Speaker: Dr Jamal Badawi
Event: Eid Festival by Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)
Fasting is not mere fasting from food and drinks. It is actually an ibadah of abstaining all evils and falsehoods. Quran does not only ask muslims to fast. It directs them by giving its purpose, which is to attain RIGHTEOUSNESS.
So who are the righteous Muslims ?
A righteous Muslim is :
1. One who strive and sustain his relationship with the creator through firm belief, love and submission.
2. One who able to translate the relationship with the creator with also the creations. These includes all animate and inanimate beings in this world. The most important is the relationship with the family. Simple reason, with a healthy family you will get a healthy society. (family including spouses, parents, children, siblings, relatives, etc.)
3. One who considers himself as the member of the Ummah (global Muslim community). As a Muslim we must feel part of this global brotherhood. The brotherhood of faith. This membership requires responsibilities and duties. We share not only in feeling but also in defending their rights. If they were oppressed and humiliated we stand for them - Palestine. If they suffer from famine and starvation we lend our hands - Somalia.
4. One who also consider himself as part of global human beings community. Quran said that all human beings comes from the same source.
"He created you (all) from a single person..." (39:6)
Thus we have to learn not only to tolerate but to accept each other.
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." (49:13)
This verse address to all humanity. It had become among the most important social code in Islam. No superiority of men over women. This is totally a myth. Allah also acknowledges the diversity of humans. It is made so that they can get to know each other. this verse erases the myth of superiority of certain races and genders. It envelopes the true essences of human diversity and nobility.
5. One who believe and try to implement what the Quran said. Such is the promotion of peace. Peaceful coexistence is there in the Quran. For example, when Quran and hadith talk about being good to your neighbour, it cover all type of neighbours irrespective of faith and situations. (including other faith communities and even one who is sitting beside you in a plane).
6. One who collaborate and cooperate with other in righteous deeds. Quran makes it clear for muslim to cooperate with everybody in promoting righteousness.
"Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment." (5:2)
The collaboration and cooperation travels across boundaries. So as Canadians, you do not have to isolate yourselves from the community. There are lot of ways and mediums that can be used to contribute and serve the community. At the same time, we do not have to loss our identity when getting engage with it. The solution, ENGAGE and PRESERVE.
7. One who allows their freedom of faith by also accepting others freedom of faith. Muslims can not be healthy if they are disallowed to perform their duties and obligations. The same applies to other faith communities. If other try to take this freedom, that is a secular fundamentalism. It must be prevented.
So where are we ?
They are different between ideal and real. We shall not despair. We can not change overnight but that make no reasons for us for not to start. May Allah gives us the true meaning of Shaum.
~ Eid Mubarak ! ~
*Dr Jamal A. Badawi جمال بدوي is an Egyptian born Muslim Canadian former professor in the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a well-known author, preacher and speaker on Islam.
He completed his undergraduate studies at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. He left for the U.S. in the 1960s and completed his Masters and doctorate, both in the department of Business Administration, at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He has been serving as a volunteer imam of the local Muslim community in the Halifax Regional Municipality since 1970. He cites Hassan al-Banna and Muslim Brotherhood as his source for inspiration.