EBOLA, CURSE OR TRIAL, INTRODUCTORY

first_imgIN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFULAll praise belongs to Allah; and may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household, his companions and all those who rightly follow their foot-steps. Ameen!In our last edition we began discussing the perception of our people concerning the pandemic disease- Ebola. We attempted to give an introductory explanation to this topic. At the end of the edition we concluded by asserting that variance in thoughts, perceptions and conceptions as a norm of human creation. Today, we shall try to concentrate on “fate”.Every mortal being created by Allah is composed of pair-male and female, righteous and ill-righteous, as well as good and bad, the faithful and unfaithful. Within this context Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam tells us that it be would illogical and inconceivable that: “Would he whose heart reflects the image of religious and spiritual virtues be equaled to the one in whose heart reign vice and impiety!” (32:18). Certainly not! This is so because, the behavioral patterns of the two are not the same and identical; and of course, neither can they be recognized, appreciated and treated alike; nor can they be rewarded the same way. Perhaps this is why Allah makes crystal and clear in some of the Scriptural assertions of His Last and Final Testament that: “he who has done an atom’s weight of good, will see it and profit by it, and he who has done an atom’s weight of evil, will see it and be punished for it” (99:7-8).  The fact is that it is the behavioral pattern that distinguishes a realistic person from unrealistic one. For the former is one free from the bondage of childish unrealistic and immature notion. This character is described as “positive thinker. This is so because, he/she views issues in a cogent, logical and well-argued manner; and by the same trend, act with the course of sobriety, clear-headedness and maturity. On the other hand, the latter is portrayed as negative thinker. In that, he/she allows partiality, imagination and delusion to influence his/her practical thought and life. Perhaps this is why Al-Qur’an also maintains that: “But those whose hearts reflect the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds wisdom and piety must expect the Gardens of bliss in which they shall be homed with home-felt delight and wherein shall each one come into close relation with oneself and with others in requital of all the good they had accomplished in life. Those in whose hearts reigns vice shall be homed in Hell. As often as they try to escape it they are reinstated therein and be told: ‘Now you taste the torment experienced in Hell which you had always denied.’ And in mercy to them We (Allah) will make them suffer here the lesser of the two evils by justly submitting them to pain and punishment that they might hopefully repent and turn to Allah (and save themselves the bigger and really vehement Hereafter). And who is more wrongheaded and wrongful of actions than he who is reminded of Allah’s evident signs and shuns them and of His revelations and persistently avoid them and abstain from listening to them! (Let them just wait), We (Allah) will take just vengeance on them and afflict them with torment that is laid upon the damned” (32:18-22). As stated earlier, the above quoted verses, all in all, signify that Allah’s generosity can in no wise operate at the expense of His justice system both in reward and requital. Crystallizing the indisputableness of this fact, the Holy Scripture again says: “that no soul bearing wrongs shall in no way bear the wrong actions of another,  that nothing is considered one’s own on the Day of Judgment but only what he strove for and had endeavoured to attain, and that the advantages of his efforts will be seen later in the course of events and the fruits of his endeavours will ripe and glow here (in this life) and Hereafter. Then will the end crown the deed and Allah shall requites him in full for the action involving godly efforts directed to a definite end and for the deeds imprinted with wisdom and piety” (53:38-410. What a clarity emphasis!  For his part, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said thus: “The horses are for three purposes. For one they are a reward, for another they are a shield, and for other that are burdens. In reference to the one for whom they are reward is the person who keeps them to be used in the way of Allah. Thus, they spend their entire life grazing in the pasture or garden (waiting in preparation for struggle in good faith). So whatever afflicts them during that lengthy period in the pasture or garden, it will be counted as good deeds for such person. Then if their lengthy period is ended and they are used for a noble cause or two, their hoof prints and their dung are counted as good deeds for such person. When they passed through it a stream from which they did drink, such person (their owner) does not intend to quench their thirst; yet, it would be counted as good deeds. Therefore, they are a reward for that person. On the other hand, a  person who keeps them to maintain self and to be independent of others, and does not forget the right of Allah upon their necks and their backs (i. e., their Zakah/Poor Dues), then they are shield for such person (from the Hellfire). However, for a person who keeps them in order to boast, brag and show off, then they are a burden for such person (on Judgment).Even though the foregoing Scriptural assertions and their respective attendant Prophetic explanations give broader connotations, one issue is however paramount and needs to claim the full attention of us all. That is, the phrase “good” as mentioned herein above, is the good that centers on the acknowledgement, appreciation and obedience of the Divine Law, including its attendance moral decorum. For there is no morality that contravenes the fact appertains to “faith” in the Existence, Oneness and Absolute Sovereignty of Allah. By the same token, no morality is moral that contradicts the Divine Laws. So, nothing behooves humanity, particularly those who claim to be adherents and followers of “Religion” that is guided by “Divine Revelation”. Of course, “faith in Allah” stands olympic high in His servantship, but it is worth stating that mere declaration of “faith” not accompanied or backed by prescribed worship, righteous acts, spiritual virtues and other various religious rites, is but a first and profound class of insincerity and hypocrisy. Perhaps this is why Al-Qur’an is replete with assertions which indicate that whenever a call is made on the “believers”, the phrase is followed by the words: “and whose deeds are characterized by wisdom and piety”. In other words, any good done in the state of disbelief in Allah and wanton disregard of His prescribed Code of Decorum, can in no wise be recognized and appreciated by Allah-the Almighty; and of course, cannot be rewarded in the Hereafter. It is also worth understanding that whatsoever is described as “wrong” or “evil” will justly be requited both here in this life and the Hereafter. This is so because, the Divine Promise that contains in Allah’s Holy Scripture and Prophetic assertions.    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Let markets deal with subprime `meltdown’

first_imgOur catastrophe-obsessed traditional media call it the subprime mortgage “crisis” or “meltdown.” Here’s what happened: Borrowers with shaky creditworthiness received low interest “teaser” rates. No problem, as long as housing prices continue to rise. But with house prices stagnating, if not declining, this places some borrowers and the holders of their “paper” on financial shaky ground. In other words, lenders lent and borrowers borrowed. Some borrowers took on debt only to find themselves unable to pay their mortgages, and the carriers of their debt now find their holdings less valuable. But what about the responsibility of both lender and borrower? The Media Research Center examined news coverage of the subprime “crisis.” Of 156 stories broadcast between November 2006 and August 2007, 62percent “ignored the consumer’s responsibility for debt.” No one put a gun to either lenders’ or borrowers’ heads, and now both sides of the transaction find themselves in financial difficulty. Lawmakers scream for more laws. Never mind lenders already operate under many regulations including, but not limited to, full disclosure requirements. “If a large group of people can’t pay their mortgages, they may lose their homes. But the banks don’t suffer as they used to – local American lenders have already converted those loans into cash and sold off their risk. In fact, German regional banks suffered some of the most significant losses from bad American mortgages. Other European and Asian banks and hedge funds took their lumps as well. American banks essentially bought insurance by exporting their risk overseas.” Let’s not minimize the trouble faced by thinly collateralized borrowers and their lenders, given the soft housing market. But the financial difficulties affecting both sides of transactions voluntarily entered into do not warrant a taxpayer bailout. U.S. homeowners’ equity today equals almost $11trillion. Price declines for this year and next year may amount to $6 billion, or a 0.05percent decline – a worry, but hardly Judgment Day. Christopher Cagan, of First American Real Estate Solutions, estimates that “the impact of rate sensitivity and subsequent defaults will be well below one-half percent of total mortgage debt outstanding” and spread out over several years. Donald Trump, who knows a bit about crisis management, having dealt with his own financial “meltdown,” suggested a simple, direct approach: Cut a deal with your lender. Similarly, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has already urged banks and borrowers to get together and renegotiate the terms of their loans. So what would a bailout say to those who avoided the subprime lending fervor? The Wall Street Journal reports that unlike Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs “maintain(ed) relatively small holdings of collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, the complex mortgage-related securities whose rapid devaluation prompted the massive write-downs at other firms.” Should government reward the shortsighted losers and, by extension, punish firms such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers that had the foresight to protect themselves? People in the insurance business use a term called “moral hazard.” This means actions, however well-intended, that shield people from the consequences of their behavior lead to even more irresponsible behavior. Secretary Paulson recently said, “I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators.” OK, then butt out! Larry Elder is an attorney, syndicated columnist and national radio talk-show host. He can be heard from 3 to 6p.m. Monday through Friday on KABC-AM 790 (e-mail: sage@larryelder.com). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champDemocrats, and many Republicans, cry for some sort of government (read “taxpayer”) bailout. A New York Times editorial demands legislation, “including a rule that lenders must verify a borrower’s ability to pay.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seek legislation to make Federal Housing Authority “loans more widely available in order to help both new homeowners and those struggling with abusive mortgages.” They also demanded that President Bush fund nonprofit foreclosure prevention counseling, and appoint a senior administration official to oversee federal response to the “crisis.” Instead, the president has offered a sort of middle ground, suggesting a five-year freeze on mortgage rates for some subprime borrowers facing default on their mortgages. Suppose you stayed on the sideline and rented or stayed in a smaller home in order to move up? Too bad, for the Bush plan artificially props up home prices. The president’s plan also enables some homeowners to receive Federal Housing Authority loans in which the government – taxpayers – pay lenders in the event of a default. The plan also does nothing to prevent lawsuits by investors who hold the mortgaged securities in expectation of a certain return. George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen says, “We’ve all heard about the defaults on subprime mortgage loans. But so far, the real story is how little the broader American economy has suffered. Today, banks usually sell their loans to third parties. You might have originally borrowed money from Wells Fargo, but now a bank overseas cashes your mortgage checks. last_img read more