Author Topic: Why abandon rituals?  (Read 4449 times)

Scribbler

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Why abandon rituals?
« on: March 11, 2013, 06:23:54 AM »
Salamun Alaykum.



I have something to say, especially to those people in whose lives, religious-rituals don?t play an important role and are meant to carry very little to no value at all, based on their understanding of the God?s book.

While I was reading the old topics in the salat section of this forum, I?ve found some people who believe that the Quran doesn?t tell us of any sort of rituals to be carried out, and all the translations have been distorted, and based on their findings and logic, they asserted that the word ?salat? means ?to establish God?s system in the society?.

Then they put forward some questions such as:

If salat means ritual prayer, then where is the word ?rakah/unit? in the Quran?

Where in the Quran does it talk about the number of rakah/units we have to do in each of the salats?

Why didn?t God give us a step-by-step process on how to do the ritual prayer?

Etc.


So in the end, they decided that salat cannot be a ritual prayer but has to be something else.



Very recently, I?ve seen a thread where someone was saying that ?wudu/ablution? in 5:6, cannot mean a physical washing of the body parts, but has to be talking about spiritual cleaning of one?s soul. Therefore, the person implied that all the translations of 5:6 are distorted, and so far, none of the scholars have interpreted this verse correctly.

Then the person put forward a question something like:

How can ablution be ?physical washing? and how can tayammum be ?physical rubbing of pure soil?, since soil itself isn?t clean and what if I can?t find water and at the same time, can?t find any pure soil, then what is supposed to be done?

...and tons of other questions.


So the person concluded that 5:6 cannot mean physical washing.



Now?



Let?s take a look at the following:


2:183        O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:

2:184        [fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases]
                 it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to
                 fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.


(Red: highlighted for emphasis.)


Now answer me these:

Where in the Quran does it talk about the ailments, considering which we can decide if we fall into the category of being ill or not?

Why didn?t God give us a list of all the ailments and diseases, to help us decide based on the list, if we can fast or not?

I have cough and one of my tonsils hurts. Can I fast?

I think I have a little fever, but I am not sure. Can I fast?

I have cancer. Can I fast?


Since I can?t find all the answers to my questions, DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


I?m asking again. DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


Isn?t this what they did? Just because they couldn?t find details about rakah/units and about other stuff, they concluded that salat cannot mean ritual prayer and 5:6 cannot be talking about physical washing of the body parts.

It seems like they wish to find every single answer in the Quran. But for that to become possible, the Quran needs to be fifty times more thicker in pages to what we have today.



SO WHO WILL DECIDE IF I AM ILL OR NOT? AND WHO WILL DECIDE IF I CAN FAST OR NOT?

The answer is, ?Me?. I will use my God-given brain and decide if I am ill or not. And I know that I can?t fool God with this, cause if I lie about being ill, then God knows very well what?s in my heart and I will be fooling no one but myself.


Now as another example, think of a situation like this:

You?re travelling on a bus and you want to do your salat. For ablution, you have no water, nor do you have any pure soil for tayammum.

WHAT WILL YOU DO? AND WHO WILL DECIDE FOR YOU?

The answer is, ?You?. You will decide what you want to do. You can either tell the bus driver to halt the bus for a moment so that you can get out for two minutes to do the ablution or tayammum and do your salat outside, or you can get back and do your salat inside the bus, or you may decide not to do the salat at all and ask Allah to forgive you. It?s all up to YOU and only YOU will decide what you want to do!



Anyway, before I end this, based on evidence, logic and reason, let?s see if salat means ?establishing God?s system in the society? or not:


And [thus] did We inspire Moses and his brother: "Set aside for your people some houses in the city, and [tell them], `Turn your houses into places of worship, and be constant in prayer!' And give thou [O Moses] the glad tiding [of God's succour] to all believers." (10:87)

Transliteration: Waawhayna ila moosa waakheehi an tabawwaa liqawmikuma bimisra buyootan waijAAaloo buyootakum qiblatan waaqeemoo alssalata wabashshiri almu/mineena (10:87)


If you read the above verse in context, you will see that this verse came long before prophet Moses (pbuh) saved the children of Israel and escaped from Pharaoh and his army by crossing the sea. Then more later, prophet Moses (pbuh) was being asked by God to go up to the Mount Sinai for an appointed time, and there prophet Moses (pbuh) was given the commandments on the stone tablets.

Therefore, if salat means ?to establish God?s system?, how come the order of salat for the children of Israel was given long before prophet Moses (pbuh) even got the stone tablets?


A question to ponder about.





Peace.
Turn to Allah before you turn to ashes.

Bigmo

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 12:09:38 PM »
Well one reason for that is some do not see any connection between the Quran and the Abrahamic traditions and previous scriptures. I personally have no problem with someone who says we don't have to bow and prostrate when we pray since these acts  in the end are expressions. Its when they change the meaning of terms that I have a problem with. Because this will open up a whole can of worms. The Quran many times is allegorical. Every language has that including Arabic. But we don't change the meaning of the term.

When the Quran says they have a sickness in their hearts, we know this is not a biological understanding. But we still take heart as meaning heart.

What i have noticed is only certain terms are challenged. But whats stopping many other terms like jannah and nar (heaven and hell), like youm al qiyama (day of resurrection) and like malaika (angels) and like shaitan (satan) and anbiya wa rusul ( prophets and messengers) and so on. This can go on and on.

88:21 22; And so, exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe

abdalquran

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 01:23:10 PM »
Bigmo, I can see you're a very respectful and tolerant guy even though you've sometimes not been treated in way in return. So I hope I won't offend you with my following comment:

Language is not like mathematics. Mathematics functions in a created system of axioms in which people agree to when they participate. It is therefore systemically objective. Language isn't like that. It bends and shapes according to USAGE. This is an observable phenomenon today. Why should classical Arabic be any different?

The Quran does not have the categories of literal (haqiqi) or metaphorical (majazi). I think its because the term 'ayat' (signs) fits on both a physical/phenomenological level (fil ufq - 41/53) and psychological (fin nafs - also 41/53). So words must have the respective effect for you on those levels.

So for you, the ritual prayer works on those levels. That's brilliant. Don't let anyone tell you it's invalid or try to coerce you into proving it. Your experience IS proof. However, to say those who disagree 'change' the meanings of words is unwise and biased. For them, those words may have the same effect as for you. Words are sounds, what you attach TO those sounds is subjective and can only affect people subjectively. No one really speaks the same language when you think about it :)

TIMTINS  :handshake:
Farouk A. Peru

noshirk

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 02:00:35 PM »
Salamun Alaykum.



I have something to say, especially to those people in whose lives, religious-rituals don?t play an important role and are meant to carry very little to no value at all, based on their understanding of the God?s book.

While I was reading the old topics in the salat section of this forum, I?ve found some people who believe that the Quran doesn?t tell us of any sort of rituals to be carried out, and all the translations have been distorted, and based on their findings and logic, they asserted that the word ?salat? means ?to establish God?s system in the society?.

Then they put forward some questions such as:

If salat means ritual prayer, then where is the word ?rakah/unit? in the Quran?

Where in the Quran does it talk about the number of rakah/units we have to do in each of the salats?

Why didn?t God give us a step-by-step process on how to do the ritual prayer?

Etc.


So in the end, they decided that salat cannot be a ritual prayer but has to be something else.



Very recently, I?ve seen a thread where someone was saying that ?wudu/ablution? in 5:6, cannot mean a physical washing of the body parts, but has to be talking about spiritual cleaning of one?s soul. Therefore, the person implied that all the translations of 5:6 are distorted, and so far, none of the scholars have interpreted this verse correctly.

Then the person put forward a question something like:

How can ablution be ?physical washing? and how can tayammum be ?physical rubbing of pure soil?, since soil itself isn?t clean and what if I can?t find water and at the same time, can?t find any pure soil, then what is supposed to be done?

...and tons of other questions.


So the person concluded that 5:6 cannot mean physical washing.



Now?



Let?s take a look at the following:


2:183        O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:

2:184        [fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases]
                 it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to
                 fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.


(Red: highlighted for emphasis.)


Now answer me these:

Where in the Quran does it talk about the ailments, considering which we can decide if we fall into the category of being ill or not?

Why didn?t God give us a list of all the ailments and diseases, to help us decide based on the list, if we can fast or not?

I have cough and one of my tonsils hurts. Can I fast?

I think I have a little fever, but I am not sure. Can I fast?

I have cancer. Can I fast?


Since I can?t find all the answers to my questions, DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


I?m asking again. DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


Isn?t this what they did? Just because they couldn?t find details about rakah/units and about other stuff, they concluded that salat cannot mean ritual prayer and 5:6 cannot be talking about physical washing of the body parts.

It seems like they wish to find every single answer in the Quran. But for that to become possible, the Quran needs to be fifty times more thicker in pages to what we have today.



SO WHO WILL DECIDE IF I AM ILL OR NOT? AND WHO WILL DECIDE IF I CAN FAST OR NOT?

The answer is, ?Me?. I will use my God-given brain and decide if I am ill or not. And I know that I can?t fool God with this, cause if I lie about being ill, then God knows very well what?s in my heart and I will be fooling no one but myself.


Now as another example, think of a situation like this:

You?re travelling on a bus and you want to do your salat. For ablution, you have no water, nor do you have any pure soil for tayammum.

WHAT WILL YOU DO? AND WHO WILL DECIDE FOR YOU?

The answer is, ?You?. You will decide what you want to do. You can either tell the bus driver to halt the bus for a moment so that you can get out for two minutes to do the ablution or tayammum and do your salat outside, or you can get back and do your salat inside the bus, or you may decide not to do the salat at all and ask Allah to forgive you. It?s all up to YOU and only YOU will decide what you want to do!



Anyway, before I end this, based on evidence, logic and reason, let?s see if salat means ?establishing God?s system in the society? or not:


And [thus] did We inspire Moses and his brother: "Set aside for your people some houses in the city, and [tell them], `Turn your houses into places of worship, and be constant in prayer!' And give thou [O Moses] the glad tiding [of God's succour] to all believers." (10:87)

Transliteration: Waawhayna ila moosa waakheehi an tabawwaa liqawmikuma bimisra buyootan waijAAaloo buyootakum qiblatan waaqeemoo alssalata wabashshiri almu/mineena (10:87)


If you read the above verse in context, you will see that this verse came long before prophet Moses (pbuh) saved the children of Israel and escaped from Pharaoh and his army by crossing the sea. Then more later, prophet Moses (pbuh) was being asked by God to go up to the Mount Sinai for an appointed time, and there prophet Moses (pbuh) was given the commandments on the stone tablets.

Therefore, if salat means ?to establish God?s system?, how come the order of salat for the children of Israel was given long before prophet Moses (pbuh) even got the stone tablets?


A question to ponder about.





Peace.

Salaam

Please Scribbler , don't waste time in complex explanations based on what someone said on this forum.
I have only one question for you:

What are the references of the books you want us to mix with words of God in order to get the description of the rituals you think God ask us to follow ?

Peace
noshirk=trying to never mix teachings of The unique Rabb with other teachings, and specially any kind of clerical teachings.

Wakas

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 03:23:43 PM »
peace Scribbler,

Bear in mind for some of the things you mentioned it is only a very small minority who actually believe those things, and further,  very few, if any, comprehensive studies have been published by those advocating certain views.

Quran talks a lot about being wary of following whims/desires, well one way to minimise this pitfall is to go with the evidence. Evidence needs to be made public however, in order to weigh and consider it. See 39:18.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

abdalquran

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 04:49:12 PM »
Salaam Scribbler,

Quote
Very recently, I?ve seen a thread where someone was saying that ?wudu/ablution? in 5:6, cannot mean a physical washing of the body parts, but has to be talking about spiritual cleaning of one?s soul. Therefore, the person implied that all the translations of 5:6 are distorted, and so far, none of the scholars have interpreted this verse correctly.

This doesn't sound like a statement a quranist would make, if you'll pardon me for saying so. The idea is to find the truth for yourself, not care who says what about which.If you're satisfied with your interpretation WHO CARES what other people think? You could be the only one in the world who thinks like you do if you feel the connection with Allah with your practice, no one can take that away from you.

As for other 'scholars', I think you're being quite generous with the term. In the majority of translations, we have Sunni scholars interpreting verses to suit the norms already present in hadith. And we do not escape the influence of hadith by simply dropping hadith. Remember, the lexicons you read today came AFTER the orthodoxification of Sunnism (500 YEARS after hijrah). So why on earth reject hadith if you accept meanings by those who believe in them?

 Cut and paste readings of dictionaries don't make scholarship, bro. Quranists are in actually in a worse position than Sunnis. Most of us don't even READ Arabic and have to rely on people who TRANSLATE for us. We don't even know the historicity and historiography of Arabic which is very rich in detail. When we read our English dictionaries, how do we know they're not censored?
I've seen deliberate censorship of meanings dozens of times now.

Can you imagine the layers of subjectivity which buffer us from the real meanings. Lets not act as if it's all so cut and dried. It's really not as simple as cutting and pasting meanings or reading translations which is essentially the same thing. Simplicity is usually a clever move to pass off some biased conclusion so lets not do that.

I hear what you're saying about asking for details though and I agree with you. I would ask those who metaphorise 5/6 what aspects of the self need cleaning or how do we establish the system since they also ask you for details. I think reason should answer that as you do.

I prefer to ask something else though, why is 5/6 where it is? I don't like to ignore context because to me, that's the ONLY objective proof we have. While dictionaries and grammar books are written by people and are never consistent , the Quran is objectively there. Why would God talk about washing JUST there. Why right after deen al-kameel and the yawms (5/3 and 5/4-5)? When you read these in context, you will find that your mind is already loaded with ideas. As such, I find it impossible to read it literally.

I wouldn't worry about these dead linguistic sources, they are at best only attempts at semanticisation. I would read in context and ask, what is the purpose of the Quran? Does a ritual washing fit in there? To me, it doesn't. If it does to you, np. WATDIP  :handshake:


Farouk A. Peru

GODsubmitter

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 04:54:30 PM »
Salamun Alaykum.



I have something to say, especially to those people in whose lives, religious-rituals don?t play an important role and are meant to carry very little to no value at all, based on their understanding of the God?s book.

While I was reading the old topics in the salat section of this forum, I?ve found some people who believe that the Quran doesn?t tell us of any sort of rituals to be carried out, and all the translations have been distorted, and based on their findings and logic, they asserted that the word ?salat? means ?to establish God?s system in the society?.

Then they put forward some questions such as:

If salat means ritual prayer, then where is the word ?rakah/unit? in the Quran?

Where in the Quran does it talk about the number of rakah/units we have to do in each of the salats?

Why didn?t God give us a step-by-step process on how to do the ritual prayer?

Etc.


So in the end, they decided that salat cannot be a ritual prayer but has to be something else.



Very recently, I?ve seen a thread where someone was saying that ?wudu/ablution? in 5:6, cannot mean a physical washing of the body parts, but has to be talking about spiritual cleaning of one?s soul. Therefore, the person implied that all the translations of 5:6 are distorted, and so far, none of the scholars have interpreted this verse correctly.

Then the person put forward a question something like:

How can ablution be ?physical washing? and how can tayammum be ?physical rubbing of pure soil?, since soil itself isn?t clean and what if I can?t find water and at the same time, can?t find any pure soil, then what is supposed to be done?

...and tons of other questions.


So the person concluded that 5:6 cannot mean physical washing.



Now?



Let?s take a look at the following:


2:183        O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:

2:184        [fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases]
                 it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to
                 fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.


(Red: highlighted for emphasis.)


Now answer me these:

Where in the Quran does it talk about the ailments, considering which we can decide if we fall into the category of being ill or not?

Why didn?t God give us a list of all the ailments and diseases, to help us decide based on the list, if we can fast or not?

I have cough and one of my tonsils hurts. Can I fast?

I think I have a little fever, but I am not sure. Can I fast?

I have cancer. Can I fast?


Since I can?t find all the answers to my questions, DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


I?m asking again. DOES THIS MEAN 2:184 IS NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING ILL?


Isn?t this what they did? Just because they couldn?t find details about rakah/units and about other stuff, they concluded that salat cannot mean ritual prayer and 5:6 cannot be talking about physical washing of the body parts.

It seems like they wish to find every single answer in the Quran. But for that to become possible, the Quran needs to be fifty times more thicker in pages to what we have today.



SO WHO WILL DECIDE IF I AM ILL OR NOT? AND WHO WILL DECIDE IF I CAN FAST OR NOT?

The answer is, ?Me?. I will use my God-given brain and decide if I am ill or not. And I know that I can?t fool God with this, cause if I lie about being ill, then God knows very well what?s in my heart and I will be fooling no one but myself.


Now as another example, think of a situation like this:

You?re travelling on a bus and you want to do your salat. For ablution, you have no water, nor do you have any pure soil for tayammum.

WHAT WILL YOU DO? AND WHO WILL DECIDE FOR YOU?

The answer is, ?You?. You will decide what you want to do. You can either tell the bus driver to halt the bus for a moment so that you can get out for two minutes to do the ablution or tayammum and do your salat outside, or you can get back and do your salat inside the bus, or you may decide not to do the salat at all and ask Allah to forgive you. It?s all up to YOU and only YOU will decide what you want to do!



Anyway, before I end this, based on evidence, logic and reason, let?s see if salat means ?establishing God?s system in the society? or not:


And [thus] did We inspire Moses and his brother: "Set aside for your people some houses in the city, and [tell them], `Turn your houses into places of worship, and be constant in prayer!' And give thou [O Moses] the glad tiding [of God's succour] to all believers." (10:87)

Transliteration: Waawhayna ila moosa waakheehi an tabawwaa liqawmikuma bimisra buyootan waijAAaloo buyootakum qiblatan waaqeemoo alssalata wabashshiri almu/mineena (10:87)


If you read the above verse in context, you will see that this verse came long before prophet Moses (pbuh) saved the children of Israel and escaped from Pharaoh and his army by crossing the sea. Then more later, prophet Moses (pbuh) was being asked by God to go up to the Mount Sinai for an appointed time, and there prophet Moses (pbuh) was given the commandments on the stone tablets.

Therefore, if salat means ?to establish God?s system?, how come the order of salat for the children of Israel was given long before prophet Moses (pbuh) even got the stone tablets?


A question to ponder about.





Peace.

Thank you @Scribbler for your excellent post.

What I learn from it, is a reminder that there is no universal religious "truth" or practice, since everything is quite subjective (as it should be) between "me" and God , and each and everyone of us should learn directly from the Qur'an, letting Allah alone teach us everything.
You are very much correct in your example about establishing what does it mean to be ill for oneself. I liked very much that illustration of yours and I agree.
Much of the confusions come from the conflict between man-made opinions and pristine message of the Qur'an.
One should progress slowly and gradually in knowledge, according to God's Will.
Thank you again.

Praise be to God.
God has no Religion!

God is running everything.

Peace begins with me.

abdalquran

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 04:59:26 PM »
Quote
Godsubmitter: What I learn from it, is a reminder that there is no universal religious "truth" or practice, since everything is quite subjective (as it should be) between "me" and God , and each and everyone of us should learn directly from the Qur'an, letting Allah alone teach us everything.


Very well put. The only problem is when ppl think they have objective knowledge and impose it on others. Subjectivity is part of the human condition.
Farouk A. Peru

justamuslim

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 07:56:32 PM »
Thank you @Scribbler for your excellent post.

What I learn from it, is a reminder that there is no universal religious "truth" or practice,

Praise be to God.


Sorry but I have to disagree.  There is the TRUTH as set forth by God.   

There is God, people and satan.   The goal of satan is that people not see the TRUTH.   While God guides you to His TRUTH.

Now....

There are those who see what they want to see that which serves them. 
There are those who see the TRUTH but will deny anyway.
There are those who see part and think it is the whole TRUTH.
There are those who really don't care to know the TRUTH.
There are those who will accept what the rabbi, imam, priest or whoever speaks as the truth. 
There are those who don't listen when TRUTH is spoken. They are deaf to it.
There are those who refuse to see the TRUTH.  They are blind to it.
There are those who cannot comprehend.  They are dumb to it.
There are those who think that they know but really don't know - they are the misguided ones.
There are those who will twist, distort, change the TRUTH.
There are those who invent, fabricate and then claim that what they say is the TRUTH. 
There are those who have moments of clarity of the TRUTH  but then go back to their ignorance. 
There are those who no matter how much evidence is given, will still not see or believe in the TRUTH.
There are those who are too arrogant and egotistical to admit the TRUTH instead holding onto and promoting their own beliefs and views.
There are those who would rather follow traditions, say the popular thing, than uphold the TRUTH.

The Koran gives examples of every kind.   And every kind of people are to be found in this forum and outside. 




abdalquran

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Re: Why abandon rituals?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 11:31:57 PM »
Quote
Justamuslim: There is God, people and satan.   The goal of satan is that people not see the TRUTH.   While God guides you to His TRUTH.

That's the problem indeed. People who think they have truth and no one else does. This is how Sunnism came about.

Don't fall for the Richard Dawkins effect, bro. Dawkins postulates that 'I cant see God, therefore God cannot exist'. Dawkins is biased human being with an anti-metaphysical bias so why should I trust him?

Don't be like 'if I can't see interpretation X, it must be false'. It could WE OURSELVES who aren't intelligent or spiritual enough. That 'we' includes me :) I don't trust anyone to be an authoritative source of interpretation. My interpretation may WELL be wrong but at least it's my own. Why would I trust anyone else? People have biases.

TIMTINS  :handshake:
Farouk A. Peru