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Eid ul Fitr – certificate of completing the training programme

ALLAHU AKBAR ALLAHU AKBAR

LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHU

ALLAHU AKBAR WA LILLAHIL HAMD

“God is greater.” It is a powerful declaration used by Muslims on many occasions and in many prayers. It is a celebration of life, the first words fathers whisper in the ears of their newborns. They are used to indicate gratitude when God bestows something upon you that you would have been incapable of attaining were it not for divine benevolence

It is a prayerful phrase that reminds us that, no matter what our concerns may be, God is greater than them.

CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING YOUR TRAINING
The training programme has now completed and today is your certificate of attendance and, in most cases, achievement. The companions of the Prophet when they would return from Eid prayer, they would say to each other: May Allah accept good deeds from us and from you. [Tārīkh al-Kabīr lil-Bukhārī 1/116]

The hadith in Sahih Bukhari states Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.

Years ago, I was on Hajj travelling between Makkah and Madinah following the completion of the Hajj rites. I was seated next to an American brother and we got chatting. He was a revert and had been eagerly looking forward to the pilgrimage. As we talked, I said we hope for acceptance – who knows if we are worthy. To this, he replied quite frankly and said “No. I accepted this Deen with certainty in Allah(SWT) and I know He is the Most Just and Most Generous. For sure, if I have completed my side of the deal, He (SWT) too will fulfil His part.” He taught me a great lesson about the importance of trusting that Allah(SWT) will reward us once we have completed His set number of days.

And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. [Surah Hud: 115]

Have high hopes in Allah(SWT) – after you have completed an action, know that He (SWT) WILL reward you. And know that you will be rewarded better than you deserve because He is the Most Generous.

YOUR TRAINING PROGRAMME In summary, your training schedule included:

  • Waking in the early hours to connect with your Creator, fuel up for the day and listen to His guidance (tahajjud, sehri and fajr salaah)
  • Adjusting your rest and work schedule
  • Controlling your limbs (from food, drink, intimate relations, improper speech)
  • Protecting eyes and ears from that which Allah dislikes
  • Leaving bad practise and building new habits – swearing, inappropriate content, improper relations
  • Keeping busy
  • Feeding others (iftar)
  • Generosity (in charity)
  • Responding to the call of Allah (SWT) – adhan and salaah
  • Frequenting the house of Allah (SWT) and cutting off from the world
  • Heartfelt calling and remembrance of Allah – dua
  • Reading, reflecting and memorising the course material, the Word of Allah (SWT)
  • Staying in good company of others seeking their Creator while avoiding those who are not on the programme
  • Sharing with others what the Ramadan programme means to you at work or in academia

However, this training has taken place in a safe space – the workshop where its safe to test and learn. Shaytan’s influence was decreased, the rewards were magnified, the learning community around you was large and much of this training took place in the House of Allah. 

The certificate of attendance is ready and today is your collection. But what about your test? That’s the remaining 11 months. Like a newly serviced car, you have been wheeled out of the garage and are ready to be road tested

You will have to traverse difficult terrain, hills and mountains, sharp turns, pedestrians who aren’t paying attention, other people who you need to be considerate of and sometimes take care from, family who are in the car with you sometimes distracting and often testing you, accidents on the route, times when you’re low on fuel, your car will get scraped, damaged and perhaps even stop.

Don’t worry, so long as you keep heading in the direction of Allah(SWT), even if you stumble, splutter or get distracted, you will pass the test! Ramadan is not a temporary increase of religious practises, rather, it is a glimpse of what you are capable of doing everyday, even if its not at the same gear as when you were in the training programme.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU BENEFITTED FROM THE TRAINING? 

Ibn ul Qayyim said the acceptance of an act shows in its continuation. Remember, the Qur’an is cyclical so the Imam did not stop when they reached Surah an-Naas, rather they began from al Baqarah again. So too should be your practice, make sure you keep cycling through the course material and practice.

This starts right now. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would return on the day of Eid by using a different route from which he came. [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 986]

It is said that the reason he did this was to greet the people with peace who lived on both fairways, or so that the blessings of his passing would reach both areas, or to fulfill the needs of those among them. It is said that he did so to establish the symbols of Islam in the various roads and paths. Another reason given is that he did so to frustrate the hypocrites when they witnessed the might of Islam and its people. It is said that he did so in order for the various areas to testify to his obedience to Allah. Surely, he who walks to the mosque and the place of prayer will earn this virtue: one step raises him a degree and another erases a sin until he returns home. [Zād al-Ma’ād 1/432]

REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH IS GREATER
Mu`adh ibn Jabal said; “There is nothing that will save the son of Adam from the Hellfire more than remembrance of Allah.” People said; “O Abu Abdur-Rahman, not even jihad in God’s path?” He said; “Not even if he fought until he broke his sword, because Allah says in his book: {and the remembrance of Allah is greater.}

Ibn ul Qayyim (rh) said that there is not a punishment in existence that is worse than ones heart being turned hard and distant from Allah(SWT)

Throughout Ramadan you made Allah(SWT) akbar – the greatest thing in your life, for a whole month. You held back from what was permitted and strove harder than ever for a whole month. Now its time for you to believe that Allah is truly the Greatest outside of Ramadan too.

CELEBRATE EID IN OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH((SWT) The word Eid is derived from the word ‘awd (return) of all those blessings which were prohibited for you are returned to you i.e. food, permitted intimate relations. Also because we have returned to Allah(SWT) in the days of Ramadan.

The other meaning of Eid is derived from the word ‘aada (habit) because we have become accustomed to obedience of Allah (SWT) in these days leading up to Eid.

We know that the Shayaateen and Jinn may have been released but thats not an excuse to let our nafs run rampant. It was once said that you should always say Bismillah before drinking water as there are 3 jinns in your cup – two Hydrojinns and one Oxyjinn 😉

ليس العيد لمن لبس الجديد
إنما العيد لمن طاعاته تزيد
ليس العيد لمن تجمل باللباس والركوب
إنما العيد لمن غفرت له الذنوب

Imam Ibn Rajab (rh) stated: “Eid is not for the one who wears new clothes. Eid is for the one whose obedience rises. Eid is not for the one with beautiful clothes and fine means of transport, Eid is for the one whose sins are forgiven.”al-Lata´if p.371.

قال الحسن البصري: كل يوم لا يعصى الله فيه فهو عيد، كل يوم يقطعه المؤمن في طاعة مولاه وذكره وشكره فهو له عيد

Ibn Rajab also reported that Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Every day in which Allah is not disobeyed is a celebration (Eid). Every day the believer spends in obedience, servitude, remembrance, and gratitude is a celebration.” Source: Lata’if Al-Ma’arif 1/278

REMEMBER OTHERS THIS DAY

In the midst of our Eid celebrations, let us also not forget how differently Eid is being celebrated right now in Gaza, in Iraq, in Syria, Yemen, among the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, Myanmar and other places of conflict around the world. Allah has given us the blessing of safety and security over here. We sometimes forget how lucky we are. We should be grateful for the freedom and security that we enjoy in this county, freedoms we often take for granted. Remember them in your dua and remember all you have to be grateful for.

We have so much good food prepared on Eid and a lot may go to waste. Share the blessing of this day with others – there are many reverts and Muslims who are alone this day. Don’t forget them today. Share with your neighbours, student peer and colleagues too – let them know we have something to celebrate.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

It was narrated that Nubayshah al-Hudhali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The days of at-Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah.” [Muslim (1141)]

Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) included this hadith in a chapter entitled: The concession allowing play in which there is no sin during the days of Eid.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said “In this hadith we learn that it is prescribed to be generous to one’s family and children during the days of Eid, with different kinds of things that will bring them pleasure and joy, and allow the body to relax after the effort of worship.” We also learn that expressing joy on Eid is one of the symbols of Islam. [Fath al-Baari (2/514)]

Importantly, don’t spend your day backbiting other people or wallowing in differences. Don’t let differences and debate divide you on this blessed day.

REMEMBER EID IS NOT A VACATION FROM ISLAM 

Indeed actions are by their endings” (Ahmad). Any moment could be our end and its important to ensure we remain in the limits of Allah(SWT).

Jahannum has 7 doors but Jannah has 8 doors, of which one is exclusively for those who have fasted. Sahl (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” (al-Bukhaari, 1763; Muslim, 1947).

We have spent the whole month fasting and worshipping and now we have a chance to walk through the gate of Rayaan. Why would we choose any of the other doors?

NOTHING NOW IS IMPOSSIBLE Live your life knowing that you have the Greatness of Allah on your side. Any negative emotions, ill will, or problems that seem insurmountable pale in comparison to His greatness. By turning to Him alone, asking of Him alone, relying on him alone, worshipping Him alone without anyone or anything between you, by affirming his greatness you will realize that through Him and with Him all things are possible.

WHAT ARE YOU RUNNING FROM? This story reminds us of the greatness of Allah(SWT) and the need for us each to run to Allah(SWT) throughout our lives, for surely all roads lead to Him(SWT).

 Adiyy was the son of the famous Hatim at-Taai who was known far and wide for his chivalry and fabulous generosity. Taai is a city in north-western Saudi Arabia, currently the Hāʼil area. Adiyy inherited the domain of his father and was confirmed in the position by the Tayy people. Part of his strength lay in the fact that a quarter of any amount they obtained as booty from raiding expeditions had to be given to him.

When the Prophet announced openly his call to guidance and truth and Arabs from one region after another accepted his teachings, Adiyy saw in his mission a threat to his position and leadership. Although he did not know the Prophet personally, and had never seen him, he developed strong feelings of enmity towards him. He remained antagonistic to Islam for close to 20 years until at last God opened his heart to the religion of truth and guidance.

Narrating his own story, he said:

“There was no man among the Arabs who detested God’s Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, more than I, when I heard about him. I was then a man of status and nobility. I was a Christian. From my people I took a fourth of their booty as was the practice of other Arab kings.

When I heard of the Messenger of God, peace be on him, I hated him. When his mission grew in strength and when his power increased and his armies and expeditionary forces dominated east and west of the land of Arabs, I said to a servant of mine who looked after my camels:

Get ready a fat camel for me which is easy to ride and tether it close to me. If you hear of an army or an expeditionary force of Muhammad coming towards this land, let me know.’ One evening, my servant came to me and said: “Yaa Mawlaya! What you intended to do on the approach of Muhammad’s cavalry to your land, do it now.” ‘Why? May your mother lose you!’ ‘I have seen scouts searching close to the habitations. I asked about them and was told that they belonged to the army of Muhammad,’

‘Bring the camel which I ordered you to get ready.’ I said to him. I got up then and there, summoned my household (including) my children and ordered them to evacuate the land we loved. We headed in the direction of Syria to join people of our own faith among the Christians and settle among them.

We left in too much haste for me to gather together our entire household. When I took stock of our situation, I discovered that part of my family was missing. I had left my own sister in our Najd homelands together with the rest of the Tayy people. I did not have any means to return to her. So I went on with those who were with me until I reached Syria and took up residence there among people of my own religion. As for my sister, what I feared for her happened.

News reached me while I was in Syria that the forces of Muhammad entered our habitations and took my sister together with a number of other captives to Yathrib. There she was placed with other captives in a compound near the door of the Masjid.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, passed by her. She stood up before him and said: ‘Yaa Rasulullah! My father is dead and my guardian is not here. Be gracious to me and God will be gracious to you! ‘And who is your guardian?’ asked the Prophet. ‘Adiyy ibn Hatim.’ she said. ‘The one who fled from God and His Prophet?’ he asked. He then left her and walked on.

On the following day, the same thing happened. She spoke to him just as she did the day before and he replied in the same manner. The next day, the same thing happened and she despaired of getting any concession from him for he did not say anything. Then a man from behind him indicated that she should stand up and talk to him. She therefore stood up for the third time and said: ‘O Messenger of God! My father is dead and my guardian is absent. Be gracious to me and God will be gracious to you.’ I have agreed he said. Turning to those about him, he instructed`Let her go for her father loved noble ways, and God loves them.’ ‘I want to join my family in Syria,’ she said.

“But don’t leave in a hurry,” said the Prophet, “until you find someone you can trust from your people who could accompany you to Syria. If you find a trustworthy person, let me know.”

When the Prophet left, she asked about the man who had suggested that she speak to the Prophet and was told that he was Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God be pleased with him. She stayed in Yathrib until a group arrived among whom was someone she could trust. So she went the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of God! A group of my people have come to me and among them is one I can trust who could take me to my family.’

The Prophet, peace be on him, gave her fine clothes and an adequate sum of money. He also gave her a camel and she left with the group.

We could hardly believe what we heard about Muhammad’s generosity towards her in spite of my attitude to him. By God, I am a leader of my people. When I beheld a woman in her hawdaj (carriage on back of a camel) coming towards us, I said: ‘The daughter of Hatim! It’s she! It’s she!’

When she stood before us, she snapped sharply at me and said: ‘The one who severs the tie of kinship is a wrongdoer. You took your family and your children and left the rest of your relations and those whom you ought to have protected.’

‘Yes, my sister,’ I said, ‘don’t say anything but good.’ I tried to pacify her until she was satisfied. She told me what had happened to her. Then I asked her, for she was an intelligent and judicious person:

“What do you think of the mission of this man (meaning Muhammad peace be on him)?” “I think, by God, that you should join him quickly.” she said. “If he is a Prophet, any one who hastens towards him would enjoy his grace. And if he is a king, you would not be disgraced in his sight while you are as you are.”

I immediately prepared myself for travel and set off to meet the Prophet in Madinah without any security and without any letter. I had heard that he said: ‘I certainly wish that God will place the hand of Adiyy in my hand.’

I went up to him. He was in the Masjid. I greeted him and he said: ‘Who is the man? ‘Adiyy ibn Hatim,’ I said. He stood up for me, took me by the hand and set off towards his home.

By God, as he was walking with me towards his house, a weak old woman met him with her young child. She stopped him and began talking to him about a problem. I was standing (all the while). I said to myself: ‘By God, this is no king.’

He then took me by the hand and went with me until we reached his home. There he got a leather cushion filled with palm fibre, gave it to me said: ‘Sit on this!’

I felt embarrassed before him and said: ‘Rather, you sit on it.’ ‘No, you,’ he said. I deferred and sat on it. The Prophet, peace be on him, sat on the floor because there was no other cushion. said to myself: ‘By God, this is not the manner of a king!’ He then turned to me and said: ‘Yes, Adiyy ibn Hatim! Haven’t you been a “Rukusi” professing a religion between Christianity and Sabeanism (those who followed Yahya – John the Baptist)?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied.

‘Did you not operate among your people on the principle of exacting from them a fourth, taking from them what your religion does not allow you?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, and I knew from that he was a Prophet sent by God. 

Then he said to me: O Adi, what are you running from? Do you know of anything greater than Allah?” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)

‘Perhaps, O Adiyy, the only thing that prevents you from entering this religion is what you see of the destitution of the Muslims and their poverty. By God, the time is near when wealth would flow among them until no one could be found to take it.

‘Perhaps, O Adiyy, the only thing that prevents you from entering this religion is what you see of the small number of Muslims and their numerous foe. By God, the time is near when you would hear of the woman setting out from Qadisiyyah (in Iraq) on her camel until she reaches this house, not fearing anyone except Allah.

‘Perhaps what prevents you from entering this religion is that you only see that sovereignty and power rest in the hands of those who are not Muslims. By God, you will soon hear of the white palaces of the land of Babylon (Roman kingdom in Iraq considered one of the Greek 7 wonders of the ancient world) opening up for them and the treasures of Chosroes, the son of Hormuz, (Persian king) fall to their lot.’

‘The treasures of Chosroes?’ I asked (incredulously). ‘Yes, the treasures of Chosroes the son of Hormuz,’ he said. Thereupon, I professed the testimony of truth, and declared my acceptance of Islam.”

Adiyy ibn Hatim, may God be pleased with him, lived for a long time. He later said: “Two of the things (which the Prophet spoke of) came to pass and there remained a third. By God, it would certainly come to pass. “I have seen the woman leaving Qadisiyyah on her camel fearing nothing until she arrived at this house (of the Prophet in Madinah).

“I myself was in the vanguard of the cavalry which descended on the treasures of Chosroes and took them. And I swear by Allah that the third event will be realized.” Through the will of God, the third statement of the Prophet, on him be choicest blessings and peace, came to pass during the time of the devout and ascetic Khalifah, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. Wealth flowed among the Muslims so much so that when the town-criers called on people throughout the Muslim domain to come and collect Zakat, no one was found in need to respond.  

STAY STEADFAST BY KEEPING UP GOOD Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Follow the right course, seek nearness to Allah, and give good news. Verily, none of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone. They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said: Not even me, unless Allah grants me his mercy. Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done regularly, even if it is small. [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6099]­

Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for the entire year. [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1164]

Ask yourself what one act, however small, you can keep up from Ramadan. The scholars explain that the sign of an accepted act is that its a turning point in your life – you are better after it than before.

Perhaps you kept away from bad language? Wasting time forwarding irrelevant or divisive things on social media? A new dua? A page of Quran? Whatever it is, find something small you can keep up.

 

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