The Significance of ‘Idul-Fitr

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

ALLAH is Great: whenever those who have fasted gain the satisfaction of the Most Merciful.

ALLAH is Great: when their souls and bodies are purified in Ramadhan through obedience to the Creator.

ALLAH is Great: when the person who has fasted sincerely, gains forgiveness.

ALLAH is Great: when the Muslim are loving and kind to each other, meeting each other with happiness, love and peace.

Glory be to Allah Who planned His creation with His Great Wisdom. Glory be to Allah Who created all creation with His Supreme Power.

Glory be to Allah Who is Most Compassionate and Whose mercy permeate all creation.

Glory be to Allah Who has enjoined everyone to eat and not to fast on this day.

We thank and praise Allah SWT, Who has given us this Eidul-Fitr at the beginning of Shawwal as a gift to those who have fasted and performed the Taraweegh salaah.. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, the One Who has filled this day with His Blessings and Mercy for mankind.

We bear witness that our Nabi Muhammad SAWS is the true Messenger of Allah, the best to please the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful. We invoke Allah’s blessings on him, his family and noble Companions.

My dear Brothers and Sisters

Allahu Akbar! How deeply the takbir touches our souls as it rings out in our homes and our masjids! Allahu Akbar! How strong is the combined voice of the Ummah as we glorify Allah SWT together! Allahu Akbar! Through the takbir we realise our tremendous power as an Ummah. The Ramadhan brought us together in a common bond of brotherhood. Together we sacrificed our food, together we abstained from vain talk and useless acts. And, Together we performed our Taraaweegh and recited Qur’an. For a whole month we and our Muslim brothers and sisters in other parts of our town and, indeed the whole world have bowed together in complete obedience. We shared a common desire to gain Allah’s satisfaction, we cherished a common goal, that is, to move nearer to Allah SWT. It is our ‘ibaadah, our acts of goodness that have brought us together and it is in serving Allah with our lives and our possessions that we will, Insha-Allah, remain together.

Al-hamdulillah, on this joyous day Allah SWT keeps His Promise when he says in the Holy Qur’an:

“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Q. XCIV : 4-5)

This is the natural law of Allah, that after difficulty or sacrifice, there will be relief and pleasure. The relief and the joy are our achievements. We have sacrificed our energy, belongings, money and even our persons in the month of Ramadhan. In the process we have purified and strengthened ourselves, and, Al-hamdulillah, in achieving this we rejoice today! Yes, brothers and sisters, you have striven, you have sacrificed and today you experience your success. Allah rewards every noble effort that you do, and this too, He promises us in the Holy Qur’an:

“But those will prosper who purify themselves, And glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord, and (lift their hearts in prayer.” (Q. LXXXVII: 14-15)

Hence on this day we reap the rewards of our efforts. With humility, we celebrate our achievements. How do we as Muslims celebrate on this day? This is a day on which we appreciate the changes we have undergone during the month of Ramadhan. Changes which have directed us towards Allah SWT. To make a complete about-turn is to commit spiritual suicide and nullify every effort we have put into our fasting, our thikrullah and our actions fee sabeelillah. Today, in your du’ah in the few brief moments of privacy you may get, rededicate yourselves. Make your niyyah with all sincerity and truthfulness to continue with the acts of ‘Ibaadah which have brought you so much joy. Allah SWT has given us so many opportunities for our spiritual and even material advancement. Take it and be successful in life. Remember, ‘Eid is not for him who has all the delicacies to eat, but lacks in his service to Allah. For Allah reminds us in the Holy Qur’an:

“And take provision, for the best provision you can have is service to Allah.”

A Muslim poet wrote (a translation goes as follows):

The person who clothes himself but not in piety,

Walketh naked, though in grandeur attired.

This is a day on which we rededicate ourselves to forge a more cohesive solidarity among the Ummah. And in these times, when political and interest groups are talking of alliances or of a constituent assembly, it is necessary that we, as Muslims, establish a basis for co-operation among ourselves so that we can make a positive contribution and give a united response to national questions. Let us support or at least attend any effort organised by the community to effect unity among the Ummah or to discuss our problems. We can no longer afford to be divided. Divided we and all that we stand for will be destroyed and our children will grow up with the shame of an impotent ummah.

Let us start today, Brothers and Sisters, let us go out and congratulate each other and in doing so, express a prayer that Allah SWT would accept their and our efforts in the Ramadhan. It is an occasion for us to renew the brotherhood, tighten the bonds of unity among us. How ? Let us discard all notions of destructive arguments, enmity, jealousy, malevolence, backbiting, personal prejudice and scandal-mongering. Let us swallow our personal pride and renew a badly battered friendship. Let us accept the differences among us, the variety of interpretations of religious issues as a sign of the wealth of ideas of a vibrant ummah. Let those of us who are leaders remember that Allah Alone knows His Deen. Our understanding as ‘ulema is not absolute, cannot be final… Allahu ‘alam. Allah Knows Best! New leaders may arise. Allah gives guidance to whomever He pleases. Do not let your and my loyalty to personalities blur our vision or prevent us from listening to the insights of other members of the Ummah. Take the example of the Asgaab, the Companions of our Nabi Muhammad SAWS who went out of their way to wish and shake the hands of even their enemies with sincerity and love. They were tolerant and imbibed with kindness, they visited each other’s home and extended a hand of friendship and help. Let us heed the call of our Nabi Muhammad SAWS:

“Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another and do not boycott one another, and be servants of Allah as brothers (and sisters).”

We commemorate this day by sparing a thought for, and visiting the orphans and the widows, our less fortunate brothers and sisters in hospitals, institutions for the disabled and homes for the aged. Let us not forget those who are languishing in the prisons of this state for fighting in the cause of justice. On this day they, too, yearn for the warmth and comfort of a home and to share the joys with their mothers or their children.

This is a day on which we recall our family and friends who are no longer with us. Perhaps it is your mother or your father whom you loved dearly, a brother or a sister or even a little child who had given you so much joy and pleasure and whom Allah had called away. Last year or just a few days ago you may have laughed together or shared a meal. Today they are no more. We can remember them by visiting the Kabrstan and saying a prayer in their memory.

We commemorate this day by spending time with our parents. Help them to forget the agony and loneliness of old-age or the pains of physical weakness. Remember that that same mother who is now so bent and wrinkled, who can now hardly speak, was once young and would have cut off her arms for you. What are you prepared to do for her ? Prove to your parents that you are worthy of being a son or a daughter. Even in her weak state your mother still loves you, still worries about you. And still holds the key to your success, as our Nabi Muhammad SAWS reminds us: “Heaven lies at the feet of mothers!”

We, as parents commemorate this day, by creating opportunities for our children to enjoy themselves. Children, you are not only part of your little family, but an important part of our Muslim community. You are part of us. Your parents and all of us feel proud of your efforts during the past month. You fasted, went to school and still found the time and the energy to come to the masjid with your fathers for Taraweegh. You have learnt values no school book can teach you. Your journey towards Allah SWT has begun. And, Insha-Allah, as you move nearer and nearer to Allah, you will find yourself becomming more and more effective in everything that you do at your school or in your home.

We commemorate this ‘Eid by expressing our solidarity with the Mujaahideen in Afghanistan, with our Muslim brothers fighting the oppression of the Russian puppet government. In the Ramadhan we suffered with the Muslims of Kashmir who were brutally driven from their homes and their masaajid by the Indian army and today we share with them their plight. We condemn the atrocities committed against innocent women and children by the savage Zionists illegally occupying the lands of Palestine. Our hearts reach out to them and all our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who suffer under oppressive regimes on this day. We ask Allah SWT to remove from their lands and ours the Fir’ouns, remove all forms of discrimmination and restore peace and justice to all.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

O, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Allah, we turn to Thee in prayer, to express our thanks on this blessed day of ‘Eidul-Fitr, that Thou hast bestowed on us the blessings of this Great Day.

We beseech Thee, o Creator of all mankind, free us from egoism, greed, lust and hatred and replace it with humility, contentment, compassion and love. We humbly place ourselves at Thy mercy: forgive us our sins and protect us from all evil.

O Allah, bless our parents for placing the Kalima on our tongues and helping us to express it in our deeds. Instil Thy mercy in the hearts of those who rule over us. We place their concept of justice, truth, freedom and human dignity in Thine Power.

O Allah, free us from the chains of all evil powers. Relieve the loneliness, pain and suffering of our aged, our brothers and sisters who are ill in hospitals and institutions or at home, or languishing in detention for serving humanity. We pray for those souls who have departed from this dunya.

Grant us the strength and faith to tread the months ahead with revitalised patience and sacrifice. We pray for our Gujjaaj: that Allah accept their Hajj and return them safely to us again.

May the blessings of this GREAT DAY abide with us and serve as a source of comfort during our moments of suffering and despair. We have answered Thy Call to draw closer to Thee. We beseech Thee, O Allah, answer the call we make to Thee on this holy morning. Ameen.

Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!