APM: The Lobby, My People, and Stress and Depression
On 05/07/2024 | 0 Comments
sent by Zaahied Sallie



Lobbying in and of itself is not bad.

To influence the common good is noble, and a responsible society should mobilise, organise, and strive to do so.

However, the most powerful lobbies, such as Big Pharma, Oil and Gas, Tech, Munitions, Investments, and the Zionist lobby, do not intend this. They desire to influence the power structure for economic and strategic benefit at any cost.

Today, these behemoths are the power nexus between governments and the languishing proletariat. Some are more powerful than most governments and use politicians as their handlers. It’s capitalism at its vilest.

Such methods aren’t novel. They’re old but, unfortunately, still virile.

The Lord of the Quran warns those who use their wealth unjustly: ‘They use their wealth to bar people from the path of God, and they will continue doing so. Ultimately, this will be a source of intense regret for them: they will be overcome and herded towards Hell’ [8:36], and ‘Do not consume your property wrongfully, nor use it to bribe judges, intending sinfully and knowingly to consume parts of other people’s property’ [2:188].

The status quo is not a natural human paradigm but an inversion of it.

We must resist en-masse and become the countervailing force that restores order to the world.

The Prophet (s)


South Africa owns the shameful title of “Most Unequal Society in the World.” And we can rest assured that the inequality will deepen under the ANC-DA neo-liberal capitalist marriage.

The social architecture formed over three centuries of white minority rule has preserved South Africa’s position as the world’s most unequal society.

Unfortunately, the post-Apartheid ANC rule had veered from its historical role as a liberation struggle to emancipate the disenfranchised and has become servile to global financial capital.

The Gini Coefficient index measures inequality by determining the wealth gap between rich and poor. In 2021, the data for South Africa revealed that 3,500 adults own more than the poorest 32 million people in the country of 60 million.1

If you think the above statistic is insufferable, the following one is even more staggering. The World Inequality Database for 2015-2021 shows that the annual income for the bottom fifty per cent of South Africans is ZAR18,298. For half the population to earn ZAR1525 per month for such a protracted period is criminal and intolerable. We are sitting on a proverbial powder keg. The frightening thing is that there are 32 million possible triggers to set it off.  

Neo-liberalism is violence against poor people. The working class in this country still suffers from exploitation, and most are stricken with severe poverty and insurmountable debt.

In sixth-century Arabia, flagrant inequality and hedonism not dissimilar to South Africa led Muhammad (s) to disengage from society and enter spiritual solitude to seek answers. He did this annually because the world did not sit right with him.

Unlike the Prophet (s), we seem to have become too well-adjusted to the ruling class and its systems. The marginalised, the socially deprived, and the economically disenfranchised suffer because of our silence and indifference.

The ruling elite tried to assuage the Prophet’s discontent with power and wealth. They feared he (s) would spark an uprising and upset the power balance.

But the Prophet (s) was not for sale, and he famously responded: “By God! If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on condition that I abandon this course until God has made me victorious or I perish therein, I would not renounce it.”

By God! In the Prophet (s), we have the best example, and if we claim to love him (s), we must fight for the equality of all.

(1) https://time.com/6087699/south-africa-wealth-gap-unchanged-since-apartheid/

Stress and Depression

Diuretics and beta-blockers for high blood pressure and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat these two omnipresent illnesses.

Many people diagnosed with hypertension take to exercise, which for a large number takes the form of walking. From this statistical group, many patients report that they’ve become happier people. Don’t be mistaken. I’m not encouraging hypertension as a means to attain happiness. What this proves is that exercise is a natural antidote for both conditions.

Our brain releases endorphins (hormones) and dopamine (neurotransmitters) when we exercise. Both improve overall well-being.

Walking and hiking are excellent forms of exercise, and when done in large doses, can effectively regulate both maladies.

Endorphins and dopamine are not the only spin-offs. When we walk or hike in nature, we connect with our primordial self (fitrah), which our souls recognise, unlike modernity. Nature walks are replete with signposts directing to Allah, the Shifā-Healer.

Reading is also an effective tonic for both symptoms.

I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.” These are the words of the French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne.

When we read, our thoughts do not remain within the boundaries of the text but bleed beyond into a sea of knowledge of past and present and newly revealed.

From this sea to an elixir at the centre of our being, words inspire and heal: “We send down the Quran as a healing” [17:82].

Make walking and reading your healing. It’s free and free from side effects, too.

Until next week, InshaAllah

Zaahied Sallie

Author of The Beloved Prophet – An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme

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