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As the gusty winds of autumn have already stripped the leaves from the trees and the snow-laden winds of winter have started giving white clothing to the vegetation left naked, a deeper sense of seasonal changes sparks thinking about the Creator Lord Who is behind this order and artistry in nature. The Divine Message suggests that we spare a few moments to pause, ponder and reflect on our responsibilities in this Grand Plan.

We are passing through the final week of the blessed month of Ramadhan, and the festivities of Eid ul-Fitr are only days away. Every day we start our fast in the early morning when darkness slowly yields to light; abstain from eating, drinking, and other prohibited activities; and then break fast just when the rays of the sun disappear from the horizon. We make regular and special prayers, remembering Allah and seeking forgiveness and mercy. We have almost completed this annual training program that has been Divinely designed for our physical, moral, and spiritual development. Alhamdu-Lillah. Our Bountiful and Merciful Lord is our Giver and Forgiver and our beloved Prophet Muhammad has left behind for us a perfect model of giving and forgiving. Let us follow the Sunnah of Allah and the Sunnah of Prophet . Let us give more than less; let us give to those who deserve most; and let us overlook others’ mistakes and forgive and forget, all for the sake of Allah.

Payment of Zakah is obligatory on holders of wealth and producers of wealth. There are many in our society who have a right to receive these payments. 

And in their wealth and possessions is a right of the (needy) who asked and the unfortunate (Qur'aan 51:19)

According to Prophet Muhammad (), have-Nots have a right to receive from Haves some financial help in the form of Sadaqah and Khairah, and this is in addition to payment of Zakah. Payment of Sadaqatul-Fitr is also obligatory on those who are not obligated to pay Zakah. Out of love of Allah and love of our model (Muhammad ) let us fulfill these obligations before we celebrate Eid.

January 1, that marked the beginning of a new Century of a new millennium, provided an occasion for crazy celebrations throughout the West. A number of religious prophecies and astrological predictions are associated with the advent of the new millennium. In this Judio-Christian society many are expecting some dramatic Divine Intervention (Miracle). We as Muslims have no reason to believe that Allah’s Plan and Providence are subjected to the humanly designed calendar. Muslim men and women clearly understand that the changing of seasons and rhythms of time do not determine their fate nor the fate of the universe. Our final destiny will be determined on the basis of firmness in our faith; righteousness in our actions; our striving in the path of truth, justice and goodness; and our steadfastness and patience during this period of testing and trial. When human life will come to an end or the universe will cease to exist in its present form, and when we will be tried in the Divine Court of Justice is best known to Allah. At this point in time, the issues of human rights and self-determination have taken on more prominence in international affairs, and the “Civilized West” has been accusing the “Uncivilized East” for serious violations of these fundamental rights. The West has achieved a grand victory by gaining independence for the Christian Community of East Timor in Indonesia. But the same West has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the sufferings and cries of the people: Palestinian, Kashmiri, and Chechnyak. The West, led by the US, has become a model of rhetoric and duplicity. But these earthly planners do not know the Grand Plan of the Supreme Planner.

For Muslims the way to gain Allah’s boundless bounties and infinite mercy is to help those brothers and sisters whose freedom, dignity and lives are at stake, and pray for their success. 

---Dr. Shujaat Ali Khan

Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756