Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On the Night of 'Eid-ul-Fitr'

Eid & Divine Forgiveness

When Ramadan comes to an end, we get the night of Eid - Lailatul Jaa’izah, that is to say, the night of retribution. On the morning of Eid, Allah (swt) sends the angels to earth, where they take up positions shouting in a voice that all except humans and Jinn can hear: O Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh), come forth from your houses towards a Lord that is noble and gracious, who grants much and pardons the major sins.”

When the people proceed for the Eid prayer, Allah asks the angels : “What indeed is the reward of that employee who had rendered his services?” 

The angels reply: “O Lord and Master, it is only right that he should receive his reward in full for his services.” 

Allah then says: “I call you to witness, O My angels, that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadan, and for their having stood in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness.”

Addressing His servants, Allah says: “O My servants ask now of Me, for I swear by My honour and My greatness, that whatsoever you shall beg of me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of the Hereafter and this world, I shall grant you. By My honour I swear, as long as you shall obey my commands, I shall cover your faults. By My honour and by My greatness do I swear that I shall never disgrace you among the evil-doing ones and disbelievers. Depart now from here, you are forgiven. You have pleased Me, and I am pleased with you.”

The angels upon seeing this great reward bestowed by Allah upon the Ummah of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) on the day of Eid (Eid-ul Fitr) become greatly pleased and happy.

*** O Allah count us also among those fortunate people, Ameen. ***

Sin & Divine Displeasure

We see that in this Hadith, there is mention of people who do not enjoy general forgiveness during the month of Ramadan, and these unfortunate ones do not even enjoy a share of divine forgiveness on the morning of Eid. Among these people are those who argue among themselves, those who continued to commit sins, and have not shown respect for this blessed month. They persisted in their sinful ways (throughout this blessed month) and were disobedient to their parents. They drew upon them the displeasure of Allah, and now where can they go? (In other words, what will be their fate if they have not even managed to acquire the blessings and the pleasure of Allah during the blessed month of Ramadan?)

It is truly heartbreaking that for some worldly gains or honour, they have become targets of the curse of Allah, His Messenger, and the angels, and at the same time they have excluded themselves from Allah’s abundant forgiveness. You may succeed in gaining a temporary victory over your enemy, as well as gaining worldly honour, but this gain is nothing at all against the curses of Allah (swt), those of His Messenger and the curses of the angels upon you where you fail to obtain the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. Wherever you are, forget all your conflicts; there is still time to correct yourselves and repent sincerely today. 

On the Day of Judgement

Remember that tomorrow you will stand before a Judge (The Just One) and that neither your rank, honour, job positions, nor your status, wealth - money and property - will be of any use to you. You will stand before a righteous Judge, and only your good deeds will be counted. It is He (Allah) alone Who is aware of all your movements (actions) and Who especially knows all your intentions. Remember that Allah can forgive us all our failings towards Him, but He will not forgive us, without giving us equal punishment, for transgressions in our relationships towards our fellow human beings.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) has said that the bankrupt of his nation is the one who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults and slander. The oppressed shall complain to Allah and they shall each be given from his good deeds. If his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire. (Muslim).

So, we see that even though there are also a lot of good deeds, he will be in great despair. The first Hadith also carries a happy message. Allah (swt) proclaims that He will not dishonour, disgrace, and humiliate His sincere servant before and among non-believers and sinners/ evil people. Is that not a great favour for those who seek His benevolence, (to know) that He will hide their sins and not show them to others?

Abdullah ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will draw near to a believer and put His forgiveness over him and screen him (his sins); then Allah will say: ‘Do you know such and such sin? Do you know such and such?’ He will say: ‘Yes, my Lord!’ This conversation will continue until Allah will make him confess his sins, and thinks that he is ruined. Then Allah will say: ‘I concealed them (your sins in the world) and I do forgive you today.’ Then he will be given the record book containing his good deeds.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah).

Overlook Others' Faults

In many Hadiths there is the mention of forgiveness for those who seek the pleasure of Allah. We must therefore be very careful not to attack people for their faults, because we are the ones who will be the true losers through slandering and taunting those who do their best, in their own way to please Allah. It may be that Allah (swt) covers their faults and forgives them through their deeds, while we, through slander, buffoonery, arguments, jealousy, hatred and taunts, cause our own destruction.

The night of the Eid: Significance

The night of the Eid is the night of retribution. When I say the night of the Eid I mean the night when the moon of Eid (Shawwal) is sighted and the month of Ramadan ends with the appearance of this new moon; or if we do not see the moon on the 29th night of Ramadan, like this year, the night after the 30th day of Ramadan, after sunset when we enter the month of Shawwal, i.e., the first day of Shawwal, and Eid-ul-Fitr. So Allah (swt) rewards His servants who give this night its true value.

The majority of Muslims feel tired – i.e. they feel the fatigue of Ramadan - as soon as the announcement of the Eid is given and they go to bed and rest. There are those who are happy and prepare menus such as cakes, brianni etc. for the next day. There are those who prepare their clothes instead of enjoying the night of Eid-ul-Fitr in acts of worship (Ibaadat) and supplications to Allah (duahs).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said : “Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah).

So, finally, we pray Allah (swt) to give us the faculty and guidance to understand this message and for us to correct ourselves and repent.

O Allah, protect us and guide us so that we do not fall into the category of people who do not receive Your Mercy. O Allah help us to continue in our mission and to make You happy. Ameen, Summa Ameen!

I wish you all Eid Mubarak. May Allah make you Mubarak with every day that comes into your life and that which you devote to Him (i.e., you consecrate your time to serve Him) and serve humanity in any way so that peace may be restored to the world and the world gets back the divine light by recognizing the uniqueness of Allah and reuniting as one body and one soul. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

--- Eid-ul-Fitr Sermon of 16 June 2018 (01 Shawwal 1439 AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.