Resolution Methods for Privation & Adversity

Part 14: The economic factors for generating, sustaining and developing wealth to fight poverty (10) (Stimulating wealth flow)
(Based on the thoughts & theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murtadha Al-Shirazai)
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
The flow of wealth and funds will result in active and healthy economy, where citizens have access to funds for consumption, transactions are facilitated and inflation is contained and reduced. However, accumulation of wealth and funds, will freeze and prevent them from a healthy flow in the markets, which will also prevent the creation and flow of new wealth and fund generation methods. Therefore, the Islamic system has discouraged accumulation of wealth and the 34th verse of Quran’s 9th chapter indicates: “and those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, give them tidings of a painful punishment”. (Note: the phrase way of Allah would not necessary hold a religious aspect, as other verses of the Holy Quran and traditions of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household, indicate that any action, deed, statement and effort which would benefit the people is considered an action in the way of Allah.)
The prohibition of accumulation in this verse is not bound to gold and silver, but since those two items are the most notable and known examples their names are mentioned. Presently, states around the world have maintained a continuous policy of wealth accumulation under the name of (RESERVE) or (Emergency fund). Unfortunately, billions or hundreds of billions in dollars and precious metals are stashed in reserves and funds, where the entire management process of these funds are granted to administrational bureaucrats.
Nevertheless, the methodology of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) shows that funds received from taxation or other sources were granted to the masses immediately, as Imam Ali never left any funds in the state treasury at the end of the day. This methodology and policy of Imam Ali would assure that all the funds and wealth of a nation is directed to the masses, including the lower class. Therefore, poverty and privation is minimized vastly, flow of wealth leads to stronger economy and this trend would ultimately benefit the state and its citizens on all levels and aspects. In general, once the consumption ability of the masses is increased, the investment opportunities are available in a broader range, infrastructures, cultivation, manufacturing and mining are sought to be excellent opportunities for wealth growth. Nonetheless, this strong and healthy economy would translate into an ability to pay more taxes, which will also end up in the hands of people in different shapes, services and plans.
Therefore, pouring the reserve funds into the hands of the masses would create and enormous direct and indirect ability to diminish poverty and privation, which would lead to a stronger state and public. This method would also increase the gross domestic production, which is the real reserve fund and power that could support and sustain any currency regardless of the size of an economy.
According to some historians and researchers, the necessity of stimulating flow of wealth and funds was among the primary reasons behind the Prophet Mohammad’s decision to change the goods exchange methods to currency and monetary system. The system considered gold and silver as standard for exchange, comparison and equivalency, where the worth of the currency was set. Therefore, for instance 1 Dinar was equivalent 4.6 g of gold and other measurement.
The shift to this system enabled the consumers to explore various options for trade transactions, as transportation and other related aspects to any trader deal were facilitated. Therefore, exchanging a good for another was not the method to conduct a transaction, which also prevented some goods being kept aside until expire, because the goods exchange method made them unpopular.

HOW THE WORLD WILL ACHIEVE JUSTICE

by: Zeinab Alsheraa

The problems ranging in today’s society stem off the issues of injustice. The world has deviated from Hitler’s Nazi regime to the Ku Klux Klan and other forms of racism. Sexism has come and not left the premises along with prejudice. In the case after 9/11, Muslims still feel the effects of 9/11’s misinterpretations of the whole religion of Islam. Out of fear and to give a false sense of security, people began to generalize and label ‘Muslims’ as terrorists in order to purge their fears onto anything for a feeling of comfort knowing who the ‘bad guy’ is. Is it fair to the 1.6 billion peaceful Muslims to have a group of attackers speak for the faith of Islam at large? These acts of prejudice, racism, and bigotry in general ostracize individuals and in turn demote equity. But God does not leave his servants astray in an environment that hinders fairness. The prophets were first sent to lead the people and now it is the imams that can enlighten the people to the path of due process.

What is Justice?

Intrinsically, it is the ultimate set of virtues encompassing all morals that ultimately lead to peace. Islam has encouraged and exalted it through abundant verses from the Quran.“Allah commands (people) to maintain justice, kindness, and proper relations with their relatives. (16:90)” There are two prominent forms of justice in this life: justice towards God and justice towards society.

1- Justice towards God:

This is the utmost revered concept and title of credibility of justice. It is not possible to achieve justice to Him because Allah does not require anything and is self-sufficient. But this form stands for believing in the Lord and conveying sincerity and love towards Him. This is where the acts of constant worship and rigid obedience come into place, along with the persisting efforts to stray away from any displeasures towards Him.

The injustice of this is self-wronging; the negligence and disobedience to God. The result is humility and disappointment.

2- Justice towards society:

This form can be achieved through the practice of adhering to individuals’ rights, abstaining from mistreating them, have sympathy to those in fragile conditions (such as poverty, weak health,etc.), and treating them with dignity and courtesy. Amir Al-Mu’mineen stated “you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for yourself.”

The injustice of this occurs when the rights of individuals are neglected, their dignities disrespected, and interests disregarded. This behavior leads to social corruption. The lowest point of social corruption is harming a weak individual that has no means of defending oneself except to supplicate to God.

 

Promotion of Justice in this Dunya

The Prophet had stated before his departure of the dunya that he has left behind two things for the Ummah to follow: the holy book and his family. In order today to have equity one must differentiate before right and wrong and what better way to do so then to follow the Ahlul-bayt? They may have been faced with different situations then we may face today but the beauty of Islam is that its teachings transcend all limits. It is a religion for all places, people, and time. Despite any changes that may take place, the principles from Ahlul-bayt are applicable and prevail to any situation. Sometimes a simple issue may be complicated by technicalities and opinions but in remembering the principles of Ahlul-Bayt, the right choice becomes lucid. In order to put things into perspective in any situation, one only needs to ask “Would Imam Ali or Lady Fatima be seen doing this?”

The True Justice

Despite some efforts, some individuals may still find themselves troubled with certain predicaments. This may falter the faith in fairness in the world, but one must remember that true justice isn’t by people, but by the Creator, Allah. We are here to be tested and Allah is the examiner. It is his prerogative to choose which way a person will be tested. The justness of Allah is that he does not burden a person with at test beyond his or her abilities. Allah had not given us wings and therefore does not test us based on flying. We cannot claim that because He had not given us wings that we are wronged. It is not up to us to decide how we will be tested. In the same sense, Allah does not ask a servant to perform wudhu (ablution) that has no hands, because it is beyond their ability. This is the unique belief to Shia Muslims that God is always just—as His name states; Al-Adl or The Just. It is only to Him do we turn to for justice, not to any other creation by Him.

Setting standards to facilitate final decisions – part 1

(Who to believe when everyone claims to be right?)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Whether deciding about a political candidate, a theory or even personal and private matters, the process of making the final decision is hard and sometimes painful on many aspects. All sides claim to be on the right side, support the right cause, committed to the right approach and finally their statements and actions are RIGHT. Well, according to freedom of speech and personal liberties making such claims is absolutely fine, legal and socially acceptable according to many contemporary social and political behaviors. However, the issue of being morally, politically and socially acceptable is not as important as being able to make a decision that is right based on all principles and standards.
Watching a campaign commercial on TV or an election debate, hearing about an ideology or a theory is similar to a battle, where each side is trying to persuade as many followers to assert its prevalence. Therefore, the necessity to develop a set of standards and principles would prevent from thinking that everyone is right or all sides are equally correct, since correctness and righteousness is proportionate. Unfortunately, the hermeneutical perception of individuals about right and wrong has transformed into personal presumptions and comprehensions of life experiences instead of cognitive, academic, logical and sane sets of rules, principle and standards.
Danger of standards plurality
The deliberate trends to keep all powers only affiliated with human mind might seem a noble cause, yet it can be dangerous if the following notions are taken into consideration.
The ability to create resources and primary records for investigation is not in human’s hand, therefore, the methodology to investigate and dissect the resources and records must be presented and delivered by the creator. The methodology for investigation and dissection will be apprehensible by human minds, since the primary process of finding the resources requires intellect and cognition on many levels. Therefore, a primary non-human made sets of principles and standards for dissection and investigation are necessary to prevent wrong judgements and un-academic presumptions. In addition, the presence of such existing sets of principles and standards would mean the ultimate role of intellect and free mind will be put into test, which is making decision based on correct findings and perfect trails of investigation. Otherwise, if none is offered to humanity, the notion of accepting consequences and punishment is ethically unacceptable and unworthy.
The absence of clear sets of principles and standards to identify and outline right from wrong and correctness from corruption and evil can be due to several factors. The primary factor is human mind itself, since its capabilities are still limited regardless of its advancement and superb analytical powers. The idea of creating standards out of nullity is beyond the comprehension of human intellect and capability, since analyzing the correctness, effectuality and performance level of those sets must have be subjected to a methodology of investigation. Nevertheless, this process is an everlasting circle with no clear result with an assured notion of wasting time and effort.
Basing the development of standards and principles on life experiences, primitive human findings, manmade resources and even semi-cognitive presumptions will not surpass the reality of being ANALYSIS. The best capability of human intellect, is ability to comprehend and analyze information to develop a final decision, which makes intellect in needs of primary information and resources that can’t be man-made.
Human experience and understanding of his/her surrounding is bound to observation and direct interaction. Observation is inadequate since humans are unable to apprehend the past and future, and each observation holds a certain past and an unknown future. In addition, the surrounding facts of each observation are not always evident and clear, as many facts are possible to be hidden unless revealed through narration or future discovery. Therefore, any standard or principle based on observation is bound and limited to momentary findings by observation. In addition, the problem that lays within direct interaction is due to human’s tendency and behavior, which is bound to be either reactionary or pre-emptive. Although both of these behaviors can be based on analytical investigation or cognition, yet the result and consequence is temporal and provisional. Direct interaction and its findings are effected by past experiences, presumptions and the transitory encounter, which can vary from pleasant to violent or acceptable to irreceivable. Therefore, why should any sets of principles and standards created by such emotions and experiences be binding and used as a methodology to judge and determine good to evil?
To be continued

Miraculous Mathematics

The Arba’aeen Ziyara and its miraculous mathematical & Physical aspects

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

History has witnessed numerous gatherings, where millions of people were gathered at a certain place and a certain time to celebrate, commemorate or present solidarity with a specific notion. The historic march toward Washington DC, and the famous (I have a dream) speech of Martin Luther King Jr, marked the presence of over 250,000 civil rights supporters. There are also tens of marches, parades, funerals, spiritual rituals, concerts and other gatherings, where the crowd has reached millions, but all of these gatherings are entirely different than one specific march and gathering in the world. A march and a gathering, where millions are fed, sheltered and treated like royalties, and to make this more interesting the host of this gathering is country, which is not considered politically stable.

The name of this country is IRAQ, and the name of this occasion, where millions march to and gather in one place is Al-Arba’aeen. The term Al-Arba’aeen is an Arabic term, which means ‘the fortieth’, and this term marks the 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Al-Hussein during the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura. In addition, during this day, the household of Imam Al-Hussein, who were taken as captives to Damascus before the Umayyad Caliph (Yazid Ibn Muawiya), returned to Karbala on their way back to Medina. According to historic sources and narrations by Shia Imams, the family of Imam Al-Hussein stayed in Karbala for three days, and mourned their lost ones, and finally aimed for Medina. However, on that specific day one of the most famous companions of Prophet Mohammad named Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari also visited Karbala and mourned the Imam alongside his family. The march of this man toward Karbala with the family of Imam Al-Hussein turned to be symbolic ritual, which aims to announce that followers of Imam Al-Hussein, will renew their allegiance every year with their master, and his commemoration will never lessens. Therefore, from that day and on, each year before the 40th, which is the 20th day of Month of Safar in Islamic lunar calendar, Shia Muslims march on their feet toward Karbala, and arrive there on Al-Arba’aeen to renew their oath with Imam Al-Hussein.

The march of Al-Arba’aeen has been subjected to persecutions, punishments and sever reactions by the authorities throughout history, as majority of the dynasties that ruled the region were hostile to Shia Muslims. Therefore, Shia Muslims have sacrificed lives, wealth and time to keep this ritual alive and revived with the years, and never stopped no matter how brutal the tyrants became. However, in the recent years and especially after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, this ritual had a turning point, as the number of people marching toward the city of Karbala surged dramatically, to a point that in the past couple of years, Karbala has registered hosting the largest gatherings in the history of mankind. According to the numbers released by Iraqi officials and other global observers in 2014, the numbers of people in Karbala on the day of Al-Arba’aeen was between 25 and 27 million. Therefore, the mathematical and physical calculations of this event will be based in the number 25 million, which will still show astonishing facts about this event and its secrets.

Reality VS Math and Physics

Whether the visitors to Karbala are from Iraq or outside of Iraq, the march to Karbala is either initiated from Baghdad or from the southern city of Basra. Therefore, the first thing any visitor will notice during his/her way walking to Karbala is the tents and buildings called (Mawkeb), which provide service for their visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. These Mawkebs, which are not more than 50 meters away from each other the entire distance from Basra of Baghdad to Karbala will blow any mind, when it comes to hospitality and treatment of their visitors. However, let’s only consider the mathematic that is affiliated with the meals these stations provide for absolutely no charge.

  • Obviously each visitor needs three meals per day, therefore:

25,000,000 visitors x 3 meals / day = 75,000,000

  • The march to Karbala, takes anywhere between 10 to 20 days depending on the originating point, where a visitor starts his/her march. Therefore, by taking a number between the two, 15 days would be a rational choice, which means:

75,000,000 meals x 15 days = 1,125,000,000 meals

  • The cost of each meal varies, as the financial ability of these stations also varies depending on the people managing them. Therefore, one station might be able to prepare very fancy meals for the visitors and others might only be able to prepare humble meals, which doesn’t matter at all, as everyone tries to present the best he/she can offer. Therefore, considering the economic conditions and cost of living in Iraq, taking an average cost per meal would be used for exploring the cost of this enormous amount of meals. An expensive meal in Iraq can cost around $20, and a humble meal in Iraq can cost about $4, which will mandate using a cost of $11 / meal for this calculation. Therefore:

1,125,000,000 meals x $11 / meal = $12,375,000,000

  • The number above only includes the meals and excludes beverages and deserts, but for the sake of rounding off this number and staying away from exaggeration, we’ll assume the entire cost of water, beverages and deserts will be $625,000,000. Therefore, an estimating total cost for feeding the visitors not including miscellaneous costs, will be rounded to $13,000,000,000.
  • In addition, these numbers don’t include other services that are provided for visitors and marchers to Karbala, such as:
  • Mobile calling balance, as many stations offer to buy Mobile gift cards for the marchers, in case they want to contact their families at home. The average cost of each card is between $4 to $10, which is distributed for free to marchers and visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. Therefore, figuring a cost estimate for this service would be very difficult, since there are no clear statistics from Mobile service providers in Iraq. However, considering the number 25 million marchers, means even if 1/5 of these people use this service and take an average cost of $7 / gift card, the cost would be around:

5,000,000 marchers x $7 / gift card = $35,000,000

  • Other miscellaneous include things like blankets and pillows for these marchers, when they spend the night for rest at those stations along the road to Karbala. Therefore, assuming only 1/5 of the 25,000,000 would require new blankets and pillows, and assuming a brand new blanket in Iraq cost $2 and a brand new pillow costs $1, the total will be:

5,000,000 marchers x $2 / blanket = $10,000,000

5,000,000 marchers x $1 / pillow = $5,000,000

(REMINDER: THESE TYPES OF SERVICES ARE STILL PRESENTED AND OFFERED IN IRAQ, AND BY IRAQI PEOPLE, A COUNTRY THAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY INSTABLE AND VIOLENT)

In addition, these services and estimates only include, what is offered and presented during the way to Karbala, and don’t include what is offered in Karbala itself, as the entire city of Karbala and its houses transfer to free shelters, hotels, restaurants and service providers for the visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. Many visitors, who have had the honor of marching to Karbala narrate that all the house doors of Karbala are wide open and a sign at the door says: WELCOME TO YOU, VISITOR OF IMAM AL-HUSSEIN.

Therefore, to conclude the mathematical aspect of this peaceful march and gathering, and based on the numbers and estimates provided it would mean that the total cost of servicing the visitors of Karbala is:

  • $13,000,000,000 (cost of meals & beverages) + $35,000,000 (cost of Mobile gift cards) + $15,000,000 (cost of blankets and pillows)  = $13,050,000,000 (NOTE: This cost is covered by the citizens of Iraq for the visitors of Imam Al-Hussein, as the government of Iraq is only responsible for security, surveillance and border administration)

The Physical aspect of this march and gathering becomes astonishing once this mass (25,000,000) gets to Karbala and gathers there, which can only be called a miracle considering the geographical and other facts of Karbala. The actual size of the entire city of Karbala is 2397 square kilometer, but the center of the city, where all the masses head for, is the place, where the Shrine of Imam Al-Hussein and his brother Al-Abbas Ibn Ali are located. Therefore, the size of that geographical zone inside Karbala would not exceed 100 square kilometers at best. This fact would raise the question that how is it possible to fit 25,000,000 inside a geographical zone that is not bigger than 100 square kilometers?

According to Population density experts, every 80 people live in each 1 square kilometer in Iraq, which means in the 100 square kilometers of Karbala’s center, there would typically be 8,000 people. Therefore, the number 25,000,000 is 3,125 times more than the usual population density of Iraq. In addition, the highest population density in the world belongs to Monaco, where every 37,000 people in 1 square kilometer, and by considering the number 25,000,000, the number is still 6.75 times more than density capability of Monaco, if Monaco was 100 square kilometers in size. DOES THE CITY ACTUALLY EXPANDS, OR DO THE STREETS OF KARBALA WIDEN DURING THE ARBA’AEEN SEASON?

In addition, another astonishing fact about Karbala lays in the absence of a world class sewer system, as the current available one is severely outdated and old, and has been built to suit the old population of Karbala, which did not exceed 250,000 at most. Therefore, by only considering the average urine volume of a normal person during one day, the following numbers can be astonishing as well.

  • According to scientific facts, an average person urinate about 2 liters of urine / day. Therefore:

25,000,000 x 2 L (urine) = 50,000,000 L of urine / one day

(ANY SANE PERSON, WHO KNOWS A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CITY OF KARBALA WOULD BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THAT THE SEWER SYSTEM OF KARBALA IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE THIS AMOUNT EVEN IF THE SEWERS ARE DRY EMPTY.) In addition, this number doesn’t include the volume of waste water that passes through the sewer system of Karbala as well, and anyone, who has been to Karbala during the Arba’aeen will be able to certify that no sign of over flow or flood has ever been witnessed during the gathering. (NOTE: DURING MOST RAIN SEASONS, THE ENTIRE CITY OF KARBALA IS USUALLY FLOODED AND THE STREETS ARE FILLED WITH OVERFLOWN WATER, WHICH THE SEWER IS NOT ABLE TO PASS.

There are many other astonishing facts about this gathering, which will leave any observer speechless, but these facts alone are sufficient to drop the jaw and make the mind wonder about the miracle of Al-Arba’aeen and its secrets.