26 December, 2008


Anger is one of the most misunderstood and overused of human emotions. First, anger is a reaction to an inner emotion and not a planned action. Second, anger is easier to show: everyone gets angry. Third, the feelings
underlying the anger reaction make us feel vulnerable and weak; anger makes us feel, at least momentarily, strong and in control. Fourth, angry behaviors are learned over the life-span and therefore can be unlearned and replaced with healthier patterns of coping. Fifth, anger can be an immediate reaction to an isolated event or it can be a response after numerous events. To repress anger is unhealthy and yet to express it impulsively, as we so often do, may give momentary relief but inevitably will carry negative consequences. To alter our angry responses, we need to
understand from where it comes. There are a variety of factors that increase the probability of an anger reaction. First, if we have seen our parents get angry first and resolve an issue after, we are more likely to use the same approach. Thus, types of anger are learned. Second, if we are frustrated and feel stressed, we are more likely to react with anger. Third, if we are tired, we are more prone to react in an angry fashion. Fourth, if we tend to hold our feelings inside rather than talk them out, we are more likely to have an angry outburst as the pressure increase much like a pressure cooker.

Styles of Anger

Each of us develops their own special style of anger:
The “Mad Hatter” Driver: This person yells, curses, and offers gestures to other drivers when s/he is in a hurry and frustrated.
The Sulkers: This person shuts down in a chair and stops speaking and looking at others.
Safe Haven Abuser: This person takes her/his frustration out only on the ones s/he loves.
The Distracter : This person disregards the object of his annoyance by reading the paper, forgetting to run an errand, or playing the radio too loudly. When s/he is confronted, the response is: I didn’t know; I forgot; I’m tired.
The Blamer: This person blames everybody for everything and rarely accepts responsibility for his own short comings.
The Avenger: This person believes s/he has been given the right to seek vengeance in any way for anything by using the excuse: they deserved it.

Anger Check List — How Is Your Anger? Check off each selection that applies to you.

* People tell you that you need to calm down.
* You feel tense much of the time.
* At work, you find yourself not saying what is on your mind.
* When you are upset, you try to block the world out by watching TV, reading a book or magazine, or going to sleep.
* You have trouble going to sleep.
* You feel misunderstood or not listened to much of the time.
* People ask you not to yell or curse so much.
* Your loved ones keep saying that you are hurting them.
* Friends do not seek you out as much.

Scoring: add up your selections and see how you did.

0 - 2 MANAGEABLE you could benefit from relaxation training
3 - 5 MODERATE you need to learn more about what stresses you, and learn stress management techniques .
6 + OUT OF CONTROL you have an anger problem that could benefit from learning anger management techniques


Anger reactions have been likened to a train running out of control and about to derail. A little anger can motivate us to take action in positive ways. A lot of anger will make us red with rage. Anger that is out of control will drive away those whom we love the most and endanger our employment.

12 December, 2008

Happiness 'rubs off on others'

Happiness is infectious and can "ripple" through social groups, according to US researchers.

A study of 5,000 adults suggests a person's happiness is dependent on the happiness of those around them.
A friend who becomes happy and lives less than a mile away increases your likelihood of happiness by 25%, the British Medical Journal reported.
But the mood of work colleagues did not have an effect, the Harvard Medical School-led study found.
The researchers used data on adults who took part in the US Framingham Heart Study - set up to look at the risks leading to future heart disease - between 1971 and 2003.
Participants were asked to identify their relatives, close friends, place of residence, and place of work and were followed up every two to four years.

They were also asked whether they agreed with statements on whether they enjoyed life, felt hopeful about the future, were happy and felt they were just as good as other people.
It was found that live-in partners who become happy increased the likelihood of their partner being happy by 8% and similar effects were found for siblings living close by (14%) and neighbours (34%).
The relationship between people's happiness levels seemed to extend up to three degrees of separation - to the friend of a friend of a friend.


The analysis also showed that close physical proximity was important for the spread of happiness.

A person was 42% more likely to be happy if a friend who lives less than half a mile away becomes happy - an effect that declined with greater distance.
Study leader Professor Nicholas Christakis said the results suggest clusters of happiness occur because happiness spreads and not just because of a tendency for people to associate with similar individuals.
"Most important from our perspective is the recognition that people are embedded in social networks and that the health and wellbeing of one person affects the health and wellbeing of others."

Professor Andrew Steptoe, a psychology expert from University College London, said: "It makes intuitive sense that if people around you are happy that might have an impact on your own happiness.
"What's a bit more surprising is that it's not just the people who you closely come into contact with but people a step removed as well."
He said the work had implications for public health.
"Happiness does seem to be associated with protective effects on health.
"If happiness is indeed transmitted through social connections, it could indirectly contribute to social transmission of health," he said.

08 December, 2008

Iranian Police Officers' Eid Ul Adha

Millitant affiliated to a terrorist group known as " Jundu'llah " have reportedly executed all 13 Iranian Police Officers who were kidnapped in Jun . Jundu'llah have abducted the officers at the check point , south eastern city in Sarawan & transferred them to Pakistan . The armed group threatened to kill the hostages if Iranian government would fail to release all its 200 members in Iranian prisons .

Jundu'llah operates near Iranian borders with Pakistan . Millitants frequently attack Iranian civillians as well as hight profiles government & security officials .

27 November, 2008

Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health

Friendships are good for your health. During hardships, they are a source of comfort and strength. Learn how to find and nurture friendships and how to be a good friend.

It's the shoulder to lean on. The good advice. The unspoken comfort. The good times and shared laughter. Friendships offer all these benefits, and lots more. They boost your self-esteem, provide companionship and even help protect your health and mental well-being.
It's not always easy to form the close bonds of friendships, though. It may be especially hard to develop and keep up friendships when your life is hectic — work demands, family time, school. But friendships are important for both men and women. Take a minute to think about the friends in your life. Do you have close friends? Would you like to develop more friendships?
Learn why friendships are good for you and how you can bring more friends into your life.

Why friendships are so important

Good friends are good for your health. Talking with a friend over a cup of coffee, going to a ballgame together, chatting while your kids check out the playground, or hitting the links for a round of golf can offer simple but powerful ways to connect. The connections of friendship increase your sense of belonging, purpose and self-worth, promoting positive mental health.
Friendships can help you weather the trauma of a divorce, a job loss or the death of a loved one. Your friends may encourage you to change unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking. Or they may urge you to visit your doctor when you feel overly anxious, sad or hopeless. Friends can also share in your good times — a new baby, a new job, a new house.
They can celebrate the good times with you or offer comfort during the bad. Just knowing that friends are there for you can help you avoid unhealthy reactions to stressful situations.

Ways to actively seek out friendships

Some people benefit from large and diverse networks of friends, while others prefer a smaller circle of friends and acquaintances. You may have certain very close friends you rely on for deeply personal conversations, and more casual friendships for movies, a pickup game of basketball or backyard cookouts.
But many adults, especially men, find it hard to develop new friendships or keep up existing friendships. For one thing, time may be short, and friendships may take a back seat to your other priorities, such as long days on the job, tiling the kitchen floor or caring for aging parents. Or maybe you've moved to a new community and haven't yet found a way to meet people.
Developing friendships does take some work. But because friendships are so important to your overall sense of well-being, it's worth the time and effort.

Here are some ways you can develop new friendships:

* Get out with your pet. Seek out a popular dog park, make conversation with those who stop to talk on your daily neighborhood jaunts, or make pet play dates.

* Work out. Join a class through a local gym, senior center or community fitness facility. Or start a lunchtime walking group at work.

* Do lunch. Invite an acquaintance to join you for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

* Accept invites. When someone invites you to a party, dinner or social gathering, say yes. Resist the urge to say no just because you may not know everyone there or you may initially feel awkward. You can always leave if you get too uncomfortable.

* Volunteer. Hospitals, places of worship, museums, community centers and other organizations often need volunteers. You can form strong connections when you work with people who share a mutual interest.

* Join a cause. Get together with a group of people working toward a goal you believe in, such as an election or the cleanup of a natural area.

* Join a hobby group. Find a nearby group with similar interests in such things as auto racing, music, gardening, books or crafts.

* Go back to school. Take a college or community education course to meet people with similar interests.

* Hang out on your porch. Front porches used to be social centers for the neighborhood. If you don't have a front porch, you can still sit out front with a cup of coffee or a good book. Making yourself visible shows that you are friendly and open.

You may not become instant friends the first time you meet someone. But the seeds of lasting friendships can be sown with a friendly wave as you're mowing the lawn or bringing in the newspaper.

Keep friendships nurturing and healthy

Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves give and take. Sometimes you're the one giving support to your friends, and other times you're on the receiving end. Letting friends know you care about them and appreciate them will help ensure that their support remains strong when times are rough. It's as important for you to be a good friend as it is to surround yourself with good friends.
Here are some ways to make sure your friendships remain healthy and supportive:

* Go easy. Don't overwhelm friends with phone calls or e-mails. Communication can be brief — five minutes on the phone or several sentences in an e-mail. Find out how late or early you can call and respect those boundaries. Do have a plan for crisis situations, when you may need to temporarily set aside such restrictions.

* Be aware of how others perceive you. Ask a friend for an honest evaluation of how you come across to others. Take note of any areas for improvement and work on them.

* Don't compete. Don't let a friendship turn into a hidden battle over who makes the most money, has the best clothes or the coolest car. Don't fight over other friends. This will only turn friendships into unhealthy rivalries.

* Adopt a healthy, realistic self-image. Both vanity and constant self-criticism can be turnoffs to potential friends.

* Resolve to improve yourself. Cultivating your own honesty, generosity and humility will enhance your self-esteem and make you a more compassionate and appealing friend.

* Avoid relentless complaining. Nonstop complaining is tiresome and draining on friendships. Talk to your friends about how you can change the parts of your life that you're unhappy about.

* Adopt a positive outlook. Try to find the humor in things. Laughter is infectious and appealing.
* Listen up. Make a point to ask what's going on in the lives of your friends. Don't talk about your own problems all the time. Friendships can't last when you're self-absorbed.
Friendships pay dividends

Friendships provide a sense of belonging and comfort. Friendships act as a buffer against life's hardships and help you develop resilience. They offer compassion and acceptance. And friendships can make you feel important and needed by giving you a chance to offer someone else comfort and companionship, too.
Relationships change as you age, but it's never too late to build new friendships or reconnect with old friends. The investment in your friends will pay off in better health and a brighter outlook for years to come.

20 November, 2008

First Iranian female Professor of Cardiac Surgery in Europe


Marjan Jahangiri graduated in medicine from University College Hospital , University of London , in 1988. Subsequently, she completed her senior house officer positions at University College London and affiliated hospitals. She completed her training in General Surgery in 1992 and embarked on a career in cardiothoracic surgery. She then became a registrar in cardiac surgery at the London Chest, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal Brompton Hospitals in London . She was awarded a research fellowship at the William Harvey Laboratories at St. Bartholomew's Hospital and Medical School . Having completed her research fellowship in 1996, she returned to the Royal Brompton Hospital as a senior registrar where she trained in the fields of adult and paediatric cardiac surgery. She was awarded a position in sub-specialist paediatric cardiac surgery as a senior resident at the Children's Hospital, Boston , Harvard. Upon her return from the United States in 1999, she obtained a position as national trainee in paediatric cardiac surgery at Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street and Birmingham Children's Hospital for a period of two years. She was appointed as Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Senior Lecturer at St. George's Hospital and Medical School in 2001. She was appointed Professor of Cardiac Surgery at University of London in 2007. Her major interests in the field of clinical cardiac surgery are: aortic surgery, especially major and major complex cases (Marfan's), aortic valve surgery, minimally invasive aortic valve surgery, beating heart surgery, adult congenital operations and surgery for the pregnant. She is also a specialist in aneurysms of the aorta. Marjan Jahangiri is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed articles and published abstracts. She is also a frequent speaker at national and international forums. At any one time, she has 5 —7 research fellows who work under her direct supervision. She is on the regular review board of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Academic and Professional Degrees

1988 University College & Middlesex School of Medicine, London , (MB BS)
1992 Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England , (FRCS)
1999 Intercollegiate Specialty in Cardiothoracic Surgery, (FRCS CTh)
1999 Master of Surgery, University of London , (MS)


1985 Department of Pharmacology Scholarship
1985 Pharmacology Project: Prostaglandins and antihistamines (Merit)
1988 Final MB BS Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2 nd prize (Merit)
1989 J Epson memorial prize for clinical research (Distinction) University College & Middlesex Hospitals
1995 Ronald Edwards Medal for Best Paper at the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland .
British Medical Association
Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland European
Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons
Royal Society of Medicine


July 2007 — Present
Professor of Cardiac Surgery, St. George's Hospital , University of London

May 2001 — July 2007
Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Reader in Cardiac Surgery, St. George's Hospital , London

1999 — 2001
Senior Registrar in Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Great Ormond Street Hospital / Birmingham Children's Hospital

1998 — 1999
Senior Resident, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Children's Hospital, Harvard University , Boston

1997 — 1998
Senior Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery Royal Brompton Hospital

1996 — 1997
Research Registrar The William Harvey Laboratories, St. Bartholomew's Hospital

1992 — 1996
Specialist Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery Royal Brompton Hospital / St. Bartholomew's / London Chest Hospitals

Academic Summary

Total number of Papers 60
Total number of Abstracts 65
Book Chapters 4

14 November, 2008

“‘Sacrilege’ and the Nightmare of ‘Freedom’”

Most of us have esteemed religions and creeds; believing in a certain faith, prophet(s) and a holy book, praying to a unique God and struggling to behave in a way that please Him, or so we believe.
To followers of monotheistic religions including Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam, there is just one God supposed to be the owner and creator of the whole universe and its components. While believers might assign various names to this creator and possessor of everything, which is natural due to the cultural and linguistic differences, it does not make any difference in the nature, unity and almighty nature of the lord.
The thing is that we believe a single and unparalleled God has created us, assisted us and guided us through a firm path in his unity. Such a God who is able to design the construction of man’s mind with its endless capabilities, design the arrayed rotation of four seasons without any disorder and design millions of flower species with special smell for each of them would undoubtedly have no collaborator and needs no help to incarnate his privileges and powers; otherwise he would not be called as the “creator”.
We don’t attribute each of the natural resources and powers to a special god and don’t believe in a group of gods who co-work with each other to manage and maintain the incidents of the world. Such a belief is potentially unacceptable and rejected since all of us know well that the creation is not a nigh-patrol job to be shifted by reserve guardians.
Creation means making something appeared from “nothing”; endowing existence to something that was not existing before. By the exact means of the word, creation should be interpreted as an exclusive business which does not come from humankind.
Have you ever thought about the industrial or scientific inventions? What the innovators do? Do they create something new? Of course not! They just use previously existing materials, fix and mix them together, handle them in a different way and conclude a new production. I’ve to confess that their process of working is complicated too much; needing creativity and originality which most of ordinary people lack, but their work is not to produce things by using their own-made “materials” and “tools”.
Such a clear and realistic way of thinking is owed to the progressive doctrine of monotheistic religions that lead the mankind toward advanced scopes of thought. So you see, supposing numerous gods for the world and stating that rains, snows, days, nights, love, hate, childhood and adolescence are dominated by each of them indicates the shortsightedness and illiteracy of some of our ancestors in ancient civilizations.
But all of the illiteracy is not limited to those who believe in several gods. On the other hand, we have the irreligious who don’t assume any creator for the enormous cosmos which they are living in. They think that the world came into existence accidentally without any former plans or schedules and its inhabitants also “tumbled” on the earth suddenly rather than being “created”.
However, I am not going to criticize the viewpoints of non-believers, since, believing in nothing is somehow a type of belief itself.
In this brief debate, I have also nothing to bring to the table about with agonists, atheists, seculars or the others who believe that religion does not play any role in the daily life. Of course, they have not any concerns about “the other world”, not afraid of punishment as a consequence of their sins and unlawful acts, never minding about a superior observer who witnesses all of their deeds, rarely preventing themselves from “wining and dining”.
Sometimes, you may begrudge to them who live and commit liberally, having no restrictions, feeling responsible to nobody but to their desires and wishes, not bothering themselves to take part in prayers and rituals, apparently enjoying life.
This does not mean that a religious believer is deprived of material joys, but he tries to live a in a way pleasing to his God, meaning with little regard for superficial entertainment. He is confident that his exercises and mortifications would be granted luxuriously someday and somewhere.
All of the 6 billions living on the Earth have their particular religious, political and personal beliefs and nobody is allowed to convict and interrogate them because of “having” them. Honestly, the beliefs are mixed with the private territory of individuals and privacy is respectable, something that not to be threatened.
But the question is that, how these personal ideologies and beliefs sometimes violate the privacy of others. Others who have certain kinds of freedoms and rights like us.
It is an accepted fact everywhere in the world that “freedom of religion” must be respected. All of us are free to choose our beloved religions and act upon them without being offended by others.
The interesting matter is that some of the Western countries believe in this “freedom of religion” in a slightly distorted way; it has become “the freedom of no religion,” or even “the freedom of not being bothered by any religion.” They declare that people are free to having no religion and those who are irreligious are under absolute support and security.
If the purpose was the protection of all believers and non-believers in an equal way without discrimination, that would be OK, but evidently, the main goal of western states is not to advocate the freedom of religion, but to propagate atheism and irreligiousness, while it was rarely observed any efforts done by them to protect the believers of Abrahamic faiths. The European and Northern American countries are the only parts of the world in which mosques are destroyed and replaced by railroads.
Denmark is the only country of the world in which newspapers are allowed to publish insulting cartoons for a divine prophet under the pretext of media freedom. The United States is the only country of the world in which being Muslim could potentially be a serious threat and make everyone suspicious of you after any crime is committed.
American soldiers are the only soldiers of the world who could allow themselves to point their guns toward the Holy Quran and shoot it, because they come from the “beacon of freedom” and the other countries are “the axis of evil.”
France is the only country of the world in which the hijab-wearing female students could be banned from universities because of obeying the Islamic clothing and not dressing up in the strange western styles.
Britain is the only country of the world in which the writer of “Satanic verses” could be honored to receive the Knight title because of introducing some innovative ways of insulting Muslims and Islam.
The Netherlands is the only country of the world in which a parliament member could be called the “symbol of freedom” because of producing an affronting movie which insults all those who adhere to Islam, and practice it in their daily lives.
I don’t know exactly that what disasters would happen under the flag of “freedom” and “democracy” in the future, but it would be better to evacuate the entire world from that type of democracy which just deals with “insult”, “aspersion” and “outrage”.
I am wondering that whether this “Made in the West” democracy has other functions rather than spreading disagreement among people and exacerbating the atrocities.
As a non-aligned, independent and freelance journalist, I prefer to be “stupid”, “uninformed” or “unlettered” if blasphemy and insulting the values of billions of people is a sign of “intellectuality” and “freedom of speech.”
By Kourosh Ziabari
Kourosh Ziabari is an independent journalist and freelance writer from Iran.

07 November, 2008

President Obama - Lessons of Success

I really don’t care too much when it comes to voting in the US presidential elections because, frankly, I’m Canadian *smile*. But the story of Obama is a modern day story of success that repeats again and again for those who understand the principles of success.
Here are three of those principles based on Obama’s rise to Presidency today…

One: Not everyone has to vote for you
A very successful man once said, “I don’t know what the secret to success is, but I do know the secret to failure: trying to please everyone.” You do NOT need everyone to vote for you, you need the majority (and in the case of entrepreneurs, a small minority is enough to make you a million bucks).
Stop trying to cater to everyone. Don’t try to please old and young, rich and poor, Republicans and Democrats… focus instead on those who will vote for you in life. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.

Two: Just because no one has done it in the past, doesn’t mean it cannot be done.
When setting out on your goals, you may not find anyone who has done what you are planning to do. You may incorrectly come to the conclusion that it cannot be done because of the past history. But remember: every creation of Allah has a beginning.
And once it has been done once, it will be easy to duplicate.
If your dreams are something that hasn’t been done before, then let me give you the glad tidings that when you succeed, in sha Allah, your victory will give “permission” for other leaders to imagine what is possible.

Three: Don’t listen to the nay-Sayers
I was listening, last year, to “experts” commenting on the presidential election, and I distinctly remember the “expert” explicitly point out how America would never ever elect an African American to be their President.
I wonder what that “expert” is saying now.
Take intelligent counsel but always put your heart into what you are doing. In the end, if you open your mind and listen to your heart… you can’t go wrong, in sha Allah.

I vote for you! Now go do something amazing today.
Source: discoverulife.com

31 October, 2008

Roodaki, Father of Persian Poetry

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated the years 2008 and 2009 in honour of two great Iranian scholars, the Father of Persian poetry, Roodaki Samarqandi and the philosopher-theologian Mohammad Ghazali. Every year member states apprise the UNESCO of cultural and artistic events in their countries and also inform it of the century or millennium celebrations of their great figures in the field of science, philosophy, culture and literature.
Accordingly, UNESCO has chosen to commemorate in the years 2008 and 2009 such immortal Iranian figures Roodaki, Mohammad Ghazali, the multi-sided genius of the Safavid era, Sheikh Bahaeddin Ameli, and the great pan-Islamist activist of the 19th century, Seyyed Jamaleddin Asadabadi.

This year, the Persian speaking world, made up of Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia, is commemorating the 1150th birth anniversary of the Father of Persian Poetry, Abu Abdullah Ja'far ibn Mohammad, whose pen name Roodaki Samarqandi is derived from his birthplace Roodak, a village between the two famous cities of Samarqand and Bukhara in Trans-Oxiana. Various programs, including seminars, plays, musical concerts, poetry recitation, etc, will be held on the occasion. Starting today, we would be presenting you a 15-part weekly serial on Roodaki's life and times, as well as his thoughts and works. We will also make you familiar with researches done on Roodaki both in Iran and abroad. Today's edition, the 1st of the 15 episodes, will dwell on Iranian literature till the time of Roodaki.

Poetry is the symbol of human soul and sentiments and the fruit of our inner emotions. Thus, ever since the cognizance of beauty, the tenderness of poetry has existed, and will remain in existence till the human spirit is alive with the feelings of love and emotions. Throughout Iranian history, poetry has had a special status in the hearts of people and even among rulers. Poetry is intermingled with Iranian life to such an extent that Persia or the Land of Iran has become famous for its sweet words and poetic minds all over the world. Although, Iran like all other lands has experienced invasions and foreign domination that inflicted great harm on its artistic and poetic works, very soon, Iran succeeded in conquering the conquerors, thanks to its innate spirit of art, culture and poetry, which always revived its exuberance and led to a greater flowering of its civilization. Perhaps that's why the invasion and plunder of Persia by Alexander of Macedonia or others, has made Iran, like the mythical bird Phoenix, rise to greater heights from ashes. This is the reason that no invader has succeeded in obliterating the brilliant culture and civilization of this land. It is said that after conquering the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander ordered the translation of scientific and literary books of Iran into Greek, and then burned the original texts in a bid to attribute the wisdom of the Iranians to the Greeks. Nevertheless, these pillages couldn't wipe out the Iranian heritage from the hearts of the people.
After the death of Alexander in 325 BC, the Seleucid Empire founded by his general, Seleucus Nicator, could not hold on to the Iranian Plateau for long, thanks to the rise to power of the local Parthian dynasty of northeastern Iran that drove back the Greeks and held sway over most of the lands of the Achaemenids including Mesopotamia or present day Iraq. For almost four centuries the Parthian Dynasty was in power and it helped revive the glories of Iranian art and culture. In 226 AD, the Parthians gave way to a new dynasty that rose from Fars or southern Iran under Ardeshir Babakan. Known as the Sassanians, this new Persian Empire rivaled the Roman Empire and checked its eastward expansion. For over four centuries the Sassanids ruled the Persian Empire and made many innovations in science and culture. With the emergence of Islam the Sassanid Dynasty that was in decadence for some decades, collapsed, as the Iranian people embraced the truth of Islam. Islam infused new life into Iran and the Iranians, and enabled them to achieve new glories. Although the ancient Pahlavi and Middle Persian languages died out as Arabic spread all over the Iranian Plateau, ancient sagas such as the Asurik Tree, Jaamasb-Nameh, Yadegar Zariran, etc, remained alive and were translated into Arabic. Iranian scholars and scientists now started writing their works in Arabic, and made great contribution to the Islamic civilization. For instance, the great Arabic grammarian Sibawaiy was an Iranian. Likewise, theologians both Shi'ite and Sunni, who wrote jurisprudential works in Arabic, which are taught to this day, were Iranians, such as Sheikh Yaqoub Kulayni, Sheikh Sadouq, Ismael Bukhari, Abu Hanifa, Ibn Maja Qazwini, Muslim Neyshabouri, etc. Arabic was considered the language of scholars, as is indicated by its extensive use by such famous Iranian scientists as Zakaria Razi, al-Kharezmi, Abu Ali Sina, and Abu Rayhan Berouni, who seldom wrote books in their native Persian.

However, during this period, a new language, made up of old Iranian and Arabic words, was gradually emerging in Khorasan and Trans-Oxiana. It was Persian and its patrons were the Samanid kings of Bukhara at whose courts Roodaki, and others like Bassam Kord, Abul-Abbas Marvazi, Hanzaleh Badgheisi flourished. The Samanid dynasty encouraged the translation of Arabic works into Persian and among the literary, religious and scientific works translated, was "Kalilah wa Damnah", which was originally a Pahlavi book that had been translated into Arabic. Roodaki rendered it into Persian. Among the other works translated into Persian under the Samanids mention could be made of the famous History of Prophet and Kings, written by Abu Ja'far Tabari and his exegesis on the Holy Qur'an, which are now considered as precious gems of early Persian literature. Although poets did compose in Persian at the Samanid court, but none had the mastery of Roodaki Samarqandi, who is deserves the title of the Father of Persian Poetry. It was Roodaki's immaculate style that popularized Persian poetry and paved the way for emergence of such master poets of those days as Onsori and the celebrated Abul-Qasim, the composer of Shahnameh or the Book of Kings that records Iran's ancient history. Next week we will focus on the life and times of Roodaki.

25 October, 2008

World Leaders in Tehran for "Religion in the Modern World" conference

The head of Dialogue Among Cultures and Civilizations Foundation, Mohammad Khatami, held talks with some of the world leaders on the verge of the "Religion in the Modern World" conference in Tehran.

Khatami, Iran's former President, outlined the foundation's activities and approaches which aim at promoting peace between Islamic World and the West.

Prominent think-tanks, political and religious leaders, including former UN chief Kofi Annan, the European Commission president Romano Prodi, the former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, the ex-Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, the former Irish President Mary Robinson and the ex-Seri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga are among guests attending in the meeting.
Participants are slated to review relation between religion and globalization, modernity, democracy, peace and justice.

Khatami's speech at the conference

Mohammad Khatami delivered the following speech at "Religion in the Modern World" conference in Tehran:The world today has affected both people living in the West and those in the East, the former Iranian President said. The roots of the modern world are much looser comparing to the bases of the world in the past, Khatami added. As the time passes emotional, social and cultural disorders between the West and the East are emerging, he added.
Today the fact that the human being will not have a satisfactory life when he forgets about the God is becoming visible, even if he has achieved great financial, technical and scientific success, he added. The God has also stressed that any body who forgets me, will have a bitter life, he added. Such a condition will lead to the annihilation and will destroy life in the world, if continued, Khatami noted. But religion can help us in such a condition, and now the question is that what the religion is, he said adding religion is what the God has sent to lead human being towards the right path and makes his life fruitful.
He also stressed what has been introduced as religion in the history does not necessarily share the same nature with the real image of religion. Religion can help people in difficult circumstances without bringing damages to constructive civilization achievements, the former Iranian President said. What seems to be catastrophic is the absence of the similar nature of religions, so superficial differences among religions should not prevent solidarity among their followers. He also called for religious leaders of the world to try ways to create a peaceful co-existence and invite the world to establish peace and security. Representatives from France, Sri Lanka, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and the former UN Chief have participated in the two-day meeting. Participants of the conference are slated to review relation between religion and globalization, modernity, democracy, peace and justice.

16 October, 2008

The jewel of Madina an offensive portrayal of Islam

A piece of news that recently caused some havoc in the west was about the cancellation of the publication of a book entitled ‘The Jewel of Madina’. The book is said to be about the life and times of Aisha, the youngest bride of the Prophet of Islam and has been rated as a ‘national security risk’ by a famed commentator in the US.
The book has been withdrawn by Random House, which said it feared that publication of the book could "incite acts of violence". Critics, however, have accused the publisher of abandoning the principle of free speech and caving into pressure from extreme Islamist elements, wrote the Independent newspaper in London.
This is not about the debate on whether it violates the principles of free speech with fears of extreme actions by a ‘small’ group of Muslims. The publication of this book can only add insult to the mass injury caused to the Muslims with the violent attacks against Muslims in their soul, bodies and heartlands.
Publishing the book will altogether add to what now separates the Muslim world from the western world and that is the right to safeguard the treasures and the icons of the Islamic faith from western bias and western pornography. It is more a question of morality than one of rights and every one with a sane mind will agree that rights cannot take precedence on the morality of a people or of an entire faith that is represented by more than 1.5 billion people.
It is incredible that the west find it easy to target the Muslims and the Prophet of Islam including his family – note that the Prophet of Islam and his family has never offended the western world – but the same defenders of rights and freedoms fails to attack other faiths. Moreover Sherry Jones (the writer of this book) criticized the character of Imam Ali (A.S) & insulted his holy presence.
The biasness is too obvious. From the Danish cartoons that raised the ire of a large section of the Muslim world and forced us to pen down some of the most adverse criticism against the west to the bad ‘movie’ made by a sick MP in Holland, the West seem to have learnt very little about respect.
Do not touch religion has been the call from many Muslims who felt offended by writers like Salman Rushdie who lived a life of a leper after the publication of his book the Satanic Verses.
The western writers find it too easy to pick and choose as they want on the Muslims from time to time and at a far greater rate nowadays, simply to become famous or to make some big bucks. This shows how the west is becoming bankrupt of ideas and is desperately dependent on anti-Islamic writers.
Leave Islam alone, leave religion alone and this should be the core principle of the western world before it tries to teach the Muslims what democracy is or what freedom is about. The United Nations, the EU and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) should come together to once and for all make it impossible for anyone on this earth to publish anything – from books to articles and even blogs – that depicts other people’s faith in a negative fashion. All writers who want to publish their books written with the intent to offend other religions should be banned worldwide.

Sherry Jones, Salman Rushdie and even the short sighted Asra Nomani should be barred from writing and banned from publishing anything until they learn the lesson that touching on the sensitive issues of religion means banishment for them.
Publishers who dare go ahead with such publications should simply be forced to close down while the directors, owners and workers should be struck with a five to ten years banishment that would not allow them to be involved in the publication business.
Well are these extreme? This is how the Muslims would feel if such books are published and we can say that we speak for a majority of the Muslims.
The world is in no need for such portrayals of the people whom the Muslims love and adores.

10 October, 2008

Natural treasures

The New7Wonders of Nature campaign will significantly raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us. As our slogan says, “If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it!” More awareness and more tourism income means that these natural treasures can be better preserved for future generations. Some of the recent reactions to the newly started campaign:“Thanks to (the New7Wonders of Nature campaign), Djavolja Varos and the whole Kursumlija region have gained an opportunity for development that we have been awaiting for decades.” Zlatko Veljovic, director of “Prolom Banja”, 13 August 2008“With four of the country’s tourism destinations (participating in) the Seven Wonders of Nature campaign, more foreign tourists are now coming to the Philippines. Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the online search has generated the interest of the international community in the Philippines in the past few months (and is) increasing the revenue of tourism-related industries.”Philippine Star, June 18, 2008

“A campaign is underway to encourage people to vote for Ha Long Bay as one of New 7 Wonders of Nature and as a result the number of visitors increased by almost 60 per cent in the first quarter of this year against last year’s first three months.”

Real, economic benefits for the world’s treasures

The economic impact of the New7Wonders campaigns can now be measured in significant sums of money. The most significant successes, as registered by the participants are impressive.

The campaign to choose The Offcial New7Wonders of the World was a resounding success. More than 100 million votes were cast and it took democracy to a new, global level. Since well before the Official Declaration on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, the campaign has had a signficant impact on local economies involved with the sites participating. In particular, tourism in these places has increased and growing interest continues to be measurable via hotel booking or internet requests. Read some of the reactions of the local press and governments:

According to Peru’s National Institute of Culture, the number of daily visitors to Machu Picchu has increased by over 70% since its election as a New 7 Wonder of the World.” Living in Peru, August 18, 2008“Since Machu Picchu was named a world wonder, the value of real estate has doubled and even tripled, says Lily Quispe Charca, President of the Real Estate Agents Assn.” Living in Peru, May 14, 2008

“In 2007, Chichen Itza’s El Castillo was named one of the Official New 7 Wonders of the World after a worldwide vote. The vote was embraced by government and tourism officials in Mexico who project that as a result the number of tourists expected to visit Chichen Itza will double by 2012.” Cancun Info.net, April 19, 2008“Since being named a wonder of the world, the number of visitors (to Chichen Itza) has increased 75 percent, said Juan Jose Martí Pacheco, secretary of Tourist Promotion of Yucatan.” El Sol de Mexico, 13 February 2008

“A record breaking 3,200,000 tourists visited to adore the beauty of monument of love Taj Mahal in 2007. According to the Archeological Department sources, ‘no sooner the Taj Mahal was included in the 'new Seven Wonders' last year, it observed a hike in the number of tourists, both national and international, visiting the place.’ The figure is much higher than that recorded in the preceding year. The mushrooming number of tourists had also drawn good returns to the hotels and created employment opportunities.” Taj Mahal Online, April 15, 2008

“A record number of tourists visited Petra last year, encouraging the industry to introduce a range of development schemes to sustain the flow. Official figures showed a 62% increase in visitors last year, generating JD9.5 million in tourism receipts for the country.Suleiman Farajat, head of the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP), said the increase in arrivals reflected the importance of Petra as a key historical attraction and its popularity as one of the Official New 7 Wonders of the World.” The Jordan Times, Jan. 10, 2008
The increase in the number of visitors to the kingdom is also borne out by some impressive figures released by national flag carrier, Royal Jordanian. The airline registered the highest monthly total of passengers in its 44 year history.” AME Info fn, The Ultimate Middle East Business Resource, Sept. 5, 2007“(Easter Island Mayor Pedro) Edmunds said (tourists visiting in 2007) were up 20 per cent from 2006 and nearly 10 times 1990 levels. Easter Island has been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, but officials attribute the recent spike to last year's New Seven Wonders of the World contest.” The Canadian Press, June 23, 2008“(New 7 Wonders of the World participant) Neuschwanstein Castle hit new record in attracting visitors, as 1.36 million people (an increase of 8.4%) came last year. According to Bavarian Finance Minister Erwin Huber.” Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, Feb. 22, 2008

26 September, 2008

Where is my Prophet now

When Mohammed appear,

like a gentle rain,

gardens stars growing

and everything in Medina

it became green.


Allah honered him to be seal

of all Prophets from Allah he is kept

who appeared and he is witnes.

Beside His name Allah joined

Mohammeds name so Owner

of the sky arsh is Mahmudun,

and he is Muhammedun.


From my house I am going out lonely

to tell my heart one secret about you,

my beloved Mohammede.

Your name is in my thoghts,

your place in my heart,

so where are you going to dissapear,

where are you going to go


I swear with my Allah,

neither sun appeared,

neither sun dissapeared,

that my love for you was no trelated with my breathing,

my beloved Mohammede.


And reproach given for love to you it is sweet.

From love for memory of your name,

let that one who is giving reproachs

tell me that reproachs.

I know that my Prophet is the best of all mainkinds,

so your words can not change something

that I already know.


When you are mercy than you are like

mother and father and on this world

only they two are mercy.

When you are angry that is justifed,

in that there is no haughtiness,

or hate hidden,my beloved Mohammede.


My eyes are looking for you,

and you are in my eyes.

My heart is looking for you,

and you are in my soul.


When tree could not hold without you

one moment and start crying like a mother

when she lose her children,

than we can not be better with hearts and souls

than this tree.


And white my Prophet was.

With his face is asking from Allah

that rain falls down.And mercy, gentle,kind

and protector of or

phan child my Prophet Mohammed was.

Written by : Sister Asja

07 September, 2008

Musical taste defines personality

Heriot-Watt University psychologists have defined the personality trait of different individuals based on their musical preference.
Individuals often describe themselves through their musical taste, wearing particular clothes and using certain types of slang but the new study explains how music taste can solely reflect a person's character. According to the findings of the present study, classical music and jazz fans are innovative with good self-confidence, but the former are much more outgoing whereas the latter are shy. Findings revealed that those who listen to heavy metal and classical music share similar personality traits, both groups are creative and introverted; classical music lovers, however, have high self-esteem while heavy rock fans lack this characteristic. Contrary to the general belief that heavy metal fans are depressed and suicidal, the study considers them gentle but not hardworking. Rebellious rap fans are self confident and outgoing. Those who like blues and soul music have similar characteristics in addition to being creative, gentle and at ease with themselves. Pop lovers are hardworking and uncreative whereas Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing. Country music fans are found to be hardworking and shy; indie and dance lovers lack self-esteem and are not very gentle. The study also reports that those who choose to listen to exciting, punchy music are from the higher earning bracket of the society, while those who go for relaxing sounds are from the lower down paying scale.

Eternal Iranian Islands of Persian Gulf

Iran on Wednesday strongly defended opening new offices on the Iranian Islands of Persian Gulf and rejected Arab monarchies' condemnation of the move as interference and unforgivable impudence."All our country's measures on Abu Musa Island are completely legal and in accordance with Iran's rights governing this Iranian islands," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said in a statement.Ghashghavi was reacting to a statement by the six-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday condemning the construction and calling for the closure of the offices on Abu Musa, one of the triple Iranian islands of Persian Gulf.Iran seriously condemned the GCC statement as explicit interference in Iran's internal affairs and branded the nonsense UAE's claims to Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands as boring, repetitive, baseless, shameful, unfounded and rejected.Tehran's establishment of a maritime rescue office and a ship registration office on Abu Musa island drew a formal protest from the UAE earlier this month.Iran has already warned many times that any bias, media propaganda or intervention to threat its sovereignty will be responded decisively while the case of territorial integrity is vitally sensitive for Iranian officials and they announced frequently that allow nobody to move toward this redline.Iranians believe that taking military options to respond the meditative and devilish statements of Arab governors is a proper choice to end their impertinence, meanwhile the Iranian army commanders never dismissed this option.The Persian Gulf and its islands have been under the absolute administration of Iran from the ancient times, about 5000 BCE and the ridiculous pretensions by Arab Sheikhdoms are just charged by the Zionist lobbies and a part of anti-Iranian project managed by White House.Anyhow, Iran is reviewing some serious and unveiled options to end this artificial dispute and also looking to expand its constructions, buildings, airports, facilities and financial structures in the Iranian islands of Persian Gulf.

28 August, 2008

Iran makes nanotechnology breakthrough

Iranian researchers have successfully lessened the toxicity of nanoclays, producing material that can be used for medical applications. Nanoclays are used in various industries, including the polymer and medical industries. They are also applied in producing gas absorbents and drug delivery carriers. Industrial clays are generally modified using Alkyl ammonium and alkyl amines, which are considered toxic compounds. Hence, their use particularly in medicine is limited. According to Iranian Nanotechnology Initiatives, however, a researcher from Amir Kabir University of Technology has been able to modify nanoclays in a way that makes the material appropriate for medical uses. "The non-toxicity of the modified clay, in which a layer of clay is present between each two kitosan molecules, has been tested in laboratory cultures," says Kourosh Kabiri, the lead inventor of the product. The modified nanoclays allows the production of polymers with improved mechanical, permeability and thermal effects as the intercalation period has been reduced to around 33 minutes and intralayer thickness has been increased to 12-24 angstroms, according to a study published in Iranian Polymer.

Yahoo finally defeated by Iranians!

Yahoo governors finally acquiesced to re-include the name of Iran in their signup available countries list.
The frequent and intensive protests by angry Iranians started right after the Yahoo banned Persian users from creating new mail accounts and removed the name of Iran from its list of countries in November 2007.
The Iranian users attempted a Google Bomb named "Hello Yahoo mail" which was a responsive movement against what they called "insulting the 7500 years of Iranian civilization by the state-run portal Yahoo".
Helloyahoomail.net provided more than 2 million visitors and users with information on Iranian culture, ancient Persian empire, Iranian literature, history of the land, its people and modern day lifestyle in Iran to prove that Yahoo, mainstream media and other American allies are misleading public opinions by crying that Iranians are terrorists and uncivilized, they want to "conceal" the facts and realities about this ancient and historical land.
It was a dark point of Yahoo mail history to altercate with a people of ancient culture, history and peacemaking backgrounds by removing the name of their country with the pretext that Iran is a terrorist country.
Meanwhile, the main question of Iranian cyber-activists was about the hoarding of 2500 nuclear warheads by US that the state officials confessed to, also about the evident violation of human rights in Guantanamo jails and US government funding the terrorist groups in Iraq, bombarding Afghanistan and killing thousands of civilians etc.
It was always totally clear that which country violates human rights, boosts the terrorism and commits genocide, but the American statesmen and their mercenaries in Yahoo mail planned to alienate the global opinions from human disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan by accusing Iran and pressing its people.
Last night, following the intervention of cyber courts, internet activists and political figures Yahoo finally deferred to include the Iran's name in the lists again and this was a great failure for the state-run portal which has already announced that it is not possible to have ties with Iran and its people!
The page which you are on is a Google bomb that redirects the users searching "Yahoo mail" keyword to articles and news about Iran, its people and their scientific, cultural progresses and mainly is a response to Yahoo men and its users who assume that they are facing with uncultured and terrorist nation.

23 August, 2008

Olympics: Hadi Saei wins Iran's first Beijing gold

Veteran Iranian taekwondo fighter Hadi Saei has claimed Beijing Olympics men's welterweight gold medal by beating Italy's Mauro Sarmiento. In the Friday men's -80kg final, the Iranian world and Olympic champion beat the European bronze medalist to win his second Olympic taekwondo gold medal and Iran's first gold medal in the Beijing Olympic Games. Saei, who stepped up to welterweight after winning the -68kg Olympic gold in Athens, lost the first round 4-2 after the 6-foot-5-inches Sarmiento stunned the Iranian with a two-point axe kick to the head. Saei battled back in the second round and managed to tie the score at 4-4 with roundhouse kicks to his opponents left side. The 32-year-old Saei attacked first in the third round to score two points and secure a 6-4 victory in a stunning-comeback fashion. Sarmiento, who had earlier defeated American champion Steven Lopez in the quarterfinals, raised Saei's hand to congratulate the veteran. The four-time world champion Lopez and China's Zhu Guo, who was earlier beaten by Saei, each captured a bronze medal.

20 August, 2008

Iran launches first home-made satellite

Alalam Network - Iran successfully launched its first satellite carrier named "Safir Omid" to space on Sunday."Safir Omid" has completely been designed and manufactured by Iranian scientists and experts and the main mission defined for it is to put Omid satellite into orbit."Safir Omid" is 22 meter in length, 1.25 meter in diameter, and 26 tons in weight.The ability to launch satellites into orbit indicates progress in the Islamic republic's missile technology.In February Tehran successfully launched the Explorer-1 research rocket, which is reportedly capable of carrying a satellite into orbit, and unveiled the country's first domestically built satellite, named Omid, or Hope."President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad was at the launch of the carrier from Iran's space station," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said.President Ahmadinejad termed the launching a great technological achievement for the Iranian nation.Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications.Iran has long held a goal of developing a space program. It hopes to launch four more satellites by 2010, the government has said.In 2005, it launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project with Moscow, which appears to be the main partner in transferring space technology to Iran.

13 August, 2008

woman - The Fountain of Life

Islam has prescribed different roles for men and women. Men are the breadwinners while women are the nurturers. Neither gender is superior to the other. God says in the Qur'an:
"I will not diminish the deed of any person, be it male or female, the one of you is from the other." (3:195)
Both roles are complementary and facilitate the smooth functioning of the family unit. On account of the sacrifices a woman makes, and the difficulties she faces in nurturing children, a mother is bestowed with an exalted position in Islam.
Concerning motherhood, Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) said: "Heaven lies under the feet of mothers." This implies that the success of a society can be traced to the mothers that raised it for the first and perhaps the greatest influence on a person comes from the sense of security, affection, and training received from the mother.
In another tradition emphasizing the importance of respecting a mother for the sacrifices she has made, it is reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked:
"Oh Messenger of God, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to the kindness and attention?" He replied, "your mother." "Then who?" He replied "your mother". "Then who?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your father."

07 August, 2008

Fourteen Basic Rules for Success

In order to play the game a man’s way:

• Understand the difference between how he plays the game and how
you play it.

• Recognize that for the time being, his way of playing is the accepted

• Decide if you want to change the way you play.

1. Make a request – asking is the only way o get what you want. Even when men suspect they’re going to get an unfavorable answer, they still charge ahead and ask the question. They won’t personalize the “no” and they’ll keep trying. Women personalize situations, we hear no as a comment on our abilities, a sign that the relationship between our superiors and us have failed. The woman’s definition of the word no: Absolutely not, how could you even ask?

2. Speak Out. Men speak out a lot, and women are concerned about making a mistake or losing face. If you don’t talk no one will know you are there.
3. Speak Up. When a guy is playing a competitive game he will say what he must as forcefully as the situation warrants. Men will tell you that women are too timid, or too evasive, or too circuitous, or too unsure of themselves. Don’t ask for permission to speak – when you do you’re
putting conditionality instead of strength around a statement. Conditional talk doesn’t have much power. Learn to use your voice effectively. Take a course in presentation skills because with training most voices can become more powerful, more effective in business situations.

4. Tot your own horn. Part of getting ahead is getting noticed. The woman who gets ahead is getting noticed. Taking credit for your accomplishments is part and parcel of job performance learn to be your own PR person in a way that’s comfortable for you. Women are champions of small talk. Use your intuition. Learn to bluff as men do.

5. Don’t expect to make friends; Work is no more about friendship than a tough competitive sport is. Men are clear that business is business, and personal is personal. When they disagree about job-related matters, they don’t see each other as unsupportive or uncaring or disloyal.

6. Accept uncertainty. Unlike men who owe their success to a lot of factors, women assume we get ahead because we’re better at our job than anyone else. As a result, over the years we’ve adopted a perfectionist model. We don’t say we know something unless we are completely confident that we do. Men start the game confident and so have a much better chance of triumphing. Most difficult situations that arise at work have no precedent. Learn to make it up as you go.

7. Take a risk. From the get go, men are encouraged to take chances. Women are bought up to avoid situations that re potentially dangerous. But you can’t get ahead without making risky moves. No one who’s afraid to stretch the boundaries ever becomes a CEO. The things we think of as risks are often not risks at all.

8. Be an imposter. Women enter the workplace convinced that the only way to advance is to master our subject backwards and forward. We collect information, we accumulate anecdotes, and we do whatever it takes to get the job done. When we make a presentation, we make sure there is nothing missed – thoroughly over prepared and overeducated. The problem is that eventually you can’t know everything. Everyone is an imposter. Business is no different from life. Men know that. They fake it whenever and wherever they have to. They rely on improvisation, self-confidence and the generalized ability to draw on past experience rather than book knowledge. In business, when you’re doing something new, there is no safety net. That is how creative business ideas are advanced. Replace your imposter scenario with a self-confident one. Confidence is half the game.

9. Think small. Women tend to multi-task and can be overwhelmed. Men can take the first thing he has to do, concentrates on it, finishes it, and then moves on to the next thing. Men can work like this because the larger picture doesn’t distract them. Men compartmentalize.
10. Don’t anguish. Guys wear their game face. Even when the odds are against them, they still try to look as if they’re going to win. Girls are brought up to be nice. In turn, they want everybody and everything to be nice too. We anguish openly. Women are more apt to show their vulnerability. Anguish in private.

11. Follow the team leader. Women have little practice following the team leader because of the orientation of our games. Our social circles, being democratic, make everyone equal.
• Play with the big picture in mind. • You don’t have to like your teammates, but you do have to stay loyal to them.
• You don’t have to think of yourself as an automaton. Each team member brings his or her unique talents to the playing field: you can improve yours by taking advantage of all the talents around you.
• Don’t second-guess the team.
• Examine your internal conversation.
• Let the team help you.
• Don’t torpedo the team

12. Don’t assume responsibility without authority. This is one of the prime issues women face in business. Offer your services only when you are certain that the task is a career opportunity. Be clear that you are making a trade-off.

13. Sit at the table. Its time to realize that if we want o be considered loyal and productive team players we have to sit at the table with the Big Guys. Too often women will come into a board room and sit in chairs peripheral to the table indicating that the table is for the boss and key people. Early on guys learn that they belong at the table, and they are comfortable fighting to be there. Being visible is half the battle. You can’t play if you can’t be seen. Make your presence felt and be fully present.

14. Laugh. Guys learned long ago that humor could cut the tension in any situation. Women’s humor is much different from men’s. It leans more toward the observational, the situational.

The paradox of our time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

* Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

* Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

* Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

* Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

* Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

04 August, 2008

Intercession in Islam

Intercession in the Hereafter is real and it will occur. However, as Muslims, we cannot pray to or make dua to other than Allah for the basis of Islam is tawheed and the oneness of Allah as the Holy Quran states, “And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allâh, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 46:5-6).
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) does have a special type of intercession on the Day of Judgment. Rasoolullah (SAW) will intercede for the Hisaab (reckoning) to begin on the Day of Judgment. Rasoolullah (SAW) also has a special intercession for those who live in Madinah and die there as well as for his non-Muslim uncle, Abu Talib (who will still reside in Hell-Fire forever but in a lesser severity).
So, who are the intercessors on the Day of Judgment? They include Allah (the Most Merciful), Rasoolullah (SAW), the Messengers, the Angels, the martyrs, children who passed away, the believers to one another, and the Holy Quran. Allah’s Mercy will allow people who have only a mustard seed amount’s worth of Eeman to be saved from the Hell-Fire.
What are the types of intercession? They include the type for people to get out of Hell-Fire once they are in Hell, for people to be saved from the Fire before they are thrown into it (i.e. Surat Tabarrak intercedes for this), for people to have their punishment reduced (in severity or time), to allow people to enter Jannah, and to raise the level for people in paradise once they are already there.
Now that we have covered the types of intercession, one may be inclined to ask about the intercession from grave-worshipping that occurs throughout some parts of the Muslim world. However, it must be noted that grave-worshipping is strictly prohibited in Islam as Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
Some people claim that they ask these ‘saints’ because these saints are better people than themselves and closer to Allah. Even if this may be true, it is pointless of one to make dua to this saint as Allah will reward this saint for his deeds and not the person making dua to him for his deeds. Allah will not call on one’s prayer more if he makes his prayer directed to a righteous saint. Instead, we should strive to be better believers and we should ourselves make dua sincerely to Allah (SWT). One must follow the Quran and Sunnah in all which one does.
Finally, what are the conditions for intercession? Firstly, Allah (SWT) must approve the one for whom intercession is made as the Quran states, “and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 21:28). Abu Hurayrah narrates in a longer hadith in which Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The people who will be most blessed by my intercession on the Day of Resurrection are those who say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah sincerely from the heart” (narrated by Bukhari). Secondly, Allah (SWT) must allow the intercessor to intercede as the Quran states, “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:255). Furthermore, Allah (SWT) can decide to accept (or reject) the intercession as the Holy Quran states, “…whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 53:26).
In closing, consider the words of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid (of IslamQA):
…it is clear to every fair-minded person that the correct kind of intercession is intercession that depends on the permission and approval of Allaah, because all intercession belongs to Him. That also includes asking for intercession from living people who are able to do that concerning worldly matters, for which Allaah has granted permission. It should be pointed out here that this kind of intercession is permitted because Allaah has given permission for it, since it involves no kind of emotional attachment to the person, rather the point is that it is a means, like all other means which Islam permits us to use. The kind of intercession which is forbidden is asking someone other than Allaah to do something that no one is able to do except Allaah, because intercession belongs to no one besides Allaah, and no one can do it unless Allaah grants him leave and approves of him. So whoever seeks intercession from anyone else has transgressed upon the exclusive preserve of Allaah and has wronged himself, and has exposed himself to being deprived of the intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the Day of Resurrection. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and we ask Him to cause our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to intercede for us … Ameen.

Islam, the Religion of Ease

Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, is the creator of mankind and therefore knows his nature more intricately than mankind himself. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has therefore chosen for us a religion best suited to the nature of mankind, a religion that goes neither to the extremes of hardship nor of laxity, but instead provides a middle path; in other words, a religion of ease. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said; "Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you" [2:185]; and "Allah does not want to place you in difficulty" [5:6]. Such easiness is well explained in the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said, "Religion is easy..." [Bukhari], he also said; "The best of your religion, is the easiest." [Ahmad]The easiness of this religion was put into practise by the best of humanity, the one who came to deliver the message, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;
"Verily there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves, it grieves him that you should suffer any difficulty, he is anxious for you, for the believers he is full of pity and merciful" [10:128] This understanding is clarified in a hadeeth in which the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "... Allah did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He sent me to teach and make things easy" [Muslim]. This understanding is further implemented by the mercy sent to mankind,
Muhammed, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, in the hadeeth reported by his noble and pure wife, 'Aishah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, who said; "Whenever the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, has a choice between two matters, he would choose the easiest, unless it is sinful (act)" [Bukhari]. Many hadeeths have been reported on the matter of easiness: "Allah likes for this nation ease and hates for it hardship and adversity." [Tabaraani]. "We have been given a privilege over other nations... .we have been given verses that no one else has been given, the last two verses of Surah Baqarah(chapter 2)"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear" After each statement, Allah responded by saying, "I did, I did, I did"" [Muslim].To further emphasise this understanding to his companions, when once a Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the mosque, the people caught him; but he, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had urinated. The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, then said, "You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult" [Bukhari]. An example that illustrates this point is Salah, an act so important and vital to Islam that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer" [Muslim]. He also warned against leaving salah, even at the time of his death, in his very last breaths before departing from this world.Yet in this worship Allah has also prescribed easiness. At first, the number of prayers was fifty in number, but they were reduced several times until they were five. Then it was proclaimed 'O Muhammad, the order is not changed. These five are (equal in reward) to fifty' [Tirmidhi]. Causes of hardshipIf Islam is a religion of ease, why do we find many Muslims not practising it? Why do we find them doing very little of what they ought to be doing, and why do even those who practise their religion sometimes find it difficult? There are reasons why the practice of Islam can becomes hard:
1) Lack of piety When we speak about Islam being easy we are, in reality, speaking about the easiness of its acts of worship and morals. Religion by definition means commitment and an obligation to a master. Therefore, being a
religious person means to be always aware that we are slaves to a master, Allah, subhanahu wata'aala. From here we see the mistake of those who want 'ease' to mean 'doingnothing', just saying "I am a Muslim", committing themselves to nothing. It is obvious that they want it to be easy, but what exactly do they want?They want an easy life, a life without any religious practices. The idle belief of 'existing only to live' has long ago been negated by Allah, subhanahu wata'aala. He said: "Do you think you have been created for nothing and that you will not be resurrected and brought back to Allah again!" [23:115]. He also said: "Thinks man that he is left aimless?" [75:86]. Islam is easy to practice; but those who do not understand the reasons behind their existence, who do not understand the concepts of religion, but meanwhile are striving to secure themselves in this life; then surely they will find its practices difficult. The easiness of Islam is felt in all of its commandments. Some people find this or that commandment hard to follow but this does not mean that the command is in itself hard; often it is the person who is the cause. For example Salah, it is an easy act of worship, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has made clear: "And seek help in patience and prayer and truly it is (prayer) extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un (i.e. true submitting)" [2;45]. Prayer is an easy act of worship except, of course, for those who do not truly submit to their Lord; they will find it toilsome. Why do they find it so? The answer is that it is not the prayer that is difficult, but it is the hearts of these people which have changed from good to bad, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, mentioned: "Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness ..." [4;142]; in another verse He subhanahu wata'aala, said; "And that they came not to prayer except in a lazy state ..." [9;54]. 2) Ignorance The rules of Islam did not come as mere do's and don'ts. Each obligation has wisdom and motivation behind it. It should make no difference to us if the wisdom for that particular practice is known or not, because if it is not known to us today, then if Allah wills, He will reveal it to future generations. What is primarily expected from us is to fully submit and implement every command. For example, the giving of charity, which apparently decreases the wealth of the giver. Islam did not say "Pay charity, pay charity", as this would not motivate people and therefore make it difficult to act upon. Instead
Allah says; "Would you not like to give a loan to your Lord, and this loan will be paid back to you multiplied and you will be rewarded for it." [2:245] The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Verily, wealth does not decrease because of charity." [Muslim] It seems Muslims often ask why this act or matter is Halaal or Haraam. With such an attitude they will never achieve their goal, because behind each injunction there is an aspect of wisdom. Without understanding this, practising Islam becomes a heavy burden. With strong belief, we do not even have to ask whether this or that is halaal or Haraam, but rather if it pleases Allah. Therefore we should take the rules seeking the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wata'aala,. If pleasing Allah subhanahu wata'aala, is, always, our aim, then undoubtedly the practice of religion becomes easy, no matter what apparent hardships we may encounter.
3) Inappropriate environment It is true that sometimes we find it difficult to practise the religion, even those who are committed to it! The reason behind this is that we are practising our religion in an non-religious environment. Islam is not meant to be practised while being immersed in a Kufr (disbelieving) society. Its practice will indeed be difficult in such an environment. Therefore, the difficulty cannot be blamed upon Islam as a religion, but rather on the circumstances of the society. Returning to our example of prayer, we see that prayer by itself is easy, but if you have to stand alone to pray amongst non-Muslims, all of them watching you, it will suddenly become difficult. The obvious conclusion is that the prayer in itself is not difficult, but the environment has made it difficult. Another example is that of a woman who wears hijaab and is happy to cover herself. If this were an Islamic society, it would have been difficult for her not to be covered, or for a man not to respond to the call to prayer and pray in a mosque. Thus difficulty is not the nature of our religion, but we are trying to be pure in a decadent and immoral environment. These realities are not unknown to Islam, because the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, already warned his companions some fourteen centuries ago, and by that has also warned us by saying, as reported by Abu Tha'laba, radiya Allahu 'anhu, "... Ahead of you are days which will require endurance (in the practice of religion), in which he who shows endurance will be like him who grasps live coals. The one who acts rightly during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does." The hearers said, "The reward of fifty of them, Messenger of Allah!" He replied, "The reward of fifty of you." A companion said about this difference in reward, "Now you find people helping you to do good deeds, but then they will not find things to help them but they will find things to resist and oppose them." [Tirmidhi]. So Islam is the religion of ease. If we accept it as a religion to start with, then we should take it with its concepts, and practise it in a pure environment (as opposed to a corrupted and decadent one); it will then become an easier religion to practise. As it is not possible to have a 100% pure society, we have to strive to achieve this by being surrounded by good Muslims. In doing this, the religion will loosen the burdens around it. The easiness of Islam has even been testified by the enemies of Islam. This was apparent in the statement of the Jews at the time of the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, when a man and a woman from amongst them committed fornication. Some of them said to the others: "Let us go to this Prophet, for he has been sent with an easy law ...". [Abu Dawood]. So may Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, make us amongst those who "Listen to the word and follow the best thereof, whom Allah has guided and those are men of derstanding." [39;18].