FIOE President: Message on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Message from the President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha

All gratitude is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on the noble Prophet, his family and Companions.

I offer my cordial felicitations to Muslims in Europe and worldwide on the advent of Eid-ul-Adha, which is concurrent with the season of Hajj, and I ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from all of us, our good deeds.

Pilgrims from all European countries have headed out to perform the rites of Hajj, in a grand season in which are manifested the meanings of true faith, humility in the audience of the Creator, and equality between all humans. We ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from them a Hajj that is pure, striving that is rewarded, and sins that are forgiven, and grant them safe return to their European homelands.

Eid arrives, and it is a season of happiness, family bonding, and bridging the gap between generations, as well as nurturing mutual compassion, solidarity, and support for the poor; values of which we, our European societies, and wider humanity are in great need. Eid is also an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity; especially since this year’s Eid-ul-Adha comes as the Muslim Ummah suffers difficult times; with many crises and open wounds, which makes us share with those affected their pain.

On this occasion, I greet Muslims across Europe, and their local communities, and urge Islamic and social organisations to continue improving their work, and to shoulder the responsibility towards Muslims and society in the best possible way.

May each year pass where we are in the most favourable of conditions.

Brussels, 4 October 2014 (10 Dhul Hijjah 1435H)

Abdullah Benmansour

President, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

Message from the President of FIOE on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Message from the President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

All gratitude is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on the noble Prophet, his family and Companions.

I offer my cordial felicitations to Muslims in Europe and worldwide on the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr, following the completion of the blessed month of Ramadan – the month of fasting, worship, good deeds, and perfected sincere action; I ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from all of us, our fasting and good deeds.

Eid arrives, and it is a season of happiness, family bonding, and bridging the gap between generations; it is the event that crowns Ramadan, which represents a profound school for building faith and piety, and nurturing mutual compassion, solidarity, and support for the less fortunate; values of which we, our European societies, and wider humanity are in great need of.

Eid is also an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity. This year’s Eid comes at a moment when the Muslim Ummah is suffering difficult times; with many crises and open wounds. Indeed,  Eid arrives as we witness a hideous military onslaught upon the Palestinian people, with Gaza bombarded round the clock with tonnes of explosive ordnance, and the number of those killed approaches a thousand, and massive numbers of injured. In this Eid, we renew our solidarity with the Palestinian people at this precarious moment, and reiterate our support for their legitimate rights.

I also take this opportunity to salute the intense efforts of Imams, and mosque and Islamic centre administrations across Europe as they worked to revive the rituals throughout the month of Ramadan, and serve their local communities. On this occasion, we urge Islamic and social organisations to continue improving their work, and to shoulder the responsibility towards Muslims and society in the best possible way.

May Allah accept from all of us our good deeds, and may each year pass where we are in the most favourable of conditions.

 

Brussels, 28 July 2014

 

Abdullah Benmansour

President, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

Message from the President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

All gratitude is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on the noble Prophet, his family and Companions.

I offer my cordial felicitations to Muslims in Europe and worldwide on the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr, following the completion of the blessed month of Ramadan – the month of fasting, worship, good deeds, and perfected sincere action; I ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from all of us, our fasting and good deeds.

Eid arrives, and it is a season of happiness, family bonding, and bridging the gap between generations; it is the event that crowns Ramadan, which represents a profound school for building faith and piety, and nurturing mutual compassion, solidarity, and support for the less fortunate; values of which we, our European societies, and wider humanity are in great need of.

Eid is also an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity. This year’s Eid comes at a moment when the Muslim Ummah is suffering difficult times; with many crises and open wounds. Indeed,  Eid arrives as we witness a hideous military onslaught upon the Palestinian people, with Gaza bombarded round the clock with tonnes of explosive ordnance, and the number of those killed approaches a thousand, and massive numbers of injured. In this Eid, we renew our solidarity with the Palestinian people at this precarious moment, and reiterate our support for their legitimate rights.

I also take this opportunity to salute the intense efforts of Imams, and mosque and Islamic centre administrations across Europe as they worked to revive the rituals throughout the month of Ramadan, and serve their local communities. On this occasion, we urge Islamic and social organisations to continue improving their work, and to shoulder the responsibility towards Muslims and society in the best possible way.

May Allah accept from all of us our good deeds, and may each year pass where we are in the most favourable of conditions.

Brussels, 28 July 2014

Abdullah Benmansour

President, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

Letter from the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) to French President, Nicolas Sarkozy

His Excellency, President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy

Dear President Sarkozy,

We, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) continue to monitor, along with Muslims on this continent, and segments of European civil society, and the public, the disturbing trend in positions taken by some political actors and the media in France in recent weeks, with regard to dealing with Muslims and their organisations in France.

The positions and statements expressed by state and political bodies paint a worrying picture in terms of some declared intentions towards Muslims. In addition, the content of some media channels comes close to casting French Muslims, their prominent organisations, and mosque imams unjustly in the zone of suspicion.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) was quite surprised at some of these measures and views; for example, the announcement by French authorities to refuse a number of prominent Muslim scholars and personalities permission to enter France and attend the 29th Annual Meeting of France’s Muslims, in a step coinciding with a reprehensible smear campaign in the media against these widely respected scholars.

Indeed, we would wish to remind that these steps are incompatible with the requirements of common decency, and that the recurring ill treatment of Muslims in France cannot be in harmony with the values of the French Republic, and also send the wrong signals. In this context, the impression given is that further moral burdens are unfairly being put onto the shoulders of France’s Muslims in the wake of the terrible crimes witnessed recently in Toulouse, whose victims were French citizens from different religious communities, including Muslims. Perhaps, you may have noted the voices in political and media circles that engage in practically dividing French society, instilling fear of Muslims and Islamic organisations in the public, cheaply exploiting the blood of innocent victims, and ignoring the standards of fairness and obligations of human rights.

It is quite disheartening to see general election seasons converted into a cheap contest between candidates vying to out-do each other, where contrary to the spirit of democracy, they employ misrepresentation and agitation, pit citizens against each other, and create division in society, just to win votes or publicity. Political campaigning, especially during election times, must distance itself from stoking resentment, provoking panic, offending communities, and disparaging the cultural specificities of partners in society and citizens of the Republic.

No doubt that acts of violence, aggression, and terror, are condemned in all forms, and cannot be justified. Indeed, these must be prevented and confronted; this is what we have emphasised in repeated statements of position. However, guilt cannot be generalised, nor can the followers of a specific religion, or members of a community or culture be blamed wholesale for acts of violence or terrorism, tarred with same brush of suspicion, or restricted in their public or personal freedoms. Indeed, the ideal response to acts of violence, hate speech, and voices of extremism, lies in isolating these within their actual context, and dealing with them using the tools of justice and systems of the state of law. At the same time, strengthening solidarity and openness, protecting human values and constitutional principles, supporting accord, reinforcing mutual respect, and promoting solidarity and cohesion in society. The confluence of efforts and collaboration in political and societal spheres is, ideally, sufficient to address problems, challenges, and threats.

Feverish misrepresentation and incitement is the wrong response to the shock of Toulouse, as this threatens to practically undermine the values of religious and personal freedom, equality and equal opportunities, openness and tolerance, and mutual respect and solidarity. Moreover, such an approach is irresponsible, as it distracts from the common challenges that require societies with diverse constituents to combat and address their causes, roots, and consequences. It is our expectation that all responsible bodies in France will choose wisdom, broad-mindedness, and concern for national unity, even in the context of political and electoral competition. Everyone is required to work hard at winning hearts, building bridges, reinforcing mutual trust, and closing the door on those voices inciting discord and hostility, creating splits within our European societies, and harming intercultural relations.

With the utmost respect

Brussels, 5 April 2012

Chakib Benmakhlouf

President, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

President of FIOE: Islam calls for equality between man and woman on the basis of humanity

Praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Judgement…

Allah, the Almighty, says in the Quran: (O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Indeed, the most honourable among you with Allah is the one who has most piety [Taqwa]. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware) Surah al-Hujurat 13

Allah, the Almighty, has raised the status of the human being, and appointed him vicegerent on Earth; this elevation in status includes all the children of Adam—men and women, without distinction.

Today, as we embrace the theme of women, we understand that Islam calls for equality between man and woman on the basis of humanity, and within a framework of mutual respect. Islam considers that balanced human life is established on the basis of complementary roles and harmony between man and woman. Thus, Islam rejects any idea or practice that treats women with disdain or takes away their legitimate rights. Moreover, Islam recognises the essential role of women in society, and as such opposes their exploitation, or mistreatment by relegating them to the status of mere object.

On this occasion, we offer abundant praise for the efforts, and patience of mothers, and express our pride in the older generation of women; they have our devotion and gratitude for their contribution over the course of an eventful lifetime, to which many generations of children and grandchildren bear witness. Our appreciation, also, for the working mother; in her home, or in the diverse areas of employment, as well as the young woman in those positions of academic learning and vocational practice, scaling the heights of knowledge, which is what we encourage and support with all our resources.

In this regard, we, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, commend the continuing achievements of Muslim women and girls across Europe; those who succeeded in the areas of academic and working life, and are a positive presence in many fields, role models to be followed, and mentioned with pride.

Despite this, we are aware that there is much more that must be done, and that there are obstacles that need to be overcome. In particular, we appreciate the scale of difficulties, and the gravity of challenges, confronting women and girls in the worlds of study and work, in the restrictive measures on choice of dress, or discriminatory practices that target, quite sadly, Muslim females. In this regard, we stand firmly in support of the right to education and learning, and the right to work and self-fulfilment, and will confront every form of discrimination and restrictive measure, through effective societal participation, and conscientious and focused civic action, in cooperation and partnership with defenders of justice and rights in our European societies.

In this respect, we are fully aware that improving the condition of Muslims in Europe, cannot be achieved in isolation from an effective role for Muslim women and girls, in the various spheres and at all levels; as such, the bird can only fly with two wings. Therefore, the responsibility for establishing this, and overcoming the difficulties along the path, is shared by all concerned.

We ask Allah to bless the efforts of our women and girls in what is good, and help us all achieve the goodness and success of this life and in the hereafter.

Wa assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah

Your brother, Chakuib Ben Makhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Message from the President of FIOE about Imams, Du’at, Mosques and Islamic centres

Praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Judgement…

Allah, the Almighty, says in the Quran: (In houses—mosques, which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His Name is remembered. Therein glorify Him in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings  • Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from performing Salah, nor from giving Zakah. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be in commotion.  • That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.) Surah al-Nur 36-38

First, I wish to address our noble Imams, and esteemed workers for Islam (Du’at) in Europe, brothers as well as sisters, spiritual guides and teachers (Murabbis). I offer to all, our appreciation in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE); we appreciate their role, and value their efforts. Indeed, they follow the noble path walked by the Prophets (peace be upon them).

On the road of migration (Hijrah) from Makkah to Madinah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, stopped at Quba, and established the very first mosque in Islam. This was the first mosque founded on piety, as mentioned in the Noble Quran. Moreover, the first act of the Prophet, peace be upon him, on arriving at Madinah, was to establish the Prophet’s Mosque, which was the principal foundation of the new society, characterised by its diversity, and inclusiveness of Muslims and non-Muslims on the basis of mutual respect, and the rights, and responsibilities dictated by citizenship.

The mosque was not simply a place to perform prayers, but a school and university where Muslims received the teachings and directives of Islam, a forum harmonising the different tribal elements that had long in history been in conflict and wars borne of ignorance, a headquarters for administering society’s affairs, and a council chamber for consultation and resolution. Even more so, the Prophet’s Mosque was also home to a large number of the poor and dispossessed, who had nowhere to stay, no wealth, no family or children. The Mosque also opened its doors to non-Muslims, as related in the biography of our Messenger, peace be upon him.

This connection between migration (Hijrah) and establishing the mosque has made clear the extent to which the mosque plays a key role in securing peace, establishing stability, and enshrining openness and transparency. The prior period in Makkah had been characterised by repression of belief and hounding of the believers, thus preventing the mosque from being established occupied, and assuming its natural role; as such, the prayer in the mosque at Quba was a turning point in Islamic history, from the era of trial, fear, and suffering, to a new era of stability, security, tranquillity, and collective participation.

Muslims in Europe, in the trend to establish mosques and Islamic centres, in the appropriate architectural form, and including proper facilities and services, embody one of the forms of positive integration in their European societies, and also express an appropriate presence within the space of citizenship that must remain wide enough to include everyone within the framework of law, public and private rights, and personal and religious liberty. No doubt that in the ideal sense, the role of mosques and Islamic centres, lies in serving the cross sections of the Muslim community, and supporting social cohesion, as well as a shining light for the wider public in their diverse colours, with opportunities for fruitful, mutual interaction.

In this context, we summon the directives in the Quran, and the lessons learned from the noble Prophetic life—peace be upon him, in inviting to Allah with wisdom and good preaching, in the spirit of sincerity and selflessness, while appreciating the burden of responsibility, and the scale of the trust in conveying the message of Islam, and promoting its lofty values, and observing moderation in thought and practice.

In the book of Allah and the example of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, there is much to encourage and urge Muslims to cooperate in acts of goodness and piety, as well as invitation to the workers for Islam (Du’at) in the European countries to unite upon the Truth, hold fast to the rope of Allah, and reject division and disunity, while focusing on the vital and weighty issues.

We ask Allah to bless all good efforts, and help us all attain piety and success in this life and the hereafter… and all praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation.

Wa assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah

Your brother, Chakuib Ben Makhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Message from the President of FIOE about the Family

Praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Judgement…

Allah, the Almighty, says in the Quran: (O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Indeed, the most honourable among you with Allah is the one who has most piety [Taqwa]. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware) Surah al-Hujurat 13

Dear brothers and sisters, it is a worthwhile venture to give greater attention to the needs of caring for the family, reinforcing its cohesion, and assuring bonding and openness among its members. It is through the robust integrity of the family that the spirit of love and giving can be spread to surrounding society. In this respect, we offer our praise and appreciation for the efforts of parents, and their conscientious striving, and highly value the elderly, who deserve from all of us, every manner of gratitude and devotion, for all their efforts during a long and eventful lifetime.

On the basis of the noble Prophetic directive, “all of you are responsible, and all of you shall be accountable for those in your care”, we come to appreciate the importance of fruitful communication across generations, and the necessity of caring for children and the youth, in compassion and tenderness; raising them well on the Quran and Sunnah, in a life full of belief in Allah (Iman), refined manners, excellent role models, positive interaction with society, and a good education elevating them on paths to success.

All this requires the warmth of family to nurture it. Undoubtedly, the family is the building block of society’s structure, and the human being’s first and most important sanctuary. Therefore, if the family is the first thing on which the individual’s eyes open, then by right, he should find care and tenderness within it, and should receive balanced and appropriate guidance along the path of upbringing; moreover, the family should be by his side, and he should stand by it, in the different phases of growing up.

The family is not merely a group of individuals, few or many; fundamentally, it is an expression of the noble human bond, framed in care and responsibility, solidarity and mutual support, and built on the finest of emotions—love, tenderness, and mutual respect. Therefore, weakening this bond, or rendering it superficial, represents real loss to society, with consequent harm to the individuals.

The distinction afforded by family stability reflects on society, in terms of explicit gains. The integrity of the family ensures a more stable society, and the thriving harmony between father, mother, and children, guarantees more social warmth.

It is not to society’s benefit for individuals to lack harmony in their families, or be deprived of love and affection within their homes. Care within the family is the safety valve for society, and so, the integrity of the family and its success in performing its role provides a significant service to society as a whole.

Even with the attention focused on the individual, the family must not be neglected. Rather, it must be placed at the centre of attention as well. Success, which is the aim of members of society, does not come solely from the individual, as perhaps many may believe; rather it is the success of the family as well. Therefore, individual success needs also to be measured according to its positive reflection on the family.

For this reason, effort must be directed towards reinforcing, supporting, and encouraging the family to be successful and cohesive. Islam considers the close-knit family, established on the bond of marriage between man and woman, to be the natural and essential cradle for raising future generations. It is the foundation for the happiness of the individual and stability of society. From this perspective, Islam draws attention to the need to employ all measures and means to support the family structure and protect its fabric from all threats weakening it, or marginalising its role.

As the family faces increasing challenges in light of the rapid changes in people’s lives, there is no escape from the need to care for the family and support it. Especially since the family remains the key refuge and cradle for the human being. We are required to direct a generous portion of our attention to treating the problems of the family and resolving them. Indeed this is what we, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) and our member organisations, attempt to contribute to, in cooperation and coordination with our partners in European societies.

… and Allah is behind every success,

Wa assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah

Your brother, Chakuib Ben Makhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Message from the President of FIOE to the Leader of the Danish Social Democrats

Brussels, 22 September 2011

Mrs. Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Leader of the Danish Social Democrats

 

Dear Madam,

We are pleased to tender our congratulations on your victory in the recent General Election, which indicates the vitality and renewal distinguishing political life in the Danish Kingdom, with its venerable democratic tradition.

We write to you on this occasion, to wish you all success on your chosen path, for the good of Denmark and its people, and in serving Denmark’s European and international relations, so as to secure greater prosperity for the Danish people in their diverse constituents of women and men.

We are confident that this is an opportunity for Denmark, under your leadership, to witness rejuvenation of its political scene, emphasising the values of openness, pluralism, and mutual respect, and remedying any negative aspects that may have resulted from the political extremism and irresponsible media behaviour of the recent past.

Denmark, throughout its history, was renowned for its openness to the world, its cordial and positive relations with Islamic countries, and its welcome for the budding Muslim presence on its soil. It was indeed painful for us to see this relationship suffer at critical points over the last decade. Yet, our unwavering conviction was that such crises were no more than passing moments, and that the voices of extremism and incitement, whether in politics, media, or society, could not overwhelm the principles of harmony and peaceful coexistence. Today, we feel that our shared responsibilities compels us to support cooperation and understanding, more so than at any other time, and to stand firmly by those noble human values, which we all hold dear. We are confident that Muslims in Denmark and Europe, along with their partners in society and citizenship, will be sympathetic to any positive initiative, or constructive step, you take in this direction.

We renew our hope for the success of your coming government, in securing further gains for the people of Denmark, in the present and for the future.

With our best wishes,

Chakib Benmakhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Message from the President of FIOE bidding farewell to the great teacher, Counsellor Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi

The Muslim Ummah and the human family, has lost a prominent personality, and a man of grand stature, in the passing of the eminent teacher and knowledgeable scholar, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, from our transitory world to the eternal one.

The focus of our great loss, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi—may Allah shower him with His abundant mercy—has over many decades been one of a rare breed of pioneers, present at the leading edge of many fields; knowledge and thought, invitation to Islam (Dawah), moral and intellectual improvement (Tarbiyyah), guidance and rational direction, in Islamic work and institutions.

Europe’s Muslims came to know him closely, through his effective contribution in sharing the guidance of Islam, highlighting its path of moderation, and sagely offering treatment, grounded in Shariah, to deal with the European reality, and its complex issues. At his hands, a generation of leaders in Islamic work in Europe were raised on the meanings of devotion and perseverance, following the footsteps of the Prophets and the righteous individuals in light of knowledge, striving to reflect the values and teachings of Islam in daily life, and showing a profound concern for the good of people, all people.

His many published works are testimony, as is his inexhaustible stream of research and studies, and a wide spectrum of lectures and lessons spread across time in the West and the East. Our noble Shaykh reflected profoundly on the developing issues relevant to the life of Muslims in European countries, and their expected roles. As such, he was an early participant in Shariah and Fiqh encounters across Europe, continuing his contribution with a group of noble scholars, effectively engaged in the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), since its inception in 1997.

We, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, remember with much gratitude, the guiding role of Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, supporting the Federation and many European Islamic bodies. He was a leading counsellor, and contributed to guiding and uniting contrasting views, at crucial historical junctures in the progress of Europe’s Muslims. He headed specialised committees, tasked with the heavy responsibility of reflecting upon critical issues, weighing positions, eliciting solutions, and advancing social reform.

Our great scholar and teacher, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, left a blessed and indelible impression that can be readily seen in the reality of Europe’s Muslims; he resided on the Continent for many years, during which, he was elder brother, tender teacher, and wise sage. Moreover, he played a tangible role in the rise of effective organisations, especially in France, and in Europe generally, including formation of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), and contributed to formulating visions for Islamic work that evolved from one blessed phase to another.

Pioneers do not depart, but remain among us… alive in our world, in their fragrant biography, their pristine acts, and noble qualities. We will remain faithful to our departed Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, by continuing the journey, and persevering in performance of our work; we will make sure that many of our fruitful projects, programmes, facilities, and shining beacons across Europe, are named after him; so that the rising generations will come to appreciate the illustrious work in many areas, and generous gifts in diverse fields, legacy of this great man, in gratitude to him, and encouragement to others following on his example.

We ask Allah, Most High, All-Capable, to receive Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi with his abundant Mercy, grant him the Gardens of Paradise, and to re-unite us at the Cradle of His Mercy, in the favoured company of our Noble Messenger, Muhammed, peace be upon him, the Noble Prophets, the truly righteous, and the martyrs. We ask Him, Most Exalted, Most High, to shower Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi with His generous reward for this long journey of rich contribution to knowledge and practice; a journey for which many generations are indebted; reaping the fruits helping them to win the good of this life and the hereafter. In our loss, we are heavy of heart and stricken with sadness… “We are unto Allah, and indeed, to Allah is our return

 

Brussels. Tripoli (Lebanon)

9 May 2011 (6 Jumada al-Thani 1432H)

 

Chakib Benmakhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Message from the President of FIOE on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha (1431H)

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Message from the President of the FIOE to all Muslims in Europe on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha (1431H)

All praise and gratitude is due to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings upon the Noble Prophet, Muhammad, his family, Companions, and those who follow his guidance to the Day of Judgement

We welcome this noble and blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, so full of wonderful meanings, with our hearts turning lovingly to the holy lands in these days, and an occasion presented for renewal of the positive Muslim personality combining belief in Allah (Iman) and good actions, one that obeys the Commands of Allah, and abstains from His prohibitions, and overflows with good towards everyone. We offer our best wishes on the advent of the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, and celebrate its joyful arrival, as we embody many noble feelings in its wide expanse. In performing its rituals, and reviving its traditions, we do so striving to bring happiness to the young, and strengthening the ties and affection among adults, while reinforcing good relations with our European societies.

It is worthwhile of us to take advantage of our festivals in caring for family, cementing the bonds among its members, and harnessing its integrity in spreading the spirit of love and giving to our society. On this occasion, we mark our appreciation for the efforts of parents and their patience, and take pride in those of advanced age, who have earned our gratitude and respect for their contribution in the course of a full life. While an event for all generations, Muslim children in Europe deserve the lion’s share of Eid, in kindness and affection, upbringing according to Quran and Sunnah, for a life of devotion, noble manners, positive role models, and constructive engagement with society, as well as an excellent education to carry them along the road to success.

We must remember in these blessed days, the huge responsibility towards younger generations, in supporting them on the road of righteousness and success, caring for their European Muslim identity, protecting their rights, educating them on their responsibilities, and providing guidance away from laxity or extremism, in choosing righteousness and moderation. This requires all of us to encourage the positive aspirations of our young generations, by providing them with opportunities, supporting their education and development, and strengthening their footing in practical life, and nurturing achievement on many levels, while embracing their participation in the service of the Muslim presence, and participating in the prosperity of their European societies. While we celebrate Eid in Europe, our thoughts are with the thousands of Muslims from Europe who embarked on the journey to perform the rituals of Hajj in these days. We ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from them, and from their Muslim brothers and sisters, who circulate around the Ka’bah, and stand on the Plain of Arafat, in prayer and devotion to Allah; may Allah accept their Hajj, forgive their sins, and return them safely to their loved ones, and European countries as messengers of good and mercy as directed by Islam.

Sadly, the happiness of Muslims this Eid is marred by the conditions suffered by the Muslim presence in some European states, in terms of diminished rights, or loss of hard-won gains; we find campaigns of incitement against Islam fuelled by extremists, which aim at misrepresenting this noble religion, and seek to isolate Muslims from their societies, while devaluing their positive and natural role as citizens and equals. In these days of Eid, we wish to emphasise that we strongly uphold the option of good citizenship, and that we shall always strive to remove any injustice through societal participation, in light of our adherence to moral and legal systems, which we respect, and work within. In this regard, we encourage everyone in our societies, Muslims and non-Muslims, to wisely and effectively confront all that harms the ties of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect. It is worthy of Muslims, to express in the best way within their social space, the good values and positive guidance inspired by this blessed Eid, which embodies the message of Islam seeking to bring good to all people, and mercy to all creation.

In this respect, we offer our congratulations on the arrival of the noble Eid, especially to the Imams and Du’at in Europe, in appreciation of their role and effort, reminding ourselves of the guidance from the book of Allah, and the inspiration of the beautiful Prophetic example—peace and blessing upon him, in inviting to Allah with wisdom and good advice, and contributing selflessly and sincerely, while feeling the burden of responsibility in conveying the message of Islam, and spreading its high ideals, and maintaining balance and moderation in thought and practice. The arrival of Eid, with all its great meanings, encourages all Muslims to engage collectively in doing righteous and pious acts, and in particular those working in the service of the Muslim presence in Europe to stand united on the Truth, and to hold fast to the rope of Allah, proscribing disunity, and focusing on the vital issues.

Eid this year comes at a time of continuing difficulty for the Muslim Ummah in a number of countries. The gaze that lingers fondly on the noble Ka’bah and Makkah is pained by the state Al-Aqsa Mosque and the noble city of al-Quds suffering under occupation and constant attack. Therefore, Eid is an annual opportunity to express the vitality and ties of brotherhood in our one nation, as we try to bring comfort for humanity’s deep pain, through greater solidarity and giving.

We ask Allah, the Almighty to bless these days of ours, to accept from us our good deeds, and to renew these great days, with Muslims everywhere in the best of circumstances, and that our societies and humanity enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

May every year hold enduring good for you

Wa assalamu alaykum wa Rahhmat Allah wa Barakatuh

 

Chakib Benmakhlouf

President, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

 

Brussels, Monday, 9 Dhul Hijjah 1431H/15 November 2010