Janazah Prayer for Eid

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Dear Lord, provide for us through Your signs and symbols of life in Your Creation, so that we may continue to bring into reality the greatness of Qur’anic ethics that keeps us from destruction and doom.

Ramadan began on June 6, 2016, a month of collective prayers, reflection in communion with family, friends and community. At the close of Ramadan this year, July 5, the world has experienced over 300 lives that were deliberately taken during this “holy month” of Ramadan. Ending this last week of Ramadan, we have hundreds of families mourning the deaths of loved ones rather than celebrating the end of Ramadan.

As we think about the various geographic locales, the numbers of innocent lives taken, can we really get out of our minds the children, the young people, the parents and grandparents, that were targeted by Islamists in their acts of war. We take the two most recent events – Baghdad and Medina – these attacks were not against “the state” or “military group” or a particular “governmental authority” but a deliberate attack on human beings who identify as Muslim, killed during the holiest month of the year.

Just a week into Ramadan and we saw the awful attack on Orlando, with many young and innocent LGBT lives perishing simply because one young man. We saw another event this past week, in Baghdad, as people shopped for the celebrations of the coming Eid, senseless act of killing that left many young children and young people see their lives cut short.

Yet, each time such events occur, Muslims ask: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Of course, the question really asks us why do good people die? In reality, death is inevitable – but so often it is how we die and from what causes. We can look to other events such as natural causes or those that end a person’s life due to old age or disease, or the results of natural catastrophes or the verisimilitudes of modern life, i.e., slips and falls, traffic accidents, collapse of infrastructure, and the list goes on. However, none of these are deliberate acts of violence.

In one news report, a photograph of a teenager attacker – maybe 17 or 18 years old – brought a great shock to my mind and pain to my heart. I question how could such a depraved mind teach a child to kill indiscriminately based on an ideology that this is “Islam.” What we need to understand – as Muslims collectively – this is not how Islam works. Our Qur’an teaches us that life is valuable, and that the future is valuable, and participation in society in a positive way is valuable, and these are our Islamic values.

In conclusion, I have frequently said that our understanding of Islam – inculcating the histories of Islams – requires a rethinking, and revival and reform for today’s world, but it also requires enlightenment. My Eid prayer is that Muslims find greater enlightenment in their reflections on the Qur’anic message and ethics. Dear Lord, your love and mercy is our only reality, amen.

Janazah Prayer for All Who Have Perished During This Holy Month of Ramadan*

Exalted and great, we should know that these innocents shall not bear the burden of those who committed such violence. May these innocents have peace and thrive in the highest ranks, oh dear Lord.

We know that life is sacred and that being slain wrongfully is not the goal of our faith. May our heavy hearts contemplate the Ramadan, its pure fast and celebration, and carry the message that hatred is not an example of sacred love and mercy. May our memories forever remind us that evil is hateful in the eyes of God.

Though those who committed these acts of violence may think of themselves as angels, we know that their words are promises of deceit. We know, dear Lord, you are the remover of our troubles and agents of harm. We shall not give up in despair for in You we seek guidance. We acknowledge that it is through reflection and movement to action, we find greater truth and spiritual growth, which only comes from our Lord.

Dear Lord, provide for us through Your signs and symbols of life in Your Creation, so that we may continue to bring into reality the greatness of Qur’anic ethics that keeps us from destruction and doom.

Amen

*Inspiration for this prayer was taken, generally, from Surah Isra (17).

 

Daayiee Abdullah is the Executive Director of  MECCA Institute, a progressive Islamic institute with a think tank and a school.

 

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