At this blessed time of Eid, let us celebrate the triumph of the human spirit against all odds, writes Imam Rashied Omar.
On Eid al-Fitr we call to mind the innumerable blessings in our lives and we are immeasurably grateful.
For Eid al-Fitr,which marks the end of a 30 day period of Ramadan fasting, is essentially a day of thanksgiving as Allah, the Lord of Wisdom, exhorts us in the Glorious Qur’an in surah al-Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 186: ‘Allah wants you to complete the prescribed period of fasting and to glorify him so that perhaps you may attain to a state of gratitude and thanksgiving.’
We observeEid al-Fitr2020 in a surreal manner. We celebrate Eid with mixed feelings and emotions. We rejoice for having successfully completed our Ramadan fasting and devotions but we are also, at the same time, feeling sad that we are unable to celebrate Eid physically with our loved ones and friends as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nonetheless, the dominant emotion that sustains us at this celebratory time of Eidis that of gratitude. We are thankful that despite the challenging times we are experiencing including the temporary closure of our masjid, we were able, by the Grace of Allah, to successfully complete our Ramadan fasting and devotions in the sanctuaries of our homes.
During the past Ramadan we have had to learn fast how to manage our new ‘normal’ determined by the (Covid-19) pandemic.
By and large, the Muslim community locally and globally, have done exceptionally well in adapting to this new reality. We have discovered novel ways of performing our Ramadan rituals in the sanctuaries of our homes.
Moreover, in response to thousands of people who have been left destitute and needy as a consequence of the loss of their jobs and income due to the lockdown policies implemented by our government, Muslim relief organizations have been particularly charitable this Ramadan.
It has been heartwarming to see many organisations such as Gift of the Givers, the South African National Zakah Fund, Africa Muslims Agency, Islamic Relief, and Awqaf SA, as well as hundreds and thousands of ordinary Muslims and community groups spend most of their time and energy cooking and distributing food and masks to the elderly and most vulnerable.
At this blessed time of Eid, let us celebrate the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. In this regard we find great solace in Allah’s promise in Surah al-Inshirah, chapter 94 verses 5-6 ‘that with difficulty there will be ease’.
Let us on this great day of `Id al-Fitr remember in our supplications all those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus, those who are ill, and those who face months of hardships due to food insecurity and loss of income.
We also acknowledge the many health professionals within our country and the world who are unselfishly serving on the frontline of the fight to save lives. We are grateful for their sacrifices and that of essential workers and pray that Allah, the Source of All-Healing, will keep them safe and healthy.
Most of all we make du`a that Allah inspire our medical researchers to find a vaccine for the virus.
On this great day of `Id al-Fitr we must remember that the practise of physical distancing does not mean that we should keep ourselves isolated from others – remember we can use the phone, send WhatsApp messages, make zoom calls and face-time to reach out to our loved ones, our families, our friends and our neighbours and wish them Eid Sa`id wa Mubarak.