Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 22, Tuesday October 28, 2003







Welcome holy Ramadan!

O who believe, fasting is decreed for you
as it was decreed for those before you;
perchance you will guard yourselves.
The month of Ramadan is the month
in which the quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people,
and clear verses of guidance and
[Quran: Chapter 2, 183]

Ramadan Mubarrak to all the readers! The month of blessings has come again. This month is best of all months, its days are best of all days, its nights, best of all nights and its hours, the best of all hours, said our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). We get the glory of this month only once a year and therefore we should try to make the best use of the Holy month. It was in this month that the Holy Quran was revealed as our guidance. The epoch-making 'Battle of Badr' and the 'Conquest of Mecca' also took place during the holy month of Ramadan.

Let us therefore unite in the glory of the month and practice self control not only through fasting but self-control in all possible ways. This is a time for spiritual renewal and to promote empathy and compassion for the poor and our fellow Muslim brothers. Let us all fast together, pray together and abstain from all sorts of wrongdoing together during this month. Let us all call upon our Creator to give us a sound body and an enlightened mind so that we may pass the days and nights of this month in His remembrance and admiration.
My Allah give us the opportunity to pure our self and our soul, illuminate our minds and bring peace to our lives. This is the month to exercise strict control over our tongues, eyes, ears, thoughts and deeds and do everything possible to seek the pleasure of Allah.

Ahead of us is the blessed month! Let us celebrate it together, worship our Creator, and repent for the sins done, give alms to the needy and poor, honor the old, show kindness to the young, maintain relations with blood relations, neighbors and friends and spread kindness and good deeds as much as we can.
Have a happy Ramadan!

By Syeda Shamin Mortada

Reader's Chit

Random thoughts-combination

Have you ever wondered about the magnificent combination of a cigarette and a book? The intimate link between the aroma of smoke and the black letters imprinted on the pages are almost intertwined. As a reader flips through the crisp, yellow sheets it seems a whole new world is moulded in front of his eyes. The smell of the cigarette opens up his mind and the taste lingers in his tongue.

There is no boundary to the ken that the book displays. All the imaginary characters in it unravel one by one. The reader tries to concentrate and compare the various shades of the book's characters to that of reality.

The room is full of smoke rings. As he breathes in the air a feeling of euphoria seeps through his bones into his blood. His mind swirls around and wanders into different imagination. Suddenly his still hands moves faster, as he quickly turns the yellow pages of the old book. What actually is this feeling that is so incomprehensible? It is nothing but the human mind that is so complicated itself that one can hardly understand the dark and the hidden alleyways that it posses.

The tips of the reader's finger are full of the dusty material of the cigarette. The glowing orange bar gives a sign to him that its goal of survival is no longer a shinning beacon but a fading dream. But the reader's mind does not understand. His craving compels him to inhale the hot smoky air with an unusual madness until he finds nothing left in his hand except the black dark ashes.

All the smokers who are reading this section must be aware that the feeling of smoking and inhaling the misty fumes might be very attractive. What one often overlooks, though, is the deadly effect of a bar of cigarette. You can smoke, there is no restrictions to it. Then again, you should also remember that if you do so, you are digging your own grave.

By Sarah Zermin Huq


The sleeping rhythm and the morning blues

Sleep. Almost an incomparable feeling that has the power to heal both our mind and body. This natural recurring condition of suspended consciousness with eyes closed and muscles relaxed isn't just another something that living beings come across. According to experts a person needs about seven to nine hours of sleep at night. It certainly refreshes our physique and soul while allows to have balanced life that leads to a sound one. Most importantly sleep, especially sound sleep, is the key to a healthy heart, the principal rhythm machine of our biological system. As soon as people drift off, the blood pressure falls, the heart rate slows down, blood vessels relax, all which make it easier for blood to flow and hence the heart gets a much deserved rest.
According to experts there isn't a function in the body that does not have its own rhythm. Sleep is the time when the biological rhythms machines, including heart, slow down and get their rest. If there is any disruption in these functions then the body gets sick and if there is no rhythm, the result is death. As a result along with the intentions to keep our mind and health stable, sleep also maintains the tempo of these rhythm machines that that keep the soundness of our body tuned.

But what about morning when the body makes a "jump start" from its sleeping to waking stages with a surge of excitation chemicals called catecholamines? This sudden and instant change of rhythm is a matter of great significance to our health and well being, which have to be dealt with extreme caution every single day. As the body wakes up from hours of constant rest, the sudden increase of heart rate, blood pressure, constriction of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to heart muscle might cause physical discomforts that even led to sudden death from myocardial infarction.
After a good night sleep as one starts to climb out of bed one must be very careful as experts say that for the next two hours or so, one is more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke than in the evening, the safest cardiovascular time of the day. Research also found out that 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is the average peak time for many other major causes of death: ischemic heart disease, cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
By properly understanding our body clocks we can improve our health and conquer these early morning health risks and discomforts. Some prescribed drugs such as aspirin on alternate days can reduce the heart-attack risk. However, doctors' advice is necessary before applying this method. Apart from medicines, there are some other ways that can assist to make one's morning less stressful and less risky. Before leaving the bed one can begin the morning by stretching arms and legs slowly while still lying in the bed. It is also advised to move slowly and not to subject oneself to the thermal shock of a very hot or cold shower, in order to prevent the boosting of blood pressure. Eating breakfast should follow this. Studies have found out that skipping breakfast apparently increases platelet activity and might contribute to heart attacks and strokes during morning hours.

Sleep is the time of life's renewal and morning is the blessing of the gift called life. While there are some interior biological clocks that thoroughly follow their very own naturally composed rhythms, all we can do is make sure they are finely tuned and play along with them.

By Obaidur Rahman


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