Archive for August, 2010

Personal Magnetism … What it is! …

Posted on August 30, 2010. Filed under: Books, Guide Posts, Personal Magnetism, Personal Stuff, Personalities |

Here is a post which thumps the chest of Personal Magnetism, while extolling its virtues and its contributions to life as it is lived. It tells what it is minus any modesty. Take it or leave it!

The First of the many claims of Personal Magnetism is that it is the surest and quickest known route to genuine Self Actualization. And it is obviously within the reach of most anybody.

What indeed is personal magnetism? How can it be defined? Well, basically it is anything which attracts and charms, wins and conquers. It is a triumph of pure power. The result in oneself, comes as a beartiful and prodigious surprize.

Personal Magnetism is a quiet fire of the mind and heart. It is an essence, a quality, an endowment that comes and goes at will. It is held in oneself and in check by lifes energy, in which the mind and the heart both play important parts.

Personal Magnetism is a resultant energy that is generated by life itself. Its degree of power is directly dependent upon the amount of intelligent direction the mind may give to the body and all its functions. The same may also be done by foflowing a regime of exact and carefful conduct.

The power of personal magnetism is there for all men and women who want to achieve success and reap greater rewards – professionally and socially. It is for those who hunger for values, meaningd and a worthwhile physial and mental existence. It is for the average as well as the erudite.

What does Personal Magnetism offer? It offers Sure Success in your career and life. Your relationahips will hence forth be from a position of strength with superiors, subordinates, associates and with your own self.

You will understand life and the countless influences which work for or militate against success. It will give you a deep perception into human nature and enable you to interpret human motives.

The study of magnetism contains training in carriage and deportment, grace and elegance and for a face which is interesting, expressive and arresting. It offers a new lease of life to marriages which have become wavering, vapid, humdrum and dull.

The study of magnetism is loaded to the muzzle with far reaching benefits. Progress begins from Day One and never ceases till the end of life.

 Magnetism being a subject as vast as life itself, it permeates every fact and act of existence. The study is fasciinating because it is the study of life as it is lived.

The goals of personal magnetism are Finacial Independence, Respect and Confidence of Others and Mastery over the affairs of Your Life.

The study at first surprizes one. This is followed by a glow of satisfaction with the realization of a new found power. It arouses ambiiion and gives courage. It gives the determination to ascertain the limits you can carry your new found gifts. It enables you to rise in life.

Welcome aboard for power, pleasure and profit. And  for winning the battle of life.

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On Mounting a Start Up …

Posted on August 27, 2010. Filed under: Business, Personal Stuff |

Here are a few Pointers, picked up from here and there , on Riding  Start Ups …

One. The Good Part is that this experience Changes You – hopefully makes one a better alround person. You are riding a bull but you are Happy at the Challenge. During the Roller Coaster, one has to be careful re persons one trusts or depends upon. There will always be self interest. Even cheating and fraud.

Two. jThe basic Truth is that things take longer than one had planned. One needs to be realistic in this and accept that glitches devour time.

Three. One will be lucky and unlucky. One has to have or create the strength to bat on. Always but always one has to keep filling and refilling the pipe – in every which way.

Four. Remember that the good and efficient guys are hard to find. In fact they are a mere ten percent. Conversely, the stupid one never ever want to leave!

Five. Always but always avoid the myth and misery of sunk costs. Just let go. You will be the better for it.

Cheers!

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Mohamad … Success and Impact …

Posted on August 24, 2010. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Personalities |

This is the Fifth Post on the Founder of Islam as studied by Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Success

The talents of Mohamad are entitled to our applause. His success has, perhaps, too strongly attracted our admiration. Are we surprised that a multitude of proselytes should embrace the doctrine and the passions of an eloquent fanatic?

In the moving picture of the dynasties of the East, a hundred fortunate usurpers have arisen from a baser origin, surmounted more formidable obstacles and filled a larger scope of empire and conquest.

Mohamad was alike instructed to preach and to fight and the union of these opposite qualities, while it enhanced his merit, contributed to his success.

The operation of force and persuasion, of enthusiasm and fear, continually acted on each other, till every barrier yielded to their irresistible power. His voice invited the Arabs to freedom and victory, to arms and rapine, to the indulgence of their darling passions in this world and the other.

The restraints which he imposed were requisite to establish the credit of the prophet and to exercise the obedience of the people. The only objection to his success was his rational creed of the unity and perfections of God.

Impact

It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder. The same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina, is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries, by the Indian, the African, and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran.

But the Turkish dome of St. Sophia, with an increase of splendor and size, represents the humble tabernacle erected at Medina by the hands of Mohamad.. The Muslims have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man.

“I believe in one God, and Mohamad the apostle of God,” is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol.The honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue. His living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.

From the Atlantic to the Ganges, the Koran is acknowledged as the fundamental code, not only of theology but of civil and criminal jurisprudence. The laws which regulate the actions and the property of mankind are guarded by the infallible and immutable sanction of the will of God.

His beneficial or pernicious influence on the public happiness is the last consideration in the character of Mohamad. The most bitter or most bigoted of his Christian or Jewish foes will surely allow that he assumed a false commission to inculcate a salutary doctrine, less perfect only than their own.

The laudable or innocent arts of devotion and rewards and punishments of a future life, were painted by the images most congenial to an ignorant and carnal generation. Mohamad was, perhaps, incapable of dictating a moral and political system for the use of his countrymen but he breathed among the faithful a spirit of charity and friendship.

The hostile tribes were united in faith and obedience and the valor which had been idly spent in domestic quarrels was vigorously directed against a foreign enemy.

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Mohamad … Becomes the Prophet and his Death …

Posted on August 23, 2010. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Personalities |

Here is the life and death of the Islamic Apostle as narrated by Edward Gibbon …

Conversions

After Mohamad had attained the age of forty, he started his great career. His first and most arduos conversions, were his wife, his servant, his pupil, and his friend – since he presented himself as a prophet to those who were most conversant with his infirmities as a man.

Cadijah believed the words and cherished the glory of her young husband. The obsequious and affectionate Zeid was tempted by the prospect of freedom. The illustrious Ali, the son of Abu Taled, embraced the sentiments of his cousin with the spirit of a youthful hero. The wealth, moderation and veracity of Abubeker confirmed the religion of the prophet whom he was destined to succeed.

By his persuasion, ten of the most respectable citizens of Mecca were introduced to the private lessons of Islam. They yielded to the voice of reason and enthusiasm and they repeated the fundamental creed, “There is but one God and Mohamad is the apostle of God”. Their faith, even in this life, was rewarded with riches and honors, with the command of armies and the government of kingdoms.

Three years were silently employed in the conversion of fourteen proselytes – the first-fruits of his mission. In the fourth year Mohamad assumed the prophetic office. Resolving to impart to his family the light of divine truth, he prepared a banquet with a lamb and a bowl of milk for the entertainment of forty guests of the race of Hashem.

“Friends and kinsmen,” said Mahomet to the assembly, “I offer you and I alone can offer, the most precious of gifts, the treasures of this world and of the world to come. God has commanded me to call you to his service. Who among you will support my burden? Who among you will be my companion and my vizier?”

No answer was returned. The silence of astonishment, doubt and contempt, was at length broken by the impatient courage of Ali, who was in the fourteenth year of his age. “O prophet! I am the man! Whosoever rises against thee, I will dash out his teeth, tear out his eyes, break his legs, rip up his belly –  O prophet, I will be thy vizier.”

Mohamad accepted his offer with transport.

He persevered ten years in the exercise of his mission and the religion which has overspread the East and the West, advanced with slow and painful progress, within the walls of Mecca. Yet Mohamad enjoyed the satisfaction of beholding the increase of his infant congregation of Unitarians, who revered him as a Prophet and to whom he seasonably dispensed the spiritual nourishment of the Koran.

The number of proselytes may be esteemed by the absence of eighty-three men and eighteen women, who retired to Aethiopia in the seventh year of his mission. His party was fortified by the timely conversion of his uncle Hamza, and of the fierce and inflexible Omar, who signalized in the cause of Islam the same zeal, which he had exerted for its destruction.

Nor was the charity of Mohamad confined to the tribe of Koreish or the precincts of Mecca. On solemn festivals, in the days of pilgrimage, he frequented the Caaba, accosted the strangers of every tribe and urged, both in private converse and public discourse, the belief and worship of a sole Deity.

Conscious of his reason and of his weakness, he asserted the liberty of conscience and disclaimed the use of religious violence but he called the Arabs to repentance, and conjured them to remember the ancient idolaters of Ad and Thamud, whom the divine justice had swept away from the face of the earth.

His Regal Dignity

From his establishment at Medina, Mohamad assumed the exercise of the regal and sacerdotal office; and it was impious to appeal from a judge whose decrees were inspired by the divine wisdom. A small portion of ground, the patrimony of two orphans, was acquired by gift or purchase. On that chosen spot he built a house and a mosque, more venerable in their rude simplicity than the palaces and temples of the Assyrian caliphs.

His seal of gold or silver, was inscribed with the apostolic title. When he prayed and preached in the weekly assembly, he leaned against the trunk of a palm-tree, long before he indulged himself in the use of a chair or pulpit of rough timber.

After a reign of six years, fifteen hundred Moslems, in arms and in the field, renewed their oath of allegiance. Their chief repeated the assurance of protection till the death of the last member or the final dissolution of the party.

It was in the same camp that the deputy of Mecca was astonished by the attention of the faithful to the words and looks of the Prophet – by the eagerness with which they collected his spittle, a hair that dropped on the ground, the refuse water of his lustrations, as if they participated in some degree of the prophetic virtue. “I have seen,” said he, “the Chosroes of Persia and the Caesar of Rome, but never did I behold a king among his subjects like Mohamad among his companions.”

The devout fervour of enthusiasm acts with more energy and truth than the cold and formal servility of courts.

War Against the Infidels

In the state of nature, every man has a right to defend by force of arms, his person and his possessions; to repel, or even to prevent, the violence of his enemies, and to extend his hostilities to a reasonable measure of satisfaction and retaliation.

In the free society of the Arabs, the duties of subject and citizen imposed a feeble restraint. Mohamad, in the exercise of a peaceful and benevolent mission, had been despoiled and banished by the injustice of his countrymen.

The choice of an independent people had exalted the fugitive of Mecca to the rank of a sovereign and he was invested with the just prerogative of forming alliances and of waging offensive or defensive war. The imperfection of human rights was supplied and armed by the plenitude of divine power.

The prophet of Medina assumed, in his new revelations, a fiercer and more sanguinary tone, which proves that his former moderation was the effect of weakness.

Now that othermeans of persuasion had been tried, the season of forbearance was elapsed. He was now commanded to propagate his religion by the sword, to destroy the monuments of idolatry, and, without regarding the sanctity of days or months, to pursue the unbelieving nations of the earth.

The same bloody precepts, so repeatedly inculcated in the Koran, are ascribed by the author to the Pentateuch and the Gospel. The fair option of friendship, or submission, or battle, was proposed to the enemies of Mohamad.

If they professed the creed of Islam, they were admitted to all the temporal and spiritual benefits of his primitive disciples, and marched under the same banner to extend the religion which they had embraced.

The clemency of the prophet was decided by his interest. Yet he seldom trampled on a prostrate enemy. He seems to promise, that on the payment of a tribute, the least guilty of his unbelieving subjects might be indulged in their worship, or at least in their imperfect faith.

In the first months of his reign he practiced the lessons of holy warfare and displayed his white banner before the gates of Medina. The martial apostle fought in person at nine battles or sieges and fifty enterprises of war were achieved in ten years by himself or his lieutenants.

The distribution of the spoil was regulated by a divine law. The whole was faithfully collected in one common mass. A fifth of the gold and silver, the prisoners and cattle, the movables and immovables, was reserved by the prophet for pious and charitable uses.

The remainder was shared in adequate portions by the soldiers who had obtained the victory or guarded the camp. The rewards of the slain devolved to their widows and orphans. The increase of cavalry was encouraged by the allotment of a double share to the horse and to the man.

From all sides the roving Arabs were allured to the standard of religion and plunder.The apostle sanctified the license of embracing the female captives as their wives or concubines. The enjoyment of wealth and beauty was a feeble type of the joys of paradise prepared for the valiant martyrs of the faith.

“The sword,” says Mahomet, “is the key of heaven and of hell. A drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer. Whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven. At the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion, and odoriferous as musk and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim.”

The intrepid souls of the Arabs were fired with enthusiasm. The picture of the invisible world was strongly painted on their imagination and the death which they had always despised became an object of hope and desire.

The Koran inculcates, in the most absolute sense, the tenets of fate and predestination, which would extinguish both industry and virtue, if the actions of man were governed by his speculative belief. Yet their influence in every age has exalted the courage of the Saracens and Turks. The first companions of Mohamad advanced to battle with a fearless confidence.

After subduing his Arab foes,the choice of Jerusalem for the first kebla of prayer discovers the early propensity of Mohamad in favour of the Jews. Happy would it have been for their temporal interest, had they recognized, in the Arabian prophet, the hope of Israel and the promised Messiah. Their obstinacy converted his friendship into implacable hatred, with which he pursued that unfortunate people to the last moment of his life.

Death

Till the age of sixty-three years, the strength of Mohamad was equal to the temporal and spiritual fatigues of his mission.

During the last four years, the health of the prophet declined and his infirmities increased but his mortal disease was a fever of fourteen days.

As soon as he was conscious of his danger, he edified his brethren by the humility of his virtue or penitence.He beheld with temperate firmness the approach of death,

At a moment when his faculties were visibly impaired, he called for pen and ink to write, or, more properly, to dictate, a divine book, the sum and accomplishment of all his revelations. A dispute arose in the chamber, whether he should be allowed to supersede the authority of the Koran. The prophet was forced to reprove the indecent vehemence of his disciples.

In a familiar discourse he had mentioned his special prerogative, that the angel of death was not allowed to take his soul till he had respectfully asked the permission of the prophet. The request was granted and Mohamad immediately fell into the agony of his dissolution.

His head was reclined on the lap of Ayesha, the best beloved of all his wives. He fainted with the violence of pain but recovering his spirits, he raised his eyes towards the roof of the house, and, with a steady look, though a faltering voice, uttered the last broken, though articulate, words: “O God! ….. pardon my sins……. Yes, …… I come, …… among my fellow-citizens on high.”

Thus peaceably expired Mohamad on a carpet spread upon the floor.

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Mohamad – His Precepts and Private Life …

Posted on August 22, 2010. Filed under: Books, Personalities |

Here is  the great historian, Edward Gibbon, on the Precepts and the Rewards and Punishments of the Muslim faith.

Precepts

The precepts of Mohamad inculcate a simple and rational piety. Prayer, fasting, and alms are the religious duties of a Musilman. He is encouraged to hope that prayer will carry him half way to God, fasting will bring him to the door of his palace and alms will gain him admittance.

Prayer

According to the tradition of the nocturnal journey, the apostle, in his personal conference with the Deity, was commanded to impose on his disciples the daily obligation of fifty prayers. By the advice of Moses, he applied for an alleviation of this intolerable burden and the number was gradually reduced to five.

Without any dispensation of business or pleasure or time or place, the devotion of the faithful is repeated at daybreak, at noon, in the afternoon, in the evening, and at the first watch of the night.

Cleanliness is the key of prayer. The frequent lustration of the hands, the face, and the body, which was practiced of old by the Arabs, is solemnly enjoined by the Koran. Every spot for the service of God is equally pure and Mohamadans indifferently pray in their chamber or in the street.

The words and attitudes of supplication, as it is performed either sitting or standing or prostrate on the ground, are prescribed by custom or authority. The prayer is poured forth in short and fervent ejaculations – the measure of zeal is not exhausted by a tedious liturgy. Each Muslim for his own person is invested with the character of a priest.

Among the theists, who reject the use of images, it has been found necessary to restrain the wanderings of the fancy by directing the eye and the thought towards a visible point of the horizon which in this case is the holy temple of Mecca.

As a distinction from the Jews and Christians, the Friday in each week is set apart for the useful institution of public worship. The people are assembled in the Mosque and the Imam, or some respectable elder, ascends the pulpit to begin the prayer and pronounce the sermon.

The Mohamadan religion is destitute of priesthood or sacrifice. The independent spirit of fanaticism looks down with contempt on the ministers and the slaves of superstition.

Fasting

The voluntary penance of the ascetics was odious to a prophet who censured in his companions a rash vow of abstaining from flesh, women, and sleep, He firmly declared that he would suffer no monks in his religion.

Yet he instituted, in each year, a fast of thirty days and strenuously recommended the observance as a discipline which purifies the soul and subdues the body and is salutary exercise of obedience to the will of God and his Apostle.

During the month of Ramadan, from the rising to the setting of the sun, the Muslim abstains from eating and drinking and women and baths and perfumes. Indeed he abstains from all nourishment that can restore his strength and from all pleasure that can gratify his senses.

In the revolution of the lunar year, the Ramadan coincides, by turns, with the winter cold and the summer heat. The patient martyr, without assuaging his thirst with a drop of water, must expect the close of a tedious and sultry day.

The interdiction of wine, peculiar to some orders of priests or hermits, is converted by Mohamad alone into a positive and general law. A considerable portion of the globe has abjured, at his command, the use of that salutary, though dangerous, liquor.

These painful restraints are doubtless, infringed by the libertine and eluded by the hypocrite. The legislator by whom they are enacted cannot surely be accused of alluring his proselytes by the indulgence of their sensual appetites.

Charity

The Koran repeatedly inculcates, not as a merit, but as a strict and indispensable duty, the relief of the indigent and unfortunate. Mohamad perhaps, is the only lawgiver who has defined the precise measure of charity.

The standard may vary with the degree and nature of property, as it consists either in money, in corn or cattle, in fruits or merchandise. The Muslim does not accomplish the law unless he bestows a Tenth of his revenue.

Should his conscience accuse him of fraud or extortion, the tenth, under the idea of restitution, is enlarged to a Fifth. Benevolence is the foundation of justice, since we are forbid to injure those whom we are bound to assist.

A prophet may reveal the secrets of heaven and of futurity but in his moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.

Rewards and Punishments

The two articles of belief and the four practical duties of Islam are guarded by rewards and punishments and the faith of the Musulman is devoutly fixed on the event of the judgment and the last day.

The true believers only will be judged by their actions. The good and evil of each Muslim will be accurately weighed in a real or allegorical balance.  The innocent, treading in the footsteps of Mohamad, will gloriously enter the gates of paradise, while the guilty will fall into the first and mildest of the seven hells.

The term of expiation will vary from nine hundred to seven thousand years; but the prophet has judiciously promised, that all his disciples, whatever may be their sins, shall be saved, by their own faith and his intercession from eternal damnation.

It is natural enough that an Arabian prophet should dwell with rapture on the groves, the fountains, and the rivers of paradise. Mohamad celebrates the pearls and diamonds, the robes of silk, palaces of marble, dishes of gold, rich wines, artificial dainties, numerous attendants, and the whole train of sensual and costly luxury.

Seventy-two Houris, or black-eyed girls, of resplendent beauty, blooming youth, virgin purity, and exquisite sensibility, will be created for the use of the meanest believer; a moment of pleasure will be prolonged to a thousand years; and his faculties will be increased a hundred fold, to render him worthy of his felicity.

Notwithstanding a vulgar prejudice, the gates of heaven will be open to both sexes. Mohamad has not specified the male companions of the female elect, lest he should either alarm the jealousy of their former husbands, or disturb their felicity, by the suspicion of an everlasting marriage.

This image of a carnal paradise has provoked the indignation, perhaps the envy, of the monks who declaim against the impure religion of Mahomet; and his modest apologists are driven to the poor excuse of figures and allegories.

The sounder and more consistent party adhere without shame, to the literal interpretation of the Koran.

Useless would be the resurrection of the body, unless it were restored to the possession and exercise of its worthiest faculties and the union of sensual and intellectual enjoyment is requisite to complete the happiness of the double animal, the perfect man.

Private Life of Mohamad

Perfumes and women were the two sensual enjoyments which his nature required and his religion did not forbid. Mohamad affirmed that the fervor of his devotion was increased by these innocent pleasures. The heat of the climate inflames the blood of the Arabs and their libidinous complexion has been noticed by the writers of antiquity.

Their incontinence was regulated by the civil and religious laws of the Koran. Their incestuous alliances were banned. The boundless license of polygamy was reduced to four legitimate wives or concubines. Their rights both of bed and of dowry were equitably determined and the freedom of divorce was discouraged. Adultery was condemned as a capital offence and fornication, in either sex, was punished with a hundred stripes.

Such were the calm and rational precepts of the legislator who in his private conduct, indulged the appetites of a man and abused the claims of a prophet.

A special revelation dispensed him from the laws which he had imposed on his nation. The female sex, without reserve, was abandoned to his desires. This singular prerogative excited the envy, rather than the scandal, the veneration, rather than the envy, of the devout Muslims.

Eleven of the fifteen or seventeen wives, occupied at Medina separate apartments around the house of the apostle, and enjoyed in their turns the favor of his conjugal society.

What is singular enough is that they were all widows, excepting only Ayesha, the daughter of Abubeker. She was doubtless a virgin, since Mohamad consummated his nuptials (such is the premature ripeness of the climate) when she was only nine years of age.

The youth, the beauty, the spirit of Ayesha, gave her a superior ascendant. She was beloved and trusted by the prophet and after his death, the daughter of Abubeker was long revered as the mother of the faithful.

In his adventures with Zeineb, the wife of Zeid, and with Mary, an Egyptian captive, the amorous prophet forgot the interest of his reputation. At the house of Zeid, his freedman and adopted son, he beheld, in a loose undress, the beauty of Zeineb, and burst forth into an ejaculation of devotion and desire. The servile, or grateful, freedman understood the hint and yielded without hesitation to the love of his benefactor.

But as the filial relation had excited some doubt and scandal, the angel Gabriel descended from heaven to ratify the deed, to annul the adoption and gently to reprove the apostle for distrusting the indulgence of his God.

One of his wives, Hafna, the daughter of Omar, surprised him on her own bed, in the embraces of his Egyptian captive. She promised secrecy and forgiveness. He swore that he would renounce the possession of Mary. Both parties forgot their engagements and Gabriel again descended with a chapter of the Koran, to absolve him from his oath and to exhort him freely to enjoy his captives and concubines, without listening to the clamors of his wives.

In a solitary retreat of thirty days, he labored, alone with Mary, to fulfill the commands of the angel. When his love and revenge were satiated, he summoned to his presence his eleven wives, reproached their disobedience and indiscretion, and threatened them with a sentence of divorce, both in this world ad the next. A dreadful sentence, since those who had ascended the bed of the prophet were forever excluded from the hope of a second marriage.

Perhaps the incontinence of Mohamad may be palliated by the tradition of his natural or preternatural gifts. He united the manly virtue of thirty of the children of Adam: and the apostle might rival the thirteenth labor of the Grecian Hercules.

A more serious and decent excuse may be drawn from his fidelity to Cadijah. During the twenty-four years of their marriage, her youthful husband abstained from the right of polygamy. The pride or tenderness of the venerable matron was never insulted by the society of a rival. After her death, he placed her in the rank of the four perfect women, with the sister of Moses, the mother of Jesus, and Fatima, the best beloved of his daughters.

“Was she not old?” said Ayesha, with the insolence of a blooming beauty. “Has not God given you a better in her place?”

“No, by God,” said Mohamad, with an effusion of honest gratitude, “there never can be a better! She believed in me when men despised me; she relieved my wants, when I was poor and persecuted by the world.”

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The Koran …

Posted on August 21, 2010. Filed under: The Good Book |

Islam has continued to rivet global attention. Let us see what the incomparable Edward Gibbon has to say on the Muslim Holy Book – the Koran.

The Koran

From his earliest youth Mohamad was addicted to religious contemplation. Each year during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world and from the arms of Cadijah, the rich widow he had married.

In the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca, he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens, but in the mind of the Prophet. The faith which, under the name of Islam, he preached to his family and nation, is compounded of an eternal truth, and a necessary fiction.

THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD  AND THAT MOHAMAD IS THE APOSTLE OF GOD.

The God of nature has written his existence on all his works. His law is written in the heart of man. To restore the knowledge of the one and the practice of the other, has been the real or pretended aim of the prophets of every age.

The liberality of Mohamad allowed to his predecessors the same credit which he claimed for himself; and the chain of inspiration was prolonged from the fall of Adam to the promulgation of the Koran.

The authority and station of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Mohamad rise in just gradation above each other. But whosoever hates or rejects any one of the prophets is numbered with the infidels.

Moses and Christ alone lived and reigned and the remnant of the inspired writings was comprised in the books of the Old and the New Testament. The miraculous story of Moses is consecrated and embellished in the Koran. For the author of Christianity, the Mohamadans are taught by the prophet to entertain a high and mysterious reverence.

Mohamad was content with a character more humble yet more sublime – that of a simple editor. The substance of the Koran, according to him or his disciples is uncreated and eternal, subsisting in the essence of the Deity and inscribed with a pen of light on the table of his everlasting decrees.

A paper copy, in a volume of silk and gems, was brought down to the lowest heaven by the angel Gabriel who, under the Jewish economy, had indeed been despatched on the most important errands. This trusty messenger successively revealed the chapters and verses to the Arabian Prophet.

Instead of a perpetual and perfect measure of the divine will, the fragments of the Koran were produced at the discretion of Mohamad. Each revelation is suited to the emergencies of his policy or passion and all contradiction is removed by the saving maxim that any text of Scripture is abrogated or modified by any subsequent passage.

The word of God and of the apostle, was diligently recorded by his disciples on palm-leaves and the shoulder-bones of mutton. The pages, without order or connection, were cast into a domestic chest, which was in the custody of one of his wives. Two years after the death of Mohamad, the sacred volume was collected and published by his friend and successor Abu Beker.

The work was revised by the Caliph Othman, in the thirtieth year of the Hegira and the various editions of the Koran assert the same miraculous privilege of a uniform and incorruptible text.

In the spirit of enthusiasm or vanity, the prophet rests the truth of his mission on the merit of his book and audaciously challenges both men and angels to imitate the beauties of a single page. He presumes to assert that God alone could dictate this incomparable performance.

This argument is powerfully addressed to a devout Arabian, whose mind is attuned to faith and rapture and whose ear is delighted by the music of sounds and whose ignorance is incapable of comparing the productions of human genius.

The harmony and copiousness of style will not reach the European infidel who will peruse with impatience the endless incoherent rhapsody of fable, precept and declamation, which seldom excites sentiment or an idea.

The divine attributes exalt the fancy of the Arabian missionary but his loftiest strains must yield to the sublime simplicity of the book of Job, composed in a remote age, in the same country and in the same language. If the composition of the Koran exceeds the faculties of man, to what superior intelligence should we ascribe the more sublime works of the same and earlier periods.?

In all religions, the life of the founder supplies the silence of his written revelation. The sayings of Mohamad were so many lessons of truth, his actions so many examples of virtue and the public and private memorials were preserved by his wives and companions.

At the end of two hundred years, the Sunna or oral law, was fixed and consecrated by the labors of Al Bochari, who discriminated seven thousand two hundred and seventy-five genuine traditions, from a mass of three hundred thousand reports, of a more doubtful or spurious character.

Each day the pious author prayed in the temple of Mecca and performed his ablutions with the water of Zemzem. The pages were successively deposited on the pulpit and the sepulchre of the apostle.

The same was approved by the four orthodox sects of the Sunnites.

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Mohamad … the Person …

Posted on August 21, 2010. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Personalities |

By no means among the oldest of relegions, Islam yet rivets global attention. So why not have a look at it? And for that let us turn to Edward Gibbon whose place among the great historians of the world is unrivalled. Here is what  has to say about the Prophets early life.

Descent and Traits

Claims of Mohamad’s descent from the Angel Gabriel notwithstanding, Mohamad can refer to many generations of pure and genuine nobility.  His grandfather was Abdul Motulleb, the son of Hashem, a wealthy and generous citizen, who had relieved the distress of famine with the supplies of commerce. Indeed Mecca itself had been fed by the liberality of the father and was saved by the courage of the son.

Mohamad was distinguished by the beauty of his person – an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. Before he spoke, the orator engaged the affections of a public or private audience. They applauded his commanding presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard, his countenance that painted every sensation of the soul and his gestures that enforced each expression of the tongue.

In the familiar offices of life he scrupulously adhered to the grave and ceremonious politeness of his country. His respectful attention to the rich and powerful was dignified by his condescension and affability to the poorest citizens of Mecca. The frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views and his habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship or universal benevolence.

His memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social; his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid, and decisive. He possessed the courage both of thought and action.

Although his designs might gradually expand with his success, the first idea which he entertained of his divine mission bears the stamp of an original and superior genius.

He was educated in the bosom of the noblest race and in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia. His fluency of speech was corrected and enhanced by the practice of discreet and seasonable silence.

With these powers of eloquence, Mohamad had yet never been instructed in the arts of reading and writing. The common ignorance exempted him from shame or reproach, but reduced him to a narrow circle of existence and deprived him of those faithful mirrors, which reflect the minds of sages and heroes.

Mohamad never visited the courts, the camps or the temples of the East. His two journeys into Syria were confined to the fairs of Basra and Damascus. He was only thirteen years of age when he accompanied the caravan of his uncle and his duty compelled him to return as soon as he had disposed of the merchandise.

From every region of that solitary world, the pilgrims of Mecca were annually assembled by the calls of devotion and commerce.

In the free concourse of multitudes, a simple citizen, in his native tongue, might study the political state and character of the tribes, the theory and practice of the Jews and Christians. This Mohamad evidently did till he touched forty years.

Personality

The author of a mighty revolution appears to have been endowed with a pious and contemplative disposition. Soon after marriage had raised him above the pressure of want, he avoided the paths of ambition and avarice and till the age of forty he lived with innocence, and would have died without a name.

The unity of God is an idea most congenial to nature and reason and a slight conversation with the Jews and Christians would teach him to despise and detest the idolatry of Mecca.

Charity may believe that the original motives of Mohamad were those of pure and genuine benevolence.

The stern passions of pride and revenge were kindled in the bosom of Mohamad. The injustice of Mecca and the choice of Medina, transformed the citizen into a prince, the humble preacher into the leader of armies.

But his sword was consecrated by the example of the saints and the same God who afflicts a sinful world with pestilence and earthquakes, might inspire for their conversion or chastisement the valor of his servants.

In the exercise of political government, he was compelled to abate of the stern rigor of fanaticism, to comply in some measure with the prejudices and passions of his followers and to employ even the vices of mankind as the instruments of their salvation.

The use of fraud and perfidy, of cruelty and injustice, were often subservient to the propagation of the faith. Mohamad commanded or approved the assassination of the Jews and idolaters who had escaped from the field of battle. By the repetition of such acts, the character of Mohamad must have been gradually stained.

The influence of such pernicious habits would be poorly compensated by the practice of the personal and social virtues which are necessary to maintain the reputation of a prophet among his sectaries and friends. Of his last years, ambition was the ruling passion.

A politician will suspect that he secretly smiled at the enthusiasm of his youth and the credulity of his proselytes. A philosopher will observe that their credulity and his success would tend more strongly to fortify the assurance of his divine mission.

His interest and religion were inseparably connected and his conscience would be soothed by the persuasion that he alone was absolved by the Deity from the obligation of positive and moral laws.

He would have startled at the foulness of the means had he not been satisfied of the importance and justice of the end.

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Thought for the Week … Sun Aug 15th …

Posted on August 16, 2010. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personal Stuff, Personalities |

A person can be highly intelligent yet fail in the nitty gritty of everyday life. On the other hand a person could be street smart yet still fail – that is, in the normal sense. So here are some stray thoughts on ‘Intelligence’, where the normal IQ level is irrelevant. These are the necessary attributes of the sharp and alert mind vital for success in practical life.

In the method being mooted, the level of intelligence, would depend on two measures. One – What a person knows; and Two – What advantage that person takes of that little or vast knowledge. This is by far the best possible way of judging one self.

Indeed there are Four Steps for acquiring the sharpness of mind needed for success in everyday life .

First Step is Retentivity or better still, the ability to Recall or Retrace in chronological order (never randomly) events, be they of the day, occasion or what one has read or heard during a lecture or talk. The more accurately one is able to do so, the sharper becomes ones mind. This ability to retrace or recall evens or points,in the correct chronogical order, lived or seen or read or heard during talks or lectures, can to a large extent be improved by constant practice. Habitual practice of recalling the points made in a talk or lecture or the events of the day as you fall off to sleep at night and as you plan the next day’s events, will increase the power of retentivity. The result will be an alert and razor sharp mind.

Second Step for the sharp and alert mind is the need for guarding oneself against people who live by their wits and are constantly taking others for a ride. For this one needs to adopt what is called the ‘Reverse’View’. This is that when ever one is told anything, one should mentally check what if the exact opposite is the case; and also what advantage is to accrue to the party giving the information. May be cynical but it saves a lot of pain and loss and makes one sharper and more alert.

Third Step for the sharp mind is the practical knowledge of how various emotions are used by persons at one time or another to influennce one and gain thereby gain control. Of these the positive moods used to attract and influence and win are when they show  – Interest and Sympathy, Kindness and Politeness, Generosity andSensitiveness and Sentiment and finally Humor. These are all positive attributes which attract, influence and win. Remember that humor is never the telling of  jokes. Rather it is seeing the ludicrous in the serious.

The more serious and dangerous modes used by humanity for influencing and controlling, include  – Accusations, Challenges and Threats, all of which usually intimidate the weak. Then there is the Strategy of Harmony and Shifting. This is that at first the person shows that he/she is in harmony with your mood and thought but gradually tries to make you shift to the desired area. The final two modes are the Sexual and Selfish Stimulii which are always applied by the cruder and vulgar variety – and unfortunately most successfully.

The Fourth Step for the sharp and alert mind is to be constantly hunting for new and fresh Ideas in every sphere of your life. This practice is best for making the mind Think – even in the most mundane of activity. Often people reaach back to reachold adages like, “A wise man is cautious and never trusts others too quickly,” and, ” He who rises early to seek her, will find wisdom sitting on his gate”.

Some more points to ponder while hunging for ideas – “Never take anything for granted”, “Small Beginnings”, Give in on the small issues”, “Never buy anything that you do not want no matter how cheap” and “Nothing is wasted that begins with Self Improvement”.

Happy Hunting.

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Growing up … Pangs and Pains ..

Posted on August 12, 2010. Filed under: Great Writing, Guide Posts, Personal Stuff, Personalities |

This is a Diary entry of Some one at age 25 …

Things are ok. Today was Saturday and there was this job fair at Stanford that had to be taken in. Nice campus and good for me as I had never been there.

You’ll be happy to know that there was a fellow (very techie guy – there are only 4 of his level in the whole company of 1500). We started chatting and I seemed to be holding my own though it was his field and he was pushing. The others present seemed to be at sea. At the end, he says that for a non  tech type, I was pretty up there.

Ofcourse I’ve been on the lost side on more times than I care to remember but I guess I am growing, at least in my knoledge. This reading thing that I took up couple of years back seems to have helped quite a lot. It expands knowledge and that sure is power. The trick is ofcourse to read the right stuff!!

Which brings me to my other point. I have come to the realization that in general, everything i  have been told at one point or another, has generally been true – in fact mostly all of the time. I could’ve saved myself a lot of wasted effort and time had I just listened to you people. But I guess one needs to learn the hard way and on one’s own for the message to be really driven home! All basic stuff like discipline – physical, mental and or course moral.

And the theory and practice of what ES preaches howsoever mundanely and crudely. Yet his basic platform that the world is near one hundred percent dishonest, crafty, cunning and selfish maybe true. Yet this is usually most times so perfectly camouflaged that in one’s weak moments one does fall prey to the bait and bite the dust.

Onto my next point which is about resolutions. I hesitate to make them for obvious reasons and my track record is near pathetic. Still, in the spirit of the New Year, there is a genuine opportunity for stock taking. So, I shall continue making them and hope some where some time there is a real correction.

It is worth having Rhet Butler for a role model. For one thing, the guy possibly never ever opened up with any one bar the odd crony with whom he had seen his hard days. And most certainly not with Scarlett or any woman he consorted or the men he dealt with.

Secondly, the guy always had a front, be it playing poker or watching Melanie do her knitting. And ever so often he was  the opposite of what he seemed. Yet at all times he was the epitome of the well dressed gentleman of breeding, manners and courtesy – though at times with a malicious grin on his face he over did the same to mock others as well as himself.

And there is the example of Bill Slim, the General who won the Burma War. They say he was the most loved and respected of all commanders of  the Second War and whose humour and bonhomie was widely acclaimed. Yet his biographers say quite forthrightly that they are not sure if and whether he ever opened out to any one ever!

Being nice and straight is one thing but being RB is quite another. Indeed he was nice and straight too and whatever with most everyone he chose to be. Choices, Choices, Choices. We have to Excercise them

Back to ES who opines that motive is the only channel of influence – though motives can be selfish or be on the side verging on self abnegation. The world usually functions on exchange of favours, quid pro quo!

The other Resolution pertains to the physical excercise part. The Gym and Karate are vital as they pump up one physically (the body does follow the mind but the mind follows the body  too – as for instance when the stomach is full. As the guy said, the view of the world after a good lunch is vastly different than before!). But the trick is not to make the physical well being the end but the means!

And the mind must be given free rein too. It has to Think and Plan the immediate and distant future. And this is both uplifting and exercising.

Such indeed are my thoughts, meandering though they may well be. I also want to write something. Am putting quite a bit on my plate you might say. But everything goes side by side. This thing, if good might pay too. No investment is needed bar of  time and thought and it should charge up one also. I remember that the guy wrote ‘Shane’ which is the classic Western, just so that his son could have something to read -:)

Btw, this is how I latched on to Shakespeare. I went to the bookstore to find out how to start writing and every book bar none  pointed me to start by reading the King of drama, Shakespeare. Ofcourse, you guys had given me the Shakespeare book when I was fifteen! Any way this is a nice way to close this entry by going back to the beginning.

Nice way to close!

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Thought for the Week … Sun Aug 8th …

Posted on August 8, 2010. Filed under: Personalities, Weekly Goals |

Some Thoughts on the Mind.

The Mind is the direct governing power of the body it occupies. And the state of mind affects the whole body.

Fixed inclinations rule every intelligent person. It is habits which make or mar the clearness of the mind and vital existence. Hence habit culture is best for securing control over the body. What, indeed are habits? They are fixed methods of doing things.

There is nothing so dreary as the empty mind. It can only be countered by having a goal – for the day, for the week, for the month, for the year and a life goal.

Have no idleness in your mind, otherwise power slips away. Above all – Do not let the mind drift.  It drifts when it satisfies the desire for entertainment and for being pleased. Mental wandering destroys power and injures the brain. When ever the mind drifts, ask, ‘What is the use of it?’

Whatever you make up your mind to accomplish – that will come to pass. The Only Limits are in your Mind.

Here is a plan for mental improvement. Let no time be wasted in idle talk, idle thinking and useless activities. Thought is the mainspring of life and hence it has to be cultivated. It must be constant, deep and diverse. Only by hard thinking does the mind grow. A thinking mind is necessarily a powerful one. An alert mind is Quick Acting. Develop the power of thought in the spare moments of the day. Intense wishing stimulates deeper thinking.

To conclude. The starting point of your persona is that you have to learn to Respect Yourself. This is because as you see yourself, others will see you. And what you are in relation to yourself, you will be towards others. Finally when you fail to respect yourself, you show it in your manner and bearing towards others. So avoid cheap flippancy at all costs.

And as the guy said, “Self Knowledge, Self Control and Self Reverence“.

   

 

 

 

 

 

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