Friday 14 May 2021 (1 Shawaal 1442)
Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider
Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid, Ottery, Cape Town

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu

First of all, I would like to extend my congratulations on this auspicious day of Eid-ul-Fitr. May Almighty Allah (SWT) accept all our humble efforts we made in the past month of Ramadaan. May Almighty Allah (SWT) count us amongst the list of those whom He has forgiven and freed from the Hellfire during this month.

Today being the day of Eid, is a day to receive gifts. In this beautiful dua (supplication) we read in the Eid Salaat, as taught to us by the Ahlul Bait (a.s), we see that this is the day of gifts, after fasting for one whole month and conducted many recommended acts of worship (ibadah) and supplications (duas).

Today, we are coming to you Allah (SWT) to receive our gifts and rewards. We ask you Allah (SWT) to not turn us back without rewarding us, as He is the most generous and most compassionate.

It is Eid of Fitr, and there are various reasons why it is referred to by this name, some of them being:

  1. We break our fast;
  2. We pay zakat (charity) of fitrah before performing Salaat of Eid;
  3. Eid is the celebratory day of happiness and pleasure;
  4. It is day of gathering with people;
  5. It is the day of returning to our pure nature ie. Fitrah

For one full month, we were deeply engrossed with spiritual cleanliness, thereby removing so much pollution and diseases which accumulated on our pure nature. So then, after this one month of purification, we are now celebrating our return to our pure nature on this day of Eid-ul-Fitr!

All these reasons noted above for the name of Eid-ul-Fitr are beautifully mentioned in that dua by the 4th Imam of Ahlul Bait, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s), wherein he bids farewell to the month of Ramadaan. Let me quote a few sentences to give us a glimpse into:

  • what has passed with Ramadaan;
  • where we are now on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr; and
  • what we are supposed to be from now onwards.

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ
“Peace be upon thee,

يَا شَهْرَ اللهِ الأكْبَرَ، وَيَا عِيْدَ أَوْلِيَائِهِ
O greatest month of God! O festival of His friends!”

Further on in this special dua of Eid, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) says to Almighty Allah (SWT) that we are being inflicted with a tragedy by losing this sacred month of Ramadaan, imploring Him to compensate for this loss by keeping us on this spirit of Ramadaan after the month has passed.

وَاجْبُرْ مُصِيبَتنَا بِشَهْرِنَا
“redress our being afflicted by our month”

In the following verses from this special dua of Eid, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) bids farewell to Ramadaan by calling it his best friend:

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَـا أكْرَمَ مَصْحُـوب مِنَ الأوْقَاتِ
“Peace be upon thee, O most noble of accompanying times!

وَيَا خَيْرَ شَهْر فِي الأيَّامِ وَالسَّاعَاتِ
O best of months in days and hours!”

Then, later on in this special dua of Eid, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) lists his special requests from Almighty Allah (SWT):

أللَّهُمَّ اسلَخْنَا بِانْسِلاَخِ هَذَا الشَّهْرِ مِنْ خَطَايَانَا
“O God, with the passing of this month make us pass forth from our offenses,

وَأَخْرِجْنَا بُخُرُوجِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئاتِنَا
with its departure make us depart from our evil deeds

وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنْ أَسْعَدِ أَهْلِهِ بِهِ
and appoint us thereby among its most felicitous people,

وَأَجْزَلِهِمْ قِسَمَاً فِيـهِ وَأَوْفَـرِهِمْ حَظّاً مِنْـهُ
the most plentiful of them in portion, and the fullest of them in share!”


Reflecting upon these sentences from the special Eid dua by Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s), it takes us back to the earlier point I was making about this sacred month of Ramadaan being the month of cleansing and returning to our pure nature.

أللَّهُمَّ إنَّا نَتُوبُ إلَيْكَ فِي يَوْمِ فِطْرِنَا
“O God, we repent to Thee in our day of fast-breaking,

الّذِي جَعَلْتَهُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ عِيداً وَسُـرُوراً
which Thou hast appointed for the faithful a festival and a joy”

Here we can see that Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) is acknowledging Eid as a day of happiness, and in the following sentence, he affirms Eid to be the day of the universal assembly, showing the power of the Muslim nation (Ummah).

وَلأِهْلِ مِلَّتِكَ مَجْمَعاً وَمُحْتشداً
“and for the people of Thy creed a time of assembly and gathering”

To summarize, when we celebrate this sacred day of Eid, we ought to remember these very important points from this special dua of Eid by our beloved Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s), namely:

  • The return to our pure nature;
  • Forgiveness by Almighty Allah (SWT);
  • Freedom of Hellfire;
  • The day of expression of power

When we read that deeply thought-provoking dua of Qunoot in the salaah of Eid (five times in the first rak’ah and four times in the second rak’ah) we implore Allah (SWT) for this day to be a celebration for all Muslims, and the day to treasure as the honour of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقّ هذَا الْيَوْمِ الّذِي جَعَلْتَهُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ عِيداً
“I beseech You in the name of this day, which You have decided to be feast for the Muslims

وَلِمُحَمّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِه ذُخْراً وَمَزِيداً
And to be safety and increasing honor for Muhammad – peace of Allah be upon him and his Household”

We all come out in huge numbers on this day of Eid, such that this assembly on the day of Eid is noticeable to all. In our city of Cape Town, where we Muslims are not more than 20%, everyone knows it to be the day of Eid. This is an expression of power.

If one reflects on the Takbeerat on the day of Eid, it is an expression of our commitment and power to Almighty Allah (SWT). Our 8th Imam of Ahlul Bait (a.s), Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s), was requested by the Abbasid ruler of the time, Ma’mun, to lead the Salaah of Eid. When Imam Ridha (a.s) left his house to lead the Eid Salaah, he proclaimed the Takbeerat along his journey, which magnetized the masses to follow him along with this declaration:

اللَّهُ اكْبَرُ ٱللَّهُ اكْبَرُ
“Allah is Great. Allah is Great.

لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ
There is no god save Allah.

وَٱللَّهُ اكْبَر ُاللَّهُ اكْبَرُ
And Allah is Great. Allah is Great.

وَلِلَّهِ ٱلْحَمْدُ
All praise be to Allah.”

Indeed, Eid is the expression of power of this Muslim Ummah. Let us celebrate Eid with this spirit, Insha Allah!


Once again, I remind myself and all of you to exhort towards Taqwa of Almighty Allah (SWT), especially in this day of Eid. Let us protect what we have achieved in this month of Ramadaan. Let us protect that treasure of Taqwa after 30 days of intense spiritual training.

This spiritual treasure is never complete without our care, concern and responsibility towards the greater Ummah of Islam. As pointed out earlier, we read the Qunoot nine times in the Eid Salaah, which states that this is the Eid for the Ummah of Islam and the honour for the Prophet of Islam (SAWA).

أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقّ هذَا الْيَوْمِ الّذِي جَعَلْتَهُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ عِيداً
“I beseech You in the name of this day, which You have decided to be feast for the Muslims

وَلِمُحَمّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِه ذُخْراً وَمَزِيداً
And to be safety and increasing honor for Muhammad – peace of Allah be upon him and his Household”

How can we celebrate Eid in a selfish manner, after reading this nine times in Eid Salaah, without realizing and sharing with those who are less fortunate in our city and country? Eid is a very difficult day for the underprivileged.

Then, to our fellow brethren in Islam who are suffering in the different parts of the world. Their Eid is a very painful Eid. I would like to draw reference to two crucial issues, amongst the many issues of agonizing pain facing the Muslim Ummah.


Firstly, and most importantly, the situation in Palestine. Alhamdu Lillah, we are able to have Eid peacefully here. Eid in Gaza and Quds is being experienced under the ruthless bombardment of rockets falling, killing scores of innocent people, including women and children.

This Eid in particular is very, very heavy for them, after they had to endure a very heavy stress with facing grave hostility from the Zionist enemies in the month of Ramadaan itself.

We all know of the sacred value Masjidul Aqsa holds in Islam, yet the Palestinians were not allowed to do their special acts of worship here in Ramadaan. Beyond that, they were also forced out of the nearby neighbourhoods of Masjidul Aqsa.

The magnitude of devastation is not something we can fully comprehend from our comfort here. Gaza is burning, with buildings upon buildings being destroyed, and the death toll accumulating.

With the help of social media, we have some access to the unedited version of the real suffering taking place in occupied Palestine, which the mainstream media does not reflect. The mainstream media only talks about two parties, and for them, the victim and culprit are both the same!


I would like to highlight one important point, that after all the suffering, injustice and oppression committed against the Palestinians, what is very clear is that these people are standing firm! The Palestinians have always resisted, but this time, their resistance is felt more than before.

Their resistance has taken the sleep of the Zionist oppressors. The rockets and missiles fired by the Palestinian resistance into the different cities and settlements of Zionist Israel is causing these most terrible people on earth to feel the pain.

On the one side, you have Zionist Israel with all its modern weaponry and the whole world supporting them, and on the other side, you have these Palestinians with nothing in their hands. Yet they are able to stand courageously and produce missiles which are going into the furthermost parts of Israel!

This is taking away the sleep of the Zionists! According to their own estimates, the damage inflicted by the rockets of the Palestinian resistance has already caused Israel to lose $160m in economic activity in one of its areas. These are their estimates, while the true figures are a lot more, I am sure.


This is the promise of Almighty Allah (SWT), and our support and solidarity is important. Alhamdu Lillah, the people of Cape Town have come out in big numbers to show their solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

What is truly unique is that in South Africa, we find political parties taking a firm stand to support Palestine too. People of all countries across the world come onto the streets to voice their support for Palestine, but we hardly see political voices joining them.

Here, in South Africa, it is different, in that even the ruling party and other political parties, together with leaders from civil society, are out in full force to support the oppressed people of Palestine. This really makes us proudly South African.

Of course, we expect much more concrete action from our South African government, than just lip service of support. Their actions, and that of other political parties, need to back up the statements which they have issued condemning the gross atrocities committed by Zionist Israel. Our expectation is that they need to practically demonstrate their commitment to what they have said in their statements.


The second issue I wish to elaborate on is the tragedy taking place in Afghanistan against the Hazara Shia community. This massacre has been side-lined unfortunately, and we cannot ignore what is being perpetrated against this community, who has suffered enormously.

The recent incident, when a girls school by the name of Madrassatu Sayyid as-Shuhada, under the name of Imam Hussain (a.s), was blasted by a bomb on 26th Ramadaan, slaughtering 70 – 75 young girls in the process. What is the crime of these innocent young girls? Their crime is that they love Imam Hussain (a.s) and they follow the family of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

This incident is not isolated. This Hazara Shia community, who live in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are targets of terrorist attacks and atrocities on a regular basis, perpetrated by so-called Muslims. They have been regularly attacked in Quetta, Pakistan, with their homes and mosques bombarded, leaving a trail of destruction and numerous killed.

The level of brutality that this Hazara Shia community has suffered has no bounds, where a bus they would be traveling in would randomly be stopped in the middle of nowhere. Shia passengers would be separated from the other passengers based on their identity card, and if their names indicate any semblance of association to the Ahlul Bait (a.s), then they are immediately killed!

We heard a few months ago about the poorest of the poor mineworkers of this Hazara Shia community who were brutally slaughtered for being Shia Muslims! There is a systematic, ethnic cleansing taking place against this community, where the intent of the enemies (being so-called Muslims) is to wipe them out from the political map of Afghanistan.

These people have a history of suffering and continue to suffer everyday by the hands of so-called Muslims who feel proud about killing mercilessly in the name of Islam, even if they are young innocent girls, while fasting in the sacred days of Ramadaan!

I therefore felt the burning need to highlight the plight of this oppressed Hazara Shia nation and the injustice inflicted against them. The list of suffering in the Muslim world keeps growing, but I wanted to highlight the suffering of this silenced Hazara community.

Once again, Eid Mubarak, and may Almighty Allah (SWT) accept our humble efforts and may He bless us again in our lifetime to experience the month of Ramadaan.

In this day of dua, we pray to Almighty Allah (SWT) to relieve humanity from this terrible coronavirus pandemic, which has caused so much suffering, hardship and death for so many people to deal with. I humbly request you all to please take care of yourselves and take care of others. Life is precious and sacred!

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