Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Eid-ul-Fitr: A Day of Harvest

A great blessed month has just left us; a month which each of us has no guarantee of seeing next year. All we can still hope is that Allah (twt) answers our prayers and supplications and accepts all our acts of worship (Ibaadat) and sacrifices made throughout the past month and grant us the promised rewards. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), the holy month of Ramadan has allowed Muslims to meet together, to converge en masse to the mosques, and besides they have committed themselves to fasting for the sake of Allah. Thus, the mosque found for the space of a month, its life and beauty.

How to explain this phenomenon? What could be the explanation for this behaviour if it is not faith (Iman in Allah) the driving force behind it all! Indeed, who is that Muslim who does not know the grandeur, splendour and importance of this month? The Muslim knows that any negligence would lead to his own loss as the chief of all angels, Hazrat Jibreel (as) has cursed the person who has foregone this opportunity to get divine forgiveness. The head of all prophets (as), the “Amin” (Worthy of Trust) Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said “Ameen” to this curse.

If the faith of the Muslim enables him to have high regard for this month, so where does his Iman (faith) disappear when the new moon of Shawwal appears (for the Eid), and when he deserts the house of Allah? If he knows the blessings of Allah (twt) that are included in the holy month of Ramadan, he must also know the blessings that are included in Salat (Namaz). If he is aware of the serious consequences of his carelessness during Ramadan, he should probably be also aware of the negative consequences resulting from the abandonment of Salat. Why then this carelessness, indifference towards this great Ibaadat which the Namaz is?

These questions, unfortunately, lead us to a sad conclusion: Muslims in general still have faith (to a certain degree) Alhamdulillah, but a faith, an Imaan which lost its ardour and there are only weak sparks (and honestly speaking, one cannot say that one has faith when the Quran is clear about it: Say that you have accepted Islam; faith has not yet entered your hearts); a wobbling ImaanOtherwise, how can a Muslim with a strong Imaan turn a deaf ear to the Azaan (call to prayer)? How can we think that a Muslim abandons the Salaat without any remorse or regret when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said that Salaat distinguishes the Muslim from the infidel and idolatrous ones? Such Imaan is not enough to assume protection against the punishment Allah (twt) in this world (Duniya), to the grave (Qabr), and in the Hereafter (Aakhirat).

So dear brothers and sisters, take advantage of the spark that was our Iman during the period of Ramadan, to revive and convert it into flame after Ramadan. We must ask ourselves the question: Does Ramadan really ends with the Eid?

Of course we shall have a positive response on the part of some Muslims to whom we will ask the question. Regarding the regulations to abstain from food, drink and sex during the day, all this can be proven from the writings of the Quran and words (Hadiths) of the Prophet of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). However if we analyze in depth the reasons why Ramadan is a blessing, we find that we must keep in mind the lessons learned from it, and the good habits and activities throughout the month should be preserved until the next Ramadan.

First, the fact that we spend the day by depriving us of normal needs and pleasures of this world it helps to build in us the strength and discipline. This will allow us to develop the greatest virtue, that is patience, Insha-Allah. Allah (twt) said: “Oh believers! Seek help in patience and prayer. Allah is with the steadfast.” (2: 154).

By reminding us that we accept the commandments of Allah, we must also remember the duty to seek the pleasure of Allah.

Ramadan helps us to strengthen our need that we are constantly aware of obeying Allah and also aware that His guidance is the best of blessings. Allah says: “Oh people! An exhortation has come to you from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts, a guidance and a mercy for the believers. Say: “(This comes from) the grace of Allah and His mercy; in that they should rejoice. This is much better than anything they hoard. (10: 58-59)

Throughout Ramadan we realize that not only the obedience of Allah is the greatest joy, but we live and experience this obedience to a greater extent because we restrict our desires during the days of this blessed month. Obedience to Allah (twt) displayed with love and humility, which is the essence of worship, becomes the highlight of our life. For this reason, when the question is about the end of Ramadan, we can see that the spirit of Ramadan never ends because it becomes our attitude now throughout the year, making the same sacrifices, and acts of Ibaadat that we used to accomplish during this blessed month. We realize that it is only a step, a big step in the path of Islam, which was established so that we manage to achieve our goal here in this earthly life.

So Ramadan grows our patience and leads us to direct our efforts on guidance and mercy of Allah and leads us to obey Allah, and installs in our character the ability to fight in His way. This struggle that we do in His way, or Jihaad, includes every aspect of our life and this is the greatest achievement in the life of a Muslim. Allah says: “Those who have believed, who emigrated and fought with their wealth and their lives in the cause of Allah, have the highest ranks with Allah.” (9: 21).

But this great Jihaad does not mean blindly throwing us into war/battle or act with reckless passion. The high goal to fight in the way of Allah is found in the lessons that Ramadan has taught us. We must have the right temperament and patience. We need to know the guidance and commandments of Allah as taught and practiced by the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) sincerely, without considering the excesses that our passions (nafs) try to make us commit. So at the end of Ramadan, do not let us lose the divine blessings thinking that Ramadan is over and that we will now go back to our old (and bad) habits, our former lifestyles. No! Let us hold firmly, Insha-Allah, His divine forgiveness and His guidance, and arrange our lives so that we are worthy to be called Muslims.

The Eid-ul-Fitr comes to announce to man that his Lord (Rab) is a merciful God who loves His most devoted servants. As this Hadith tells us, in which Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Eid day becomes a victory for the believer.” So every believer must know himself so that he may know his Lord. This sentence indicates that we must all the time keep our heart pure and clean, so that we become aware of His presence, His living reality.

Eid-ul-Fitr is happiness in the heart as we managed to please Allah. But we must keep in mind that despite the fact that Ramadan has left us, it is our duty as a believer to keep Ramadan ever living in our heart. That is, the believer must not lose those good habits which he had developed during this (blessed) month and he makes a continuous effort to preserve those good habits throughout the year. Eid, the real Eid is the day when Allah chooses to show His servants how to choose and direct their destiny to the service of Allah, to be in perfect agreement with the pleasure of Allah. As you walk on the right path and obey Allah and His Messenger, Allah will be pleased with you and bless you and make you “Mubarak” (happy/blessed) for the rest of the year.

Eid day is a day of harvest, where workers are in the service of Allah and as dedicated believers they reap the rewards of their good deeds. This day of Eid, Allah grants them His mercy and His blessings in abundance.

Finally, I wish you all “Eid Mubarak” and I pray, “Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum” (May Allah accept (the good deeds) from us and from you). Ameen.

Eid-ul-Fitr Sermon delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius on 18 July 2015 (01 Shawwal 1436 AH). 

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