Haji Omar Farouk offered the following message in his annual address to congregants at Toronto’s International Muslims Organization. Omar hails from Guyana. He has served fellow Muslim Guyanese and fellow citizens in his adopted homeland of Canada in numerous capacities.
“Eid Mubarak to one and all, our elders and all the little ones, our mothers and fathers. May Allah shower you all with His Mercy and His Grace. Ameen.
This has been a Ramadan like none other in our lifetime (to date) …. A Ramadan during a global pandemic.
We’ve lost so many of our precious elders to the novel coronavirus. Whether in Toronto, New York, or the United Kingdom, these elders were men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving their communities… and it is on their shoulders that we stand, inheriting the mosques and institutions that they helped build for us and our children and grandchildren.
May Allah accept their sacrifices, forgive their sins, expand their graves, and admit them into Jannatul-Firdous (the best of paradise). And all those who were sick from Covid-19, may Allah grant you a complete healing, a complete and total recovery, Ameen ya Rabbal ‘Alameen (Let it be, Oh Lord of the Worlds).
With the downturn in the economy, many of you have lost your jobs and your sources of income, we pray that Allah returns to you the means of earning your livelihood and give you financial security in the days and months to come.
Fitr is that which occurs naturally. Like when the earth opens to allow plants to grow. Or when the mouth is open to take in food to nourish the body.
The meal at the end of the day in Ramadan is called Iftar…time for the mouth to open to receive food. And the feast at the end of the month of Ramadan is Eid-al-Fitr… and naturally, we will all find our own unique ways to celebrate this day.
Even though we are unable to gather, as we normally do at IMO – to pray and supplicate, to eat and hug each other, we pray that you will enjoy the gifts that Allah has showered you with and spend the day with your families and loved ones. This is the day to hug your children (those who are sheltering in place with you) a little tighter, forgive those who have wronged you, and look to the future with hope and reliance on Allah.
In this unprecedented time of a global pandemic…I end this message by sharing with you a hadith (a reported statement) of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings of God be with him).
Our Prophet advised his companion Ibn Abbas to cherish FIVE things…take advantage of FIVE blessings before they are replaced by FIVE difficulties.
He said, “take advantage of your YOUTH before OLD AGE”. Youth means good health, strength, feeling as if you can conquer Mount Everest, before
a time comes when getting to the grocery store will be an impossible task.
The second, “take advantage of your HEALTH before you fall SICK”. The headlines in the last two and a half months and even to this day have been about health and sickness…. counting the dead and afflicted. SubhanAllah. Thank Allah for your health and find yourself serving your Lord, serving your family and relatives, your neighbors, your community, before you become incapacitated.
The third piece of advice that the Prophet, said to Ibn Abbas, “take advantage of your FREE TIME (leisure) before you become BUSY”. We had a lot of free time these last few months with the social distancing rules in place, I pray that we did not squander it and that we would have used it to our advantage.
Fourth, “take advantage of your WEALTH before POVERTY strikes”. This is so close to home for us as well. Many of us were able to pay our bills, to spend on our families before losing our jobs. Now, some are facing the prospects of being unemployed or losing their businesses.
May Allah make it easy for all of us. And we thank our federal and provincial governments for all the initiatives they have put in place to take the edge off the financial hardships we are currently facing.
And finally, “take advantage of your LIFE before DEATH arrives”. And this is the ultimate circle. After death, there is no action that can benefit us. Allahumma Salli ‘Ala Muhammad (Oh Allah shower your blessings upon Muhammad).
With this advice, I remind you that we at IMO will continue to be there to support you, to do better as we move forward. We look forward to our masjid being open soon. InshaAllah (by the will of God).
May Allah reward you for all your donations, contributions, supports and commitments to the centre; and may He raise you among the people of Jannatul Firdous in the Hereafter. Ameen.”