By Ishola Balogun
THe celebration was splendid I guess? Did you share the sallah meat with others – friends, the poor and the needy, or are you one of those who still store the meat in the refrigerator? Did you make others happy? May Allah spare our lives to observe many more eid-il-adha and serve Him more. The quitessence of the day is to imbibe the lessons we highlighted last week and make it worthwhile for others especially the less priviledged?
The eid is now over and as we endeavour to put it behind us, we should live with the lessons taught by the occasion – submission, devotion to Allah, brotherhood and peace. We should reflect over the story of Ibrahim (a.s.) and refine our actions and ibadah to earn a special place before almighty Allah.
Let us be our brother’s keeper, let those who have give those who have not, let the strong protect the weak, let the father borrow a leaf from Ibrahim and let the child live by the example of Ismail.
And the leader in private offices, organisations, government and quasi government establishement see a model from Prophet Muhammad (akhtimi nabiyi, wa imamu-mursaleen s.a.w) whose entire life draws massive inspiration for sucess in life and hereafter, let us live each day as if it were the last.
I often like to pose this question, ‘If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?’ If the answer is No, there is a need for a change. Do not plunder the opportunity for great spiritual assets in this materialistic world.
The bombing and fighting in some parts of the country on the eve of Muslim celebration is callous. It is inhuman and hight of wickedness. I always say that those involved in this wicked act should not be called Muslims because there is no justification for that either in the Quran and the Hadith.
Anybody involved in such act have lost the purpose of his creation and existence which is not to kill or cause pain and agony in this world. But God is often forgiven. God has ordained that by worshipping Him, supplicating Him and ensuring peace among people, man would have fulfilled the very purpose of his creation and his existence.
I wonder if any Muslim sincerely engages himself in the five daily salat, give zakat and alms to the poor, illuminating their lives through Zakat; fast in the month of Ramadan and other days; perform pilgrimage to Makkah, he would be compelled to doing good, reaching for the sublime virtue in all ramifications and shunning bad acts.
May Almighty Allah make it easy for us and forgive those in the act, illuminate their hearts to shun bad acts just as we pray for those who lost their lives and the multitude of the injured.
The return of Al-Hujjaj
“Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk. Inna-alhamda Wan-n’imata Laka Wal Mulk. La Shareeka Lak.”
“Here I am at Your service. O my Lord, here I am. Here I am. No partner do You have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion. No partner do You have.”
The festival also marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This means our brothers and sisters who have gone on pilgrimage will return soon. One of the important elements of the philosophy of Hajj is the creation of mutual understanding and consolidation of brotherhood among the Muslims.
Hajj is the best rendezvous for heterogenous Muslims scattered all over the world, where brothers and sisters from all over the world meet. They converge ignoring their personal and cultural distinctions of rank, colour, nationality or ethnic characteristics, praise and worship their creator; return to their original homeland and demonstrate their Islamic brotherly philosophy and by avoiding contentions and self glorifying acts.
Yes! They have fulfilled the obligation, they have heeded the call. Labbayk Allahumma labbayk (Yes, here I am, O Lord here I am) Bare-footed, they shed off all worldly attachments and signs of distractions, reach for the House of God, embrace it, voice their love from the bottom of their hearts, confessed their sins, offered their sacrifices and return home with a spiritual joy.
It will be a great delight to have the brand new al-hujjaj in our midst, hear from them and have them pray for us. We were reliably informed that Lagos pilgrims who were reportedly taken care of, (thanks to the humble and amiable governor of the state, His excellency, Alhaji Babatunde Raji Fashola) are being taken out of their camp in Mina to Jeddah for onward boarding to Lagos. It means by the end of this week and early next week, the new al-hujjaj will hit the town. Masha Allah.