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Hyderabad: With the ban on beef in some states and the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha triggering a fierce debate on cow slaughter across the country, a group of Islamic scholars in southern India has appealed to Muslims to avoid sacrificing cows, bulls and bullocks in the community’s larger interest.
The scholars have advised Muslims to show pragmatism in the prevailing situation and instead opt for alternate animals permitted by the Sharia to ensure that peace is maintained and there are no impediments in their larger duty of “dawat-e-deen” of introducing Islam to non-Muslims.
Backed by all schools of thought, the group has taken up the campaign through social media, meetings, pamphlets and Friday sermons in mosques in different states of southern India.
“Our message is that Muslims should not take law in their hands but desist from sacrificing cow, bulls and bullocks for maintaining peace. This will also help in introducing Islam to others,” Syed Hussain Madani, an Islamic scholar heading the campaign, said.
The scholar has suggested that the community should avoid sacrificing cows to protect life and property. People trading in cows, bulls and bullocks have been suffering loss of life and property and sometimes ending up harming others.
Madani quoted ‘Hadith’, or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, that “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”
Noting that the Prophet sacrificed two sheep on Eid-ul-Azha, he said: “Since the Prophet Muhammad is the best model for us, we should follow him. Sacrificing cow is allowed but it is not Â‘afzalÂ’ (preferable),” he said.
Every year, hundreds of bulls and bullocks are brought to the city for sacrifice on Eid day. Such animals are in huge demand because seven people can have share in each. At Rs.2,500 to Rs.2,800 each share, this works out more economical than Rs.6,000 to Rs.7,000 for a goat or sheep.
The scholars pointed out that sacrificing per se is not “farz” (obligation) but “sunnat” (practice of the Prophet). “Allah doesn’t burden more than one can bear. There is ample room to avoid this (sacrifice of cow) in the prevailing situation when there are legal restrictions and communal disharmony over the issue,” said Madani.
As many families take a share in such animals to distribute meat among the poor, Madani said that the poor may be helped in many other ways.
The ulema, while noting that slaughter of cow, bulls and bullocks are linked to the livelihood of a group, argue that the interest of the entire community should get priority.
“Prevention of means of ‘fasad’ (mischief) is better than the benefits we may get from certain things,” said Madani.
The scholars are also of the opinion that the misconceptions about cow slaughter and the misinformation spread by some elements affects “Dawat-e-deen” and since this is an obligatory duty of every Muslim, it should get priority over sacrificing cow, bulls or bullocks.
“Some miscreants themselves sell cows and strengthen their economy but take legal action against those who buy cows and sometimes even kill the buyers. Desisting from the sacrifice of such animals will deny them an opportunity to indulge in mischief,” added Madani.
Well-known personalities like Mohammed Abdul Raheem Qureshi, president of the Majlis-e-Tameer-e-Millat and assistant secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Moulana Aneesur Rehman Azmi of Chennai, Moulana Mufti Nassem Ahmed Ashrafi, and Moulana Mufti Mahboob Shareef Nizami are backing the initiative.
The appeal also has the backing of Muslim political leaders and legal experts. It also made reference to a suggestion by some political leaders that giving up eating of beef for a couple of years will show its impact on the economy and those opposing it will be forced to amend the legislation.
(By Mohammed Shafeeq IANS)
The Israeli Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that a diver swimming in the Mediterranean Sea has recovered a large sword that experts believe to be about 900 years old, dating back to the Crusades.
The antiquities authority's Director of Marine Archaeology, Kobi Sharvit, said the amateur diver was swimming about 150 meters offshore near the Israeli port of Haifa a few days ago when he spotted the sword lying on the ocean floor, four to five meters below the surface.
Sharvit said the diver recovered the sword and immediately took it to the antiquities authority. Sharvit said the sword -- encrusted with marine organisms when discovered –is the most complete and well preserved he has seen in 31 years. He described the sword as large, heavy and made of iron.
He added that the one-meter-long blade, hilt and handle were distinctive and highly noticeable after undercurrents apparently shifted sands that had concealed it.
Sharvit said because the sword was found in a cove, not far from the Crusader castle of Atlit on the northern coast of Israel, it is being assumed the sword belonged to a solder in the Crusades.
The Crusades were a series of medieval European Christian-led military expeditions to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.
Sharvit said that from an historical perspective, the handle of the sword may be the most important part of the weapon as that is where decorations, and perhaps, even names or initials are often found that will help identify the sword.
He said once it cleaned, examined, and restored, the antiquities authority will put the sword on display. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Crusader sword, Israel, Antiquity, Castle of Atlit
Facebook must pay a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million in back pay to eligible victims who say the company discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreign ones, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The discrimination took place from at least January 1, 2018, until at least September 18, 2019.
The Justice Department said Facebook "routinely refused" to recruit or consider U.S. workers, including U.S. citizens and nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, in favor of temporary visa holders. Facebook also helped the visa holders get their green cards, which allowed them to work permanently
In a separate settlement, the company also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and conduct wider searches to fill jobs.
The fines and back pay are the largest civil awards ever given by the DOJ's civil rights division in its 35-year history.
"Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our nation's civil rights laws," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke told reporters in a telephone conference.
"While we strongly believe we met the federal government's standards in our permanent labor certification [PERM] practices, we've reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Employment, Justice Dept., Recruitment
Tomatoes are a staple in the Indian diet, be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. It has to be a part of each meal in some form. As puree, paste, flavour, or diced into the dal. This tangy, sweet, and juicy ingredient was not always Indian. In fact, it did not even grow in India until the British sanctioned it. It is a product of colonization and has come a long way to become part of our everyday meals.
Originally, the tomato was considered poison. Its actual native is debatable. Some say it is European while others argue that is came from indigenous parts of Spain and Portugal. Either way, it is a plant species that is associated with the legendary Nightshade. It looks very similar to this poisonous plant that tomatoes were not even harvested for a long time, for fear of picking Nightshade instead. It was believed that Nightshade caused the blood to turn to acid and that tomatoes had the same property. Later research proved that the plant itself may be poisonous but the fruit is not.
The fruit if the woody nightshade plant Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomato is considered a fruit instead of a vegetable because it is cooked. But this theory has an interesting tale behind it. in the United States, in 1887, a tax was levied on the transport of vegetables, but not on fruits. By then, tomatoes had become a huge part of the American diet and traders could not afford to pay the ten percent duty. So, they began to call the large loads they transported fruits, just to avoid the tax due. In time, this is how the tomato came to be regarded. Some scientists went even further and stated that it is a berry. Botanists claim that since it is a part that grows from the flower's ovary and contains seeds, it is a fruit and not a vegetable. But this is a debate that will never end.
Incorporating tomatoes into the Indian diet must have happened so long ago that people do not remember a time without tomatoes, considering how it is the fundamental ingredient of most cuisines. The tomato has a name in every language as well, so the trading between nations, the voyages that brought them to India, and the decoding of the fruit-vegetable must have taken place far earlier than our ancestors remember. Or, perhaps we liked it so much that we decided to use it everywhere and make it our own. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful addition.
Keywords: Tomato, Fruit, Vegetable, Nightshade, Voyage, Staple