An extract from a sermon delivered on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr by His Eminence Maulana Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (R.A.) at the Jama Masjid, Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1950.
My Friends, here let me give you an important warning. Beware! You have earned a spiritual treasure during Ramadhan. Take care! Just as thieves of material riches are always planning to rob people, similarly the baser self and the devil are the thieves who are always on the look-out for stealing the spiritual assets. Today is the day of Eid. You are in the midst of well-earned rejoicing. The doors of Allah’s unbounded Mercy are wide open. The breeze of Divine Forgiveness is blowing. But beware of Satan’s mischief!
The wine-shops and gambling houses are also open. The immoral attractions of the cinema are also there. The half naked physical attractions are out on the roads with their immoral enhancements. Be on your guard! Save the delicate glass of faith and piety from the deceptive attacks of evil! Protect the labour you have made during the days and nights of Ramadhan. Do not forget the lesson of your spiritual struggle, during which you abstained from the indulgence of lawful animal appetites out of respect for fasting, during the day and sacrificed your sleep and comfort, for prayer, during the nights and that with one definite aim, namely, to earn Divine Pleasure.
Do not forget the lesson that you have to abstain, now more than ever before, from unlawful things, in fact, from everything which has the slightest touch of evil in it. You offered more than the daily obligatory prayers during Ramadhan. Let you not forget Allah now. By means of Zakaat and Sadaqat ul Fitr you have been taught the lesson that others too have a share in your material possessions and that your wealth is not meant only for your self seeking, as the Holy Quran says:
“And in their wealth and possessions is the prescribed right of him who asks and him who (for some reason) is prevented (from asking)”. (Al Quran, 51:19)
The wealth which Allah has given you is not to be spent on pleasure – seeking and luxuries. Rather, it is a trust from Allah, and you are its trustee. If you are a true Believer, and if you have sold your life and wealth to Allah, then remember, you are not entitled to consider yourself the actual owner of your wealth. You can spend on yourself and your dependents only to the extent and in the way of that Allah has permitted. The rest you have to spend in the way of Allah on Allah’s creatures.
O you who live in palatial buildings and luxurious homes, who rest on soft beds and fashionable couches, who move in costly motor cars!!! Think for a while of those unfortunate brothers and sisters also, who are unable to get either a square meal or a full coverage for the body.
O you who dress in fashionable clothes and who decorate the dead earth of your houses with all sorts of vanities! Remember? Your dress and your luxuries will not bring you honour while the rising generations of your community are totally deprived of that education which alone can make them honourable in this world as well as in the Hereafter. You will be regarded truly honourable only when your community as a whole will be honourable, and it will be honourable only when it posses Faith, Knowledge, and Religious action.
I have delivered my message and given the danger signals. There are some unwise and unthinking people who are entangling Muslims in petty issues and want to take full advantage of the situation for thrusting their unwarranted innovations which transform Halal (lawful) into Haram (unlawful) and Haram into Halal. They are out to establish a new church in the name of Islam. They seem to feel that they can mislead the ignorant and simple minded Muslims. A division among Muslims has already been created.
I wish those who take pride in dividing the ranks of Islam on the basis of petty issues, could stop to think that such an act means practically greater enmity to Islam than all the external attacks put together. They never consider that the flood of irreligion and atheism is advancing in the world with all its fury. The wind of immorality is blowing with its full force and burning the moral life of humanity. Instances of apostasy from Islam are no more unknown to us. Moral vices are increasing at rapid paces. Ignorance of the beauties of Islam is becoming more and more widespread every day. The very foundations of religious outlook are under fire over the world.
Where are you, my dear friends! And what are you thinking? When will you wake up? For God’s sake realize the gravity of the situation! Take care of your religion, because on this alone depends your honour, prestige and progress as a community. May Allah give you eyes to see and wisdom to think. Hold fast to the cable of Faith. Stick firmly to the creed of the Ahle Sunnah wal Jammah which has been followed by the overwhelming majority of Muslims from the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) down to the present day. Stand by this creed, live it and die upon it. I pray for you. May Allah accept my prayer. Ameen.