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Islam Requires Positivity

Monitor News Bureau

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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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RTIs can be filed locally in J&K, Ladakh even after October 31: Jitendra Singh

Press Trust of India

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Union minister Jitendra Singh on Monday rejected rumours that people in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will have to travel to Delhi to file RTIs once the two union territories come into existence on October 31 and said they can still be filed locally.

Singh, who is also the minister of state incharge of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) — which is the nodal department for Central Information Commission (CIC) dealing with the Right to Information (RTI) appeals — met Central Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava.

Following a detailed discussion on the issue with Bhargava, Singh said that “certain vested elements which are uncomfortable with the abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, continue to instigate different kinds of misgivings in the society, in a vain bid to disrupt the courageous initiative by the Modi government”.

 

The minister said that RTIs can be filed locally in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh even after the new arrangement comes into existence after the October 31. He denounced the rumours that because Jammu and Kashmir will become a Union territory, the applicant will have to travel to Delhi to file an RTI.

Singh claimed that during the last five years, “the procedures to file an RTI appeal have been immensely simplified and definite timelines have been laid down”. This will apply equally to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh after they become Union territories, he said.

Divulging details, Singh said that the first RTI application is made to the Public Information Officer (PIO) locally and in matters involving “life and liberty”, the time limit for the PIO to provide the information is 48 hours. “For the PIO to reply to the application, a timeline of 30 days has been laid down from the date of receipt of the application. “For applicant to make first appeal after the receipt of PIO’s reply, the first appellate authority in the form of the designated officer will also be available locally, whether it is the State or Union territory,” he said.

Only in case of second appeal, Singh said the application has to be submitted to the Information Commission and even if the Information Commissioner is not available locally, in case of Union territory, the second appeal can be sent to the CIC online within 90 days from the receipt of the first appeal orders or from the date the orders were to be received. “To make the procedure simpler, we made use of modern technology and in a major breakthrough, during the Modi government, provided the facility of making second appeal before the CIC through portal/WhatsApp, which, in other words, means that an RTI applicant does not have to wait for office hours and can file his appeal even from his mobile phone anytime, at his convenience,” the minister said.

After the reorganisation or Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Singh said that the citizens’ participation will increase manifold and various provisions in public administration will become far more citizen-centric with the extension of uniformed central laws, as applicable in the rest of the country.

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Union Minister R K Singh to visit Kashmir to review development work in power sector

Agencies

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New Delhi: Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh will visit Kashmir tomorrow to review different development projects in the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the abrogation of Article 370, this will be the first visit of R K Singh to Kashmir.

Singh in an exclusive interview to ANI said that NHPC will provide jobs to 150 local skilled people. Powergrid Corporation is going for campus selection from different technical institution in Valley. Powergrid Corporation also takes up school smart learning programme.

 

“From this year, people in Kashmir will not face a power crisis in the winter season. The ministry is working towards providing 24×7 power supply to the Valley.

Secretary of power and Jammu and Kashmir administration will call a meeting of all contractors and ensure that works under various central government scheme progresses fast and are completed within the given timeline.

The government of India is spending more than 300 crores to provide uninterrupted power supply during the winter season in Valley,” he told ANI.

He further said that the Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification corporation will spend 20 crores on skill development in Kashmir.

The minister also said that 100 MW rooftop solar plant in Ladakh region and Leh district will be lighting with green energy.

Singh has given instructions to officials that a comprehensive power plan should be prepared within a time frame so that entire J-K and Ladakh doesn’t suffer power shortage.

After the abrogation of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, 10 central government ministeries have made massive and speedy development plans for J-K and Ladakh. The power ministry is one of those 10 central ministries which has made mega development plan for entire region.

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Expansion of Election Department: SAC approves creation of 127 posts

Monitor News Bureau

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SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 16: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved creation of 127 posts of Election Assistants in the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.

The posts include 50 posts of Election Assistant (Senior Scale) in Level 4 (Rs 25500-81100) and 77 posts of Election Assistant (Junior Scale) in Level 2 (Rs 19900-63200).

Creation of posts will help to implement the various initiatives of the Election Commission of India like ERONET, BLONET, District Contact Centre and other new initiatives, besides, addressing the promotion issues of the departmental candidates.

 

With the positioning of incumbents against these posts, the Election Department will be better equipped to provide efficient and timely services to the electors of J&K to complete time bound assignments like updation of electoral rolls, enrolment of new voters, weeding out bogus/duplicate voters, providing of EPIC cards etc.

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