Another "e" from Google

Hundreds of websites around the globe reacted to Haiti earthquake by furnishing links, news and photos on the devastated city and voicing appeals for humanitarian help and support. Online relief initiatives tend to offer services consistent with the nature of sponsor’s original business. For example, news sites tend to offer special coverage on the crisis and its consequences. On the other hand, tens of banks enable donating facilities on their websites, while many charities are asking for used staff to be dispatched to the needed people. Google, nevertheless, approached the crisis differently by introducing The Crisis Response for Haiti and bring the interaction all.

The crisis response is a webpage customized to Haiti earthquake, a portal which brings all necessary functions to the fingerprints of people interested in that humanitarian tragedy. The platform allows users to dial free voice call, read news, watch clips and images, find people, donate money and share video clips, photos and information.

What’s new in Google Crisis Response is brining everything under one page instead of the scattered initiatives on different websites. This is not a technical move in web design, rather, it is a new development in how search engines becoming more effective in the digital world by gradually shifting from being a natural meduim for data exchange towards affecting the way we feel, perceive and interact with the world surrounding us.

Calculate Your Personal Zakat

Recent economic developments change the way people conduct their personal finance, Zakat is no exception. Get answers to the buzzing Zakat questions now.

Was also published on WikiHow.com.

Step 1: Calculate the Nisab
Nisab is equal to the value of 80 Gram of pure gold priced at prevailing market rate at the time of calculating. You need to use this in step number 7

Step 2: Define your Zakat Cycle Dates

As Zakat is an annual financial duty, starting and ending dates of your Zakat cycle shall be clearly defined.

   - The starting date is set once your Zakat pool (see step 6) excesses the Nisab limit (step 1)

   - The ending date (or effective date) is set as a year after the starting date.

Example: if one gram of pure gold costs US$ 30, then the starting date is when your Zakat pool equals the Nisab (80 Gram X US$30 = US$ 2400) let’s assume it is 21-3-2010, then your ending date (effective date) is 20-30-2011

Step 3: Update Your Financial Status

Prepare an updated information of your wealth items priced as per the market (actual) value on the effective date

Step 4: Identify Your Zakat Assets

Zakat assets are what you actually own on the Zakat effective date. You have to sum up all wealth items you own. Some examples are:

   - Cash: any type of cash ready cash, current accounts, saving accounts, fixed deposits as stated in your bank statement.

   - Securities: shares, stocks, mutual fund units, bonds and sukuk valuated at the closing price in the stock market.

   - Your current account in a company which you are a partner in

   - Saving plans: the surrender value of your saving plans

   - Gold investments: as per the market value

If there is any amount of money which proposed to be received during the concerned Zakat cycle but not yet happened, then you have to add the expected value to the Zakat assets.

Note: Your personal belongings such as a home or a car are not considered as Zakat assets.

Step 5: Identify Your Zakat Liabilities

Zakat liabilities are your financial obligations. Any obligation which you had satisfied during the concerned cycle requires no more consideration. Nevertheless, if there is any amount of money that was proposed to be paid during the concerned Zakat cycle but you did not do yet, then you have to add the expected value to your Zakat liabilities.

If you had obtained a personal loan of any type (car, home, cash) then you have to consider the installments that you have to pay during the following Zakat cycle.

Note: You have nothing to do with entire outstanding debt.

Step 6: Calculate the Zakat Pool

Zakat pool = Zakat assets (step 4) minus Zakat liabilities (step 5)

Step 7: Compare to Nisab

If the result of the Zakat pool (step 6) exceeds Nisab limit (step 1) then you have to dispose Zakat as shown in step 8.

Step 8: Calculate Your Zakat Duty

Zakat dues = Zakat pool (step 7) X 2.557% The result is your Zakat that you have to dispose.

Zakat ratio is 2.5% if the Zakat cycle is calculated using the Hagirae calendar while it is 2.557% if using the Gregorian calendar.


  • Your personal home and car are not considered, as shown in step 4.
  • The value of a car or a home that you rent out to others is also not considered. However, the income generated by any investment is considered as shown in step 4.
  • Any income generated from non shariah compliant source, i.e. interest of bonds, is not considered. However, the value of any conventional financial obligation is considered as shown in step 5.
  • Your Zakat calculation will not be affected if you pool goes below the Nisab limit during the concerned Zakat cycle as long as the pool on the effective date meets the requirements shown in step 7.

The Untold Benefits of Driving in Traffic Jam

Traffic congestion annoys every one. To figure out how much time spent on wheels, let’s assume a working scheme of 5 day a week, 9 hour a day. On an average estimate, long-time drivers may lose 27 calendar day per year which is equal to 73 working day.

However, have you considered some advantages of being stacked beyond the steering wheel? Create a piece of hope and realize the untold benefits of driving in traffic jam.

Driving in traffic jam is a complete stressful experience. In big cities, it may take up to two and half hour a day to commute from home to work and vice versa, sometime even longer. In the morning you are running the risk of being late or missing an important meeting. While in the evening you are coming back home tired with a family awaiting you.

To figure out how much time spent on wheels, let’s assume a working scheme of 5 day a week, 9 hour a day. On an average estimate, long-time drivers may lose 27 calendar day per year which is equal to 73 working day. It seems a considerable amount of time.

This article does not aim at briefing on the negative effects of being stacked beyond the steering wheel, nor to describe daily stress and agony, rather, to reveal some competencies that long-time drivers may earn!!

Enhancing time management skills
Long-time drivers eke time from any second that can be saved. They learn how to carefully set any appointment and how to calculate the period required to commute across the city. They learn the alternative routes and the quickest lanes. They can better assess the breakeven point of the cost of leaving late (or earlier) against the benefits of driving less.

Elevating the inner power
Long driving absorbs energy. Human body nature tends to adapt to external circumstances by producing internal stimulus. The body would elevate the level of stamina and improve the moral and physical strength to resist fatigue and hardship. Long driving also increases the endurance and patience profile and unleashes the passion to drive in order to reach the final destination safely with sufficient power to continue the day.

Improving stress management skills
Managing every day stress is a unique capability to face daily life pressure. Long time divers learn how to interact with being late situations, being observed by the traffic police and being at ease of asking to postpone a meeting for certain time. Moreover, long-time drivers may develop methods to queuing waiting time, starting from simple techniques such tuning on the radio, to modest ones such acting carelessly to the congestion and staring astray through the window towards more sophisticated techniques in elevating the soul above the body trying to disconnect the relationship between the body and the mind.

Boosting innovation
In desperate attempts to relief the burden of time while driving, drivers always explore new ways and tricks. Talking over the mobile with friends and family and completing phone services through call centers are increasingly in use. Requesting bank statements, applying for services, arranging a trip and booking a hotel have achieved good results in compensating the waste of time while on roads.

Learning from audio books or i-pod is another innovative way. Listing in the car perceived to be an important factor for alternative publishing agencies who are trying to produce material that fit long driving conditions in terms of topics, simplicity and duration. However, talking and learning are only two examples of too many choices such as eating and dirking, making up, preparing the tie, reading and even checking emails on 3G mobiles .

Awareness of the community
When driving slowly, you will be having time to check banners, posters and listening to local news. You may participate in the traffic sensors slots on local radio stations.

Developing ultra communication skills
Drivers are able to communicate between each other while taking over or escaping the queue. The light, the signal and the bib are new expressions in the non-verbal non-body language communication modes. Long time drivers develop the ability to listen to radio, talking on the mobile, or even reading while keeping a careful eye on the road. This may lead to advancing the persons’ perception power.

Generating income
This benefit belongs to road authorities and municipalities who may introduce tolling system to cross traffic-free roads, as well as also licensing shops and other type of retail windows along congested highways.

Big sympathy for long-time drivers, nothing compensates health and peace of mind, but some room of hope may help.

Bassel Nadim