Need eyes to sight poor

Teach children lessons of donations, devotions, and offerings
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Unless Science finds absolute vaccine to treat and prevent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for COVID-19, we need to standby with other and even thereafter. Covid 19 is common sorrow and common pain across globe. We need to share this by all means and by all respects for all exigencies. Saudi Arabia Supreme Court had called Muslims in the Kingdom to sight the crescent moon, which would mark the beginning of the month of Zul Hijjah whose 10th day will be celebrated as Bakr Eid. While the ninth day of Zul Hijjah is celebrated as the day of Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage), the tenth day is celebrated as Eid ul-Adha which is also known as Bakr Eid or Eid-e-Qurban. This moon has been sighted by many religious scholars including in Kashmir and announced the day of Eid on July 21. This second major Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s absolute dedication to Allah.

It recalls the anecdote of how God commanded Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as a test of faith. But, just as Ibrahim attempts to sacrifice his beloved son, God intervenes and a ram is sacrificed in place of Ismail. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims slaughter an animal to remember Ibrahim's sacrifice and remind themselves of the need to submit to the will of Allah. It is very important to understand the philosophy of sacrifice itself. It has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the red blood of animals to wash ourselves from sin and wrongdoings. This is a misunderstanding. "It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety (holiness) that reaches Him" (Qur'an 22:37).

This symbolism is in the attitude and a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the path of Allah, which is straight and simple. A true Muslim is one, who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow commands completely, reverently and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us. Peers in general and teachers in particular need to teach its philosophical feature.

Covid -19, is adversely affecting economies has destroyed small businessmen and our poor farmers across the globe. They can’t pay even the school fee, buy food and clothes of their children, though governments made medicines available during these medical emergencies. If possible, donate old books of your children after examinations are over, donate clothes and food items before this day of sacrifice. Many organizations are doing and more should come forward. Make cluster of at least five mosques and establish Bait-ul-mals in your localities. More so, many capable educated youths are unemployed and are in search of jobs from years together. This job insecurity has disturbed their families and the families are ruined psychologically, as they have spent everything on their education. This soil is blessed with number of talented youths who are filled with towering ambitions, having earned their degrees from prestigious intuitions; need to be adjusted through recruitment boards on priority. Government should make it as a flagship programme. This whole process (disruptions of business, unemployment) causes depression and pushes youth towards drug addiction and drug trafficking. I am of the belief that this could be one of the causes behind the rising trend of drug addiction in J&K. Councilors, psychologists and social workers need to visit the worst hit areas in terms of drug addiction, in coordination with Police and Public.

Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam is mandatory for all eligible Muslims and they must donate at least 2.5% of their accumulated wealth (total wealth) for the benefit of the poor, destitute and others, abolishing all cleaver tricks of spending their wealth in estates and earths, escaping from donations and contributions. Islam, like other religions, enjoins its followers to give for individual and societal well-being. The main institutionalized instruments of Islamic philanthropy and redistribution of wealth are Sadaqa (charity) and Zakat (poor tax). We, teachers should not be the mute spectators, not relinquish responsibilities and should not be blind to these issues. We need more responsible, more sharing and more caring society, which is required at the time of troubles and turbulences.

The bottom line is that:

This is the moment to see the poor on land, not search the moons in sky.

M A Shah teaches Nanotechnology at NIT Srinagar.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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