Recent Village Updates
Qatari women are pioneering in many fields, according to a visiting artist who described her experience of local women as an inspiration and a reminder of aspects of life which have been forgotten in other parts of the world.
Hazel Thompson, a British photojournalist who works for the New York Times is currently in Doha as part of the ?My Father?s House? exhibition, organised by the British Council in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.
Hazel Thompson's website www.hazelthompson.com
Her exhibition, ?Measure of a Woman,? focuses on the role of women by studying subjects in both Qatar and Bahrain. To create her collection, Thompson lived in both countries, staying with eight women whose lives she documented on camera.
Describing her experience as ?completely positive,? Thompson said that she came to the region with several misconceptions which were quickly disproved on arrival.
The Wife of H.H. the Emir has given prominence to the role of Qatari women and created an environment that encourages them to meet their social obligations and participate in public life.
H.H. Sheikha Mouza endorses women's conferences, which discuss women's issues and recommend solutions for the problems and challenges that confront women who work outside the home.
One huge contributor to maternal mortality is the fact that in many rural and tribal areas in Pakistan, a woman cannot leave her house without a male relative to chaperone her.
The majority of Pakistani women will literally bleed to death at home rather than risk dishonoring the family by going to the local health centre or hospital.
The following article describe that:
I am impressed by Abu Bakr's determination, loyalty, commitments, achievements, life, etc...
I'd like to share his biography with you all. Many of you already know it but reading his story over and over again is worthy.
Biography - By Latiefa Achmat
(A) Abu Bakr was the dearest friend of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to speak about Abu Bakr, remarking on how he was the only person who never hesitated to accept Islam once he heard about it. Other people who embraced Islam in the early days would think for some time and consider, but Abu Bakr declared his faith immediately (Al-Mubarakpuri, 77).
Before he declared his Islam, Abu Bakr was known as a pious man; he had an essentially good character, and only good was expected from him. He and the Prophet (SAW) were good friends before the Prophet's mission (Nadawi, 33).
Abu Bakr was a wealthy man and was in the habit of using his wealth to benefit others. One of the evil pre-Islamic traditions was the practice of burying baby girls alive. This practice was stopped when the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came with the message of Islam. This pre-Islamic time is commonly known as the era of ignorance because the people lived without the knowledge of the values and principles of Islam.
For this reason, the birth of a baby girl was something for a man to be ashamed of. Men thought that sons would bring more honor on them, their families, and their tribes while girls could potentially bring them and their tribes dishonor; therefore, many men buried their daughters alive. Whenever Abu Bakr heard that a baby girl was to be buried alive, he would go and negotiate with the father and he started something that could be called a boarding house in today?s terms, a place where he put these little girls in the care of women who would look after them while he paid for their maintenance. (Witness ? Pioneer.org; nzmuslim.net).
Muslims believe that, every human being is born with an innate nature; an ability to tell the difference between good and evil and the knowledge that there is a Creator and a desire to know Him. This nature remains strong in some people and weakens over time with others. Abu Bakr remained firm in his human nature, so that even before the advent of Islam and the sure knowledge and system that came with it, he knew that such things as burying baby girls alive were essentially evil. He knew this in a society that largely accepted this practice.
(A) Goodness is attracted to goodness and comprehends it, so it is not surprising that Abu Bakr befriended the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as he perceived his innate piety and, thereafter, never even hesitated to follow the Prophet until his last breath.
The final days of the Muslims before they emigrated to Madinah, witnessed two kinds of extremes: the Muslims' gradual sense of success and the continual torment and persecution at the hands of the non-Muslims of Quraish. The Prophet (SAW) and the believers were hopeful that better days would soon come and that the migration to Madinah would soon occur. About one year before the migration, God (Allah) blessed the Prophet (peace be upon him) with something miraculous. This was the event of the Prophet's Night Journey to Jerusalem and then his Ascension to the heavens.
The Qur'an tells us about this event:
The following day, after this miraculous event, the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke about it. This was a test for the Muslims because, from the earthly point of view, such an event cannot be explained by human reason and so those who were weak in their faith doubted. The true and strong Muslims found nothing unusual in Allah granting His prophet a miracle as they believed that He is All Powerful and created all there is by an act of His will. Needless to say, the non-Muslims ridiculed and questioned the truth of this event. They went to Abu Bakr to see his response to this event. When Abu Bakr was asked about it, he asked if the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had said this happened. When they answered in the affirmative, Abu Bakr simply declared that he did indeed verify it. It was due to his response on this most important day that Abu Bakr earned the title of As-Siddiq which means the verifier of truth (Al-Mubarakpuri, 150-51).
Abu Bakr knew that prophets received Allah?s signs to establish their faith. He knew that they were eligible for this in consequence of divine privilege because of the heavy burdens they had to bear, as messengers of Allah. Abu Bakr did all he could to help his friend the Prophet (peace be upon him) carry out his mission in the service of Allah.
The Night Journey, together with other revelations around that time, showed the Muslims the greatness of the civilization which they were in the process of constructing. A coherent society was soon to be established and the call of Islam was soon to be heard throughout the world. Abu Bakr was a significant part of the call and spread of Islam.
Not long after the Night Journey, the Muslims prepared to migrate to Madinah. The people of Madinah welcomed the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his followers and eagerly awaited his blessed arrival. One by one, the Muslims left the distress and persecution of Makkah and settled in Madinah (Lings, 113-15). Abu Bakr, still in Makkah, wished that he would be the one to travel with the Prophet (peace be upon him), but the Prophet did not answer Abu Bakr until he received guidance from Allah to do so.
Extracted without alterations
~ Al-Mubarakpuri, Safi-ur-Rahman. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar). Riyadh: Dar-us-Salam Publications, 1996.
~ ?Before and After Conversion to Islam?Witness ? Pioneer Organization, 2002.
Lings, Martin. Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. A.S. Noordeen, 1983.
~ Nadwi, Abul Hasan. Muhammad the Last Prophet ? a model for all time. UK: Islamic Academy, 1993.
?The First Caliph-Abu Bakr ? nzmuslim.net. netmastan. May 2003.
To be beautiful is to express joyful gratitude for all that we receive.
He who can quicken the feeling of another to joy or to gratitude, by that much he adds to his own life.
Shak?r (In Arabic, one of the 99 beautiful names of God) denotes appreciation, gratitude or praise for some particular favor.
Respect, gratitude, sincerity, faithfulness, patience, endurance, all these qualities begin to show in the character of that man.
If you do not yet feel that wondrous Divine Presence deep within, then (for the time being) simply strive to allow your life to be centered around great ideals such as loving-kindness, generosity, compassion, gratitude, and joyfulness. Whenever anything else arises, calmly observe whatever has arisen without undue reaction, and return as quickly as possible to embodying those great ideals such as loving-kindness, generosity, compassion, gratitude and joyfulness.
In this simple manner, one can gradually begin to reprogram the sub-conscious mind, and thereby more fully live in harmony with the Divine Presence.
In the face of all the changes which are inevitable, we should take time to notice, and be thankful for, everything in our life which is pleasing and comforting.
Oh, such splendid gifts we are given, and so often we take them for granted, taking little or no notice. To have eyesight, to have arms or legs, to have a friend...
These too shall pass, so take time to rejoice for all that we are privileged to enjoy in the present moment. In some other moment, all of this will be gone. Celebrate, sing your song, dance your dance, and take time in each present moment to offer sincere thoughts of reverence, awe, and gratefulness.
''Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond''.
by Jalaluddin Rumi,
translated by Coleman Barks