The Best of Beginnings

His voice echoes off the surrounding mountains and ripples through the silence, as the students in the settlement are plunged in sleep, half-dead, what with all the maddening effort that goes into the mid-terms and assignment deadlines to meet; and the stress of the exams looming near is like an insomniac ghost residing in their subconscience.

Slowly, the creation around them begins to stir, birds crawl out from the warmth of their wings, trees rustle off sleep as they gracefully lift their branches, and the wind, nature’s messenger, carries the muezzin’s voice into their rooms, spreading a heavenly coolness…

While many are lost murdering their roommate’s alarm clock in their dreams, lights turn on here and there; and the journey to the bathroom begins. After some extended dreaming where people usually don’t, there comes the jihad in the name of Allah: literally face to face with freezing cold water! A short battle; and the victory of a refreshing wudu’ adorns the warrior and he is promoted to the rank of a ‘worshipper’.

Stepping back into their rooms, breeze meeting their drops of wudu and spreading serenity, worshippers dress for prayer as they think: Have they not been awoken from the death of sleep? Has not new strength replaced their fatigue? Have they not been gifted a new chance, a new life? Now clean and composed, they stand in blue darkness. In silence. Allah is watching. There is peace. And their hands rise…

“Allah is the Greatest”…..”Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds…” ….”You do we worship, and from You do we seek help …Aameen” … “By the Break of Day…..And the night as it passes away, is there not in these an evidence for those who understand?”…”Allah is the Greatest”.. “How perfect You are my Lord, Most Supreme”… “Verily Allah has heard those who praise Him”… “How perfect You are my Lord, Most High”… “… blessings and peace on you O Messenger of Allah”… “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger”… “O Allah, I have wronged my soul excessively…bestow on me Your mercy, You are indeed Most Forgiving, Merciful”………. “Peace and blessings of Allah… be upon you”.

To all student worshippers, preserve this prayer; it is the best of beginnings to your day. Cherish this prayer; it adds light to the face. Embrace this prayer; it is the peace that balances your daily stress. Never give up this prayer, it reflects our unity of purpose; for as our prayers rise up from our own blue darknesses, they reach Allah from the same place: a settlement of knowledge where many young people have come together to find friends who strengthen each others’ Islam.

Skystruck.

Changing like ephemeral ceilings from night to day,
entranced I watch these ethereal skies, under whom live billions of restless lives…
while every moment, in silence they unflinchingly execute their purpose; indicating the unstoppable passage of time, the steady helpless depletion of life and the utter transience of all human endeavor with such paradoxical beauty; as they switch from glorious mornings to amber afternoons to starry twilight, and dissolve into the darkest of nights. 

 

Wikileaks, the Law and the Future of Online Media

Julian Assange: programming prodigy, former hacker, journalist, internet activist and the mastermind behind Wikileaks. And also perhaps, secretly the most wanted man on the planet by governments world over.

About 39 years old with silvery white hair, the intriguing Australian has fought legal battles all his life, from cybercrime to child custody and now extradition to Sweden for charges of molestation, but has been most unsuccessfully sued for his cyber activity.

Photo cedits: DekadeZ-Deviantart

Assange is the award-winning chief editor of the most controversial form of new media— Wikileaks; the site that leaked more than half a million classified US diplomatic cables in November last year. The leaks are viewed as an instrument of information warfare against governments suppressing individuals— the defining human struggle, according to Assange.

The thoroughly embarrassing diplomatic gossip exposed by the leaks and the shocking secret military video “Collateral Murder” of US troops gunning down civilians in Baghdad maddened the US Department of Justice into rigorously scanning every piece of legislation that can possibly be used to prosecute Assange.

Assange has already fought off more than a 100 unsuccessful legal threats by major banks and corporations after Wikileaks exposed damaging secret information about them. And he hasn’t made the job for the US Department of Justice any easier.

Any potential US prosecution of the Wikileaks founder is fraught with legal complexities. Firstly, the cables themselves. They’re classified government property, but digital intellectual property, which makes proving their theft much more difficult because even if the cables are “stolen” by downloading them, they are not “removed” from the database itself and are still available on the original system.

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