Saturday, July 16, 2016

Eid: Celebration of 'Taqwah'

The first thing I would like to highlight is that all the efforts which we, Muslims have made in the right way during the month of Ramadan had only one objective: Taqwa (fear of Allah, piety). If this fear is now part of us, it means that the month of fasting was a total success and that we can now reap all year round the fruits of this valuable win. 

Ramadan is not an end in itself; it is the beginning for some and a continuation for others, of the consolidation of this state of fear of the Lord (Rab) so that the harvest is perpetual. To live or to die depends solely on the decree of Allah, but He advises us to ensure that at the time of the departure of our soul that we are in a position of total submission to Him. It means, therefore, that we need to be in this position permanently. The believer must also honour the sacred bond that unites him to the Almighty and should not create circumstances that could cause any dissension within the community of Allah. 

Let us now see some sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the subject by raising some subtle points.

(1) Hazrat Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (ra) narrated that he heard the Holy Prophet (pbuh) say that Allah (swt) loves those who control their passions, those who have no vile desire, those who do not seek the glory of this world and those who lead a secluded life. (Sahih Muslim).

(2) Hadhrat Aisha (ra) said that nothing and no one has more value in the eyes of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that he who has the fear of Allah. (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal).

This Hadith complements the first, that is to say, one who is loved by Allah is also loved by the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

So, to attract upon us the love of Allah and that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we just need to have the fear of Allah. The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) used to show lots of love, and he also prayed a lot for the pious. The love of Allah and that of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) are sufficient and the search for worldly glory is only superfluous. When one analyses the two Hadiths which I have just mentioned, they indicate to us clearly that Allah cast a look filled with love upon those who express a fear of Him; and the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) also has the same look of love for those kinds of believers until the Day of Judgment as he had for the first believers. This is made possible by the will of Allah, Who informs him of the affairs of his community.

The Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, said that all the spiritual beauty of man is found in the smallest ways of Taqwa. He said: “Allah told me that Taqwa (fear of Allah) is a plant that needs to take root in the human heart.”

Then to what avail are good words if we do not position ourselves on the path of truth? We need to practice what we say. Whoever formulates the good intention to do a good deed, he must promptly act upon it while taking Allah as Witness and Support, for one who seeks Allah with sincerity, every step which he takes shall make him move forward towards his quest. Each new day will be for him better than the past one. Surely any action devoid of Taqwa is vain. This is equivalent to saying that Taqwa is the essence of the existence of man. 

So, regarding the Eid-ul-Fitr, it is a joyful celebration and that of forgiveness. The Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, at the onset of the sighting of the new moon, and it marks the completion of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

Eid-ul-Fitr is not only a festive occasion but also a sharing day for the Muslim community. The Eid festival is particularly marked by demonstrations of joy, exchange of congratulation and forgiveness, thus strengthening the bonds of brotherhood, of solidarity vis-à-vis the others. On Eid day, men, women and children, dressed in new clothes, and if not new clothes, but clean ones (washed and ironed), go to the mosque early in the morning to perform a special prayer: The Salaat-ul-Fitr.

Prior to this, Muslims must give away the Zakaat (obligatory donations to the poor and needy) which is one of the pillars of Islam.

A rejoicing moment, the Eid festival is the perfect opportunity to visit relatives and friends. Cakes, very often composed of samosas or other, such as barfis etc., are shared with guests. But vermicelli remains the preferred sweetness of many Muslims. The famous brianni dish remains the main meal on this festive day, especially in the Mauritian (Muslim) culture.

So the month of Ramadan is an intense training period. The hearing, vision, language, mind, all are subject to strict control. This discipline practiced for a month is used as a model for the eleven months to come. After we have passed this test, Allah (swt) gives us the reward of an Eid. The joy we feel is deeper than what we feel when we wear new clothes. Of course, clothes have a certain relationship with the Eid, but the Eid which awaits us does not depend on clothes. Think of the poor who cannot afford good clothes. 

The most beautiful clothe after Ramadan, during the celebration of the Eid-ul-Fitr and after is Taqwa. Taqwa is that which embellishes man with the most beautiful clothes, both spiritually and materially. We must contribute to consolidating the state of (our) Taqwa so as to reap the rewards continually.

On this occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, I wish an EID MUBARAK to all brothers and sisters of the entire Muslim community and also to my dear followers in India - Kerala, Delhi, Tamil Nadu - Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Rodrigues, Congo, Trinidad and Tobago and the other countries and I pray that this Eid be a blessing for every Muslim, for each member of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and the whole world. Ameen! Summa Ameen! Ya Rabbul Aalameen.

---Eid-ul-Fitr Sermon delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius on 06 July 2016--01 Shawwal 1437 AH.

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