better light a candle than curse the darkness

BaKhabar, Vol 4, Issue 5, May 2011
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Muslims Should Look Beyond Reservations
        ... ... Shahidur Rashid Talukdar <contact@srtalukdar.com>
Reservation
There is no denial of the fact that the Indian Muslim Community is lagging behind the rest of India in nearly all spheres of progress. This warrants the need of an immediate redressal of the issue. The national efforts in the form of affirmative actions like reservation, etc. are good means but not the best to help the community move forward. Reservations though give an opportunity to the underserved but indirectly discourage open competition. Hence, it gives a negative incentive to the deserving candidates. This will ultimately hinder the growth; if not immediately affect the existing quality. Therefore, I don’t see reservations as the eternal solution to the Muslim community’s or of any others problem of laggardness.
                                                                                 
Although reservation provides one of the quickest way to address the issue but positive measures like providing scholarships to the deserving, on counts of both merit as well as need, likely to have stronger and more sustainable long term impact. Another such initiative would be to set up primary and secondary schools of high standard in under served Muslim concentrated areas, particularly addressing children from poor families. In other areas where a school is not needed, a special coaching and guidance center can address the deficiency need. In such cases, initially the success will appear thin but there needs to be determined and persistent effort.                       top
First of all, the schools or the coaching centers need to maintain a high academic standard like those of ICSE or CBSE schools. It is quite obvious that initially, in an underserved community, the parents might not be very much enthusiastic about their children’s education. For them helping in the family affairs or contributing to the narrow supply of income might seem more important. We have to create an environment as to how parents, even though they might be illiterate, develop a positive attitude towards education and ultimately own the responsibility to educate their children.

Doing this is difficult but not impossible. We need to identify interest groups, like clubs, association or groups of progressive minded elders or youths from the community itself who can mobilize the community at the local level. Muslim NGOs or any other organization interested to help the community with a track record of transparency and efficiency can be instrumental in such an effort. Lack of credible NGOs maybe an issue, but to start with, on a pilot basis, identifying a few NGOs won’t be a problem. Once a few organizations take up the initiative and come up with a viable proposal, the government or non-government funding agencies can evaluate the same and grant a project. For monitoring, the implementing agency, the NGO itself will primarily be responsible. In addition, the local interest group will provide necessary inputs in terms of community relations, cooperation, and community mobilization.                                                     top
In order to enable the children to study, the access to education must be free or the cost of it be paid. This may come from a well designed scholarship that takes care of the school tuition, books and stationary and extra coaching, if required. These scholarships will do the dual job of meeting the need as well as motivating the children and their respective parents towards education. Such a specialized effort in uplifting the deprived community will more effective than reservations in the sense that it will provide children with the confidence and competence required to meet the actual challenge rather that facing a subsided one. Competent and able children will give rise to a strong community and strong communities will build a stronger nation. We need to advocate for a uniformly strong and competent nation, not a uniformly reserved and weaker nation!                                               top
Our Journey to the Day of Resurrection, Part-1
 ...  ... Gheyas S Mahfoz Hashmi, Jeddah <hgheyas@savola.com>

I have finished last year in 2010 writing “Prayers (Nimaz) in Islam” in nine parts. I have taken today the above topic which will Insha Allah continue and conclude in few parts as well.

The fastness of the present time journey by air is one of the great achievements in the science and technology fields. Long distance is covered in minutes. Hence, more than 30,00,000 people travel in a day by air itself.

I am here not going to discuss air travel but certainly a travel (ever-fastest) which a man covers within no time and which is MUST for every body. It is the journey to the day of resurrection transiting in Aalam-e-Barzakh.  Allah says in Quran “But Allah reprieveth no soul when its term cometh, and Allah is Aware of what ye do.”(63 /11).
Day of Judgement
Prior to travel in this world all the necessary information about the means of travel, destination information like weather and climate of the place, housing and eating arrangements at destination, etc. are collected and accordingly arranged to make the journey comfortable and the mission thereof successful.  Have we ever though of same preparations for our inevitable journey? We can certainly say “No” or Yes but very scanty. Every body will be in agreement with me that if no planning is made for journey (worldly or hereafter) the journey will be futile and tiresome.                                                       

I would like to share with you here all the necessary information about our inescapable journey to the final destination Jannat (Heaven), i.e. information about places that we have to cross in between to reach the final destination.
A man has 2 deaths and 2 lives. Allah say “How disbelieve you in Allah when you were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then to Him you will return.”(2/28). Hence, the man has 3 situations; this World which is the first situation starts from life, Aalam-e-Barzakh which is the second situation starts from death and Aakhirat which is the 3rd & last situation starts from resurrection from the graveyard (a part of Aalam-e-Barzakh). All these 3 situations are related to soil, i.e. man was created with the soil, will be dropped in the soil and will be resurrected from the soil. Allah says, “Thereof We created you, and thereunto We return you, and thence We bring you forth a second time”.  (20/44).
The divine statement that says “when you were dead He gave you life” depicts that the man was having a kind of life before the worldly life. They were not nothing. This Quraic verse gives us the knowledge of Ahad Azli (eternal reign). So, Allah says in Quran, “And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily. We testify. (That was) lest you should say at the Day of Resurrection: Lo! of this we were unaware (7/172).
Prior to sending to this world all children of Adam were collected and given the power of hearing and speaking and accordingly a Covenant from them was taken at a place known as Nouman (Arafat) as narrated in Musnad Ahmad, Nisai and Hakim at the authority of Ibn Abbas (r) (Ma’rif Quran quoting Tafseer Qurtubi).
This Covenant will be presented in Qiyamat as ratification in order to establish the facts from which none will be escapable.  According to Syed Abul A'ala Maududi this Convenant is existed in the subconscious of the human being which can be recalled with some external appeal to cause them to appear and take practical shape.       

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