Shellfish-setting the example for speed technology

nautilusCephalopod shellfish, such as the Squid and the Octopus, have reactive swimming systems based on hydrodynamic propulsion; in other words, the ability to expel water at very high speeds.

Engineers are trying to further develop speed technology by seeking inspiration from these abilities of Cephalopods.

Almighty Allah (swt) created a very special system which cephalopods can use when they need, or want to increase their speed. This system, which engineers have examined with admiration and attention, works perfectly. The reactive swimming systems of these creatures are a result of special body structures Almighty Allah (swt) created, especially for them.

What are the body structures that make Cephalopods special?

There is a thin layer of skin that surrounds the body cavity where the organs are placed called a coat. Cephalopods accumulate water inside them via the muscles found underneath this skin layer, and then they swim by strongly expelling this water. The water taken inside the coat wall is squirted outside with the help of a conically shaped pipe. The working of the system is like that of the kickback principle used in the production of space vehicles- in other words, rocket systems. This force occurs as a result of the cone – like opening, surrounded by many muscles, closing very fast. With the help of the squirting pipe, Cephalopods can swim as they wish, do sudden moves and arc.

From Shellfish’s Water Expulsion Systems to Generators

Assistant professor Kamran Mohseni from the Space Engineering Department at the University of Colorado has designed new generators by getting inspiration from the water expulsion system used by Cephalopods to be able to move under water. These designs help vehicles that will be used under water to maneuver better at low speeds.

Submarines with Safe Maneuvering Mechanisms

It is a must that vehicles used under water have safe maneuvering abilities, especially under difficult conditions. Manned or unmanned- submarines that will have such a mechanism will provide the opportunity to explore in greater detail ecosystems all over the world from underwater volcanoes to the cold depths under the ice pack in polar regions. The hydrodynamic designs of current vehicles make it difficult to maneuver at low speeds and in narrow spaces; and to get close to somewhere or stand in place in open fields. Therefore, the speed of vehicles with such qualities has to be very low.

Medical Services

Capsules equipped with a similar system are expected to help doctors diagnose certain diseases by being placed in the digestive systems of human beings. Thereby, this matchless art of engineering of Almighty Allah (swt) could bring benefits to humanity in the medical field as well.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Cephalopods cannot create such a detailed mechanism, which human beings can only replicate after months of research, in their own bodies. Almighty Allah (swt), Who creates all things in one piece and in its proper place, created these beings with the most suitable system to protect themselves, and tend for their own needs. In one verse, our Lord Allah (swt) reveals as such,

“Do they not see that We have created for them of what Our Hands have created, the cattle, so that they are their owners?” (YaSin 36:71)

Where is Usama (rtam)?

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At the age of seventeen years, young Usama bin Zaid (rtam) heads an army under the newly-formed caliphate of Abu Bakr Siddiq (rtam). He was appointed by none other than the beloved Prophet (sa) while he was alive. Usama (rtam) rises to the occasion, leading much more experienced (and perhaps more pious) stalwarts in his army and successfully combats the enemy. How long has it been since we have heard of feats of leadership like that? Given today’s wondrous technology, opportunities, exposure to the world, and efforts in education, why don’t we see any Usama bin Zaid (rtam) amongst us?

My humble experience tells me that our Usamas are being raised with a different vision, and I am deeply concerned. I see their roles being reduced to that of insecure followers. They are not Iqbal’s Shaheens anymore. They are just one of the flock, and they are not trained to soar the skies. And the tragedy of it all is that they consider this to be their freedom: traversing territory already charted out for them, at times by their parents, at times by their desires, and many times by the society at large. Chances are that the higher your education level is, the more cowardly you will turn out to be because that is what the present educational system demands. It does not want free-thinking souls, liberated by their subservience to Allah (swt) alone.

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In Spotlight: Fiqh of Social Media

FiqhofSocialMedia-logo

In this exclusive interview with Hiba Magazine, Br Omar Usman, founding member of MuslimMattersQalam InstituteMuslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims, talks about his project, Fiqh of Social Media (http://fiqhofsocial.media/). Brother Omar is a regular khateeb and has also served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations.

1. For people who haven’t yet heard of it, what exactly is Fiqh of Social Media? It’s a blog, it’s an e-book, it’s definitely a fantastic idea to address pressing issues related to social media… but how would you define it?

Social media has transformed our lives within the span of a couple of years. It’s like it crept up on us when we weren’t looking, and now we are trying to figure out how to deal with it. Fiqh of Social Media is a niche project under the guidance of Qalam Institute, and the goal really is to provide guidance on how to use our faith to navigate this new era. With that in mind we do have the ebook and blog, and we hope to develop more material in the future insha’Allah.

2. How did Fiqh of Social Media come into being, and what was the inspiration behind it?

The internet and social media has always fascinated me in general. I made my first website about 20 years ago when I was barely 13 years old, and was making Islamic websites in university. There is no singular inspiration point, but over the years I have been keenly aware of how these new technologies are affecting us – religiously and with our families.

It’s always bugged me that the Muslim community seems to be behind one step technology wise. When the world shifted to CD’s, we were still producing audio cassettes. When the world shifted to the mp3 age, we started producing Qur’an recitations on CD’s. Social networks now have impacted us in ways we can’t imagine.

When I was growing up, it was considered rude to take a phone call at dinnertime. If someone called, you would answer and tell them you would call them back after dinner was over. Now, many families can’t eat a single meal without everyone being attached to a device.

Our Islamic tradition is timeless and contains the solutions to these pains and problems we face – I feel it is at the point where there needs to be a dedicated resource for this.

3. Initially, what were your aims & objectives? And have they changed over time with social media’s evolution?

We are at the first time in human history where people have an abundance of relationships, but no friendships. We are able to connect with thousands of people we could not before. Before, people had to wait and clear a gate keeper to get on TV, publish a book, or even write an editorial to the paper. Now anyone can have a platform. This opens a lot of doors – but it’s an entirely new situation that raises a lot of questions. For example, how do we understand Islamic principles of friendship in an age where people have 5,000 friends on Facebook?

The aim for me has always been to connect these dots. What are the Islamic principles, and how do they apply to social media? What problems are we encountering online that we need answers to, and what are the solutions provided in our religious tradition? Those are the basic aims. What has evolved, though, is that connecting these dots is branching out into a number of subjects I never even imagined.

What problems are we encountering online that we need answers to, and what are the solutions provided in our religious tradition?

4. What is the current vision of Fiqh of Social Media?

To provide thought leadership in this area. It’s not just Muslims struggling with these issues. In fact, most of the materials I am finding are from secular sources. So there is definitely a huge problem here; I want to spread the message of how our faith addresses these issues.

5. Most of your work is online – how do you organize everything? Also, is this a one-man show or do you have a team working with you?

I wish I had a team. Right now it is a one-man show. The primary content mechanism is the email list, so I do my best to send out at least 2-3 newsletters a month.

6. You write on things people at times don’t even think of, like Food Instagramming. What kind of response do you receive on such blog articles? Are people receptive or they lash out?

Alhumdulillah the response is really positive. In the case of this article specifically I wasn’t expecting backlash – particularly because I was criticizing and analyzing my own photos (as opposed to someone else’s). A lot of items like this one are things that everyone notices, I just happened to take the observation one step further and write the article.

http://fiqhofsocial.media/40hadith

http://fiqhofsocial.media/40hadith

7. Your content and ebook is all free – how do you arrange funding?

Alhumdulillah most of the cost at this point is nominal (it’s just a couple of dollars a month) so it has not been an issue.

8. What are your plans for the future? Are you planning to get your book 40 Hadiths on Social Media formally published (in print)?

So right now there are 2 major projects being worked on. The first is an online course that is specifically for parents and how to manage social media with their kids. This will cover a number of things like kids being addicted to screens to how to reclaim family dinner time.

The second project is a formal book on the Fiqh of Social Media. This is a larger and more comprehensive undertaking so it will take some time. Please make dua Allah (swt) grants tawfiq to both projects.

9. How can other brothers and sisters help you out in your work?

The best thing is to subscribe to the email list at http://fiqhofsocial.media/40hadith – When they do this they will receive a copy of the 40 hadith as well as the new articles I am writing. The best way to help is to simply reply to those emails with your feedback. The hardest part about a project like this is understanding which material is useful or helpful, or how it resonates. So really if I had one wish, it would just be that people not just read the material, but let me know what they thought of it.

10. Any message for the Ummah

That is a really tough question. I’ll offer the advice here that I feel I need most for myself and that is simply to make more Dua to Allah (swt). It is so simple but cannot be emphasized enough.

18-24 is an incredibly formidable time, and also a time where people try out lots of different things. Embrace it, but just be cautious with what you post of yourself online.

11. Any message for Hiba’s readers in particular.

I would say just be careful. The internet is forever. Even things like Snapchat where your photos are supposed to get deleted are not that private. 18-24 is an incredibly formidable time, and also a time where people try out lots of different things. Embrace it, but just be cautious with what you post of yourself online.

12. Anything else you would like to share.

Jazakallahu khayr for doing this interview. May Allah (swt) bless your efforts with this magazine!

Islam Tech Exhibition – Alhuda International School

AIEx-IslamTechAlHuda International School Islamabad organized an Islamic Science Exhibition (AIEx) on 21st April, 2015 at Aura Grand, E-11/3. The theme of the exhibition was “Islam Tech”. The main objective of the exhibition was to show the connection of Islamic teachings with the modern day science and technology.

The chief guest Rana Tanvir Hussain Minister of Defence Production and Science and Technology graced the event with his presence. Other guests of honor on the event were Dr. Samar Mubarak, a renowned Nuclear Scientist and a Metallurgical Engineer, Dr. Ahsan Iqbal,State,Minister of Planning and Management, Mr. Balighur Rehman, Minister of education, Muhammad Atif, KPK minister of Education.

Students were very well rehearsed in their scientific as well as Islamic knowledge of the projects and experiments.

The program started with recitation of the verses from the Holy Quran. While visiting the projects and displays of the students Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand appreciated the efforts of the institute on equipping its students with ample knowledge of religion as well as providing them with the opportunity to learn and understand the scientific working of the world around us. He laid a strong emphasis on education. Being a tool in developing good morals and ethics amongst the youth, highlighting the role of families, as well as educational institutions in providing our new generation with these ethics.

He appreciated the idea behind the AIEx and remarked that it is a great need of the time. He praised the performance of the young students of Alhuda International School. He expressed that it was amazing to see the hard work and enthusiasm shown by the teachers.

The school organized the event at Aura Grand Marquee in E-11. The venue was split into two zones in sync with the theme of the event. The first zone consisted of the projects on agricultural tech, educational tech, aerospace tech, transport tech. health technology, communication technology and a few projects on personal technology by Montessori section. The primary section held their projects on transport technology, information technology, geo technology, space science and aerospace.

The primary section held their projects on transport technology, information technology, geo technology, space science and aerospace.

The senior girls’ section held their projects on design, technology, educational technology and nano technology. Senior boys section presented their projects on bio technology and robotics in zone two. The presentable blend of science, technology and art attracted the attention of a huge number of visitors to this event.

Students were very well rehearsed in their scientific as well as Islamic knowledge of the projects and experiments. The zeal, energy and enthusiasm of the children was oozing out from auras which was a sight worth watching.

At closing ceremony Mr. Rana Tanvir said, “It is indeed an honor to attend such a spectacular event organized by AIS. The vision of AIS is to develop the academic skills of children, enhance their natural talents, impart authentic religious education and ensure positive character building in order to make them responsible Muslims, contributing citizens and respectful human being is itself inspiring.”

The exhibition concluded with the director’s note. He highlighted the essential elements of the AIS mission as being a vital factor in the development of AIS students as responsible Muslims, contributing citizens and respectful human beings. He emphasized on the importance of recognizing and respecting our Creator. He explained that the exclusive features of AIS are imparting authentic Islamic education, parent’s involvement, motivated and dedicated teachers and a progressive environment. Atif Iqbal thanked the honorable chief guest and the distinguish guests for gracing the occasion and encouraging the students.

The Flawless Harmony between Eyes and Ears

eyeThe vision system that we have is immeasurably superior to the display technologies designed by experts in several techniques. This system has a characteristic which the advanced technology cannot imitate; even if we turn our head very fast, the clarity and the quality doesn’t change. Also under normal circumstances, every time we move our head, we would have seen images sliding or unable to focus on a certain point, just like the images taken with an amateur camera. But we never come across such an image because no matter which direction we turn our head to, our eyes automatically move to the opposite direction to balance the vision. If we had to turn our eyes every time when we move our head to look at the same point, it would have been very difficult and there would be much disorder. But this never happens, and the visual process can be completed perfectly; thanks to the flawless details in this automatic tuning system. Allah’s (swt) endless Wisdom is revealed in a verse from the Quran that states:

This system has a characteristic which the advanced technology cannot imitate; even if we turn our head very fast, the clarity and the quality doesn’t change.

“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.” (An-Nahl 16:53)

The scientific name of this reflex which coordinates our vision like an automatic camera system is the Vestibulo-ocular reflex. But this reflex doesn’t do its duty only with our eyes. Our eyes have a very important and secret supporter to run this reflex: Our ears; the perfect system of the ear that controls the head’s turning movements

The structures named “the semi-circular canals” in our ears are miracles of creation with the duty they carry out.There are 3-three semi-circular canals and they are combined with each other perpendicularly. Each of these three canals is created specially by Almighty Allah (swt) for the 3-three types of turning movements that we do with our head.On the tips of these canals, there is a part called the “ampulla” which contains ciliated cells.

As one of the countless signs of the Superior Wisdom of Almighty Allah (swt), these little ciliated cells perceive all the turning movements of our head and transmit this to the brain as an electrical signal.

How does this miracle happen?

In the semi-circular canals, there is a special liquid called “endolymph”. When a bucket full of water is turned, the buckets prevent the water from pouring for a while. Similarly, the liquid inside the ear canal doesn’t move immediately. As a result, the liquid bends the cilia. This mechanical potency is turned into an electrical signal as another miracle of creation. But an interesting situation comes into question here; even if the head doesn’t turn in any direction, the cilia moves to either the right side or to the left side. By this movement, frequent or rare electrical signals are produced periodically.

The structures named “the semi-circular canals” in our ears are miracles of creation with the duty they carry out.There are 3-three semi-circular canals and they are combined with each other perpendicularly. Each of these three canals is created specially by Almighty Allah (swt) for the 3-three types of turning movements that we do with our head.

What makes our eyes Superior than the cameras?

Almighty Allah (swt) has given each eye 6-six little motors for this perfect camera system to work. These little motors are the muscles that turn the eye to six different directions. When we want to turn our eye in any direction, the brain commands these little motors and they move our eye as we like.

There is no doubt that…

There is a request inside us to turn our head.

According to our demand, a command comes from our brain.

These commands are sent to where they should go by electric impulses.

After that, these electrical signals can move the muscles as we like.

These are the details that should be considered.

Through an ordinary day, you would never recognize these details about the movements of your eyes. And you don’t make an extra effort for these details to happen. However, this luxurious and matchless camera system works perfectly as you need.This miracle has only one explanation; this system can work only by the Superior Wisdom of Almighty Allah (swt), The Lord of the Worlds.

“He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms…” (Al-Hashr 59:24)

For the perfect harmony between the eyes and the ears to work flawlessly in this system and the layers that form this system; every part of the system should exist at the same time. Eyes and ears are created as a whole by Allah (swt).

“Say (O Muhammad (sa) ): Tell me or inform me (what) do you think about your (so-called) partner-gods to whom you call upon besides Allah, show me, what they have created of the earth? Or have they any share in the heavens? Or have We given them a Book, so that they act on clear proof there from? Nay, the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) promise one another nothing but delusions.” (Fatir 35:40)

The cooperation of the eyes and ears

Besides the different systems that the eyes and the ear have, it is another important subject that these perfect signs of creation come together and form perfect vision. For example, when you turn your head to the left, the signal coming from the semicircular canal on the left side moves to the eyes through two nerve bunches. One of these goes to the right eye, and the other one goes to the left eye. The nerve bunch which goes to the right eye goes to one of the six muscles on the right eye; in other words it goes to the right muscle of the right eye. The nerve bunch which goes to the left eye goes to the muscle on the right side of the left eye. The interesting part here is this; these muscles are formed from different muscles for the two eyes but both of them do the same job and both of them work to turn the eye to the right. Finally the electrical signals are turned into action and perfect vision is provided.

If the eyes and the ears were formed as a result of coincidences, how could they be in such harmony? Which coincidence can form such a perfect mechanism that can evaluate millions of different codes in a second and combine them with each other?

Evolutionists cannot explain the harmony between eyes and ears

It is a very fine-tuned process that the eyes which are independent of each other form one vision, and while doing this a third dimension is added to the two dimensional vision.

If the eyes and the ears were formed as a result of coincidences, how could they be in such harmony? Which coincidence can form such a perfect mechanism that can evaluate millions of different codes in a second and combine them with each other? If there was a lack of harmony between the eyes and the ears, then the signals would be mixed and there would only be a confused vision. But such a chaos never happens. The organs created in harmony, send signals to the brain which too is in great harmony – evaluates these signals. And as a result of this, a perfect vision is provided. There is no way to explain the existence of this amazing system by coincidences. This system has come into being by the flawless creation of Almighty Allah (swt). In a verse of the Quran, this miraculous creation of our Lord is revealed as follows:

“Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”(Al-Mulk 67:3)

Teens, Texts and Technology

Apr 11 -Teen, texts and technology

When I was growing up – in the Stone Age – we did not have email or Facebook; cell phones were few and far between. My mother did not even allow a cordless phone at home lest her children spend more time than necessary chatting idly with friends.

Fast forward twenty years from then, and teenagers today have their own cell phone with unlimited texting and web surfing. While there are some advantages to being in touch with young adults via technology, the prospects are scary.

A Pew study in 2004 revealed that 18 percent of 12-year olds have a cell phone. In 2009, the number shot up to 58 percent. The scary part is that with unlimited texts in many family plans these days, our sons and daughters can be tapping their way into trouble. What may be hard to say face-to-face is easier said via text. Being available to respond 24/7 can result in rushed responses that are not well thought-out and can be misinterpreted.

The irony is that while the price of Roti, Kapra and Makan in Pakistan is rising steadily every year, the price for SMS messages, cell phone cards and high speed internet is falling. While this is a feather in the cap for our telecommunications industry, it is also opening the door for a lot of Fitnah.

The new Bluetooth technology is even scarier. It can allow people to exchange photos, videos and text messages with complete strangers – within a range of about 15 yards. With upcoming software, a teenage boy sitting across the table at a restaurant will not even need to have your daughters phone number, he can still text her if he thinks she looks cute in her purple outfit.

A report in the New York Times revealed that 15 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and17 had received inappropriate photos on their phone. So what is a parent to do? A parent cannot blame technology or completely deprive their child from gadgets that have become the norm today – but a parent can set limits and bridge communication gaps. In 2010, a parent cannot afford to say, “I’m not good with computers.” Even if they trust their children and are genuinely not interested in Facebook or Twitter, they need to get on the bandwagon even if they can’t check them daily; at least their children know that they can.

With so many aunties and uncles on Facebook these days, I am positive teenagers have some parallel social site we will find out about soon. When it comes to technology, our children will always be a step ahead of us. Many teens have two Facebook profiles; one where they can add their parents and another where they can be themselves with their friends.

In 2020, when my children become teens, I shudder to think what is in store for us. I firmly believe that in addition to faith in the Almighty and dua to keep children in good company, parents need to make conscious decisions to limit screen time from a young age. Once children enjoy volunteering, sport, art and reading from a young age, they will hopefully continue having a variety of extracurricular screen-free activities when they are older.

Wandering aimlessly on the World Wide Web can take impressionable minds to weird places with even weirder pop-up ads and too-good-to-be-true virus-infested offers. Another key element in limiting technology usage is that parents need to practice what they preach. If a mother does not allow her daughter to use her cell excessively but is herself glued to her iPhone apps, then she should know that hypocrisy will come to haunt her.

I love Facebook too as it is a great way to keep in touch with my friends and family overseas. However, I am appalled at some teenager profiles. In the relationship category, some fourteen year olds have selected “Whatever I can get” and have pictures that are not reflective of the good families that they come from. The worst part is not posting photos but the comments that go back and forth on these teen pages. “OMG…you’re hot…”, “LOL, lmao, you are hotter.” “No, I insist that you look gr8”

Not only have spellings gone down the drain, privacy and modesty is quickly following suit. As parents, we cannot just throw our hands up in the air in despair – we can make a difference if we try.

Some ways to monitor the technology explosion in your home

1)      Children should know that cell phone and Internet privileges need to be earned and can be revoked.

2)      Make sure your teens do not add strangers to their Instant Messaging or Facebook profiles.

3)      Sign up your children for cell phone plans with limited minutes for emergency calls and texts.

4)      Sign up for free Internet activity monitoring such as www.norton.com/onlinefamily

5)      Do not allow cell phones and computers in bedrooms. Cell phones should be charged next to computers in a central place in the home.

6)      Teach your child never to disclose personal information like his address or school online.

7)      Teenagers – and even younger children- will always be a step ahead with technology. Befriend them so you do not have to spy on them. You might not have the time to sit and go through all the texts, calls and websites your child peruses but just the fact that you can check should hopefully deter them from any misuse.

Did you know?

  • 5 million new users join Facebook every week
  • 10 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every hour
  • The average American teenager sends and receives 2,272 texts a month; that is 80 messages DAILY!
  • 90 percent of kids 12-17 said they do not report an incident of cyber bullying to parents.

Source: Journal of School Health, Nielsen and NPD group