29 Sep 2008
All praises are due to Allah Almighty alone who has made it possible for us to fast and enjoy the fruits of another Blessed month of Ramadan. We praise and thank Him as we should. And we send our best greetings of peace upon our beloved Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his family, companions and righteous followers.
Eid al-Fitr, a most joyous occasion on the Muslim calendar is with us once again, and I on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain, take this opportunity to send my choicest greetings to all Muslims and humanity during this auspicious time.
The day of Eid is rooted in the sacrifice and self-awareness cultivated in the month that has gone before, and our celebration marks a time when we give thanks to God for partaking in the spiritual feast that was offered to us during the month of Ramadan.
During this month, the MCB encouraged all its affiliated mosques and community associations to use the opportunity to open their doors to the local community. We encouraged British Muslims to engage open heartedly with our neighbours, whether Muslim or not, and of course in striving to make a real positive impact on the lives of countless millions around the world who suffer needlessly. The day of Eid is also a timely reminder that we can share our joy and happiness with others. In London, the MCB will be assisting the Mayor as he invites thousands of Londoners to celebrate Eid in the world-famous Trafalgar Square.
We hope such initiatives are repeated across the country. When our community comes under sustained attack from cynics keen to expose our supposed separatism and our inability to integrate we must remain steadfast, reach out to our neighbours of all faiths and none, be vigilant in upholding our rights but be ever ready in discharging our responsibilities to all those around us, with humility and compassion.
The month of Ramadan has seen numerous accounts of British mosques and charities raising record amounts for the needy around the world. Eid al-Fitr translates as the ‘festival of charity’; I hope each and every one of us can uphold this spirit of charity in the year to come. I urge those in power to also strive to provide a better world for the millions that rely on their generosity and kindness.
As we celebrate our Eid, we must remember also that so many will mourn for their loved ones cruelly taken away from them. My attention over this past week turns to Pakistan and to those innocent people killed either by those who wrongly claim to fight in the name of Islam, or those who are in positions of power who carelessly bomb and maim without any recourse to law or process. This story is repeated throughout the world. We must redouble our efforts to fight for the sanctity of human life and the dignity to live in peace and justice.
Eid Mubarak to you All.
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
The Muslim Council of Britain