By the Spiritual Leader of the Salawatia Mission of Ghana, Sheihu Husain Rashid Salwat

 (THE QUTUB AZ-ZAMAAN)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, on this occasion of Eid ul-Adha in commemoration of the great faith and courage exhibited by our great-grand father in Islam – Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), I greet you all with the greetings recommended by the Almighty Allah Himself; it is the greetings of the Faithful, the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, and also the greetings of the people of Paradise, which is Assalamu alaikum Wa-rahmatul Laahi Ta-allaah Wa-barakatuhuu, meaning, “may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all”. 

All praises is due to Allah who created man in the best of creation and ordered him to spend out of the bounties bestowed upon him and to strive hard with all his might, his wealth and knowledge in the course of Allah. I pray for the perpetual Peace and Blessings of Allah to bear upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and his household. Fellow Muslims, the message of this year’s Eid ul-Adha is LET US HELP EACH OTHER

 Eid ul-Adha is undoubtedly a remarkable mile stone in our Deen, not only for annual celebration, but also to serve as a lesson and to guide us in our daily lives to be successful. Indeed, the conduct of Prophet Ibrahim was a shining example for believers in Allah and in the Last day. What can be more challenging than being asked to sacrifices one’s hard earned beloved son, after being childless till old age? It was a great test, but Prophet Ibrahim went through the great test, with distinction, together with his family. This earned him the name “Khalilul Laahi” (the friend of Allah). Allah says in the Holy Quran, 3:125. “Who can better be in the Deen than the one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good deeds, and follows the way of Ibrahim, the true in faith? For Allah did take Ibrahim for a friend”.

 Brothers and sisters in Islam, let us wakeup from our deep slumber to appreciate, accept and put into practice the significance of Eid ul-Adha, which is sacrifice in the course of Allah. We need to look internally and grab any resources available to us and make good use of them. No government can do everything for its people. Let us start doing the little things for ourselves, and the government will do the big ones for us. Let us start doing the little things like building our own roads to all the District capitals, building more schools and training centers to cater for the dropped-outs of schools against their will due to limited number of schools available. Let us establish hospitals to take care of the sick in the society, and not only that, let us sponsor the youth to acquire quality education including the sciences, technology in all the disciplines and medicine to fill our hospitals. Allah said in Quran 5:2; Help one another in righteousness and piety, and not help one another in sin and rancour, and fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.  

 On this note, I am humbly appealing to our Chiefs, Stakeholders, Opinion-leaders and the generality of the youth in Dagbon to take this self-development community programs very seriously. Our Chiefs should emulate the examples of the numerous initiatives and developmental programs undertaken by the Ashantehene, Otunfuo Osei Tutu 11, and the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Ofori Panin to alleviate poverty and improve the lot of their people and Ghanaians in general. In addition to that, the Ashantehene has embarked upon the Ashantehene Education Fund and the Okyenhene too has also embarked upon the Green Environment Plan by establishing a university to research and reverse the environmental degradation and the pollution of our water bodies. The Dakpema of Tamale has also embarked upon similar ventures. He has established the “Dakpema Education Fund”. He should be commended for this development initiative and only not that we should contribute meaningfully to its success. 

 Lets us honour our Zakat obligations and give out alms charitably. We have a lot of orphans, widows, the destitute and the needy in our societies who need our attention. Let us take good care of these people by spending charitably on them from whatever Allah has given us. This is the surest and fastest way we can come out of our abject poverty, diseases, wars, corruption and all the other related social vices. Spending our wealth this way will not only please Allah but will also strengthen our souls and make us have more happiness in our lives. Let us establish a center to coordinate our Zakat, our alms, our contributions and our efforts for the prosperity of our societies. Let us attach to this self-development community programs with the seriousness they deserved.  

 When the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) migrated from Makka to Madina, he fostered the Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by adopting the unique method of strengthening the bonds of Islam between those from Makka and the people of Madina. He paired off each Muhajir from Makka with an Ansar of Madina.

 

The Quran says in 59:9; But those who, before them, had homes in Madina and had adopted the Faith, show their affection to such as came to them for refuge from Makka, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the latter, but give them preference over themselves, even though they were in need. And those saved from the meanness of their own souls; they are the ones that achieve prosperity.

 

This arrangement also helped to relieve the immediate needs of the Makkans for shelter and food and created an integrated community of believers. Being your neighbour’s keeper was practiced to the fullest. This unique Muslim bonds reached its climax when the people of Madina did not only shared half of their wealth with the people from  Makka but also share with them their houses and in some cases, willingly divorced their wives to make room for people from Makka to marry them.

 

In Sahih Al-Bukhari hadith 3496, Anas bin Malik narrated that when Abdur-Rahman bin Auf came from Makka to Madina, the Prophet made a bond of brotherhood between him and Saad ibr Rabi. Saad had two wives, so he suggested to Abdur-Rahman to take one of his wives and half of his property. Abdur-Rahman replied, “May Allah bless you with your wives and property. Kindly show me the market.” So Abdur-Rahman went to the market and bargained for some dried yoghurt and some butter. After a few days the Prophet saw Abdur-Rahman with some yellow stains on his clothes and asked him, “What is that, Oh Abdur-Rahman?” He replied, “I had married an Ansari woman.” The Prophet asked, “How much Dowry did you give her?” He replied, “The weight of one date of gold.” The Prophet said, “Offer a party and if you can slaughter a sheep.”

 

This unique way of taking care of the needs of a brother or a sister in Islam or both, has never been practiced anywhere in the world. Not by a nation, and not by a community, and not any religion has ever practiced it but it was only Islam which did.

 

In the world over, especially Africa, poverty alleviation is the most contemporary issue. Several strategies have been proposed and implemented, but all have failed. The solution is simple: sacrifice from whatever you have honourably earned to the needy. If Canadian children can spare a part of their  “school chop-money” that is enough to establish an NGO that takes care of their peers in this part of our world, can’t Adult Muslims of Ghana do better? Needless to say that, these little sacrifices that the developed countries are making in the form of grants are responsible for the high economic status they are enjoying. This is the reason why Allah said in the Quran, 13:11. Verily Allah never changes the condition of a people until they change it themselves. May the Almighty Allah let us appreciate and accept to put in practice and cater for the needy in our societies.

 

May the Almighty Allah strengthen our souls and make us love to always spend and really spend our wealth in His course. May He help us to always emulate the good conduct of Prophet Ibrahim. May He shower His bounties on us. I pray for all Muslims the world over. I pray for the prosperity of Ghana and all Ghanaians. I pray for the North and Dagbon. I also pray for permanent peace to prevail in the North, Bawku, Gushegu, Dagbon and the world over where peace is lacking. May Allah bless you all. Assalamu alaikum Wa-rahmatul Laahi Ta-allaah Wa-Barakatuhuu.

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