A Free Ramadaan
Freedom Day on the 27th of April is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant in marking the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by the late President, Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.
A constitution that firmly enshrines a Bill of Rights preserving human rights, dignity and freedom. As South Africans we have a historical experience of the various tastes of freedom and the impositions that impose on our freedom.
As Muslims, freedom has come with a long history that advocates freedom according to the rules stipulated in the holy Quran, the practices of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and the historic freedom to exercise Islam in countries across the globe.
Even right here in South Africa, the freedom of religion was not always practiced and we have a rich legacy of how Islam came to the continent, grew and was finally recognized.
I was ready to tell the story of my life but the ripple of tears and the agony of my heart wouldn’t let me
‘Freedom’ by Rumi
Freedom may be sought in various forms and it may also be interpreted differently, person to person. Islam does not fall short of the fight for freedom or brave freedom fighters. We have tasted the bitter wars upon religion but we have also tasted the bitter war on humanity. Islam advocates a life lived with purpose. That purpose is to be guided through the light of love and tolerance. The fight for freedom never stops though. As a community of empathy and generosity we will always care for our neighbours and our communities across the globe living in turmoil. If we were to carry two philosophies of the then President, Nelson Mandela it would be that we will never be free until Palestine is free.
We extend this to: we will never truly be free till humanity is free.
Secondly, we will forgive but we will never forget. As long as we remember we will never return to that which took our freedom.
We are supportive of the current administration and the measures implemented to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current President, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa has advocated the best of measures under the circumstances in preserving the most important provision in the National Constitution of South Africa (1996) and that is, the right to life.
We call on our brothers and sisters during this difficult time to exercise patience, love and tolerance.
Capitalize on the times spent in your home during this Ramadaan. Speak to Allah, pray as a family, enjoy the holy Quran and invest in the many free online programs of beneficial knowledge. Ultimately our journey is to Allah and no one can ever take you away from that. And no one can ever take away your freedom in connecting with our Creator or loving our Beloved, peace be upon him.
It is essential that we realize these gifts that Allah has generously given us and live a life of gratitude. People may take your physical freedom; they may even take away your freedom of speech but your tawakkul of Allah resides in the heart and the freedom of belief is divinely guarded within the heart as a ‘Qalboen Saleem’ (sound heart).
“O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Holy Quran: 2, 208)
In this verse, Islam intrinsically calls for peace and fosters a life in absolute sincerity and honesty before Allah. Therefore, it is vitally important for an individual to believe in Allah with his own will and aspiration, and observe Allah’s commands and advice through personal conscientious contentment.
Defining freedom starts within but the greatest freedom will always be to love.
“Everyone needs love. Love the Creator, love the creation.”
Shaykh Dr Muhammad al Ninowy
May your heart always rest in the ocean of loving deeply and freely.