After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) recited the following verse:
‘And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbour that is a kinsman and the neighbour that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 4:37)
Eid is a Day for Increased Worship
His Holiness (aba) said that God has enabled us to celebrate Eid today. However, Eid for a true believer is not merely to wear nice clothes, eat good food, spend time with family and friends, or to think that one is free from responsibility after offering the Eid prayer and forsaking the rest of the day’s prayers. In fact, there are some who do not even offer the Eid prayer and simply take part in other Eid celebrations. It should be remembered that Eid is a day for increased worship. Where there are normally five prayers obligatory in a day, on Eid there are six. Thus Eid holds special significance.
His Holiness (aba) said that Ahmadis in Pakistan especially and generally around the world are able to be freed from restrictions which hinder them from going to the mosque. Under normal circumstances however, it is imperative to offer the Eid prayer.
Fulfilling the Rights of God & the Creation During Eid
His Holiness (aba) said that Eid is not merely a day for customary observance or gathering, rather it is a day for increased attention towards the duties entrusted to us by God, including our prayers and our responsibilities owed to our fellow human beings. On Eid, we should vow to continue doing our utmost to fulfil the rights of God and His creation. If on Eid, we vow to fulfil these obligations, then we will have attained the purpose of Ramadan and celebrating Eid.
His Holiness (aba) said that in the verses he recited, God has drawn our attention towards fulfilling certain rights, and not doing so leads one to arrogance. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that one who is arrogant will not be allowed entry into heaven. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that wearing nice clothes is not arrogance, for God is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is that one looks towards others with contempt and treats them poorly. Hence, wearing nice clothes on Eid pleases Allah, but these things should not be made a means for arrogance, as this is displeasing to God.
His Holiness (aba) said that it is our duty to worship God, but this does not benefit God, in fact we are the ones who benefit from this. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
‘Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil, and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. And Allah knows what you do.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 29:46)
His Holiness (aba) said that once a person asked the Holy Prophet (sa) to advise him of something that would allow him to enter paradise and save him from the hellfire. He replied that he should worship God, pay Zakat and be kind to family. Thus, God bestows in this world, and gives glad tidings of the hereafter. In another narration, it is stated that one who offers prayers on the nights of two Eids, his heart will be granted eternal life. This is the amazing reward for worshipping God.
Importance of Continuing to Worship in the Mosques
His Holiness (aba) said that people should fill the mosques for prayer, and if they are unable to go to the mosque then at the very least they should offer prayers in congregation at home. We should not consider the ending of Ramadan and the coming of Eid as an excuse to lessen our worship in any way. It is worship that will enable us to reap the blessings of God in this world and the hereafter.
Treating Others with Kindness
His Holiness (aba) said that after drawing attention to His rights, God draws attention to our rights to His creation, some of which have been mentioned in the verse recited at the beginning. After the favour of God upon us, the greatest favour upon us is of our parents; a favour which can never be repaid. Hence, we are told to always treat them with kindness under all circumstances. Then there is the commandment of being kind to family. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that if one wishes to attain prosperity, a long life and to be remembered fondly, then they should treat their family with kindness. Especially on Eid, those who are fortunate should include their family who are not as fortunate in the happiness of Eid. Even if they do not get a positive response in return, they should still show kindness.
His Holiness (aba) said that another commandment is kindness to orphans and the needy. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that he and a person who takes care of an orphan will be together in Paradise like two fingers, which he indicated by holding two fingers together. His Holiness (aba) said that there are various ways through the Jama’at as well that help can be rendered to orphans and the needy.
His Holiness (aba) said that there is also the commandment of kindness to one’s neighbour. If this simple commandment was adopted, then much of the world’s enmity could be eradicated. This can develop love and harmony in society, irrespective of whether our neighbours are religious or irreligious. His Holiness (aba) said there are also those who are kinder to their irreligious neighbours than to Ahmadis. We should take advantage of the occasion of Eid and remove any enmity with one another.
His Holiness (aba) said that Islam also commands kindness to people one works with and those who work under them, those who are weak and less-fortunate. In essence, Islam covers all the rights which can be due to others.
Observing Justice to Bring about a Beautiful Society
His Holiness (aba) said that the Qur’an also commands the upholding of justice. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:
‘O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.’ (The Holy Qur’an 4:136)
His Holiness (aba) said that implementing such teachings can bring about a beautiful society and establish heaven on earth, and this is true Eid. A true believer should strive to ensure that they have not left to the observance of any rights that are due. In fact they should search for rights that they can fulfil. This, in essence, is Eid. Such Eid is not limited to a single day, but can become an everlasting Eid.
The True Message of Islam can Save the World
His Holiness (aba) said that we should not focus on our own happiness on Eid, but should pray for the world. Our world is heading towards destruction, because the rights owed to others are not being fulfilled and true justice is not being established. Had due rights been observed and justice been established, then we would not witness the destruction of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, or the Ukraine. Hence, observing these rights and spreading the true message of Islam can help save the world. At present, the world is bent on destruction and they are blinded by their desire to exercise their worldly power. They must realise that this does not exhibit their strength, but only leads the world towards destruction, which will certainly be the ultimate result, especially in the event of nuclear warfare. Thus, Ahmadis are responsible for drawing their attention towards fulfilling the rights of God and His creation. Only this can save us, not worldly power.
His Holiness (aba) said that rather than uselessly spending time on social media, we should take the time to draw the world’s attention towards the fulfilment of these rights. Hence, while establishing peace and harmony in our homes and societies, we will also be saving the world from destruction. The world can only be saved by recognising God. To do this, we must first reform ourselves. This in essence is the true Eid.
Our Eid Must be the Eid of the Holy Prophet (sa)
His Holiness (aba) read out a summary of an address delivered by the Second Caliph (ra) on the occasion of Eid, with regards to spreading the true message of Islam. He said that our Eid must be the Eid of the Holy Prophet (sa), for any Eid besides this cannot be Eid. Thus, our Eid should include the Holy Prophet (sa) by spreading the message of the Holy Qur’an and Islam. This same spirit must also be instilled in the future generations. We should not rest until the banner of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa) is raised in the entire world. His Holiness (aba) prayed that we may be able to witness such an Eid.
His Holiness (aba) said that in the silent prayer, we should remember those who are imprisoned, the families of martyrs, those who make financial sacrifices, life-devotees and missionaries. May Allah accept our humble efforts, and may we soon witness the victory of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa) in the world.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions