In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMA’AT NIGERIA EIDUL FITRI MESSAGE
We congratulate the entire world of Muslims in Nigeria for the successful completion of the fasting of the blessed month of Ramadhan and pray that Allah, The Gracious and Merciful, will accept our humble efforts of devotion and obedience and reward us all abundantly eternally. Nevertheless, in order for us to sustain the blessings of Allah, we need to remind ourselves of the major lessons of the Ramadhan fast.
First is that having hopefully achieved extra-ordinary purification of our souls through the month-long fasting and devotion, we should take advantage of our having achieved pardon and greater nearness to Allah to supplicate with all humility to Him to protect us from moral and spiritual degeneration and sustain our pace of morality, spirituality and prosperity. We should also not relent in constantly praying for social justice, peace, and prosperity of the nation as well as God-fearing leadership through whom God will bring about good governance and sustainable development in Nigeria.
Individually and collectively, we should show greater concern practically for the plight of the poor and those in bondage or oppressed irrespective of their religious, ethnic, and social background. We should all play our part in promoting social justice, harmony, unity of humanity, welfare of all and sundry without any discrimination, as required by Allah, the Lord of all creation. And this constitutes the true and greatest Jihad in Islam.
The use of force in religion is not only senseless and baseless in Islam, it is also futile. None can change the hearts through force; they will only create disorder, hostility, poverty, terrible sufferings and masses of internally displaced persons. But the wrath of the All-seeing, All-knowing and Gracious Lord will certainly descend on those who create disorder in the land openly and secretly, causing indiscriminate killings, especially of the innocent and the weak.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was directed by Allah to declare that what he brought is the truth from their Lord but to grant them the freedom to accept or reject it. And give glad tidings to those who accept while he should warn those who reject concerning the rewards from their Lord (Qur’an 6:108, 160; 18:30; 17: 84-86; and 92:22-25). In order to achieve peace, bliss or prosperity in the land, true believers should be guided by three principles (Qur’an 92 v.5-11), namely: Charitable spirit (that is, sacrifice for the needy or community progress); Piety (that is, fear of God in word and deed, openly or secretly ); and Endorsement of, and cooperation with, what is right or good.
It is clear that the principles above cut across religion, ethnicity and political party. Thus Allah requires Muslims to reach out to all others irrespective of their religion, ethnicity or political party in the promotion of all that is good. We should therefore appreciate and cooperate with all good things that others do whether they belong to our religion, tribe or political party. If we oppose a government that is doing good because it does not belong to our political party, if we oppose a Christian or non-Muslim that is doing good because he is not a Muslim, if we oppose the right things a Muslim does because he does not belong to our sect, such a Muslim will easily end up in hell and distress as promised by Allah in Qur’an Chapter 92 v.5-11. It will then not matter at all if he has fasted all days and stood up all the nights of Ramadhan and even more. But if such a believer possesses the three principles, Allah will grant him all facilities towards achievement of bliss.
Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola
July 27, 2014
Amir, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria.