Eid-ul Fitr - 1439 / 2018

Message from the Chairman of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaats of Africa, Alhaj Shabir H. Najafi

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

My Dear Community Members,
As-Salaamun Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
All praise is due to Allah (S.W.T.), the beneficent, the merciful by whose grace and blessings we have completed the holy month of Ramadhan and have gathered here today to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in a blissful environment. On this auspicious and divine day, on behalf of the Africa Federation Office Bearers, Trustees and Councilors, and on my own behalf, I wish you and your families Eid Mubarak.
May Allah (S.W.T.) in His grace and mercy accept all our good deeds, forgive our shortcomings and grant us glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness, Ameen.

On this very special occasion, I would like us all to take a moment to reflect and ponder on the state of the Muslims which is undergoing turbulent times and big challenges. The upsurge of negativity towards Islam – Islamophobia has exacerbated the situation in many parts of the world; all these have its ramifications upon each of us and overbearing effect on our Community as well. 

As we struggle to adjust to these new challenges, we must not lose sight of the primary objective of our Community for its survival and progress; I cannot over emphasize the need to have unity of purpose, a sense of responsibility for each other as well as courtesy and understanding even when we disagree on issues and personal differences. We must be united in the aim of serving the Community, and preparing for the arrival of our 12th Imam Al-Hujjah Al Mahdi (ATFS).

I would like to reiterate once again as I did in my earlier messages - Please let us spread the message of Solidarity, Love and Brotherhood inwardly within ourselves before we do it outwardly to others.
At the Secretariat, we are trying our utmost to serve the Community with the best of our intensions and abilities to bring along various initiatives for its growth and betterment. We recently appointed a Census Bureau Team which you all must be aware of. Their first exercise of head count for all Jamaats across Africa was held on 21st Ramadhan, the information gathered will help the team plan for the 2nd stage of the exercise which will inshallah take place during the coming month of Muharram.  Collection of this data is vital for the Federation and member Jamaats to plan for the future developments of the Community based on the needs and demographics of our population. 

Our focus and emphasis will continue towards higher education for our children and the socio-economic development, especially in new areas of entrepreneurship by the young professionals and graduates who are seriously determined to develop themselves in this rapidly changing climate and economy. 

Let us for a moment reflect and take heed from the Holy Qur’an Surah Ar-Ra’d, Verse, 13:11 “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves (for goodness)”. 

We are also pursuing the Najaf Scholarship for Islamic Education, which our Tabligh Board - AFTAB is keenly following up; more information on this subject will be provided to the Jamaats for its members.
The Housing Board continues to deliver on the Federation’s manifesto of providing good and affordable accommodation to our Community members in those Jamaats where there is a dire need. To this end, I am pleased that we have initiated a plan to provide 200 houses by the end of our current term in 2019.
Like in the past years, this year also, we were able to provide assistance to the needy and deserving families both in our Community and to the Bilal Community with Ramadhan Relief in our region; this was possible through the generous contributions from the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities, Mainstay Foundation of the United Kingdom and donors.  We wish to thank them sincerely for their timely support which went a long way to bring relief to these families to observe the Holy Month of Ramadhan with ease and peace of mind.
I once again appeal to all Community members towards the spirit of giving Charity (Zakat/Sadaqah) and pay Hukuk (Khums) through the central system of the Africa Federation; this will enable us to support our Jamaats and Community members who are in need. I would like, especially on this day of Eid, to lay emphasis on the obligation for each and every one of us to inculcate the spirit of giving Charity (Zakaat/Sadaqah) regularly on monthly basis and in the spirit that no amount is small.
“Surely they who believe and do good deeds (righteousness) and keep up prayer (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat) they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve”.(Holy Qur’an, Surah al Baqarah, Verse 2:277)
The recent attack by ruthless assailants on Imam Hussain Mosque in Durban, South Africa has sadly caused death of one innocent worshiper and injured few others. This barbaric act on the worshipers and disregard for the sanctity of the mosque is a shameful act and must be strongly condemn. Our hearts go to the deceased family members who will be celebrating this Eid with a visible absence of Shaheed Mohamed Abbas Ali Essop, May Allah (SWT) grant him maghferat and eternal peace - Ameen.
The Madagascar security situation is a concern to us; there have been a number of kidnappings in the recent times, one happened just recently. Africa Federation along with the World Federation will do all what is possible to assist our Community members in Madagascar during this difficult period. We pray to Allah (S.W.T.) for the safety and early release from captivity of our Community member kidnapped recently.
Whilst we celebrate Eid in this part of the world, the situation around much of the Muslim world is grim. Millions around the globe have observed the holy month without basic necessities, whilst struggling for their fundamental rights and freedom. Continuing atrocities and tragedies in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and Myanmar have ruined communities and their livelihood. Endless violence continues to threaten the lives of innocent civilians; many have become homeless and destitute taking refuge in other countries enduring humiliation, exploitation and discrimination.  
On this blessed day let us all join hands and pray to Allah (s.w.t.) for the safety, security, peace and tranquility of our brothers and sisters in all parts of the world and for the safety and sanctity of the Holy Shrines of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.), his progeny and the faithful companions of Ahlulbayt (A.S.).
Let us also pray for the safety, good health and long life of our Marjah-e-Taqleed, Ayatullah al Seyed Ali al Husseini al Seestani and Ulema-e-Deen. May Allah (S.W.T.) hasten the reappearance of our Awaited Imam, Al-Mahdi Al Hujjah (A.T.F.S.). 
I end this Eid Message with the inspired words of Imam Ali Zayn al Abideen (A.S.) from Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya - "O Allah! Bless us in the day of our Eid and our fast breaking and let it be the best day that has passed over us" 
In closing I request that we all remember with a Sura-e-Fateha all our marhumeen especially those who were with us last Eid, and are not with us today.
Shabir Najafi
The Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa
1st Shawwal 1439 AH (15th June 2018)

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