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Islamic Voice Logo

NOVEMBER 1999

MONTHLY    *    Vol 13-11 No:155    *   NOVEMBER 1999/ SHABAN 1419H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

CHILDREN'S CORNER


The Stone Started Running away with the Clothes
LANDSAT!
Religious Impace
Satellites in Our Service
My Beloved
Life
Quizzing Time
SUPPLICATION ( DUA)

The Stone Started Running away with the Clothes

The Prophet Moses (Pbuh) was a shy person. He used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the men of Israel hurt him by saying, “He covers his body, perhaps to hide some defects of his skin; either leprosy or scrotal hernia or he has some other defect”. Allah wished to show that Moses was not having any defect which they imagined and talked of. One day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished bathing, he moved towards his clothes to dress. But the stone rolled away along with the clothes.

Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, “O stone! Give me my garments! Till he reached a group of Banu Israel who saw him naked, and found him the best of what Allah had created. And Allah cleared Moses of the accusation of the people of Israel. The stone stopped there and Moses picked up and put on his garment and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah four or five marks of the stick can still be found on the stone.” (Bukhari: 2/483)

Moral of the Story

It is stated that all Prophets who ever lived in the world throughout the ages were shy and modest. It was said about the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) that he was more shy than a celibate veiled-girl. Whenever he disliked anything, the companions could easily recognize his aversion on his face. (Muslim; 2/255)

Modesty, however, is a vital part of faith. Virtually, all Prophets had complete faith, thereby, they all were extremely modest. The Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) made this important moral value very clear in a speech saying, “Modesty is a part of faith and faith is a means to reach paradise, whereas, immodesty is a kind of cruelty and disbelief. And the consequence of disbelief is Hell-fire.” (Tirmizi;2/21)

However, the Prophet Moses was very modest and a shy person. On the contrary, Banu Israel were very immodest as well as most rude. They were notorious known for their persecution and the suffering they caused to Prophets. They left no stone unturned to persecute the Prophet Moses. Banu Israel misinterpreted his modesty and blamed and offended him by censuring and defaming him. It is worthy to be mentioned here that all the Prophets were unblemished and free from any kind of physical and moral defects. Hence, when Banu Israel started blaming and mocking at the Prophet Moses Allah wanted to justify and purify him from their baseless blame. Qur’an, the holy book, also refers to this incident in the verse below and completely vindicated the Prophet Moses. “O ye who believe! Be ye not like those who hurt the Prophet Moses (Pbuh). But Allah cleared him of the calumnies they had uttered, and he was honourable in Allah’s sight.” (Qur’an:33/69)

There are two miracles which took place in this incident, one of them the fleeing of the stone with the clothes, another is the traces of the hitting available on the stone to this day. It is believed that it was the same stone from where the twelve springs gushed. (Al-Mirquat: 11/4)

It is also a miracle that an inorganic hard substance was affected by hitting. There is a Hadith which throws light upon the subject. However, it is narrated that the Prophet (Pbuh) used to stand by a stem of a date-palm tree (while delivering a sermon). When the Prophet (Pbuh) stopped leaning against the stem we heard the stem crying like a pregnant she-camel, till the Prophet (Pbuh) got down from the pulpit and placed his hand over the stem. (Bukhari : 1/125)

We must avoid all kinds of baseless suspicion, spying or enquiring curiously into other people’s affairs. It would be better to mention here that back-biting also is a brood of the same genus. Sometimes these sins may be crimes. Therefore, all in all, they are despicable. Moreover, Allah also censures those people who indulge in this type of mischief;

“O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin, and spy not upon each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it - but fear Allah, for Allah is oft-returning, most merciful.” (Qur’an: 49/12)

There is another verse in this context which throws light on this very concept of conjectures and suspicions and denounces those who entertain such baseless thoughts. “They follow nothing but conjecture and conjecture avails nothing against truth.” (Qur’an: 53/28)

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Religious Impace

Zuhair Bin Saghir

Once a person goes into the depths of religion, understands the theme of religious tenets, his life undergoes a drastic change. He is prepared to sacrifice every moment of his life for the sake of his creator, his sustainer.

Hazrath Khansa (R) was an eminent poetess in Arabia. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) has also praised her poetry. Hazrath Khansa (R) had immense love towards her relatives and well wishers. In fact, she reserved special affection for her brother, Sakhar. Modestly speaking, he was an extremely valiant, intelligent and generous person. He also loved his sister a lot. Before Hazrath Khansa (R) embraced Islam, her father married her off to a man who turned out to be a spendthrift later on. He spent all the items of his house to cater to his prodigal nature. On this occasion, her brother helped her and gave away the better half of his wealth to his sister. In this way, her brother assisted her financially while she was in trouble. Friends, which sister would not bear affection towards such an adorable and helping brother?

During one of the battles, her brother, Sakhar got terribly injured. A spearhead pierced his body and his lungs popped out of his body. Hazrat Khansa (R) was full of grief. She attended and looked after her brother for a whole year. Yet he passed away. Hazrath Khansa (R) became extremely grief-stricken. Thereafter, she embraced Islam.

On another occasion, while the Persians were leading a tough battle against the Arabs, Hazrath Khansa participated in the battle along with her four sons. She urged her sons to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Allah. She told them that the life in Akhirah is a stable life as compared to the temporary phase of life in this world. She recited the following verses; “O believers! Be patient. Show valiance while fighting against the enemies. Serve the truth. Induce the fear of Allah in your hearts. Hope you will get benefited.” (Al-Imran : 20)

All of her sons lost their lives. Hazrath Khansa (R) felt relieved and content. She said: “I thank Allah for he has blessed me with the sacrifice of my sons.” No wonder, she had embraced Islam and her life had undergone a drastic transformation.

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Satellites in Our Service

Maqbool A. Siraj

Satellite

We live in a complex world. Though we all live inside definite national boundaries, the calamities, natural or man-made, are under no compulsion to cause misery to citizens of a particular country. So when the jungles burn in Indonesia, the smog affects the flights in Singapore. When it rains heavily in West Bengal or Assam, Bangladesh must take precaution against floods. When locusts arrive in Pakistan, the farmers in Punjab on our side must be put on alert. When West Asian oil wells are on fire, or oil tankers leak in the Gulf, the countries all around the rim of the Arabian Sea must take notice. Our comfort depends on taking notice of discomfort felt by people around us, and in a larger context, the people in neighbouring countries. Not alone this. But also in rushing to help them out of the crisis.

How do we take notice of the incoming disasters? Only by keeping vigil over the entire planet Earth. The modern eyes and ears that do the job are satellites that do the imaging and mapping of the Earth. Hundreds of satellites circling the Earth today provide images of the earth that provide tell-tale evidence of the changes occurring in the face of the earth and without bias of national boundaries. They transmit images that can tell with accuracy as to how the land or rivers or forest look like on a square metre of area. So if the hill slopes are being denuded in Switzerland, Italy can take due notice of the silt flooding its rivers. Thus it enables us to relate our socio-economic and commercial activities with the ecosystem we share without being hindered by our cultural and national boundaries and prejudices.

These images help the planners to check deforestation, extinguish jungle fires, contain oil slicks, cap burning oil wells or tankers, fight invading armies of locusts, take adequate measures to stop siltation of rivers and dams, preserve precious flora and fauna of specific regions, predict the course, pace and intensity of monsoons, anticipate the rains and in several other ways. Thus they urge us to refashion our needs and build a harmonious relationship with the ecosystem and promote coexistence.

The rainforests in the island nation of Madagascar once abounded with periwinkle flowering plant which blossomed with variegated hues of white, blue and purple flowers. The plant contained powerful anti cancer compounds which is used for the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease and lymphocytic leukemia. But most of the jungles were cleared between 1950 and 1985 as the food and fuel needs of the people grew. The loss to the rainforests and the periwinkle plant could be detected only around mid-80s through space imaging of the island nation and some measures were initiated to save the remaining plants. In fact, the humanity discovered the utility of periwinkle only when the Madagascar’s rainforests were on the verge of extinction.

The rainforests cover only 2 per cent of the Planet Earth’s surface. But they provide shelter to nearly half the globe’s known life forms. The Earth is estimated to have 1.5 million known forms of life. Constant monitoring of these forests through space imaging can ensure the survival of these species. It is estimated that an acre of rainforests probably contains more species of flora than the whole area under the United Kingdom.

Space imaging began nearly a quarter century ago. The US’ Landsat I was the first imaging satellite to scan the earth and transmit the picture for various uses. The US Forests Department was able to detect a fire in Alaska jungles which probably they never would have detected. They also brought to notice the northward drift of industrial pollutants from the industrial estates of Chicago. The Federal Highways Division was able to map the destruction of forests due to carving out of highways in forests of Maine state.

Last year, RADARSAT of Canada captured the image of a giant iceberg, 5800 square kilometres, which broke off Antartica on October 20, within five hours of the breaking off. The iceberg was bigger than the Delaware state in the US and could have caused problems for shipping.

Intelligent use of data from the images sent by satellites can enable us to develop a harmonious relationship between the development that is necessary for the human society and the nature. So the development can keep pace with nature. For instance, through CITYgreen software the loss of green cover can be documented over a specified area. The tree cover in an area reduces the rain run-off and increases the capacity of the earth to absorb the water. As green cover shrinks, storm water drains are required. Several American cities now regularly calculate the cost of impounding the run-off water and place it as value of the trees which they do it naturally. The cost of air purification done by the trees is also added to the total. This has been developed into a formula and is used for costing of the urban sprawl as well as to create equivalent green cover. For example, the city council in Bellavue city in Washington state found that the storm water flow increased by an estimated 1.2 billion cubic feet or 29 per cent over three years. The cost of storing one cubic foot of water was two dollars. So the cost of the lost tree cover over three years was computed at $ 2.4 billion dollars. The impact of tree loss on air quality was calculated at $ 95 million. Such calculations can enable the city planners to make better decisions and find new approaches to development in a manner that natural wealth could be sustained at the desired level.

Amazing possibilities await us in the field. A day is not far when trees in a forest could be bar coded, as you would have seen on various products. These bar codes can be read from a space satellites and any damage to them could be immediately notice by the vigilant eyes of the satellite encircling over the earth. Thus large tracts of forests could be safeguarded from the illegal loggers.

As we advance towards the future, more uses of satellites will be found and we will be able to manage our natural resources in a manner that development and nature could have a harmonious relationship. Only then can we claim the development to be sustainable.

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LANDSAT!

Landsat

LANDSAT takes 16 days to take its pictures of the entire earth. Then it begins taking pictures all over again.

LANDSAT weighs about 1 ton. How heavy is that? Well,do you know how much an Asian elephant weighs after having eaten agood dinner?

An Asian elephant weighs about 1 1/2 LANDSATs. So, if that is true then here is what one LANDSAT will weigh using the same elephant!

Well, you've learned a lot about LANDSAT.

It takes pictures only in the day time. That makes sense since using a flash camera from 570 miles away just won't work!

Each full picture it takes equals 13,000 square miles. That is an area about 115 miles long by 115 miles wide. Incredible!

Landsat can also look at smaller areas of the earth. How'sthis for small? 210 square feet which is about 14 1/2 feet by14 1/2 feet. You could mark this off yourself. Seven (7) verylong kid steps is about 14 feet.

Landsat completes a full orbit around the earth every 103minutes.

LANDSAT orbits the earth at about 570 miles out in space. This is roughly equal to the distance from San Francisco to SanDiego, Boston to Pittsburgh, or Houston to Memphis.

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My Beloved

Ahmed M Hashim


There was a time in my youth,
When Islam was only a custom.
They said “say La Ilaha Illallah,..
And pray, you’ll go to Heaven.”

Ah, how simple, no struggle in this,
Just a word, and a simple act.
Thereafter I’m absorbed in this world again,
With my ‘assured’ place in Paradise intact.

But this was not to be my fate
For ALLAH chose to guide my heart.
I learnt of a man who struggled so hard
When his mission was from the start.

The story of someone who had morals,
Spoke gently, kindness he knew.
Never fearing to say what’s right,
His conviction in ISLAM was true.

The touch of his hand was as soft as silk
To comfort a crying child.
To mend his clothes, or do the chores,
Never complaining, he always smiled.

A living he made with his bare hands,
The same that held his mighty sword.
Valour shone from the edge of his blade,

His smell was always of musk,
And cleanliness he kept at its best.
Stark contrast with the heroes of today,
Who stink of beer and sweat.

He held the hands of his companions.
Unashamed to play with many children.
So modest, so humble, a perfect example,
That strangers could not recognise him.

His eyes slept little for nights were precious,
His prayers he treasured much greater.
To pray Tahajjud in the depths of night,
Seeking forgiveness, and nearness to his Creator.

He broke his tooth for me at Uhud,
And bled for me at Ta’if.
He cried for me, tears of concern,
Just so I could have this belief.

His enemies admired his teachings,
Uniting every religion, every clan.
Till ISLAM came to every corner of the world,
O, but indeed he was only a man.

To own a house, or build his wealth
Was not his main concern.
To establish ISLAM was more essential,
To bring us under a Higher Authority.

Don’t you want him to plead your case,
When before ALLAH-The Judge-you stand?
Don’t you wish to be around his fountain,
A burning desire to drink from his hand?

So I love him more than all creation,
My Leader, my Humble Prophet.
Muhammad (SAWS) was a mercy to all mankind,
And to me, he is MY BELOVED !

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Life

A boy and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly,the boy fell, hurt himself, and screamed “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, he heard the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain,

“AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Curious, he yelled: “Who are you?” He received the answer: “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screamed: “Coward!” He receives the answer:

“Coward!”

He looked to his father and asked:

“What’s going on?” The father smiled and said: “My son, pay attention.”

And then he screamed to the mountain:

“I admire you!” The voice answered:

“I admire you!” Again the man

screamed: “You are a champion!”

The voice answered: “You are a champion!”

The boy was surprised, but did not understand.Then the father explained:

“People call this “ECHO”,but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do.

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.

This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

LIFE IS NOT A COINCIDENCE......IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU!.

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Quizzing Time

  1. What was the name of Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh) eldest son?
  2. Which clothing were disliked by Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)?
  3. Where was the first ‘Wahe’ revealed on Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)?
  4. By what name has Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) been referred to in the Torah?
  5. Who gave Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) the title of ‘ Rahmatul lil Alameen’?

Answers

1. Hazrath Qasim (R) 2. Thin and Silk clothing
3. Cave of Hira 4. Far Qaleet 5. The holy Qur’an.

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SUPPLICATION ( DUA)

When Evil thoughts come to mind
Aoozubillahe minash-shaitane
amantubillahi wa rasoolehi

I take refuge with Allah from the Satan.
I repose my faith in Allah and His apostles.


At the Time of Anger
Aoozubillahe minash-shaitwanir rajeem
I take refuge in Allah from the Satan outcast.

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