Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru,
Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru,
Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru, Allahu Akbaru,

Brothers and sisters:
This is a day of ‘Id-ul-Fitr . This is day of happiness, day of Tahlil, a day of Tahmeed, a day of Takbeer. It is a day of prize. Allah [swt] looks at those people who were truthful and loyal in their fasting and prayers during this month.

Allah [swt] in the sacred Hadith says to His Angels in that day which is called the day of prize in
the heaven, ‘O My Angels! What is the reward for the worker [labour] who fulfilled his work? They replied, ‘The reward is to be given his fees.’ He said, ‘O My Angels! I make you witness that I would satisfy them and forgive their sins for their fasting and prayers.

He also looks at those who pray ‘Id a look of mercy and kindness saying, ‘Ask Me O servant! For by My Majesty and Honor, f you ask Me in this gathering [for reward] in the hereafter, I will answer you. And if you ask me for reward in his world, I will look at you. You obeyed me, so I satisfy with you and will forgive you.”

Dear brother and sister:
The Qur’an declares: [If you give thanks I shall give you more, and if you are ungrateful then My punishment is severe indeed.] (Ibrahim 14:7)

O Allah, we thank You that You blessed us with faith in You. You made it easy for us to fast in the month of Ramadan, to pray in its nights, and to recite Your Glorious Book. Today is the day of `Eid, and `Eid is the day of thanks. It marks the end of the month of fasting. We feel happy and we give thanks to Allah that we obeyed His commands; we fasted during the month of Ramadan. Allah’s commands are good for us. They are for our benefit. Allah does not want to put any burden on anyone, but He gave us the rules of fasting for our own benefit. Fasting has many benefits for individuals and for communities. It has spiritual, moral, and physical benefits.

Dear brothers and sisters:
As we gather here today, there are two feelings that are clearly uppermost in our hearts and minds: the feeling of joy and satisfaction on the completion of our religious duty, and the feeling of brotherhood, sisterhood, and solidarity among ourselves. We are the people of faith. We are the servants of Allah. What pleases us is that which pleases our Lord. We are brothers and sisters in faith. We feel happy when we come together in the name of our faith, representing diverse colors, races, and ethnic backgrounds. We come together in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood, in the name of Allah, and following our faith, Islam.

Let us keep this spirit of `Eid among us always. Let us strengthen our bond with our Creator and with each other. Let us be more united. Let us all become more and more committed to righteousness in our own lives, in the lives of our families, and in the society in which we live. Brothers and sisters: Islam is the religion of worship, `ibadah. But worship in Islam is not a mere collection of rituals. It is a whole way of life. Worship helps us to remain conscious of Allah and of our own selves. It makes right our relations with every person and with every thing.

The people of worship are the people who are good to their families, to their children, to their parents, to their neighbors, to their co-workers, to the environment, to the resources of the earth, and to the world at large. The people of worship make everything right and everything good. `Ibadah is the crux of the matter. It is the purpose of our creation. [I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship me ] (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56).

The people of worship do not tell lie, backbite, cheat, drink alcohol, gamble, cut the ties of blood relationship, quarrel or fight with people. Worship has a purpose. Its purpose is to set aright everything. Worship sets aright our relations with our Creator, with our own selves, with our families and with others. If we worship, but others are not safe and secure from our words and our actions, then we have not learned anything from our worship. If we pray and do injustice to others, if we pray and ignore the cries of the poor and those in pain, if we pray and do not care for those who are suffering in our neighbourhood and around the world, then our prayers have not done us any good. If we pray but we do not try to change the social, economic, and political injustices and oppressions in this world, then we have not realized the true meaning of our worship. The real `ibadah or worship is that which changes the people.

Dear brothers and sisters:
We are facing many challenges at this time. But with faith and trust in Allah and with unity and solidarity among ourselves, we can overcome all challenges and difficulties. We must not succumb to despair, fear, or anxiety. We should continue working with sincerity, honesty, and wisdom. We must work together. We should continue and increase our involvement with others on the interfaith level. We should remove misunderstandings about us and about our faith from the minds of non-Muslims. We should continue building the bridges of understanding with others to keep this society just and peaceful, diverse and pluralistic. I remind you and myself to face the challenges with courage, confidence, and wisdom.

We must pay special attention to the next generation of Muslims growing up here. They need good upbringing and extensive Islamic education. We must protect them from the wrong influences of drugs, violence, immoral behaviour, and the evils that are affecting youth and eating them up. We must give them knowledge, give them hope, give them love and care, and do our best to keep them on the path of Allah.

Brothers and sisters:
There are recommended etiquette for ‘Eid.
• Wake up early on the day of ‘Eid.
• Prepare by making ghusl, wearing nice clothing and wear perfume [very little for woman].
• Eat something before leaving home.
• On the way to the prayer, recite the takbir.
• The takbir starts after fajr on the day of ‘Eid until the end of Salah.
• Make the ‘Eid prayer in congregation.
• Upon completing the prayer, take a different route than you took to arrive at the prayer grounds.
• Convey greetings and congratulations to you relatives and friends, give reasonable gifts
to the youngsters, and visit each other at their homes.
• The wording of congratulation "May Allah accept from us and from you." it can be other wording.
• Muslims should invite their non-Muslims neighbours, co-workers, classmates, and friends.

Dear brothers and sisters:
Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim to pay Zakat al-Fitr. It is obligatory upon every Muslim, young or old, male or female. The Prophet [pbuh] said, “Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory upon every person free or slave, male or female, young or old. It is Saa’ from wheat or from barley.”

Its aim: the first aim of Zakat al-Fitr is to meet the needs of the poor and needy in the day of ‘Id and the second aim is to earn forgiveness for the mistakes you committed during fasting in Ramadan such as lies, wrong behaviour…etc. whoever pays it before ‘Id, it will be acceptable Zakah.; while whoever pays it after ‘Id, will be as Sadaqah Upon Whom it is Obligatory: Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory upon every guardian of a family who have the expenses for family for the day of ‘Id. He should pay for every person in the family even for the servant, and even if a child is born for him in the night of ‘Id. Its time: the best time for paying Zakah is the last ten days of Ramadan. It must be paid before ‘Id prayer. If one pays it after ‘Id prayer, it will be Sadaqah not Zakah. Zakat al-Fitr remains obligatory upon you until the last day of your life, so you must pay it because it is a right upon you.

Its Value: it is sunnah to pay Zakat al-Fitr one Saa’ from crops used in the place you live in such as wheat, barley, rice, corn, or similar items. It is also permissible to pay an equivalent value. The equivalent value is five pounds for every person. To Whom We Should Pay it: it is given to the eight people mentioned in the verse of the Qur’an. Is it permissible give Zakah to people in another country? Yes it is if there are no poor people in your area.

We ask Allah to accept our deeds, our fasting, our prayers. AMEEN

Brothers and sisters: It is pleasure to see so many of you here today. I wish you a very happy
`Eid. May Allah bless you, accept your prayers, your fasting, your charity, and all your good deeds.

Sheikh/ Khalifa Ezzat
1 Shawwal 1432 – 30 Aug. 2011