Eid al-Fitr in the face of Covid-19 evokes gratitude and remembrance…

We are grateful to be able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr this year in a more positive atmosphere – and in congregation, writes Imam Dr. A. Rashied Omar.

At this joyous time of Eid al-Fitr we extol and praise Allah, our Creator and Sustainer, and we express our gratitude and thanks for having been blessed to witness and complete the fasting of yet another holy month of Ramadan.

We implore Allah, the Lord of Mercy and Compassion, to accept all of our humble acts of worship and devotion and to grant us bountiful forgiveness for our many human frailties and indiscretions. Allahumma Amin.

For the second year in succession we are celebrating Eid al-Fitr under Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Insha-Allah, this time around, the valuable lessons learnt during the previous Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, will stand us in good stead to celebrate while still abiding by the Covid-19 protocols wisely and prudently.

Thankfully, our Coronavirus infection rates for the past couple of months have remained relatively low compared to our earlier numbers and the situation in some countries such as India and Brazil. Moreover, our Covid-19 vaccine national roll-out is proceeding slowly but surely and is providing us with great optimism that we are winning the battle against the Coronavirus.

Congregation

In contrast to last year when we performed our Eid Salah in the sanctuaries of our homes, this year many of us will be performing our Eid services in congregation. We are thus grateful to this year to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in a more positive atmosphere and the timeless divine lesson of verses 5 and 6 of Surah al-Inshirah, chapter 94 of the Glorious Qur’an rings out loudly and clearly:

Indeed! After Difficulty there Shall be Ease and again After Difficulty there Shall be Ease.

While we are celebrating Eid this year in a far more hopeful atmosphere, we are mindful that virtually every single family will be missing a loved one at the Eid table. Our celebratory mood will thus be tempered by the sense of loss and grief many of us will be experiencing this Eid. We will sorely miss our loved ones who succumbed to the Coronavirus or have passed on to the life hereafter due to other causes this Eid.

We encourage you to think of creative ways of remembering our departed ones this Eid through family prayers for the repose of their souls in the life hereafter and extending special Eid greetings to their close friends and relatives.

In this regard the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has taught us via authentic prophetic traditions (ahadith) that the supplications of the child for the parent is unconditionally accepted by Allah, the Lord of Mercy, and continuing to keep good company with the close friends and relatives of our departed loved ones continuous to procure rewards for them even though they have passed on to the life hereafter (Bukhari and Muslim).

At this special time of Eid al-Fitr we make du`a and pray that Allah, the Giver and Taker of Life, receives the souls of those who have passed away during this pandemic with boundless mercy and forgiveness and grant them the status of martyrs (shuhada’) in paradise (al-jannah).

We pray for those who are sick and that Allah, the Source of all-Healing, will grant us protection from a third wave of the Coronavirus and liberation from the Covid-19 pandemic.

At this celebratory time of `Id al-Adha, we encourage you to continue to nurture spiritual fortitude, to remain positive and place your trust in Allah (wa tawakkal ʿalal-Allah).

Eid Sa`id wa Mubarak.

May the year that lies ahead be one of great blessings, better health and peace with justice.

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