All praises be to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala for his infinite mercy and immeasurable blessings on all of us, to enable us to celebrate yet another Eid together as one community in an environment which is peaceful and harmonious.
Eid is a day of thanksgiving, remembrance and a celebration to mark a successful graduation in our test for attaining greater piety.
It is also a day for thanking Allah for his infinite favours.
On behalf of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), I take this opportunity to wish everyone Eid Mubarak.
Together we have devoted ourselves with sincerity, dedication and above all, a profound sense of the presence of our Creator, to observe fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
It has, I pray, strengthened our faith and given us the much-needed impetus to perform more good deeds and to fulfil our social responsibilities while reminding us to be thankful to Allah.
I was very pleased to note that during Ramadan, our community reached out to interfaith communities and non-Muslim friends to share the blessings of the Holy Month. The spirit of compassion was exhibited by all when Muslims came together through zakat to give a helping hand to our less fortunate brethren in different parts of the world.
This is part of a special behaviour of what it means to be a follower of Islam, and the Holy Month of Ramadan serves like a training ground for us to focus attention on important things in life.
Just as our beloved Prophet was sent as a Rahmatul lil Alamin, a mercy to the worlds, our acts of charity and compassion should go beyond Ramadan.
This is the true spirit of Islam by which we radiate blessings to all humanity.
Eid Al Fitr is an occasion to offer our gratitude to Allah Almighty for bestowing His blessings on us and to seek forgiveness from Him.
It is also an auspicious day for us to strengthen our bonds and forgive each other’s shortcomings within the circles of our families and our communities.
I pray that we can use the occasion of Eid to spread peace, compassion and friendship to our relatives, neighbours and friends and I urge New Zealander Muslims to invite their neighbours and friends to share this joyous occasion and cultivate better understanding with the wider community about Muslims and about the values taught by Islam.
In New Zealand, Muslims will celebrate Eid with their families and friends in a climate of peace and tranquillity.
This is precious and not everyone has this good fortune.
Let us remember in our prayers those people facing natural disasters, economic, political and social hardships and even war.
Let us use our triumph of Ramadan to strengthen our resolve to be good examples of a united community that steadfastly upholds the Islamic faith, and remains progressive, adaptive and inclusive.
Let us seek Allah Almighty’s guidance to lead us on the right path, the path of peace and brotherhood. Ameen.
Dr Anwar Ghani is President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ). He lives in Hamilton.