Eid Mubarak to all of my family, friends, neighbors, and readers. I hope that you have the most blessed holiday and year ever.
As Muslims, we face challenges all the time and that is the way that the divine wants it to be. We should never forget that a challenge is a chance for us to overcome and get closer to God by becoming better human beings.
Each challenge is a blessing in disguise for us to become better and better. No one grows when life is easy. I hear many ask why Muslims seem to suffer more than any other people. It is so that we can become stronger, more fulfilled, and closer to the divine. The challenges in the past decade have grown and made life increasingly difficult to practice Islam.
The persecution of Muslims world wide has caused the deaths of millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other nations; countless numbers have been attacked, ridiculed, jailed, beat, and worse; natural disasters have caused enormous suffering in Pakistan, Indonesia, and just about every other Muslim country; radical extremists have perverted the Holy Koran into a doctrine of hatred and violence ; and other radical extremists have perverted the word Muslim into a synonym for the word terrorist.
All of these are challneges. All of these are a chance for us to struggle. The word jihad which is often twisted into something ugly by western media and those ignorant of the Arabic language or the Islamic faith means ‘to struggle’. There are two types of jihad that which is called the lesser jihad which is the struggle against nations and groups of humans who persecute you. And the greater jihad which is that which is the struggle within the self. This is the great struggle of life. To overcome our selves.
If you have completed the fast of Ramadan, you have overcome a great struggle of the self. In particular during these years when Ramadan falls on the hottest months of the year amidst record heat. Even if you completed a part of the fast, you can still be proud and know that you were victorious against a self and a world that only wants you to consume more and more.
Over these days of Eid, don’t forget the struggle. Let your mind, spirit, and body enjoy the fruits of this bountiful world. And if some idiot in Florida decided to burn some books, know that he has failed in his aim to stir up discontent amongst us. The Q’uran exists in our hearts. No fruitcake anywhere can ever make a bonfire of that.
Peace and blessings upon you. Eid Mubarak!