Assalaam Aleikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh?
The board of directors, management and editorial staff of The New Dawn take this opportunity to convey our most prayerful greetings and best wishes to all our esteemed readers, clients, the Muslim community and all Kenyans in general on this occasion of Idd-ul-Fitr. We pray that this day brings tranquility, happiness, prosperity, unity, good health and lasting peace in our societies. And we pray that Allah (SWT) showers upon us His most bountiful blessings and rewards for our good deeds during the Holy month of Ramadhan, whose conclusion we are celebrating. Twenty Nine days ago, we responded to Allah’s command in the Holy Quran which says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may guard against evil.” (2:184). It says further: “The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is in a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation—the feeding of a poor man. And whosoever does good of his own accord it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.” (2:185). We have now fulfilled Allah’s command concerning fasting and today we celebrate Idd-ul-Fitr to mark the completion of a month-long special form of worship in which we had to make extraordinary sacrifices in order to receive the highest of Allah’s blessings.
In this regard, as Muslims converge on various venues for Idd prayers, the imams will deliver Khutbah (sermons) as part of the worship. During the Khutbah, we call upon the Imams to remind the Muslim community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and fellow human beings. In view of our situation in Kenya, especially with regard to recent incidents of insecurity in some parts of the country that almost brought Muslims and Christians to cross paths, the Imams, scholars and opinion leaders should use the opportunity of delivering the khutbah to encourage Muslims to do good and eschew evil. It would also be important to draw the attention of Kenyan Muslims to the fact that this year’s Idd-ul-Fitr and the foregoing month of Ramadhan would be the last one before the next General Election. In this regard, as they are reminded of their responsibilities towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the rest of society, Muslims should also be directed towards the civic obligation to make and keep peace in society, as well as commit themselves to playing a positive role in the democratic processes that appertain to the general elections. Across the borders, our brothers and sisters in Somalia will be holding a very crucial election one day after Idd-ul-Fitr— an election, if held successfully, should open a new chapter for this troubled nation.
We, therefore, wish to pray for our Somali bretheren as they go through this delicate process in the history of their nation. We also encourage them to replicate the good deeds and sacrifice they exhibited during Ramadhan to the ongoing political process so that they can foster peace and tranquility in their society. As a way to promote brotherliness during these Idd celebrations, Muslims should be encouraged to convey greetings to each other, give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes at the conclusion of Idd prayers. And as a way to promote peaceful inter-religious coexistence, Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbours, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Idd festivities as a way to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture in order to establish structures of inter-religious and cultural tolerance. In this way, our society can quash the negative stereotypes that often cause tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims.