Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Learnings from NE Exodus - Re-inventing Muslim Leadership

 I'm reminded of an old Dawud Wharnsby song, while seeing the country in disorder by some ir
responsible, anti-social elements, focused on:-
  • Violent emotions
  • A rumor mongering, 
  • Slandering 
  • Spreading corruption and disorder in the Earth 
  • Impelling others into violating the Permanent Moral Values 
  • Involved in Bad company
"I sent an email to my loved one, just the other day,
it’s sad communication has evolved this way.
We use so many words but have so little to relay,
as angels scribble down every letter that we say.
All the viral attachments sent and passionate insults we vent,
it’s easy to be arrogant behind user passwords we invent.
But on the day the scrolls are laid,
with every word and deed displayed,
when we read our accounts,
I know, for one, I’ll be afraid."
~ Afraid To Read
Album: The Prophet's Hands (2003)
On Charity, Sacrifice and Social Concern

Allah speaks about these as

"Whenever he (man) holds the upper hand, he goes about the earth corrupting it, destroying (people's) crops and breeding stock. Allah does not love corruption. (Surat al-Baqara: 205)

Of the three arrested here last week for sending SMSes and MMSes inciting violence against people from the Northeast, the main accused, Anees Pasha, a 26-year-old cellphone repairman, alone forwarded controversial images and messages to 20,000 people using multiple SIM cards and cellphones, according to preliminary investigations. Read more here Man held in Bangalore sent messages to 20,000: probe

The recent havoc that mindless messaging created is unprecedented -- so much as to trigger violence, death, destruction of public and private property; loss of peace of mind, and ultimately the biggest internal exodus the country has seen.
Forward crazy

The online social bonding is amazing. Without batting an eyelid, people forward messages and emails that they find interesting, bizarre, entertaining or scandalous. No one pauses for a second to think whether they are passing on fact or a figment of imagination. Who cares?

But the real problem crops up when people think they have got a very important piece of information — messages that are very specific on details, more details than what even newspapers and television news channels have got, stuff that are actually inflammatory. And they are overwhelmed by an urge to pass it on to everyone who they think should know it. In no time the message zips across networks. And we have seen the horrendous results.
Social media — comprising everything from texting and web messaging to Facebook and Twitter — have taken over the information exchange mechanism. That's now the default information consumption interface. All of us are part of this media in one way or the other. Most often we get to know initial alerts about newsy events from strangers rather than from acclaimed and credible sources.
With so much unverified information zipping across, the social media is undoubtedly polluted. The immediate questions that this raises in my mind are — whom do I trust and what do I believe? If I shouldn't believe any SMS message or a Twitter update, then why am I reading them, subscribing to them? Should I stop believing everyone? Should I transform myself into chronic skeptic? Aren't we supposed to have faith in others, and believe what they say? 

Muslims in India and elsewhere have a right to feel concerned for their co-religionists anywhere in the world if they are targeted and discriminated against – whether in Myanmar or Assam is immaterial. But the violence in Mumbai last Saturday, where the media and the police were at the receiving end, shows that they are being taken up the garden path once again. Muslim leaders are creating in them a new sense of victimhood and anger that does not square with the facts.
It is easy to blame the police for being unprepared for the huge crowd that turned out, but it is the leadership of the protest organisers who must be blamed more, since they would have been even more aware of what was really going on in their mosques and bylanes in the run-up to the protest.
According to The Indian Express, a confidential report had been sent to the Mumbai Police Commissioner that he should expect “law and order problems,” especially because Muslims were being told in their mosques during Friday prayers to attend the Saturday protests. They were being pumped up on stories of atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar and Assam.
Of course, the police must be blamed for assuming that the permission given to an unregistered group to hold a prayer meeting at Azad Maidan would be a placid affair. But given the context in which the protest was being held, they were clearly underprepared. However, given also that 45 of the 50-and-odd injured in the violence were policemenit is their extraordinary restraint that must be commended rather than just being apportioned the blame for not being adequately prepared.
Rather, it is time to throw the spotlight on the Muslim leadership for building up the anger and not doing anything to rein it in.
More than the police, no one in the Muslim community could have failed to note the misleading SMSes and MMSes doing the rounds in the run-up to the protest day. ( Naim - Here it proves the lack of leadership qualities in an average Muslim and an important attribute to take moral responsibility to inform Appropriate Authority before the damage occur )This video proves the muteness of moderate muslims, who though in 1000s, are busy watching or recording in their cameras, when destruction of property is happening.
 Certain Muslim in India feel like a hunted animal and angry and victimised. According to The Times of India, the SMS read thus: Burma, Assam, Gujarat, Kashmir ke bad na jane kahan? Burma mein Musalmano ke qatl-e-aam or zulm ke khilaf Azad Maidan me Sunday ko rally hai. America me 5 Sikho ka katal hua to media or sarkar me hadkam hai, or lakhon Musalmanon ki zindagi ki koi keemat nahi. Sab ki ankhen band hai. Is SMS to Sunday se pehle Hindustan ki har Musalman or mantriyo or media tak pohchao..”.
The bashing of the media and destruction of television OB vans can be traced to this SMS message.
Look at the number of deliberate truth distortions here. The Indian media has been more than fair in reporting the Bodo-Muslim violence in Kokrajhar – in fact, it has been balanced, and did not overtly take the Bodo side even though the Bodos have as much reason to be angry as the Muslims, thanks to the influx from Bangladesh, some of them illegal immigrants. The fact that many people are infiltrators from Bangladesh is not even mentioned. Every word in the SMS is designed to feed a sense of victimhood without context.
It is easy to blame the police for being unprepared for the huge crowd that turned out, but it is the leadership of the protest organisers who must be blamed more. Reuters
As for the Myanmarese violence against the Rohingyas of the Arakan, the SMS assumes that it is somehow India’s job to take up the issue. This is why the murder in the US Gurdwara is mentioned – to show that if India can take up that issue, why not the riots in Myanmar? That many of the Rohingyas are taking shelter on the India side (some have even shifted to Hyderabad) is not seen as a reason to be grateful to this nation which has not so far discriminated against the flood of migrants from Bangladesh and even Myanmar. Would Indian Muslims be so angry if told that we are providing shelter to these victims of violence?
Then, there were the fake MMSes doing the rounds – many of them put up on social media – showing pictures that purport to show that Muslims were being slaughtered by the hundred. A Pakistani journalist-blogger – Faraz Ahmed – who is no friend of the Myanmarese, investigated these pictures and found that many of them were bogus, and possibly morphed by mischief-monger to enrage Muslims everywhere (Read Ahmed’s article, ‘Social media is lying about Burma’s Muslim cleansing,” here, and another related report How to start a riot out of Facebook: Yousuf Saeed, and see my facebook post here Facebook HOAX pictures).


 Effective Islamic Leaders should have some leadership qualities such as conviction, justice, sacrifice, eloquence, sound decision –making, etc.

According to some researchers, leaders in the Islamic perspective have been identified to have some leadership qualities geared towards the Holy Qur’an.


Read more here Leadership and Islam

Related Quran verses
"Take immediate corrective action if any misconduct has occurred from you. [3/135] 

"You shall treat kindly your related neighbors, and unrelated neighbors, companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4:36]

Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. [17:36] 

Most people follow nothing but conjecture and they only live by guesswork. [6:116, 10:36, 17:36] 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Deliberation is from Allah and haste is from the Satan." (As-Silsilah as-Sahihah )

Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Beware of temptation ( fitnah), for a word at the time of fitnah could be as devastating as the sword.

 Verifying News

Allah Almighty says, (O ye who believe! If an evil person brings you tidings, verify it, lest ye smite some folk in ignorance and afterward repent of what ye did ) (Al-Hujurat 49: 6).

What is meant by verifying is to make strenuous effort to find out the facts behind a certain issue so as to establish whether this can be proven or not. Verifying also means to be sure of the truth of a certain report and its circumstances. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: The believer reserves judgment until the matter is proven. 

In conclusion, we advise everyone to verify matters and not to rush to pass on news until they are sure that it is true, even if the news is good because if it becomes apparent that the one who passed it on is mistaken, he will lose credibility before the people, and anyone who bears a grudge towards him will use it against him .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quit Smoking starting this Ramadan

Assalamualaikum !

Ramadan a good opportunity to quit smoking, expert says

"As people abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, they are able to keep their habit under control and resist the urge to smoke during that period," Expert noted and said it is easier to quit smoking during Ramadan

Just within the first 20 minutes after you quit smoking, the body initiates an auto-healing process to restore your heart rate and blood pressure to normal and it takes about 24 hours for the last extra carbon monoxide from smoking to be eliminated from the body. Approximately 10 years after quitting smoking all the traces of smoking are removed from the body,  Expert said and added that no one should forget that smoking is a treatable medical condition. more...

Ramadan provides an excellent opportunity to change one’s mindset and environment to quit smoking.

Understanding what tobacco dependence is all about can help the smoker change his habits. This is especially so because addictive behavior has a direct influence on the bodily chemicals that affect emotions and behavior.

Often, it is the emotional aspects that cause the smoking behavior to continue. And thus the multitude of excuses which smokers offer such as it gives “a surge of energy”, or “acts to reduce tension” or even “gives a feeling of security”.

What it actually amounts to is that smoking maintains a certain level of nicotine in the smoker’s blood, especially in the brain.

No one can deny the harms of smoking to the human body. Medical evidence has established this fact beyond a shadow of doubt. The harms are as follows:

1) The cigarette contains poisonous materials, e.g. nicotine, tar, etc. These gases are killers.

2) Causes a bad odour to emanate from the mouth of the smoker.

3) Causes disturbances to others when performing Salaah in congregation.

4) Rasoolullah (S.A.W.) has said: “Whosoever eats garlic or onion, let him avoid us and our Masjid, and stay in his home. The angels are surely hurt by things that hurt the human beings.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

5) Smoking is harmful to the mind and body. The smoker is constantly craving- making it hard to work, concentrate, etc.

6) Causes irritation, insomnia, excitability, nervousness, etc. – hence instead of being Allah’s slave, a smoker becomes slave to his cigarette.

7) A smoker endangers his family’s health as well as that of none-smokers. 

in the Quraan these verses refer to Smoking:

"And He makes good things halaal for them and bad things haraam."  Surah al-A'raaf (7:157):

"Do not kill yourself. Allah is Merciful unto you." (Surah al-Nisaa' 4:29)

"Those who cause harm to believing men and women without any reason do a great sin." (Surah al-Ahzaab, 33:58)

And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things[al-Talaaq 65:3]


Let your family and friends know that you are trying to quit smoking as it can help you achieve success, revealed a recent study.
We talk to a few smokers, healthcare experts and chemists to know if it's true and the latest products available off-the-shelf that stave off smoking.
In your department there would be at least two smokers, minimum of seven on your floor and in your office ... far too many to even count. And what about your neighbourhood? And if at home there is someone who smokes, your life is surely up in smoke!

However, there is hope as a single thread runs through all these people and that is all of them know smoking is terrible for one's health, and at some point in their life, they have even tried to give up smoking completely. While few may have been successful, the others are still grappling to end the bad habit and are on the lookout for effective measures to kick the butt.
Go public
The recent research involving 1424 Australians, two thirds said talking to others about quitting was beneficial. The survey led by research firm Stollznow revealed that confiding in others could help stave off the temptation to smoke. Being public about the quit attempt, particularly with those closest to you like family and friends, can help address this issue.
Stress less
Too much work in the office, deadlines to meet, unhappy personal life? Is any one of this your reason to smoke? If so, think like a responsible adult. You need to look inwards and discuss with others in the family to address the problem at hand. Picking up a cigarette is not going to end your blues. In fact it will escalate your problems manifold. Professor Matthew Peters, who is chairman of Action on Smoking and Health Australia, confirm stress is a major factor in keeping some people smoking.
Exercise enough
Experts say ten minutes of cycling or jogging can significantly help people quit smoking. The researchers from the University of Exeter have shown that changes in brain activity, triggered by physical exercise, may help reduce cigarette cravings. Although it is still unclear, researchers believe that completing exercise raises mood (possibly through increases in dopamine) which reduces the salience or importance of wanting a cigarette.
Another possibility is that exercise causes a shift in blood flow to areas of the brain less involved in anticipation of reward and pleasure generated by smoking images.
ten or fifteen minute walk, jog or cycle when times get tough could help a smoker kick the habit. There are of course many other benefits from a more active lifestyle including better fitness, weight loss and improved mood.
Go for e-Cigarettes
Yes, it's true there are electronic cigarettes available easily! They feel and look like regular cigarettes but they aren't bad for your health. It's a battery powered, cigarette shaped device that releases a small dose of nicotine with each puff. As the nicotine goes into the bloodstream, the smoker feels the same high but the (bad) effect is substantially less. The cigarettes are sold as a 'quit pack' consisting of 45 cartridges costing Rs 4 per cigarette. Available at select Archies outlets in Delhi and Gurgaon.
Tablets and patches
Smokers wishing to kick the butt can double their success rates by using nicotine patch. Available at select pharmacy shops but do check the label. The current labelling comes as a result of concerns that using a patch while smoking could lead to nicotine overdose, but a literature review found concurrent use of a nicotine patch and cigarette smoking appears to be safe. 

People who use the patch before quitting are likely to spontaneously reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke because the patch satisfies their need for nicotine and makes the act of smoking less enjoyable.
Nicotine patch also decreases withdrawal symptoms.
Bupron XL 300mg is a doctor-recommended medicine which is meant to eaten daily for 60 days. By the eighth day, you will feel the urge has perceptibly gone down. But don't be overconfident as it is also the time when you may go back to smoking your normal, read huge, quota. Says Rajesh from, a chemist in Greater Kailash-II, "This medicine is so much in demand that we keep running short of it. The biggest plus is that it comes with no side-effects."
Help on your phone
There's help from your phone as well! The new iPhone has a free application which provides a live quitline coach and uses live text to advice on how to kick the butt. It connects the user to the National Cancer Institute's quitline service where they speak to a live quitline coach or use live text to get advice on quitting.
Developed by The George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) and the National Tobacco Cessation Collaborative (NTCC), "My QuitLine" app is a wonder cure for those keen on kicking the butt.
While the Apple app store has other applications to help people quit smoking, no others use products or services recommended as effective by the 2008 Public Health Service Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.
Chewable tablets/Gums
There's a new cure on the block and that's a chewing gum. These are not ordinary ones, but nicotine-based chewing gums by which smokers can be wooed to desist from picking up a cigarette.
Also, the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, has developed herbal chewable tablets. These herbal tablets will not only help those who want to quit smoking, but are also useful for all those who want to give up other tobacco products like pan-masala and ghutka.
The chewable tablets are poly herbal formulations and nicotine free, said the scientists. The basic ingredients are cloves, ginger, cardamoms, cinnamon and tulsi. They have already been scientifically validated and standardised. Toxicity studies have revealed that the formulation is safe to use, officials have said.
Natural anti-anxiety medication, and St John's Wort, an anti-depressant, have been used as natural substitutes for other drugs. But do check with your doctor beforehand.
Opt for counselling
Nimhans has a Tobacco Association Clinic that comes to the rescue of those who want to quit smoking or any other form of tobacco. Experts feel users of such deadly commodities should seek medical counselling as it's not easy to give it up. However, a combination of group or individual counselling, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and medication is necessary in most cases.
Group counselling on the telephone or on the Internet by creating de-addiction and support groups may offer encouragement more so when the morale is low.
Hypnosis will work
This technique helps by giving suggestions of reminders to relax during times of craving, or unconscious commands, which create a negative impression in the brain. There are many hypnotists in your city, do consult with one and give up the habit.
Think, feel, quit
You only live once. So take out time to think and feel for your loved ones, the environment and the passive smokers around you. Use of tobacco leads to deforestation as eight kg wood is needed to create a kg of tobacco; tobacco dirties the teeth and forms pigments in palms, fingers and nails; it leads to hair loss and skin wrinkles; tobacco users are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease and paralysis, apart from diabetes; men may become impotent and women may have fertility problems. If these don't put you off, wonder what will...
Don't give up
Even if you have tried several times to give up the habit but failed, do continue trying. The number of times you've gone back to it is not important, but maybe the fifth or sixth time, you will actually be successful in kicking the habit. Visit places which have a 'do not smoke' policy and test yourself as to how long you can control your desire to smoke. Meet friends who do not smoke and most importantly, love yourself and the rest of your family and bless them all good health and a long life.