Barka Da Salla From Herbert Mensah

I have always respected others people’s opinions and this applies to people’s views on religion. My belief in the Almighty is something I have tried to live. In recognizing my limitations as a human who sins but tries to be a better person I recognize both my strengths and my weaknesses.

We are at point in our history in which I am both saddened and worried. Our leaders are so removed from the youth and the poor and yet their arrogance prevents them from seeing this. They purport to be religious and yet they do not live it which is why they are so engrossed in their personal power conflicts that they lose sight of  their duty to serve. This inability or loss of focus is not only unreligious but defeats the purpose of their collective appointments.

Religion is cultural. If you truly believe then you must live it. The hypocrisy of going to mosque or church and then seeking to destroy one another is at the heart of all our problems. The problem is that most of the youth live their religion… they are the real Muslims and Christians where as many (not all) of the elderly are still animists which is why so many are trapped in ethnocentricity and pettiness.

On this day…. This special day in wishing all my muslim brothers a special happy Barka Da Salla I have called on my brother whom I have special respect for Hassan I’zac to put something together which encapsulates our feelings of respect and celebration on this day.

Hassan is a brother whom you must all get to know. In addition I have asked my old friend Yusif Mustapha to prepare a piece for today. His is a special piece that not only celebrates the occasion but educates non believers of the Muslim faith and reminds believers of what and why they are celebrating Barka Da Salla

The celebration of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder to us all, of the shared Abrahamic heritage of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The Islamic Feast of Eid-Ul-Adha commemorates the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, and Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son — Ishmael.

The Christian Bible in Genesis 22:15-18, points out that Abraham is rewarded for his faith and told he will become a blessing to the nations: “by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

They Holy Qur’an reiterates this position in which Allah says that Abraham is an “excellent example” for the believers when he tells his pagan family and people that “there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever, unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone” (60:4).

On the occasion of this years Hajj pilgrimage as we observe, the sacred ordinance of Adha, observed throughout the Muslim world, through acts of kindness and charity to the less fortunate in society in commemoration of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of truth and faith.

Eid-ul-Adha is a great reminder to all humanity of the importance of principles, such as, faith, repentance, honesty, simplicity, equality, and concern for the dispossessed and the poor. Once again the ‘Land of Revelation’ has gathered legions of true believers for its annual ceremony: the birthplace of Islam and the Holy Qur’an. Righteous men and women of faith throughout the world have participated in such rites, which indeed show a sign of the eternal lessons of Islam and the Holy Qur’an to mankind.

Eid-ul-Adha also teaches us that we share a common humanity that should inspire us to work together as one people for the good of our country. We should let the values of love, sacrifice and compassion; influence our daily social intercourse with one another, irrespective of ethnic and religious origin. The annual Hajj, like all other acts of worship, contains significant objectives that are applied universally in the entire Islamic experience, which is an embodiment of the aspirations of all people. Hajj maintains the spirit of unity among Muslims, individuals and communities. It educates Muslims, and even non-Muslims, about the true meaning of equality, which is manifested in the pilgrims’ unified dress code and their observance of the rituals irrespective of their race, language, gender, or social positions.

As hundreds of thousands gather during this period to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, they have been blessed as the chosen delegates this year. We therefore, welcome and congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters from Ghana who have undertaken this journey and extend our best and warmest wishes for their safe return home.

Today, as all Ghanaians join Muslims here and worldwide to observe Eid-ul-Adha, I urge that we offer special prayers for peace, so that our country can move forward with prosperity. In our candid view, the ultimate objective in the fulfilment of the Hajj within the context of the five pillars of Islam, amongst other things is to ensure the eternal salvation and dignity of mankind by training righteous people and establishing a righteous society; epitomized by freedom and justice within our community, faith, vitality and all the other elements of life: Progress, resilience, unity, concordance, homogeneity, adorning the soul and heart, and committing the heart to solidarity with the great body of the Faith Ummah, ( of which we all share as children of Abraham by faith).

It is our conviction that in spite of the apparent magnitude of the task of transforming our nation, we can accomplish this undertaking, as we always have, in our long multi-cultural history, surmounted many others. Notwithstanding the efforts of our enemies and detractors we shall emerge triumphant and strong from the dark night of suffering and show the world that the Ghana exists not for life but for good life.

On this sacred day, I send greetings to our Muslim brethren and all peoples of faith the world over.  For us in Ghana, on this day of thanksgiving and rejoicing, we must endeavour to ensure that the suffering of the under-privileged in our society is not overshadowed by the activities of the festivity. I hope that, wherever men and women of faith foregather on this solemn day, thought and prayers would be given to the plight of the poor. The greater the sacrifices we make, the purer and more chastened we emerge like gold refined in fire.

So the message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. We shall scale the mountain if we remain resilient, focused and organized in tackling the grave issues that confront us as a united nation, a united people with a common destiny. (Insha’Allah).

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