Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Words of Peace from the Land of Peace

Eid Mubarak to you all from the Masjid al-Haram
Words of Peace from the Land of Peace
Dr. Mozammel Haque
Makkah al-Mukarramah: I wish all of you a happy Eid Mubarak from the Masjid-al-Haram in the Balad al-Ameen.

The Saudi Royal Court announced that Sunday has been declared as the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr, a celebration marking the end of fasting in Ramadan. The declaration was made by the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia. Thus, the joyous Islamic festival Eid-ul-Fitr comes at the end of the month of Ramadan and it came this year 2012 on Sunday, the 19th of August, throughout most of the countries. Muslim brothers and sisters are enjoying and celebrating their Eid on the same day in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom and other places.

It’s my pleasure to extend my Eid Mubarak and good wishes to all my Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world on the occasion of the celebration of the Eid after the conclusion of full 30 days of fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan. I pray to Almighty Allah for all the benefits and the rewards. I am in the Haram and I would like to pray to Allah the Almighty for myself and for you all, May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala accept our fasting, our prayers, our worship and all our good deeds done in the blessed month of Ramadan.

Comfort for the Pilgrims
After a month-long fasting comes the most auspicious and happy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr when Eid messages are sent all over the world from the leaders and heads of states of the Muslim world as well as the Muslim minority countries, especially from the Asian, European, American and the African continents.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received revelation from Allah the Almighty, at the very first day only two members from his family, one woman, his wife Khadijah and a young boy, Ali, believed him and immediately embraced the religion, Islam and now there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world and all over the continents believed in the Oneness of God (Tawheed) and followed Islam. This year, there were 5.2 million Muslim worshippers at the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah during the last ten days and nights of Ramadan praying together for world peace and prosperity, Muslim unity and joyous life.

Though this year Ramadan was during the hottest months of the year in Saudi Arabia, July-August, the arrangement was made to keep both the Masjid al-Haram and its courtyard and the surroundings cooler. Worshippers enjoyed the coolness through the water cooler spraying cool waters.

The pilgrims felt the necessity and understood the demands of the expansion of the area of the Haramain in order to accommodate the ever increasing number of worshippers. I also personally felt how important it is to expand and develop the praying area of the Haramain with the rising numbers of the visitors. 20/25 years ago the Haramain expansion programme taken by the former King Fahd that requires now another expansion.

The present head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques is Imam Abdul Rahman al-Sudais who has taken special care for the arrangement of the Haramain during this Ramadan. Lot of special Ramadan plan in place to ensure millions of worshippers and Umrah pilgrims was made for the comfort and welfare of the pilgrims; such as considering the increase in space thanks to the ongoing expansion Grand Mosque Expansion project of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, allowing over 200,000 people to pray on the ground floor where water coolers were installed; the Mosque’s open areas were cooled by water and basements air-conditioned. There were 150 air-conditioners at the basement of the Haram. Wheelchairs were provided for free and electric ones were available to rent. Below the Muqabbarah (below the Azam area) was also air-conditioned where pilgrims who were in Itikaf spending their nights in Zikr and recitation and Ibadah.

Eid Messages from all over the continent
After the month-long fasting come the Eid-ul-Fitr and leaders and heads of states from all over the continents sent Eid Messages, the messages of peace and happiness and prosperity.

Eid Messages from the Haramain
King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence, made a joint statement greeting Muslims all over the world on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. They expressed hope that the Eid will be an occasion to forget sorrows and bring hope, peace and prosperity to the entire world. The statement was read out to the media by Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia.

“It is a great occasion when there should be smiles on the faces of the young and old. It is an occasion to thank Allah for His bounties and congratulate one another with words of love and fraternity, spreading happiness and hope in people’s hearts. During these blessed days, the old is kind to the young and the rich to the poor and the universe is full of compassion and kindness,” the King and Crown Prince said in their message.

“During the last days of the sacred month of Ramadan and in the vicinity of the Holy Mosque in Makkah, where people worship Allah and glorify Him day and night, the Almighty facilitated the holding of the Islamic Solidarity Conference by Muslim leaders which was meant to protect the unity of the Ummah, ward off division and safeguard lives that are inviolable,” the leaders said in their message.

Eid Messages from the American continent
US President Barack Obama has issued a message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr congratulating all Muslims around the world. In a statement posted on the website of the White House, the US President Obama said: “"Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr.

"For Muslims, Ramadan has been a time of fasting, prayer and spiritual renewal. These past four weeks have also been a time to serve the less fortunate - a reminder of the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other.

"In the United States, Eid-al-Fitr speaks to the truth that communities of faith, including Muslim Americans, enrich our national life, strengthen our democracy and uphold our freedoms, including the freedom of religion.

"That is why the we stand with people of all faiths, in the United States and around the world, in protecting and advancing this universal human right.

"On behalf of the American people, we congratulate Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world on this joyous day. Eid Mubarak."

Eid Messages from the European continent
British Prime Minister David Cameron issued an Eid Message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr wishing the Muslim communities all over the world a very happy and peaceful Eid. In his Eid Message, British Prime Minister said: “Eid is a time for families and friends. A time for joy and happiness. As families and friends come together in celebration, I want to recognise the immense contribution that British Muslims make to our country.”

British Prime Minister also said, “Peace and unity are the spirit of Eid and I am proud of the way Britain has demonstrated these values to the world during the Olympics. So to Muslims around the world on this very important day of celebration, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Eid.”

Nick Clegg’s message for Eid-ul-Fitr
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also issued Eid Message saying, "This year, as you may have noticed, the Holy Month of Ramadan coincided with the London Olympics. The contributions of Muslims in the United Kingdom to London 2012 were striking, from medal-winning athletes like Mo Farah and Mohammad Sbihi, to the many volunteers and supporters who made the atmosphere so welcoming and friendly.”

Mr. Clegg also said, “Modern Britain, in all its glory, home to every faith, every colour, every background. Opening its arms to the rest of the world and coming together to make these Games such a success. That seems to me to have been a very fitting setting for Eid ul-Fitr -A time when Muslims celebrate unity, community, friendship.

“Those are the values liberals hold dearly - Values we should all do our utmost to defend, at all times. So I'd like to send all Muslims my very best wishes for the festival. I hope you enjoy the holiday, and I wish you all a sincere Eid saeed," said British deputy Prime Minister.

British Foreign Secretary's Eid message
British Foreign Secretary William Hague sends warmest wishes to Muslims across the world ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr. He said, “I would like to convey my best wishes to all Muslims across the globe as you and your families gather to celebrate the festival of Eid.”

Mr. Hague also said, “British Muslims will join millions around the world in celebrating Eid at the end of this special period of reflection, contemplation and consideration of others. This year we are also celebrating the London Olympic Games which have been a great source of inspiration for so many people. I am very grateful for the important contribution of British Muslims in making the London Games such a success.”

“During this special time of reflection, my thoughts are with the victims of the terrible earthquakes in Iran. I continue to hope for peace, security and stability to be restored in Syria,” said British Foreign Secretary and added, “With these reflections, on this very important day of celebration, I send my very best and wish you Eid Mubarak.”

Eid Messages from the African continent
As soon as the authorities declared after the Maghreb prayer on Saturday evening that the Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, the 19th of August, I met some of the African dignitaries with whom I have been performing fasting, prayers, Iftars, Taraweeeh and Qiyam al-Lail behind the Imam at the Masjid al-Haram for the month of Ramadan, particularly the last ten days, I enquired about their Eid Messages for the Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world.

I interviewed former Governor of the Sokoto State of Nigeria, Attahiru Bafarawa, who said, “First of all, I want to convey our Muslim brothers and sisters the happy Eid for the year 2012 and my appeal to all Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world to unite ourselves, cooperate and work together for the peace and stability of the world. Without our cooperation and understanding of the teachings of Islam we cannot be able to move the world forward.”

“Therefore, we Muslims, we know the importance of peace that is Islam means peace and therefore we should not just put in our mouth; rather it is better to put it into practice. That’s my appeal to all Muslims in this world.”

Eid Messages from Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef
I had also the opportunity to interview the great Dawah worker, the scientist, the educationalist, the leading player of social welfare and interfaith dialogue, Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, the former President of the Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz University and the present Secretary General of the Cairo-based International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief (IICDR). He wants to convey his Eid Message to the Muslims all over the world. Dr. Naseef said in his message: “The Ummah is still in a very miserable situation and we hope that in every Ramadan change will come through people spend their time worshipping Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’la with concentration but we don’t lose hope we should belief more to Allah the Almighty.”

“At one time He (Allah the Almighty) will give the people and they will come out from their misery and difficulties. But usually during this time of the year I advice people to keep in mind that Ramadan has gone but Allah is there and we have to be the same; i.e. we should worship Him with the same intensity and concentration as we did in Ramadan. So the number of people who will do that will increase; will be more than usual and I hope that the Ummah will face a huge new life style after Ramadan,” said Dr. Naseef and added, “This is our hope and Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’la is Great. He will grant us the guidance; sustenance, patience and also strong will to continue, Insha Allah, towards His Orders and Commandments and the Traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).”
Picture caption1: Worshippers are waiting for the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the Masjid al-Haram, Makkah, on Sunday early morning @Dr.M.Haque.

Picture caption 2: Pilgrims were performing Tawaf (circumbulation) on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan at the Masjid al-Haram, Makkah, around midday of Friday @Dr.M.Haque
Makkah al-Mukarramah
20th of August 2012

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