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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sunni - Shia: Brief History

I really don't understand the difference between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. Sometimes i also wonder how come there are muslims that don't go along together though when we ask them they say their religion is "Islam". What causes the division among muslims? read the article by Huda Dodge below! Now i understand that it did not happen during Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W) time, and was created by human themself due to some differences in their opinion. George Bush and her ally had used this "disintegration" to cause trouble in Arab World and grab their wealth. No need to use "divide and conquer" technique, it is already "divided" just need to "conquer"...

By: Huda Dodge* -

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."

Huda Dodge is an educator, freelance writer and editor. She is the author of The Everything Understanding Islam Book, published in 2003 by Adams Media Corporation. She has been active on the Internet for over a decade, and has been's Guide to Islam since 1998. She currently teaches elementary school in the Middle East.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Asian Economic Crisis 1997/1998/1999

I am not an economician, but i have good interest at economics. I have a believe that everyone should learn business and economics. Most of the fields, if not all, are only base or mean to make money, including honorary fields like education, and medicine. All the skills, techniques, and theories of business and economics will be used on those base fields to generate more money be it implicitly or explicitly. In business they say "There is no free meal", so you can expect that even if someone invite for his/her wedding, actually it is to sponsor his/her wedding. Probably if you are still not married, you should say "Strictly no gifts" to show your scincerety. This is an example where everywhere "money talks".

So how painful it is for businessman during crisis period? Well, not every businessman in the country will be upset, as for some it is an oppurtunity. Opportunity? no joking... it is. Well, it it time to buy stocks at cheap know that it is not the end of the world, even if it is, you dont have to worry as you dont have to pay back your creditor :-). If you buy at very cheap price, then you can sell when the price goes up. The market will one day definitely go up. That is natural! The trick is always to diversify your investments, and perhaps to avoid situations where you would be forced to sell back your portfolio.

Short selling is one of the creative technique to earn money when market is falling. The 97/98/99 asian economic crisis occured when "Big boys" applied this technique to earn more money to increase their Fortune billionaire position. Though this technique is useful to many investors (i think it is more approprite to call them speculators) to earn money during bear market, it is very harmful if used by "Big boys" who have billions of dollars (mostly are borrowed from international banks) to borrow other country's (Say, country X) currency for some purpose, and then sell the currency in large quantum in short period. So here the economic principle demand-and-supply applies. When you have excesive supply, the price of an item will drop. Same here, just that the paper value of currency X will drop sharply. This will create panic in the stock market, and other investors (especially international investors) in the market will sell their shares to avoid big loses as well to invest their money at other better market. Well, you may ask, what currency downfall has to do with share market? They are related because you use the currency to buy and sell the shares. Say you use 1000 X to buy 100 shares each at 10 X. If the share price goes up, say to 12 X, then you will earn 200 X from your investment. If the exchange rate for currency X before crisis is at U$1 : 2.50X, but during crisis it dip to U$1 : 5.00X, then your earlier before crisis earning of U$4.80 per share will now will only be U$2.40. Even an increase in stock price will be difficult to cover the loss of the exchange rate. In such situation, the stock market will also follow the crowd to enter bear market. Of course, the central bank of X can help to manage the situation but it depends on the X's international currency reserve. If X central bank is not strong with its reserve then it will be helpless situation. The central bank can use its international currency reserve to buy its own currency at better price such that the "Big boys" huge sell of its currency will not weaken the currenncy rate. Again it is going to be supply-demand philosophy! The central bank is going to create an artificial demand....

Any comments? anything is wrong? lets learn together...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Welcome to my blog

I plan to have my own blog for a long time ago, but it only realized today. The main problem in having blog it to maintain them by posting interesting issues and knowledge. This is actually time consuming and possibly a hinderence if i am quick to run out of topic. Anyway, i will try to do my best to serve my readers. My aim is actualy to share knowledge, experiences, advices via blog. Therefore, anyone is allowed to give comments to my posts but mind of your own words please.