On behalf of The Council of European Jamaats, I would like to extend my felicitations and congratulations to each and every one of you, and we pray to Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy to shower His choicest blessings on you and your family on this joyous occasion of Eid ul Fitr.
As we celebrate on this day of Eid, we first and foremost offer our thanks to our merciful Creator who has guided us and given us the strength to serve him during this Holy Month. May the Almighty accept what little we have been able to offer Him, and give us the strength and tawfiq to carry on striving to attain closeness to Him.
It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to this most glorious of months. As Imam Sajjad (as) says in his farewell supplication:
"Peace be upon you, the companion who brought comfort to our hearts when coming, thus making us happy, and peace be upon you, who left loneliness when going, thus giving anguish."
Whilst this Holy month may be over, the good practices and reflection we have ascribed to need not. Insha’Allah over the coming months, we shall all continue to use this most Holy month of spirituality to encourage and motivate sustained energies for the entire year.
It is common for us to be reminded of our shared humanity in the month, with Muslims across the world performing similar acts of worship and obedience. Ramadhan is a time during which we are able to reflect and attempt to understand the fatigue, thirst and hunger of those less fortunate than us. It is a time where the Muslim Ummah is united in its devotion.
Alas this year, Ramadhan 1435 has been shadowed by grief, worry and distress over the worsening global situation. From the atrocities in Palestine, to the usurpation of land in Iraq by ISIS, to the horrors in Nigeria and more – our thoughts and prayers have been with all those affected by conflict, war and poverty. As The Council of European Jamaats we are committed to continuing work with partnering organisations condemning such violence, raising awareness and providing support where possible.
Alhamdulillah, this year members across Europe have rallied together to raise funds for Ramadhan Relief initiatives for Iraq and Gaza. The youth in particular have been spearheading creative methods of fundraising; demonstrating the moral conscience the community possesses at large. My deepest gratitude goes out to all those who have organised and supported such efforts. These relief initiatives will be continuing while our brothers and sisters need further assistance. Please do continue to donate generously, and insha’Allah together we can continue to make a difference.
This year the Holy month of Ramadhan has also been an occasion to reflect on the importance of religious tolerance and to recognise the positive role that religious communities of all faiths play. It is essential that, despite conflicts abroad, here in Europe we do not succumb to stereotypes and misconceptions, but continue to engage in dialogue and shared partnerships with our brothers and sisters of other faiths, alongside the Ahle Sunnah. We have more shared commonalities than differences, and together we can challenge the current world order and work towards harmony.
Many of our Jamaats, understanding this importance, have organised an interfaith or local community iftar during this month, some under the banner of the Big Iftar - a national initiative developing community cohesion and strengthening neighbourly relations. At a national level, CoEJ engaged in a National Community Iftar with the Muslim Council of Britain, organised to focus on intra-faith unity. This brought scholars from both schools of thought together to call for unity and affirm their commitment to intra-faith relations.
We shall continue to work with other Muslim organisations to develop a united voice that calls for the strengthening of human rights; the end of oppression and tyranny; the preservation of religious sites of worship and encourage members to participate in local and national actions.
Let us join hands together to pray in unison for a world in which human beings enjoy freedom of speech and belief together with freedom from fear. Let us raise our hands together in dua, and as we do in Dua Nudba, sincerely pray for the hasty reappearance of our awaited saviour, Imam al-Asr (atfs), the unity of the Ummah and peace and prosperity for all.
With salaams and duas,
Dr. Husein Jiwa
The Council of European Jamaats
1st Shawaal 1435