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JULY 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-07 No:163    *   JULY 2000 / RABI-UL-THANI 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

CHILDREN'S CORNER


A Feast for Clothes
Arabian Aromas
Snake man of Bangalore
Peep into the Future
Do You Know that..
The Hallowed Ten
Brush up your Knowledge
Words from Quran
Dua for Riyaa
Invitation


A Feast for Clothes

07child2.jpg

Shazia Andaleeb

Once upon a time in the Iranian city of Shiraz, there lived the famous poet Sheikh Saadi. Like most other poets and philosophers, Sheikh Saadi was not a rich man. He led a very simple life. A rich merchant of Shiraz invited Sheikh Saadi along with a lot of other big businessmen of the town on the occasion of his daughter’s marriage which was to be a grand affair. Sheikh Saadi accepted the invitation and decided to attend.

On the day of the wedding, the host and his family were receiving the guests at the gate. They were ushering all the guests towards the dining hall. All the rich people of the town attended the wedding. They had come out in best of their attires. Sheikh Saadi wore simple clothes which were neither grand nor expensive. He waited in a corner for someone to approach him but no one gave him as much as even a second glance. Even the host did not acknowledge him and looked away. Seeing all this, Sheikh Saadi quietly left the party and went to a shop from where he could hire clothes. There he chose a richly brocaded dress which was embroidered in gold on the margins. He selected a fancy turban and a waist-band to go with it. As he put on the hired dress and looked into the mirror, he found himself a changed person.

With this, he entered the dining hall and this time was welcomed with open arms. The host embraced him as he would do to an old friend and complimented him on the clothes he was wearing. On seeing him, he said, “And here comes our favourite poet. What took you so long, friend? We have been waiting for you for ages! How good of you to have come. The gathering surely would have been incomplete without your gracious presence!” Saadi did not utter a word and allowed the host to lead him to the dining room where other guests had assembled. Tasty dishes had been laid out on grand carpets. Saadi was offered a seat with soft cushions. The food was served in fine crockery and cutlery made out of silver.

The host led Sheikh Saadi by hand and himself served out the chicken soup and the fragrant rice to him. After this, something strange happened. Sheikh Saadi dipped the corner of his waist-coat in the soup and sprinkled some rice on it. Addressing the clothes, he said: “This is a feast for you, you should enjoy it.”

All the guests were now staring at him in surprise. The host said, “Sir, what are doing? How can your colthes eat? And why should they? To this query, Sheikh Saadi very calmly replied: “My dear friend, I am indeed surprised with the question coming from you.”

“Aren’t you the same person who did not even throw a look at me when I came dressed in simple clothes. I can guess that it is my clothes and appearance that matter with you, not my individual worth. Now that I have put on grand clothes, I see a world of difference in reception here. All that I can now say is that this feast is meant for my clothes, not for me.”

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Arabian Aromas

07child.jpgThere was once a time when Arabia was known for its plants that produced scents. The small twigs which were burnt in pots sent out scented fumes. This Arabian frankincense was famous all over the world for its sweet and subtle aroma. Kings and emperors required them to perfume the air in their courts and baths.

The Egyptians were using “the perfume of the Gods” for temple rites and as a base for perfumes. Another Arabian incense, the myrrh was used as a medicine and was used to perfume the royal mummies (embalmed bodies) in Egyptian pyramids. Romans too were buying the Arabian frankincense in huge volumes 450 years before the birth of Christ (Hazrat Isa, peace be upon him). When Athens was witnessing the peak of its civilization, Herodotus, the Greek father of History, mentioned Arabia’s aromatics. “The whole country is scented with them and exhales an odour marvellously sweet,” he wrote.

Frankincense of the best quality is grown in Oman’s desert plateau. The trees consist of a bunch of thick trunks. Ideal conditions for their growth would be a steady tropical sun, pale limestone soil, and heavy dew from the monsoon.

The Arabian bedouins extract the frankincense by peeling out the gray outer bark from the tree. Once the green inner surface is open, white milk oozes out which is collected in a bowl. This gets hardened to a translucent golden hue which is pure frankincense. This is put in traditional incense burners, which release the essence of frankincense.

But sadly, the world’s best frankincense is no longer popular in the market. Cheap incense from India and Somalia have pushed them out. The farmers too do not take interest because the returns from the business are not enough.

This is in stark contrast to the situation 2000 years ago when incense trade was at its peak and Arabian traders had monopoly of the world market. Frankincense was sent to various parts of the Europe on the famous frankincense trail which covered around 2,400 miles, stretching from the south of Oman through Yemen’s high mountains across the dunes and bleak volcanic deserts of Saudi Arabia to Petra, a port in today’s Jordan. It further reached up to distant Greece, Alexandria, Damascus, Rome, Wadi Hadharmaut, Qana, Aden, Timna, Maarib (Queen Sheba’s capital), Najran, Makkah, Madinah, Madain Salih, etc all of which have been one time or the other the seats of great power and have buried in their ruins great mysteries.

How such a far flung trade was organised is something which sets you thinking and wondering if the early men were really as ignorant as we assume they were.

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Snake man of Bangalore

Anees Ahmed is a herpetologist. You would ask what a herpetologist is all about. Any person having interest and expertise in reptiles especially snakes is known as herpetologist.

He recently became the first snake expert in India to get the cobra eggs hatched in his private laboratory at home. He turned his small fish aquarium into an incubator where it took 30 days for eggs to produce small cobras. During this period the temperature was maintained at 30 degree Celsius with 90 per cent humidity. Later they were released into the national park near Bangalore.

Anees is today known as an expert in catching and handling snakes. He is just 29 but says he has caught nearly 3000 snakes from homes, offices, shops etc. On an average he gets a call a day to catch a snake but says he has never been bitten by a poisonous snake. Anees is member of several organisations working for the welfare of the animals such as SPCA, CUPA, People for Animals etc.

07snake1.jpgHow did he develop interest in snakes? Anees says he had lifted an injured snake from a Bangalore highway while he was in 3rd standard and carried it to the school. When it slithered out of the bag, there was rumpus in the class and he received good beating from the teacher, principal, and later at home. He says: “I distinctly remember this incident but it developed into a hobby when I began living on a farm. I would routinely pick up snakes and release them in the hills. It came to me by instinct. No snake ever harmed me. Allah had been very merciful to me. I lift the snakes by a hook and catch them by their tales.”

According to Anees, snakes eat rats and control their population. “If all the snakes are killed, the rat population will grow so rapidly, that no foodgrains will be left on the Earth for the human being after ten years. Snake is the only animal that could reach the tail-end of the rat’s burrow and can swallow as many as six rats at a time. Thus the snakes act as the nature’s agent of biological control,” says he.

Anees says snakes eat away eggs laid by other snakes and thereby check their own population. They also swallow eggs of birds or animals without crushing their shell inside. The shells melt during hibernation through secretion of digestive juices. He has a few chicken eggs in whole, which he took out from the stomach of a snake.

Anees has a lot many snakes, several of them spectacled cobras, packed in cloth bags and kept in ventilated boxes, glass cases or simply kept in large plastic bottles at home. He is now making a thorough study and has just begun writing a book on snakes, their beneficial role in the nature, first aid on snakebite etc.

But only last week he had another unique job to handle. He rescued an injured eagle. He took care of the magnificent bird for a few days and released it in the hills of Chikballapur near Bangalore. Anees says eagles fly at very great height and this particular eagle had hit a high tension wire while preying on a bird. It had a wingspan of five feet. He provided the rare photograph of the eagle for the readers of the Islamic Voice.

Anees can be contacted at : Ph.: 080-5487424 or mobile 98440-37424

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Peep into the Future

Faster than Light

It may boggle your mind

Here is something travelling faster than light. A scientist from Princeton University in the USA has discovered that light pulcoc can travel 300 times faster than the light which has a speed of 186,000 miles per second. It is so fast, the scientist say, that it arrives at its destination before it starts its journey. More details are awaited in science journal Nature.

It challenges an essential principle of physics because here the cause comes after the effect.

Warm Toilet Seats- Smart Lifts

Japanese Toilet seats already provide users buttons at the hand rest that adjust the warmth of the seat and buttons for squerting water at the right spot. They have devised low-noise tyres and high-sound barriers exected both sides. At the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, the lift tells you if it is irght one for your. If you press the button fro a different wing for example, it will give you directions to get the right elevator.

Internet Through Wireless

The internet is changing our life, Right, How?

You can do business and pay throug plastic bank cards. But next important step will be accessing the Internet without wires, that is through wireless. The latest mantra is WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), a facility the access to Internet. But the technology is still under evolution stage. Recently Bangalore hosted a conference to discuss the application of this technology at the Indian Institute of Science to decide the standards for the emerging technology. The organisers said India was a follower of the West in the Internet, in WAP it can be the driver.

Pests must be Afraid

The pests destroy a lot of food grains and crops. They eat away 40 million tons of world corn in the fields. This is about 7 per cent of the corn grown worldwide. Scientists are now working to induct pest-resistant genes into the seeds which will fight the pests. This is being made possible by biotechnology. Africa is already reaping a rich harvest of cotton by using such pest-resistant seeds.

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Do You Know that..

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  1. Gwador, a Pakistani port town was once a part of Arab nation of Oman. Oman also ruled over Zanzibar port on the African east coast.

  2. Yemen was an Indian protectorate till 1961 as a legacy of the British government in India.

  3. Kuwait had Indian Rupee as its national currency till 1961.

  4. An Indian Ujjal Dusanjh is the prime minister of British Columbia province in Canada.

  5. Half of the population of Fiji and Mauritius islands is of Indian origin. All the prime ministers of Mauritius were of Indian origin while the Fiji’s elected prime minister Mahendra Chowdhury is currently a hostage by leaders of the coup who want the country to be headed by local Polynesians.

  6. Pondicherry was a French ruled territory in India’s eastern coast in Tamil Nadu. Two more smaller units of Pondicherry are Mahe and Yanam. They are widely separated from Pondicherry. Mahe is surrounded by Kerala and Yanam is an island on the coast of Andhra Pradesh.

  7. Ceuta and Melilla are two small Arabic-speaking, Muslim dominated seaports and Spanish enclaves on the north-eastern coast of Morocco.

  8. Puerto Rico is a US ruled island in central West Indies

  9. Chile is headed by prime minister Fuji Mori, a Chile national of Japanese origin.


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The Hallowed Ten

Zubair Ibn Awwam

To be precise, he was the fifth person to embrace Islam at the tender age of 15. Moreover, he was the cousin of our Holy Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh), being the grandson of Abdul Muttalib from his mother’s side. The Prophet (Pbuh) had conferred upon him the title of Hawari (disciple) in the Battle of Ahzab. He was a brilliant strategist and an awesome commander. The Prophet (Pbuh) had appointed him as the commander of a section of army in the battle of Uhud. Another outstanding penchant of his was his generosity. So much generous was he that nobody returned empty-handed from his threshold. He was always willing to help the poor and the needy in whatever capacity he could. During the Battle of Camel, he took side with Hzt. Ayesha. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by a man known as Amr Ibn Jarmuzar who was a Sabai (belonging to Abdullah bin Saba’s group), while he was on his way to Madina.

Short life sketches of two more of the “The Hallowed Ten” have already been carried in the earlier issues of Islamic Voice.

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Brush up your Knowledge

  1. The name of Prophet Mohammad’s (Pbuh) flag was Uqaab

  2. Prophet Adam (A) is known as ‘Abul-Bashar’

  3. Hzt. Abu Hurairah (R) is the Sahabi who has narrated the largest number of Hadith

  4. It was Hzt. Dawood (A) who laid the foundation of the Bait-ul-Muqaddas

  5. Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) offered the Hajj twice in his lifetime, the last one being in 10 Hijri

    Translators of the Holy Qur’an

    Compiled by Zuhair Bin Saghir

    Shah Abdul QadirUrdu
    Sheikh Sadi Persian
    Dr.Ahmad Shah Hindi
    George Sale English
    Nassitocky Greek
    Equveckal Roman
    Schoeger Dutch
    Shah Rafiuddin Bangla
    Hafiz Mohammad Punjabi
    Narayan Mishra Telugu

    Islamic Voice
    Invites Contributions in writing for children’s and women’s pages. Writers can send reports, features and write-up on happenings around them in tune with the magazine’s character. Photgraphs will be essential. All write-ups will be accepted on merit alone.
    Editor

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    Words from Quran

    Dr. Hasanuddin Ahmed

    arabic.gif

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    Dua for Riyaa

    Allaahumma innaa na ‘ouzu bika an nushrika bika shay’an na ‘lamuh, wa nastaghfiruka limaa laa na ‘lamuh

    O ‘Allah, we seek refuge in you from committing shirk knowingly, and ask your forgiveness for (the shirk that we may commit unknowingly)

    ISLAMIC VOICE

    Invites Contributions in writing for children’s and women’s pages. Writers can send reports, features and write-up on happenings around them in tune with the magazine’s character. Photographs will be essential. All write-ups will be accepted on merit alone.

    Editor

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News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Interview | Insights | Features | Muslim Economy | Muslim Education | Issues | Children's Corner | Understanding Qur'an | Hadith | Islam and Science | Muslim Women and the Law | Our Dialogue | Muslim Women in Islam | Religion | Why I Embraced Islam | Matrimonial | Search new | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME | Islamic Links | Al-Nasr Exports

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