Eid al-Fitr is the day that marks the completion of the month of Ramadhan. A special Eid for many as the month was completed under special circumstances, in lockdown with Covid-19 hovering but waning above us.
With many of us unable to attend the Mosque for Eid prayer, many have either read it entirely at home or did not. The Eid prayer contains a social benefit, it brings the community together and establishes a familiarity that diminishes contempt. It is a time of community spirit of friendship and brotherhood. It is not a private endeavour of celebration but a collective one.
There are those who will question the purpose of a mosque and Eid is one of many examples of a mosques role within a community and the benefit it provides. It is not only a place of worship, it is a place of knowledge and a place to convene. When we consider the biography of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the events proceeding their arrival in Medina, it was the establishment of the Mosque that was at the forefront of the Prophet’s arrival. Why? Because the mosque is central to the Muslims, the prayer is established in the mosque and it is through the prayer where strength is found.
However, unfortunately we have largely neglected our mosques. With mosques seeing attendance spike on a Friday, during Ramadan and on Eid. Outside of these times the mosques are virtually empty. As a community we can never get back the strength that we formerly had so long as our mosques are empty. There is a greater reward found in the attendance of the mosque and in many cases it is even considered an obligation on the men to attend.
Only until we revive this lost tradition will we as Muslims regain our strength, history has shown us that as a civilisation we have grown in tandem with our connection with Allah (via prayer) and we have weakened as a result of neglecting the prayer. Consider the battle of Badr, where 313 men mostly unarmed without horse or camel managed to defeat an army of over 1000 who were better equipped and whose odds were largely in their favour. I want us to reflect how as Muslims we managed to overcome this enemy and yet today we stand at over a billion and we have never been at our most weakest as we are now, I want us to reflect on how Islam managed to spread so quick and in such a short space of time, that empires around it such as the powerful Persians and the beastly Byzantines were swallowed not only militarily but were reformed mentally, emotionally and spiritually with the simple message of Islam. It was Islam that gave these nations salvation and established a principle higher than nation states but a principle based on the religion of Allah.
May we recall our lost strength and establish the mosque in the manner in which it was intended to be.
And may you all have a wonderful Eid.