Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:15
â– UNDERSTANDING ISLAM By Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik
POLYGAMY. Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i .e. why is polygamy allowed in Islam?
Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted; whereas polyandry is completely prohibited. Now, going to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than one wife?
The Qur'an is the only religious scripture in the world that says, "marry only one".
The Qur'an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase 'marry only one'. There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta, the Talmud or the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had several wives.
In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one. Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had three wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (960 C.E to 1030 C.E) issued an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, until an Act of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.
Let us now analyze why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife. (To be continued tomorrow)
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:15
â– BREFLECTIONS By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THESE days, it's important and urgent that we learn to handle our curiosities properly. The developments around, especially in the area of technology, are producing all sorts of stimuli that arouse our interest way beyond what is legitimate to us. And we just cannot allow this phenomenon to go on without being managed well.
The usual problem we encounter is that people just let themselves be led by whatever catches their attention and fancy. Their spontaneous, quite raw reactions to these stimuli are hardly processed and purified, and so many do not realize they are being led more by their instincts and passions than by their intelligence and will, and much less, by faith, which is how we should be guided ultimately.
Things have become really so bad that many people do not see anymore the need to supervise their instant desires to know and discover. And so many times, they fail to realize that they have become overly or unduly nosy and meddlesome, or that they are falling into morbid curiosities and voyeurism.
In the Bible, we have been warned, "Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shown to you than men understand." (Sirach 3,23) The more down-to-earth variation of that admonition is "Curiosity kills the cat."
There's, of course, good and bad curiosities. A curiosity is good when it leads us to discover things truly helpful to us, and is pursued in an orderly and reasonable manner, with charity for God and others observed along the way.
A curiosity is good when aside from the new knowledge acquired, it makes us a better person, more caring of the others and more attentive to the things of God. It's when it makes us more humble, more eager to serve others.
A curiosity is bad when it's just an idle curiosity, meant only to satisfy a passing fancy or a caprice, or to feed the urgings of passions. It is bad when pursuing it causes disorder and when the requirements of charity are not observed.
A curiosity is bad when together with some benefits, it causes some bad side-effects, like nurturing in subtle ways the anomalies of pride, arrogance, laziness, lust, envy, etc.
Nowadays, you can see many people, especially the young ones, literally wasting time just pursuing their curiosities with the help of powerful technologies that more or less given instant satisfaction.
In fact, I think this is becoming like an epidemic of a certain type of addiction rightly described by someone as an "incontinence of the spirit." What is worse is to see otherwise decent mature people succumbing to voyeurism in the Internet because in spite of their decency they become helpless when their curiosities hit them.
With this development, I believe we are quietly developing a potential destructive moral and spiritual crisis that will explode in our midst sooner or later. Minds are corrupted, souls are perverted in industrial amounts by a sweet poison. We are abusing the goodness of God who has gifted us with many blessings.
We need to be wary of our curiosities or those spontaneous desires to know, discover or experience something. We should readily explode the myth that mindlessly pursuing these curiosities is an expression of our freedom. Sad to say, this is how many people think about their curiosities.
It cannot be true freedom when things are pursued only by emotion-driven curiosities. For freedom to be authentic freedom, the full complement of our human needs and stature, including our faith, has to be considered. Our freedom should be clearly distinguished from its caricature, which is license, or freedom unhinged from God.
While curiosities may start as an emotional movement, they need to be processed more to make them truly worthwhile pursuing. Curiosities should never just be matters of spontaneity. They need to be studied, reflected upon, and if necessary, consulted about.
Our curiosities have to be properly grounded and oriented. They just cannot be allowed to explore the possibilities on their own. They have to be guided. And for this, ultimately what is needed is to relate them to God.
They even should not be guided by our reason alone. Our reason without God, without the help of faith, is like a powerful but unguided missile or mine left to drift in the sea. It can hit anywhere, and can be indiscriminate in its targets.
We need to rein in our curiosities. And so it would be good if they are brought out in the open, avoiding pursuing them in secrecy aside from what healthy discretion would indicate. (
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:15
â– ACCENTS By Julia Carreon-Lagoc
Being ensconced here in the U.S. of A., I was not able to join with friends and relatives the protests commemorating the 5th year of the enforced disappearance of Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado of
SELDA and Anakpawis, respectively. Both were abducted, April 12, 2007, in Cabanbanan, Oton, by elements still unknown. Unedited hereunder, May Wan, Luisa's daughter, writes of shared joy, laughter, and tears, and idealism, too, she imbibed from her mother. Read on:
I love talking and hearing stories about Nanay. She has such an exciting life full of adventures that seem to come straight out of a fiction novel. The time she escaped through the roof of their stockade cell, repeating the same feat a few years later with a different set of cellmates. The time she gave birth while a platoon of soldiers were looking for her and even burned the paltera's hair. The time she escaped, was caught, gave a false name and had to deny her own grandmother. But when I think of her, I usually remember boring stuff, times we spent talking and eating, watching movies, doing something together, memories that would mean nothing to anyone besides me. Before listening to what my sister has written, please allow me to share some of these memories, so that you may have an idea how she is as a Nanay and how much we miss her.
My mother is not a skilled cook. All I remember of her culinary repertoire is burnt rice and one perfect lunch a long long time ago when she fried the chicken very well. But maybe I learned from her all the practical knowledge I really do need. She did taught me about the solar system, first aid, bank transactions, grocery shopping and marketing tips, water conservation, how to clean the sewers without dirtying your hands, how to collect candle wax in a ball and use it to polish the floor of the jail cell, how to mend a broken friendship with pinipig ice cream, how to crochet, how to wrap your hair with a towel so it won't fall off your head, how to be stubborn and righteous, how to know your self-worth and not seek the constant approval of others...the list is endless.
When I was an only child and a brat spoiled by affluent relatives, my mother scolded me each and every day, or so I feel, due to my snobbish behavior and extravagant habits. She told me how people worked hard for each grain of rice I put in my mouth or negligently scatter on the floor or the table. Being unused to life in jail and to daily chores and to not doing everything one wants, I got mad at her for being mad at me. She then explained to me that people only scold those that they love and care for because they want their loved ones to be better persons and have better lives etc. etc. Now, years later, remembering this, I am entirely secure in the knowledge that I am the person that Nanay loves most in the whole wide world.
Nanay was a mother not only to me and Tamara but also to my cousins and to all the people she has sheltered. Our home, our lives are filled with people who have felt abandoned and neglected, people suffering from nervous breakdown, youths who have run away from home, women who have been raped or beaten or probably both, pregnant women approaching single motherhood and even just imperfect people who seem to irritate everybody else. I admit that I sometimes question why it has to be my Nanay who needs to help everyone with their problems all of the time. But one time, she was telling me about a girl who has run away from home and was staying at our house, had a fight with her boyfriend outside the gate in full view and within hearing distance of all the neighbors, threatened to cut her hair and scared my aunt who thought she was trying to kill herself with the scissors. Nanay said that she only pitied the girl and wanted to hug her because all the girl really needed was a mother. When she told me this, I thought how lucky the world is to have this woman who wants to help those who need it most. And lately I've been thinking how lucky I am to have the best Nanay in the whole world simply because she's mine.
I am hoping that in sharing this with you might make you see your own mother clearly, all the small and seemingly insignificant things she does for you that you might not appreciate much now but would attain a degree of significance only when she is no longer there. (Next week: Tamara on her mother)
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 03:15
â– LOWDOWN, TOO By Jojo Robles
Manny Pacquiao may be a genius in the ring, but he's definitely not showing a lot of intelligence in politics. His decision to leave Aquino's Liberal Party (where he was never wanted) after the Bureau of Internal Revenue demanded that he explain his supposedly shrinking income should accelerate the process somewhat, though.
Pacquiao's party-hopping aside, perhaps the neophyte politician-boxer should also explain why he is no longer an opponent of the reproductive health bill, as he was early on. How true is it that Pacman was the subject of intense pressure to turn pro-RH, not only in the Philippines but also by authorities in the United States?
Pacquiao, if he wants to go far in his quest for ever-higher public office, needs the political equivalent of a Freddie Roach to advise him, instead of the usual yes-men who surround him 24/7. He can't hope to be a political butterfly and not expect to get stung by a bee.
* * *
Okay, so Vice President Jejomar Binay himself has confirmed that he's probably going to part ways with President Noynoy Aquino for the simple (and perfectly obvious) reason that he and the Chief Executive have different political parties. That should be easy enough to understand â€“ unless you're Aquino.
But the flap over Binay staying or going only shows how hard it is to be a spokesman of Malacanang Palace: you say one thing that's perfectly logical and the very next day your boss says the exact opposite. And if Abigail Valte had any sense of pride (or some other job that she could find), she would have left yesterday.
Of course, Valte is probably not leaving her job, any more than Energy Secretary Rene Almendras is expected to resign after thoroughly messing up the power crisis in Mindanao. Because the officials of the Aquino administration are, for the most part, nobodies even in their previous careers before joining government, they never had it so good since President Noynoy Aquino plucked them out of obscurity.
When President Noynoy Aquino assembled his team of non-achievers, after all, he was not looking for the best and the brightest, as many more secure Chief Executives have done. He was looking to give jobs to his friends.
And having quickly exhausted his pool of former classmates, shooting buddies and the like, all of whom were distinguished only by their loyalty to him and their mediocrity in their previous jobs, he tapped people like Valte, who will take abuse like being contradicted in public without so much as a whimper of protest.
On the other hand, the few accomplished people who somehow make it into Team Mediocrity, as the Aquino's officialdom should rightly be called, don't last long. That's what happened to Gus Lagman, the only person with IT smarts to ever get appointed into the Commission on Elections and a respected consultant and entrepreneur before joining goverment.
Lagman's extensive background in infotech probably convinced him to oppose the purchase of P1.8 billion worth of counting machines used in the 2010 elections. Smartmatic's precinct count optical scan machines were the subject of a lot of complaints that have been drowned out, quite naturally, by the people swept into power by them.
And then there are those who did distinguish themselves prior to joining the Aquino administration like Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, but who have apparently decided that they would do a lot better if they blindly followed the boss' line and just sold out. De Lima's pursuit of former Comelec Chairman Bejamin Abalos using two witnesses who had disappeared after being sanctioned for committing various election-related anomalies. De Lima's suborning of the two Mindanao election officials, who were offered clean bills of health if they turned against Abalos (who wanted them punished), is simply mind-blowing â€“ even for a former Arroyo functionary.
As for Abigail Valte, perhaps she will finally understand that telling the truth (or even pointing out the painfully obvious) isn't really her job. And if she really thinks she will not find better work elsewhere, she should just stop making even perfectly sane and logical conclusions like the fact that Binay is headed for a split with Aquino simply because both of them have their own political parties.
Aquino, of course, disagrees with his spokesman. And Valte, for some reason, still goes to work for him.
* * *
A senator allied with the powers-that-be must have been so inspired by the tales he heard during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona that he recently went out and bought two condo units in a new development along Shaw Boulevard. The two loft units are supposedly valued at P7 million each.
While the purchase of the two condos may have thrilled the senator no end, he still is a newbie, after all. Compared to how a like-minded colleague of his was able to somehow purchase â€“ through an in-law â€“ a posh residence at super-swank North Forbes valued in the hundreds of millions, the two Shaw lofts must look like low-cost housing for lowly government workers.
Oh, wait. The condo-buying senator used to be a lowly government worker himself.
But perhaps we should give this guy some time to catch up. He may not really be known as a quick study, but perhaps he'll show some heretofore undiscovered aptitude in the field of real estate accumulation.*
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 03:15
â– ALL THE GREEN THINGS By Allyn May Canja
Last night I had a dream. I was running on a field cracked by smouldering heat. The sun was angry. I felt like a butter slowly melting as I took hurried steps. I did not know why I was running.
As I raced into the vast dry land, my eyes were met by a devastating sight, uprooted trees were clumped and scattered everywhere. I could see their faces sobbing, gasping for life. I felt an unexplainable grief. I counted them all on my mind, 182.
I did not know what urged me but I asked the trees what happened.
"They are taking us to a tree museum but we are going to die in 72 hours if they can't transfer us to a home we can breathe, eat and drink from. My grandfather suffered the same fate few years back, only 20 percent of them survived and I heard major number of them has deteriorated ever since they were relocated." An old tree answered me with a weary and defeated voice. When he was just finished answering my question, his eyes closed in farewell. Those eyes my future children won't get a chance to see.
For a minute, I felt guilty. If I did not make him talk, he might still have the strength left for him to survive until they were transferred. I was helpless. The sun was piercing my skin. The trees were slowly dying.
I'm not sure why but I continued on running. Odd thing about dreams is you do something and your intentions are unclear but seem certain. That's exactly what happened.
And then I saw a dull, box-like building. It was awfully lifeless, it was almost depressing. I entered the building and I saw people bursting with laughters, plastic bag in hands and enjoying the mindless surrounding. I saw them but they didn't see me. I thought to myself, were they able to see what I saw outside?
Feeling sad but strangely enthusiastic, I went outside. I thought what if I could paint a forest on these barren walls. Suddenly a bottle of spray paint appeared on my hand. I started painting trees on the wall. One by one. I pictured the dying trees on my mind. I draw the lines, with hunger. I was as greedy as a corporation, expanding my green forest from walls to walls.
I wasn't aware but a guard appeared from nowhere and pulled a gun on me. Clutching the bottle of paints, my feet ran without my mind knowing which direction to go. I ran and ran. And then I was back from where my dream started.
I was still running on a field cracked by smoldering heat. The sun was still angry. I still felt like a butter slowly melting as I took hasty steps. The only difference is now I know why I was running.
It was April 22nd, Earth Day. I dreamed I heard the Earth cry. When I woke up, I wrote this article.*
(Allyn May Canja is an environmental advocate who supports the Save 182 movement. She hopes to visit Baguio and see the pine trees in their natural home. She also loves trees and wishes to be a guerilla artist one day. E-mail: