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God's Power

The cause of covetousness, according to Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq, is heedlessness (ghafla). A person permits himself to forget that blessings are from God alone. No good or harm can come to one except by God's leave. This level of heedlessness is not a casual lapse of memory. People can become so terribly preoccupied with seeking things from other people, they become heedless of God's power and ownership. When this happens, a person opens his or her heart to all kinds of spiritual diseases. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Know that if an entire nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if [an entire nation] were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God had already prescribed for you." [Tirmidhi]

The Gulf Rift

By Assad Bhuglah

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The recent crisis in the Gulf triggered some of most serious American double standards towards Middle Eastern countries, chiefly exemplified by Qatar, a long time US ally and also home to the largest US military base in the Middle East and the command headquarters for US military operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. President Trump participated in the historic Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and soon afterward several countries declared their decision to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically. On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing Doha's alleged support for extremist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The four countries also sealed their borders off to Qatar including airspace and naval territory. Yemen, eastern government of Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, and Senegal also cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Jordan and Djibouti downgraded diplomatic relations with Doha. Donald Trump signalled support for the move, describing Qatar as 'a funder of terrorism at a very high level'. The initial reaction by Trump was to support the regional initiative to isolate Qatar on the precept that the country was providing support to "Islamic extremism and terrorism." However, representing one of the most apparent U.S. double standards in recent years, the Congress then approved the sale of F-15 fighters to the Qatar Air Force as the country struggled under pressure from its Gulf neighbours. Saudi Arabian leadership who had been encouraged by President Donald Trump to gang up with other Arab states to impose political and economic sanctions against Doha, must be bewildered by US actions.

Humanness

The things the Prophet (peace be upon him) said and did, he said and did in response to specific situations that arose in people's daily lives; none of them occurred in a vacuum. Hence, they were necessarily tied to practical situations of one sort or another. This is one of the most significant aspects of the distinction that must be made between the Quranic text, which for the most part contains universal principles, and the ‘'prophetic text,' which issued for the most part from concrete, changing circumstances.

Fold of Peace

Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 207-208

"And there is a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self to please God. And God is gentle to His servants. O you who believe! Enter the fold of peace, all of you. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you a manifest enemy."

Self-surrender is the most basic concept of faith, it is the condition of placing total trust in the certainty of the existence of God and recognising that one is the creation of a Merciful and Compassionate Creator. The consequence of such consciousness is giving one's self over completely to doing what God has commended, trying to live in this world to earn one's place in Paradise in the Hereafter. The 'fold of peace' is then a state of personal certainty and acceptance, a coming to terms with one's true nature. It is also recognition of the real nature and purpose of the world in which we exist. It is the state of being that one should strive to achieve, a state of being in stark contrast to the arrogant, worldly, domineering and destructive populism; dedicated commitment to working peacefully being the best way to make a better world based on justice, equity and dignity for all.

Global Uncertainty

By Assad Bhuglah

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The world is witnessing a new period of great uncertainty. Security alliances that were established in the post-World War II era are gradually disintegrating at both bilateral and multilateral levels. New coalitions such as the G8 and G20 do not have the capacity to replace them. The dominant discourse of the Washington Consensus for a broadly free market is losing prominence while various forms of neo-protectionism and economic nationalism are rapidly gaining ground. Likewise, the idealistic rhetoric of global integration is rapidly losing confidence. In the wake of rising geopolitical tensions among major global powers, rising far-right movements and xenophobia, economic protectionism and regional turf wars, nationalistic tendencies are strongly raising their heads.

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