Assalamualaikum and Eid Mubarak.
We are delighted to join others in sending warm greetings of Eid Al-Fitr to all. This comes every year after a month-long fasting during the month of Ramadan which is for our spiritual renewal. It is in this month when Allah, out of His love for us, revealed the Qur’an for our guidance.
Believers! Fasting is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you, that you become God-conscious. (Al-Qur’an 2:183)
The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down – right Guidance to mankind, and clear signs of Guidance and Distinction of truth from falsehood…. (Al-Qur’an 2:185)
This month of fasting, prayer and reflection are at the heart of religious life, and provide a positive stimulus – such as patience, will-power and consciousness of Allah – to generosity and kindness in relationships with both our fellow believers and also with people of other faiths. We hope that these spiritual fruits of Ramadan will be shared around the world.
This year Ramadan has brought the people of Somalia to the forefront of our attention with the heartbreaking images of starvation and devastation from the unprecedented droughts that have severely affected the country. Ramadan has provided an extra incentive for Muslims to be generous in their response – and it is comforting to see Muslims rushing for Somalia Aid through additional charity, as well as prayers. We hope that this show of spirit, solidarity and cohesion among our fellow Muslims from all walks of life will continue in times to come – when the need is ever-present.
Closer to home, we have seen the damage caused by the UK riots in the second week of fasting. Whilst it is clear that there are a number of problems with the youth of today, there are also reasons to be positive. Images in Southall of our fellow Muslims working in unison with the local Sikh community to protect their local neighbourhoods, Turkish shop-owners protecting their properties in North London, East London Mosque’s worshippers chasing away potential looters and a Birmingham Muslim father’s composed reaction in the aftermath of losing his young son do make us proud of our Community. Tariq Jahan’s reaction, in line with the spirit of Islam, was not one of anger, but one of humility and inspiration.
You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your lives; and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you…But if you patiently persevere and be pious, then surely this will be of great resolution. (Al-Quran 3:186)
Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion for Muslims across the world. We need to share our joy and try our best to create an environment of peace around us. With the economic downturn that is affecting many people, our compulsory (Zakah) and voluntary charity (sadaqah) in this month can help people for whom starvation, not fasting, is a norm. With decreasing trust on those who lead us in public life, our spirit of optimism in this month needs to be shared with fellow human beings, with the message of working together for a common good.
This joy and optimism is central in our community. We pray that we have Eid on one day; but even if it is not possible, we pray that we are able to maintain our harmony. We hope and pray, on this joyous time, that our youth become the forces for good and beacon of hope for the society, as they had been in the glorious days of Islam.
We wish you all the joy of Eid Al-Fitr.