WE have reached another holy Aidiladha, a time when the spirit of solidarity and unity preached by the Quran fills the heart with spirituality, bringing people one step closer to Almighty God. We hope that during these holy days, which perfectly reflect the warmth and brotherhood inherent in Islam, Muslims will love and cherish each other more and reinforce their bonds of brotherhood and love. And we also hope that this joyful solidarity boosted by the festival will continue forever, and Muslims spend every day of the rest of their lives with joy, happiness and solidarity.
Eagerly anticipated every year, there are many reasons why Aidiladha is so special and unique. One reason is that during this holy time, believers perfect their morality and renew their desires to get closer to God. Filled with peace and spirituality ushered in by the festival, believers remember and praise God together, visit the elderly to pay their respects, ask after their relatives and please the sick by visiting them to offer their love. They constantly praise and talk about God and pray together, which fill their hearts with the joy of God’s love. All these are acts that God approves of and wishes to see. For these reasons, the faces of believers radiate with joy and holy light during this time, even more so than usual.
The Aidiladha that reinforces the feelings of solidarity and love amongst believers creates an opportunity to practise an important religious observance. This observance is charity, which is very important, according to the Quran. Believers donate parts of the sacrifice meat to the poor and needy to make them happy.
Needless to say, religious observances are means to get closer to God. And believers joyfully practise their religion to be closer to God that they love with a profound love. As they carry out their religious observances with joy, they seek God’s approval, and ask for His approval with all their hearts. This is what makes a religious practice sincere; doing it solely for God’s pleasure. What makes Aidiladha sacrifice valid is doing it earnestly and sincerely, seeking only God’s pleasure and approval. God explains this in a verse as follows: “Their flesh and blood does not reach Allah but your taqwa does reach Him. In this way He has subjected them to you so that you might proclaim Allah’s greatness for the way that He has guided you. Give good news to the good-doers…” (Surah Al-Hajj, 37).
May God be pleased with all our brothers and sisters who sacrificed animals all around the Islamic world to seek God’s pleasure.
As we come together, celebrate and enjoy this beautiful festival, we are not forgetting about our brothers and sisters who are brutally persecuted in various parts of the world like Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Patani, Kashmir, Myanmar, east Turkestan, Crimea, Moro, amongst others. It is impossible for us to act indifferent as millions of fellow Muslims are struggling to stay alive under severe oppression. We are not forgetting about them and pray for them as we come together and constantly spread the word that the only salvation for them is the unity of Muslims at once. Needless to say, if we set aside differences and join forces, our brothers and sisters in those countries and many others will be saved from tyranny and the entire Islamic world will get to live everyday with the joy of a festival. This way, the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity will prevail every moment of our lives.
The truth is, the union of Muslims, the Muslims embracing each other with love and respect, is the most urgent need of the Islamic world. Millions of innocent people are waiting for help from us, the Muslims. We need to put ourselves in their shoes, empathise with them and do our best to remedy their situation. We have to have the awareness that otherwise, we will be responsible for every drop of blood, for every innocent who is injured or martyred.
It is high time the Islamic world stand united. In order for the turmoil to end in the world, it is crucial that Muslims of the world join forces.
We pray that all Muslims set aside their differences, problems and resentments in this Aidiladha, and come together to seek ways for saving their oppressed and persecuted brothers and sisters. We pray that the darkness hovering over the Islamic world disperses, and an Age of Bliss starts with love, safety and peace.
May God bless our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives in wars and acts of violence, and may God gives the entire Islamic world a blessed Aidiladha. May this holy festival be a means for goodness and peace for the entire Islamic geography and the entire world.
Adnan Oktar's piece on New Straits Times: