Four Principles for a Noble Character

It is not imagined that one can have noble character except if it is founded upon four pillars:

The First: Sabr (Patience)
The Second: ‘Iffah (Chastity)
The Third: Shujaa’ah (Courage)
The Fourth: ‘Adl (Justice)

Patience inspires him to be tolerant, control his anger, endure the harms that he receives from others, to be forbearing and deliberate in his decisions. It motivates him to be gentle and not to be rash or hasty.

Chastity inspires him to avoid every imprudent characteristic, whether in statement or action, and encourages him to have a sense of modesty and integrity which is the epitome of all good. It prevents him from fornication, stinginess, lying, backbiting and spreading tales to cause separation and discord between the people.

Courage inspires him to have a sense of self esteem, to emphasize high and noble manners and to make it apart of his natural disposition. It also encourages him to exert himself and to be generous, which is in essence, true courage and it leads to strong will and self determination. It encourages him to distance himself from his ardent lowly desires, to control his anger, and to be forbearing because by such, he can control his temper, take it by the reins and curb his violent and destructive behavior just as the Messenger (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

“The Strong is not the one who can wrestle his opponent to the ground but rather the strong is the one who can control himself when he gets angry.” [Agreed upon]
«ليس الشديد بالصرعة ، إنما الشديد الذي يملك نفسه عند الغضب» متفق عليه

This is true genuine courage and it is the sole trait that the slave utilizes to conquer his opponent.

Justice encourages him to be impartial in his behavior with people and to be moderate between the two extremes of negligence and extremism. It motivates him to be generous and kind; which is the middle course between absolute degradation and arrogance, and to make this a part of his disposition and makeup. It encourages him to be courageous; which is the middle course between cowardice and imprudence, and to be forbearing; which is the middle course between extreme unnecessary anger and ignominy.

These four virtuous characteristics are the axis and provenance of all noble manners and the foundation of all repugnant and ignominious characteristics are built upon four pillars:

The First: Jahl (Ignorance)
The Second: Dhulm (Oppression)
The Third: Shahwah (following ones lowly desires)
The Fourth: Ghadab (Anger)

Ignorance allows him to view good in the form of evil and evil in the form of good, and to consider that which is complete to be incomplete and that which is incomplete to be complete.

Oppression causes him to put things in places which are not appropriate for them, so he gets angry when it’s time to be happy and he is happy when it’s time to be angry. He is ignorant and hasty when it’s time to be deliberate and deliberate when it’s time to be hasty, he is stingy when it is time to be generous and generous when it’s time to be stingy. He is weak when it is time to be courageous and assume responsibility, and he assumes responsibility when it is time to take a step back (and let someone else undertake the initiative). He is gentle and lenient when it is time to be harsh and firm and he is harsh and firm when it is time to be lenient. He is humble when it is time to be superior and arrogant when it is time to be humble.

Following (his) lowly desires encourages him to be diligent in obtaining that which the soul ardently desires, to be stingy and greedy. It encourages him to adorn himself with all types of despicable and imprudent characteristics.

Anger incites him to be arrogant, jealous, envious, to hold enmity of others and to be imprudent and shameless.

The foundation of these four repugnant and blameworthy characteristics; are two pillars:

Either extreme self ignominy,
Or extreme self pride.

3-Libyan rebels says Gaddafi forces fight each other

Gunfight between security force units at Misrata: rebels

* Government spokesman says reports of mutiny are “rubbish”

* Resident says city calm by nightfall (updates with quote from resident)

By Mariam Karouny

DJERBA, Tunisia, March 13 (Reuters) – An assault on Libya’s rebel-held city of Misrata was stalled on Sunday by renewed fighting between members of Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces, rebels said, but the government denied reports of a mutiny.

Residents said fighting broke out on Saturday after some units of the Libyan leader’s force refused to attack Misrata, Libya’s third-biggest city and the only place in the west of the country still openly defying Gaddafi’s rule.

The reports of a mutiny could not be verified because Libyan authorities have not allowed reporters access to the city of 300,000 which is 200 km (130 miles) east of the capital.

“From the early morning they (the security forces) are fighting among each other. We hear the fighting,” Mohammed, one of the rebel fighters, told Reuters by telephone on Sunday.

“This division between them came to us from God. Just when we thought the end was coming, this happened. Now we are waiting to see what will happen.”


Asked about reports of a mutiny in Misrata, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said: “This is rubbish. It is not true.”

“The army has surrounded the centre of Misrata. They are in the city. Tribal elders are talking to them (the rebels) to surrender,” he said in Tripoli.

Misrata residents said they could hear the sound of heavy fighting from a military airfield to the south of the town, where pro-Gaddafi forces have been based.

They said there were no clashes between rebels and security forces on Sunday. By nightfall, the city was calm, even though fearful locals said they were bracing for a government assault.

“It’s quiet, the streets are empty, but we are expecting an attack at any moment,” said Mohammed, a resident, adding there was a shortage of emergency medical supplies in the city.

Earlier Gemal, a rebel spokesman, said that during fighting between Gaddafi’s forces a house and a shop had been hit by shelling. He did not know whether there were any casualties.

He said during the day shops had opened as normal, adding: “Of course there is tension as everybody is waiting to see what will happen.”

Reports of a mutiny in Misrata, though unconfirmed, will raise questions about the ability of Gaddafi’s security forces to press an offensive in the country’s east, where the rebels have their biggest stronghold.

Residents had said the main force preparing to attack Misrata was the 32nd Brigade. This is commanded by Gaddafi’s son Khamis and, according to military analysts, is the best trained and equipped force available to the Libyan leader.

Gaddafi, in power for four decades, lost control over large swathes of the oil exporting country last month in a revolt against his rule that took some of its inspiration from uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

But in the past week, the momentum has shifted back towards Gaddafi. His forces crushed a rebellion in Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli, and drove the rebels in the east out of the oil towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega.

( / 13.03.2011)

Al Jazeera staffer killed in Libya

Cameraman Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to eastern city of Benghazi from filing report when he was shot and killed.

An Al Jazeera cameraman has been killed in what appears to have been an ambush near the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to Benghazi from a nearby town after filing a report from an opposition protest when unknown fighters opened fire on a car he and his colleagues were travelling in.

Two people including Al Jaber were shot. Al Jaber was rushed to hospital, but did not survive.

Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley, reporting from Benghazi, said Al Jaber was hit by three shots and was wounded through the heart.

“This is an extension of the campaign against Al Jazeera, and Al Jazeera Arabic particularly – because everyone here watch Al Jazeera Arabic. Their work has been heroic, and it has been a great shock to lose a colleague.”

‘Cowardly crime’

Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of Al Jazeera, said the network “will not remain silent” and will pursue those behind the ambush through legal channels.

He said that the killing came after “an unprecedented campaign” against the network by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Wadah Khanfar said Al Jazeera will not remain silent in the wake of Al Jaber’s killing

“Al Jazeera condemns the cowardly crime, which comes as part of the Libyan regime’s malicious campaign targeting Al Jazeera and its staff,” the network said in a statement.

“Al Jazeera reiterates the assault cannot dent its resolve to continue its mission, professionally enlightening the public of the unfolding events in Libya and elsewhere.

“Al Jazeera stresses it will relentlessly prosecute and bring to justice all perpetrators and their accomplices.”

Al Jaber, a Qatari national, was born in 1955 and received his bachelor and master’s degrees in cinematography from the Academy of Arts in Cairo. He was the director of CNBC Arabiya TV bureau in Qatar.

He also served as a supervisor in the National Olympic Committee between 2002 and 2005 and held the office of Head of Filming Section in Qatar Television for more than 20 years.

During his tenure, he produced a number of documentaries including one on Qatar and another on Kuwait entitled “Plight and Tribulation”.

His death marks the first report of a journalist killed in the current conflict in Libya.

( / 12.03.2011)

Arabische Liga vraagt om no-flyzone Libië

CAÏRO – De Arabische Liga heeft de Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties gevraagd een no-flyzone boven Libië in te stellen. De 22 landen tellende organisatie – waarvan de ministers van buitenlandse zaken zaterdag spoedoverleg voerden – kan de zone niet zelf instellen, maar goedkeuring betekent de regionale steun die de Verenigde Staten en andere westerse mogendheden nodig zeggen te hebben om het vliegverbod door te voeren.

De opstandelingen die de Libische leider Moammar Kadhafi proberen af te zetten hebben ook om de no-flyzone gevraagd. Door een vliegverbod worden ze beschermd tegen luchtaanvallen door de regeringstroepen.

Volgens de Amerikaanse regering heeft een no-flyzone echter weinig impact en de internationale gemeenschap is dan ook nog verdeeld over de kwestie.

In een verklaring vraagt de Arabische Liga ‘de Verenigde Naties hun verantwoordelijkheid te nemen door een no-flyzone boven Libië in te stellen’. (AP)

( / 12.03.2011)

Tienduizenden straat op in Bahrein

1   20:17 uur

© epa

MANAMAH – Tienduizenden mensen zijn zaterdag de straat opgegaan in de Bahreinse stad Safriya. Ze demonstreerden bij een van de paleizen van de koning, een dag nadat een poging om bij een ander paleis te demonstreren op niets uitliep door hard politieoptreden.

De naar schatting meer dan dertigduizend betogers riepen leuzen tegen het regime van koning Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. Volgens getuigen was er dit keer nauwelijks politie op de been.

De sjiitische meerderheid eist meer macht van de heersende soennitische minderheid. De sjiieten klagen over discriminatie door de soennitische machthebbers. (ANP)

( / 12.03.2011)

Yemen police fire on protests, 6 killed

SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni security forces killed six people Saturday and wounded hundreds in the second day of a harsh crackdown on anti-government protests, witnesses said. One of the dead was a 15-year-old student.

The assault with gunfire and tear gas was the toughest yet by the Yemeni government in a month of protests aimed at unseating President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.

The violence began with a pre-dawn raid on a central square in the capital, Sanaa, where thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been camped out.

Doctors and eyewitnesses said security troops surrounded the square with police cars and armored personnel carriers shortly after midnight and began calling on protesters through loudspeakers to go home. At 5 a.m., security forces stormed in, firing live and ammunition tear gas.

One protester died from a bullet to the head, which may have come from a sniper on the rooftop of a nearby building, witnesses said. Abdelwahed al-Juneid, a volunteer doctor working with the protesters, said around 250 people were wounded.

“We were performing dawn prayers when we were surprised by a sudden hail of bullets and tear gas,” said Walid Hassan, a 25-year-old activist. “The protesters began throwing rocks at security … it was total mayhem, a real battlefield.”

A few hours later, another protester was shot dead in a nearby street. Eyewitnesses said he was also killed by a sniper, but that could not be independently confirmed. Security officials did not have any immediate comment.

In the city of Dar Saad in the southern province of Aden, police used live fire and tear gas to disperse a crowd of several thousand, killing three demonstrators, a local activist and a hospital official said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the tense situation.

The hospital official said all the dead were all shot in the head. Eleven other protesters were wounded, he said.

The activist said the protesters later marched to the local police station, demanding that the shooter be handed over. Then they burned down the police station, the witness said.

In the port city of Mukalla in the southeastern province of Hadramout, a 15-year-old student was shot dead when security troops opened fire on protesters. Twelve people were wounded in similar violence in Yemen’s southern province of Taiz.

Saleh, an ally in the Obama administration’s fight against al-Qaida, appeared to be one of the Arab leaders most threatened by the regional unrest inspired by pro-democracy revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Demonstrators are demanding jobs and greater political freedoms. Saleh has tried to calm protesters by proposing that the government create a new constitution guaranteeing the independence of parliament and the judiciary — but protesters have said it’s too little, too late.

Saturday’s raid on the Sanaa square came after Yemen’s largest demonstrations in a month Friday were met by police gunfire that injured at least six protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Yemen’s four largest provinces, ripping down and burning Saleh’s portraits in Sheikh Othman, the most populated district in the southern port city of Aden, witnesses said. In the capital, thousands of women participated in demonstrations — a startling move in a deeply tribal society where women are expected to stay out of sight.

By Friday evening, protesters in Sanaa had expanded the area of their sit-in encampment, further angering authorities and leading to clashes with plainclothes security men. Protesters said the men were carrying sticks, knives and iron rods. Four protesters were injured, witnesses said.

Yemen was chaotic even before the demonstrations began, with a resurgent al-Qaida, a separatist movement in the south and a sporadic Shiite rebellion in the north vexing the government, which has little control outside major urban areas.

( / 11.03.2011)

Tunisia refuses to legalize 5 political parties

TUNIS – Tunisia’s interim government on Saturday refused to legalize five political parties, including three Islamic ones — the first such rejections since the country’s longtime autocrat was driven from power.

The Interior Ministry ruled the applying parties didn’t adhere to a law requiring parties to be organized democratically and banning those created on the basis of religion, ethnicity, gender or region, the official news agency TAP reported.

The caretaker government has faced a delicate task in fostering democracy after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia in January amid massive street protests — especially because laws from his era remain on the books until a new constitution can be devised.

The religious parties denied legalization were the Assalam, or Peace, party; a Sunni Muslim party; and Hizb Ettahrir, or the Liberation Party — a movement with historic ties to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

At a news conference Saturday, Ridha Belhaj, a spokesman for Hizb Ettahrir, said his party wants a regime based on sharia law and doesn’t rule out “rebellion and civil disobedience” to create an Islamic state.

The government did approve the applications of three other political parties, bringing the total now legalized to 34 — up from only nine under Ben Ali’s regime. It dissolved his former ruling party, the RCD, on Wednesday.

Separately Saturday, TAP reported that Tunisian authorities have arrested three close allies of Ben Ali.

Abdallah Kallel, Abdelaziz Ben Dhia and Abdelwaheb Abdallah were detained on suspicion of illegally obtaining money and other alleged crimes as part of a crackdown against the Democratic Constitutional Rally, or RCD.

The three men had previously been under house arrest, and were remanded into remanded in custody after appearing before an investigating judge, TAP said.

The government has been struggling to build new political institutions to replace bodies dominated by Ben Ali and the RCD — including the two houses of parliament.

Elections are planned July 24 for a body that will devise a new constitution, a step toward new legislative and presidential elections.

( / 12.03.2011)

Thousands of Libyan women march for ‘no-fly zone’

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – Several thousand Libyan women marched through the streets of rebel-held Benghazi on Saturday, demanding a no-fly zone to stop Moamer Kadhafi from bombing rebel fighters.

“No-fly zone! No-fly zone!” chanted the crowd in English and in unison, waving Libyan flags and flashing victory signs as they marched along the seafront corniche in the country’s rebel-held second city.

Students, mothers, grandmothers, children and toddlers walked hand in hand, most of them wearing headscarves and some with flags painted on their cheeks and Libyan flags wrapped around their foreheads, bandana-style.

They held up framed photographs of male relatives killed since the uprising began in mid-February and banners scrawled with slogans such as: “Is oil more expensive than the blood of our sons?”

One demonstrator held up a poster depicting Kadhafi as a vampire, with fangs, fuzzy hair, blood dripping from his mouth and a pirate’s eyepatch.

“We want a no-fly zone because we are dying, we are dying, we are dying. We need help from the UN,” shouted one woman in a headscarf.

“We don’t want foreign intervention, we just want a no-fly zone and our boys will do the rest. But they have light weapons in the face of air strikes,” said Nada el-Turki, an economics student walking hand in hand with a toddler.

At the beginning of the protest, witnesses said a man tried to ram the march with a car stocked with grenades, but was detained by volunteer guards, some of whom were carrying rifles and one a rocket-propelled grenade.

An AFP reporter saw a car with its windscreen smashed in.

( / 12.03.2011)

Islam Nu in De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam

In De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam is momenteel de tentoonstelling Passie voor perfectie te zien, een tentoonstelling met islamitische kunst uit de privécollectie van Dr. Nasser D. Khalili.

In het kader van deze tentoonstelling heeft De Nieuwe Kerk het project Islam Nu gelanceerd. Voor dit project hebben wij vier verrassende smaakmakers uitgenodigd.  Tarik Yousif, Naema Tahir, Funda Müjde en Bright O. Richards gaan onder leiding van change agent Kirsten van den Hul ieder op eigen wijze het gesprek aan. Welke rol speelt religie vandaag de dag? En wat kunnen we ermee? Met film, literatuur, theater en het woord levert Islam NU een bijdrage aan de dialoog over geloof en samenleving. Er worden in totaal acht bijeenkomsten georganiseerd. Vier in De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam en vier op locaties elders in het land.

11.12.2010 – 17.04.2011

Passie voor perfectie

Islamitische kunst uit de Khalili Collecties

Libië verbreekt contacten met Frankrijk

De Libische overheid heeft vrijdag officieel alle diplomatieke relaties met Frankrijk opgeheven. Frankrijk is het enige westerse land dat de groep rebellen in Benghazi erkend heeft.

In een toelichting gaf de adjunct-minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Khaled Kaim aan dat Frankrijk er alleen op uit is ‘om Libië te verdelen’.

De overige Europese landen hebben het voorbeeld van Frankrijk tot dusver niet gevolgd. Op een EU-top werd vandaag ook geen uitspraak gedaan over het al dan niet steunen van een no-flyzone boven Libië.

( / 11.03.2011)