Eid message from the Muslim Judicial Council:
Ramadhan has come and left. Similarly, we too will come and go from this earth. And in
this short span of time, have we learned the lessons set out for us, achieved the
pleasure of the Almighty and achieved His forgiveness? Have we grown into better
husbands, better wives, better children, better parents, better friends, better
neighbours? If yes, our Ramadhan and our lives are a success; and if not, we have
failed to learn the message of Ramadhan. And so we see multitudes of Muslims teary
on the day of Eid ul Fitr, not knowing if we will be spared to live through another
Ramadhan is a boot camp, a training ground that stretches our physical perimeters. It
shakes us up like almost nothing else can. Muslims embrace the lack of sleep, the
hunger, because of the opportunity to purify the heart and soul and to achieve the
pleasure of the Almighty. Ramadhan’s message is a simple one: starve the body to feed
the soul; and its purpose is unambiguous: “so that perhaps you may learn to be
Godconscious” (Quran, 2:183).
Through social media, clips of the evening prayer are shared from all across the world.
Whether from Malaysia or the USA, from Cape to Cairo and beyond, it is the same
words reiterated in every masjid and every Muslim home. Muslims reconnect with the
Quran, and through it we reconnect with our Creator and with each other.
It is also the month in which charitable acts multiply, not least because it has forced us
to experience the plight of those without a warm bed to tuck into, without a meal to look
forward to. Those of us who have the assurance of a meal at home are reminded that
this is from the Mercy of our Creator, not something we are entitled to, or that we can
take for granted.
As South Africans, we do not have to look far to see the scourge of
poverty, the ongoing and pervading inequality that results from our neoliberal capitalistic
system that supports the hedonistic pursuit of some at the cost of the wellbeing of
others. We are forced to rethink our consumptive behaviour and its impact on the wider
earth. And if these lessons are lost, then we have failed to really listen to the Quran, to
learn the message of fasting.
And on this joyous day, of celebration, reconciliation with family members and
neighbours, let us be reminded that this is also a day of caring. As the Messenger
(peace be upon him) said, “Care for the needy and the poor and let them be
independent on this day of Eid” meaning, let them not stretch out their hands for food
or assistance on this day.
And so our challenge now is to harness the lessons of Ramadhan and our renewed
spiritual energy to address the most pressing issues of our society through education,
alleviating poverty and everyday kindnesses in service to humanity and creation at
large. We need to seize this moment lest the gains begin to dissipate, to reaffirm our
servitude to the Creator through the service of His Creation.
The Muslim Judicial Council (SA), its Imaraah (the senior council), the executive council
and the general council extends to all Muslims in Cape Town, across South Africa, as
well as our international brethren our heartfelt Eid Mubarak greetings on this joyous
occasion. As South African Muslims we extend our gratitude to fellow citizens for their
compassion shown to the Muslim community during the fasting.