By Imam Plemon El-Amin
Say: O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor; and grant from Your Presence an authority to aid me. And say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished, for falsehood is always perishing.’—Qur’an 17: 80-81
As Muslims, we are thankful and grateful to Allah, The Most High, for once again bringing us Ramadan and carrying us through its rigors and lessons for 29 or 30 days. Hopefully, each of us entered the fast seeking Allah’s Pleasure and now we exit the fast being more regardful of Allah’s Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation that is always available to those who believe and do good.
Eid ul-Fitr, the three day celebration and feast after Ramadan, commemorates the victory of completing the fast. Eid means ‘returning or re-occurring,’ and Fitr (fitrah) refers to ‘nature or origin,’ which suggests that a successful Ramadan returns to us our original nature of health, thoughtfulness, and spirituality. Ramadan revives, rejuvenates, and renews our bodies, minds, and spirits. It puts us back in touch with the excellence of our God-given human nature, reality, and potential.
A related verse from Qur’an (34:49) which is frequently recited during the Eid is:
Say: Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.
Ramadan brings back the best of human nature and dissipates the false habits and tendencies that had occupied our lives. Weakness has vanished, fatigue has disappeared, laziness has perished, and false worship has died. The verse literally says that falsehood has no ‘eid,’ it doesn’t revive, renew, or rejuvenate anything that is good or natural.
Ramadan reconciles us with our inherent nature and our inherited mission. As Muslim Americans who are also African Americans, we have an inherent flow in our veins and souls that obligates us to seek freedom, justice, equality, and dignity for ourselves and others. We also have inherited an obligation to exemplify and live the best of Islam, and to be a renewed and resurrecting energy in the American life and culture for the benefit all.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
When the month of Ramadan arrives the gates of Paradise are flung open while the gates of Hell are closed, and a caller cries out: ‘Oh you who seek good come forward and you who desire wrong, desist.’
May each of us be of those who continue forward through the Gate of Truth and Honor.
Blessed Ramadan and Eid Mubarak!
Imam Plemon El-Amin is the Imam Emeritus of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam. He is the former Director of the Clara Mohammed Elementary School and W. Deen Mohammed School of Atlanta. Working as a close aide and supporter of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, Imam El-Amin has traveled the nation and the world, representing the concerns and interests of Muslim Americans and Interfaith adherents in such places as Palestine, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Denmark, England, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia and South Africa.