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DECEMBER 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-12 No:168    *   DECEMBER 2000 / RAMADAN 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

CHILDREN'S CORNER


True Faith
"Practice makes you Perfect"
How US President is Elected?
Fact File: Panda
Do You Know
A Civilised Society
Holy Ramadan
Answer the Following
Supplication (Dua)
Arab Proverbs
Things which Break Wudoo
Niyyah for Fasting

True Faith

SHE was only a little girl, the sparkle in her eyes dulled at the thought of her dear mother. It took her sometime to understand that her mummy would never come back. She knew her father was very sad too, as he held his little daughter close. Theirs had been a very happy family the envy of all neighbourhood. When tragedy struck in the form of an accident, the shock was unimaginable. As it so often happens, the father’s anger turned towards God, he blamed God for taking away from him the most precious thing in his life, his dear wife. There hadn’t been a single day when his wife didn’t pray to God with her husband and daughter beside her. And what had God done? He had snatched away the mother of his little daughter! Blinded by sorrow and rage, he did the only thing that came to his head, he stopped praying and bade his daughter to do likewise, never ever to believe in God or beg for His mercy. The little child, in all her innocence, could not nderstand her father’s admonition. “But why, daddy?” she queried.

“Because I say so, dear,” said her father.

“But it will make mummy ever so sad if we don’t pray, daddy!” Her father would not let himself be convinced, he felt so rebellious. He tried various methods to persuade his daughter away from God, but small though she was her faith was staunch. Remembrance of her mother only brought her close to God.

One day, her father struck upon a perfect plan to bend his daughter to his line of thought. He took the day off from his office and went home armed with paper, felt-pens, chalk and tape. On the doors and walls, he wrote in big lettering the line “GOD IS NOWHERE.” Which ever way he turned the line that God was not anywhere was there to greet him. He even took pains to stick a huge chart paper on the ceiling, such was his favour to pull her away from the Lord. He left the front door open when she was due from school and hid himself behind a door. How will she react when she read that God was no where? He could hardly hold himself. The little one got down from the school van and ran home. She was surprised to find the door ajar and even more surprised to see the graffitti all over the place. She squealed in delight, dropped her bag on the floor and yelled,

“Daddy! daddy! where are you? see who is in our home!” Her father came out of hiding to see who had come home.

“Daddy, God has come to our house. See! Everywhere it is written God is now here!” (She had split the word NOWHERE as NOW HERE!) The man stood stunned as if someone had struck him between the eyes. He was a man defeated, he fell down on his knees and wept bitter tears of remorse. Now he understood how God in His mercy and kindness never desertes His creatures. The man gatheres his daughter close to his heart, kissed her tenderly and said, “My little angel, God sent you to me to pull me back to His right path. Thank You, O Lord and all Praise be unto Thee!”

Thus they stood two of a kind in peace and blessings from their Lord. Elias Hussaina, Chennai

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Meet Swimmer Hakimuddin

"Practice makes you Perfect"

A Bangalore lad represents India at Olympics in Swimming.

FOR Bangalore lad Hakimuddin, swimming has been a great passion. The 21-year-old Hakim has just returned from Sydney Olympics. He was one of the 2-member team that represented India in the aquatics at Sydney. The second member was Ms. Nisha Millet, also from Bangalore.

A national record holder in freestyle swimming, Hakim had clocked a timing of 1.58.70 for 200 metres. That is one minute, 58 seconds and 70th part of a second. He won this gold medal at the National Aquatic Championship held in Bangalore in 1998. This performance led him to the threshold of the Olympics at Sydney. Though eliminated in preliminary rounds, Hakim is proud to have represented the nation at the world’s biggest sport event.

Short and lean, Hakim has been swimming since he was 8 years old. Her mother would take her to a hotel swimming pool in Bangalore. Splashing around for quite some time made him take the sport seriously. His first competition was in 1988 in Sub Junior National Aquatic Championship in Guwahati. First medal came at the same competition in Calcutta two years later. Still two years later he won the gold in Trivandrum.

By then he had grown up enough to be sent to international events. Since then he has represented India at the Asia-Pacific Swimming Championship at least seven times. In 1993 it was at Hong Kong, then at Delhi (1994), Colombo (1995), Kaohsiung-Taiwan (1997), Selangor-Malaysia (1998), New Delhi (1999), and again at Kaohsiung in 2000. Besides he has also represented India at Fajr International Tournament at Tehran in 1994, South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Dhaka, Chennai and Kathmandu.

Back from Sydney, Hakim is pursuing his BE at Bangalore. He is a specialist in Freestyle and Butterfly strokes in swimming. He has been honoured with Eklavya Award, Karnataka’s highest award for sportsmen.

While swimming from one event to another, Hakim has been balancing his career both in water and out in the college. He scored 80% marks in the PUC and a good ranking in the entrance test for engineering to win a seat. But he says the two together have made life extremely hard-pressed.

Hakim says swimming needs constant practice and a food rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Less oily food is more suited for building up stamina. “I used to do a lot of gymnastics to stay fit,”. Swimming is through a different medium, one requires at least five times greater effort in water for covering a distance than through running,” he adds.

But Hakim’s greatest sorrow is his short stature. He is just 5 ft 6 inches. “The taller a swimmer is, the greater is his advantage,” is how he puts it.

The world record holder in 200 metre freestyle is Ian Thorpe of Australia. Hakim says he is 6 feet 5 inches. He won the gold medal in 400 mt freestyle at Sydney by logging 1.45.00. Comparing his performance, Hakim says he would have covered only 188 metres of distance approximately in this time period.

Despite a medal loaded record, Hakim would not like to make sports a career. He sees his future lies in engineering. “You need to have a lot of political influence to get to the competitions, if not the medals, in India,” and I simply do not have this,” he says with a chuckle.

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How US President is Elected?

Sayeedur Rahman Nadvi

THE United States is almost three times bigger than India. But its population is just a little more than a quarter of India’s. It is a very rich country and an average American gets almost 90 times more income than an Indian. America has Presidential form of democracy. Its Constitution places all the executive powers in the hands of the President who holds office for four years. The President and his cabinet are not the members of Legislature and are not answerable to it in any way. He cannot be removed from office through a no confidence motion. It is unlike India which follows the parliamentary form of democracy. Here the executive powers are vested in the President who has to act by the advice of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. Here the Prime Minister rules supreme. He and the members of his Cabinet are members of Parliament. They are also answerable to the Parliament. The Prime Minister could be removed from office through a no confidence motion passed in the Lok Sabha.

The President of the United States is the most powerful man on the earth by law. The US Constitution provides for indirect election to the American Presidency. He is elected by an Electoral College consisting of as many Presidential Electors as is the number of members in both the Houses of the Congress plus three members for the national capital of Washington D.C., i.e., 538. (The US House of Representatives has 435 members and the Senate has 100 seats, i.e., two members from each state.) This Electoral College is constituted in each state and consists of as many members as each state has in the Congress, i.e., both in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The method of electing the Presidential Electors in each state is decided by the state Legislature concerned. There is no central authority for conducting the elections like the Election Commission in India. Even the mode of elections in different counties (you may call them districts) in the same state differs from one another. The Presidential Electors are chosen in each state as a group and not as individuals. As a result all the nominees of the party which poll the largest number of popular votes in the state are elected. Thus the party which polls the majority of votes in a state, say Florida, wins all the 25 Electoral votes of the state.

But then it is quite possible that a Presidential candidate despite getting more popular votes on the national level may lose the eleioeusp because he could not win the majority of states. This has happened thrice in the US including this year when Mr. Al-Gore has received more popular votes than Mr. George Bush who is winning the Presidential race.(Final results are yet to be announced.)

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Fact File: Panda

Compiled by Shazia Andaleeb

PANDAS are found in large numbers (i.e. of what remains of them) in a strip ranging from eastern China to northern Burma. They are huge bear-like creatures which are black and white in colour. Here are some facts about them.

  • They are solitary animals who move alone. They are very silent and avoid contact.

  • They remain in touch with others by the system of “Scent-pests”. There is a glandular area around the Panda’s tail. Which when rubbed against a tree bark leaves a pungent odour. This helps the Pandas to know who has been there and how long ago.

  • Pandas live in places which have a thick bamboo vegetation. Those are the only places they can survive in.

  • They survive basically on bamboo. It forms their staple diet. They eat leaves and stems. They are also carnivorous but eat meat only when available which is not often.

  • They stay within a range of area varying from 1.6 to 2.6 square miles and seldom venture out of this.

  • They are active for 14 hours a day, most of it spent feeding and are inactive for 10 hours, usually sleeping from two to four hours at a time.

  • Since Pandas are reserved by nature, meetings between them are a blend of coolness and violence and very noisy- they communicate in a medley of squeals, yips, chirps, moans, and barks.

  • These animals have such powerful massive jaws that they can even chew metal.

But these wonderful creatures are now on the verge of extinction because of man’s constant interference with nature and her methods.

Every year they die in large numbers either because their habitation of bamboo is destroyed or they become the prey of poachers who lay traps for musk deer who co-habit with the pandas. And sometimes instead of the intended musk-deer, the Pandas fall prey. They form a precious natural heritage and their preservation should be of concern to everyone of us.

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Do You Know

  1. Coconuts are the largest seeds in the world.

  2. Uttar Pradesh with population of nearly 139 million is India’s most populous state.

  3. C.Rajagopalachari was the only Indian Governor General of India. Governor General’s post was only for the period between the Independence and the adoption of Constitution.

  4. Alexander built a city in memory of his beloved horse- Bucphalus.

  5. Aircraft bodies are made out of duralumin, an alloy of aluminium and copper.

  6. Edvin Land invented the Polaroid instant camera in 1947.

  7. The giant Panda is the logo for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

  8. Arch, loop, whorl and composite are four kinds of fingerprints. Incidentally no two prints are alike.

  9. Human foot consists of 26 bones, 33 muscles and more than 100 ligaments.

  10. The first car, powered by a steam engine was built in 1770.

  11. Oceans and seas cover about 70% of the earth’s surface. Sea water accounts for 97% of its total water.

  12. Although tooth enamel (outer covering of teeth) is the hardest substance in the body, it gets eroded and destroyed by acid produced in the mouth during the breakdown of food.

  13. Saturn has 18 moons.

  14. Gujarat has almost one-third of the India’s total coastline. Though the state is small, the sea breaks into the lands through several inlets, estuaries, bays and marsh lands. This results in a coastline of 1600 kms, longest among the states.

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A Civilised Society

SOME years ago a German university professor accepted Islam under the tutelage of the Hamburg Islamic community. Later the new Muslim fell ill and was hospitalised. When the leader of the Islamic community heard of this, he straightaway went to visit the professor in hospital. He found him unexpectedly dejected and downcast. After a long silence the professor broke out with a sad tale: “Today my wife and son visited me. They had learned that I had an incurable cancer, and said they had come to say `goodbye’ for the last time as they understood I have only a few days more to live. It’s not the fact that I am dying that gets me down, but my wife and my son’s heartlessness.”

“Never mind!” said the Imam, “Islam’s your family now. And we believers will come and sit around you here and attend to all your needs unitl the end and after. To do this is for us a winning of merit in heaven, a sacred duty, a divine command and sincere expression of our brotherly love.”

This news made the pateint’s face light up. Thereafter he gradually weakened and died. The Muslim community undertook his funeral and escorted his body to their cemetery. Whilst the cortege was proceeding with due solemnity, a youth rushed up angrily and demanded the professor’s corpse. They asked “Why?” He said: “That’s my father whom you are burying-illegally, for I sold the hospital his body for 30 marks some days before he died!”

The scandalised Muslims stood firm. After some heated exchanges the young man had to withdraw his demand.

Asked later what his job was, he replied: “I work in a factory during the day time and in a dog-beauty-parlour in the evenings.” To such depths can family love, human feeling and a sense of proportionate values sink in a society that is “civilised”!

(Courtesy: Hong Kong Muslim Herald)

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Holy Ramadan

R. Govindarajan

    Gates of heaven wide open
    For, the blessed month Ramzan on
    No more hell, devils under chains
    Purity of mind and bosy everyone gets.
    From the new moon of the Holy month
    To shawwal’s new moon length
    Men of devotion on fast, mercy descends
    To thee His forgiveness in abundance.
    Freedom from the fire of hell
    Reward of virtue to one and all
    To us happiness blessed for ever
    If endureth we the pangs of thirst and hunger
    And give our share of zakat to the poor
    Virtue bringeth rewards ten times over.
To believers all, fasting a must
To cast off evil, the way best.
For days fixed must ye fast, yet for him
Who is sick or on ajourney, days same
But days other, that ye always remember
Or feed the poor, yet thy fast He doeth prefer
In the month of Ramzan revealed the Quran
Ways right well said, guidance unto man
    Divine spark aflame on thy soul
    As ye fast, with devotion, amonth whole.
    The Beneficent, the Merciful, He is the one
    He is Allah, like Him none.
    Salam to all, with love they say
    Peace to all, the divine Islam doeth pray
    To spread this message of peace and piety
    To ye all I submit this poetry.
    All are devotees who believe Him most
    Allah, the Almighty knoweth the best.

(Govindarajan is accounts officer in Lakshadweep Administration)

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Answer the Following

Islamic Voice December 2000 Contest

  1. Which Prophet built the Kaabah?
  2. Who was Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh) grandfather?
  3. Who was the first Indian astronaut?
  4. Which ocean is the deepest?
  5. How many surahs are there in the Holy Quran?
  6. Who were the four rightly guided Caliphs (Khulafa-ar-Rashideen)?
  7. In which part of the Ramadan does Lailatul-Qadr (Night of Power) occur?
  8. What is the length of a cricket pitch?
  9. At what temperature does water freeze?
  10. Who is the first Indian woman to win an individual Olympic medal at Sydney?

Send your entries with the coupon appearing below on page 12. Write your name, class, age, and school name alongside the answers on a separate sheet. The all-correct entry will receive Rs. 300. In case of more than one all correct entries the winner will be decided by the drawing of the lots. Three others will receive a children’s story book. Last date for arrival of entries in our office is December 25, 2000.

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Supplication (Dua)

Dua at the Time of Iftar
Al-laahumma laka sumthu wa bika mantu wa alaika tawakkaltu Alaa rizqhika Aftharthu.
O Allah ! It is for thee that I observe fast and it is with Thine blessings that I break it

Dua on Lailatul Qadr
Al-laahumma innaka afoowun tuhibbul afwa fa’ foanni
O my Lord ! Thou forgivest sins, thou lovest forgiveness. Therefore forgive me


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Arab Proverbs



 
'ind al butun tarat al uqul.
When Stomachs are busy minds are lost
Fat paunches have lean pates
Courtesy : Primrose Arnander & Ashkhain Skipwith, Stacey International, London.


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Things which Break Wudoo

  1. That Which Comes Out from the Two Private Parts (Front And Back)
  2. Sound Sleep
  3. Becoming Unconscious - Other than Sleep
  4. Touching the Uncovered Private Parts
  5. Touching a Woman with Desire:
    A man’s touching a woman without desire does not break the wudoo
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Niyyah for Fasting

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News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Viewpoint | Muslim Politics | Muslim Education | Changing Muslim Women | Understanding Quran | Hadith | Muslims and Science | Children's Corner | Our Dialogue | Religion | From Darkness to Light | Ramadan | Zakath | Matrimonial | Search new | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME | Islamic Links | Calendar Convertornew | Al-Nasr Exports | Preserve Flowers

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