Alhamdullilah, the holy month of Ramadan showered its blessings upon us; enhancing our understanding and commitment to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His creation. While we celebrate Eid al-Fitr as culmination of Ramadan, Eid and beyond, we shall continue on the road to spiritual discovery that Ramadan afforded us, as a month of spiritual cleansing, charity and good deeds.
On behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain, I extend my Eid greetings to all Muslims and peoples of other faiths and communities in the UK. Times like Eid are unique in our country, as we have a vast and vibrant range of Muslim cultures and backgrounds living here.
During Ramadan, I wrote to our imams and Muslim associations urging them to open their mosques and Islamic centres to the wider community by organising iftars and donating food to the needy families in their respective localities. Alhamdullilah, this has helped renew a bond of humanity between various communities, and I hope that our mosques will continue to play a central role in community cohesion in the future as well bringing various communities together in pursuit of the common good of our country and society.
This Ramadan we have seen unprecedented rise in Islamophobia, manifested through growing attacks on Muslim properties, places of worship and worshippers. One elderly Muslim was brutally murdered in front of his three year old grand daughter just yards away from his mosque. Also, there have been growing anti-Muslim demonstrations conducted by various Islamophobic far right groups in various guises.
At times like these, we must hold fast to the Islamic virtues of sabr (patience) and perseverance and do not allow ourselves to be provoked or swayed by emotions. We must cultivate confidence and address these issues by cooperating with the police and reporting these crimes. To counter the phenomenon of Islamophobia, I request you to work together, contact your elected representatives and seek common cause with fellow Britons raising this as a mainstream issue.
Eid al-Fitr gives us an opportunity to reach out to our brothers and sisters from other communities, and share our joy to foster respect and understanding. Let us use this Eid as a vehicle to bring together communities and spread the message of love and compassion, irrespective of ethnic and religious origin.