Ramadan’s Ranting: Reflections around September 2008
Allow me to greet our world of good citizens and spiritual revelers a special Ramadan happiness. As we watch the world, again, unravel their layers of spiritual energy, I just want to reflect on some lessons. With Obamania bouncing around us it behooves the spirit to really take this quick teaspoon of "hope-filling" medicine. After 9/11 the world definitely hasn't been the same. And with all the despair, wars, disasters, racism, economic woes and everything else that spells doom encircle us, a thrust for hope and faith make the best appeal. Ramadan gives us too that hope after a year long, and for some, more, of wallowing in sins, despairing of God's mercy and forgiveness. Can we see ourselves rejoicing in the same spirit though? Also the passing way of two important figures in the religious world recently in the West tells me that good and progressive scholars are so valuable; I still think the zealots and narrow-minded leaders can't get the same value, regardless of how much they shout. Imam WarithDeen from the States shouldered the legacy of the Nation Of Islam from his father Elija Muhammed with an astute scholarship and dedicated and wise endurance that he changed the landscape of America from a black racist movement into a mainstream all embracing social order. He will be missed.
Moulana Shafee Akalwaya from Trinidad died in Tortula after a heart attack and will be remembered for his tireless years around the Latin America and the Caribbean. He brought joy and rejuvenation to the millions he touched throughout his long years here. He has left those smiles still behind. And so too will your soul receive grace as you prepare in this sojourn all the good things Ramadan and otherwise bring with it.
Fortunate for us in Canada we do enjoy a plethora of Scholars locally who are quite erudite and also visits of special experts from overseas. One such eminent teacher is ShaikhulHadith at DarulUloom Deoband, India, Mufti Saeed Planpuri, who was, as usual, was quite inspiring and deeply relevant. Lastly Open Air Iftar at the Nathan Philips Square, Toronto recently taught us, and proudly so, that respect for religion is ingrained in our genes. We gave a day for our religious community and enjoyed each other's presentations and food, while making the world feel warmer and safer. This is the second year the TARIC Mosque is putting on this free public spirited event where all are welcome.
So with lots of new places bouncing back and Taraweeh buzzing the air, including some young local Hafiz the prospect of a spiritual growth in Toronto is quite promising. Yes our mosques projects are still demanding, in total, for all the unfinished work, almost 23M. Generosity is one thing and knowing this is Allah’s house and He will take care of it is another.
Yes, our prayers have been answered. Safe and happy is what life should be. After Ramadan is Eid- the time to rejoice at the harvest of good deeds and self sacrifice. Well with the loads of Eid dinner in the planning, and rightly so, we will still relish the taste of samosas and biryani but savored with the self edification that it’s after a day’s hunger, rather a month of hard work. May it be good and easy and may the starving ones and helpless ones never be deprived from our charity and love.