Around the world, the Muslim Ummah is celebrating Eid al Hajj which falls on Wednesday 16th October 2013 this year. The occasion of Eid al Hajj is as much spiritual as it is utilitarian. It is spiritual because it instills in all Muslims the concept of the spirit of sacrifice for the pleasure of the Almighty. It is practical because the occasion underscores the need for fellow-feelings on the part of the devotees towards their less fortunate brethren. It is a call for unity and brotherhood for all believing people.
On the 10th of Zilhajj, some 4,000 years ago, Prophet Ibrahim (as) offered to sacrifice his beloved son, Hazrat Ismail (as) at the command of Allah (swt). Hazrat Ismail (as) also willingly submitted to the will of his father to please Allah (swt). But the Almighty in His benign mercy spared Ismail (as) and instead sent a ram to be sacrificed in his place. In respect of this great event, Muslims all over the world slaughter sacrificial animals during Eid al Hajj (where the meat is then distributed for consumption) and draw inspiration from the unique example of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and his son of submitting to the Creator.
Eid al Hajj is also a time for the annual reunion of Muslims all over the world. This gathering manifests itself in the yearly pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina where millions of Muslims join together to perform the ‘Haj'. Eid al Hajj marks the completion of the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (Hajj), a divine journey which those Muslims who have the means and ability to complete, demonstrate their renouncement of worldly concerns.
This sublime occasion is also a day of repentance when Muslims assemble in the congregation of the day to whole-heartedly pray for divine forgiveness; and God has assured His Mercy and Forgiveness on those who approach Him with sincerity.
Eid al Hajj is a day in which Muslims join hands to pray for peace in our world, especially in those troubled regions where so many live in fear and oppression. This is the day of sacrifice where we must make every effort to create an environment of mutual accommodation and the spirit of healthy coexistence.
This Blessed day is a call for sharing and cementing bonds within the Muslim community and beyond. Our appetite for fortune and power, the abandonment of religious values and the establishment of moral and social norms which are not in sync with our faith only blindfolds us and disconnects us from our spiritual goal. Herein lies the social significance of the teachings of Eid al Hajj.
This year, while the Muslim nation celebrates Eid al Hajj in religious fervor and harmony, the dark shadow of social injustice lurks in our world. The senseless killings in Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and other regions continue unabated. We cannot remain silent and witness such atrocities. We must stand together to raise awareness of this injustice throughout the civilized world and demand an immediate stop to these mayhems. Whatever the political attachments and affiliations of the so called civilized world, must not be a barrier to see that justice prevails and innocent lives are not sacrificed just because of supporting an ally.
Similarly, within the Muslim community we must uphold the teachings of Islam such as respecting one another, refraining from unnecessary disputes, and venting our frustrations in the public arena. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah warns human beings about the value of silence, keeping away from arguments and building unity:
وَلاَ تَنَازَعُواْ فَتَفْشَلُواْ وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُواْ
“Do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage (and your strength departs), and be patient…” (Holy Qur’an 8:46)
“And hold fast, all together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves.” (Holy Qur’an 3:103)
In these noble Ayahs, Allah (swt) has forbidden the believers from disputing (arguing and fighting), indicating this as a cause for failure (and defeat) and the departure of strength. He also forbids disunity (and division).
On behalf of The World Federation of KSIMC and all of the Regional Federations, I take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very blessed and happy Eid al Hajj. For those mo’mineen who are performing their Hajj this year, we pray to Allah (swt) to accept their Hajj and return them safely back home to their families.
Eid Mubarak to you and your families,
Dr. Asgar Moledina
President, The World Federation