EDITORIAL

Eid Mubarak

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Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community -- empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc. Fasting is also believed to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from worldly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank Him for his blessings. It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord. After the end of Ramzan, is a big celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which is celebrated on the first day of Shaw'waal. Shaw'waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.

The Eid-ul-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramzan. Allaah created man and honored him over all of His other creations. He trusted man with the responsibility of carrying on His commands. This is a great honor, yet a difficult task that cannot be fulfilled completely without full cooperation among human beings. Successfully completing this task from Allaah depends on how well humans cooperate with one another. And because of this, Allaah orders His servants in what may be interpreted as, "Help one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and transgression."

So Allaah has clearly defined the areas that we should or should not help one another. Allaah, however, does not specify who we must or must not cooperate with because He meant for us to cooperate with all people regardless of their race, faith, or gender. We should not make race, faith, or gender an obstacle in cooperating with one another in righteousness and piety. And just because people from the same race, faith, or gender are committing sin, does not justify our participation or support of this transgression. This is the great foundation that Allaah set for the Muslim Ummah to build their relationships upon.

Encouraging others to do good is one of the many ways that Muslims can cooperate with each other in righteousness. The Prophet (PBUH) promises those who encourage goodness to receive the same reward of those who do the good deed. On the other hand, when people encourage others to do sinful things, then they will receive the same penalty of those who committed the sin. While Islam aims to build upright individuals, it also takes interest in building a strong Muslim community. This is not surprising, since Islam is the ‘deen’ of the individual and the community. Understandably, there are many verses in holy Quran and ‘ahaadeeth’ (Prophet’s sayings) that lay down the foundation and guidelines for the Muslim community. Allaah desires the Muslim Ummah to be the model for all of humanity in fulfilling this great task He has entrusted us with. Cooperation is certainly one of the important foundations the community must build upon. Before we can begin working on a community level, individual Muslims must find cooperation among their own families. The family is the building block of society. Only when a husband and wife find mutual cooperation between each other can they carry out the roles delegated to them. If they cooperate, then they will raise their children in the correct manner, and those children will then become good citizens in the Muslim community and the entire society. Furthermore, Muslims must cooperate with all their neighbors: Muslim or non-Muslim. A good person will tend to his neighbor's needs, and help them in all good and protect them against harm and evil. The Prophet (PBUH) considered harming one's neighbors to be contradictory to fulfilling one's faith, and said, "By Allaah, he does not believe! By Allaah, he does not believe! By Allaah, he does not believe!" The companions asked, "Who, messenger of Allaah?" He replied, "He whose neighbor is not safe from his evil." In this ‘hadeeth’ , "neighbor" is a general term that includes Muslims and Non-Muslims living close-by, the person working near him, or the person next to him on any form of transportation, etc. This hadeeth also means that the person who harms his neighbor has weak faith in Allaah.

It’s time that we in Kashmir stop for a while and then try and search our souls to see if there is any scope for all different kinds of tensions and conflicts which are there in our society on the basis of various divides – regional, racial, sectarian, at al?

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