"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

'Killer Cucumber' Outbreak Spreads

The world's biggest outbreak of a deadly form of E.coli bacteria has claimed another life as it continues to spread across Europe.

Health officials say the virus, believed to have originated from organic cucumbers imported from Spain , has killed 10 people and infected hundreds more in Germany.

Experts said the outbreak of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood, kidneys and, in severe cases, the nervous system, was the largest ever in Germany - and the biggest of its kind worldwide.

Health officials have advised people in affected areas in Europe to avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

The E. coli pathogen has been identified on cucumbers imported from Spain but it is unclear if they were contaminated there, during transport or in Germany.

Horticultural farms in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia have been losing 7-8 million euros a day since German authorities linked the bacteria to Spanish cucumbers last week.

Czech authorities said 120 organic Spanish cucumbers were being pulled off shelves while their counterparts in neighboring Austria announced that "small amounts" of cucumbers, as well as tomatoes and eggplants, were being removed from 33 stores.

What is E. Coli?
Escherichia coli, E. Coli is a bacteria found living in the intestines of people and animals. It can be transmitted through contaminated water of food -- especially raw vegetables and undercooked meat.

It is usually harmless, but can cause brief bouts of diarrhea. Some nastier strains can cause severe diarrhea and followed by serious organ system damage such as kidney failure. Healthy adults usually recover within a week, but young children and older adults can develop a life-threatening kidney failure.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Love and Global Power Conflict

Rumi said that mysticism and Sufism should not lose connection with the analytical mode of thinking. 

Love is the concept of mysticism! The love that is oriented toward God is the best remedy to employ in global power conflict. 

Spiritualism should not let people lose touch with reality and thus possibly with the sense of responsibility. Both the necessity of reason and the necessity of intuition are recognized in spiritualism.

Fontana (2003) said that "the term spirituality is also sometimes taken to indicate an openness to the spiritual teachings in all religions and schools of thought, rather than a dogmatic rejection of everything that does not come from one's own favored tradition."

Spirituality involves the highest levels of any of the developmental lines, for example, cognitive, moral, emotional, and interpersonal. Spirituality is an attitude such as an openness to love.

We are not required to live in the past nor in the future; on the contrary we are required to live in here and now. 
The center concept of Rumi's and Cheikh Hamza Chakour's Sufism  is love, since it is a way to God through love.

The first Sufi community was a group of people extremely poor but they were extremely enthusiastic about their spiritual journey to God. 

Cheikh Hamza Chakour insisted on the fact that we need to do righteous deeds in order to have peace. He said that the ultimate happiness is only granted to those who would never seek oppression or corruption.  

Solomon with his prayer just wanted perfection of his spiritual condition in experiencing God's presence so that he would see no one but his Lord.

Sufi Music and Ritual Dance: Whirling Dervishes

The various Muslim mystics, or Sufis, organized brotherhoods that incorporates music and poetry recitals into their religious practices as a mean to achieve divine ecstasy and unity with God.

Kathleen Hood watched the whirling Dervishes of Damascus, the vocalist Shaykh Hamza Shakur, and ensemble al-Kindi performed to a packed house on March, 2001, at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall. She said she loved the music and the whirling dervishes!

She writes, "The concert at UCLA consisted of four suites (wasla) from the Syrian Sufi tradition featuring Shaykh Hamza Shakkur as vocal soloist accompanied by the al-Kindi ensemble, a vocal choir (Suleyman al-Keshn and Abdallah Shakkur), and four Dervishes (Hatem al-Jamal, Maher al-Jamal, Hisham al-Khatib, and Ghassan Janid)."

Shaykh Hamza Shakkur, a muqri' (Quran reader) and the choirmaster of the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, is considered one of Syria's foremost vocalists of Islamic sacred music. 

The Aleppo-based Ensemble al-Kindi, named in honor of the great philosopher and musician of the 8th century, was founded by Julien Jalal al-Din Weiss in 1983. 

Weiss, a Frenchman who converted to Islam in 1986, plays qanun (plucked zither) in the group. The other members of the ensemble are Ziyad Qadi Amin from Damascus, Syria, who plays nay (reed flute); Muhammad Qadri Dalal, the renowned oud (plucked lute) player from Aleppo, Syria; and Adel Shams al-Din on riqq (frame drum with jingles), who is originally from Cairo, Egypt, but now lives in Paris.

The Mawlawiyya order was founded in Konya, Anatolia, by the Persian poet Jalal al-Din al-Rumi (1207–1273). The Mawlawiyya of Damascus are very few and have been threatened with closure on many occasions. 

The personal prestige of Sheikh Hamza Shakkur has rescued them, for he has reached celebrity status that has allowed him to generate support for the small group.

Sheikh Hamza Shakkur’s voice emanates spiritual power that draws listeners into the mystical tradition of Sufism. Born in Damascus in 1947, Sheikh Shhakkur is a quranic reader and hymnist.

Asmar: What does the whirling of the Mawlawiyya signify?

Shakkur: It is important to note that the Mawlawiyya is only one of the expressions of Sufism, not its only representation. In the Dhikr of God, one can be moved to stand, sit, lean, whirl, rotate the neck, become silent or whatever other physical expression comes as a first reaction. The whirling of the Mawlawiyya is inspired by the rotation of the Earth and cycle of blood circulation in the body. Circular motion has great significance in the wisdom of the creator. (www.aljadid.com/content/sheikh-hamza-shakkur-talks-about-sufi-music).