Salaam Alaikum/Peace be upon you,
Eid Mubarak to all who read this who are Muslims who are celebrating Eid al-Adha and to your families! Happy Holidays!
Despite consistently having things to do (and I have a lot to do) to prepare for my move to London Insha Allah, I have put what I have to do on hold to celebrate and honor our holiday, our blessed and festive three days of Eid! I have adhered to my rule of putting the breaks on for all three days of Eid, a rule that I made for myself a number of years ago and in fact, can easily recall having had a conversation about it at the time with my brother Umar. Prior to my realization of the importance of celebrating Eid all three of its' days, my focus was on partaking in the festivities only on the first day of Eid. To elaborate further, the rule that I made for myself is that work/productive activities will be put on hold for the three days of Eid in order to give our Eid the focus and attention it deserves and to celebrate our Eid from its' beginning to its' end. Sadly, because of COVID-19, there was no Eid prayer given by Imam Asi on the street across from the Islamic Center in Washington, DC or on Massachusetts Ave (Embassy Row) two days ago. Since the pandemic, I have missed going to Imam Asi's Eid prayers which in my opinion are unlike any other Eid prayers I've attended. Imam Asi's Eid prayers have a vibrancy, an authenticity, and originality as is easily distinguished or discerned by the sound and by the tone of Imam Asi's voice when he is presenting as well as other things like how he speaks from the depth of the core of his heart and of course by his truthful and scholarly words. Imam Asi is very sincere in what he says and his love of the deen can be easily detected by the manner in which he communicates verbally and nonverbally during his sermons. A long-time friend of mine once commented to me about how passionate Imam Asi is when he is presenting. It's clearly obvious that Islam to him is more than lip service. As for Eid prayers given by Imam Asi, it's very easy for one to know that he/she is in attendance because there is something special in the atmosphere. There is a peacefulness and an authenticity that is easily felt and experienced. The same is felt and experienced when present at his Jumaa prayers. There's something different, however, on Eid days. Might I say, there's something extra special in the air at the battleground. Something extra special. May Allah Jalla wa 'ala continue to protect, nurture, and sustain dear Imam Asi and may Allah Subhanna shower he and his dear family with abundantly more than they abundantly give to others.
Given how full my plate is right now, if it weren't for Eid al-Adha, our holiday, I would have likely not posted this here so please see this as an extra special gift, an Eid gift from me to you! If it is at all possible for you, kindly extend this gift to others. Thank you.
This 13 minute presentation given virtually by Imam Asi titled "The Politics of Hajj Under Saudi Occupied Hejaz and Corona" is what I would consider an excellent substitute for the Eid al-Adha prayer he would have given in normal circumstances. Here are some excerpts from the presentation:
"It's very sad that number one we don't have a committee, an organization of Islamic medical personnel - doctors , physicians, scientists in the different fields of human anatomy, and of chemistry, and biology, etc. to tell us or evaluate what this coronavirus, COVID-19 is! All of the information we have are coming from laboratories, and from institutions, and from sources of information that is not Islamic. We don't have it! The first thing that should come to our mind is why don't we Muslims...why don't we have what it takes to evaluate for ourselves WHAT THIS IS because right now there's different information going back and forth among those who are not Muslim as to the nature of this COVID-19. So what has been decided upon in al-Hejaz, in the Arabian Peninsula by the rulers who rule over Mecca and al-Medina - they decided that they're going to deal with the Hajj this year, as well as the Umrah, but in particular we're concerned with the Hajj - they're going to deal with it as a social distancing issue. They are going to follow The Center for Disease Control, the CDC, and The National Institutes of Health and all of these other, let's call them establishmentarian medical institutions. So number one,..."
"...And some of them are wearing bracelets that monitor where they go. This has become the land of bid'ahs! All of this. All of these procedures are bid'ahs! They are a violation of the way we conduct ourselves in performing our obligations in fulfillment of our Islamic duties. All of this! It's a sad year. We're suppose to be happy on this day. We're suppose to communicate as much joy as we can to our ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors, to our communities, to our societies, to the world at large. How can we do this when Mecca is no longer an Islamic city, an Islamic area. How can we do that?"
"...Those rulers who are ruling with the support of imperialism and Zionism, those rulers have to go. They are illegitimate. They have to be delegitimized by Allah and His Prophet, by the Quran and The Sunnah. We have to understand that we are being ruled by aliens, aliens who are dressed up as Muslims. They are hiding behind their rituals. Their hearts are with major Satans and minor Satans. They are not with Allah and they are not with His Prophet. I think when this fact settles deep down inside our hearts, when we look at them just like we look at those who colonize us with bullets and bombs targeting us; when we equate those..."
"...We can't have a blessed Eid when we are bleeding; when we are incarcerated in nation states; when we need permission to do what Allah is telling us to do. But as much as we can, as much as you can, please have your families feel whatever amount of happiness is available."
Imam Muhammad Al Asi
Peace & blessings & Eid Saeed to you & all of us,
P.S. As much as I don't at all trust the Saudi regime, I don't at all trust the CDC, NIH, FDA, and other comparable institutions. There are reasons for this including my having spoken in great detail with a few people who are in the know about some of the crimes that these institutions have committed. Some of the stories that were shared with me are downright scary; no doubt, crimes against humanity.