Eid-ul Fitr – 1438 / 2017
Message from the Chairman of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaats of Africa, Alhaj Shabir H. Najafi
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing and All-aware.
Holy Qur’an Surah Al-Hujurat, Verse 49:13
My Dear Community Members,
As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
On this auspicious day of Eid-ul-Fitr, on behalf of the Africa Federation Office Bearers, Trustees and Councilors, and on my own behalf, I wish you and your families Eid Mubarak. May Allah (s.w.t.) bring you all joy, happiness, peace and prosperity on this blessed occasion.
As the new moon is sighted ushering the Day of Eid, let us be thankful to our Lord for granting us an opportunity to complete yet another blessed month of fasting. So abundant are His bounties that we cannot even begin to count them. So priceless are his gifts that we cannot even begin to comprehend their value. Indeed, Eid is the time for thanksgiving because during the Holy Month, Allah (s.w.t.) opens the gates of His mercy for us and multiplies the reward for every good deed.
Let us therefore pray to Allah (s.w.t.) that with His grace and mercy He accepts all our ibadats performed during this month and grant us glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness.
In this day and age, when the image of Islam is undermined and the conduct of Muslims is brought to question, it is all the more important that we demonstrate that Eid is indeed our day of felicitation and fraternity amidst the communities of all faiths.
It is a matter of great satisfaction, that this year also, like in the recent years, we extended assistance to the needy and deserving families, both in our Community and in Bilal Muslim Missions by providing Ramadhan Relief as much as possible so that they too can engage in the Ibadats of the Holy month with ease and peace of mind. We also distributed Zakat-e-Fitrah like we do every year. We wish to thank the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities and our Well-Wishers for their support in our efforts, though the needs are greater than what we can provide.
My appeal to all our Community members is to give Charity (Zakaat) and pay Hukuk (Khums) through the central system of the Africa Federation; this will enable us to support broadly our Jamaats and Community members who are in need. I would like, especially on this day of Eid, to lay emphases on the need for each and every one of us to create the spirit of giving Charity (Zakaat/Sadaqah) regularly on monthly basis and in that spirit no amount is small. This will help us to support the underprivileged members in many areas such as education, medical, housing etc. Let me quote, Surah al-Baqarah Verse 2:277 in the Holy Qur’an to enlighten on this important subject:-
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give Zakaat (Charity) will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve”.
I would like to thank most profoundly our member Jamaats who supported this year also the Africa Federation Annual Solidarity Day activities and in fund-raising. I would like to urge the Jamaats and especially our youth fraternity to help us in promoting the Annual Solidarity Day which runs from 1st to 25th Shab’an and the peak of the celebrations takes place on the 15th Shab’an coinciding with the birthday celebrations of our beloved 12th Imam, Al Hujjah Al Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). These funds also are utilized in support of the needy and deserving cases of our members throughout the year, especially in education fees, medical expenses, household basic necessities and other emergency requirements. I wish to thank the Jamaats, the youth (girls & boys) and all the volunteers who helped in the organization and fund-raising.
Since taking up the Office of the Africa Federation a year ago, our main focus has been on education (religious and secular), housing and economic empowerment. There is a dire need of housing in the Community. Alhamdulillah we are presently working on the development of housing projects jointly with Conseil Regional of Madagascar and with our member Jamaats in Dar-es-Salaam, Bukoba and Nairobi, it is our desire to put up 200 flats (apartments) during this term of Office.
We are a small Community world-wide; however, we can play important role in promoting peace, harmony and good understanding with the Communities and individuals of different faiths and religious background in the cities and towns we live in.
As a progressive Community, we must constantly strive to maintain our unity within ourselves and stand together during difficult times. My appeal to the Jamaat leadership and members of the Community in Africa is to ensure that we promote and maintain good relationships with all Communities locally and build strategically sustainable bridges of interfaith and inter-sectarian relations with them.
On this blessed day let us all join hands and pray to Allah (s.w.t.) for the safety, security, peace and tranquility of our brothers and sisters in all parts of the world and for the safety and sanctity of the Holy Shrines of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.), his progeny and the faithful companions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
Let us also pray for the safety, good health and long life of our Marjah-e-Taqleed, Ayatullah Al Seyed Ali Al Husseini Al Seestani and Ulema-e-Deen.
As we bid farewell to the blessed month and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr today, let us take a moment to reflect and think of the families who have lost their loved ones or are physically afflicted and displaced due to the sectarian hostilities and are unable to celebrate this joyous Festival in peace at home with their families.
May Allah (s.w.t.) hasten the reappearance of our Awaited Al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
In closing I request you to remember with Sura-e-Fateha all our marhumeen especially those who were with us last Eid, and are not with us today.
The Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa
1st Shawwal 1438 AH (26th June 2017)