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Stoop to Conquer: 10 ways of honoring servants

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By Sadaf Farooqi

Most Muslims in Eastern countries employ domestic staff as a norm. For some, domestic helpers are a priceless resource who significantly ease our day-to-day chores. Conversely, for others, they can be a source of distress and chagrin. 

Many women complain to each other about the trouble they face from the incompetence, treachery, and intentional misdemeanor of their servants. However, we need to remind ourselves that it is in managing our helpers according to Islamic injunctions where the secret lies to get the best out of them.

1. Think of their pay as Sadaqah

We need to change the way we view our servants’ wages. By considering it an “expense,” we tend to extract “full value” of the money. For instance, even if a maid is sick, her employer might say, “I pay her to work, so she must work.” But if we consider the salary a “Sadaqah” that helps fill their bellies, we will Insha Allah be more tolerant of their shortcomings as human beings.

2. Counsel them when they need it

You might notice that your domestic helpers are disturbed on some days. They are human beings who have problems and worries just like us. Ask them what is troubling them; then advise them to have patience and hope in Allah’s mercy. Keep the counsel short, but show them that you care.

3. Forgive and forget their mistakes

Just like other human relationships, it is not pleasant to have your past mistakes and wrongs thrown in your face repeatedly. Forgive them for the sake of Allah if they wrong you, and do not be harsh when scolding them.

4. Do not accuse them of stealing, cheating or lying on mere suspicion

Many employers are guilty of this unfair action – as soon as something in the house is missing due to their own absentmindedness, the domestic helper is squarely accused of theft or negligence. “O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin.” (Qur’an, 49:12). Ask them normally if they have seen the missing object, but do not accuse them of theft or misplacement. In most cases, the object is eventually found after the maid has been fired, causing guilt and embarrassment to the employer for life.

5. Informally teach them Islamic manners and knowledge

One of the rights of our domestic helpers upon us is that they be taught about Islam, or given its message if they are non-Muslims. Without being overtly ‘preachy’, give them small doses of the truth. The best way is to act upon Islam yourself. This will eventually make them love and respect you for the sake of Allah – which results in a sincere relationship devoid of mistrust and treachery.

6. Eat with them occasionally without separating utensils

Domestic helpers are not animals. Some people treat them as if they are unhygienic beings from another planet. Allow them to use the utensils from which you and your family eat. If they have dirty habits, teach them hygiene. But do not separate their utensils as if they are untouchables. This will make them feel insulted. They will never return an insult with loyalty or obedience. Abu Bakr Bin Hafs said: “Abdullah Bin Umar would never eat food except in the company of an orphan.”

7. Give them gifts

Reward their work – whatever it is like – with occasional bonuses in the form of clothing, shoes or other items that you are yourself using. Do not cast off broken, torn or damaged goods to them unless they agree to take them. This is part of the Islamic etiquette taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

8. Ease work when they are sick

Allow your helpers to go home early by reducing their chores when they are not feeling that well. Help them if they need money for medicines or medical treatment. Consideration such as this, without reminding them of these favors later, is a good way to establish a relationship based on mutual trust and care.

9. They are not robots

Domestic helpers are human beings with feelings and self-esteem. Any treatment that you would dislike for yourself would hurt them too. Scolding them in public, pointing out their faults before others, and allowing your children to mock at them or hit them or treat them disrespectfully are totally unacceptable behaviors. Treat them with honor and dignity.

10. You are not superior

“It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others.” (Qur’an, 43:32)

It is one of Allah’s laws of the universe that some people possess higher worldly ranks than others, so that they employ the services of the latter in return for wages. But this doesn’t mean a wealthy person is superior than a poor person. This doesn’t mean you are better than your servant. 

Islam has mandated lofty treatment with slaves. But we don’t show that even to servants who are mere employees, and not slaves. 

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to Abu Dharr regarding his treatment of his slave: “They are your brothers and servants whom Allah has placed under your authority. Anyone who has his brother under his authority let him feed him the same food as he eats and dress him in the same clothes as he wears. Do not overwhelm them with work and if you give them work to do then help them with it.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim) 

Our servants are not our slaves. But is our treatment as good as what the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded with regard to slaves during his time?

 

Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

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Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion |

By Rifai Naleemi -

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

A group of nearly three hundred radical Buddhist extremists have burned down a Muslim owned shop in Aluthgama town on 8/5/14.  This was not coincidently happened attack on the shop of this innocent Muslim businessman rather this was a premeditated racist attack to destroy the livelihood of this man. There is no shadow doubt that this attack was initiated and carried out with the support of Police, BBS and some Buddhist radicals of this area. This was the only Muslim shop in Aluthgama town. This shop has been set on fire last night (8/5/2014). It is believed that some extremist Buddhist people under the leadership of some radical Buddhist monks set fire to this Muslim shop. We should listen to the owner of this shop to know what exactly happened to his shop and why his shop was set on fire.

 

The owner of this is Mr. Ahmad khan. He has been living in this town since his childhood and he has been running this family business for many years. With his dedication and hard works he managed to build this shop and developed his business. He and his brother managed to develop their business with years of hard works and dedications: yet, some Sinhalese people in the town become jealous of this growing business and they did not want see one and only Muslim shop in that town. He has been doing business among Sinhalese people in that town.

It is due to mere jealousy and hared that this shop was set on fire and destroyed.  Some of these jealous people deliberately and intentionally created a plot and conspiracy to destroy this hardworking Muslim man’s shop and his livelihood without any human remorse for his family and children.

They plotted and conspired. As a part of their conspiracy they sent a mother and a son to his shop some time ago. This mother came up with a fabricated story against the owner of the shop. She claimed that her son was strangled or squeezed by his neck by the brother of shop owner and she made a complaint about it to Aluthgama police station and the brother of shop keeper was taken to police custody. He was kept in police for one and half day. This episode was craftily y set up by some elements in the town to destroy this shop and livelihood of this innocent business man

In order to revenge for this fabricated story some 300 hundreds Sinhalese radicals demonstrated in the township under the leadership of some monks.  They shouted that this Muslim shop would be set on fire and burned down! Police warned the owner of this shop to close down the shop when the demonstrators were marching towards the town and yet he turned down that request saying there was no reason to close the shop. The owner told police he has done no wrong to close his shop. The demonstrators did not do any damage to the shop on the day of demonstration and yet, at night time the shop was set on fire by some of these thugs. The shop was totally destroyed and nearly 50 million rupees worth of goods are destroyed and shop is totally burned down.

This was a racially motivated incident.  It was reported that Police did not take any action against the culprits of this attack and police has been supporting these thugs. It should be mentioned here that entire Police team at Aluthgama should take the responsibility for this incident since they have failed to take action.  They have failed in their official duties and they perverted course of justice in this case. It is in front of these police that this shop has been destroyed and yet, Police have not taken any action. Police was collaborating with these thugs, otherwise these thugs would not be able to do this destruction that quickly in that speed in the middle of the town.

This begs many questions about the prejudice and discriminative attitudes of Police in Sri Lanka. Police force is a law enforcement agent in any country. Sadly such law enforcing agent itself is collaborating with thugs to break the laws and order of this country? Why did not police take any action against these people and why did not police stop this destruction and why did not police do something to stop this injustice? The credibility of Police is questionable today in Sri Lanka?

There is no need to destroy a shop because of any minor incident or dispute.  We have a good legal system in Sri Lanka.  Why these people do not take these types of incidents to court rather than following the path of violence and destruction in Sri Lanka? Who is going to benefit from such destruction? No one benefits from such destruction. It is public who will pay the price for such destruction and it is our own national resources we destroy.

End of the day, we are damaging the image of our country and its economy by these types of anti-social behaviours and barbarism.  Today we do not need people who destroy Sri Lanka rather we need people who develop and build our Sri Lanka.

After all these happened to Muslims in Sri Lanka in broad day light, no constructive steps have been taken yet, neither by this government or Muslim politicians to stop this anti-communal activities. This government should take responsibility  for all these racist attacks.  This government is trying to catch fish in trouble water and it has been ignoring the plights of Muslims deliberately and intentionally for its dirty political ambitions. Our selfish politicians have failed to grasp the grave danger that has already engulfed Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/inside-story-of-the-torching-aluthgama-muslim-owned-shop/comment-page-2/
 

In Pictures: Carnage in India's Assam

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At least 32 people killed by suspected Bodo rebels in northeastern state forcing thousands to flee for safety.

At least 32 people from the minority Muslim community have been killed by the suspected Bodo rebels in two days of violence in India's northeastern Assam state.

The attackers sprayed bullets on people before setting more than 40 houses on fire. Thousands of people have fled their homes for safety.

Relatives of victims, who refused to bury their dead, finally performed the last rites on Sunday after the government promised to punish the culprits and provide security.

At least three rebels have been killed by the army, which has been deployed in the region following the killings.

In similar attacks nearly two years ago, Bodo rebels killed about 100 people and forced more than 400,000 people to flee their homes.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

Villagers watch as the dead bodies of the victims are brought for burial in Narayanguri village in Baksa district, about 200km from Guwahati, the capital of Assam state.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
The family members of those killed finally buried their dead after the government promised to punish the culprits and provide security.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Villagers look for belongings following the attack in Khagrabari village.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

A woman mourns the death of her relatives in the village of Narayanguri.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Security personnel get down from a boat to patrol in a remote area at river Beki in Khagrabari village, Baska district.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Rights body, Amnesty International has condemned the deadly attacks, terming the act as shameful and displaying contempt for human lives.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
A villager flees with his belongings to safer place.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Police said on Sunday that they had killed three suspected rebels and arrested eight forest guards for the alleged involvement in the killings.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
A man tries to salvage valuables from the remains of his house, which was burned by the rebels.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

More than 40 homes were set on fire by the attackers forcing people to flee for safety.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
The state government is planning to hand over the probe into the killings to the federal investigating agency, National Investigation Agency.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Army has been deployed in the area after the attacks.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/05/pictures-carnage-india-assam-20145515837562172.html
   

The High Levels Of Those Who Strive to Meet Their Brothers' Needs

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One of the greatest things that will relieve a person's distress on the Day of Resurrection is his efforts in this world to relieve the distress of those who are in distress, and to help those who are in need, and to make things easy for those who are in difficulty, and to overlook the mistakes of those who err.

In Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever relieves a believer of distress in this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes things easy for those who are in difficulty, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and in the next. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim in this world, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help the slave so long as the slave helps his brother." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1/71, hadith no. 204.]

Bukhari narrated from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "The Muslim is the brother of his fellow-Muslim; he should not mistreat him or let him down. Whoever meets the needs of his brother, Allah will meet his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of some distress, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and the next." [Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab laa Yazlim al-Muslim al-Muslim, Fath al-Baari, 5/97.]

Ad-Deenoori narrated in Al-Mujaalisah, Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Al-Shu'ab and Ad-Diyaa' narrated in Al-Mukhtaarah from Anas that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever helps his brother in secret, Allah will help him in this world and the next." [Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah, 3/218, hadith no. 1217.]

 

 

Sri Lankan Leaders Seek Action to Stop Harassment Against Muslims

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RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN

Published — Sunday 4 May 2014

http://www.arabnews.com/news/565366

Muslim parliamentarians in Sri Lanka have called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene in order to stop the continued hate campaign, intimidation and threats perpetrated against Muslims by some Buddist extremists of the Bodu Bala Sena and other allied organizations.


With the exception of A.H.M. Azwer and A.R.M.A. Cader, 16 out of the 18 legislators signed the petition sponsored by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCL).


Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, MCL President N.M. Ameen said that the campaign carried out against Muslims by the Bodu Bala Sena, Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya is alarming and dangerous. “We have full confidence in our president and we believe he will take appropriate action to resolve this issue,” he added.


The petition urges the president to immediately intervene to stop the harassment against Muslim IDP’s who have lived in different parts of the country as refugees and as a “forgotten” people over the last 23 years.

“We, the Muslim parliamentarians, wish to bring to your Excellency’s kind attention that these groups have been targeting Muslim places of worship, Halal food, the Muslim attire and now the resettlement of the Muslim lDPs who were expelled by the LTTE in 1990 in the worst act of ethnic cleansing in the history of our nation,” the petition read. These Muslim lDPs were labeled as “old lDPs” and did not even benefit from the resettlement scheme implemented by the government and international agencies including the cash grants provided by the UNHCR, it said.


In the absence of any substantial support for their resettlement, the Muslim religious, political and civil society leadership has been soliciting support for their resettlement from benevolent donors of Muslim countries and individuals. There has been some positive response from some of these donors and a number of houses have been constructed with their support,” the petition noted.


These houses have been constructed following due procedures of land distribution through the Divisional Secretariat and the Presidential Task Force for resettlement. The Sena and some sections of the media are highlighting the resettlement now as illegal, stating that they have encroached upon the Wilpattu National Park.


Signatories to the petition included, Senior Minister for Urban Affairs A.H.M. Fowzie, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, ALM Athullah, Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Basheer Segu Dawood, Kabir Hasim, Faizer Mustapha, MS Thowfeek, Faisal Cassim, Hassan Ali, M.S M. Aslam, M.H.M. Haleem, M.L.A. M. Hisbullah, Unais Farook and Mustapha Bawa Farook.

   

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