness and modesty. The veil or Naqab has a cultural background specially in deserts, women and men both cover their heads and facial expressions to avoid heat sand. Even nowadays there are parts of Northern and Western Africa, where the veil is part of men’s cultural dress, e.g. men from Taureg tribe residing in the Saharan interior of North West Africa descendant of Berber ancestors.

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Tin Hinan, ancient Tuareg Queen of the Hoggar  by Hocine Ziani

When I turned towards Holy Quran for guidance on Hijab, veil or Burqa I found the following verse of Sorah  Ahzab  ayat no 59 which is quoted in reference of hijab and Naqab;

 

O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the Momineen to draw their outer garments closely round themselves. This makes it more likely that they will be recognised and not be harmed. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Aisha Bewley

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

Umm Muhammad

O prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw down their shawls over them. That will make it more likely that they are recognized, hence not teased. And Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

Muhammad Taqi Usmani

O Prophet, enjoin your wives and your daughters and the believing women, to draw a part of their outer coverings around them. It is likelier that they will be recognised and not molested. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Abul Aala Maududi

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful

Pickthal

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Yusuf Ali

O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Shakir

 

O Prophet, tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of believers to let down upon them their over-garments. This is more proper, so that they may be known, and not be given trouble. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

Maulana

Prophet, tell your wives, daughters, and the wives of the believers to cover their bosoms and breasts. This will make them distinguishable from others and protect them from being annoyed. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.

Sarwar

O Prophet!  tell thy wives and thy daughters, and the women of the believers, that they should pull down upon them of their outer cloaks from their heads over their faces. That is more likely that they may thus be recognized and not molested. And ALLAH is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

Sher Ali

Now there are two identical words used by the people who translated the Ayat to signify hijab, cloak and outer garments; whether it’s a cloak or outer garment, none of the above scholar including two women scholars translated or pointed out that covering the face is obligatory.

The hijab is one name for a variety of similar headscarves.

The Niqab covers the entire head and face; however an opening is left for the eyes.

I am not personally against Naqab as long as it is worn as a personal choice or cultural identity, I differ, where people associate it  to an obligatory religious act of religion. Whether its Middle East or West in the presence of Quran Niqab cannot be coerced.

I am not a scholar, but there is another verse of Quran for our guidance Sorah Al Qamar verse 17;

And we have indeed made the Qur’an easy to read and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?

This article was first published in Dunya tv blog

“Our Lady of Paris”

 

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Front facade by Benh Lieu Song

When you are leaving for vacations, you better leave your faith in your closet at home otherwise there is a serious chance of missing a lot of culture and history. When I was visiting Basilica of Sacred heart in Paris I met an Indian Muslim family outside while we were enjoying live music at the stairs of the Basilica played by some local band, while I intended to go inside I asked them too to come inside but they politely refused and told me that it is against their faith to enter the church.I respected their insecurities and went in. You are free to believe and practice whatever makes you comfortable

I am going to get you to the famous Notre-Dame de Paris. There are hence many different attributes to the cathedral, it is impossible to describe them all, but it is notable for it’s organ, stained glasses, figures, paintings, sculptures. Notre Dame de Paris got more famous by Victor Hugo’s 1831 Gothic novel and subsequent films The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a French Gothic novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1831.

 

 

Situated on the Right Bank of the River Seine, Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, is a medieval Catholic Cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris. It is the heart of Paris.The 4th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements (administrative districts.

Cornerstone laid for Notre-Dame de Paris in 1163. The Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. Flying buttress is that it is not in contact with the wall it supports. The flying buttress was built up during late antiquity and later flourished during the Gothic period (12th–16th c.) of architecture. Ancient examples of the flying buttress can be ground in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. The architectural-element precursors of the medieval flying buttress derive from Byzantine architecture.

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Organ Notre-Dame by Eric Chan

The organ has 7,952 pipes. It has 110 real stops, five 56-key manuals and a 32-key pedalboard.

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The cathedral has 10 bells. The largest, Emmanuel, original to 1681, is located in the south tower and weighs just over 13 tons

In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged features of Notre-Dame, considering them idolatrous
The Second World War caused more damage. Several of the stained glass windows on the lower tier were hit by stray bullets.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration in the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed.
I would strongly recommend a visit to the Cathedral, whether you are religious or not.

 

Basilica of the Sacred Heart Paris

When I first went to Paris, I only had Eiffel tower in my mind, I never planned to see any other place except Chanselise (The Avenue des Champs-Elysees). I travelled to Paris from Kings Cross station on Eurostar which was my first experience to travel to another country by train and I must say it was a delightful experience.My hotel was walking distance from the Euro terminal. After catching some rest I went to roof top restaurant for coffee and as soon as I reached at the top, surprise was waiting, I could see the whole Paris from the roof, the sun was setting and the building in front of me was the astounding Basilica of Sacred Heart, a beautiful white building standing high at the top of the Montmartre mountain, I immediately decided to visit the Basilica.

 

baslic

There are about 200 and more steps to hit the highest place in Paris.

stairs

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly recognized as the Sacre Coeor Basilica, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the crown of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacre Coeor is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871 which was interpreted as a moral condemnation of the sins of Paris, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.(Wikepedia)

 

night-bas

The Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. The construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. It was consecrated after the conclusion of World War I in 1919.
The overall style of the structure shows a liberal interpretation of Byzantine features.
The summit of the hill of Montmartre, where the church now stands has been a sacred site where Druids were thought to have worshipped.The Basilica is the second most visited Church after Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,Basilica welcomes more or less 10 million visitors every year.

inside-sacre

LIFE AFTER CANCER IS WORTH LIVING

 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women globally, as different studies show it kills about 40,000 women every year only in Pakistan. According to World Health Organisation, breast cancer rates are starting worse and it is not sparing even younger age group. Breast cancer is the most predominant type of cancer in the world. In Pakistani society, there are multiple factors associated with late detection of the disease. One of them is social set up, where women are reluctant to undergo their medical check up and pressing out their medical issues. If women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, they don’t even share the news with their family members. In rural regions of Pakistan, no formal health infrastructure is available for the rural population. Illiteracy is also a major cause of breast malignant neoplastic disease among women because women have no awareness about personal hygienic conditions. Most of the Pakistani women have no proper access to the medical facilities due to gender-based discrimination. 1 in 9 Pakistani women has become the patient of breast cancer. In Pakistan, the most frequently diagnosed cancer among females is also breast cancer, accounting for about one in nine female patients. Its incidence in Pakistan is 2.5 times higher than that in neighbouring rural areas like Iran and India. The disease is curable. It can be detected early if routine breast examination is done. According to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre website, several studies and reports suggest that among Asian population Pakistani women have the highest risk of breast cancer. Lack of awareness about the diseases and diagnostic facilities, however leads to late diagnosis which is why many women lose their lives to the disease. People hesitate to discuss the issue because of cultural norms. It is important for people to realise the importance of early detection to save the life of a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter. Women are the heart of the home and our core consumers. The government should create widespread awareness.
A short breast examination can prevent this cancer and protect women from this most horrifying and horrendous nightmare. Breast cancer is not ‘just’ about breasts. From there it can lead anywhere in our body.

Scientific evidence indicates that women can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by at least 20 per cent by being active for 30 minutes every day.
To reduce risk of breast cancer, one needs to be physically active on a veritable basis. That means exercising for a total of at least 30 minutes a day. Integrate physical activity into your day to day routine. There are lots of different ways to be physically active; brisk walk to work or the shops or park ,push a baby buggy, wheelchair, gardening, vacuuming, sweep the paths, walk up the stairs, or go for a swim.
Dietary change is another important approach to cancer control.Diets high in fruits and vegetables may have a protective effect against many cancers. Jet lag or shift work disrupts the body clock and could increase the hazards of deadly breast cancer spreading, new research suggests. Interrupted sleep patterns could increase a woman’s chances of developing rapid-spreading versions of the cancer. Previous research have shown women who experience broken sleep, are more probable to develop breast cancer, thanks to advances in medical care, the rate of survival has doubled over the last 40 years and around half of cancer patients survive for ten or more years.

Women diagnosed when the disease is still localised have a 99 per cent probability of surviving.
Together, our actions can deliver eloquently greater impact. In concert, we can defeat breast cancer. We all can contribute by spreading awareness on twitter or face book or write a blog or share your story .I am proud to spread the word about how meaningful every action really can be as we all work together to do our share to eliminate breast cancer at least in suburban parts of the country .

Make a discernible difference to the support and care available for people affected by breast cancer by becoming a Breast Cancer Voice, support the scientists who test, analyse and experiment to find ways to prevent breast cancer and treat it more effectively. Speak out with the campaigners who push for more dependable services, treatments and care for patients. A pink ribbon is a symbol of breast cancer awareness. It may be worn to honour those who have been diagnosed with breast malignant neoplastic disease.

Awareness isn’t enough;educate

Commander of faithful

ali

Yet the Islamic world retains still a glorious and somewhat benevolent past that is most often forgotten or ignored by Western, Eastern, or heck, even by some Middle-Eastern scholars. This is a past that would seem starkly different in attitude and composure than the present attitude of governance and view of ‘outsiders’ as seen from today’s Islamic world.

Ali Ibn e Abi Talib the fourth Caliph of Islam  , is well known for his abiding contribution to spiritual thought. In the Arabic world he’s just as famous for being a great jurist and man of letters. The historian Murooj-uz-Zahab Masudi  recognised Ali as being the source of no less than 480 treaties, lectures and epistles on a variety of subjects dealing with philosophy, religion, law and politics, as collected by Zaid Ibn Wahab in the Ali’s own life time. ʿAli’s words speak for themselves. They preach equity, love, kindness, moderation, freedom to criticize the rulers and forgiveness. He prohibits the ruler from oppression, from authoritative pride, from excessive punishment and rejoicing it and from people’s fear to speak up openly to the authority and many other principles In particular, his epistle to Malik Ashtar, Governor of Egypt, has been regarded as an administrative classic. However in actuality it will display a brilliance of the early Islamic mind and practical political outlook, philosophy, and attitude towards how to run a benevolent and efficient administration . The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has a formidable precedent in the form of  Ali’s letter written almost 1400 years ago, which is based on the translation by Rasheed Turabi.

Be it known to you, O, Malik, that I am sending you as Governor to a country which in the past has experienced both just and unjust rule. Men will scrutinize your actions with a searching eye, even as you used to scrutinize the actions of those before you, and speak of you even as you did speak of them. The fact is that the public speak well of only those who do good. It is they who furnish the proof of your actions. Hence the richest treasure that you may covet would be the treasure of good deeds. Keep your desires under control and deny yourself that which you have been prohibited from, for, by such abstinence alone, you will be able to distinguish between what is good to them and what is not.

People will now watch your dealings as you used to watch the dealings of the rulers before you, and they (people) will criticise you as you criticised them (rulers). So, control your passions and check your heart from doing what is not lawful for you, because checking the heart means detaining it just half way between what it likes and dislikes.

Amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people ;

Those who have the same religion as you have; they are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you

Habituate your heart to mercy for the subjects and to affection and kindness for them. Do not stand over them like greedy beasts who feel it is enough to devour them, since they are of two kinds, either your brother in religion or one like you in creation. They will commit slips and encounter mistakes. They may act wrongly, wilfully or by neglect. So, extend to them your forgiveness and pardon, in the same way as you would like Allah to extend His forgiveness and pardon to you, because you are over them and your responsible Commander is over you while Allah is over him who has appointed you.

Remember that the people are composed of different classes. The progress of one is dependent on the progress of every other and none can afford to be independent of the other. We have the Army formed of the soldiers, we have our civil officers and their establishments, our judiciary, our revenue collectors and our public relation officers. The general public itself consists of Muslims and Zimmis and among them of merchants and craftsmen, the unemployed and the indigent.

Do not repent of forgiving or be merciful in punishing. Do not act hastily during anger if you can find way out of it. Do justice towards the people, as against yourself, your near ones and those of your subjects for whom you have a liking because if you do not do so you will be oppressive. Associate yourself with God-fearing and truthful people, then educate them, so that they should not praise you or please you by reason of an action you did not perform, because an excess of praise produces pride and drives you near haughtiness. The virtuous and the vicious should not be in equal position before you because this means dissuasion of the virtuous from virtue and persuasion of the vicious to vice. Keep everyone in the position which is his. You should know that the most conducive thing for the good impression of the ruler on his subjects is that he should extend good behaviour towards them, lighten their hardships, and avoid putting them to unbearable troubles.

Army is the fortress of the subjects, the ornament of the ruler, the strength of the religion and the means of peace. The subjects cannot exist without them while the army can be maintained only by the funds fixed by Allah in the revenues, through which they acquire the strength to fight the enemies, on which they depend for their prosperity, and with which they meet their needs. These two classes cannot exist without the third class namely the judges, the executives and the secretaries who pass judgements about contracts, collect revenues and are depended upon in special and general matters.

Select for your chief judge one from the people who is by far the best among them -one who is not obsessed with domestic worries, one who cannot be intimidated, one who does not err to often, one who does not turn back from a right path once he finds it, one who is not self-centered or avaricious, one who will not decide before knowing full facts, one who will weigh wit care every attendant doubt and pronounce a clear verdict after taking everything into full consideration, one who will not grow restive over the arguments of advocates and who will examine with patience every new disclosure of fact and who will be strictly impartial in his decision, one who flattery cannot mislead or one who does not exult over his position. But it is not easy to find such men.Once you have selected the right man for the office, pay him handsomely enough, to let him live in comfort and in keeping with his position, enough to keep him above temptations.

And these classes cannot exist except with the traders and men of industry, who provide necessities for them, establish markets and make it possible for others not to do all this with their own hands. Adopt useful schemes placed before those engaged in trade and industry and help them with wise counsels. Trade and Industry are sources of profit to the State. It is this class of peace loving people from whom no disturbance need be feared. They love peace and order; indeed they are incapable of creating disorder. Visit every part of the country and establish personal contact with this class, and inquire into their condition.

Take care of the orphans and the aged who have no means (for livelihood) nor are they ready for begging. Fix for them a share from the public funds and a share from the crops of lands taken over as booty for Islam in every area, because in it the remote ones have the same shares as the near ones. All these people are those whose rights have been placed in your charge. Therefore, a luxurious life should not keep you away from them .You cannot be excused for ignoring small matters because you were deciding big problems. Do not keep yourself secluded from the people for a long time, because the seclusion of those in authority from the subjects is a kind of narrow-sightedness and causes ignorance about their affairs.

You should avoid self-admiration, having reliance in what appears good in yourself and love of exaggerated praise because this is one of the most reliable opportunities for Satan to obliterate the good deeds of the virtuous.

If your enemy invites you to a peace treaty never refuse to accept such an offer, because peace will bring rest and comfort to your armies, will relieve you of anxieties and worries, and will bring prosperity and affluence to your people. Be very careful never to break your promise with your enemy; never forsake the protection or support that you have offered to him, never go back upon your word and never violate the terms of the treaty.
My blog was first published in The Nation
http://nation.com.pk/Blogger/syed-hussain

Volubilis

South of Fes and Meknes in the north of Morocco are the breathtaking ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis.

The archeological site of Volubilis is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was founded in the third century B.C. and became a Roman outpost. While it looks rather small from the hill above, it is actually quite large and has extremely well preserved mosaics.

One of the ancient doors to the fortified city and the main street lined with partial building facades. You can almost imagine Ben Hur’s Hollywood rival riding up the road on his chariot to get to the arena on time for the famous race.

This dramatic ancient Roman ruin site set on the shallow slopes of Mount Zerhourn, overlooking the vast fertile Wadi Khoumane plateau is one the Roman Empire’s most remote and far-flung frontier settlements – second only to a small trading outpost on an island off the coast of Essaouira. It is situated close to the Moroccan imperial city of Meknes, 150 miles inland from Tangiers.

The Romans around 40 C.E established Volubilis. They claimed control over North Africa, but they never gained complete control over the surrounding Berber tribes, who ardently resisted Roman occupation. Over time; however, the Berbers realized they could mutually benefit from the wealth and knowledge of land cultivation that the Romans possessed. Relations between the two were never fluid, and it wasn’t until the Arab Conquest in the seventh century that the Romans eventually abandoned Volubilis altogether.

Subhros Volubilisvol entranceVolubilis_Capitoline_temple.jpg Priorymanvolu me

Women : face of Islam

Aerial view of Hijr e Ismail,picture credit googleimages

I travel to open my heart and eyes and learn more around the world than our books will accommodate.I travel to bring what little I can in my ignorance and knowledge,to those parts of the globes whose riches are differently dispersed.Six years ago I travelled to Mecca to perform Hajj in search of few unanswered questions.

Hajj is one of mankind’s most enduring rites for more than 1400 years.The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their household during their absence. There are about 3 million Muslims from all over the World perform Hajj and approximately 4 million Muslims perform Umrah every year.The present form of Hajj was established by Muhammad with its roots in the chronicle of Abraham, the Hajj is a set of rituals performed every year for five days in the month of Zia-Hajj. Pilgrims follow the route of Muhammad, who went on only one Hajj. It begins in Mecca, before moving to the desert of Mina, then to Arafat, for a day-long vigil, then to the rocky plain of Muzdalifah, a few miles away, where pilgrims collect pebbles to ritually stone the Devil, and then brings back to Mina for three days. Back in Mecca, pilgrims bid farewell to the Kaaba.

What is so special about the Hajj that it is expected to produce close to significant changes in the personality, attitude, and outlook of a person? Is there anything magical in the rites and rituals of the Hajj that produces the changes, or is it the constant conscious effort on the part of the performer to inculcate in himself/herself the spirit of those rites and rituals which brings close to the desired changes?What is the most significant aspect of this adoration?

Since my return from Hajj I have consulted many accounts written on Hajj to learn the essence and core lesson from Hajj.Majority of the accounts discuss about the rewards of Hajj , seldom scholars have pointed out towards the literal message.

While browsing many accounts on Hajj I came across a quote from Jaffer Sadiq;

“Ismail buried his mother Hajr in the area of Hijr e Ismail and then constructed a wall over it so that people would not step her grave.”

The whole practice of Hajj hides in these lines ,this tradition is further explained by Dr Ali Shariti in his account on Hajj,he elaborates;

Toward the west of Kaaba there is a semi-circular short wall which faces Kaaba. It is called Ismail’s Hajar. Hajar signifies lap or skirt. The semi lunar wall resembles a skirt.Sarah, the wife of Ibrahim had a black maid called Hajar. Here was a woman who was not honoured enough to become a second wife to Ibrahim yet Allah connected the symbol of Hajar‘s skirt to His symbol, Kaaba.The skirt of Hajar was the region in which Ismail was raised. The house of Hajar is there. Her grave is near the third column of Kaaba.

What a surprise since no one, not even the prophets, is reckoned to be buried in mosques, but in this case, the house of a black maid is located next to Allah’s house! Hajar, the mother of Ismail is buried in that location. Kaaba extends toward her grave. There is a narrow passage between the wall (Hajar’s skirt) and Kaaba. When circumambulating around Kaaba, Allah commanded that you must go around the wall not through the passage otherwise your Hajj will not be taken on.

Those who believe in monotheism and those who have accepted Allah’s invitation to travel to Hajj must touch this skirt when circumambulating the Kaaba. The grave of a black African maid is now a part of Kaaba; it will be circumambulated by man forever! Today the infection of social profiling still remains where we are judged on the colour of our skin, caste, social class or even beliefs.  How wonderful is this symbol that Ismael planted?A flag of equality at the entrance of the all knowing, all seeing Great creator’s household. Now we can affirm the Kaaba is humanity’s bastion.

Allah, the Almighty  needs nobody and nothing. However, among all His countless and eternal creatures, Allah has chosen one, mankind, the noblest of them.From among all humanity: a woman, From among all women: a slave, And from among all slaves: a black housemaid!

The weakest and most humiliated one of His creatures was given a place at His side and a room in His house. He has come to her house and become her neighbour.. Hence now, there are two, Allah and Hajar, under the ceiling of this “HOUSE”!

The rites of Hajj are a memory of Hajar. The word Hijrah (migration) has its root in her name as does the word immigrant.

Hajar‘s grave is in the midst of man’s circumambulation of Kaaba. You, the immigrant, who has disassociated himself from everything and accepted Allah’s invitation to go to Hajj, you will circumambulate Hajar’s grave and the Kaaba of Allah simultaneously. The planets rotate around the sun, the electrons around the nucleus, rotating around such a center mean allegiance with love. Tens of thousands circumambulating around the Kaaba and Hajr like the galaxy turning together with billions of stars.

Although the history of hajj goes back to Ibrahim’s era, but Islam contributed furthermore towards Hajr.In the second year after Hijrah according to some traditions Prophet Muhammad was  commanded to change direction of prayers from Mosque Al-Aqsa to The Holy Kaaba.Prayers have become a constant reminder about  the importance of women. Stand in respect when you embark on your prayers and bow down to bury your ego to acknowledge the status of WOMEN and thank Almighty God in Sujood for giving you this chance to infer.It is hard to realise.But for those who think they live in freedom and defend humanism, the significance of these incidents transgresses the scope of their apprehension.

 

 

Esteem is an unassuming resounding force. It means being treated with consideration and esteem and to have a regard for other peoples’ feelings, listening to people and discovering them, i.e. giving them one’s full attention. Even more importantly, respect means treating one with dignity. Respect is the opposite of humiliation and contempt. Hence, where the latter can be a cause of conflict, the former and its opposite can help translate it. How do you feel when you are appreciated , honoured and respected ?

Do women need any legislation to protect themselves under such commandment ?

be respectful to women,for they are the mothers of mankind.”

This article first published in The Nation

Pakistan’sHomeless Cricket team

misbah-ul-haq-test-century-at-lords-cricket-groundPakistan’s homeless  Cricket  team have come a long way to reach on top of the Test ranking, it’s not a simple achievement  even if it is only for a day .Cricket has seen several  bad days, but Pakistan cricket have seen worst years. Several  incidents within the span of 8 years made Pakistan cricket homeless.

Foremost tragedy when a bomb exploded in 2002 outside the Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi, where the New Zealand cricket team was staying. The New Zealand cricket squad  immediately  returned home. Six years later a group of young men of Pakistani origin terrorised Mumbai. Although that attach had nothing to do with cricket, but cricketing relations between India and Pakistan became collateral damage.

Nothing, however  gets close to the horrific catastrophe of March 3, 2009 which led to Pakistan being stripped of their 2011 World Cup hosting rights. Sri Lankans  who were touring Pakistan, had actually stepped in for India who had declined to see following the Mumbai 2008 attacks. The Sri Lankan team was making their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on the third morning of the second Test. As the Sri Lankan team’s coach crossed Liberty Square, 12 armed gunmen fired at the coach. A minivan following the bus holding the match officials was also fired upon. Pakistan’s security forces fired back and in the ensuing gun battle, Six policemen and two bystanders were killed and the driver of the minivan carrying the match officials. Seven members of the Sri Lankan team, the assistant coach, and the reserve umpire were injured. It was the worst attack on an international sports team for the Munich Olympics in 1972.

The world watched in astounded disbelief as the Sri Lankan cricket team were airlifted from Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan Air force’s helicopters. They were put on the next available flight to Colombo. Sri Lanka went home and took international cricket with them. Although the Sri Lankan team and ICC officials were the victims at the time, the Pakistan team has been the victims ever since. This great  cricket nation became a cricket’s first homeless team

The Pakistani Captain Younis Khan has said, he would have withdrawn from international cricket immediately had he been caught in the kind of terror attacks carried out on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.You read about these unfortunate incidents in the papers or catch it on TV, but when it happens so close to you, it is difficult to fully comprehend.He had appealed to cricket’s administrators to save the game in Pakistan, or risk pushing future generations into the grasp of terrorists. The Pakistan captain fears that an extended boycott by touring teams could lead to a dramatic decline in interest and participation in cricket among the nation’s youth. That could invite corrupting influences to fill the void that might otherwise have been occupied by sport. Maybe in the future we will be alone as a cricketing nation and that would be very deplorable, especially for the youngsters.For six years, no cricket team agreed to tour, and they were forced to run their home matches in neutral territory.

Misbah ul Haq became captain in the wake of two calamities. The foremost  was the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 which  immediately condemned Pakistan to international isolation.

The second calamity took place the following year when the Pakistan team toured England. Three of its players ,the captain Salman Butt himself ,Mohammad Asif and brilliant young opening bowler Mohammad Amir  were entrapped by the News of the World. The team was disgraced and the three players involved were subsequently sent to jail. That was when Misbah ul Haq took over. He was not an obvious choice as skipper. He held a mixed Test record, and was not even selected for the 2010 Tour, nor the one before in 2006.However he proved an inspired choice. He had just the right qualities to lead his team at its moment of supreme crisis. He anchored the batting time and time again and given his team a mental and moral example.He has been magnificently supported by Younis Khan  now Pakistan’s highest scoring Test batsman

Misbah ul Haq’s Test performance has been massively enhanced by the duties of captaincy. Before 2010 he  had scored 1,008 runs in 33 Tests at an average of 33.60. Since becoming Captain, he has scored a further 3,344 runs in 42 Tests, at an average of 56.68. He has won victories with an inexperienced attack since the loss of his former match winner, the spinner Saeed Ajmal, with a suspect action. When he led Pakistan to a 2 - 0 triumph over England last winter in the UAE, none of his bowlers had taken 100 Test wickets. Misbah now 42 became the oldest Test captain since the mighty Warwick Armstrong of Australia in 1921.

On 22nd August Misbah ul Haq’s Pakistan team have risen to No. 1 in the ICC’s Test rankings for the first time. They took the top position from India. Last week was the second time in less than a year that Pakistan had moved to No. 2 in the rankings. They had featured at No. 2 for the first time in November 2015.Pakistan have at times dropped as low as seventh, last doing so in February 2010, but since Misbah-UL-Haq took over the captaincy at the end of that year, they have climbed steadily.

For us, the No1 ranking is not a destination, merely part of a journey. Our long term objective and strategy is to remain competitive, continue to challenge the top spots with good cricket and once again become the most followed side like the Pakistan teams of yesteryears. If we can achieve these on a consistent basis, then I am sure there will more laurels like this down the line,said Misbah.

The rage of Pakistan fans has flashed a billion times since the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team. Their land, their leader betrayed them. And even they are better than they have ever been. They are amongst the best in the world. No team has ever overcome more to become number one than Pakistan.

“CELEBRATE YOUR HEROES.”

This blog was published in The Nation
http://nation.com.pk/Blogger/syed-hussain

The journey, not the destination….. travel; envisage; contemplate

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