The Eid celebration is an immensely joyous occasion in the Muslim calendar. The culmination of the sacrifices and devotions of the month of Ramadan and the blessings of a day which brings together the Muslim ummah in marking the end of the month of fasting for another year.
|Islam encourages interaction, dialogue and co-operation between all peoples and societies. And Eid is a wonderful opportunity to build bridges, cement ties and strengthen the bonds of kinship that lie in our origins as sons and daughters of a common humanity.
There can be no mistaking that the celebration this year falls at a particular difficult time for the British Muslim community. The barrage of comments and counter comments of politicians, the widely disparaging remarks of hostile elements in the media and the daily assault of attention grabbing headlines, all designed to intimidate and cower one of the UK's most vulnerable communities.
It is deeply distressing that recent events should have fallen within a month in which Muslims strive to regain a sense of their purpose in life through increased worship and intense reflection. Ramadan is a time which reminds us of our common roots in religion and origin. Allah made obligatory fasting in continuation of prescriptions that were exhorted upon earlier communities. 'Fasting is prescribed for you as it was for those before you, so that you might learn self restraint' (Al-Qur'an 2:183)
It is unfortunate that recent events should have obscured and made immensely difficult the search for common roots and interests between various communities in Britain today. Muslims are more and more being made to feel as though they are set apart from others; that their religion and practices are too alien and wholly unsuited to the country in which they live.
Ramadan provides us all with a regenerative zeal with which to confirm our belief in Allah and in the teachings of His blessed Prophet Muhammad, saw. I hope, with the onslaught of recent events, that it has also created a determination in the British Muslim community to do its utmost to counter the slurs levelled at Islam and Muslims. I hope that this month, that has been spent by many in extended prayers, has revived the spirit of the community to exert itself confidently in meeting the challenges that now lie ahead.
Islam encourages interaction, dialogue and co-operation between all peoples and societies. And Eid is a wonderful opportunity to build bridges, cement ties and strengthen the bonds of kinship that lie in our origins as sons and daughters of a common humanity.
When faced by challenges and pressures it becomes a great responsibility upon us, as upholders of the true and enlightening message of the Prophets of God, to counteract through our words and deeds.
The happiest and most blessed moments are those that unite people, and today is one such moment. Let us as Muslims be the first to extend the hand of friendship to those around us our neighbours, friends, colleagues and fellow citizens. Let us show through kindness and wisdom as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad, saw, that those who strive for peace, justice and security will find in their Muslim neighbours willing and trustworthy allies.
May God accept our fasting and may His blessings be with us all. Ameen
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
The Muslim Council of Britain