A version of this piece appeared
in The Mercury newspaper on Friday, 15th June 2018, the Day of
Eid day is a day of festivity and joy. It is also a day of
spiritual reflection. After a month-long of exerting oneself in
acts of devotion and worship, a sense of accomplishment
naturally sets in.
In a moment, however, one perceives a spiritual or devotional
accomplishment, such as the ending the month-long period of
fasting, which Eid-ul-Fitr marks, the believers are asked to
seek forgiveness and humble themselves.
Rather than self-indulgence and taking a ‘lap of triumph’ and
chest-beating, humility should permeate all considerations on
the day of Eid and beyond.
Unlike other forms of worship where one can vouch for another by
virtue of participation, fasting, the Almighty declares about
its determination: ‘Is for me…’ It is Him alone that knows who
truly and sincerely fasts.
Humility in worship stems from our belief that we are not worthy
of the majesty of the Almighty. With humanity’s built-in
imperfections, we shall forever fall short in deeds.
At the same time and also as a matter of belief, the Almighty
always seeks excuses for forgiving His servants who take sincere
steps on the path towards His Grace. This is a source of hope
for redemption which has to be complemented with absolute
Humility is today either an overlooked value or considered as a
trait of weakness. Yet, genuine humility flows from knowing
thyself better. It is a true mark of confidence. Humility comes
from the fountain of respect for the other, young and old,
recognising their dignity and worth.
To be humble entails overcoming one’s ego in order to reach out
and embrace. All people of the world cannot co-exist with
notions of supremacy driving one group over another. The
diversity and tapestry of cultures of our nation can be a boon
only if we instil a spirit of humility, starting especially from
among our youth.
Relatively recent histories from the Balkans to Rwanda; from
Somalia to the Myanmar, via Occupied Palestine… give lessons
from which one cannot help but recognise that one of the key
elements of ethnic-cleansing and the genocidal conflicts is a
disposition of racial supremacy, the antithesis of humility.
At home, the institutionalised racial supremacy which has been
part of our history might have been dismantled. Yet, its legacy
lives on. As such, the struggle should continue in order to end
inequity and how it perpetuates exclusion of the marginalised
from socio-economic opportunity.
The struggle should also vigilant against the levels of bigotry
that seeks to replace one form of domination with another.
Nelson Mandela, a man whose greatness outshines many historical
figures due to his humility, set a standard that should count as
the nation’s moorings when he said in his closing statement at
the Rivonia trials:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of
the African people. I have fought against white domination, and
I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the
ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live
together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal
which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is
an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
A call for humility should not be confused with an appeal
towards timidity. Active citizenry, requires us to bold,
proactive, assertive, asking and demanding accountability from
our leaders. We can be all that without losing the essence of
humility, especially when we also make our personal selves
accountable. That is humility.
No matter how vociferous and capable we can be in our activism
for worthy causes, one can only go so far if we are perceived to
be narcissistic and pretentious.
In the workplace, leaders that are humble, are able to listen
and inspire confidence and are likely to engage their employees
at a deeper level, as they are able to get more feedback that
enables them to make better decisions for the productivity of
The complex demands of nationhood such as ours call for
humility, at all levels of engagement, so that there is mutual
understanding and also an appreciation of our deficiencies as we
try to build better lives for all.
As Eid draws the curtain on yet another Ramadan, we cannot be
oblivious to our realities but acknowledge the challenges our
community has to address, in fostering social cohesion and the
ever lurking threat of extremism.
It is a poignant moment of humility, as we seek to harvest the
positive spiritual rewards the month offers. With should
reflect, with utmost humility, on how we can replicate the
spirit of the blessed month in the intervening eleven months,
before the next Ramadan.
We pray for peace and prosperity of our nation.
Question and Answer
Do the six fasts of Shawwal have to be kept consecutively?
The fasts of Shawwal can be kept consecutively or
non-consecutively, so long as they are all kept within the month
of Shawwaal. [Shaami Vol. 2 Pg. 435]
Could you please advise on the benefit or prohibition of fasting
on a Friday (Jumu’ah).
There is no specific benefit attributed to fasting on a Friday.
Fasting is, however, established in the narrations for Mondays
and Thursdays, as well as on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every
One should not make a point of fasting only on a Friday, to the
exclusion of the other days.
Sermon of the Week
Tabligh – Inviting towards Allah (3 of 6)
• ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud radhiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that
Rasullullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “The decline of
Bani Isra‘eel started when a (pious) man among them met any
other man (involved in sin), the former said to latter: “O you!
Fear Allah, and refrain from what you are committing, since it
is not allowed for you. Then when he met him the next day this
would not stop him (pious man) from eating, drinking and sitting
with the sinner. When this happened frequently, (and also
enjoining good and forbidding from evil was given up), Allah
made the hearts of the obedient similar to the hearts of the
disobedient.” Rasullullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam then
recited the verse: “Those among the children of Israel who
disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud and ‘Isa son of
Maryam. That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the
Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used
not to forbid one another from evil which they committed. Bad
indeed was what they used to do. You see many of them taking the
disbelievers as their Auliyaa’ (protectors and helpers). Evil
indeed is that which they themselves have sent forward before
them; for that (reason) Allah’s Wrath fell upon them, and in
torment they will abide. And had they believed in Allah and in
the Prophet (Muhammad sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and in what
has been revealed to him, never would they taken them (the
disbelievers) as Auliyaa’ (protectors and helpers); but many of
them are the disobedient to Allah.” (Al-Maaidah 5:78-81)
Thereafter, he commanded: “Certainly I swear by Allah, you must
indeed enjoin unto good and you must indeed forbid from evil,
and you must indeed catch hold of the hand of the oppressor and
you must indeed persuade him to act justly, and you must indeed
withhold him to the truth.” (Abu Dawud)
• Abu Bakr radhiyallahu ‘anhu said: “O people! Verily you recite
this verse: “O you who believe! You guard your own souls. He who
has gone astray cannot harm you, if you are rightly guided.” I
heard Rasullullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam saying: “Indeed
when people see an oppressor but do not stop him, then it is
likely that Allah will overtake them with an all encompassing
• Hudhaifah radhiyallahu ‘anhu narrates: I heard Rasullullah
sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam saying: “Hearts will be exposed to
temptations as a mat is woven stick-by-stick. Any heart that
accepts these temptations gets a black spot; and any heart that
rejects these, gets a white spot. As a result, hearts will
become of two kinds; one white like marble. So no temptation
could harm it as long as the heavens and the earth stand. The
other heart is black and dusty like an overturned bowl. Neither
will it recognize good as good nor evil as evil, but will pursue
its desires. (Muslim)
• Abu Umayyah Sha’bani rahimahullahu says that he asked Abu
Tha’labah Al-Khushani radhiyallahu ‘anhu: “O Abu Tha’labah! What
do you say about this verse (guard yourselves)?” He replied: “I
swear by Allah! You have indeed asked a man who knows about it
very well. I asked Rasullullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam about
this verse. So he said: “Enjoin one another to do good and
forbid from evil, until you see miserliness being obeyed;
passions being followed; worldly matters being preferred; every
person assuming his own opinion to be the only right one; then
care for yourself, and leave what people in general are doing.
For, surely, thereafter shall come days which will require
endurance when holding to Deen will be like grasping a burning
coal. The one amongst them, who acts rightly (during that
period), will get the reward equal to that of fifty persons.”
Abu Tha’labah asked: “O Rasulallah! The reward of fifty of
them!” He replied: “The reward of fifty of you.” (Abu Dawud)
• Abu Sa’id Al Khudri radhiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that Nabi
sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “Avoid sitting on the
pathways.” The Sahabah radhiyallahu ‘anhum said: “O Rasullallah!
It is difficult for us to avoid this as we sit there and discuss
matters.” He said: “If you have no other alternative but to sit,
then fulfil the rights of the way.” Sahabah radhiyallahu ‘anhum
asked: “What are the rights of the way, O Rasulallah!” He
replied: “Lowering the eyes, removing harmful things, replying
to salaam (greeting), and enjoining good and forbidding from
Words of Wisdom
Hadith of the Week
Hammam ibn al-Harith Radhi-Allahu anhu
reported that a man began to praise ‘Uthman and al-Miqdad went
and knelt on his knees and began to throw pebbles in his face,
‘Uthman said to him, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘The
Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
said, "When you see praisers, then throw dust in their faces." (Muslim)
Quote of the Week
The believer sees his sins as if he is
sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on
him, while the sinner (fâjir) sees his sins as a fly that lands
on his nose, he just waves it away.
(‘Abdullah b. Mas’ûd Radhi-Allahu anhu)
Saying of the Week
When the roots of a tree begin
to decay, it spreads death to the branches.
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Breaking the Silence:
Campaign against Gender Based Violence
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa in
collaboration with Islamic Careline has embarked on a project
for this year that addresses the awareness, management and
outcomes of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in our community.
This project will rolls out from July 2018 through August
(Women’s month) and will culminate in the first week of
December, which are the final days of the designated 16 Days of
Activism against violence directed at women and children.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa distributed
at least 2340 Fitra parcels to recipents in regions covered by
our various branches based in Johannesburg, Pretoria,
Middleburg, Lenasia, Benoni and Azaadville.
In all, at least thirty neighbourhoods were reached where
families with an average of 5 members received food items in
hampers for Eid.
The project was made possible with the Help of the
Almighty,through the contributions of Sadaqatul Fitr made via
our various branch offices.
Meanwhile, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa, this year once
again, had arranged to provide junior madrassah-going children
from underprivileged areas with Eid gifts.
Through a partnership with Ikhwana Islamiya, the Jamiatul Ulama
South Africa reached children of Soweto and Orange Farm, with
gifts so that they too could join in the celebration of Eid.
Widespread news of a Hilāl sighting on
Thursday, the 14th of June 2018, culminated in the commencement
of the month of Shawwāl and the celebration of Eidul Fiṭr. As
such, the Hilāl Committee of the United Ulama Council of South
Africa confirmed the sightings.
We request Jamāts to continue to arrange parties to go and
attempt sighting the crescent at the beginning of each month.
Any news of sighting should be relayed to the Jamiatul Ulama
South Africa’s Central Hilāl Committee on 011 373 8000 or 083
The Central Hilāl Committee coordinates moonsighting on behalf
of the United Ulama Council (UUCSA) for the determination of the
start of each new Hijrī month.