Lemon in the Oriental Traditions

By Assad Bhuglah

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Lemon is part of the Mauritian folklore. Cyril Ramdoo’s sega “alouda lemonade vanne dan bazar” has immortalized the typical image of a routine activity at the Central Market of Port Louis where about thousands of people come to re-energize themselves with the local beverage. Street-vendors also positioned themselves with lemon-water at strategic locations to help thirsty travellers to beat the tropical heat.  By doing so, they have been unknowingly contributing to mitigate the effects of some serious diseases. The artisanal or home-made lemon-drink is the cheapest beverage that common people can afford to buy. For quite long time it has been a tradition to serve Sherbet flavoured with lemon to guests at home and during important occasions like Iftaar, Eid, Milad and other social events. Today, much of this tradition is replaced by industrially produced beverages. Among the varieties of lemon that are highly prized in Mauritius is the “limon Rodrigue” which is distinguishable by its tiny size and high concentration of juice. The usage of lemon is widespread in Mauritius; but this article will refrain from covering the superstitious practices associated with this fruit.

Prologue in Heaven

Culture began with the "prologue in heaven." With its religion, art, ethics, and philosophy, it will always be dealing with man's relation to that heaven from whence he came. Everything within culture means a confirmation or a rejection, a doubt or a reminiscence of the heavenly origin of man. Culture is characterized by this enigma and goes on through all time with the steady striving to solve it.

Law and Authority

Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 104

"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting all to what is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. Such are the ones who shall prosper."

This is the commandment to the Muslim community to establish a system that is essentially based on holding fast to Allah's rope or covenant and is a necessary prerequisite to help people to abide by its demands. For this purpose, the Muslims are instructed to appoint a group from among them to enjoin maruf or good, or the noble conventions of society, and to forbid munkar or evil as defined by the Islamic Shariah. The way the imperatives — enjoining and forbidding — are used concerning good and evil clearly indicates that this task is to be carried out not by mere verbal advice and admonition, but must also be enforced by law and authority. This is impossible without political power vested in such a group. If the purpose were to accomplish the task of enjoining good and forbidding evil by advice and propagation of dawah only, the words yaduna ila-l khayr (inviting to good) should have sufficed and there was no need to add ya muruna bi-l maruf (enjoining or commanding what is right).

Keeping Indian Ocean Safe from Piracy

By Assad Bhuglah

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The economic health and survival of Mauritius are intricately linked with maritime security in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius, which nourishes the ambition of becoming a regional maritime hub, critically needs an ocean free of conflicts and piracy.

For millennia the peoples living around the Indian Ocean have benefited from its rich trade, while the interaction resulting from these maritime exploits invariably influenced their lives fundamentally. These traditional patterns of trade and communication changed drastically when first the Portuguese and then other European powers began sailing around the Cape of Good Hope to establish trade links and empires in the East. The Indian Ocean became a platform for power rivalry and conflicts among European naval forces. However, during the course of the 19th century, European navies played an important role in maintaining good order at sea, eradicating piracy and countering slavery.

The decline of Muslim societies