Dear Muslimin and Muslimat.
On this blessed and joyous morning, let us enhance our takwa to Allah s.w.t. Obey all of His commands and abstain from His prohibitions. Know one is a successful believer when one is able to live one’s life based on the commands of Allah and His Messenger. It is only by obeying Allah and His Rasul that we will be able to attain true success. Allah says in surah Al-Jathiyah, verse 30:
Which means: “Then, as to those who believed and did righteous deeds, their Lord will admit them to His Mercy that will be the achievement for all to see.” Thus, as a believer, one should be able to feel the improvement to one’s personality and soul as a result of a month of fasting. And on this Eid day, every Mukmin experiences an incomparable pleasure, which words alone cannot describe.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd
Ma‘asyiral Muslimin wa zumratal Mukminin rahimakumullah,

The arrival of Syawal is a reminder that Ramadan has left us – along with all its blessings and special benefits such as fasting, the ni’mah of performing terawih prayers and the anticipation of the night of Lailatul Qadar. There is no guarantee that we will be able to experience all these in the coming years. Despite that, we should not mourn the passing of Ramadan. Instead, we should strive to continue to enliven the spirit of Ramadan by making the acts of worship that we performed in Ramadan, a habit in our daily lives.

For example, since we have fasted throughout the entire month of Ramadan, we should strive to perform sunnah fasting throughout the year? If we have paid our zakat in Ramadan, then let us strive to do charity whenever we are able to do so. If we filled the nights of Ramadan with terawih prayers, then we should continue to fill our nights outside of Ramadan with tahajjud prayers. This is what it means by making the acts of worship in Ramadan as a habit in our lives. Saidatina Aisyah r.a. in describing the deeds of the Prophet s.a.w. said...

Which means: “Verily the deeds of the prophet s.a.w. were continuous (consistent)”. [Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari]

Beloved jemaah, let us emulate Rasulullah s.a.w. by performing a deed continuously and consistently, and making it a habit that is an integral part of our daily lives.

Dear jemaah,
In line with this, we should ensure that the values we have learned during Ramadan continue to be applied in our daily lives as well.

Throughout the month of Ramadan, we have been constantly reminded of the importance of building a family that holds on to Islamic values and traditions, a family that is truly loves Allah and His Messenger; a family that practices Islam based on the Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w; a family who upholds Islamic values such as speaking the truth, trustworthiness, patience and so on. And such a family will thus reflect these values in their daily life. This was the Ramadan message that we have understood and appreciated together. And we must continue on with these efforts in order to build a successful family.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Throughout Ramadan we have tried to build the resilience of our iman and increase our takwa through fasting. A resilient iman should make us more responsible and more conscious of what is happening around us, especially the struggles faced by our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. However, we should not believe every information and reports that we read as there are many untrue claims that are being widely circulated.

This morning, as the beautiful call of the takbir echoes through the masjid, our homes adorned with new curtains and various delicious dishes await us when we come back from our prayers, we should be mindful and concerned about the grim situation and hardship faced by our fellow Muslims in the Middle East and many other parts of the world due to wars and internal conflicts.
We are sad for them, we sympathise with their conditions, and we constantly make doa that Allah s.w.t. will pave the way for them to be free from their sufferings. We also make doa that Allah will help them in finding a solution to end the conflict that has gone on for many years. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.

At the same time, as a Mukmin, we must be critical towards the news that we read, listen to and watch. With sound knowledge and a resilient faith that we have developed in Ramadan, we should be able to sieve through and differentiate between reports that are reliable and those that are not. We are also able to differentiate between actions that are based on Quran and sunnah and those that are not.
It definitely worries us when we read the news and watch videos of violence and injustices committed. Many aspects of what we see in these videos, and what we read about in the reports, are against Islamic teachings, because they are propagated by misinterpretations of the teachings; or the actions are in support of a certain agenda. Thus, the command to be just and not to oppress anyone, even when one is caught in a conflict, is often ignored. Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a hadith reported by Abu Dawud which means: “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman… and be kind, verily Allah s.w.t. likes those who are kind”.

In fact some of the brutalities that we witnessed are being carried out by those who make the call for jihad; using Islam to justify their actions and call for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. These claims have been determined to be against Islamic teachings by our renowned scholars, as they use it to commit violence and atrocities among one another, and unjustly the lives of innocent people are unjustly implicated.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd
My brothers and sisters rahimakumullah.
We should always remember that Islam is a religion of peace and rejects, as well as condemns, any violent acts and killings. Allah says in surah Al-Nisaa’ verse 93:
Which means: “If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.”

Due to the severe implications that will be faced by all parties involved in a conflict, Islam has ruled that no individual or organisation is qualified to make the call for jihad simply in the name of Islam and Muslim. This is also against the Syara’ (Islamic teachings) because it can only be made by the leaders that are acknowledged by Syara’, and they must also ensure that they are doing so based on reasons that are not against the Syara’. Thus, we must be extremely careful and discerning when we read fatwas and individual opinions that call upon Muslims to kill and commit acts of violence to others.

Blessed jemaah,
In order to ensure that our family members and ourselves will continue to remain on the right path, it is important for us to be equipped with sound religious knowledge. We will not be gullible and easily swayed by all sorts of claims that are being widely circulated. We will not fall for the manipulated interpretations of the religious texts that these people are making to justify their own desires and personal gains. Remember that Allah s.w.t. has granted wisdom to the believers. Rasulullah s.a.w. described the wisdom and consciousness of a Mukmin in a hadith that means: “A believer does not fall into the same hole twice”. [Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari]

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd
Ma‘asyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,
These challenges, and many others, are part and parcel of the life of a believer. In fact, Ramadan provides us with the golden opportunity to replenish and recharge ourselves spiritually, as we prepare ourselves to face life challenges for the rest of the year. There will definitely be hurdles and struggles throughout our journey in achieving our desired goals of Allah’s mercy and His eternal paradise, and we must therefore prepare ourselves well to face these challenges.

And dear jemaah, how can we prepare ourselves well for this trying and challenging journey? The answer is to build on our takwa. Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al-Baqarah verse 197:
Which means: “And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is takwa. So fear Me, o ye that are wise”.

As such, dear jemaah, Ramadan is a very special month because it provides us with many opportunities for us to heighten our takwa. And Eidulfitri is also very special because it is the day we celebrate the takwa that has bloomed in our hearts after going through the holy month of Ramadan
Thus, one that has successfully strengthened one’s iman and increased one’s takwa throughout Ramadan should be changing into a better person who is more gracious, respectful and compassionate. One will also be more forgiving, instead of simply waiting for others to apologise first. One will prefer to maintain good relations with family and friends, and make the effort to resolve any issues, instead of waiting for the other party to make the first move. The Prophet s.a.w. said:

Which means: “A person who upholds the ties of kinship is not a person who hopes for a reward, but a person who uphold ties of kinship is the one when others cuts ties with him, he will uphold the ties of kinship.” [Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari]

Jemaah, the lesson we can derive from this hadith is: Responding kindly to those who have done good to us is normal. But what the Prophet s.a.w. asks of us is to respond to harshness evil acts with kindness, hostility with peace, and rudeness with politeness.
Thus, let us take the opportunity of Eid to forgive the mistakes of others. Forget about the conflicts and fights that we had in the past. Don’t we all truly hope for Allah’s forgiveness for our own sins and mistakes? If so, we should be the first one to seek forgiveness from others. Allah says in surah Al-Nur verse 22:

Which means: “...let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.".

May Allah s.w.t. grant us the purity of heart and takwa to build good relations with our family, insyaAllah. May our success and victory today last us until we are given the opportunity to greet Ramadan again next year.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Ya Allah, Ya Rahman Ya Rahim, we depend only upon You Ya Allah. We are weak without you Ya Allah, so strengthen us. We have committed sins Ya Rahman, so please forgive us. To whom shall we turn if not to You. You are The One, The Almighty. The One who is Most Forgiving of our mistakes. Look upon us Ya Allah with Your mercy.

Please accept all our deeds and worship Ya Allah. Grant us longevity so we may continue to serve You.

Let this victory be meaningful, filled with Your divine love and Your blessings.

Ya Allah, The Most Forgiving and Most Merciful, Ramadan came and went, but we are still here hoping for Your guidance. We seek Your blessings, and we seek Your love.

Please do not turn our hearts astray after we have received Your guidance; we seek Your protection, and Your love is everything to us.

Protect us from any forms of deviance and ignorance; protect our families from any evil and sufferings; and grant our community the success, peace and prosperity that You are pleased with.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Eidulfitri Sermon
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
28 July 2014 / 1 Syawal 1435