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Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community". It is distinguished from Shaʻb which means a nation with common geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history, it is a synonym for ummat al-Islām, it is used to mean the collective community of Islamic people. In the Quran the ummah refers to a single group that shares common religious beliefs those that are the objects of a divine plan of salvation. In the context of pan-Islamism and politics, the word ummah can be used to mean the concept of a Commonwealth of the Believers; the word Ummah means Nation in Arabic. For example the Arabic term for the United Nations in Arabic is الأمم المتحدة Al-Umam Al-Mutahedah, the term الأمة العربية Al-Ummah Al-Arabeyah is used to refer to "The Arabic Nation"; the Word Ummah differs from the concept of people. In it is greater context it is used to describe a larger group of people. For example, in Arabic the word شعب Sha'ab would be used to describe the citizens of Turkey. However, the term Ummah is used to describe the Turkic peoples as a whole, which includes Turkey, Kazakhstan and other countries and ethnic groups in Central Asia.

The phrase Ummah Wāhidah in the Quran refers to all the Islamic world. The Quran says: "You are the best nation brought out for Mankind, commanding what is righteous and forbidding what is wrong"; the usage is further clarified by the Constitution of Medina, an early document said to have been negotiated by Muhammad in CE 622 with the leading clans of Medina, which explicitly refers to Jewish and pagan citizens of Medina as members of the Ummah. At the time of Muhammad, before the conception of the ummah, Arab communities were governed by kinship. In other words, the political ideology of the Arabs centered around tribal affiliations and blood-relational ties. In the midst of a tribal society, the religion of Islam emerged and along with it the concept of the ummah; the ummah emerged according to the idea that a prophet has been sent to a community. But unlike earlier messengers, sent to various communities in the past, Muhammad sought to develop a universal ummah and not only for the Arabs. Muhammad saw his purpose as the transmission of a divine message, the leadership of the Islamic community.

Islam sees Muhammad as the messenger to the ummah, transmitting a divine message, implying that God is directing the life affairs of the ummah. Accordingly, the purpose of the ummah was to be based on religion, following the commands of God, rather than kinship. After Muhammad's death in 632, Caliphates were established and the Shia emerged. Caliphates were Islamic states under the leadership of a political successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad; these polities developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. There are a total of sixty-two instances; the use of ummah in the Qur'an always refers to ethical, linguistic, or religious bodies of people who are subject to the divine plan of salvation. The meaning of the term ummah in the Qur'an appears to transform throughout the chronology of the Qur'an; when it is first used in the Qur'an it is hardly distinguishable from the term qawm which can be translated to'people'. The Qur'an recognizes that each ummah has a messenger, sent to relay a divine message to the community and that all ummahs await God's ultimate judgment.

Although the meaning of the ummah begins with a general application of the word, it develops to reference a general religious community and evolves to refer to the Muslim community. Before it refers to Muslims, the ummah encompasses Jewish and Christian communities as one with the Muslims and refers to them as the People of the Book; this is supplemented by the Constitution of Medina which declares all members of the ummah, regardless of religion, to be of ‘one ummah.' In these passages of the Qur'an, ummah may be referring to a unity of mankind through the shared beliefs of the monotheistic religions. However, Denny points out that the most recent ummah that receives a messenger from God is the Arab ummah; as the Muslims became stronger during their residence in Medina, the Arab ummah narrowed into an ummah for Muslims. This is evidenced by the resacralization of the Kaaba and Muhammad's command to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, along with the redirection of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca; the period in which the term ummah is used most is within the Third Meccan Period followed by the Medinian period.

The extensive use of the term during these two time periods indicates that Muhammad was beginning to arrive at the concept of the ummah to specify the genuine Muslim community. Furthermore, the early Meccan passages equate ummah as religion, whereas in the Medinan period the passages of the Qur'an refer more to the relation of the ummah and religion; the final passage that refers to ummah in the Qur'an refers to the Muslims as the "best community" and accordingly led to ummah as an exclusive reference to Islam. A verse in the Qur'an mentions the ummah, in the context of all of the messengers, that this ummah of theirs is one ummah and that God is their Lord entirely: O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing, and indeed this, your ummah, is one ummah (

Chern Jenn-chuan

Chern Jenn-chuan is Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University. He is a board member and the CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation, responsible for the planning and development of events associated with the Tang Prize, he was the Minister of the Public Construction Commission of the Executive Yuan from 2012 to 2013. Chern received his Ph. D. in civil engineering from Northwestern University in 1984. His interests include concrete materials & mechanics research, infrastructural development and management, hazard mitigation and post-disaster reconstruction etc. Chern is the recipient of many awards, including the Outstanding Research Award from National Science Council of Taiwan. In 2008, he received the International Contribution Award from the Japan Society of Civil Engineers for his outstanding contributions in promoting the cooperation among civil engineering societies in Asia. Chern received the ACECC Civil Engineering Achievement Award in 2010 for his lifetime devotion and contributions to the world.

In 2015, he received the Engineering Medal, the highest honor, from the Chinese Institute of Engineers. He received the 3rd class Order of Brilliant Star with Violet Grand Cordon from the President due to his outstanding contribution on the Typhoon Morakot Post-Disaster reconstruction in 2015. Chern has served several important roles in the cabinet, such as the Minister without Portfolio and the Minister of Public Construction Commission, the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China, Taiwan, he was in charge of formulating and implementing the Taiwanese government's national economic stimulus plan on public infrastructure. He was responsible for the promotion of sustainable public infrastructure, taking into consideration the needs of the environment and disaster prevention. Chern has assumed the roles of the deputy CEO and the CEO for the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council from 2009 to 2014. Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan on August 8, 2009, bringing torrential rainfall that triggered flooding and landslides across central and southern Taiwan.

Chern stood in the frontline and has worked on post-disaster reconstruction by respectful and innovative means. Flexible ways were adopted for the reconstruction to cope with possible subsequent hazards and post-disaster social response. Under his leadership, the Taiwanese government set up a primary social management system with an enhanced degree of disaster prevention awareness to meet the challenges posed by reconstruction; the system has integrated disaster prevention and reconstruction capabilities of the government, NGOs, enterprises. Confronted with a higher frequency and magnitude of natural disasters, the Taiwanese government has established a disaster prevention system to proactively and reduce the short-term damage and long-term loss of GDP; the reconstruction results recognized by local and international societies, Chern became an expert in hazard mitigation and post-disaster reconstruction in Taiwan. Due to his outstanding service in the cabinet, he received the first class medal of merit from the Executive Yuan of Taiwan.

His outstanding contributions in research and application of concrete engineering have earned the honor and recognition from the American Concrete Institute. He received the Outstanding Contribution of Concrete Technology in Taiwan Award from ACI in 1997. In 1998, he was named the first ACI fellow in Taiwan, he is a fellow and honorary member of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering and of the Chinese Society of Structural Engineering. He is honorary member of the Mongolian Association of Civil Engineers and the Asian Institute of Technology Alumni Association in Taiwan. Chern is an academician of the Russia International Academy of Engineering and foreign academician of the Russia Academy of Engineering. In addition, Chern plays an active role both locally and internationally on civil engineering and concrete societies, he is the past Chair of the Executive Committee of Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council, past president of the International Society for Social Management Systems,and the vice president of the Asian Concrete Federation.

He was the past president of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, a leading engineering organization in Taiwan, has served two terms as the president of CICHE and is the founder and the first president of the Taiwan Concrete Institute

Madame Piano

Madame Piano, born Ljiljana Rančić, is a Serbian retired jazz/world music singer and songwriter. Ljiljana Rančić got her classical music education by learning to play violin. In the early 1990s, she started performing as a jazz singer, having her debut performance as a singer singing with actress Ana Sofrenović. In 1993, she won the first place at the Belgrade Spring Festival with the song "Sanjam", she performed on the festivals in Russia and Belarus performing in jazz clubs in her homeland. Her debut recording was Vlada Maričić's composition "Caravan", which she recorded with bass guitarist Dejan Škopelja and percussionist and keyboardist Boris Bunjac, with which she appeared on the 1993 various artists compilation album Beogradska džez scena 1993.. After long work, in the autumn of 1997, she released her debut album, entitled Predeli; the album was produced by Madam Piano herself and Dejan Škopelja, at the time her husband and a member of the band Babe. Predeli featured a mixture of jazz and ethnic music.

Beside Madame Piano's own songs, the album featured songs written by Nebojša Zulfikarpašić and Nebojša Kostić, the song "Cvetak žuti", a cover of a song by Loreena McKennitt, a cover of Duke Ellington's song "Caravan", a cover of Native American song "Niya Niya Ni". The album featured the song "Galija", which she recorded with the band Orthodox Celts, she appeared on the 1998 Music Festival Budva, performing the song "Moj Jasmine" with flutist Bora Dugić. The song was released on the festival album Budva 98, her second album, entitled Zemlja čuda, was released in 2001. Unlike Predeli, Zemlja čuda was ethnic music-oriented; the album was produced and arranged, as well as written by Boris Krstajić. It vocalists Franco Masi and Raul Alberto Dias; the song "Eternal Love", a duet with Italian singer Franco Masi became a large hit. Her following album, Priče iz davnina, recorded with ethnic music band Teodulija, was stylistically similar to Zemlja čuda, featuring covers of Serbian traditional songs; the album was arranged and produced by Teodulija, Branko Isaković and Boris Krstajić.

The album featured guest appearances by vocalists Ružica Čavić, Marija Mihajlović, Predrag "Cune" Gojković, Oliver Njego, other musicians. Some of the songs from Priče iz davnina were used in Balkan Novi Pokret theatre group play Vilinsko kolo and Boba Dedić's film Svetlost života. In 2003, Madame Piano retired from the scene. In an interview from December 2011, she stated. During her presence on the scene, Madame Piano taught jazz singing in the Stanković Musical High School, she teaches singing at Belgrade New Academy of Arts and Petar Jelić's school Kulturno sklonište. Madame Piano is an astrologist. In 2012, under the pseudonym Nia Niačić, she published astrology book Odiseja 2012, which she co-wrote with Aleksandar Imširagić, president of Johan Kepler Institute in Belgrade, Roy Gillett, the president of Astrological Association of Great Britain. Madame Piano was married to musician Dejan Škopelja, a member of the bands U Škripcu and Babe, they have daughter named Luna. She is married to Marko Nedeljković.

They have a son named Luka. She started her own music school. Predeli Zemlja čuda Priče iz davnina "Caravan" "Moj Jasmine" Official website Madame Piano at Discogs


Ibadah is an Arabic word meaning service or servitude. In Islam, ibadah is translated as "worship", ibadat—the plural form of ibadah—refers to Islamic jurisprudence of Muslim religious rituals. In Arabic ibadah is connected with related words such as "Ubudiyyah", has connotations of obedience and humility; the word linguistically means "obedience with submission". In Islam, ibadah is translated as "worship" and means obedience and devotion to God. Other sources give a broader definition of ibadah, including keeping speech free "from filth, malice, abuse", dishonesty, obeying Islamic Shariah law in "commercial and economic affairs" and in "dealings with your parents, friends", everyone else. Ibadat is the plural form of ibādah. In addition to meaning more than one ibādah, it refers to Islamic jurisprudence on "the rules governing worship in Islam" or the "religious duties of worship incumbent on all Muslims when they come of age and are of sound body and mind", it is distinguished from other subjects of jurisprudence in Islam which are known as muʿāmalāt.

Ibadat include what are known as the "pillars of Islam": Declaration of faith, translated as "There is no god other than Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah". According to Oxford Islamic Studies, "because they are of central importance to the Muslim community, the ibadat form the first subject matter of Islamic jurisprudence and most collections of prophetic traditions." The subject of ibadat is important in Islam because without these religious laws, "Muslims would create their own rituals and prayers, the religion of Islam would falter and disappear." Schools of Islamic theology Ibadah in Islam The Meaning of Worship in Islam Ibadah

2017 Wiltshire Council election

The 2017 Wiltshire Council election took place on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. All 98 councillors were elected from electoral divisions which returned one councillor each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. At the close of nominations on 4 April 2017, there was one electoral division in which only one candidate had come forward: John Smale, in Bulford and Figheldean, he was thus elected unopposed. The electoral division results listed below are based on the changes from the 2013 elections, not taking into account any party defections or by-elections. Note: Jamie Paul Capp had gained the seat for the Liberal Democrats in a 2016 by-election. Note: Anna Louise Cuthbert had held the seat for the Conservative Party in a 2015 by-election. Note: Melody Rhonda Thompson had gained the seat for the Conservative Party in a 2015 by-election. Note: Graham Wright had been elected in 2013 for the Liberal Democrats; the change in his voteshare shown is the change from the voteshare he won as a Liberal Democrat in 2013.

Note: Jerry Wickham had held the seat for the Conservatives in a 2014 by-election. Note: Atiqul Hoque had gained the seat for the Conservative Party in a 2015 by-election. Note: Chris Auckland had gained the seat for the Liberal Democrats in a 2016 by-election. Note: In 2013, Christopher Devine had won the seat unopposed as a Conservative candidate

Ministry of Works and Housing (Ghana)

The Ministry of Works and Housing is tasked with the conceptualisation and classification of policies and programs for the systematic growth of the country's infrastructure. The offices of the Ministry is located in Accra; the functions of the Ministry are to pioneer and develop policies to meet the needs and expectations of the people in the country. The Ministry works collaboratively with the National Development Planning Commission to serve as a check on the performance of the sector; as part of its functions, the Ministry provides assistance in the form of training and research works in productions and endorse the use of local building materials. These are the departments and agencies that work collaboratively with the Ministry:Works Sector Agencies: Hydro-logical Services Department Public Works Department Architectural and Engineering Services Limited Engineers CouncilHousing Sector Agencies: Rent Control Department Department of Rural Housing Public Servants’ Housing Loans Scheme Board Architects Registration Council Tema Development Corporation State Housing Company Ministry of Works and Housing Water supply and sanitation in Ghana