(Monday, 11 September 2017 Issue)
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jam`at
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
By the grace of Allah Almighty, the Muslim World is celebrating Eidul Adha (Tobaski) in the coming days and here in The Gambia we are celebrating on Friday 1st September 2017. The Eid-ul-Adha reminds us of the sacrifice of the tenderest sentiments of humanity – the sacrifice of one’s offspring which is the hardest of all.
Majority of people, rather more will be found to be sacrificing themselves for the good and benefit of their children. The sentiment constituting our solicitude for our offspring has prevailed in the human race regardless of time, place, colour and creed. Eid-ul-Adha therefore points towards sacrifice of the strongest and most universal of sentiments of humankind when thousands of years ago Allah Almighty commanded Prophet Abrahamas to sacrifice his eldest son Hadhrat Ishmaelas for His sake. Hadhrat Abrahamas was unmindful of his own feelings and those of his wife Hagaras due to the immense love he had for his Lord and Creator. The huge lesson here for us is the unity in the family which, if adhered to, can prevent all sorts of domestic conflicts.
The unequivocal obedience, humility and steadfastness that was shown by Hadhrat Hagaras and her child in the barren land of Mecca for many years in the absence of Hadhrat Abrahamas is unparalleled. Muslims all around the world commemorate this great sacrifice spiritually and symbolically every year.
As we celebrate this day with joy and happiness, sacrificing animals, we should ponder over the true essence and spirit behind this very noble act and event that we observe every year as pointed out by the Holy Qur’an, it is not the outward act the mere form of which is the real object when we slaughter the animals on the morning of Eid-ul-Adha, it says: Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (Ch.22:V.38).
That brings us to the question, what is the true essence and spirit of Eidul Adha? It is only a symbol of our readiness to lay down our lives and all in the cause of truth. It is for this reason that the one who offers the sacrifice, while slaying the animal, is required to say: “In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.”
The size and cost of the animal should not distract us from our true purpose which is the fear of Allah Almighty. True Islam requires us to sacrifice everything in the way of Allah Almighty as our beloved, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw did throughout his life and which is testified to by Allah Almighty Himself who commanded him thus: Say, ‘My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord the worlds’ (Ch.6:V.163)
But it is a matter of extreme sorrow and grief that some people are not aware of these hidden verities of the teachings of the Noble Holy Quran, and they do not follow this exhortation. To them, Eid means no more than the putting on of new clothes and eating and drinking plentifully along with their family, relatives and friends. On the extreme contrary, we should reflect on our inner conditions and try by all means to reform ourselves.
The other essence of observing Eidul Adha is the Spirit of Obedience. When Allah Almighty commanded Prophet Abrahamas to sacrifice his son Hadhrat Ishmaelas, despite the great love he had for him, he was willing to carry-out the Commandment of Allah Almighty with utmost obedience and dedication. The son on the other hand also obeyed his father’s instruction and was willing to be sacrificed in the cause of Allah Almighty.
So beautifully the mother as well was obedient to this request of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice her son, despite the great love of a mother for her child. This spirit of obedience can be a source of good lesson for each and every family, household and society.
In our homes and societies, if we give due respect and obedience to the people, we shall always live in peace, harmony and progress.
In our homes since the father is the breadwinner and the one incharge of the affairs of the house, due obedience should be accorded him, but the husband should not take advantage of this but should in turn treat his family with humility and kindness, since Prophet Abrahamas did not force his family to obey him to carry-out the commandment of Allah Almighty but he did so with humility, tenderness and kindness. With their great sacrifice and obedience, today we are celebrating and following their example. If this sense of sacrifice and obedience exist in our homes, we shall always have a lasting and blissful marriage and a happy home.
In our societies we should always be obedient to those in authority just as Allah Almighty mentioned in the Holy Quran: O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. (Chap 4: V.60)
So with true obedience to those in authority among us, be it at our homes, villages, towns, cities and the government, we as a Nation can achieve a lot because there will always be peace and order without which there can be no progress or meaningful development. All this we should do with the fear of Allah Almighty and not for the sake of any person or individual because actions done with the fear of Allah Almighty are more blessed and lasting.
On this day we should share the joy and happiness with the poor, needy, orphans and the less fortunate among us. We should not stop at merely feeding them on Eid Day. We should not break the ties with the less fortunate but rather we should assess their needs from time to time and continue to help them whenever we can.
In as much as we fulfil those rights due to Allah Almighty, we should always be cautious of those rights due to our fellow beings as well, for these two work hand in hand in attaining the true spirit of worship. We should be mindful of our worship, particularly the five daily prayers no matter how busy our schedules may be in preparation for the highly awaited Eid-ul-Adha.
We should continue to nurture the true spirit of brotherhood that bind us together as a great Nation and should always remain united and never be divided, because unity is strength. We take pride in the peace and harmony of our beloved country, but we should also remember our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters and humanity at large who are less fortunate than us. Muslim countries are fighting and killing one another and inflicting suffering on their fellow Muslims unjustifiably even on days like this.
These actions are completely contrary to the blessed words and practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw that a true Muslim is one through whose hands and tongue other people are safe. These acts in fact fall under the lowest standards of basic morality.
The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at says: “Moral values are the ladder to all progress. God Almighty never wastes the faith of a person who acts kindly towards others. When a person does a deed for winning the pleasure of God Almighty and deals with his weak brother with compassion, then that person’s sincerity strengthens his faith. But it should be remembered that moral values displayed as a show off are not regarded as values by God Almighty and in the absence of sincerity, they serve no use” ((Malfoozat, Vol.7 pp 281- 282).
I hereby convey to you the Salam, Prayers and Eid Mubarak of the Supreme and Spiritual Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah strengthen him). He is always praying for the peace, security and stability of our dear and beloved motherland and the entire humanity. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at The Gambia, I convey to you all my deepest and warmest Eid Mubarak.
May Allah Almighty make the Eid a source of peace and unity for the entire Muslim Ummah and humanity at large. May He establish in our hearts the love and desire to wholly submit to Him and selflessly serve His creation. May we witness many more Eids in peace, security and harmony in The Gambia and all over the World under His divine protection and compassion. Ameen.
Baba F. Trawally