Eid-ul Fitr Message from the Chairman of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaats of Africa
Alhaj Anwarali R. Dharamsi
Shawwal 1436 A.H. (July 2015)
In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Most Merciful
“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited”
Holy Qurán Surah Ale Imran 3:103
My Dear Community Members,
As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
All Glory, Praise and Thanks are due to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted; and peace and blessing be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) and His pure progeny (A.S.).
Eid-ul Fitr marks the completion of fasting of the Holy Month of Ramadhan. On this blessed occasion of Eid, I extend heartiest felicitations to all members of the Community. I wish you all joy, peace, good health and prosperity with strength in Imaan.
We offer our thanks to our Creator Allah (SWT), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful for granting us another opportunity this year also to perform and complete our obligations of the Holy Month of Ramadhan in peace and tranquility. May He accept all our Ibadat and forgive our sins. Ameen.
Imam Ali (A.S.) in a sermon delivered on the Day of Eid said:
“O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadhan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadhan (saying): O Servants of Allah! Rejoice the Glad Tiding that all your previous sins have been forgiven. Therefore, watch out in those things which serve as your re-creation (on this day and days to follow)”
Let us take inspiration from this quote and join in the rejoice of the forgiveness of sins through completion of the fasting.
As we all are aware, since the past two years the geo-political movements involving turmoil and sectarian provocations and violence have been getting worse in various countries. They continue to inflict loss of lives, injuries and also displacements of civilians in millions. And what is more worrisome is that they are carried out falsely in the name of Islam to continue to provoke and inflame sectarian hostility.
Let us all join hands and pray for the safety, security and peace of our brothers, sisters and the peace loving Muslim Ummah who have become victims of these senseless violence. May Allah (SWT) alleviate their miseries and sufferings.
Recently, our Global Community led by The World Federation had to deal with the worsening situation in Yemen which necessitated the start of uplifting of community members to Djibouti. Presently there are already 456 members of the community who have been safely evacuated and are accommodated in Djibouti to await resettlement and integration with the peoples of the host countries. UNHCR has designated Djibouti as the official transition station for the Yemeni refugees.
Africa Federation has proactively played its part, in certain aspects possible, in the evacuation exercise and the temporary accommodation in Djibouti, and Inshaállah will continue to do so with the support from our members.
At this juncture, on behalf of Africa Federation and its Member Jamaats, I would like to thank most profoundly the Chairman of Mombasa Jamaat, Alhaj Sajjad Rashid for leading the two heroic and daring evacuation missions to and back from Yemen with the team of volunteers in the midst of the on-going war. May Allah (SWT) reward these courageous and kind hearted community members who have put their lives on the line for others. I would also like to thank our community members in Africa for their generous donations towards this exercise.
At the recently held World Federation Executive Council Extraordinary Meeting in London, Councillors proposed that the World Federation Secretariat should formulate a comprehensive and practical “Emergency Preparedness Plan” which will ensure smooth and rapid response in the event of any such kind of emergencies that may occur in our midst to threaten lives and limbs of the community members like the one now witnessed in Yemen.
To the leaders of our Member Jamaats and Community members, I wish to once again stress upon building bridges of unity and good relationships with other communities of different faiths and sects in places where we live. I cannot over emphasize the importance of unity in the present era more than ever before.
I also wish to point out a disturbing trend of deteriorating economic condition of our community, as a whole, which sadly continues to decline. The stark reality is that our community is trailing behind several other communities in the economic growth and development of the middle and poor class. I wish to caution our community members that the days ahead are likely to be more challenging and complex and therefore we need to find remedies to overcome these challenges before it is too late.
Since taking office of the Africa Federation five years ago, my fellow office bearers and I have felt a compelling need to remind our community members regularly on the importance of Unity, Co-operation and Long Vision. These are keys to good planning and building stronger viable financial base, for the parent body, that is, the Africa Federation and also for the Member Jamaats in our regions, this has been our focus throughout my two terms.
Like for any religious institutions of others, our institutions too need essentially some certainty of regular funds for advancing the constitutional Aims and Objects of our religious institutions and fulfilling its social responsibilities.
Accordingly, by the grace and blessings of Allah (SWT), the AFED Project initiated by us along Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam is progressing well, with the first phase of the project having now been completed. We shall, insha’Allah, soon be embarking on the second phase of the project. I need and ask for your prayers, co-operation and support for this project also.
Financial strength is fundamentally important for economic transformation and better future of our community in all aspects of life, especially for our future generations. On this score, I once again appeal to all community members to pay their religious dues (Khums and Zakat) regularly through the centralized system of Africa Federation. I also appeal to you all to donate generously towards the Welfare and Education Funds which are used to assist the less fortunate and needy members of our community in our Jamaats who are desperately striving to live normal life in this difficult economic environment. Please first help your own institutions and community where you live before you look elsewhere.
Alhamdulillah, this year again with the support from the World Federation and generous donors from our community, we were able to provide Ramadhan Relief Fund for food parcels, Iftars and other basic essentials to various Jamaats and Institutions under the Africa Federation for the needy and underprivileged families thus making the holy month of Ramadhan somewhat comfortable for them too.
The Africa Federation Annual Solidarity Day Project celebrating the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Imam-e-Zamana (A.T.F.S.) continues to gain momentum each year. I am thankful to the leadership of our Jamaats, youths, ladies and gents members of our Jamaats in Mainland Africa and in the Indian Ocean Islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius for their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment towards the Africa Federation Solidarity Day Project.
I am pleased to state that for the last three years, our youths (girls & boys) from all our Jamaats have taken leading roles in organizing various interesting events and activities for this Project; starting from 1st to 25th Shabán. My deepest appreciation goes to these dedicated youths of our community for their involvement, devotion and services in this benevolent noble Project.
Funds collected from these events are utilized by Africa Federation throughout the year to support the needs of the underprivileged and needy members of our community from our Member Jamaats.
As it happens, this will be my last Eid Message to the community as I complete my tenure of two terms as the Chairman of the Africa Federation. I wish to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the community of our Jamaats in the Mainland Africa and in the Indian Ocean Islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius for their unflinching support, respect and co-operation accorded to me and to my fellow office bearers and trustees throughout this period. It has been a privilege and honour to serve the community, and I pray to Allah (SWT) to accept whatever we have been able to deliver, and to forgive our shortcomings – Ameen.
We need not forget that Ladies in the community also have important roles to play. They, as mothers, wives and daughters, have special place in our society whilst they also carry significant responsibilities in fulfilling the vision of our community – be it spiritual, social, academic or economic development, including good family upbringing. Our Jamaats should utilize their talents and potentialities, in various sectors of the Jamaat.
Let us pray for the safety, good health and long life of our Marjah-e-Taqleed, Ayatullah As-Seyed Ali Al Hussainy Al Seestani, Ulema-e-Deen and all our community members across the globe.
May Allah (S.W.T.) hasten reappearance of the Awaited Saviour, Al-Mahdi (A.T.F.S.).
On behalf of the Office Bearers, Trustees and Councilors of the Africa Federation, and on my own behalf, I wish you and your families Eid Mubarak with prayers for increase in imaan and tawfiqaat.
In closing I request you to remember with Sura-e-Fateha all our marhumeen and marhuminat, especially those who were with us last Eid, and are not with us today.
Anwarali R. Dharamsi
1st Shawwal 1436 AH