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Islam Requires Positivity

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The root word of the term Islam is Silm, which means peace. Islam, correctly understood, is a religion of peace. In Islam, one name of God Almighty is As-Salam, which means Peace. So, God Himself is peace and is the source of peace. In the Quran, Paradise is called Dar us-Salam or the home of peace (10:25). In the Quran, the Prophet of Islam is referred to as Rahmatun Lil-Alamin, meaning ‘a mercy to all mankind’ (21:107).
So, this is the real picture of Islam.
I think that peace is the SummumBonum, the greatest good, because peace has no limit. We all say that we want peace. We never say that we want ‘limited peace’, because peace has no limit. Peace is indispensable for every sort of progress. Without peace, you can’t do anything properly, not even walk on a street with peace of mind. All positive activities will come to a halt if there is no peace. Whether it be in religion or in secular affairs, in every sphere of life peace is essential for progress. That is why it is the SummumBonum.
All the verses of the Quran have a connotation of peace, either directly or indirectly. For instance, the Quran says as-SulhKhayr, “reconciliation is best” (4:128). It means peace is best. From this teaching, some Sufis adopted the formula of Sulh-E Kul, which means peace with all.
The very first verse in the Quran has a connotation of peace. It says: AlhamdulillahiRabbilAlameen, which means “All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Universe.” (1:2) here, praising God means giving thanks to Him and acknowledging Him. When you realize that God has created you, that He has created every single thing in the universe, you feel a certain thrill. You feel that God is so very great! You are amazed thinking of the many blessings He has blessed you with, and so you want to acknowledge this by praising Him. You express this acknowledgement by saying Alhamdulillah (praise be to God!).
Now, you can truly be thankful to God for His blessings in this way only when you are at peace, only when your mind is filled with positivity. Unless your mind is free from agitation, from conflict, from negativity, you cannot truly praise God in this way. If you are living in hate and violence, you cannot say Alhamdulillah! Or maybe you could do it only as a matter of lip-service, but not from the heart. To utter the phrase Alhamdulillah! in a spirit of thrill, you have to forget about all negativity, you have to be free of all hate and revenge.
‘Alhamdulillah’ requires positivity. It requires a positive mind. It requires a positive personality. So, in such a situation, terrorism has no place in Islam. Violence and hate have no place in Islam. Islam requires positivity.
Once, a Companion of the Prophet asked him: “O Prophet, give me a master advice by which I may be able to manage all the affairs of my life.” And the Prophet replied: “Don’t be angry.”
‘Don’t be angry’ means don’t be angry even when provoked. Anger is a reaction to provocation. Without provocation, there is no anger. So, what the Prophet was teaching was that even if you are provoked, you have to try to live without anger.
Since human beings are compelled to face negativity and provocation every now and then, how can they live without anger? For that, you have to learn the art of anger management. And the art of anger management is the art of converting your anger into forgiveness. You have to be able to respond positively even in negative situations. Then only can you can live without anger.
Alhamdulillah is the gist of all the teachings of Islam, of all the forms of worship in Islam. The greatest experience for us is that we are receiving great blessings from God at every moment. God supplies us with sunlight, without which we cannot see. God supplies us with oxygen day and night, without which we would die. We need so many things just in order to survive, and God gives all of these to us without us having to pay anything for them! So, when you feel you are a blessed person, that every moment you are receiving great blessings from God, then you say Alhamdulillah! This is the greatest worship, the greatest act of Islam. You cannot say Alhamdulillah in the true spirit if you are living in hate and negativity.
So, you can say that a true Momin or believer is one who lives in positivity. A believer is a positive personality in the complete sense of the term. All the Islamic requirements—Kalima(reciting the Islamic creed), Salat(prayer), fasting, Zakat (almsgiving) and Haj—can be properly performed only if you have a positive mind. All these teachings of Islam require positivity.
A well-established principle of Islam is Ar-Rahilu Lil-Imam. It means that to declare war is the prerogative of the state. According to Islam, no agency other than the state is allowed to go to war. In other words, the use of arms is the prerogative of the state. If this were not so, society would be engulfed in anarchy.
Every society consists of two parts: the state, and individuals. The state is authorized to use arms. It is responsible for the administration, for ensuring justice and implementing laws. As far as individuals or groups other than the government are concerned, they can act using only peaceful means. If they find others doing wrong, they can try to persuade them to change their ways. They can reach out to them in love. They can pray to God for their guidance. They can offer them advice. They can engage in dialogue with them. They can use logic and reason. But they cannot use arms, which is the prerogative of the state alone.
The Prophet Muhammad started his mission in Mecca in 610 CE. He was appointed by God as a prophet in this year. He continued to live in Makkah for 13 years, during which period some people accepted his message, but the majority of the Quraysh remained hostile. They wanted to kill him. At this time, some of the Muslims wanted to engage in fighting against theQuraysh, but the Prophet said: “I have not been given the permission to fight.”
Now, what is the meaning of this sentence? It’s not a simple sentence. It reflects a philosophy of war and of state. In Makkah, Islam was not in a position of government or state. When the Prophet was there, he was simply a prophet, a reformer and a preacher. So, at that time he told his disciples that they had to keep patience.
Patience, or Sabr in Arabic, is not cowardice. It is not passivity. Patience itself is a great action. It means to engage in peaceful activism, in educational activism, in intellectual activism, in spiritual activism and in prayer activism. It includes all these peaceful forms of activism. Sabr means to think in a positive way. It means peaceful planning, peaceful thinking and a peaceful response to a situation. All these things are forms of patience. So, when the Prophet advised his Companions to keep patience, it was no simple matter. It was actually a great advice. It meant that although they couldn’t use arms, there were, at the same time, many peaceful fields that were open to them. Even today these fields are wide open. Even today you can engage in Dawahactivism, in educational activism, in intellectual activism, in spiritual activism and so on, using entirely peaceful means. This was the meaning of that advice of the Prophet.
There is so much scope in these fields of peaceful activism. And the Prophet availed of all these opportunities of peaceful activity, and the result was miraculous. During the 13 years when he was in Makkah, he was able to make a great team, of people who later went on to become his most senior Companions and who have a great status in Islamic history, such as Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, Ali ibn AbiTalib, Muadh ibn Jabal and many other Companions. All these people were born in Makkah and accepted Islam when the Prophet was there. While in Makkah, without going to war the Prophet was able to engage in Dawah work and attract all these intellectuals.
In the days after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Khalid ibn al-Walid decided to go to Madinah and accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet. At that time, he said something very meaningful. When he wanted to embrace Islam, someone asked him why, and he said: “People have entered Islam and now no man of taste is left in Makkah.”(Al-Bidayahwal-Nihayah) That is, all those people who have wisdom, sincerity, or are people of taste have embraced Islam.
So, the Prophet was able to extract all those men of taste, those intelligent people of Makkah, without going to war or using arms. This success was the miracle of sabr.
Sabr means peaceful planning, constructive planning. Sabr is a very important concept in Islam. It is not something passive. It is completely active. It means planning, but without using arms.


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Joint Hurriyat hails Pak SC’s ruling on Kashmir, GB

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Srinagar, Jan 20: Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik Sunday held a meeting at the octogenarian leader Geelani’s residence.
At the meeting, the leadership, as per a statement, expressed satisfaction over the verdict announced by the seven judge-bench of Pakistan Supreme Court that upheld the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the Pakistan government to provide more citizenship, legal and social rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan (GB) besides stating that the lingering dispute of J&K be resolved by means of plebiscite.
“Pakistan Supreme Court in its fresh verdict has laid stress on the fact that till the issue of Kashmir stands unresolved, Pakistan and India must ensure that the people of this region enjoy maximum rights for areas within each country’s control,” the statement read.
At the meeting, the leadership expressed serious concern over the “perpetual incarceration” of many political prisoners languishing in Indian jails and the ill plight and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in various jails including Tihar Jail ,Kathua, Udhampur, Kotbalwal, Samba, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jodhpur and other prisons stating that world organizations should take strong note of the condition of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in these prisons and how legal processes and procedures are misused to detain them and prolong their detentions.

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JK Bank quarterly results: Market experts predict 65% long-term upside potential

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Srinagar, Jan 20: J&K Bank results for the third quarter have come up with numbers having enough indicators to tell the market pundits that the bank is bound to see a positive growth in the coming days, starting the current quarter.
The bank has exceeded expectations according to the market experts who say the numbers are quite assuring and the script is being strongly recommended for buying with upside potential of 65% in the long term.
As per recommendations by major broking houses like Prabhudas Leeladhar, ICICI Direct, Anand Rathi and Elara Securities, the bank looks strong in long term perspective. At the current price the stock is a great investment opportunity to those interested in the stock market.
Commenting upon the expected move of J&K Bank, Rakesh Kumar, Analyst at Elara Securities said in a written statement: “Jammu & Kashmir Bank’s operating performance was above market estimates as margin improved by 22bp QoQ (basis points Quarter-on-Quarter) due to higher credit yield.”
Kumar, as per the statement, said that lower-than-expected provisions and higher operating profit beat “led to significantly higher net profit of Rs 1.07bn versus our estimates of Rs 0.17bn.”
He added on the balance sheet front, credit grew by 12 per cent YoY while deposits witnessed growth of 18 per cent YoY.
“Within deposits, the rest of India’s (RoI) term deposits grew at an average 48% over the past two quarters, and we believe that such a continued phenomenon will result in increased cost of funds over the long term,” Kumar said.
He said that JKBK has exposure worth Rs 13.5 bn to stress-laden IL&FS Group, of this, the bank has reclassified exposure as sub-standard in Q3FY19, and this resulted in higher slippages at Rs 10.3bn (past two quarters average at Rs 5.1bn), and, as a consequence, both GNPA and NNPA saw a sharp uptick. However, despite higher credit cost, coverage ratio at 66 per cent was close to its past four-quarters average at 68 per cent.
In sync with Elara Securities views, Simi Bhaumik, Technical Equity Analyst (Offficially registered with SEBI) told Zee Business online: “Technically the J&K Bank strip looks strong in long-term perspective. In short-term, the stock has moved from Rs 39 levels to Rs 41 levels. If it breaks the Rs 41-42 levels, it can move for its another resistance at Rs 48. After breaking this level and sustaining above that, one can expect the Rs 65 target.”

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Khyber Gulmarg wins best destination hotel award 2018, again

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Srinagar, Jan 20: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, has once again been awarded by Outlook Traveller, India’s prestigious travel magazine.
At the recently held Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotels Awards 2018, the resort was conferred with the Best Destination Hotel Award.
The 3rd edition of the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards was held in Haridwar recently where the best boutique properties around the country were awarded for their contribution to the hospitality industry.
The chief guest for the night was Satpal Maharaj, the Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand.
“We are truly overwhelmed with the response from both guests and traveller writers and of course the eminent jury. This honour is testimony to the hard work by the team at The Khyber ensuring a superlative, international class guest experience and a memorable time in Gulmarg enjoying the natural beauty and activities available all year round,” said Umar Tramboo, MD, Pinnacle Resorts Pvt. Ltd, promoter of The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg.
In a short span, since it opened six years ago, The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa has been hugely appreciated for its impeccable service, warm hospitality, and facilities at par with international standards.
The Khyber has consistently received recognition from several hospitality and travel awards including Condé Nast Traveller India, the Last Word in Travel, as Favourite Boutique Hotel –India, for six consecutive years.
In addition to luxurious guest rooms, The Khyber has a Wellness Block, which houses the world-class international spa, The Khyber Spa by L’OCCITANE along with a state of the art gym with the latest equipment, separate steam and sauna chambers for men and women. It also offers an impressive heated indoor pool offering dramatic views of the mountain ranges.
About the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards
Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 are meant to celebrate an industry that is well in its prime and will remain so long as people seek new experiences and retain their wanderlust.
These are much coveted travel awards, which are given to brands that have left an everlasting impression on their guests through their hospitality and services.
The esteemed jury members along with EY, the process advisors for the event, made the celebrations on the banks of the holy Ganga a great success.
The jury for the 2018 edition was: Aman Nath, chairman, Neemrana Hotels; Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; fashion designer Anupamaa Dayal; Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy of Red Scarab Media; and Charukesi Ramadurai, travel writer and blogger.

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