Eid Al Adha 2022 Message

Asalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah dear Brothers and Sisters,

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلاً

And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allāh while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allāh took Abraham as an intimate friend. Qur’an, 4:125

By the blessing of Allah, we are witnessing once again millions of Muslims performing Hajj since the onset of the pandemic. Hajj is an answer to an ancient call from Allah that was started by our Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh)ﷺ. Through the enactments of the rituals of Hajj, we trace the footsteps of his difficult and lonely journey in establishing a focal point for pure monotheism (Tawheed) in this world. We commemorate the events that shaped the foundations of both the spiritual and belief systems of Islam, anchored in a physical space through the building of the Kaaba, the sacred house of Allah.

One of the less celebrated attributes of Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ is his fortitude and capacity to challenge cultural norms of his day through dissent. Indeed, Haneef has the attributes of the dissenter but rarely expressed or visualized as such. Haneef, literally means the curved limb and metaphorically to swerve away from a (misguided) group. Since then, Haneef has become the highest standard for upholding truth, and expressing uprightness and firm belief in Allah alone – the essence of the Islamic message.

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِلّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Indeed, Abraham was a model of excellence: devoted to Allah, ˹perfectly˺ upright—not a polytheist. Qur’an, 16:120

To dissent is to speak truth to power. Challenging the orthodoxies and power structures of any society is both difficult and costly for those who engage in it. What we learn from the life of Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ is that truth and righteousness are absolute and need no affirmation from the majority. The Quran is full of examples of Prophets and reformers who challenged the “way of our forefathers” and provided new ways to liberate societies from the shackles of misguided and oppressive ways that held societies captive far too long. They identified injustices big and small and challenged the authority of the social orders that sustain them. The example set by Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ became the standard which all seekers of guidance should follow.

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلاً

Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend. Qur’an, 4:125

Through his own dissent with Quraish, Prophet Muhammed ﷺ revived the message of Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ and restored Tawheed as the ordering principle of human endeavor. Dissent was also expressed

throughout Islamic history through reformers who challenged the dogmas of their time and restored the vitality to the community. Throughout Islamic history, dissenters and reformers left their mark on Islamic civilization and Muslim societies.

Today, we indeed similarly face our own morally corrupt cultural norms along with power structures that sustain them. Norms that aim to force misguided values upon people and marginalize those who don’t show conformity. In our world, having faith and religious commitment is portrayed as regressive, and those who hold strong to faith-based values are labelled as zealots. This is exactly where we must find inspiration in the life of Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ. By following his example, we will resist the temptation of accepting this societal pressure, and instead ‘bend back’ as Hunafaa’ to the elevated moral position of our deen.

Indeed Islam establishes a moral order that actualizes the highest standard of ethical living. This is achieved through cultivating a nobility of character, pursuing truth and righteousness, striving to establish justice, and upholding diversity as an ordering principle of Allah’s creation.

Today, we loudly declare together as one ummah the ultimate greatness of Allah, Allahu Akbar! We declare that there is no god worth worshiping except Allah, the one, La Illaha Illa Allah! We declare that all praise both in this world and in the next, is due only to Allah, wa lillahi al-hamd!

الله أكبر، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، لا اله الا الله، الله اكبر، الله أكبر و لله الحمد

Eid Mubarak.
Abdullatif Bakbak, President-Executive
Muslim Association of Canada

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