Tarbiat e Aulad – Lesson 1

Dr. Mirza Abbas Ali Khoyee (Pakistan)

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Mobile vs Masjid

By Mohamedarif Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) 

“What fascinates me about addiction and obsessive behavior is that people would choose an altered state of consciousness that’s toxic and ostensibly destroys most aspects of your normal life, because for a brief moment you feel okay.” – Moby
The phenomenon that surrounds us today is a new form of addiction, according to experts. And while the productivity that your handheld can provide you with is under no challenge, what we now witness is an unparalleled level of euphoria and obsessive behaviour about our phones. Protagonists place a firm argument when they say that today’s phones are not just phones, they are complete toolbox for all kinds of activities including leisure, research, communication, information, networking, recording, photography, news and all.
But even if that were true, why would we voluntarily cling to it all the time. The answer is that beyond a certain level of functional need, lies the undeniable garb of addiction. Here are some statistics to savour: According to recent research from dscout, people tap, swipe, and click an average of 2,617 times per day. For the top 10 percent of users, this number doubled to 5,427 touches per day. That’s about 1 million touches per year and 2.42 hours of phone screen time per day. More serious users interacted with their phones even more, at 3.75 hours per day. This data includes all types of interactions, from reading and sending texts to scrolling on social media. How much time we spend on our phones.
On the home front, our affinity to our technological gear is leading towards insulation from our own families, where each takes to their phone even though we are all meant to be meeting up.
Going forward, and because we remain liberal towards the use if phones, gadgets are openly used in mosques, imambadas and cemeteries. Most if these users are intent on sharing photos and puns where their real presence at such a sacred place was meant for self purification and reflection.
One fails to comprehend whether we are really that tech savvy or just plainly hooked to a habit of snapping everything we see then share out to the whole world.
A new debate is now raging amongst all major faith groups worldwide whether allowing phones in places if worship is a good thing.
Rev. Msgr Gabriel Osu, the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, in a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), called for phones to be banned. “People have turned a positive invention to misplacement of priority; such an act does not show reverence to God and should be prohibited in places of worship,’’ he said.
Pope Francis has a message for the youths of Poland, and the World.
While addressing one million pilgrims near Krakow, he called on young people to do more about terrorism, rather than being “couch potatoes” glued to “the screen of a cellphone”, The New York Times reports. “Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history, because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark.
Some situations seem distant until, in some way, we touch them. We don’t appreciate certain things because we only see them on the screen of a cellphone or a computer.
There are many other cases where places of worship are trying harder to deter the use if phones. Surprisingly, when wifi was made available during Hajj and phones began lawful invside Masjidul Haram, we suddenly may just have surrendered yet again, our opportunity of a quiet communion with Allah (SWT). We are suddenly now more interested in sharing the ongoings of our journey instead of passing through it with sincerity and devotion. Whatever we do in our local mosques, we are now doing in Hajj.
To a thinking mind, the question is really not whether mobile phones are good or bad, for that would be the height of absurdity. The real issue here is that, like with everything else, where are we going to draw the line. Surely, spending so much money to fulfill a mandatory obligation and then to end up treating it like a normal vacation, where we move around like happy tourists, oblivious of the opportunity at hand, is truly shooting ourselves in the foot.
Allowing of phones, if anything can reduce anxiety amongst near family, so essential communication is noteworthy but is it necessary to become roving photographers filling an instagram story in the presence if His majestic house? These thoughts do come out as old fashioned prima facie, but once we realise that the ritual of hajj is a simulation of the day of reckoning, where just like we wint have regular clothing (symbolised by the ihraam), we will most certainly not have our iPhones or our Galaxies with us.
“Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it’s like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole. The thing you want offers relief, but it’s a trap” – Tess Callahan
[Image Source: “The Epidemic Of Mobile Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, And Stats.” Medium. N. p., 2017. Web. 16 Sept. 2018. ] 
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Our Role in the Community

Sadiq Muraj (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Alhamdulillah we have got gems & pearls in our community; the professionals, the business-minded people, and the entrepreneurs (the creative) people in gents, ladies & children. If all of  us decide to give only 1 hour per week for our community, we will have 635 hours a week for our Community according to our registered members

Now, the question is how each and every one of us can contribute to our community?

As it is said in Gujarati:

TAN (Physically)

Man (with willing heart)

DHAN (By Finance)

Also it is said in Farsi:

DAAME (Physically)

DIRHAME (by Finance)

SUKHANE (Verbally)

People who have got bounties of Wealth can help with Finance, the people with physical energy can help physically, others with their Precious time, Writing, giving suggestions, and Ideas. Professionals with their Skills, Business-minded with their experience and Contacts & many other ways.

I myself who am a full-time Carer of my wife & can rarely attend our Jamaat Programs due to my Caring duty, but I don’t think I am exempted from my responsibilities towards our Community. So I am writing Articles, to spread Awareness & Invite all our Community members towards Community Work.

In the Ziyarat of Aba-Abdillah(a.s.) we say YA LAYTANI KUNTU MA’KUM FA’FUZO FAWZAN AZIMAH. Kaash we were there in the plains of Karbala on the day of Ashura, we would help you our Imam. But there is a voice still being heard in the environment. HAL MIN NAASIRIN YANSURNA, HAL MIN MUGHISIN YUGHISUNA, Is there anyone who can help me in this tough time. Our Imam called us for help on the day of Ashura, but his calling was not limited for that time and that land but every day, every era & every place.

As we say KULLU YAWMIN AASHURA WA KULLU ARZIN KARBALA.
Every day is Ashura and every Land is Karbala.

In my previous article I have mentioned about INVESTING IN PEOPLE.

Being in the Information Age & Technology Era, every day a new thing or system is being introduced for learning and getting updated with the current technology world. The Professionals, Businessmen and the Creative people have to adopt the lifelong learning system to be in the market and the time for the skills needed.

So, I humbly request our Community Authorities to establish an INVESTING IN PEOPLE FORUM where our community members can get useful courses to learn to polish their skills. Many online courses are available which can be learned from home at our own time & pace. We should also register our form in Birmingham City Council, so we can get fully funded courses, discount rate on other courses and support to get needed tools like Computers, Laptops and other facilities which are needed. So people can learn more and polish their Skills at their own time & pace. Our Community members should also contribute towards this Funding.

We are always asking a question that “What are we getting from our Community?” But we never ask ourselves that “what are we giving to our community?”

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Focus

By Mehreen Mushtak (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) 

Focus.

It has a numerous amount of meanings. Some may agree, while some may not. Lets have a look…

Focus to a teacher is attention

And to a photographer clarity

Focus to a doctor is the cost of life

And to a child, the fun in playing

Focus to a student is good grades

And to a preacher is a knowledgeable community

Focus at work is achievement

And focus at home is the best environment

Each one of us is required to focus each day, whether you are a CEO or a child. Look into the eyes of a CEO taking a critical financial decision for the company, then look at the eyes of a child playing a puzzle, trying to fix each piece correctly. The only difference is, you will see stress in ones eyes with focus and happiness in the latter. So day in day out, whenever we day dream or get lost in something else, how many times do you tell yourself, ‘Focus’, ‘You need to focus’.

Difficult, isn’t it? Trust me, even writing one piece requires focus and as long as it takes to focus, it slips away so easily again. There is one beautiful way to build this habit within you. Set out time everyday to do something you love. Be it to read, to watch the sky, watch the clouds, cook, even sleep. How does this help, you may ask. Psychologically, your mind wanders because you don’t like what you are doing, you have too much to do and are overwhelmed, or really feel like doing something, but you don’t have the time to. Well, if you have too much to do, get organized ASAP. Make a checklist, or to do list and start checking off everything you’ve done. Having a list in front of you helps you complete a task timely, and that feeling out ticking it off, it’s beautiful. Now things you don’t have time to do are usually your hobbies, things you love so much, but studying and working consume your life. Balance plays a huge role here. Start with just 15 minutes for yourself. Pick a book and read just one page, you’ll increase gradually. You will never have difficulty on focusing on such tasks, its tuned in your brain as a desirable activity and you will be able to go on and on.

When you are building focus, your developing a habit. And with time, you’ll have also built willpower. Great, isn’t it? This does not happen over night. It takes tons of practice and daily doing. You may feel like procrastinating someday on a task or just sit around, but don’t. That CEO whose eyes you could see focus in did not come in one day, it took years and a lot of persistence to achieve. When you are focused, you will see your end goal and work towards it. And once you achieve it, you will develop a new end goal, and the cycle of achievement will go on just because you are focused.

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Marijuana: The Good, The Bad & The Unknown

By Mohamed Jaffer (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) 

‘Why drink and drive, when you can smoke and fly.’– Bob Marley

The above quote gives us a glimpse of the outcome of smoking Marijuana, and according to Bob Marley, it sure as hell seem like an enthralling ride up in the clouds. Famous pop stars, such as Bob Marley, have occupied their lives with marijuana. It has been used, as a vehicle for achieving euphoria since ancient times and now, the drug has become a heated topic in the US, where sooner or later, the drug will be legalized nationwide. With this being a historic moment we shall look into the good, the bad and the unknown of Marijuana.

History shows that the famous drug was first discovered in China in 2737 BC, where it was used as a powerful medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria and quite ironically, absent-mindedness. The drug then passed on to India, where the local Muslims consumed it for recreational purposes, oddly enough when the Qur’an had banned such items to be consumed.

Further along the way, the drug finally laid rest on to the hands of the English in 1611, and by 1890, hemp, the plant from which Marijuana is produced, was a major cash crop in the southern states. During its first years of fame, the drug’s recreational use was restricted to jazz musicians and Hollywood stars. Slowly with time, the drug became more common amongst low-income earners due to mass production and low prices charged. By the 1960s, it was commonly used by college students and hippies who looked at it as being a symbol of rebellion against authority.

Marijuana – also called weed, ganja, banji, cannabis, blunt, comes from the Indian hemp plant. While most of produces of any plant usually come from the seeds, leaves or stems of a plant, the drug for marijuana on the other hand comes from the flowers of the plant. As a final product, marijuana is usually green, brown or gray in colour. It can be smoked just like a cigarette – where its usually called a joint, or it can be inhaled using a dry pipe or a water pipe called a bong. These two are the most common of the ways Marijuana is consumed.

So what is so extraordinary about Marijuana that’s got the whole world talking about it? While marijuana contains over 400 chemicals in its final produce, it also incorporates a chemical in it that causes the intoxication, or the highness that Bob Marley was talking about, and this is called THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.

When a person smokes Marijuana, the chemical talked of above, called THC, passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries it to the brain. Up in the brain, the chemical acts on specific brain cell receptors and over activates some parts of the brain, hence giving the high feeling that’s got the whole world going crazy for it. Seems fun right? If this was the only feeling it gave, then it definitely would be. Along with this short term high feeling, Marijuana effects a smoker by changes in mood, difficulty with thinking, impaired memory, hallucinations and so on. One could say that he/she could take a stronger grip of Marijuana after taking a few puffs for a long time. However, the effects are numerous in number, some still unknown to mankind.

Long-term effects of Marijuana vary from person to person. The most common long-term effect witnessed among people is the effect on brain development. A researcher from Duke University conducted a study and proved that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages 13 and 38. That’s a worrying statistic considering a rise in Marijuana usage amongst teens in the US.

Despite these effects, there is a loud roar by the public of the US for the drug to be legalized nationwide. As of now, the drug is legalized in some states, with stores being available on every other road that sell legalized marijuana. The main reasoning for this call is the medical aspect of the drug.

Marijuana’s characteristic as a medicine is talked quite a lot about in the news lately and that’s cause it works as a treatment. Proven by scientists, marijuana helps patients who suffer from Glaucoma- a condition where the eye suffers great pressure, which leads the patient to become blind, if left unattended. Marijuana effectively lowers this pressure by increasing blood flow. It could be argued that the cure is not sustainable and lasts for a few hours only, but so long as scientists do not find an alternative cure, patients will continue using Marijuana as it benefits them.

Furthermore, marijuana is also used to decrease the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder called Dravet’s syndrome. A medical study on a 5-year-old girl suffering from the syndrome showed that the drug use had decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Despite this impressive statistic, it is important to note that not all cases are the same; some have used the drug to no avail. Other benefits that the drug may have include; it may stop cancer from spreading, may decrease anxiety and may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list; various scientists are still testing the drug to see where else could it be beneficial.

It is fair to say that Marijuana has encompassed the three areas quite remarkably. The recreational side of the drug could still be argued as being harmful to the human body, but so long as the drug is of use as a medicine, be it significantly or not, the drug will continue to be in the midst of the common man to be used for pleasure. As time goes by, with mindsets evolving, discoveries being made, cultures becoming more acceptable and people becoming more cautious with the drug, Marijuana could be used for its positive side to cure diseases and save numerous lives of people.

 

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