By the Spiritual Leader of the Salawatia Mission of Ghana, Sheihu Husain Rashid Salwat (THE QUTUB AZ-ZAMAAN)

We praise Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent. May Allah’s perpetual peace and blessings be upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his beloved household. Fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, Eid ul-Adha is undoubtedly a remarkable mile-stone in Islam. It is in commemoration of the faith and courage by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He is known to other religions as Abraham. Majority of the people of the world regard Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as the Patriarch, Father of the Faithful and the Pillar of the three major world religions, i.e. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Eid ul-Adha which is in remembrance of the unshaken faith of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in his Lord should not only be considered as an annual celebration, but also be considered to serve as a common unifier uniting the world and to guiding mankind in their daily lives to absolute success in this world and the hereafter.

There is a Universal Law, brothers and sisters that bonds every human being and leads him or her to a prosperous and happy Life in this world and the best of rewards in the hereafter. Allah says in the Quran 16:97. “Whoever does righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, We will surely give him or her happy and prosperous Life, and reward them in the hereafter according to the best of their deeds.” Righteousness, obedience and being gratitude to Allah was indeed the philosophy which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) believed in. In the same chapter Allah said; “Ibrahim was indeed a model. Devoutly obedient to Allah, true in faith, and he joined no gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, Who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Path. And We gave him Good life in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous.” So therefore, We have revealed to you the message. “Follow the ways of Ibrahim the True Faith. He joined no gods with Allah.”

My brothers and sisters, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) went through series of great tests and trails and by passing all of them with Distinction, became a shining example for all believers in Allah. In Quran; 2:124-125. Allah said; “And remember that Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled them all: Allah said: “I will make you an Imam to the Nations.” What can be more challenging than being asked to sacrifice one’s beloved son, after being childless till old age? Prophet Ibrahim (AS) found himself in that situation. Allah said in Quran 37:102-108. “Then, when his son reached the age of serious productivity, he said: “O my son! I saw in a vision that I offered you in sacrifice for the sake of Allah. What is your view on that?” His son replied: “O my father, do as you are commanded, Allah willing, you will find me, constantly Patient!” So when they had both submitted their wills to Allah, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead for the sacrifice, We called out to him, “O Ibrahim, “You have indeed fulfilled the vision. For this was obviously a great trial” And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. Therefore We left this sacrifice for all generations to come. “My salutations and Peace be unto Ibrahim!” This trial was the greatest choice between Allah and a beloved son, the greatest choice between love of Allah and love of self, the greatest choice between Prophethood and fatherhood, the greatest choice between loyalty to Allah and loyalty to people, the greatest choice between faith and emotion, the greatest choice between responsibility and pleasure and above all the greatest choice between productivity and idleness.

May I use this occasion to call on world leaders, religious leaders and their people to make conscious efforts to draw the lessons of Prophet Ibrahim to inspire them to sacrifice their cherished desires, emotions, pleasures for the advancement of humanity and for the promotion of peace and tranquility in the world. Most human beings are moving out of their human self and scavenging on others through senseless wars just to satisfy their selfish desires, emotions and allegiance to states or associations.

This year alone according to United Nations report over 560,000 people have been killed through such senseless wars. In Egypt, in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, the story is the same. In Libya alone over 30,000 people lost their lives, and more casualties are still being reported. Apart from the human lives lost, hundreds of millions of US dollars have been wasted in such wars whilst 9,125,000 people especially children and women died of starvation in Kenya, Somalia, Bangladesh, North Korea, etc. Some people are starving in North Korea to the extent that they eat grass to survive. What a terrible condition this could be? This means according to the United Nations report, about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. Check yourself at; http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/un. In every three and a half seconds, one person dies of hunger. Fortunately, there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem, unfortunately, is that hungry people are trapped in war situations or in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick and painfully die off, and not forgiving the wicked world they left behind them.

How can the grand children of Prophet Ibrahim look on his other grand children dying out of starvation in such an inhumane condition? The socio-economic and political power of the world is now skewed towards killing and impoverishing mankind, whereas they should have been saving lives, empowering people and promoting peace and development. About two-thirds of the youth of the world are unemployed even though they could have been employed.

Muslims, Christians and Jews sincerely regard Prophet Ibrahim as their forefather and really love him. It is high time for the believers in Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to let us search for whatever brings doubt to our responsibilities. It is high time for us to search for whatever leads us to compromise truth and justice. It is high time for us to search for whatever causes us to flee from our duty and it is high time for us to search for whatever calls us to remain selfish. For us today, these are the signs of our “beloved sons.” Let us sacrifice more towards Allah. Let us remember that Eid ul-Adha is an Eid of sacrifice. Let all nations sincerely sacrifice these signs of their “beloved sons” and tirelessly work for peace, economic and social justice. Let us sacrifice more towards the eradication of hunger, poverty and disease from the world for the advancement of humanity.

I call on the world bodies, i.e., the UN, NATO, EU, AU, IMF and World Bank to consciously re-design their policies to sacrifice their parochial interests to establish, a truly, new socio-economic framework of responsibility, love, truth, justice, tolerance and generosity from which no one will be excluded.

On the domestic scene, Ghana is entering into an election year. Let me remind my fellow countrymen that Ghana is bigger and more important than any single individual or party in the country. Let us therefore make consented efforts not do anything to bring about disunity, conflicts and wanton killings of our citizens. I am appealing to politicians and party functionaries to reframe from the culture of insult from our political front. Let our politicians distinguish themselves in loyalty to God, responsibility, love, truth, justice, tolerance and fostering unity amongst the people of Ghana for our common goal, the development of our dear country. I call on the media to reframe from entertaining people who would want to bring about public disturbance. We absolutely depend on the media for accurate information and education. I am also appealing to them to be circumspect in their reportage.

I pray for the Government and the people of Ghana. I pray for all the chiefs and people of Dagbon. I pray for all the chiefs of Ghana. I pray for the prosperity of our dear country. I pray for peace for the entire world. I pray for all Muslims the world over. Once again, I wish all of you a very happy Eid ul-Adha celebration.

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