Begum Roquia: the first Indian woman sci-fi writer
Sultana’s Dream was first published in The Indian Ladies’ Magazine. Fortunately, the text of the story has survived. It reads like a feminist vision of the future. But it is not just a feminist vision but also a wonderfully written sci-fi story. It is a vision where women rule the country and men are holed up in “zanana” which is now called “mardana.” Since women are ruling there is peace everywhere and through the use of science all work is done efficiently and smartly.
Some snippets from the story:
Why men should be locked-up:
And you do not think it wise to keep sane people inside an asylum and let loose the insane?’
‘Of course not!’ said I laughing lightly.
‘As a matter of fact, in your country this very thing is done! Men, who do or at least are capable of doing no end of mischief, are let loose and the innocent women, shut up in the zenana! How can you trust those untrained men out of doors?’
‘Since the “Mardana” system has been established, there has been no more crime or sin; therefore we do not require a policeman to find out a culprit, nor do we want a magistrate to try a criminal case.’
Harnessing solar power:
The kitchen was situated in a beautiful vegetable garden. Every creeper, every tomato plant was itself an ornament. I found no smoke, nor any chimney either in the kitchen — it was clean and bright; the windows were decorated with flower gardens. There was no sign of coal or fire.
‘How do you cook?’ I asked.
‘With solar heat,’ she said, at the same time showing me the pipe, through which passed the concentrated sunlight and heat. And she cooked something then and there to show me the process.
Vehicle of the future:
Then she screwed a couple of seats onto a square piece of plank. To this plank she attached two smooth and well-polished balls. When I asked her what the balls were for, she said they were hydrogen balls and they were used to overcome the force of gravity. The balls were of different capacities to be used according to the different weights desired to be overcome. She then fastened to the air-car two wing-like blades, which, she said, were worked by electricity. After we were comfortably seated she touched a knob and the blades began to whirl, moving faster and faster every moment. At first we were raised to the height of about six or seven feet and then off we flew. And before I could realize that we had commenced moving, we reached the garden of the Queen.
My friend lowered the air-car by reversing the action of the machine, and when the car touched the ground the machine was stopped and we got out.
Continue Reading about Begum Roqiya.
Why Islamic Jewelry in Silver is So Popular for Men
Muslims men are prohibited from wearing gold as a wedding band or engagement ring made out of metal that contains yellow Gold. With time and the advancement of technology rings for men now come in a wide variety of materials and forms. A popular metal known as White Gold is available in 18 and 14 carats and is used by Muslim men which are technically also wrong. Another popular 9 carat White Gold known as Swasa also contains yellow gold and is therefore prohibited in Islam for wearing by Muslim males.
Types of Yellow Gold
There are many types of gold and most of them are precious to semi precious metals. Pure Gold or 999 Gold cannot be used in making jewelry as it is too soft and malleable to sustain the wear and tear. Another type of gold known as 916 Gold is made by adding different metal alloys is used for making jewelry and for holding gems and is much stronger as compared to the pure 999 Gold. It is more precious and used for making wedding jewelry and heavy gold sets. After that we have 18k Gold. Addition of alloys leaves it 75% pure but makes it stronger and does not allow the metal to bend. 14k Gold or 58% pure metal and 9k Gold or Swasa 37.5% pure are also used for making jewelry. Many Muslims think it is white gold so wearing it is not prohibited. But even the slightest touch of gold is not allowed by Islamic Shira so wearing it is also haraam for Muslim men.
Men prohibited wearing Jewelry in Any Form
Most of gold jewelry is plated with white, rose and black colored alloys which produces White, Rose and Black gold respectively. As the matter of fact is that it is still gold but only disguised by changing its color and addition of other alloys. In brief, Muslim men can wear silver, silver alloy not containing gold and of course, platinum rings, bracelets and chains but not the metal Gold.
Other Facts Related to Men Wearing Gold
There are many other interesting facts related to wearing gold by men in the Islamic school of thought that are popular worldwide. Many men think that they will lose their reproductive strength if they wear gold. In some societies or male dominated cultures wearing jewelry can make a man look like a woman so they strongly forbid their males to wear any sort of jewelry. Exchanging of wedding bands or rings is considered an act for Christians and therefore they do not wear a band. However, over the passage of time and with the advent of modern technology, new thoughts and ideas of modernity have replaced old orthodox views about wearing rings and other forms of jewelry including gold ornaments. Some Muslims have started wearing these ornaments to show their individuality and stay above the crowd. All we can say is that it still is fact that gold is prohibited in the form of jewelry for Muslim men to wear.
Muslims in india, pakistan and bangladesh share same roots
The Muslims around the world believes in the sole authority, Almighty Allah. Muslims are the only nation who shares the similar religious festivals on the same days globally. They follow the Islamic calendar that goes on with the appearance of the moon. In the religion, no one has supremacy except for Allah and everyone is equal.
Before partition India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were collectively called sub-continent. There had been Muslim empire then the British ruled there so the three nations possess identical history. The Muslims living in these states were subject to the cruelty of the British and had given sacrifices to be independent.
They had suffered a lot in the British rule along with the people of other religion like Hindus and Sikhs. The Muslims were well mingled with the other nations and share the cultural values with them. The Muslims enjoyed many festivals that were not in Islam. After partition, the states do change but the people did not. The immigrants of the partition got settled in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Those who found India safe remained there.
Today the three countries are independent but they have same roots that are linked with the past. Pakistan and Bangladesh are the Muslim states but India is a communist country. Although in India, the majority of the people are Hindus but the Muslims are the second majority. All the Muslims of the three states are one under the flag of Islam being religious brothers.
The forefathers were from the sub continent so they have similar cultural values. The languages have familiar words as living together they have adapted the words of one another languages. The food taste is more or less alike and these are the only states were chapatti roti is cooked. Muslims in the three countries eat meat with added spices, rice, vegetables and pulses with the roti. The people are mostly engaged in farming and earn their living through crops. The dressing style is similar. They wear covered and loose dresses. Women wear dupattas and hijabs to cover themselves.
The Muslims of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh follow the same wedding traditions. They have adapted some values of Hinduism like the mayon ceremony before nikah and dowry but they also have the reception as the last function of the wedding, which is necessary in the religion. The Muslims living in these three countries are identical in color and it’s hard to distinguish between the citizens of a particular country among the three. They also share together rivers and mountain ranges. Due to territorial demarcation there are hidden grudges in their hearts but the religious uniformity make them stand together during Eids and Hajj.