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Editor's Picks

31 May 2011

Poem Of The End


It was early in the morning at four, 
When death knocked upon a bedroom door,
Who is there? the sleeping one cried. 
I'm Malkul Maut (Angel Of Death), let me inside.

At once, the man began to shiver, 
As one sweating in deadly fever,

He shouted to his sleeping wife, 
Don't let him take away my life.

Please go away, O Angel of Death! 
Leave me alone, I'm not ready yet.

My family on me depends, 
Give me a chance, O please prepense!

The angel knocked again and again, 
Friend! I'll take your life without a pain,

This your soul Allah requires, 
I come not with my own desire.

Bewildered, the man began to cry, 
O Angel I'm so afraid to die,

I'll give you gold and be your slave, 
Don't send me to the unlit grave.

Let me in, O Friend! The Angel said, 
Open the door, get up from your bed,

If you do not allow me in, 
I will walk through it, like a jinn.

The man held a gun in his right hand, 
Ready to defy the Angel's stand.

I'll point my gun, towards you head, 
You dare come in, I'll shoot you dead.

By now the Angel was in the room, 
Saying, O Friend! prepare for your doom.

Foolish man, Angels never die, 
Put down your gun and do not sigh.

Why are you afraid! Tell me O man, 
To die according to Allah's plan?

Come smile at me, do not be grim, 
Be Happy to return to Him.

O Angel! I bow my head in shame, 
I had no time to take Allah's Name.

From morning till dusk,I made my wealth, 
Not even caring for my health.

Allah's command I never obeyed, 
Nor five times a day I ever prayed.

A Ramadan came and a Ramadan went, 
But no time had I to repent.

The Hajj was already FARD on me, 
But I would not part with my money.

All charities I did ignore, 
Taking usury more and more.

Sometimes I sipped my favourite wine, 
With flirting women I sat to dine.

O Angel! I appeal to you, 
Spare my life for a year or two.

The Laws of Quran I will obey, 
I'll begin SALAT this very day.

My Fast and Hajj, I will complete, 
And keep away from self conceit.

I will refrain from usury, 
And give all my wealth to charity,

Wine and wenches I will detest, 
Allah's oneness I will attest.

We Angels do what Allah demands, 
We cannot go against His commands.

Death is ordained for everyone, 
Father, mother, daughter or son.

I'm afraid this moment is your last, 
Now be reminded, of your past,

I do understand your fears, 
But it is now too late for tears.

You lived in this world, two score and more, 
Never did you, your people adore.

Your parents, you did not obey, 
Hungry beggars, you turned away.

Your two ill-gotten, female offspring, 
In night-clubs, for livelihood they sing.

Instead of making more Muslims, 
You made your children non-Muslims.

You ignored the Mua'dhin Adhaan, 
Nor did you read the Holy Quran.

Breaking promises all your life, 
Backbiting friends, and causing strife.

From hoarded goods, great profits you made, 
And your poor workers, you underpaid.

Horses and cards were your leisure, 
Money-making was your pleasure.

You ate vitamins and grew more fat, 
With the very sick, you never sat.

A pint of blood you never gave, 
Which could a little baby save.

O Human, you have done enough wrong, 
You bought good properties for a song.

When the farmers appealed to you, 
You did not have mercy, this true.

Paradise for you? I cannot tell, 
Undoubtedly you will dwell in hell.

There is no time for you to repent, 
I'll take your soul for which I am sent.

The ending however, is very sad, 
Eventually the man became mad

With a cry, he jumped out of bed, 
And suddenly, he fell down dead.

O Reader! Take moral from here, 
you never know, your end may be near

change your living and make amends 
For heaven, on your deeds depends.

If this poem inspires you, 
it can help someone too.

29 May 2011

Honey Bees & Information Communication Network


It is an amazing fact that a tiny  little flying creature having a in built DNA programed navigation system to find it's path from far distances and how it communicates with other fellow bees, lets first observe this Quran verse below 

"And your Lord inspired the bee to build its hive on the hills and the trees, and on the rooftops of buildings. And (He inspired the bee) to suck the nectar of all kinds of fruit, and follow the smooth path laid down by your Lord. There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think." [Quran 16:68-69]

"Each bee on her return is followed by three or four companions . . . how they do it has not yet been observed" Aristotle, Historia Animalium, IX

"In the summer of 1944 a few very simple experiments led to a result that was just as unexpected as it was thrilling" Karl von Frisch on the discovery of the dance language of bees [1].

Soon after the end of World War II in war ravaged Germany, Frisch was observing the dance of bees and "reading" the language he himself had recently deciphered. In a way, he was feeling ecstatic: he could eavesdrop in the bee conversation and interpret their symbolic language. He understood the eight-shaped dance meant, for example, nectar 1.5 km away and at 30 degrees from the current position of the sun. On several occasions he had astonished neighbors by telling them that his bees were feeding from sources on their farms which he had not seen. The human and insect brain had never communicated in such a way before. But at the same time he was baffled.

How could the bee know the position of the sun? At that time he was studying the bee dance on a comb placed horizontally. Previous experiments had proven conclusively that bees used the sun as a compass. He could even rotate at will the dance by replacing the sun with a lamp. If the horizontal comb was covered and illuminated by diffuse light, the dances were disoriented. But somehow they became oriented again if the bee could see a small patch of blue sky. As hard as it was to believe at the time, Frisch concluded that the bee could see the polarization pattern of the sky!  Later, other researchers discovered many other animals sensitive to polarized light (eyes), some of which could use it for navigation, as the bee does. But this capacity was discovered in honeybees first because they gave away their secret through their dance language.

The Dance Floor


Bees returning to the beehive after finding a good supply of food will communicate to other bees by dancing at a particular region in the comb: the dance floor. The dance floor is generally close to the entrance but sometimes moves, e.g. goes further inside when it is cold or closer to the entrance when there is lots of activity. In Nature honey combs are vertical, so the dance is generally performed on a vertical plane. This is of great significance for the bee dance as the language must provide information of horizontal directions on a vertical plane. However, when the weather is very warm the dance floor may move outside the entrance to a horizontal flight board. It is also horizontal in some primitive bee species and can always be made horizontal by the human experimenter. Dances on oblique dancing floors can also happen, mainly on the obliquely rounded lower edge of a free-hanging comb or on the rounded swarm cluster bees form when looking for a new nesting place. Notice that in nature the vertical dancing floor is inside the hive and thus quite dark while the horizontal one is generally under the open sky.

The Bee Dancing Repertoire

Round Dance


When a foraging bee finds food close to the beehive, it performs its simplest dance, the Round Dance. This dance doesn't provide much information, it is more of an arousal signal. The forager bee runs in a small circle, leaving a single cell inside it. Every one or two circles it suddenly reverses orientation and this goes on from seconds to minutes. The bees recruited follow the dancer on the floor and then fly off by themselves looking for the food. If these bees haven't been feeding at a particular place before, they will look for food in every direction in the proximity of the beehive. However, the dancing bee also gives away odors that can be recognized by bees frequenting the same flowers, who will fly directly to them.

Tail-Wagging Dance


When the goal is further away, the bees need more sophisticated means of communication. If food is scarce, bees have been known to feed up to about 15 km (~10 miles) from the beehive. In relation to the small size of this animal these distances are outstanding. Although a bee flying to a known source of food uses as references conspicuous landmarks in addition to the sun compass, it can only communicate information about the latter to fellow bees. The Tail-Wagging dance tells the other bees very accurately at what distance and in which direction the food is, so they can look for it by themselves.  Some European honeybees start to perform it when the source of food is more than 100 meters away. Other bee species will do them for closer sources, up to just a few meters away in the case of some Indian bees. For intermediate distances there is a gradual transition between the round dance and the tail-wagging dance.

In a typical tail-wagging dance the honeybee (Apis Melliphera) runs straight ahead for a short distance, returns in a semicircle to the starting point, again runs through the straight stretch, describes a semicircle in the opposite direction and so on in regular alternation. The straight part of the run is given particular emphasis by a vigorous wagging of the body (rapid rhythmic sidewise deflections). In addition, during the tail-wagging portion of the dance it emits a buzzing sound. Interestingly, the dance followers can make the dancer pause and give them a taste of the nectar by using a squeaking sound.

Distance Information




With increasing distance the number of circuits (8's) per unit time decreases and the length and duration of the individual circuits increases. For example, for a goal at 100 meters it makes 10 short circuits in 15 seconds but at 3 km only 3 long circuits in the same time. The duration of the wagging part has the best correlation with distance. The distance is calculated based on the expenditure of energy on the flight towards the source (a head-wind increases it). Each recruited bee averages many dance circuits or even several dances from different bees to calculate the distance. For each bee species a distance-frequency curve can be plotted.  It is remarkably precise, especially if the distance is not close to their foraging range limit.

Compass Information

If the dance floor is horizontal (the least common case in Nature), the indication of direction is straight-forward: the wagging (straight) portion of the eight-figure dance points towards the food source (and in the same direction as the bee runs through it). But, what does the dancing bee use as compass to accurately point in the right direction? The bee reference is the direction of the sun. This can be demonstrated easily by covering the sky and using a lamp as an artificial sun: the direction of dancing will rotate, always maintaining the same angle with the lamp as the angle with the sun during direct flight towards the food.

If the dance floor is vertical the indication of direction requires a higher-level language that can communicate horizontal directions with an indirect, symbolic, representation. In a vertical plane the natural reference is gravity, so the dancer replaces the real reference, the sun, by the "UP" direction. For example, if the bee maintained the sun 70 degrees to her left when flying towards the nectar, the wagging portion of her dance will point 70 degrees in the clockwise direction from the upwards vertical direction. The bee transposes the solar angle into a gravitational angle!  On an oblique comb the gravitational transposition works well up to an angle of about 10 degrees to the horizontal.


Steering by Polarized Light

The light from the blue sky is polarized and the direction of polarization at each point depends on the position of the sun, as described elsewhere in this site (Polarization.com has developed an educational Skylight Compass Card.). When the bee cannot directly see the sun, it will infer its position from the polarization pattern of the blue sky. Bees can use this "sense" when flying to a goal or when communicating directions to other bees. For example, they can maintain course under the shadow of a mountain, at twilight, or when only small patches of sky are not clouded.  But, attention, their ultraviolet vision can often see the sun through clouds: remember what your mother told you about sun burns on cloudy "cool" days.

On a horizontal dance floor a patch of blue sky is enough for directing the dance towards the food. On a vertical dance floor the bee usually doesn't see the sky and the dance is steered by gravity. But if the bee can see a piece of sky then she will point towards the bisector of the angles determined from the gravity representation of the sun and the polarization-inferred position of the real sun.

Bees orient just as well relative to the polarized light of the blue sky as to the sun itself (only the azimuth of the sun matters, not its elevation above the horizon). However, if the bee can only see a small portion of the sky the polarization pattern may be ambiguous in determining the direction: the bee may point and fly in the correct direction or just in the exact opposite. If neither the sun or the sky are visible in a horizontal dance floor, then the dance becomes completely disoriented. A patch of sky near the sun is not useful as it is not polarized.

The marvelous experiment of rotating the direction of the dance by moving an artificial sun has a counterpart with polarized light. Rotating a polarizing filter in front of the blue sky (with the sun blocked) rotates the dance in sync! I can image such an experiment: it's eerie.

Honeybees can detect polarization in the blue and ultraviolet, but not in the green and yellow. Bees are very sensitive to polarization: they only need between 7 and 10% degree of polarization to orient themselves. Elsewhere in this site we discuss the biological basis of the sensitivity to polarized light of insects and other animals.

Bees need to learn from experience the polarization pattern of the sky, the same way they learn the local trajectory of the sun. However, some spontaneous orientation in preferred directions with respect to the plane of linearly polarized light (0°, 45°, 90°) has also been reported.

Democracy among the bees: dancing and voting

When it comes to choosing a new house to move, the queen has no vote.  Swarming is one of the most interesting events in the life of bees. This is how new colonies of bees are created in Nature. In spring, when food is plentiful, about half of the colony leaves the hive, following the mother queen (young queen candidates have been raised in advance to the take over the old house). The moving bees first settle nearby, where they form a swarm structure with their own interlocked bodies hanging, for example, from a branch (true swarming is not seen in the apiary as the beekeeper will immediately surround the swarm with a box). The hanging swarm is well structured: its interior consists of loosely branching chains of bees that leave between them enough space for other bees to pass; its exterior is formed by about three layers of living bees, with just one entrance to the interior.

In 1955 Lindauer was the first one to describe the natural swarming behavior and the dance role in finding the new nesting site. Scout bees leave the swarm to explore for an adequate home and after finding one return to the swarm where they perform wagging dances to "vote" for the location. Other bees then take a look at that location and a voting process that may take from hours to several days goes on. In an exemplary display of democracy ("mother queen" is an spectator), the bees slowly converge to an agreement and most of the dances finally point to the same location. Of course, the most vehement dancers tend to win over the rest. After agreement the swarm dissolves and all the bees fly to their new homestead.  Lindauer described how he could often beat the swarm to the new nesting place by "reading" their dance language. He also described a few instances when the voting remained divided, which can be catastrophic as, unfortunately, the queen cannot be cut into two (Vive la Republic!)

Taking a nap, hauling water, and pointing through walls

Brick laying.  The same dance language that foragers use to indicate a source of nectar or pollen is also used to indicate the location of a source of resin. Resin for cementing (propolis) is gathered mainly from buds on trees. It is brought in like pollen in the baskets on the legs and is used for sealing cracks in the hive.

Hauling water.  The wagging dance is also used to indicate water sources. Water is required by the young bees that take care of the brood and for regulation of the hive temperature. Although bees are poikilothermic individually, they maintain a constant temperature in the brood nest between 34.5 and 35.5 degrees C. The bees can generate warm by clustering together and vibrating their muscles. They cool the beehive by first fanning and if this is not enough by depositing water in the cells so they are cooled by evaporation. For example, Lindauer placed a beehive on a lava field in Salerno, Italy, under full sun, which raised the exterior temperature to more than 70C (158F): the bees were still able to maintain the internal hive temperature as long as they could collect water nearby.

Tropical siesta.  Working bees?  When the sun is less than 3 degrees from the zenith, tropical bees don't go out to forage. This is because they are unable to use the sun as compass when it is so high.

Say Up, say Down.  The language of the bee has no expressions for the directions upward and downward (mischievous researchers have placed beehives on towers and bridges). 

Pointing through buildings and mountains.  Bees indicate the direction of the air line towards the food source, even if they take a detour to get there. Thus, they somehow "integrate" the flight path (as long as no portion of the path is darkened). For example, if a bee goes around a building to collect nectar, it will still indicate the direction of the source "through" the building. Thus, recruited bees will try to fly over the building. This ability is useful for scout bees, which may have discovered the food source by many detours. However, the distance indication corresponds to their true flight.

Another dance. With nearby sources of food, tail-wagging dances with two diverging straight segments are often seen: the bisector points in the direction of the goal.

No Windsock.  Even if the bee flies with crosswind and has to rotate the flight direction with respect to the sun to compensate for it, the dance will point straight to the food source.

Confused but not Misguided.  Under some conditions the solar angle indicated in the dance may deviate appreciably from the true solar angle. This happens on the vertical dance when the bee can perceive the sun (or a piece of blue sky). Then the dance points towards the bisector of the directions that would occur for a purely gravitational reference and a light reference. There is also a residual gravity error in the angles: the direction tends to shift towards the vertical or towards the horizontal, whichever is closer. But in neither case it results in a misdirection: the dance followers are subjected to the same influences as the dance leader and understand the language correctly.

Party Animals!  The bees compensate for the diurnal movement of the sun  in the sky and rotate their dance and flight direction in accordance. In fact, a few overzealous bees that continue dancing for hours can (under diffuse lighting) dance the night away, following the sun in its travel below the horizon! However, they have to learn at some time in their life the rate of movement of the sun in the sky at that location, as it is not innate (but they can extrapolate the whole thing from just a few hours of the day).

Truly Amazing Bees

Few animals are more amazing than honeybees. They live in an intricate society, with queens, guards, builders, cleaners, nurses, heating and cooling technicians, scouts, honey makers, pollen stampers, and collectors of nectar, pollen, water, and resin (each worker bee goes through many different "jobs" during her lifetime). They build complex hives with beautiful honeycombs of perfect hexagons. They make flowering plants and honey-lovers thrive.  They accomplish great feats of navigation. They see more colors and smell more scents than we do.  They see the polarization pattern in the sky. And they communicate information in a symbolic language without match in the animal kingdom: the bee dance.

Ref:
[1]  Karl von Frisch, The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees, Harvard University Press, 1967.

Karl von Frisch (1886-1982) shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen.  Tinbergen recalled from a pre-war visit to Frisch's laboratory in Munich: "My recollection of that visit is a mixture of delight with the man Von Frisch, and an anxiety on his behalf when I saw that he refused to reply to a student's aggressive Heil Hitler by anything but a quiet GrĂ¼ss Gott."

Allah mentions in the following verse:

 "There are signs for the believing nation in the creation of their (own) selves, and the creation of the animals He has scattered (across the world)." [Quran 45:4]

The small little creature is programmed with a well advanced system to find it's food cannot be a coincident or by chance! surely if this little creature is programmed, so dose the universe!

27 May 2011

Why is Allah always referred to as "HE"


Question
Why is Allah (SWT) always referred to as He and why not She. Though we all know that He is of neither sex. My intended wife is a bit of a feminist. She keeps asking me this question and more often that not, I am answerless. Please help me out.



Answer
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Allah is referred to only by what Allah Himself or His Prophet have established as a reference to Allah. Masculinity or feminity are not among the Attributes of Allah The Almighty. Indeed Allah is Greater and Higher than that.

As for referring to Allah as "He" it is conform with the rules of the Arabic language which is the language of the Qur'an. In fact in Arabic there is only the pronoun of masculinity or that of feminity. The Masculine pronoun is independent by itself whereas the pronoun of feminity needs a letter to be added to it and to any part of the sentence that is linked to that pronoun. So, since the Masculine pronoun is independent by itself and does not need any addition to be specified unlike the famine pronoun it is then used to express:

1. What is certain to be masculine.
2. A thing whose gender is unknown.
3. What is not described as masculine or feminine.

So, this is why we say: Allah Says      He Says:- Gabriel says He Says. Israfil came       He came. Although the gender of Allah as well as that of the Angels is indefinite.

Moreover know that referring to something with a masculine pronoun does not necessarily mean that it is masculine or feminine. For instance in Arabic, we refer to the book as "he" and to the newspaper as "she". In French we refer to the house as "she" and we refer to the castle as "He". This does not mean that the book and the castle are "males"; neither does it mean that the newspaper and the house are "females". 

Finally we remind you that this matter should be looked at from a spiritual and religious point of view as that is the only true way to look at things and judge them.

As for the claim of equality between sexes there are some details about it that should be known to both men and women.

In fact the man and the woman are equal in their humanity. They are equal as far as the honour and respect that Allah has given to human beings. 

Allah Says . The man and the woman are also equal as far as the obedience to Allah's orders is concerned. Both of them are awaiting the same destiny: Death, Resurrection, Punishment, Reward, Paradise and Hell.

However, there are differences between men and women that return to their own creation, their own body formation. While the man is usually strong, tough, and firm the woman is usually soft, gentle and light hearted. Among the physical differences we mention also the fact that the woman menstruates, conceives, delivers while the man can not do any of these things.

For these differences, Allah has - out of His Mercy and His Wisdom -lightened and eased some of the Orders He has Prescribed on human beings for women because of the very nature of the woman. Allah has dropped the prayer and the fasting from the religious duties of the woman who is menstruating or who is in her confinement period. Allah has also given the pregnant woman and the woman breast-feeding the right to break the fast. He has also dropped the obligation of Jihad from the religious duties of the woman because of her nature.

Allah knows best.

Ref: Islamweb.net

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26 May 2011

Word Play - Muslim vs Non-Muslims



A Skeptic said “What if you are wrong?
I said “What if I am right?

An Atheist said "How is there a Creator?"
I said "How is there a Creation?"

A Christian said “Love God and worship Jesus
I said “Love Jesus and worship God

A Jew said “God will be true to his covenant with us
I said “But have you been true to your covenant with God?

A Buddhist said “The purpose of life is to discover Enlightenment
I said “Enlightenment means to discover the purpose of life

A Polytheist said “I worship many gods that hear and intercede for me with the almighty God
I said “I worship one God that’s almighty enough to hear me without an intercessor

A Secularist said “Wars and killing for religious reasons are bad
I said “Wars and killing for materialistic reasons are evil

An Evolutionist said “The universe created life by itself, without needing God
I said “Did the universe create itself without needing God?

A Democrat said “The majority must rule
I said “But what will rule the majority?

A Nationalist said "The Nation comes first, before God"
I said "God was first, before the Nation"

A Conservative (Republican) said “Why don’t Muslims assimilate into our culture?
I said “Because your culture demands assimilation

A Patriot said “I support my country, right or wrong
I said “A country has no right to be supported in wrong

A Liberal said “What vanity prevents you from adopting Liberal values?
I said “What Liberal value isn’t based on vanity?

A Zionist said “Palestinians impose their demands for justice onto others
I said “Zionists impose their religious demands onto Palestinians

A Neo-Conservative said “I believe we are the superior Civilization
I said “That's what makes you an inferior Civilisation

An American politician said “We resist against those who use terrorism and violence
I said “You use violence to terrorise those who resist

A French Politician said “We have banned wearing the Niqab to free women
I said “You have banned womens’ freedom to wear the Niqab

An Islamophobe said “I hate Islam, and fear for my safety from Muslims
I said “I fear for the safety of Muslims, from those who hate Islam

A Pacifist said “The just way is to be peaceful
I said “To be peaceful to the unjust, is injustice to the peaceful

A Pragmatist said "Always choose the lesser of two evils"
I said "Then your choices will always be evil"

An Ascetic said “Leave worldly affairs, and seek God
I said “Seek God in your worldly affairs

A Conspiracy Theorist said "I believe that 'They' control the World"
I said "That belief controls your world"

A 'Moderate Muslim' said “Ideally, you should embrace compromise
I said “You should embrace an uncompromisable Ideal

by Abdullah Al Andalusi 

25 May 2011

Islam & Hygienic Practices


Islam is the religion of all times and places. It is a perfect system of temporal values. By practicing its laws Muslims all over the world not only attain spirituality but the pinnacle of all other glories and gain the wealth of health.

There is a great inter-relationship between modern medicine and some of our Islamic teachings.
Every word of Qur'an is in fact an experience of great reality and science is just an effort made towards this reality. Knowledge is limitless and its horizons are constantly expanding with every strike of progress disclosing fresh informations and according to Qur'anic knowledge is a comprehensive text and it involves all branches of sciences, religion, technology, agriculture, engineering and medicine. It is definitely a miracle of our sacred religion that it expands on all branches of human knowledge. This is known from the following quotation from Qur'an:

"We have revealed to you the Scripture so that it might be a clear evidence for every thing."
In the following paper I have tried to elucidate that the guidelines given in the Quran and Sunnah concerned with the promotion of physical health of humans have been duly proved by years of modern medical scientific research all over the world. Some of them which I am going to deal with in this paper.

PRAYERS:
In Sura Moon "God deprecates those who are careless in their prayers offer them only for show." The blessed Prophet told us "Prayers are certainly health promoting." Although the real purpose of prayers is to worship Allah yet there is a large number of additional benefits also.

EXERCISE:
As we eat three times daily we need exercises to lessen the cholesterol in the body which increases in the blood after meals, thickens it and leads to the deposition of slit in the arteries.

In addition to saving us from the sins and elevating us to the heights of spirituality, prayers are great help in maintaining our physical health. They keep our body active, help digestion and save us from muscle and joint diseases through regular balanced exercise. They help the circulation of blood and also mitigate the bad effect of cholesterol. Prayers play a vital role in acting as a preventive measure against heart attack, paralyses, premature senility, dementia, loss of control on sphineters, diabetes mellitus etc.

In addition to saving us from the sins and elevating us to the heights of spirituality, prayers are great help in maintaining our physical health. They keep our body active, help digestion and save us from muscle and joint diseases through regular balanced exercise. They help the circulation of blood and also mitigate the bad effect of cholesterol. Prayers play a vital role in acting as a preventive measure against heart attack, paralyses, premature senility, dementia, loss of control on sphineters, diabetes mellitus etc.

Collateral circulation plays a major role in decreasing the danger of heart attack in patients. Patients above 55 years of age in which this type of circulation is developed have less severe attacks. It is possible to speed up the development of collateral circulation by regular and balanced exercises which is present in the prayers are not only potent, preventive measure against coronary heart diseases but also help in the development of collateral circulation in those people who have already suffered from a heart attack or are prone to it.

Heart patients should offer-the five obligatory prayers regularly as they get the permission from their doctor to leave bed.

The arrangement of prayers is such that those at the time of empty stomach are brief but those after meals are longer and give more exercise to the body.

During the month of Fast (Ramadan) the additional twenty Rakaat (Tarawih) are added to the late evening prayers because more than normal food is usually consumed after breaking fast.

The performance of prayers put almost all muscles of the body in action. Different groups of muscles are activated while performing prayers. During Sajda blood supply to the brain is improved. One of the useful methods to strengthen the muscles of the knee joints to mitigate the strain on knees in osteo arthritis is the regular exercise of these muscles during prayers.

HEART:
This vital organ of the body has to be always healthy and efficient as it is responsible for the circulation of blood. Diseased heart results in deterioration of the healthy body. This knowledge we obtained after centuries of scientific research yet it was simply told to us fourteen hundred years ago by our great Prophet (peace be upon him).

"Verily in the body there is such apiece of flesh that if it remains alright the whole body keeps well but if this piece of flesh develops some defect the whole body becomes unhealthy. Behold,- this piece of flesh - it is heart." (Bokhari, Muslim ...)

SIESTA:
It was the habit of our blessed Prophet to sleep for a while after lunch, his companions also followed this practice. This short nap gives relief to the vital organs of the body like heart and brain.

MODERATION IN FOOD:
Both Qur'anand Hadith have touched this topic, Qur'an tells us in Ayah 30 of Sura Al Airaf:

"O children of Adam, look to your adornment of every place of worship and eat and drink but not prodigal Lo! He loveth not the prodigals."

Strenthening this order, the Prophet has strictly forbidden over eating in the following Haith:
"It is enough to eat few morsels of food to keep one's back straight."

"If you must eat more, be sure that only one third of your stomach is filled with food, one third is left for water and the remaining one third for air."

"A Muslim eats in one intestine (stomach) whereas a non believer eats in seven intestine."

It has been proved beyond doubt that over eating is the root of many diseases and also responsible for premature senility. It produces obesity, predisposes to dangerous diseases like diabetes, menitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease and paralysis.

DIABETES MELLITUS:
This is due to insulin deficiency. Overeating gets the special cells of the pancreas (islets of Langerhans) over worked so it cannot meet the increased demand for insulin . Those cells may get tired, atrophy and causes difficiency of insulin . Read More : Is overeating Haram?

PARALYSIS, CORONARY HEART DISEASE & PREMATURE SENILITY:
Their basic course is the narrowing of the coronary arteries. Paralysis is the natural result of blocking of an artery in the brain, should this happen in the heart Myocardial infection results. Premature senility is installed when majority of the arteries in the body get narrowed.

Slit in the form of cholesterol and triglycerides is deposited in the arteries. Over eating increases blood cholesterol levels. Pork and beef contain high cholesterol values while on the other hand birds have the least amount. Qur'an mentioned that birds meat is one of the specialties of Paradise.

Olive has been repeatedly mentioned in Qur'an, and statistics shows that heart attacks occur more in Northern Italy where they use butter and margarine for cooking than in Southern Italy where olive oil is generally used.

Patients suffering from narrowing of the coronary artery usually develop the heart attack after a heavy meal.

FORBIDDEN ARTICLES OF FOOD:
Blood: 
Ingested blood on reaching the intestine is acted upon by various bacteria normally present there resulting in poisonous products like ammonia which is toxic to the liver.Therefore,God has forbidden us to eat or drink blood and has prescribed such a method for slaughtering animals that most of their blood is shed.

Pork: 
There are two harmful worms harbored by pigs, one is "TAENIASOLIUM" which on ingestion passes to the brain and causes epilepsy. The other one is "TRICHINELLASPIRALIS" which passes to the muscles and brain causing muscular swelling and pain and also epilepsy. Pork has more fat and cholesterol than any other meat. Read more:Why PORK is HARAM (Prohibited) in ISLAM? (Scientific Answers)

Alcohol: 
Numerous diseases have been attributed to alcohol like dyspeptic trouble, peptic ulceration, cancer stomach, pancreatitus, cirrhosis liver, vitamin deficiency and coronary heart disease.

CIRCUMCISION:
One of the criteria of Islam is that every Muslim should be circumcised. This is medically suggested nowadays as a toxic substance called Smegma may collect under the redundant skin causing cancer of the genitalia in both man and his wife, inflammation of the penis, phthisis, sticking of the redundant skin over the urethral opening leading to difficulty in urination. Read more: Circumcision in Islam

WASHING AFTER DEFECATION:
This beneficial habit saves us from Pilonidal sinus which is an abscess with hair inside occurring near anal opening.

Pylonephritis: This is more in women due to the proximity of the urethral opening to the anus so toilet paper while being used may bring germs like E. coli to the urethra.

ABLUTION:
A prerequisite of prayers yet one of the most hygienic procedure as it usually keeps the exposed parts of our body clean and also the parts of entry like mouth and nose thus avoiding infection. 

PREVENTION OF INFECTION:
Infection may be transmitted through dirty hands or dirty food. Hands: It is essential to wash our hands before and after meals. Our blessed Prophet told us:

"It is a blessing to wash your hands before and after meals." (Abu Daud & Tirmizi)

He has also advised us not to clean our hands with a towel before meals as they may convey infection from one person to the other particularly viral diseases like infective hepatitis or bacterial infection like Typhoid dysentries and cholera.

Or Prophet said:
"Whosoever gets up from slumber should not dip his hand in any utensil unless he washes them three times, who knows what things he has been touching during sleep." (Bokhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nisai)

ARTICLES OF BEVERAGES:
These articles should be handled with great care. If the food is in open utensil they should be covered to avoid contamination. Stressing this our Prophet said "Cover up the utensils and tie the mouth of the water skins." He said, "Why did you not cover the utensil carrying the milk even if - it was with a piece of wood." (Bokhari, Muslim)

DENTAL HYGIENE:
Particular stress has been laid by our Prophet on this as it is very important in the prevention of disease. He attached great importance to "Miswak" a twig of a tree used for brushing teeth. "If I had not thought this to be an unbearable hardship for my followers I would have prescribed the use of Miswak before every prayers." (Bokhari, Muslim)

According to modern dentistry the best method of using a Miswak or a tooth brush is up and down the length of the teeth and this exactly the way our Prophet used his Miswak.

KHILLALA:
The blessed Prophet said "Whosoever eats should pick bits and pieces from in between his teeth." It is beneficial act so that those do not rot and produce disease.

HEATSTROKE:
Covering the head and neck as our Prophet used to do, mitigate the danger of hyperpyrexia which is due to imbalance of the heat control centre situated in the hind brain, which may lead to death.

TREATMENT OF FEVER:
Death occurs if the temperature of the body exceeds 106 degrees irrespective of the cause. Medically speaking the first line of treatment is to lower the temperature by cold water, ice sponging or even immersing the patient in cold water. On this Prophet said:

"The fever is related to the Hell. Application of cold water keeps it away." (Ibne Maja)

CONSTIPATION:
The blessed Prophet advised that while defaecating keep pressure on the left foot (Tibrani). In squatting position this maneuvers will cause pressure on the descending colon. Medically this helps evacuation of feaces from the descending colon thus relieving constipation, particularly when muscles of the abdomen are weak.

DISEASES OF DIGESTION:
Several Hadiths pertaining to this were said:
"It is unbecoming to eat in the Bazar (Market)."
"Whosoever eats earth aid his death." (Tibrani)
"Use curry with food even if it is in the form of water." (Tibrani).
"Vinegear is a very good curry."
"The best curry is common salt."
Salt depletion through perspiration during summer is increased thus it is obligatory to use common salt during this period.
Our Prophet liked pumpkin (one of the vegetables) as it is easily digested and less likely to produce flatulence.
Our Prophet said.
"It is not right to eat your food quickly, besides this one should eat from what lies nearest to one." (Bokhari, Muslim)

EPIDEMIC PREVENTION:
Hygiene is very important. Cleanliness prevent infection entering the citadel of human body and this guards us against ill health and epidemics- God ordered our Prophet in Sura Al-Muddassir:

"O, Prophet keep your apparel clean and meticulously avoid filth and rubbish." Our Prophet said, "God Almighty is himself pure and likes purity, God himself is clean and likes cleanliness." (Tirmizi)

"God Almighty dislikes dust, dirt and disheveled hair." "Avoid three things which are cursed. To urinate at the source of water, in the shade, in the pathways." (Ibn Maja)

"No one should pass water in standing water." (Bokhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)

"If any one of you yawns,,cover your mouth with hands." (Muslim, Abu Dawood)

One should avoid coughing, sneezing, yawning or laughing with fully open mouth near other persons as the breathed out bacteria may spread in the atmosphere and be conveyed to other persons.

STREET AND ROADS:
Town planning is based on broad and airy roads so that there is no obstruction to the flow of traffic and to avoid congestion which helps in spreading diseases. Our blessed Prophet fourteen hundred years ago said "keep the breadth of the streets seven arms length". Read more : Eco-Friendly Islam

ACUPUNCTURE:
This method was mentioned in the authenticated Hadith as an effective treatment of several disease. Research work is being carried out in China and other parts of the world to use acupuncture as a method of treatment.
There are other aspects of medicine which have been dealt with in Islam for example:

Quacks should not treat patients.
2. Treatment and prevention of diseases have been recommended and practiced by the Prophet.
3. When you visit a patient do not stay long.

There are many priceless gems of knowledge in the Qur'an and Hadith from which man can benefit immensely. These are but brief facts of medicine which have been mentioned before in Qur'an and Hadith and there is a lot more to be discovered and studied.


By: Hasan Ghaznawi, M. D. 

24 May 2011

Non-Muslims Quotes: Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881)
"As there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans (i.e. Muslim), I mean to say all the good of him I justly can..
 
"When Pococke inquired of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's (Muhammad's) ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no proof!...

"A poor, hard-toiling, ill-provided man; careless of what vulgar men toil for. Not a bad man, I should say; Something better in him than hunger of any sort, -- or these wild arab men, fighting and jostling three-and-twenty years at his hand, in close contact with him always, would not revered him so! They were wild men bursting ever and anon into quarrel, into all kinds of fierce sincerity; without right worth and manhood, no man could have commanded them. They called him prophet you say? Why he stood there face to face with them; bare, not enshrined in any mystry; visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his own shoes; fighting, counselling, ordering in the midst of them: they must have seen what kind of man he was, let him be called what you like! No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During three-and-twenty years of rough actual trial. I find something of a veritable Hero necessary for that, of itself...

"These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that one century, - is it not as if a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what proves explosive powder, blazes heaven-high from Delhi to Granada! I said, the Great man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame..."



"The lies which we [Christians] have heaped round this man (Mohammed), are disgraceful to ourselves only."

- Thomas Carlyle -


Ref: Thomas Carlyle in ‘Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History,’ Lecture 2, Friday, 8th May 1840.

23 May 2011

Al-Khawarizmi "FATHER OF ALGEBRA"


The terms Algebra and Algorithm are familiar to all of us but how many have heard of their founder Mohammed Al-Khawarizmi. In Geography he revised and corrected Ptolemy's view and produced the first map of the known world in 830 CE. He worked on measuring the volume and circumference of the earth, and contributed to work related to clocks, sundials and astrolabes.

His Life

Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khawarizmi. The last-mentioned name (his nisba) refers to his birthplace, Khwarizm, modern Khiva, south of the Aral Sea. He was born around 780 in the town of Kath part of Khwarism. Kath is now buried in the sand. He died around 850. He was summoned to Baghdad by Caliph Al-Mamun and appointed court astronomer. From the title of his work, Hisab Al-Jabr wal Mugabalah (Book of Calculations, Restoration and Reduction), Algebra (Al-Jabr) derived its name.

Algebra symbolizes the debt of Western culture to Muslim mathematics.Ironically, when it first entered the English language it was used as a term for setting of broken bones, and even sometimes for the fractures themselves. This reflects the original literal meaning of the Arabic word al-Jabr, 'the reuniting of broken bones,' from the verb jabara 'reunite.' The anatomical connotations of this were adopted when the word was borrowed, as algebra, into Spanish, Italian and medieval Latin from one or other of which English acquired it. In Arabic, however, it had long been applied to the solving of algebraic equations (the full Arabic expression was 'Ilm aljabr wa'l muqabalah' 'the science of reunion and equations,' and the mathematician Al-Khawarizmi used aljabr as the title of his treatise on algebra.

In the twelfth century Gerard of Cremona and Roberts of Chester translated the algebra of Al-Khawarizmi into Latin. Mathematicians used it all over the world until the sixteenth century.

A Latin translation of a Muslim arithmetic text was discovered in 1857 CE at the University of Cambridge library. Entitled 'Algoritimi de Numero Indorum', the work opens with the words: 'Spoken has Algoritimi. Let us give deserved praise to God, our Leader and Defender'.

It is believed that this is a copy of Al-Khawarizmi's arithmetic text, which was translated into Latin in the twelfth century by Adelard of Bath (an English scholar). Al-Khawarizmi left his name to the history of mathematics in the form of Algorism (the old name for arithmetic).

To celebrate the 1200th birth anniversary of Muhammad bin Musa Al-Khawarizmi the former USSR issued a postal stamp with his picture.


His Work

Al-Khawarizmi was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer. He was perhaps one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived, as, in fact, he was the founder of several branches and basic concepts of mathematics. In the words of Phillip Hitti:

"He influenced mathematical thought to a greater extent than any other mediaeval writer."

His work on algebra was outstanding, as he not only initiated the subject in a systematic form but he also developed it to the extent of giving analytical solutions of linear and quadratic equations, which established him as the founder of Algebra.

Hisab Al-jabr wAl-muqabala, contains analytical solutions of linear and quadratic equations and its author may be called one of the founders of analysis or algebra as distinct from geometry. He also gives geometrical solutions (with figures) of quadratic equations, for example x2 + 1Ox = 39, an equation often repeated by later writers. The ‘Liber ysagogarum Alchorismi in artem astronomicam a magistro A. [Adelard of Bath] compositus!' deals with arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; it is possibly a summary of Al-Khawarzmi's teachings rather than an original work.

His astronomical and trigonometric tables, revised by Maslama Al-Majrti (Second half of tenth century), were translated into Latin as early as l126 by Adelard of Bath. They were the first Muslim tables and contained not simply the sine function but also the tangent (Maslama's interpolation).

His arithmetic synthesised Greek and Hindu knowledge and also contained his own contribution of fundamental importance to mathematics and science. Thus, he explained the use of zero, a numeral of fundamental importance developed by the Arabs. Similarly, he developed the decimal system so that the overall system of numerals, 'algorithm' or 'algorizm' is named after him. In addition to introducing the Indian system of numerals (now generally known as Arabic numerals), he developed at length several arithmetical procedures, including operations on fractions. It was through his work that the system of numerals was first introduced to Arabs and later to Europe, through its translations in European languages.
He developed in detail trigonometric tables containing the sine functions, which were probably extrapolated to tangent functions by Maslamati.

He also perfected the geometric representation of conic sections and developed the calculus of two errors, which practically led him to the concept of differentiation. He is also reported to have collaborated in the degree measurements ordered by Al-Mamun which were aimed at measuring of volume and circumference of the earth.

His Books

Several of his books were translated into Latin in the early 12th century. In fact, his book on arithmetic, Kitab Al-Jam'a wal- Tafreeq bil Hisab Al-Hindi, was lost in Arabic but survived in a Latin translation. His astronomical tables were also translated into European languages and,later,into Chinese. His geography captioned Kitab Surat-Al-Ard,(The Face of the Earth) together with its maps, was also translated. In addition, he wrote a book on the Jewish calendar Istikhraj Tarikh Al-Yahud, and two books on the astrolabe. He also wrote Kitab Al-Tarikh and his book on sun-dials was captioned Kitab Al-Rukhmat, but both of them have been lost.


A Servant of God

Al-Khawarizmi emphasised that he wrote his algebra book to serve the practical needs of the people concerning matters of inheritance, legacies, partition, law suits and commerce. He considered his work as worship to God.

Source - Al- Jazeera

19 May 2011

Picture Perfect : Hunger & Poverty


About a quarter of the world's population consumes about three quarters of the world's resources while the rest of humanity suffers acute poverty. Consequently millions of people face malnutrition or starvation.

Sunnah & Science: ECLIPSE - A sign of Allah's power


Abu Mas'ud (A.S.) narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone's death but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. Whenever you see these eclipses invoke Allah, pray, exclaim, (Allah is Most Great) and give charity.

'A'ishah (A.S.) narrated that, “There was a solar eclipse during the life-time of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) led the people in prayer, and stood up and performed a lengthy recital during the prayer. Then bowed for a long while (made a long Ruku). He stood up again and performed another long recital of the Qur'an, but this time the period of standing (Qiyam) was shorter than the first one. He bowed again for a long time but shorter than the first one (Ruku), then he prostrated and prolonged the prostration. He did the same in the second Rak'ah as he did in the first and then finished the prayer. By then the sun (eclipse) had cleared. He delivered the Khutbah (sermon) and after praising and glorifying Allah, he said:

The sun and the moon are two signs from amongst Allah’s signs and they do not eclipse because of the death or life of anyone. Therefore, whenever you see an eclipse, remember Allah and say Takbir (exclaim, Allah is Most Great), pray and give Sadaqah (charity).

Explanation of the Hadith

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, which causes a total or partial solar eclipse. A total eclipse takes place in a limited zone on that part of the earth directly facing the sun, at which the sunlight dims to resemble bright moonlight within a few minutes. To the north and south of this band or zone, a partial eclipse takes place. The part of the sun , which eclipses keep getting smaller as we get away from the total eclipse band towards the direction of the two poles .

The Prophet (PBUH) says in this Hadith:

The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life (i.e. the birth) of someone but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah.

This means that they are two cosmic phenomena, which frequently occur, regardless of the death or life (i.e. birth) of anyone, contrary to what some people used to claim in the Arab Peninsula and other parts of the world. They used to relate the occurrence of these cosmic phenomena to the birth or death of a great person. The Prophet (PBUH) in this Hadith totally denies all of these superstitions, and assures that they are cosmic phenomena, which recur frequently.

Solar Eclipse



Science has proven that the moon is followed by a conical shadow, called the umbra, as it blocks the sunrays. In its movement around the earth, the moon's conical shadow passes along with it. At the time of conjunction, which occurs once every lunar month, the moon falls exactly in the middle between the sun and the earth, thus blocking its light totally or partially. Nevertheless, in most of the lunar months, the moon's shadow does not reach the earth, while passing between it and the sun and in such case the sunlight is not blocked. Hence, no eclipse takes place. That is why total solar eclipses are very rare. Sometimes during a solar eclipse the moon falls in the middle between the earth and the sun, and the visible sun narrows to a thin crescent, and the corona appears. At the moment before totality, brilliant points of light, called Baily's beads, flash out.

When the total eclipse takes place, the sky becomes completely dark and the stars become visible in the middle of the day. So in a few minutes, broad daylight turns into what looks like the night, which causes a feeling of panic and depression, not only for human beings, but for all creatures. Birds shelter in their nests, and animals hide in their dens, or get into a state of cautious stillness.


Lunar Eclipse



As for the lunar eclipse, it takes place when the earth, being between the sun and the moon, casts a long, conical shadow, called the umbra, with an area of partial shadow called the penumbra around it. This is a phenomenon, which can be observed from all parts of the earth. In most months, the moon passes above or under the umbra, the conical shadow of the earth, and does not enter it. Thus, the lunar eclipse does not take place. During the solar eclipse, the solar energy that reaches the earth decreases and hence the temperature of the earth drops. However, during the lunar eclipse, the solar energy, which reaches the earth increases, causing the temperature of the earth to relatively increase for a few minutes. Since these phenomena are very accurately calculated, the earth is exposed to extreme dangers that only Allah knows how grave they are. That is why the Prophet (PBUH) asked Muslims to invoke Allah, the Almighty, praise Him, exclaim, “Allah is Most Great”, and glorify Him. Moreover, the Prophet asked Muslims to pray and pay charity, praying that Allah will protect the earth and its inhabitants from these dangers.

This is the reason why the Prophet (PBUH) said in other narrations of the same Hadith: “Rush to prayer” and in another narration he said:

These signs sent by Allah do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah frightens His worshippers with them. So when you see anything thereof, rush to invoke Allah, pray to Him and ask for His forgiveness.

One cannot help wondering how the Prophet (PBUH) could attain such accurate scientific facts, more than fourteen hundred years ago, at a time when people were up to their ears in superstitions and myths. It really is an explicit proof of the Prophet's Divine Message.