It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

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Quotes

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Notes

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Saturday, 20 December 2014

10 Simple Steps To Clearer Skin

10 Simple Steps To Clearer Skin


At some stage in all our lives we need clearer, fresher, more youthful looking skin. Well it can be accomplished without using a ton of cash and it can happen regularly! What you must do

is persist and throughout the span of three weeks your skin will start to look fresher and clearer. Here's the means by which;

1. Keeping your skin clean is your first need! You must rinse your face morning and night with a tender, regular cleaning agent that not just frees the skin of soil and grime yet then treats

it with an antibacterial fixing like tea tree oil.

2. In the wake of purifying the skin pat dry and after that splash a fine toning fog over the face to cool and help close the pores while they are clean. Let this fog dry on the face.

3. At the point when the toner has dried apply a little measure of cream over the whole face and neck. Search for a lotion that is made for issue skin sorts and contains antibacterial

fixings like tea tree oil and lavender fundamental oil. These fixings are delicate yet exceptionally successful at clearing the skin from flaws and pimples.

4. Getting the perfect measure of relaxing rest your body needs daily will reflect in the condition of your skin. Seven hours is by and large sufficient. Insufficient rest over a time of time

will bring about issues that are difficult to cure, for example, detached skin under the eyes and dark rounds.

5. The nourishment you consume is absolutely critical for solid, clear skin! Verify you are getting a decent measure of crisp leafy foods and point of confinement your red meat admission

to three or four times each week. Nourishments that are effectively processed will help your framework keep your skin fed and advance crisp, new cell development. Drink parts and

heaps of water as well!

6. Wash down the skin on your body and face with a week by week scour. At the point when utilizing a body clean begin at your feet and work towards the heart, this aides kill poisons.

Doing it the inverse bearing will push the poisons go into your framework. Utilize an exceptionally delicate facial scour all over and neck as these ranges can be effectively harmed.

7. Attempt an Ibuprofen face veil! This cover is having fabulous comes about on those individuals with open pores, pimples and skin break out. Smash around 15 headache medicine

tablets to a powder blend to a glue with a little water, short of what 1 teaspoon and afterward apply to a rinsed face. Leave for twenty minutes to work its route into the skin and after

that wash off and apply a light lotion. Attempt this week by week, after a face scour.

8. When a month utilize a home steam treatment to completely draw out pollutions from the face. Add bubbling water to a bowl or bowl and include two drops of tea tree oil. Place your

face over this with a towel covering and delicately let the steam open and rinse the pores. Be mindful so as not to let the steam blaze your face. Complete with a lukewarm face wash.

9. Get out into the natural air and go out for a stroll, swim in the ocean, ride a bicycle and have a great time! The activity will help your framework and your skin will love it.

10. Take a fish oil supplement every day. Societies that consume a considerable measure of fish have clearer skin and the fish oil aides dispose of poisons from the body and at this point you realize that is incredible for your skin!

These ten simple tips will help you get that agreeable skin you so urgently need, recollect to roll out the way of life improvements you have to and appreciate the profits that will
accompany it! A fresher, clearer more young looking appearance.

Milton: Character of "Satan"

Milton: Character of "Satan"

Satan occupies the most prominent position in the action of Paradise Lost.Though the main theme of the poem is the “Man’s first disobedience” yet it is thecharacter of Satan which gives a touch of greatness to this epic. Al the poeticpowers of Milton are shown on the delineation of the majestic personality of theenemy of God and Man, i.e. Satan. As it is shown in Paradise Lost Book-I that the character of Satan is a blend of the noble and the ignoble, the exalted and the mean, the great and the low,therefore, it becomes difficult to declare him either a hero or a wholly villain.In Paradise Lost Book-I we can hardly doubt his heroic qualities because thisbook fully exhibits his exemplary will-power, unsurpassable determination,unshakable confidence and unbelievable courage. However, the encyclopedia of religion removes some of the confusion from our minds regarding Satan’scharacter in the following words:“Satan means the arch-enemy of men, the adversary of God and of Christianity,a rebel against God, a lost arch-angle.”Milton also confirms the remarks and tells us that Satan is an archangel. WhenGod declares the Holy Christ his viceroy, Satan refuses to accept God’s order because he himself is a confident for it, his false strength and pride leads him torevolt against God for the fulfillment of his lust for power but he and his armysuffers a heavy defeat and throw headlong into the pit of hell.Milton’s description of Satan’s huge physical dimension, the heavy arms hecarries, his tower like personality and his gesture make him every inch a hero. Inhis first speech, Satan tells Beelzebub that he does not repent of what he did andthat defeat has brought no change in him at all. He utters memorable lines:

“What though the field be lost?
 All is not lost – the unconquerable will,
 And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield.”

 Actually he is not ready to bow before the will of God and is determined to wadeand eternal war by force and will never compromise. He proudly calls himself thenew possessor of the profoundest hell and foolishly claims to have a mind never to be changed by force or time. As he says:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself
 Can make a heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

Although Satan undergoes perpetual mental and physical torture in hell yet he isfully satisfied because he is at liberty to do whatever he likes, without anyrestriction. The following line clearly indicates his concept of freedom.

“Better to reign in Hell, the Serve in Heaven.”

It can be said without any doubt that Satan gives an evidence of great leadershipqualities which are certainly worthy of an epic hero and Beelzebub appreciateshim for his undaunted virtues as the commander of undaunted virtue as thecommander of fallen angels. His speech to the fallen angels is a sole roof of hisgreat leadership because it infuses a new spirit in the defeated angels who comeout of the pit of hill with their swords and are ready to face any danger regardlessof their crushing and humiliating defeat at the hands of God. We fully laudSatan’s views on the themes of honour, revenge and freedom, but we cannothelp sympathizing him because he embodies evil. He is the embodiment of disobedience to God. As the poem proceeds, the character of Satan degenerates and he fails toproduce any impression to true heroism because he is morally a degraded figure.When we closely examine his addressed to his followers, we find that it is full of contradictions and absurdities, because he tries to throw dust into the eyes of hiscomrades. In fact, on the one hand, he says that they will provoke war againstGod and on the other hand, he wants peace which is only possible throughsubmission. Then, on reaching the earth, he enters into a serpent and iscompletely degrades. Pride is the cause of his fall from Heaven – Pride that has‘raised’ him to contend with the mightiest. But where is that pride when the Archangel enters into the mouth of a sleeping serpent and hides himself in its“Mazy folds”. Here from the grand figure that he is in the beginning, hedegenerates into a man and cunning fellow, and then he tries to tempt Eve byguile. So, Satan degenerates from the role of a brave hero to that of a cunningvillain as C. S. Lewis remarks:“From hero to general, from general to politician, from politician to secret service agent, and thence to a thing that peers in at bed-room or bath-room window andthence toad, and finally to a snake – such is the progress of Satan.”So, it can easily be said in the light of above mentioned facts that Satan is outand pouter hero in Book-I of Paradise Lost, but in Book-IX he appears before usevery inch a villain because of his evil design and he himself says that his chief pleasure lies in the destruction of mankind which lowers him in our estimation asa hero.


10 things a Women on Menses can do in Ramadan

10 things a Women on Menses can do in Ramadan



Almighty Allah has made it easy for a women in Ramadan during her menses for she is still able to get the same rewards as men.

The good deed accounts don't stop when a women is menstruating for the angels are continuing writing down good deeds as long as a women is doing good actions in order to please Allah.


The following are 10 good deeds a women can do whilst on her menses during Ramadan and throughout the whole year:


1. Listen to Qur'an recitation:



Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. Is is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse.

Abu Nu’aim states, in his Tib an-Nabbi, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that the benefits of listening to recitation are increased when it is understood – that is, when its meaning is understood.

Allah Himself says:…so give good news to My slaves, those who listen to the word and then follow the best of it…(Qur’an: 39.17-18)

Source: As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)


2. Read the tafseer and meanings of the Qur'an



To reflect upon the verses of Allaah is a form of worship; it is something that will draw one close to Allah, Most High.

Allaah, Most High, Says in the Quran (what means): "Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from [any] other than Allaah, they would have found within it much contradiction." [Quran: 4:82]

We should try to understand the Qur'an:

Ibn Kathir says regarding tafsir of [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 179]:The similitude of the one, who memorizes the Qur'an but does not act in accordance to it, is like a donkey, which carries a load of books, but does not understand!

We should read and study the deeper meanings of the Qur'an and act upon everything we read as this is what the Sahaaba did. Some of the Sahaaba took a very long time finishing the Qur'an because they wanted to implement everything they read before moving on to the rest of the Qur'an.


3. Dhikr of Allah:


A women on her menses can do excessive dhikr night and day. We will all have utter regret for each second wasted without remembering Allah:

Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The People of Paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah." Narrated Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman (1:392 #512-513)

The highest rank in Jannah are for those who remembered Allah the most:

Abu Sa`id (RA) narrates the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked, "Which of the servants of Allah is best in rank before Allah on the Day of resurrection?" He said: "The ones who remember him much."I said: "O Messenger of Allah, what about the fighter in the way of Allah?" He answered: "Even if he strikes the unbelievers and mushrikin with his sword until it broke, and becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Bayhaqi)

Therefore we should remember Allah as much as we can & glorify him night & day, not just in Ramadan but until our very last breath. What better time to start remembering Allah more than in this most blessed month.

So we should set ourselves daily targets of doing as much Dhikr as we can. We can remember & glorify Allah whatever we are doing throughout the day. At work, whilst cooking, shopping & even whilst relaxing. We should remember Allah in our heart's & not just by our tongues. We should also contemplate over his magnificence & his creations & imagine him in front of us as we glorify & remember him.


The following are 10 Dhikr, supported by Hadith that we can recite throughout the day & night in Ramadan until our last breath:


Note: We should try & aim to recite each of these 10 Dhikr a 100 times each which makes a total of 1000 a day minimum.

1. Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee - Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

2. Subhaanallah

3. Alhamdulillah

4. Allahu Akbar

5. Laa ilaaha illallah

6. LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH-HIL ALIYYIL ADHEEM

7. Asthaghfirullah-halladhee Laa ilaaha illa-huwal Hayyul Qayyuumu Wa athoobu Ilay

Or short version: Asthaghfirullah

8. SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI SUB-HAAN'ALLAH-IL ADHEEM

Or short version: SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI

9. Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm

10. Lā ilāha illā-llāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu lahu-l-mulku wa lahu-l-ḥamdu yuhyi wa yumītu wa huwa ḥayyu-llā yamūtu abadan abada, ḏū-l-jalāli wa-l-ikrām, biyadihi-l-khayr, wa huwa alā kulli Shay-in qadīr

Or the shortened version:

Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer

We should also recite much of durood e Ibrahim which is the durood that is recited towards the end of Salaah.

Or the shortest durood is: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim


4. Dua & Repentance


A women in her menses can make excessive Dua to Allah night and day.

Almighty Allah says in the Qur'an: "When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me." [2:186]

The place of Dua is so high in front of Allah, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim) has said: "Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Dua." [Sahih al-Jami` no.5268].

Allah loves repentance & loves those who turn to him in sincere repentance:

Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance... (Qur'an 2:222)

Many of us rush our Dua’s & quite often our hearts are not present whilst we are making dua to Allah. That is why we lose out on much of the benefits & blessings of Dua. Therefore we should not let our minds wonder whilst in Dua & we should concentrate more, making sure our hearts are present whilst asking of Allah. Whilst we are in dua we should imagine Almighty Allah in front of us & so we should humble ourselves in front of him in a state of meekness & humility.

It may also help if we made a list of what we want to ask Allah during our dua’s. We can then refer to this list as a reminder so that we can cover everything we need to ask him, which may help in making our Dua’s longer & more sincere. This is because we will not always remember everything we want to ask Allah unless we note it down & refer back to it when we need to.

The times when Dua's are most accepted during Ramadan are:

1. The third portion of the night shortly before sehri ends. 2. Whilst fasting. 3. Between Asr & Maghrib. 4. Just before fast opens. 5. On Jumma before & after khutba. 6. Between Adhan & Iqamah. 7. Whilst raining. 8. After Qur'an recitation. 9. The Night of Qadr

Let us not be of those who pass by Ramadan without gaining any forgiveness:

Rasullullah (sallahu’ ‘alaihi wasallam) said: ...the angel Jibra’il appeared before me and said: Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness...’ Upon that I said: ‘Amin.’ (Al-Bukhari, Al-Tabrani)

We should ask of Allah to accept all of our good deeds & efforts throughout Ramadan & be hopeful that Allah will accept it from us. We should also have FULL hope that Allah will accept our Dua’s if not in this world then in the hereafter. We should accept his decree for he knows best in all matters.

Narrated ‘Ubaadah that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for EACH believing man and believing woman.” (Tabarrani)

Subhanallah this deed can be done in EVERY dua and can you imagine how many rewards can be gained for each and every Muslim you make dua for from Adam alayhis 'salam until now and the last Muslim on earth. This is the easiest way to earn rewards that go into the billions and the more you make these dua's then the more your good deed account wil get filled!

Every night in the last ten nights the following dua should be recited abundantly:

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim):: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say:

"Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee"

O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' " (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).


5. Learning Islamic knolwedge:


A women in her menses can learn Islamic knowledge as much as she can through books, online, teachers etc

"Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have been granted knowledge to high ranks."
(Qur'an)

"Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female)." (Hadith)

THE VIRTUES OF KNOWLEDGE

Allah (Most Exalted is He), Who created us and gave us sustenance, has also given us guidance. He said:

"Verily We have created man into toil and struggle… Have We not made for him a pair of eyes; and a tongue, and a pair of lips; and shown him the two ways (obedience and disobedience)?"
(Qur'an, Al-Balad 90:4-10)

After providing us with the capability to contemplate, think and differentiate between things, He instructed us to know Him, to know his Prophets and to know His Deen, Islam. He said:

"So know that there is no god save Allah, ask forgiveness for your sins and for the believing men and the believing women. Allah knows well your moving and your place of rest."
(Qur'an, Muhammad 47:19)

This verse shows the importance of knowledge and the virtues that Allah has given to it. It also shows that knowledge comes before deeds, since Allah instructed His Prophet to know that He is One and the only One worthy of worship. After that, He commanded him to ask forgiveness for himself, his family and for his Ummah.

If Muslims truly realise the importance Islam places on knowledge and its virtues, they will definitely be keen to learn and teach others. They would start with themselves and their families; then their neighbours and the community at large.


6. Serving your parents:


A man once asked the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim):

"'Should I join the jihad?' He asked, 'Do you have parents?' The man said, 'Yes!' The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim) said, 'Then strive by serving them!'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 5972)

Therefore serving one's parents is even better than jihad so serve your parents as much as you can and gain rewards you can NEVER imagine!

Treating your parents the best:

To be obedient and to show kindness to parents has been enjoined in the Holy Quran in such a manner as to say that among the noble deeds, to obey parents, treat them respectfully and to show kindness to them is next to worshipping Almighty Allah.

The Quran says, "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour." - Surah Al Isra (17:23).

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him!” Someone asked: “Who, O Allah's Messenger?” He replied: “He whose parents reach old age, either one or both of them, and he does not use their presence (by being good to them, etc.) to cause him to enter Paradise.” (Muslim)


Abdullah bin Mas'ood (RA), observed: "I asked Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) which deed was the best." He replied: 'The Prayer at its appointed hour.' I (again) asked: "Then what?" He replied: 'Kindness to the parents.'... (Sahih Muslim: 120)

So a women in her menses should do what she can to serve her parents in anyway that she can like for eg clean the house so that her parents do less, attend to their every need etc. Surely she will be pleasing Allah so much and gaining unimaginable rewards!


7. Giving dawah:


"And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'" [al-Qur'aan, Fussilat(41):33]

A women on her menses can give dawah to other sisters and non Muslims. We should spend our lives inviting others towards Allah whether they are Muslim or non Muslim.

"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are prosperous ones." (3.104)

We should not argue with them or use a harsh manner but use wisdom, tact and the best approach possible:

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious. (16:125)

We should enjoin good and forbid evil for it is a duty upon us:

The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Indeed, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as he had cursed them’ (At-Tirmidhi)

Whatever beneficial knowledge we have we should convey it unto others so that they may also benefit from it:

Zaid b. Thabit (RA) narrated the Prophet(Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: "May Allah cause to have freshness and brilliance the man who hears what I say and keeps it in mind, then convey it to others. (Ahmad, 5-183)

We should know that any good action another does because of some beneficial knowledge we have shared then we will also have a share of it:

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." (Sahih Muslim)

So she can give dawah by text, e mail, direct or indirect


8. Best Manners, Character & Conduct


A women on her menses should show the best manners, character and conduct in this blessed month and throughout her life. She should strive to be of those with the best of characters and manners as that is what will elevate us in the hereafter:

Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alahi wasallam) used to say: The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character. (Related by al-Bukhari)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: There is none heavier in the scales of the Hereafter than good character, (Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).

Subhanallah so if we show good character outside of Ramadan then it is of the heaviest on the scales but can you imagine the rewards of good character in Ramadan?

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant." (Tirmidhi)

So let us strive to perfect our manners, character and conduct and know that these good deeds will be of the heaviest on the scales and will enable us to reach the highest ranks of Jannah


9. Charity:


A women in her menses should spend in the way of Allah as much as she can for charity extinguishes sins save one from the fire:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Charity wipes out sins as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi)

Charity should be paid secretly:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Righteous deeds protect a person from an evil end; a charity spent in secret extinguishes Allah’s wrath; and maintaining good ties of kinship increases ones lifespan.” (Tabaraani)

Removing harmful objects from people’s way is also a charity:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“I saw a man enjoying himself in Paradise (simply) because he removed from a road a tree that used to harm people.”(Muslim)

Providing for ones family is a charity:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“If a man provides for his family hoping for the reward, it will be counted as charity for him.”(Bukhari & Muslim)

She can involve herself in charity work in her local community or for a charity organisation. She can do various projects to raise money and awareness for good cauises.


10. Serve and obey Husband


It is obligatory on all Muslim woman to obey their husbands in all matters of good. She is promised Paradise for fulfilling her obligations unto her husband.

Abu Hurairah reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If a woman prays her five (daily) prayers and keeps her private parts chaste and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any of the doors of Paradise she wishes.” [Ibn Hibbaan]

So whether a women is on her menses or not she should do her utmost this Ramadan and for the rest of her life to serve and obey her husband in the best manner possible for the pleasure of Allaha and in doing so she will not only be pleasing Allah but she will gain unimaginable rewards


Conclusion


Therefore a women on her menses must never feel that she is not able to gain the blessings and reward of the month of Ramadan. There is NOTHING stopping her from gaining IMMENSE rewards equal to that of a man. All that is required from her is effort, the right good intentions and sincerety in her actions.

May Allah enable us to gain he best of this month. Ameen

Uthman Ibn Affan

Uthman Ibn Affan


Uthman ibn Affan was the third of Prophet Muhammad’s successors. He was known as the leader of the faithful and ruled for approximately 12 years. The first six years were times of relative tranquillity and peace, however the last years of his reign were marred by internal conflict, and pockets of rebels trying to cause havoc throughout the Caliphate. Uthman is remembered as a pious, gentle, and kind man, known for his modesty and shyness, and admired for his generosity. He ruled with impartial justice and mild and humane policies, based on his obedience to God and his love for Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim nation.
Uthman, may God be pleased with him, was born seven years after Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and belonged to the Umayyad branch of the Quraish tribe. The Umayyads were the most influential clan of the Quraish, they were the strongest and wealthiest, and Uthman was their “golden child”, the most beloved, due to his good manners and shyness. Like his predecessor Omar ibn Al Khattab, Uthman was able to read and write. This was an unusual skill in pre Islamic Arabia and Uthman became a successful trader and cloth merchant. Throughout his life he was known as a kind, generous man and even before his conversion to Islam he would freely give money to help those in need.
It was his close friend Abu Bakr who introduced Uthman to Islam and he embraced the new religion at the age of thirty-four. This was during the very early days of Islam when the men of Mecca were systematically abusing and torturing any converts to Islam. In spite of the abuse, Uthman would not give up his Islam and in time Uthman was married to Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Ruqiayah, thus strengthening his relationship to the Prophet.
The abuse and torture continued and Uthman’s wealthy family and status in society as a merchant did not protect him. He was abused and tortured even by members of his own family; his uncle shackled his hands and feet and shut him in a dark enclosed room. The continual bad treatment by his close family led Uthman and his wife to participate in the first migration to Abyssinia. Prophet Muhammad praised his forbearing character and said
“After Lot, Uthman is the first man who, with his wife, has given up the comfort of his home for the sake of God”.
After some time Uthman and Ruqiayah returned to Mecca to be with the struggling Muslims and their beloved father and Prophet.
Uthman formed a very close relationship with Prophet Muhammad, and he gained intricate knowledge about the religion of Islam. He narrated 146 traditions directly from the Prophet himself and was one of very few people who were able to write down Quran. Uthman also became a reference point for those trying to learn the rituals of worship. He understood and was able to instruct others in the rituals of ablution, prayer, and other Islamic obligations. Uthman also participated in the migration to Medina and here he assisted Prophet Muhammad in establishing the Muslim nation. Prophet Muhammad even referred to him as his assistant.
In Medina, water was scarce and control of the wells was tightly held by several men. Because he was a skilful trader and negotiator, Uthman set about trying to procure a well for the use of the Muslims. He negotiated a price for half a well; he would have control one day and the other owner the next day. However, Uthman gave his water to the Muslims freely, so nobody wanted to pay for the water on the alternate days. The original owner of the well had no choice but to sell his half of the well to Uthman who nevertheless paid a fair price for it. Uthman continued to allow the water to be used freely by all and never reminded the people of his charity. He was humble and modest.
Uthman gave freely from his wealth to please God and His messenger Muhammad. Historical Islamic stories mention that every Friday Uthman would buy slaves for the purpose of setting them free and that although he was wealthy he was often without servants because of this habit. When Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim armies were going to fight the Byzantines at Tabuk, he called on the wealthier people to give from their wealth and property to support and equip the soldiers. Uthman presented 200 saddled camels and 200 ounces of gold. He also gave 1,000 dinars. Prophet Muhammad kept asking for donations hoping to inspire others to give as freely as Uthman. However, it was Uthman who surpassed them all and gave a total of 900 equipped camels.[1]
The portrait we are able to build of Uthman is that of a generous, unassuming, and kind man. He was known for his humbleness, modesty, and piety. Uthman would often spend the nights in prayer and he was known to fast often, sometimes on alternative days. In spite of his wealth, he lived simply and would often sleep, wrapped in a blanket, on the sand of the mosque. Uthman was appointed as the third leader of the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad by a council of six men. He continued the humane and just rule of Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Omar. He cared for the Muslims and expanded the Muslim Caliphate into Morocco, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan. For six years, his reign was one of peace and calmness, but the winds of change were blowing over the empire.
Uthman ibn Affan, like his predecessors was a man of the people. He was modest, shy, and humble but still his later reign was marred by infighting and rebellion. God had chosen Uthman to be the third leader but the people of dissension plotted to remove him from this noble position. Prophet Muhammad had prophesized that Uthman would be placed in a very difficult situation when he said,
“Perhaps God will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman, and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them.”
Uthman did not remove his shirt, his love for God and his Messenger kept him both strong and humble in the face of old age and extreme difficulties.
Uthman ibn Affan[2] was a man so loved by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, that he was called the possessor of two lights. Uthman was married to Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Ruqiayah and when she died, he married Muhammad’s other daughter, Umm Kulthum, thus possessing the two lights.
Uthman ibn Affan was appointed Caliph (leader of the Muslim nation) through a process of consultation and careful deliberation. On his deathbed, Omar ibn Al Khattab appointed a council of six men to choose a new leader. It was a time of confusion and chaos for the Muslims, small disagreements were becoming obstacles. Some people wanted to appoint Ali ibn Abu Talib because he was from Prophet Muhammad’s family, others wanted to appoint Uthman because he was from one of the great tribes of Mecca. Ibn Kathir, the respected Islamic scholar of the 14th century suggests that the leader of the council, Abdu Rahman ibn Awf questioned both men and then chose Uthman.
Abdurrahman asked Ali,
“Do you swear to rule by the glorious book of God (Quran) and the Sunnah (traditions) of His messenger?”
To which he replied,
“I hope to act according to my best knowledge and capacity”.
When Abdurrahman asked Uthman the same question, he replied simply,
“I do”.
It would be too simplistic to suggest that the decision was made solely by the answer to this question but rather it was part of a process of reflection and deliberation. Both men were amongst several who were eminently qualified to lead the Muslim nation. Uthman was a man known to be pious, generous, and modest, perhaps his simple answer reflected his personality. A shy man who spoke few words but whose heart was filled with love for God and His messenger.
Immediately after being elected, Uthman ibn Affan addressed the people from the minbar previously used by Prophet Muhammad. He looked at the Muslims and praised God, sent blessings upon Prophet Muhammad, and reminded the people that this world was full of deception. He advised the people to shun living luxurious lives and to seek a place in the hereafter, full of happiness and peace.
“And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And God is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds (five compulsory prayers, deeds of God’s obedience, good and nice talk, remembrance of God with glorification, praises and thanks, etc.), that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope.” (Quran 18: 45 - 46)
Uthman was a pious man who loved and trusted God completely, thus his first action as leader was to assure the people that he would guide them according to the way of the Prophet and Caliphs Abu Bakr and Omar ibn Al Khattab. Uthman was turning 70 when he became leader of the Muslims and for many years, he had refrained from the pleasures of this life in order to seek nearness to God. After setting a tone of piety and concern for Muslims that would be the hallmark of his reign, Uthman turned his attention to giving direction to the governors and the Muslim armies.
To the governors Uthman expressed his desire for them to serve the people, and never to exploit them. He sent prominent companions of Prophet Muhammad, as his personal deputies to the provinces to scrutinize the conduct of officials and the condition of the people. Uthman reminded the armies to follow the clear guidelines set down by Omar ibn Al Khattab and asked them never to forget that they were defending the believers. Extensive conquests were made during the reign of Uthman, including parts of Spain, Morocco, and Afghanistan. Uthman was also the first Caliph to organise a navy. He reorganised the administrative divisions of the Muslim Caliphate, expanded, and initiated many public projects. Perhaps Uthman’s most astounding contribution to the Muslims was his compilation of the Quran.
The Uthmani Quran
After the death of Prophet Muhammad and during the time of the Caliphs, hundreds of thousands of non-Arabs converted to Islam. Consequently, the Quran began to be recited and written in various different dialects and scripts. One of Prophet Mohammad’s companions, and Uthman’s friend Hudhaifah, whilst on a journey noticed that there were many different recitations of Quran throughout the Muslim Empire. Hudhaifah suggested to Uthman that there be an official version written in the style used in Medina. Uthman knew the Quran by heart and had intimate knowledge of the context and circumstances relating to each verse. The Quran had been gathered during the time of Abu Bakr and was in the safekeeping of Prophet Muhammad’s wife Hafsah. Uthman took possession of the originals and ordered some of the most trusted companions to make careful copies. He then ordered all other unofficial copies to be burned or otherwise destroyed. Five official copies were sent to the greatest cities of the Muslim Caliphate. Original copies exist to this day in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
A Tragic End
The final six years of Uthman’s reign were marked by rebellion. Some of the governors that had been appointed during the reign of Uthman were heavy handed and to some extent unjust. In this way, the seeds of dissension spread and many of the people began to love the luxuries of life that Uthman had warned against. Conspiracies arose and it was difficult for Uthman to discern friend from foe. He was reluctant to shed the blood of any Muslim however rebellious they may be. Uthman preferred to persuade with kindness and generosity for he always remembered the words of Prophet Muhammad.
“Once the sword is unsheathed among my followers, it will not be sheathed until the Last Day.”
The rebels called for Uthman to step down and indeed many of the companions advised him to do so. Uthman, now an old man of more than 80 years, heard the words of his beloved prophet ringing in his ears and refused to stand down from his position.
“Perhaps God will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them.”
Uthman remained true to his covenant but after a long siege, the rebels broke into his house and murdered him. As the assassin’s sword struck, Uthman was reciting the following verse.
“So God will suffice for you against them. And He is the All Hearer and the All Knower.” (Quran 2:137)
Such was the tragic end of one of the most pious, kind and selfless men in Islam.
Footnote
Taken from huda.tv
[1] The Sealed Nectar. Safi Ur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri.
[2] Based on the work of Imam Ibn Kathir. The Rightly Guided Caliphs.

Hajre Aswad

Hajre Aswad

History of Hajre Aswad:

Hajre Aswad is a black stone that is engraved in the southeast wall of the Kabaah. There are different narrations that give a different account of the background of the stone and its placement in the wall of Kaabah. Regardless of the different narratives, the importance and respect of the stone remains the same and it enjoys the same level of sanctity and sacredness in all the narratives.

Out of the different narratives, the most significant and the most authentic one is the narrative of Hajre Aswad being a stone from Jannah that was installed in Kabaah by Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and His son Hazrat Ismail (AS). According to the narration, when Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and His son started construction of Kabah on the order of Allah Almighty as a place of worship and sanctity, they were a stone short in the building of the walls. Thus, upon this Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) ordered His son to go and look for a stone that could fit in the gap in order to complete the construction of the holy place. Hazrat Ismail (AS) went in search of the stone, but after a while when He could not find any suitable rock. and came back to His father and saw that a rock was already placed in the empty space, upon which He asked His father about the stone, regarding which Hazrat Ibrahim replied that it was delivered to Him by Garbriel. Thus this narrative proves that Hajre Aswad is a heavenly stone.

Pertaining to its heavenly origin and its true color, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“The Black stone descended from paradise, and it was more white than milk, then it was blacked by this sins of the children of Adam.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith proves that Hajre Aswad is a stone that came from paradise, and it was originally in pure white state, which then started, turning black with the progression in the increasing sins of humankind.

Significance for Muslims:

Besides the very fact that Hajre Aswad is a stone from Paradise, there are numerous hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that prove the sanctity and reverence of the stone and the kind of significance it has in Islam and for the Muslims. The lines below give a few of the hadiths of Prophet (PBUH) that point towards the importance and stature of Hajre Aswad in Islam and the way a Muslim should perceive it.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“By Allah! On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah will present the Hajare Aswad in such a manner that it will have two eyes and a tongue to testify to the Imaan (faith) of all those who kissed it.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith points towards the kissing of Hajre Aswad (the details of which will be covered in the latter part of the post) and how it will testify for the faith of people who have kissed it on the Judgment Day. Therefore, Hajre Aswad is not some ordinary stone and neither is the kissing of it as kissing some ordinary stone, rather it holds importance which will be exposed to the person on the Judgment Day.

In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“The Hajre Aswad and al-Maqam (Ibrahim) are the two jewels from the jewels of Paradise. Had Allah not concealed their radiance, they would illuminate everything between the East and the West.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith again testifies to the importance and significance of Hajre Aswad and as per this hadith, the stone and the place of Ibrahim (AS) are of the jewels of Heavens and they both are radiant in their nature, however, Allah Almighty has ceased their radiance so that the world could stay normal and the natural order should not be disturbed.

Why Do Muslims Kiss Hajre Aswad:

One of the major acts done in reverence of Hajre Aswad is its kissing. Muslims in the form of kissing it exhibit the love and reverence for the stone. Moreover, besides the expression of love, this reverence is also a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kissed Hajre Aswad during the Tawaf He did during Pilgrimage. Therefore, since then it has become a necessary element of Tawaf and Muslims kiss the stone after every single circumambulation of the Kaaba. Hence, in no way the kissing of Hajre Aswad is paying respect to the stone, rather it is done just in the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Although the Muslims kissing the stone understand and know about the reason behind their kissing of it, however, people who are non-believers or those who have lack of knowledge about Islam have some misconceptions pertaining to the kissing of black stone. A few of the major misconceptions and their baseness is discussed below.

The first misconception is that although Muslims believe in oneness of God and forbid idolatry, yet the kissing of Hajre Aswad is a form of idolatry and thus Muslims covertly commit idolatry by kissing the stone. The simple answer to this misconception is that Muslims do not commit idolatry by kissing the stone as they have no intention of gaining any benefit from the stone and neither can it harm them, the kissing is merely out of respect of the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who kissed the stone out of love. Regarding this misconception, the following saying of Hazrat Umar (RA) stands as the best refuting argument, when after kissing Hajre Aswad Umar (RA) said:“I know well that you are just a stone that can do neither good nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (PBUH) kiss you, I would not have done so.”This declaration of Hazrat Umar (RA) shows the basic ideology of Muslims pertaining to the kissing of stone, therefore, the notion that kissing the stone is idolatry is a misconception with no bases in Islam.
The second misconception among non-knowledgeable masses is that they think that the stone is licked by the Muslims when they complete one circumambulation. This is wrong and Muslims only kiss the stone, moreover, the kiss can by either kissing the stone physically or symbolically by pointing towards it. Therefore, there is no licking involved in kissing of Hajre Aswad.
If you ever plan to visit the Holy Place, you would surely want to Kiss the sacred stone. For that, you are suggested to know the process involved to successfully reach and kiss Hajr e Aswad.

Bottom Line:

Concisely, Hajre Aswad is a thing of Paradise and the only reason why Muslims kiss it and give reverence to it is that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kissed it and held it reverend. Therefore, for a Muslim it is imperative to give respect to the stone but keep the thing in mind that it is Allah Almighty who needs to be worshiped and no stone can give either benefit or harm to any person.

source- quranreading

INTRODUCTION TO BACON ESSAYS

INTRODUCTION TO BACON ESSAYS

About Bacon and his Essays
 1. Bacon (afterwards Viscount St. Albans), the son of Nicholas Bacon was born in 1561and died in 1626.2. The first edition of the Essays (ten included); the second edition (forty included)appeared in 1625. Tennyson said, “
There is more wisdom compressed into small volumethan into any other book of the same size that I know 
” Many of the essays are made up of extracts, complied from commonplace books and his other published works, and woventogether into a new whole.3. There are three divisions of Bacon’s works:
Philosophical as The Advancement of Learning , Literary as The Essays and Professionals
as Maxims of Law.4. Bacon made no scientific discovery as Newton and Harvey made, but he laid the solidfoundation of Science because he was the first man to point out the importance of experimentin the study of knowledge.5. The great influence on Bacon is Bacon himself, his own keen observation of life andmanners. He set forth to propound a doctrine of human conduct - a theoretical scheme inwhich the man of active virtue should not be baffled by the vices of others, but use their vicesfor his own advantage and the advantage of the state. In opposition of Aristotle who profferedthe life of contemplation, Bacon cries up the life of action. Dr. Johnson defined an Essay as“
a loose sally of the mind, an irregular undigested piece, not a regular and orderly composition
.” The essay as a distinct literary form was born in 16th century with thepublication of Frenchman, Montaigne’s Essays. Bacon borrowed the form from him, but suitedit to his own purpose. 
A brief introduction to Bacon’s Essays
 1. Of Great Place: 
--- The rising onto place is laborious and by pains men come to greater pains; and it issometimes base and by indignities men come to dignities.--- Death falls heavy upon him who dies too well known to others, but unknown tohimself.--- It is a strange desire to seek power and lose liberty; or to seek power over others and tolose power over a man’s self.--- Men in great place are thrive servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servantsof fame and servants of business.
 Summary: Men are servants of the state, their desires for fame and time restriction. Man shouldfollow the good examples set in the past. There are faults of men in great place such as delays,corruption etc. We should refuse bribes. One may while rising to a position use crooked methodsand join sides but after reaching a position, one should become neutral. 2. Of Friendship: 
--- Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.--- For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures.--- A great city is a great solitude.
 Summary: Aristotle’s remarks that who so likes solitude is either is a best or an angle isaccording to Bacon half true. Friendship helps disburden heart. If frustration is kept in heart, itcauses depression and tension for man. Friendship brings better understanding. A man with afriend has two lives. He can do many things for him and when he dies, he can fulfill his desiresetc. A friend can advise and even praise and flatter us. Friendship increases joys and lessens theintensity of grief. Man may feel lonely in a crowd in the absence of love.

 
3. Of Studies: 
--- Studies serve delight, for ornament and for ability.--- To spend too much time in studies is sloth, to use it too much for ornament is affectation.--- Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them and wise men use them.--- Read not to contradict and confute, nor to --- believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to beswallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.--- Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man.--- Distilled books are like common distilled water flashy things.
 Summary: Studies are a source of delight in one’s leisure and solitude. Studies help peopledevelop abilities. It is a sign of laziness to spend too much time on studies. We should studyimportant books and find mere summary of unimportant ones. Books are good companions.Deferent genres and subjects enlighten our mind differently. 4. Of Parents and Children: 
--- The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears.--- Children increase the cares of life; but they mitigate the remembrance of death.--- Children sweeten labor, but they make misfortune more bitter.
 Summary: Children get benefit because of their parents. Parents usually have unequal favoritismtowards their children. They should give enough pocket money. They should choose a suitableprofession for their child. 5. Of Ambition: 
--- Ambition is like Choler which is a humor that makes men active and earnest.
 Summary: Ambition makes man active but if it is checked it can also be dangerous. Ambitiouspeople are highly required fro the war. If ambition is allowed without control, it can be harmful for the king and the government. Ambitious people can also be used by the king as instruments. 6. Of Truth: 
--- What is Truth? said jesting Pilate and would not stay for an answer.--- But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open day-light, that doth not shew themasks and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights.--- A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.--- It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tost upon the sea, a pleasure tostand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below. But no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of the Truth.--- A lie faces God; but shrinks from man.--- But it is not the lie that passes through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it that doth the hurt.
 Summary: Pilate the Roman emperor was very casual about the truth at Christ’s trial and did notbother to find it out. Certain people have great delight in changing their opinions. Human mind isbasically attracted to lies, so it dislikes truth. The value of truth is realized only by those who haveexperienced and understood it. Truth is important in not only in philosophical and theologicalfields, but also in day to day life. Montaign has rightly said that a man who tells lies is afraid of hisfellow men but is unafraid of defying God who is all perceiving. 7. Of Revenge: 
--- Revenge is a kind of wild justice.--- It is the glory of man to pass by an offense. That which is past is gone and irrevocable:wise men have enough to do with things present and to come: therefore they do but trifle withthemselves, that labor in past matters.

 
--- A man that studies revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal.
 Summary: Revenge is uncivilized and can only be found among the brutes. Forgiving an enemyis supreme moral superiority. Man should be forwarding looking and forget the past to brood over the present and the future. Man does wrong to others out of his selfish love for himself. In takingrevenge, it is generous to reveal his identity to the victim, because the pleasure of revenge liesnot so much in causing pain than in making the enemy realize and repent of his mistake. 8. Of Simulation and Dissimulation: 
--- Tell a lie and find a troth.
 Summary: The practice of dissimulation is followed by the weak man, for the strong minds andhearts have the power to tell the truth. The man of secret nature never gives a hint of what is inhis heart. The advantage of simulation and dissimulation is that they keep the oppositionguessing and unprepared and so to be easily surprised at the proper moment. They also help usdiscover the intentions of the other. The disadvantage is that they indicate a weakness of thedisposition and one who uses these methods is considered unreliable.9. Of Death: 
--- Revenge triumphs over death.
 
--- It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant perhaps, the one is as painful as theother. He that dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is wounded in hot blood.
 Summary: Death is a natural phenomenon. Violent passions enable a man to overcome death.Revenge, love, honor, grief and fear make him bold enough to meet death. A noble cause makesa man insensible to pain and torture. 10. Of Adversity: 
--- It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of man and the security of a God.
Summary: One may wish prosperity and all the good things it brings with it; but one shouldadmire adversity and all the good things that belong to it. It is true greatness to be weak and yetto be careless and indifferent like a God. The pleasure of the heart is better than the pleasure of the eye. Prosperity can discover vice; adversity discovers virtue. 11. Of Nobility: 
--- Nobility attempts sovereignty.
Summary: In a democracy, there is no need of nobility and people are commonly quieter and donot like rebellion, when there is no nobility. Numerous nobility causes poverty and inconveniencein a state.12. Of Superstition: 
--- It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such an opinion as is unworthy of him.--- The master of superstition is the people and in all superstition wise men follow the fools.
 Summary: Superstition or a false notion of God is highly insulting and irreligious. Atheism isbetter than superstition because an atheist uses his sense and reason, has respect for naturalpiety and laws and cares for reputation. Atheism doesn’t cause disturbances in the states, butsuperstition disregards our moral values and desires men to follow its dictates blindly. Thecauses of superstition are certain festivals and rituals which appear charming and to the senses. 
Examples from Other Essays:
a. Money is like muck, not good if not spread (of Seditions and troubles)b. The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul (of Riches)c. Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle-age and old men’snurses. (Of marriage and single life)d. He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune (Of Marriage and Single Life)e. Travel in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.(Of Travel)f. Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth andembaseth it.g. Unmarried men are the best friends, best masters, best servants, but not always thebest subjects. (advantages and disadvantages of unmarried men)h. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining. (Of Suitors)



Donne as a love poet

Donne as a love poet

 The variety and scope of Donne’s love poetry is really remarkable. He hinges between physicaland holy love, between cynicism and faith in love and above all the sanctity of married life. Hewas born at the time when writing love-poems was both a fashionable and literary exercise.Donne showed his talent in this genre. His poems are entirely different from the Elizabethan love-lyrics. They are singular for their fascination and charm and depth of feeling.
When by thy scorn, o murderess,I am dead  And that thou think’st thee freeFrom all solicitations from me,Then shall my ghost come to thy bed
 Donne does not lay stress on beauty or rather the aesthetic element in passion. His poems aresensuous and fantastic. He goes through the whole gamut of passion. Dryden writes:
Donneaffects the metaphysics not only in his satires but in his amorous verses where nature only should reign. He perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, whenhe should engage their hearts and entertain them with the softness of love
”Tenderness and sentiment are not the qualities to be found in Donne’s poetry. Donne in Lover’sInfinitenesse, pleads with his beloved that she should give him a part of her heart. After she hasgiven him the part, he demands the whole heart. This is the goal and consummation of love. Hethen startles and outrages the expectations of his readers.
I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost;Who died before that God of love was born,Twice or thrive had I loved thee,Before I knew they face or name.
 Donne’s love poems can be divided under three heads.Poems of moods of lovers, seduction and free love or fanciful relationshipPoems addressed to his wife Anne More (his wife) before and after his marriage.Poems addressed to other noble ladies.
Three Strands of his poetry
. Firstly, there is the cynical which anti-woman and hostile to thefair-sex. The theme is the frailty of man – a matter of advantage for lovers who liked casual andextra-marital relations with ladies. Secondly, there is the strand of happy married life, the joy of conjugal love in poems like A Valediction: forbidding mourning. Thirdly, there is the Platonicstrand, as in The Canonization where love is regarded as a holy emotion like the worship of adevotee to God. Donne’s treatment of love-poems is realistic and not idealistic because heknows the weakness of the flesh, pleasures of sex, the joy of secret meetings. However, he triesto establish the relationship between body and soul. True love doesn’t pertain to the body; it isthe relationship of body and soul to the other soul. Physical union may not be necessary as in AValediction: a forbidding mourning. However, in the Relic, the poet regarded physical union asthe necessary complement. Despite the realistic touches, Donne nowhere seems to draw thephysical beauty or contours of the female body. Rather, he describes its reaction on the lover’sheart. It is highly surprising that a poet so fond of sex, be restrained from describing the physicalpatterns of the female body.
True Sex is holy
: That sex is holy whether inside or outside marriage is declared by Donne inhis love-poems. If love is mutual, physical union even outside marriage cannot be condemned. As a Christian, he may not justify extra-marital relationships, but as a lover and poet, he doesaccept and enjoy this reality. Donne feels that love-bond is necessary for sexual union otherwisemere sex without any spiritual love for the partner is degrading and mean. However, true love can exist outside marriage, though moralists may sneer at this idea of Donne. He doesn’t feel thatwoman is a sex-doll or a goddess. She is essentially a bundle of contradictions. He believes in‘Frailty, thy name is woman’. His contempt for woman is compensated by his respect for conjugallove. At times, he regards woman as the angel who can give him ultimate bliss. This two-foldattitude is Donne’s typical quality as the poet. The poems referring to his wife, Anne More reflecttrue serenity and consummation of love.
Donne’s uniqueness
: While the Elizabethan lyrics are, by large limitations of Petrarchantraditions, Donne’s poems stand in a class by themselves. He broke away from the traditionalconcept of poetry as was Petrarchan in nature. The concept of woman in Petrarchan and in thatof Donne is totally different. Another quality is his passion and though, he doesn’t allow hispassion to run away with him. Grierson writes:
Donne’s poetry is a very complex phenomenon,but the two dominant strains in it are just these: the strains of dialectic, subtle play of argument and wit and fantastic; and the strain of vivid realism and a record of passion
. Donne shows thesupremacy of love.
Love, all like, no season knows nor clime,Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time,
in fact true love is the merger of two souls.Donne has certainly been an innovator of a new kind of love-poetry. What surprises the reader isthe variety of different moods and situations of the theme of love – sensual, violent, and full of vivacity of life. There is scorn, cynicism, bitterness and sarcasm but the force of love is genuineand unquestionable. Donne is one of the greatest English love-poets. In fact, among all theEnglish love-poets, he is the complete amongst them.

Donne as a metaphysical poet

Donne as a metaphysical poet


Dryden expressed the view that “Donne affects the metaphysics” taking his cue from thisstatement, Dr. Johnson described Donne and his followers as the metaphysical poets. BenJohnson followed classical rules and being a classicist, was a champion of decorum, discipline,symmetry and regularity, so he was not in favor of the bold liberty taken up by Donne. But heappreciated Donne as well for revolting against Petrarchan Conventions. According to Dr.Johnson, the metaphysical poets were men of learning; the displayed an abundance of wit, if willbe defined as a combination of dissimilar ideas. They ransacked nature and art for illustrations,comparisons and allusions. Johnson used the word, Metaphysical for Donne’s poetry in a rather contemptuous sense, even though much of what is said applies to Donne’s work. The wit of ametaphysical poet is more intellectual than that of the Elizabethan poets in general. his conceitsare psychological, his lyrics are argumentative but the greatest achievement of a metaphysicalpoet is a blend of passion and thought. Intense emotional intellectuality is a leading quality of ametaphysical verse. In brief, the term, “Metaphysical Poetry” implies the qualities of complexity,fusion of emotions, outburst of passions and emotional intellectuality and an embodiment of reflective elements.

Qualities of Donne (‘s poetry) as a poet:
Intellect and wit are the two prime qualities of ametaphysical poet. The poet interweaves these two elements with its emotional effects. Donnewas a classical representative of this kind of poetry. He was a man whose instinct compelled himto bring the whole of experience into his verse. When we speak of Donne as a metaphysicalpoet, we generally have in mind the combination of passion and thought which characterize hiswork. His conceits are witty, his hyperboles are outrageous and his paradoxes astonishing. Hismixes fact and fancy in an astounding manner. All these qualities need to be illustrated from hispoems.
The Good-Marrow
is a poem of passion, but its intellectual quality is less obvious. Thepoem proves that the poet and the beloved are passionately in love. Each one is a world to theother. These lovers can never die because they love each other with equal intensity. Donne wasthe first poet who included thought and idea in poetry side by side as opposed to theElizabethans. Originality in diction marks Donne’s poetry. He used scientific, technical as well ascolloquial vocabulary. He rejected the conventional Petrarchan conceits and coined new images.His vocabulary is rich and diversified. He is the first poet who has delineated ecstatic joy of fulfilled love in the
Sun Rising
. We see originality, novelty and complexity so abundant no wherebut in Donne’s poetry.The main aspects of the Metaphysical poetry are: Passionate thinking, Philosophical concept of the universe and ordinary experiences, obscurity and learning, unified sensibility, conceits andimages, Affectation and Hyperbole, Diction and versification and excessive intellectualism. Allthese features of metaphysical poetry are abundant in Donne’s poetry for which he is labeled asa metaphysical poet.Donne is a metaphysical poet in a literal sense too. He speaks of the soul and of spiritual love.
 Air and Angles is a metaphysical poem in this sense. In A Valediction and Forbidding Mourning,
the poet speaks of the spiritual love. The love is so refined that the lovers do not much miss eachother’s eyes, lips and hands which lovers normally seek. In the Relic , they do not even know thedifference of sex. Donne deserves the title, Metaphysical also because of his obscurity which issometimes terrible. His concentration, expanded epigrams, fondness for conceits and strikingand subtle wit, combination of passion and thought, the use of common language and theprofundity of thought and intensity are the qualities that make Donne a metaphysical poet.
Selected Love Poems for Analysis

The Good-morrow:
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appearsWhere can we finde two better hemispheresIf our two loves be one, or thou or I Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die
 Synopsis: One of the finest poems of Donne explaining the complex nature of love. Initially, it hasan element of fun and sex but later it provides a complete world to the lovers and this pure love isneither subject to time nor death.
Song:
Goe, and catche a falling star,Get with child a mandrake roote,
 Synopsis: the poet, through a series of images, proves to show that it is impossible to find a trueand faithful woman in the world as it is equally impossible to produce a child from a mandrakeroot. Petrarchan and Elizabethan poets honored woman as the heroine and goddess, but themetaphysical poets mocked at them. Frailty, thy name is woman was quite popular in Donne’stime.
The Sun Rising:
I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke,But that I would not lose her sight so long:She is all States, and all Princes, I,Nothing else is.Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,Nor houres, dayes, monthes, which are the rages of time.
 Synopsis: This shows a lover’s vexation against sun-rising. The dawn is regarded asimpertinence between the two lovers. The supremacy of love surpasses both time and space. Ican blow out the sun with a wink but I don’t want to avert my attention from my lover even for thisshort duration. My sweetheart is all the states of the world rolled into one and I am all the princesof the world rolled into one. There are no states and princes except those described by me.
Aire and Angels:
Twice or thrice had I loved thee,Before I knew thy face or name;So in a voice, so in a shaplesse flame Angells affect us oft, and worship’d bee
 Synopsis: This is a poem of love and has little to do with air and angles. The poet is fed up withthe Platonic idea of love – love as something holy and spiritual. The poem is an address of thepoet to his beloved. I had loved you twice or thrive in spirit before I saw your face or knew your name. Just as angels are recognized through their voice or through a ball of fire and thenworshipped in the same way.
The Extasie
But as all severall soules containe ,Love, these mix souls, doth mixe againe,
 Synopsis: It is love that brings two souls together and mixes them into one while in reality theyare two separate human existences. It is a complex and metaphysical poem dealing with the twinaspects of love physical and spiritual. What is Extasie? It is a state in which the soul comes out of the body and has communication with God.
The Relicque
First we lov’d well and faithfully,Yet knew not what wee lov’d, nor why Difference of sex no more we knew
 Synopsis: We loved totally and faithfully without knowing why we liked each other. We didn’tregard sex as the object of our love. Our love was pure and clean like those of angels.

Pope as a representative of the 18th Century

Pope as a representative of the 18th Century

 A great work of art, though universal in its appeal, is the most typical product of its time. It isrooted in the contemporary social and cultural life and reflects, implicitly or explicitly, that life is inits essence and totality. It is an indispensable prerequisite for the greatness of a work of art. If itfails to be of its own age, almost as a rule, it will also fail to be universal in its appeal. It is a greatpoem by all cannons of art and it does all that admirably. Its focus mainly captures the typicalfeatures of the aristocratic class of its time. The Rape of The Lock gives a complete and graphicpicture of the 20
th
century. The Rape of The Lock is concerned with the aristocratic society andpresents a charming portrait of its features. This portrait is not presented in word-pictures of descriptive passages; but is richly suggested through the mock-epic adventures of Lord Petreand Belinda – the representative figures of the society. The aristocratic of the 18th centuryEnglish was a newly formed class, having emerged out of the commercial prosperity of Englandsince the exploits of the Armada victory. The aristocratic people were primarily urban people witheasy flow of money from trade and commerce and in some classes from the hoardings of land.They were luxury loving people, enjoying life in idle games and fun and frolic. Being wealthy witha new-found lust for money and craze for fashion, mostly imitated from the French whoseinfluence had come through the Restoration. They got themselves preoccupied in trivialities.Gossips, sex-intrigues, and courting ladies. The ladies of the time loved being wooed andplaying coquets to the gentlemen.
Mirror to the 18th century
: The Rape of the Lock is a mirror to this kind of society. Of which LordPetre and Belinda are the representative figures. Belinda is presented as dazzling charming likethe sun, and lap-dogs were another indispensable ingredient of their lives.
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
 It is significant that how Pope brackets lap-dogs and lovers as though lovers were no better thanlap-dogs.Glittering fashion, celebrations in the form of parties, dances with amorous intentions beneath,were the typical features of the people belonging to the aristocratic class. Ariel’s speech thatBelinda hears in a state of dreaming portraits the sex-intrigues of the dancing balls. The ladiesspent more time applying to themselves beauty aids, a large variety of cosmetics from distantlands. They were always burning to win the heart of their lover. They spent hours at the toilets,played card games, danced and considered the dressing table a place of worship. Coquetry wasthe only art that these ladies practiced sedulously: rolling the eye ball for furtive glances or winking in a debonair, apparently indifferent manner, blushing at the right moment to attract theadmiring eyes, were the manners that they worked hard to acquire. The ladies as well as thegallant young men were fickle-minded, inconsistent, unreliable frankly trivializing valuablehuman relationship. Pretension, dissimulation and hypocrisy constituted their way of life. Levitywas their common characteristic. The following shows their picture.
On the rich guilt sinks with becoming woe,Wrapt in a gown, for sickness, and for show.The fair ones feel such maladies as these,When each new night-dress gives a new disease
 Pope gives minute details of the ladies’ constant concern for enhancing their beauty effect withartificial means. For these ladies, the conventionally serious things of life had lost their importance. Their moods and passion were ruled by trivialities. Trifles would make them anxiousor angry. These ladies, in other words, were devoid of any real moral sense, or any serious,meaningful purpose in life. To them, the death of husbands affected them only as much as that of their lap-dog or breaking of China jars. Honor, to them, was almost equal to nothing. The loss of chastity was no more serious than staining of brocades. To them Church meant nothing. Missinga church congregation was not a serious affair, but missing a ball was considered an importantthing. Losing heart or indulging in sex was less important than the loss of a necklace. All this goes to show that utter moral confusion prevailed in the aristocracy of the eighteenthcentury. Serious purpose had evaporated from their lives. Men were chiefly concerned withgetting richer and carrying on sexual adventures with fashion-frenzy coquettish ladies. Their loveletters were more sacred to them than the Bible. In the Rape of the Lock, the adventurous Baronbuilds an Alter of Love; it is built of twelve voluminous French romances and all the prizes gainedfrom him former love; and significantly, the fire at the altar is raised with the heaps of love-lettersthat he had received. Lord Petre’s sense of victory at the cutting of Belinda’s lock is symbolic of the shallowness, triviality, in fact, the emptiness of the youths of the contemporary aristocraticclass.Shallowness of Judges, the fashion of coffee-taking.
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign And wretches hang that the jury-men dine“Coffee, (which makes the politician wise,)and see through all things with half-shut eyes”
 The Rape of the Lock is an epitome of the eighteenth century social life. In this poem, Pope hascaught and fixed for ever the atmosphere of the age. No great English poet is at once so greatand so empty, so artistic and yet so void of the ideal on which all high art rests.
 As Dixon asserts:Pope is the protagonist of a whole age, of an attitude of mind and manner of writing
. Hence, thepoem is highly arresting because of its presentation of social life of the age. It reflects and mirrorsthe contemporary society.
Conclusion
: Pope fully bears the witticism of its age. In his conception of theme and selection of the tile, Pope displays his unsurpassable wit. This was the kind of life led by the fashionablepeople of the upper classes in the age of Pope, and Pope has described it in gorgeous colors onthe one hand and with scathing satire on the other. While it shows the grace and fascination of Belinda’s toilet, he indicates the vanity and futility of it all. There is nothing deep or serious in thelives and activities of the fashionable people, all is vanity and emptiness and this Pope hasrevealed with art and brilliance. The Rape of the Lock reflects the artificial age with all its outwardsplendor and inward emptiness. It the mirror of a particular aspect of life in the age of Pope. It was, says, Lowell, a mirror in a drawing room, but it gave back a faithful image of society.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Rape of the Lock : a social satire

Rape of the Lock : a social satire

Poetic satire may be regarded as didactic poetry or the object it has in view is the reformation of man and his manners and to this end, the satirist takes the liberty of boldly censuring vice andvicious characters. “
The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction”, says Dryden
.Most people agree that satire is the criticism of life and an exposure of human weaknesses,follies, absurdities and shortcomings. The satirist uses humor, wit, mockery, ridicule and irony toachieve his goal – his moral end. The Rape of the Lock is a satire on the aristocratic strata of the18th
century society. In the very opening lines, the poet laughs at “little” men engaging in “bold”tasks and at gentle ladies who are capable of such “Mighty rage”
In tasks so bold little men engage, And in soft bosoms dwell such mighty rage
 The contrast between “tasks so bold” and “Little men” and another between “soft bosoms” and“Mighty rage” is very wittingly constructed and cuts down to size these vain people of Pope’stime. Juvenal and Horace are the two well-known satirists in the verse of Roman Literature. Theformer’s satire is pointed, full of force and often savage like that of Swift, but Horace’s irony ismore graceful and easy. He chides with a smile. Satire is a distinct element in Chaucer and yethe cannot be called a satirist. There is no misanthropy or cynicism in him. In theElizabethan Age, John Donne and John Marston wrote poetic satires, but their work lack vigor. Inthe seventeenth century, Dryden wrote a number of satires such as the Hind and the Panther, theDunciad and the Progress of Dullness. According to Richard Garnett, “The expression inadequate terms of the sense of amusement for disgust excited by the ridiculous or unseemly,provided that humor is a distinctly recognized element. Without humor satire is invective; withoutliterary form it is mere clownish jeering.”
Pope’s satire
: The true objective of satire is moral. It amends vice by castigation. The satirist, inthe words of Dryden, “
is no more an enemy to the offender than the physician to the patient whenhe prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease
”. Pope’s satire, too, functions insomewhat the same manner. Satire predominates the work of Pope. Even a cursory glance at hispoetry reveals that the major part of it consists of satire. The Rape of the Lock, the Dunciad andMoral Essays are the best of his satires. Pope wrote many satires against individuals, whichwere deadly, sharp and bitter marked by malice. Stopford Brook in comparing Dryden and Popeas satirists says, “
Dryden’s satire has relation not to the man he is satirizing, but to the whole of human race. Pope’s satire is thin, it confines itself to the person and has no relation to the world
.”In the Rape of the Lock, the whole panorama is limited to the 18th
century aristocratic life. In thestrange battle fought between the fashionable belles and the vain beau, the fall of Dapperwit andSir Fopling is particularly demonstrative of the hollowness of the people of this age:
 A beau and witling perished in the throng One died in metaphor, and one in song
 Even the greatest of the great, the Queen herself is satirized to produce a truly comical and wittyeffect.
Here thou, a great Anna whom three realms obey/ Dost sometimes counsel take – and sometimes tea.
The satire in the Rape of the Lock is directed not against any individual, but against the folliesand vanities in general of fashionable men and women. Pope started writing this poem toreconcile two quarreling families but as the poem progressed, the poet forgot his originalintention and satirized female follies and vanities. Belinda is not Arabella Fermore. She is thetype of the fashionable ladies of the time and in her the follies and frivolities of the whole sex issatirized. The Baron represents not Petre alone but typifies the aristocratic gentleman of that age.The strange battle between the sexes shows what kind of people they are.

When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,Chloe stepped in, and killed him with a frown;She smiled to see the doughty hero slain,But, at her smile, the beau revived again.
Instances of Satire
: The poet has satirized the system of judges that they, at 4 o’clock, hurriedlysign the sentence so that they could have their dinner in time.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray,The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hand that jurymen may dine;
 Even the concept of friendship has been attack. Friends are hollow and fickle. Belinda’s friendThalestris is as shallow as the age he lives in. As soon as Belinda’s reputation is gone, shedoesn’t like to be called her friend. Thus it a direct satire on the upper-class society of Pope’stime. It doesn’t condemn like Swift, but simply and lightly exposes the frivolities and dandies of the people.It is in fact a satire on feminine dandies. Women are all frivolous beings, whose genuine interestlies in love-making. The same sentiment is really implied in the more playful lines of
the Rape of the Lock.
The sylphs are warned by omens that some misfortune impends; but they don’t knowthat.
Use Diana’s Passage above!
Pope was inspired by a prevailing sentiment of contemptagainst the whole female sex. The witty lines are read not with kindly irony but as disagreeablesneers.
Conclusion
: The poem is a reflection of this artificial and hollow life, painted with a humorousand delicate satire. It paints the ideal life of the pleasure-seeking young men and women. Itintroduces to us a world of fashion and frivolities. These pleasures are petty – flirting, card-laying,driving in Hyde Park, visiting theaters and writing love-letters. Their whole day’s program seemsto be nothing but a waste. Their whole day’s program seems to be nothing but a waste.Give here a synopsis of the poem.Pope’s satire is unique, intellectual and full o wit and epigram. Lowell rightly says that “
Popestands by himself in English verse as an intellectual observer and describer of personal weaknesses
”.

 
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