Allah intends (to provide) ease for you and does not intend (to create) hardship for you. All this is so that you may complete the number (of fasts as prescribed) and proclaim the Takbīr of Allah for having guided you, and (so) that you may be grateful. [Surah Al-Baqarah – 2:185]
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 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]
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]
O you who believe, respond to Allah and the Messenger when He calls you to what gives you life, and be sure that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered. [Al Baqarah 2:185]
“Be committed to the Quran. By the One in whose hand is my soul, it can leave you faster than a camel from its reins.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 503] What made Ramadan great was the Qur’an –the Word of Allah(SWT). Make a personal goal around your connection with Qur’an and this may be the sign of your accepted Ramadan – memorise a short surah which you can repeat in your salaah, if you don’t know Surah Mulks 30 aayaat which can save you from the punishment of the grave to be read every evening. If you don’t know Surah Kahf – 10 aayaat to save you from the trial of Dajjal. Read Surah Ikhlas, al-Falaq and an-Naas every morning and evening for protection from all internal and external evils.
Ramadan is derived from the word ramada which linguistically means extreme heat/burning sensation. Holding back from our desires and ill conduct are a challenge which produce great rewards and purify us from sins. Similarly, the challenges we face personally, communally and as an Ummah are a means of purification. If we look at the first year in which Ramadan was obligated, the 2nd year after the Muslims migrated to Madinah, we see the great struggles the Prophet(SAW) and the Companions were going through.
Many of us are asking ourselves, how do we celebrate when our brothers and sisters in Palestine are being attacked within Masjid ul Aqsa?
While, after a decade, our 80% of Syrians are living in poverty, 9.3 million people are undernourished and around 2.8 million children are out of education?
While, more than 1 million Uighurs in Xinjiang, China, are separated from their families in de facto prisons tortured and mistreated?
While the world witnesses a famine in Yemen with a child dying every ten minutes from malnutrition and diarrhea. Two-thirds of all Yemenis are Hungry, and nearly half do not know when they will next eat.
4.7 million still displaced in Iraq experiencing acute humanitarian needs, jeopardizing sustainable returns.
Since August 2019, the mass lockdown in India-administered Kashmir has left families vulnerable and unable to leave their homes with half a million people have lost their jobs, offices and schools are still closed.
Outside of the Muslim majority countries, 172million Muslims in India are impacted in the tsunami of Covid infections crippling the nation with over half a million new infections every day, and a desperate need for oxygen as more than 2,500 Indians are currently dying every day.
To put some of this in context, I’d like to take us back to the first Ramadan and the first Eid ul Fitr. It was held in 624, two years after hijrah. The Muslim community were refugees who had been persecuted and boycotted by their own families. Leaving behind their homes and their wealth, they resettled in Madinah, with little, if any, possessions. In this first year of Ramadan, Sayyidah Ruqayyah (Ra) fell ill at the same time as the Quraysh had mounted a force to destroy the Muslims. Rasulullah (SAW) left to Badr for battle and ordered `Uthman (RA) to remain behind to take care of her.
On the day of Badr, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) looked at the mushrikeen, who were one thousand strong, and his companions numbered 313. Then the Prophet of Allaah (SAW) turned to face the qiblah, then he stretched forth his hands and started to cry out to his Lord: “O Allaah, grant me what You have promised me, O Allaah, give me what You have promised me. O Allaah, if this small band of Muslims perishes, You will not be worshipped on earth.” The Prophet (SAW) raised his arms up to the sky so high that the shawl he was wearing around his shoulders fell off. Abu Bakr (RA) picked up the shawl and put it back on his shoulders. Then Abu Bakr (RA) embraced the Prophet (SAW) from behind and consoled him, “Ya Rasulullah, you have made enough dua to your Rabb. He will fulfil His promise to you. He has fulfilled His promise to you.”
Never lose hope in Allah SWT And the Muslims were victorious despite their small numbers. “So, it is not you who killed them, but in fact Allah killed them. And you did not throw when you threw but Allah did throw, so that He might bless the believers with a good favour. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” Surah Al-Anfal [8:17]
On returning from Badr, the Prophet(SAW) received the sad news that Sayyidah Ruqayyah had passed away. This all happened in Ramadan – the threat of complete extinction of the Muslim ummah, martyrdom of 14 Sahaba, the fear of the Madinan community, the grief of losing the daughter of the Prophet(SAW). And yet, the Prophet(SAW) taught us that “Allah Almighty says: I have nothing to give to My faithful servant but Paradise if I cause his dear friend to die and he remains patient.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6424]
All Praise is for Allah(SWT) who sent down the book to His Slave, without any crookedness or blemish. A clear Book to warn of a severe punishment from Him, and to give the good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they will have an excellent reward (Paradise). In which they will dwell forever.
Surely, Allah and His angels send blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salām (prayer for his being in peace) to him in abundance.
O Allah, send blessings on the seal of all Messengers, Muhammad, and the rightly guided successors and on his companions and those who follow their path until the Day of Judgement.
Khabbab ibn al-Arat reported: We complained to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was leaning upon his rolled up cloak in the shade of the Ka’bah. We said, “Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you supplicate to Allah for us?” The Prophet said, “Among those before you, a believer would be seized, a ditch would be dug for him, and he would be thrown into it. Then, they would bring a saw that would be put on top of his head to split him into two halves, and his flesh would be torn from the bone with iron combs. Yet, all of this did not cause him to abandon his religion. By Allah, this religion will prevail until a rider travels from Yemen to Hadhramaut, fearing no one but Allah and the wolf, lest it trouble his sheep. Rather, you are being impatient.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6544]
Never belittle any good deed
Abu Dharr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2626]
Dua is our greatest weapon against injustice and surely Allah(SWT) is fully aware of the situation around us.
Allah(SWT) reminds us in Surah al Feel that He(SWT) is not in need of us at all. As the largest and most powerful army in the world marched upon Masjid ul Haraam led by Abrahah and powered by the unstoppable tanks of the day, huge elephants intended to trample the Ka’ba. Holding the metal ring of the door of Ka’bah, ‘Abdul-Muttalib prayed Allah to give them victory over Abrahah and his army saying: “We have no strength to face the army of Abrahah. So, Oh my Lord! Defend Your Ka’bah.” Having so prayed in all earnestness, ‘Abdul-Muttalib led all the Makkans to the neighbouring mountains, because they were convinced that Allah’s scourge would overtake Abrahah and his troops. And Allah(SWT) reminds us till today that He(SWT) can employ even birds and dirts to destroy the enemies of Islam.
We should employ every social and political tool and supporter as a means to improving the situation. Whether this is:
- Boycott: Recent history has shown us that the formal end of apartheid government in South Africa was hard-won. It took decades of activism from both inside and outside the country, as well as international economic pressure, to end the regime that allowed the country’s white minority to subjugate its Black majority. Sanctions were imposed by the US and UK in 1986.
- Lobbying political leaders
- Working with key organisations who operate on the ground like Friends of al Aqsa
- Demonstrations to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause Solicitor Fahad Ansari shares a story about when he had stopped going to demonstrations. In Dec 2008, Israel launched a huge incursion on the Gaza strip. Thousands were braving the cold weather to protest the Israeli embassy. He resisted going to the demo as he felt it would achieve nothing. Instead, he prayed 2 rakat to Allah(SWT) and asked Allah to guide him to a better way than petitioning and demonstrating to help the brothers and sisters in Palestine. In a few weeks, his dua was answered as IHRC called him to travel to Gaza to document the atrocities. At that time, there were no aid convoys allowed, sanctions had been strictly enforced and the borders were closed. With a colleague, he travelled via Egypt crossing multiple checkpoints, through continuous checks and finally negotiating a way into Palestine. On arrival, they were treated as VIPs by the Palestinians and some of the resistance leaders were present at the arrival meal. They thanked the visitors for their courage and persistence and they said every time they felt despondent and were losing heart as a result of the Israeli aggression, as a result of seeing their children dying before them. They would then switch on their TV’s and see Muslims across the world, in their thousands, marching on the streets. And they specifically said, we saw you people in London standing on the streets marching and protesting to be one with your Palestinian family out here. SubhanAllah, Allah(SWT) sent him all the way to the Holy Land only to be told to get back on the streets and show solidarity. The words of the brothers echoes loudly till today “You showed us that the Ummah is behind us and we are not doing this for the Palestinians, we are doing this for the Ummah.”
Brothers and sisters, Luton mosques are working with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Friends of al Aqsa to hold a static demonstration outside the town hall this Friday at 3.30pm. Please join us on a journey that begins here and that inshaAllah, ends with the liberation of al Quds and returns Masjid ul Aqsa to the Muslims.