Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Difference Between Shia and Sunni Muslims...

Question: What's the Difference Between Shia and Sunni Muslims?

Ans: Both Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and articles of faith. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not from spiritual differences, but political ones. Over the centuries, however, these political differences have spawned a number of varying practices and positions which have come to carry a spiritual significance.

The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation. Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet's companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and the Prophet Muhammad's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. The word "Sunni" in Arabic comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions of the Prophet."

On the other hand, some Muslims share the belief that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet's own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself.

The Shia Muslims believe that following the Prophet Muhammad's death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. Throughout history, Shia Muslims have not recognized the authority of elected Muslim leaders, choosing instead to follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God Himself. The word "Shia" in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical "Shia-t-Ali," or "the Party of Ali." They are also known as followers of "Ahl-al-Bayt" or "People of the Household" (of the Prophet).

From this initial question of political leadership, some aspects of spiritual life have been affected and now differ between the two groups of Muslims.

Shia Muslims believe that the Imam is sinless by nature, and that his authority is infallible as it comes directly from God. Therefore, Shia Muslims often venerate the Imams as saints and perform pilgrimages to their tombs and shrines in the hopes of divine intercession. Sunni Muslims counter that there is no basis in Islam for a hereditary privileged class of spiritual leaders, and certainly no basis for the veneration or intercession of saints. Sunni Muslims contend that leadership of the community is not a birthright, but a trust that is earned and which may be given or taken away by the people themselves.

Shia Muslims also feel animosity towards some of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, based on their positions and actions during the early years of discord about leadership in the community. Many of these companions (Abu Bakr, Umar, Aisha, etc.) have narrated traditions about the Prophet's life and spiritual practice. Shia Muslims reject these traditions (hadith) and do not base any of their religious practices on the testimony of these individuals. This naturally gives rise to some differences in religious practice between the two groups. These differences touch all detailed aspects of religious life: prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc.

Sunni Muslims make up the majority (85%) of Muslims all over the world. Significant populations of Shia Muslims can be found in Iran and Iraq, and large minority communities in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Lebanon.

It is important to remember that despite all of these differences in opinion and practice, Shia and Sunni Muslims share the main articles of Islamic belief and are considered by most to be brethren in faith. In fact, most Muslims do not distinguish themselves by claiming membership in any particular group, but prefer to call themselves simply, "Muslims."

picked up from: http://islam.about.com/cs/divisions/f/shia_sunni.htm

Wed, 06-Feb - will leave for litho

so.. lets hope for the best. i will be at millat hospital for litho around 5.00pm. hope to see my ureter stones breaking up and flushed out with less pain !

Monday, February 4, 2008

Stone prob.

Unfortunately, my stone problem popped up again.. a problem which made me leave Dubai and come back to india.This time left side, now the stone is stuck in ureter and after doing digital xray,sonography,blood tests and IVP doc suggested ureterscopy which i really doubt I will do or not..i have suggested doc to do shock treatment which is faster. I just dont feel like getting admitted again and wasting huge amount on surgery.

Lets see.. what happens, wednesday i am taking shocks and will wait for results, hope for the best.insha ALLAH.

Some funny laws

Law of queue: If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Telephone: When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged tone.

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

Bath THEOREM: When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.

LAW OF ENCOUNTERS: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

LAW of the RESULT: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will!

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

THEATRE RULE: People with the seats at the furthest from the aisle arrive last.

LAW OF COFFEE: As soon as you sit down for a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Eco Wonders.. which I wish to see...

Like other wonders of the modern world, these amazing green wonders are places you must see before you die. These structures are unique in the world for their brilliantly creative methods of melding aesthetic beauty, functional design and environmental sustainability.

Built in Darmstadt, Germany, this structure is called Waldspirale or "Forest Spiral." It was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a celebrated Austrian architect and painter. Planted along the 12 floors of the rising roof are beech, maple, and lime trees. The structure even incorporates a running stream. The building comprises 105 apartments. In the tower on the Southeast corner, a restaurant and cocktail bar rises over the entire structure. Source: Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt.

Nestled in Pembrokeshire, in Southwest Wales, this structure is truly an eco-dream home. It was built about three years ago by a single family and their friends over the course of four months. The family estimates that it took about 1,000 to 1,500 hours of work and cost only about £ 3,000. It was constructed mostly out of logs, straw and mud, which acts as an effective insulator. According to the house's inhabitants, the home "feels gentle. Feels to me more like being part of the (natural) world, less like a commodity in a box." Source: Simondale.

While the Songjiang Hotel, near Shanghai, China, will not be completed until about May of 2009, it will certainly be a sight to see. The hotel is being built in a 100 meter (330 foot) deep abandoned quarry, preventing further disturbance of the area's ecology by building on an already-disturbed site. The architecture will incorporate a living roof at ground level, on top of the 400-bed hotel. There is also some chance that the structure will be able to make use of geothermal energy to power its facilities. All in all, this promises to be a ridiculously cool eco-wonder of the world. Sources: Greenroofs, Ecogeek.

With about 35,000 plants of 76 different species, this structure in Fukuoka, Japan houses offices, retail shops, a theater and a museum. The building was designed by Emilio Ambasz & Associates, which focuses on green building techniques. It was constructed on one of the city's last open spaces, so the idea of the building is to retain the feature of the open space while providing the city with the facilities needed in this space. Like other green roofs, this one enables the building to use less energy than the surrounding structures. Source: Deputy Dog.

The Altamont Pass Wind Farm in California, United States of America, has been called the largest piece of artwork in this country. Composed of 4,500 wind turbines, it is still the largest wind farm in the world, although a larger one is under construction in the UK. Built in the 1970's, this was one of the earliest wind energy projects in the United States. The windmills are therefore currently being upgraded to more efficient and bird-safe windmills. The windmills are visible from nearby roadways, but it's worth getting out of your car to take in the awesome view they create. Sources: Flickr, Wikimedia.

This green roof houses baths in Vals, Switzerland. The grass roof was designed to make the building look as though it had been built long ago, though the building was built in the early 1990's. Peter Zumthor is the spa's architect. The structure is made of slabs of concrete, a good insulator, which are fitted together in almost a jigsaw pattern. In the spaces between the concrete, glass has been fitted. From the inside, this gives the double impression of a heavy roof that appears almost to float. Sources: Inhabitat, Wikimedia.

The Hearst Building is considered the first green building in New York City, United States of America. It is also the first building in New York City to receive a gold LEED certificate. The most physically apparent environmentally sustainable feature of this building is its shape and glass windows. These triangular windows work in sync with light sensors to maximize natural daylight and minimize electrical light used. The roof itself collects rainwater, which feeds the plants inside and outside the building. For much of the year, cooling is accomplished with a HV AC system, which simply uses fresh air from outside to cool and ventilate the building. The structure itself was also accomplished with 20% less steel than other buildings of its stature and over 90% of the steel used was recycled material. All in all, an office in this building emits about 22% less CO2 than other New York offices. Sources: Ecotourism Blog, Hearst Corporation.