During the golden Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim Khilafat at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and had a dialogue:
Man: Do you know what I just heard about your friend?
Scholar: Hold on a minute, before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a
little test. It is referred to as Triple Filter Test.
Man: Triple Filter Test?
Scholar: That’s right, before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good
idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why
I call it the triple filter test.
The first filter isTruth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
Man: No, actually I just heard about it and …
Scholar: All right, so you don’t really know if it’s true or not.
Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to
tell me about my friend is something good?
Man: No, on the contrary…
Scholar: So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not
certain if it’s true. Hmm…… Let’s apply the 3rd filter.
The 3rd filter, filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me
about my friend going to be useful to me?
Man: No, not really.
Scholar: Well, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even
useful, why tell it to me at all?
Quran Says: O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sin. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh (meat) of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. Surah 49 Al-Hujurat Ayah 12
So, before you open your mouth, think:
a- Is it True?
b- Is it Pleasant?
c- Is it Useful
If not, better keep your mouth shut. Save yourself here in this world and After.
And this equally applies on writing too, be it an email, letter or SMS.
I had wished since long to visit Copenhagen Denmark. I transited the airport many times but couldn’t enter the city. Copenhagen is renowned as a beautiful, romantic, fairy-tale city. October 2012 brought me the chance of visiting Copenhagen. I was excited – this city has some kind of charm! And Danes are the most happy people officially, according to a UN report.
Denmark & Copenhagen
Denmark is a small country with population of only 5.5 million and area of 43,000 Sq Miles. Surrounded by sea all around, it is sandwiched between Scandinavia and mainland Europe. Denmark is closer to Scandinavia (Sweden & Norway) culturally. Taxes are very high and living is quite expensive but it is a much modernised country in terms of civic facilities. People are most friendly you ever come across. Currency is Danish Kroner. 90% people are Protestant Christians. Weather is generally cold and windy.
A Million Danes live in Copenhagen which is the capital of Denmark. It is big enough to be called a city, not too big to be crowded. It can be covered in short time. It was October and I rightfully expected the weather to be cold, and so I over-prepared myself for the winter. I have a good experience of dealing with cold, thanks to my life in Sweden! But surprisingly weather was pleasantly cold allowing it to be enjoyed.
I arrived well in advance at Heathrow airport; there was plenty of time to leisurely stroll around. It was a bit unusual for me because I am used to arrive at airport just the last minute. It was a short & calm flight; I enjoyed watching blue skies through the window. Soon we landed on the Copenhagen airport which I was familiar with.
I came out excitedly. Let’s visit the toilet before leaving the airport I thought and popped into one nearby. Oops there was a lady standing inside; what is SHE doing here I thought. She smiled and pointed me out. Oopsy oopsy it was my mistake, it was in fact a women’s toilet.
Nearest Ever Hotel
I leisurely walked to my hotel. Yes I walked to it because it was just next to the airport and was connected to it via a tunnel. I checked in, dropped my baggage, picked my camera & a city map, and left to explore the city. No time to waste!
Metro rail station was just a two minutes walk. It was actually the airport station. Wow it was a driverless underground/over ground train. I sat right at the front to enjoy the views as a driver would see.
I left the train just near the city. Weather was quite reasonable to walk around. There was very little snow on ground. Watching different buildings I realised that most buildings are dull and dark. Soon I arrived at Tivoli. Do you know what Tivali is? Let me tell you:
Tivoli is a theme park & garden similar to Disneyland. It is the most famous in Scandinavia and 5th most visited theme/amusement Park in Europe.
It has about 25 rides, 30 restaurants, 400,000 flowers, lots of lights and caters for all ages.
Tivoli was bombed heavily during World War II, all was burnt to ashes. Only one wooden roller-coaster ride Rutschebanen survived which is now one of the oldest in the world
Since 2009, it runs completely off the renewable energy and has its own windmill. This is a perfect answer to electricity load-shedding problem.
I walked around it but could not visit; it was closed at the time.
Danish or Viennese Pastry!
Hmm, feeling hungry, time for tea, in Copenhagen, obvious choice would be a Danish pastry! So yes, I started searching for a bakery. A local lady pointed to a nice bakery nearby, and soon I was enjoying a nice cup of tea with Danish pastries and bread.
Danish Pastry, sometimes abbreviated as ‘Danish’ is really a treat. Interestingly it is not called a Danish in Denmark, rather it is referred to as wienerbrød “Viennese Bread”. Funny enough people in Vienna call it Danish Pastry. As Shakespeare said “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. With apologies to “Sheikh’s peer”, a pastry by any other name would taste as sweet…”. I let Viennese and Danish decide the name but I love the custard and maple varieties (make a note please!).
I noticed a strange thing on Copenhagen roads. There was a footpath on the side, but then there was another path adjacent to it before the road started. Hmmm…. What it is, I wondered. Then I realised that it was the cycle path. Copenhagen is the capital of cycling. Lots of people cycle to work or shopping no matter what the weather is like:
More than 50% Copenhageners commute to work by cycle
More than 60% parliamentarians come to parliament by cycle.
There are separate traffic lights and lanes for cyclists.
A flashing board displays the number of people passed by on cycle on that day (see in the picture).
No wonder you see a huge amount of cyclists moving around at busy hours. Government has helped people by providing the cycle lanes and parking places.
Street after Street
After tea, I took a stroll in the city centre streets. There were streets after streets left, right & centre; Copenhagen has one of the longest shopping streets in the world around city centre. I was tired soon & it was dark now. so I headed back to hotel.
Huge Menu Small Choices
Later I joined my colleagues for dinner. Of course menu was limited to fish for me but the physical size of menu was the biggest ever I came across! We were sitting by the sea. By the way you are always revolving around sea straight here. Next day, while in office, I was again looking at stunning views out of the window. It is true that Sea, Snow, Sailing and Sea Food are part & parcel of the lives of northerns!