Today our Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate ID-ul-FITR.  ID MUBARRAK to all.

It was an EID day in Madina, during the lifetime of the Prophet.  All his companions, young and old and especially children, were clad in new clothes.  They were preparing to rejoice and partake of the divine bounties of Id.  They offered namaz led by the Prophet.  Thereafter, they warmly greeted and hugged each other and had a whale of a time.  The most excited were the children who were overwhelmed by their parents’ love and care.  But a little boy among them looked sad and sullen.
The Prophet came across the sad boy, bent down and lovingly asked, “Why are you unhappy, my dear ?”  The boy who couldn’t even see who was before him, sobbed, “Leave me alone, please.”  The Prophet of Mercy very gently ran his fingers through the little boy’s hair and asked again.  The boy opened up, “My father is no more, and my mother has married again, but my stepfather does not want me to live at home any more.  Today is ID and all the children are happy with new garments and delicious food.  But I have no new clothes or food, neither do I have a home.”
The Prophet felt sad and said, “I can feel your emotions, my dear.  I lost both my mother and my father when I was a child.   But, if I become your new father and my wife Ayesha your new mother, and my daughter Fatima your new sister, would you be happy then ?”  The little boy was utterly surprised and, when he looked up, he found that it was Prophet Muhammad, the most gracious man, before him.  He felt he was in seventh heaven when the Prophet took him home and gave him beautiful clothes and delicious food.  It was a wonderful Id for the little boy who was no longer an orphan.
ID literally means something that returns every year, while FITR means a form of charity.  So Id-ul-Fitr is an occasion that comes every year to remind s of our humane duty towards the weaker sections of society.  It returns every year to enliven the spirit of sharing with the destitute ones, especially the orphans.
This is the prime purpose of Id-ul-Fitr.  Therefore, it is enjoined upon Muslims on this day to distribute FITRAH ( a fixed amount of charity mandatory for every Muslim) to the poor.  We are also exhorted to hold delicious feasts and invite friends and neighbours.  Such noble acts on Id-ul-Fitr are meant for SILAH RAHMI, i.e. maintaining ties of kinship , bonds of love, mutual harmony, brotherhood and social integrity.
Such a person who maintains good relations with others is called al-Wasil in Arabic.  The Prophet explained that “al-Wasil is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but al-Wasil is the one who keeps good relations even with those who have severed relations with him.”
Id is not only about feasting on delicious food and wearing fancy dresses.  It is actually about “lighting the candles of delight, kindness, compassion, brotherhood and mercy.”  Once the Prophet was asked what actions were the most endearing to him.  He replied, “Hearten the human beings, feed the hungry, help the afflicted, lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and remove the wrongs of the injured.”
———— Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi.

Welcome 2015!

Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown.  There lies before us 2015 and we are to go forth and possess it.  Who can tell what shall find ?  What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new need shall arise.
Yesterday, was stock-taking day.  On the 1st of January, 2014, many of us made some resolutions, some had their own bucket lists, others some targets to be achieved.  We usually jot these aims, wishes, targets either in our diaries or, if blessed with a good memory, in our minds.  All these are connected to the material world.  How many of us go through our spiritual layouts, and look for hidden weeds that need to be uprooted, flowers to be put in their place, better our connections with the Supreme Being (GOD) ???????? -Here is a cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Father, “God cares for each of us, His children.  His eyes are upon the year ahead to the ending of the same.”
Today, the 1st of January, 2015, we again look at the introspection we made yesterday.  How many in the list have we crossed out, as achieved, how many carried over to be targeted this year ?  The number of things to be done are not as important as the ways in which we can become better human beings. The year 2015, is like a land of hills and valleys  It is not all smooth, nor all downhill.  We need the hills and the valleys too.  The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys.  Today, let us all trust that God will lead us by the hand and so it shall be a BLESSED NEW YEAR (2015) !

He leads us on by paths we did not know
He leads us, though our steps be slow
Though oft we faint and falter on the way
Though storms and darkness obscure the day
Yet, when the clouds are gone /
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows and over clouded days
We know His will is done
And still He leads us on .

Let us all welcome the New Year with open hearts and arms and greet each with love and happiness.  Have a blessed 2015.