“In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”
Eid is a day of joy, happiness and thanks giving. We are happy today because we have successfully completed the task set for us: fasting during the day time, standing listening to the glorious Quran at night time. We are like a hard working student who has completed his assignment with flying colours. Alhamdu Lilla. One of the beautiful names of Allah is Al-Hadi, the Guide. He graciously provides guidance to everybody, men and women equally. But not everyone accepts it, some accept it others reject it by their own free will. Iman is really accepting the divine guidance whilst Kufr means turning away from the guidance. Describing how Allah guided the seven brave men of the cave the Quran says:
“They were young men who truly believed and we increased them in guidance.” (Al – Kahf)
Showing that belief is a result of divine guidance and the two are related. Throughout Ramadan we have carefully and lovingly listened to the Quran every night – standing for hours. Now we need to understand this book of guidance and apply it to our lives.
Those who follow the guidance of the Quran are guaranteed success in this life and great reward in the hereafter. The beloved messenger said “Many people are raised and honoured because they follow the Quran but others are disgraced because they ignore it.”
The Quran is undoubtedly the greatest book of guidance, a source of Divine Mercy, a cure for our moral and social sicknesses. It is a light and a standard by which to live a good life. In Ramadan we engaged ourselves with this wonderful book, let us continue to read it so we can live by it.
We are surrounded by the favours of Allah, they are all around us. When intelligent people are given a favour they respond by being thankful. Similarly, when a Muslim realises that God has blessed him with many favours: Religion of Islam, the role model of Prophet Muhammad, exemplary heroes of Sahaba, that God has given him health, a means of livelihood, he naturally reacts by becoming thankful.
“Allah has showered on you His outward and inward favours” (Quran).
A sane person’s natural reaction to such a benevolent and caring Lord is to thank Him. So he becomes indebted to Him. He knows that “If you were to count the favours of Allah you would not be able to do so”. His reaction is to submit to this most wonderful creator. The month of Ramadan has aroused in us all the feelings of thankfulness, as we experienced the pangs of hunger during the day and perhaps headaches due to lack of energy. However we realised how lucky we are that at Iftari time we will have clean water, delicious dates and array of tasty foods. Yet there are millions in the world who will have none of this – How lucky we are –
Wahb ibn Munnaba passed by a blind person,someone asked him does this man have anything to be thankful to God? He replied Yes, the fact that he can eat, swallow and digest food is no less a favour than the one he has lost. Eid is the day when Allah gives us reward – He is Shakir, the most Grateful. He rewards us for our patience in the month of Ramadan, for our devotions. Today we are happy because we know our Lord for whose love we did all this is going to generously reward us since he is the Shakir – The most thankful. To explain how much God values our worship and works the beloved Messenger told this story:
“There was a traveller passing through an oasis, he felt thirsty and looked for a well – He found one and went down to drink from it, when he came out he saw a dog licking the wet sand, he thought to himself this dog must also be thirsty like me, so he went back into the well and filled his leather socks with water and gave the dog to drink, God thanked him. On Eid as we enjoy the company of our beloved nearest and dearest, let us also remember the needy people of the world. Your fitrana is for that purpose, so don’t forgot to pay the Fitrana. That is £3 per person in your family
The fear of God – Taqwa
The Glorious Quran teaches that “Only the God fearing will be guided.” It also tells us that fear of God develops through fasting – “O believers fasting is prescribed for you so that you will become God fearing.” The fear of God is the fear of the day of judgement – in fact to believe in Allah means to fear Him as the Lord of day of judgement. The judge who will punish the Khufar for their unthankfulness in Hell, The Quran describes the fear of believers:
“The true believers are those who when reminded about Him are filled will awe and their hearts tremble and when they hear the verses of the Quran recited their faith increases”
On this joyous occasion, let us not forget the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. Flooding is a natural disaster, beyond human control, however, had the Pakistani government looked after their rivers, by building dams, canals and barriers, we might not have seen this level of devastation. Poor leadership and bad management of water resources over the decades have resulted in this human tragedy. More than 3,000 have then been killed whilst millions have then dispatched from their homes. We must acknowledge the generosity of people who have donated to relieve the suffering of the flood victims. We want to thank our local charity Muslim Hands for its role in relief work in Pakistan. Talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform” “This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.” “If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values.
Condemnation of the Quran Burning
Terry Jones, an extremist pastor of a small church in Florida with only 50 members is going to burn 200 copies of Quran. This last callous of desecration is a provocation for Muslims worldwide. The burning of any religious book is heinous crime and is condemnable, that’s why world religious leaders and politicians and even military generals have condemned the pastor’s proposal as a dangerous and evil act that could spark a new wave of anti-western backlash. We Muslims are angry but we will resist any temptation of reacting violently in response to this evil deed. We British Muslims urge Muslims worldwide to remain calm and not be tempted to react against Christian ministries in Muslim countries. The Quran teaches: “Good and evil are not the same, repel evil with goodness”. Our message is one of peace in our global village. Read these quotes from world leaders:
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s leader–
“Indonesia and the US are building or bridging relations between the Western world and Islam. If the Koran burning occurs. Then those effects will be useless.”
Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s foreign minister–
“That is the most heinous crime and action, it’s unthinkable.”
Barack Obama –
“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is as Americans. That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.”