fertility

Is Time and Space Are Creations or Part of Allah Subhanoo Wat’ala the King of All Kings?

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What is the meaning of the hadeeth “Do not inveigh against time (waqt) for Allaah is time (waqt)”?

Is the saying “Do not curse time for Allah is time” authentic from the Rasool’s sayings ? If so, how do you interpret this ? I am confused about this issue.

Praise be to Allaah.

The word used in the hadeeth is not waqt (= time), but dahr (= time, vicissitudes of time) [this element of confusion may stem from translation of the question into Arabic]. This hadeeth was narrated by Muslim (5827) from Abu Hurayrah.

Other versions of the hadeeth are:

“Do not inveigh against time (al-dahr), for Allaah is time”

“Let not any one of you say, ‘Woe to time,’ for Allaah is time”

“Allaah says, ‘The sons of Adam offend Me and say, Woe to time, but they should not say Woe to time. I am time, I alternate the night and the day, and if I willed, I could seize them both.’”

With regard to the meaning of the hadeeth, al-Nawawi said:

They said: this is a metaphor, because the Arabs used to inveigh against time when disasters such as death, old age, loss of money, etc., happened. They would say, ‘Woe to time’ and other phrases cursing or inveighing against time. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Do not inveigh against time for Allaah is time’, i.e., do not inveigh against the One Who brings about those disasters, for that will be directed towards Allaah, for He is the One Who causes them to happen. Time (al-dahr) means al-zamaan (time) which cannot do anything in and of itself, for it is just one of the things that have been created by Allaah.

The meaning of the phrase “for Allaah is time” means that He is the One Who causes those events and accidents to happen, and He is the Creator of all that happens. And Allaah knows best.

(Sharh Muslim, 15/3)

It should be noted that “time” (al-dahr) is not one of the Names of Allaah; it is attributed to Allaah in the sense that He created it and is controlling it, i.e., He is the Creator of time. Some phrases in the same hadeeth also indicate this, as when He says,  “It is in My Hand, I alternate the night and the day.” The One Who alternates and the thing which is alternated cannot be one and the same; there is the One Who alternates – i.e., Allaah – and the thing which is alternated – i.e., time, which Allaah controls as and when He wills.

See: Fataawa al-‘Aqeedah by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/163

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said, in his Tafseer of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they say: “There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except Ad‑Dahr (time)” [al-Jaathiyah 45:24]

Al-Shaafa’i, Abu ‘Ubaydah and others said, in their commentary on the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not inveigh against time for Allaah is time” – During the Jaahiliyyah, if some difficulty, trial or disaster befell them, the Arabs would  say ‘Woe to time’, attributing those events to time and inveighing against it. But the One Who brought those events to pass is Allaah, so it was as if they were inveighing against Allaah, may He be glorified, because in fact He was the One Who caused those things to happen. So it was forbidden to inveigh against time in this manner, because Allaah is Time, i.e., He is the One lWho is controlling it, but the Arabs were attributing those events to Time.

This is the best of the comments made in the Tafseer of this hadeeth, and this is what is meant. And Allaah knows best.

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/152)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked about the ruling on inveighing against time. He replied:

Inveighing against time may be divided into three categories:

1.  Where the intention is to convey information without blaming or condemning. This is permissible, such as when a person remarks, “We are suffering from the heat (or the cold) today” and the like, because deeds are judged according to their intentions, and in this case a person is merely describing what is happening without expressing discontent.

2.  Where a person inveighs against time as the cause of events, as if by inveighing against it he means that time is what causes things to alternate between good and bad. This is shirk akbar (major form of shirk) because when a person attributes events to something other than Allaah, this means that he believes that there is another creator alongside Allaah.

3.   Where a person inveighs against time but believes that the One who causes things to happen is Allaah, but he inveighs against time because of the bad things that happened. This is haraam because it is contrary to the sabr (patience) that is required, but it is not kufr because the person does not inveigh directly against Allaah. If he were to inveigh directly against Allaah, he would be a kaafir

(Fataawaa al-‘Aqeedah, 1/197)

Other reprehensible expressions which people utter include cursing the hour or the day on which a certain bad thing happened, and so on. This is a sin because it is cursing and improper speech, and because this is cursing something which does not deserve to be cursed. What has the hour or the day done wrong? Nothing apart from the fact that the events happened then, but they are only created things which have no control over anything and cannot be held to blame. If a person inveighs against time, this reflects on the Creator of time. The Muslim should be above speaking in such a foolish and improper manner. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek

Whoever curses time has wronged Allah

It is a common practice among the people to curse, degrade or attribute evil to time, if something displeasing occurs at a certain time. They will curse that day, month or year. Time, however, is not responsible for the occurrence of events. Deeds are only performed in it (i.e., the time). The One, Who Controls and Decrees all events is Allah. When one curses time, he is either, actually cursing Allah, Who governs all events, or he is ascribing occurrence of events to the time – and in doing so, he commits Shirk. The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘Allah said, ‘The son of Adam wrongs me for, he curses ad-Dahr (the time); though I am ad-Dahr (the time), in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] in another narration, ‘Do not abuse ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is ad-Dahr.’ [Saheeh Muslim]

Ash-Shafa’ee, Abu Ubaydah, and several other Imams of Tafseer explained the meaning of the above Hadeeth saying, ‘During the time of Jahiliyah (ignorance), when an affliction, a calamity or disaster struck them, the Arabs used to say, ‘Woe to ad-Dahr (time)! So they used to blame such incidents on ad-Dahr, cursing ad-Dahr in the process. Surely, it is Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, Who causes these (and all) things to happen. This is why when they cursed ad-Dahr, it was as if they were cursing Allah, Himself, since truthfully He causes all incidents to happen. Therefore, abusing ad-Dahr was prohibited due to this consideration, for it was Allah, Whom they meant by abusing ad-Dahr,…’ This is the best explanation for this subject, and it is the desired meaning. And Allah knows best. We should mention that Ibn-Hazm and those of the Zahiriyyah like him made an error when they used this Hadeeth to include ad-Dahr among Allah’s most beautiful Names.’ [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer under the Tafseer of the verse, (45): 24]

‘It is not considered cursing time to describe the years as difficult or to describe the day as black (i.e. dreary, sad), or the months as unfortunate, and similar statements. The reason is that this is restricted, meaning this is the day that he (the person) was unfortunate, or this is the day that he was bleak or dismal. Thus, the meaning of this is to describe what happened in that time, and that from his description was such-and-such, meaning, this person who is speaking. So actually, he is describing his condition and he is not describing the time with praise or reviling it.’ [Ghayatul-Murid fi-Sharh Kitab at-Tawheed by Shaikh Ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem Aali Shaikh]

Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 43

Whoever Curses Time Wrongs Allah

Allah , says:

And they say: There is nothing but our life in this world: We die and we live and nothing destroys us except time. And they have no knowledge of it, they only conjecture” (Qur’an 45:24)

Allah , Most Glorified, Most High, informs us in this verse about the disbelieving dahris1 from among the Arabs and others, who do not believe in any life, save the life of this world, nor in the Rabb and Creator, Allah , Most High. They believe that nothing causes death except the passage of time. Then Allah , Most Glorified, Most High, refutes their claims, saying that they have absolutely no evidence for what they claim, but instead, depend upon surmise and their own vain opinions.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That attributing good or evil to the passage of time is a sign of atheism.

2. Confirmation of a life after death for mankind.

3. That ad-dahr (time) is not one of Allah’s Names.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That the verse rejects those who attribute events to time, for they commit a great wrong against Allah .

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That it rejects those who attribute events to time, because in so doing, they are ascribing a partner to Allah , for it is He, Alone Who decrees what will be and what will not be.

..ooOOoo..

It is authentically reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Allah , Most Blessed, Most High, says: “The son of Adam wrongs Me: He curses time, though I am time: In My Hands are all things and I cause the night to follow the day.” 2 In another narration, He (may Peace Be Upon Him) says: “Do not curse time, for verily, time is Allah .”

Allah , Most Glorified, Most High informs us in this Hadith Qudsi, that man commits a great wrong against Allah when he curses time and attributes the occurrence of events to it, for Allah is the Rabb of time and the Disposer of affairs and it is by His Qadr that events take place. Therefore to curse time is to curse the Owner of time.

In the second narration, the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) forbids us from cursing time, saying that Allah is the Owner of time and the Disposer of it and all events and affairs, and this is confirmation of what was reported in the preceding Hadith Qudsi.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of cursing time.

2. That no actions may be attributed to time.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that to curse time is to commit a great wrong against Allah .

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that cursing time is a great wrong against Allah , because those who do so believe that it is time which causes events to take place and this is shirk in Tawheed Ar-Ruboobiyyah, for it is Allah , Alone Who determines events.

Footnotes

1. Dahris: An atheistic sect among the Arabs, their views are widely held in the West today: There is no God, no Resurrection, no punishment, no reward etc., etc.
2. Narrated by Bukhari.
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Revelation Order of the Qur’an

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Revelation Order of the Qur’an

The Qur’an was sometimes revealed to respond to various events and incidents. Sometimes it was revealed to support the Prophet (saws) who was faced with many questions, whether by Muslims or non-Muslims, and hardships. Other times was revealed for legislation and for putting rules to govern the social, economical, and political life of Muslims.

The first verses to be revealed, according to the most correct opinion of scholars, are the first five verses of Surat Al-`Alaq, which happens to be Chapter 96 of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an.

Order of Verses

Muslim scholars agree that the order of the verses in every chapter was done or commanded by the Prophet (saws) himself following the commands of Almighty Allah.

The Prophet (saws) once told his Companions after he had received a certain revelation that the arch-angel Gabriel had specified for him the particular order of verses (Ahmad).

There are also many incidents narrated in the books of Sunnah regarding the Prophet’s (saws) recitation during prayer. The Companions used to pray every day behind the Prophet (saws) and he used to recite the Qur’an in the order given to him by Allah, and they used to learn and memorize from his recitation.

There have never been any incident in which any of the Companions reciting in any order that violated the order of the verses showed to us by the Prophet (saws).

Order of Surahs

As for the order of the surahs (chapters), the most accepted view is that it was also applied following an instruction given by Almighty Allah. It has been recorded that the Prophet (saws) reviewed the Qur’an with the arch-angel Gabriel 24 times all within his life.

Every year, he used to review it once during the month of Ramadan with Gabriel. During the final year of the Prophet’s life, Gabriel revised the Qur’an twice with the Prophet (saws) as a way of confirming it. The Prophet (saws), in turn, used to follow this order in teaching his Companions and communicating the message to them.

Significance of Order

The question of why a surah like Surat Al-`Alaq, which was revealed first not put first in the mushaf (a physical copy of the Qur’an), this will require us to search more in the Qur’an and explore some of its secrets. A deeper look into the whole matter will show us that the order of the Qur’an has a purpose and the revelation of the Qur’an also has a purpose.

For instance, the revelation of the Qur’an responding to specific problems or incidents carries the purpose of solving these problems or providing guidance in these incidents.

During the first 13 years of Islam, the main task of the Prophet (saws) was to call people to Islam based on the Qur’anic revelations that focused on the Oneness of Allah and righteous conduct.

When Muslims migrated to Madinah and an Islamic community started to be well-established and new challenges emerged, the main focus of the revelation was to regulate the life of Muslims through detailing the rulings pertaining to different acts of worship and setting punishments for crimes and so on.

This shows us that the revelation in each of the two stages has a purpose. When the revelation stage was completed, the whole Qur’an was there and the whole message was put in the order that was intended for it to stay till the Day of Judgment.

Explanation of Order

Such an order serves in delivering the message the Qur’an is put for, as it has got another purpose.

If you look at the first surah of the Qur’an, namely Al-Fatihah, you can perceive that it acts as a summary for the structure and the message of the Book (Qur’an) ahead of every reader.

Being Umm Al-Qur’an (the Mother of the Qur’an), it carries all its themes; it summarizes them. It tells us who Allah is: the source of all love and mercy. Therefore, knowing who He is, we should be thankful to Him and worship Him alone. We should seek His help, and He has all the power to give us whatever we need. It makes it clear that Allah is the only One Who can really guide. It speaks about life after death and the consequences of human action and behavior.

The same holds true for Surat Al-Baqarah. The first verses speak about the fact that this Book is above all doubts and it is beyond the abilities of doubters to try to challenge its validity. Then it gives a hint on its main theme — guiding the righteous — and then goes on to speak about the beginning of creation and the story of Adam to establish the theme that humankind is here on earth as a vicegerent of the Creator and should use the Book as a manual to carry out the mission in the right way.

All these themes and messages cannot be carried except through this logical order in which Allah commanded for the Qur’an to be put. If a surah like Al-`Alaq was to be put at the beginning instead of Al-Fatihah, it could have given a significance of course and give a message, but not the exact fully wonderful message that we can get from the order of the Qur’an as it is now.

Why Al-`Alaq in the Current Order?

As for why Surat Al-`Alaq is mentioned in this specific order in the Qur’an, scholars hold the view that in the previous surah of At-Tin, Allah says what means that He has created humans in the best make (At-Tin 95:4). The details of that creation are cited in Surat Al-`Alaq:

*{Read in the name of your Lord Who created. Created humans, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood.}* (Al-`Alaq 96:1-2)

Revelation Order of the Qur’an

Revelation
Order
Surah Number
Surah Name Arabic Name Total Verses Revelation Place
1 96 Alaq 19 Macca
2 68 Qalam 52 Macca
3 73 Muzammil 20 Macca
4 74 Mudathir 56 Macca
5 1 Fatehah 7 Macca
6 111 Lahab 5 Macca
7 81 Takwir 29 Macca
8 87 A’la 19 Macca
9 92 Leyl 21 Macca
10 89 Fajr 30 Macca
11 93 Duha 11 Macca
12 94 Inshira 8 Macca
13 103 Asr 3 Macca
14 100 Aadiyat 11 Macca
15 108 Kauthar 3 Macca
16 102 Takatur 8 Macca
17 107 Alma’un 7 Macca
18 109 Kafirun 6 Macca
19 105 Fil 5 Macca
20 113 Falaq 5 Macca
21 114 Nas 6 Macca
22 112 Iklas 4 Macca
23 53 Najm 62 Macca
24 80 Abasa 42 Macca
25 97 Qadr 5 Macca
26 91 Shams 15 Macca
27 85 Buruj 22 Macca
28 95 T’in 8 Macca
29 106 Qureysh 4 Macca
30 101 Qariah 11 Macca
31 75 Qiyamah 40 Macca
32 104 Humazah 9 Macca
33 77 Mursalat 50 Macca
34 50 Q’af 45 Macca
35 90 Balad 20 Macca
36 86 Tariq 17 Macca
37 54 Qamr 55 Macca
38 38 Sad 88 Macca
39 7 A’Raf 206 Macca
40 72 Jinn 28 Macca
41 36 Ya’sin 83 Macca
42 25 Furqan 77 Macca
43 35 Fatir 45 Macca
44 19 Maryam 98 Macca
45 20 Ta Ha 135 Macca
46 56 Waqiah 96 Macca
47 26 Shuara 227 Macca
48 27 Naml 93 Macca
49 28 Qasas 88 Macca
50 17 Bani Israil 111 Macca
51 10 Yunus 109 Macca
52 11 Hud 123 Macca
53 12 Yousuf 111 Macca
54 15 Hijr 99 Macca
55 6 Anam 165 Macca
56 37 Saffat 182 Macca
57 31 Luqman 34 Macca
58 34 Saba 54 Macca
59 39 Zumar 75 Macca
60 40 Mumin 85 Macca
61 41 Hamim Sajdah 54 Macca
62 42 Shura 53 Macca
63 43 Zukhruf 89 Macca
64 44 Dukhan 59 Macca
65 45 Jathiyah 37 Macca
66 46 Ahqaf 35 Macca
67 51 Dhariyat 60 Macca
68 88 Ghashiya 26 Madina
69 18 Kahf 110 Macca
70 16 Nahl 128 Macca
71 71 Noah 28 Macca
72 14 Ibrahim 52 Macca
73 21 Anbiya 112 Macca
74 23 Muminun 118 Macca
75 32 Sajdah 30 Macca
76 52 Tur 49 Macca
77 67 Mulk 30 Macca
78 69 Haqqah 52 Macca
79 70 Maarij 44 Macca
80 78 Naba 40 Macca
81 79 Naziat 46 Macca
82 82 Infitar 19 Macca
83 84 Inshiqaq 25 Macca
84 30 Rum 60 Macca
85 29 Ankabut 85 Macca
86 83 Tatfif 36 Macca
87 2 Baqarah 286 Madina
88 8 Anfal 75 Madina
89 3 Aal-e-Imran 200 Madina
90 33 Ahzab 73 Madina
91 60 Mumtahana 13 Madina
92 4 Nisa 176 Madina
93 99 Zilzal 8 Macca
94 57 Hadid 29 Madina
95 47 Muhammad 38 Madina
96 13 Ra’d 43 Madina
97 55 Rahman 78 Macca
98 76 Dahr 31 Madina
99 65 Talaq 12 Madina
100 98 Beyinnah 8 Madina
101 59 Hashr 24 Madina
102 24 Nur 64 Madina
103 22 Hajj 78 Madina
104 63 Munafiqun 11 Madina
105 58 Mujadila 22 Madina
106 49 Hujurat 18 Madina
107 66 Tahrim 12 Madina
108 64 Taghabun 18 Madina
109 61 Saff 14 Madina
110 62 Jumah 11 Madina
111 48 Fath 29 Madina
112 5 Maidah 120 Madina
113 9 Taubah 129 Madina
114 110 Nasr 3 Madina

Muslim world faces fertility crisis

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SOMETHING startling is happening in the Muslim world – and no, I don’t mean the Arab Spring or the growth of Islamic fundamentalism. According to a leading demographer, a “sea change” is producing a sharp decline in Muslim fertility rates and a “flight from marriage” among Arab women.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, documented these findings in two recent papers. They tell a story that contradicts the usual picture of a continuing population explosion in Muslim lands. Population is indeed rising, but if present trends continue, the bulge won’t last long.

Eberstadt’s first paper was expressively titled “Fertility Decline in the Muslim World: A Veritable Sea-Change, Still Curiously Unnoticed”. Using data for 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories, he found fertility rates declined an average of 41 per cent between 1975-80 and 2005-10, compared with a 33 per cent decline for the world as a whole.

Twenty-two Muslim countries and territories had fertility declines of 50 per cent or more. Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Libya, Albania, Qatar and Kuwait all recorded declines of 60 per cent or more.

Fertility in Iran declined an astonishing 70 per cent over the 30-year period, which Eberstadt says was “one of the most rapid and pronounced fertility declines ever recorded in human history”. A July 2012 Financial Times story placed the Iranian fertility rate even lower and cited a UN report warning that Iran’s population would begin to shrink in two decades and would decline by more than 50 per cent by the end of the century if present trends continued.

Eberstadt argues that the fertility decline is not just a result of rising incomes and economic development, though these certainly played a role. Accompanying this fertility decline is what Eberstadt calls a “flight from marriage”. His data show that in many areas of the world, men and women are getting married later or remaining unmarried. Divorce rates are also rising, especially in Europe, along with the percentage of extramarital births.

The decline of marriage in Europe is well-known but still striking: the female marriage rate fell in Germany from 0.98 to 0.59 from 1965 to 2000; it fell in France over that period from 0.99 to 0.61; in Sweden from 0.98 to 0.49; in Britain, from 1 to 0.54.

Marriage is also plummeting in Asia: in Japan, the percentage of women between 30 and 34 who have never married rose from 7.2 per cent in 1970 to 26.6 per cent in 2000; in Burma, it rose from 9.3 per cent to 25.9 per cent.

What’s “astonishing”, says Eberstadt in an email explaining his findings, is that in the Arab world, this move away from marriage “is by many measures already as far along as was Europe’s in the 1980s – and it is taking place at a vastly lower level of development than the corresponding flights in Europe and developed east Asia”.

“Something really big is under way – and practically no one has noticed it, even in the Arab world,” he says.

These studies are a reminder the big demographic trends shaping the world are mysterious, and often overlooked. The Arab world may be experiencing a youth bulge now, fuelling popular uprisings. But what’s ahead over the next generation will probably be declines in the number of working-age adults, and rapidly ageing populations

The Arab countries are now struggling with what Eberstadt calls their “youthquake”. But the coming dilemma, he notes, is “how these societies will meet the needs of their greying populations on relatively low income levels”

As all eyes are set on the political turmoil that is turning into street battles between various political opposing groups in a number of countries in the Middle East, a new danger is lurking in the Muslim world that needs to dealt with in a sustained methodological way.
Simply put the Muslim world is facing what a study called “unnoticed” phenomenon of fertility decline. The study Fertility Decline in the Muslim World by US political economist Nicholas Eberstadt was recently published by the American Enterprise Institute.
The study could not project the overall Muslim population pointing clearly to the difficulty of coming up with concrete figures because some countries refuse highlighting the religious affiliations of the people or simply because of bureaucratic or organizational obstacles. However, the author relied on the World Christian Database which came up with an estimate of 1.42 billion Muslims worldwide for the year 2005; by that reckoning, Muslims would account for about 22 percent of total world population

Another estimate prepared by a team of researchers for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, placed the total global Muslim population in 2009, a few years later, at roughly 1.57 billion, which would have been approximately 23 percent of the estimated population at the time.
Trying to make sense of the figures and handling them from another angle and consulting with the UNDP tabulation, the study pointed out that all the 48 Muslim-majority countries and territories witnessed a fertility decline over the past three decades. More specifically it estimated that there was a drop of 2.6 percent per woman between 1975/1980-2005/10, which is more than double the world average that stood at (-1.3) or even the average of the less developed countries that stood at (-2.2).
Final figures may not add up, but the study provides a framework that needs to be taken seriously: Politically, economically and socially. Part of the explanation of the turmoil that has been engulfing the region is the demographic dimension, where more youth are looking for better education, job opportunities and higher aspirations for better life that has been fueled by the communication revolution.
Moreover, with the growing and expanding urbanization, it seems natural to expect delays in marriage arrangements to a later age, which affects the number of births
The issue raises many question marks starting first with the need to come up with credible census that can provide an authoritative base with information that could be used to plan ahead. That is basically the responsibility of various governments at national level. The sum of such activities provides the needed information to tackle this and other issues at the macro level of the Islamic world as such. It is pity that hardly any Islamic country has a tradition of having regular census that furnishes government, researchers and interested bodies with their need for information
However, though no concrete or credible information is available now, it is better to take seriously the conclusions reached at by the study.
The fertility decline is not a new phenomenon. Many Western countries specially in Europe are suffering from it to the extent that some considered changing their emigration regulations to allow for new migrants to come and settle and help in closing up the gap of reducing population volume as a result of the declining fertility. Such a move is intended to help redress the growing imbalance between those who became pensioners and want to enjoy from their contribution to the social security system over the years and those still in the productive age and should be contributing to the social security system. But it will be a major problem if less and less people are getting into the system, paying their taxes at the time when more have stopped making new contributions and aiming to enjoy from their previous contributions.
Such long-term issues need to be handled now, though it will be difficult in current turmoil to look into distant future, but since the future actually starts today, there is no option but to embark on it quickly and vigorously