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Ramadan Mubarak 1430 / 2009

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
شهر رمضان الذي أنزل فيه القرآن هدى للناس وبينات من الهدى والفرقان

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Faith and Humanity

As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Blessings be Upon You)

As the blessed month of Ramadan knocks at our door, we would like to congratulate you on this Holy Month.

We are all travellers on the same path, struggling to seek Allah’s pleasure.  The price to acquire the traits of self control, serenity, awareness and respect of the other is a permanent personal battle against our innermost evil desires. Death, life, experiences, ordeals, pain, solitude, joy and happiness, are lessons to be learnt and taught on this journey.

The most beautiful and the most difficult lesson to be learnt on this journey? That our final destination is to find Allah and that can only be done by reconciling with the deepest level of our being (al-fitra) – the original light that Allah breathed into our hearts. Thus the secret of life is hidden in the place from which you set out.


A wise man once said, ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and happiness.

Such is the meaning of profound spirituality. We are responsible for the actions we take and within these actions there is a reminder. For within this space, there is God and one’s heart, as the Qur’an reminds us: "...and know that [the knowledge of] God lies between the human being and his heart."

Hence within this space everyone is asked to take up a dialogue of intimacy, sincerity and love with The Most-High. Within this space is the horizon of all spirituality requiring man to acquire a force of being and doing, rather than to undergo despotic relentlessness of a life reduced to mere instinct. Within this space, we marry the purpose of our existence with the purpose of our subsistence.

The Holy Month of Ramadan enables us to rediscover and reform this space whilst soothing one’s heart close to the recognition of the Creator. Close to the awareness of The One is the comprehension of the message of the Qur’an, its words and inspirations.  To serve humanity with the higher purpose of peace and equity... To awaken your conscience in the proximity of the wounds and the injustices people face... To move away from bad thoughts and the darkest dimensions of one’s being.

At the heart of our consumer society, where materialism and individualism drive our daily lives, the Blessed Month of Ramadan reinforces our personal effort and commitment, invites us towards the deep horizons of introspection and meaning, reminds us of silence,

restraint and remembrance, and inculcates the importance of detail, precision, rigour and discipline of practice.

The Blessed Month of Ramadan is a feast of the faith of fraternal atmosphere that is shared with all brothers and sisters, to portray the humility and compassion of the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) towards the downtrodden and distressed, irrespective of culture and creed. Ramadan is about realizing a prophetic vision of a just world and  reflecting it in our mindset, etiquette, and actions, so that we become 21st century ambassadors of the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him): advocating justice, compassion and love; reminding ourselves of the role he played in promoting education, entrepreneurship, caring for the elderly, caring for people with disabilities, love for the people of other faiths, and caring for the neighbor.

So this Ramadan let us undertake a journey, ‘a journey back to the beginning’; a journey that is, completely inward, into intimacy, solitude between ourselves and our self - in the place where there is no longer anyone but God, and our self. This Ramadan let us reconcile disputes between families and friends as a sign of the remembrance of God. This Ramadan, let us strive to reinforce this remembrance of God and to remember our duties with the people, for to be with God is to be with the people. This Ramadan let us not only journey into intimacy and solitude within our self, but inculcate our responsibility as creations of God to serve humanity

Ramadan Mubarak and many happy returns

 

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21st August 2009