Are We Good Servants?

He who fits the following description is a bad servant (of the Lord)

1. He asks for forgiveness (maghfirah), while he is actively engaged in sinful disobedience (ma’siya).
2. He behaves in a humbly submissive manner, so that he may be credited with loyalty (amana), but he is only pretending, to hide his disloyalty (khiyanah).
3. He forbids what is wrong, but does not refrain from it himself.
4. He enjoins what is right, but does not act upon his own instructions.
5. If he gives, he does so very stingily, and if he withholds, he offers no apology.
6. If he is in the best of health, he feels secure, but if he falls sick, he becomes remorseful.
7. If he is impoverished, he feels sad, and if he gets rich, he is subject to temptation.
8. He hopes for salvation, but does not act accordingly.
9. He is afraid of punishment, but takes no precautions against it.
10. He wishes to receive more benefit, but he does not give thanks [for what he has received].
11. He likes the idea of spiritual reward, but he does not practice patience.
12. He expedites sleep and postpones fasting?

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Kind-hearted Kid

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.” The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he wanted enough left to leave her a tip.

America Rules out Not-Attacking Pakistan

The White House on Thursday refused to rule out striking at suspected terrorist targets inside Pakistan and would not say whether US forces would first seek permission from Islamabad.

Asked whether US President George W Bush had ruled out US military action inside Pakistan, spokesman Tony Snow replied: “We never rule out any options, including striking actionable targets.”

Asked whether Bush would first seek authorisation from President Pervez Musharraf, Snow told reporters: “Those are matters that are best not discussed publicly.” Washington in recent days has sharply criticised Musharraf’s truce with leaders in tribal areas, where Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants were believed hiding, calling on him to take aggressive military action.

And Bush’s top counter-terrorism adviser at the White House recently suggested that the United States did not get all of the cooperation it hoped for from Pakistan in the global war on terrorism. At the same time, the White House has been praising Musharraf personally.

“President Musharraf has put his life on the line and has been a very important ally in the war on terror,” Snow said as Bush traveled here to make remarks on the federal budget. “It’s also clear that Taliban and al Qaeda, in the northwest territories and the federally administered tribal areas, have begun to put on operations that threaten the government of Pakistan itself,” he added.

“President Musharraf, having tried one approach, in terms of dealing with the tribal leaders, is now going to have to be more aggressive and is being more aggressive moving forces into the region to deal with the security problems there,” he said.

US President George W. Bush on Saturday linked the US global campaign against Al-Qaeda to Pakistan’s efforts to quell Islamist violence, including the storming of a pro-Taliban mosque (Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa where over 1000 minor students have been brutally murdered by Pakistan Army) last week.

In his weekly radio address, Bush expressed full US support for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s efforts “to rid all of Pakistan of extremism” including an Al-Qaeda “safe haven” in tribal areas. (There is no Al-Qaeda in Pakistan)

Bush called the establishment of such harbors, detailed in a recent US national intelligence estimate, “one of the most troubling” setbacks to the US war on terrorism since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The US president, weighed down by the unpopular Iraq war, said Musharraf recognized that a September 2006 deal with tribal chiefs to police their own region had failed and that he was “taking active steps to correct it.” (The deal was never respected by governments of Pakistan and America who kept on killing innocent people, including women and children, in the area whenever they wished)

“Pakistani forces are in the fight, and many have given their lives. The United States supports them in these efforts. And we will work with our partners to deny safe haven to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan — or anywhere else in the world,” Bush said.

US Wants Army Action in Tribal Areas of Pakistan

The United States on Tuesday prodded Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf to launch a military offensive against militants hiding in a tribal border region with Afghanistan following the collapse of a 10-month peace accord.

“I think first and foremost we have to remember that some military action is necessary, and will probably have to be taken,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and central Asian affairs Richard Boucher said.

He also said that the United States was prepared to help upgrade the Pakistan military, particularly its “frontier corps” that forms the bulk of the estimated 85,000 military forces in the tribal and border regions.

Boucher spoke after a week of violence in North Waziristan, where militant leaders over the weekend renounced a September accord with Islamabad. Pakistani authorities have made intense efforts to shore up the peace accord since the Taliban pulled out on Saturday, knowing that without it, they risk fresh violence in a region thought to contain many militants. Boucher said Tuesday that Washington was less concerned about whether the agreement worked or not, pointing out that “it’s the facts of what happens.”

“There are elements in these areas that are extremely violent and are out to kill government people, out to kill government leaders, and will not settle for a peaceful way forward,” he said. “Whether it is through an agreement or through the imposition of government will or whatever, they remain the key: no Talibanization, no cross-border activity, no al-Qaeda plotting and planning from the tribal areas,” he said.

“And we’re going to help the government of Pakistan achieve that through whatever — all these different means that might be necessary,” he said citing also joint US-Pakistan plans to develop the isolated areas. The United States has promised 150 million dollars a year for the next five years to develop the tribal areas on top of a Pakistani funding of about 100 million dollars a year.

Meanwhile President George W Bush’s top counter-terrorism aide said on Tuesday Washington rarely gets all of the help it wants from allies like Pakistan in efforts to hunt down violent extremists.

The comments from Bush’s Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Adviser, Frances Townsend, came in reply to a question of whether the United States is getting all of the operational help it seeks from Islamabad.

“It’s really a tempting invitation. I’m not going to do it,” Townsend said with a laugh during a briefing at the White House on the latest National Intelligence Estimate of terrorist threats to the United States.

“When people ask me about our counter-terrorism cooperation, our allies around the world, the suggestion is: ‘Do they give you everything you want?’ That is almost never the case,” she added.

“And you know what? If I only cooperated with those who gave me 100 percent of what I thought I needed or wanted, I wouldn’t have a whole lot of allies around the world,” said Townsend.

“Every ally comes to the table in the fight against terrorism through the lens of their own national interest. What did they need to get in the fight? What’s the threat to their own internal stability or the security of their own people?” Townsend explained.

“And so we always work to strengthen those alliances. We always work to find more common ground so that we’re more closely aligned. But it doesn’t mean that we get everything we want. But we also can’t walk away from people just because we don’t get everything we want when we want it,” she said.