– Uniting Muslims through takbir –
spirituality and togetherness
Part 2: Uniting Muslims through takbir
To usher in Eid ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), or Hari Raya Haji in Malay, and Eid ul-Fitri (Festival of Charity) or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Muslims across the world recite the takbir (Glory of Allah’s Greatness).
For Eid ul-Adha which fell on 12 September this year (2016), Muslims in mosques or prayer gatherings in community halls began reciting the takbir after their Maghrib prayers of 11 September. Muslims follow the Islamic calendar which is lunar-based and therefore any Islamic celebration begins on its eve (after sundown).
My wife and I were among the friends, families and members of the Siglap Malay Activity Executive Committee (Siglap MAEC) who were invited to be present at the home of Hajah Jawahir Mohamed in Limau Estate in Bedok at around 6:30pm for the tahlil (prayers for the soul of the departed loved ones) and doa (supplication) session led by Mr Yacob Hussein and Haji Jumain Suaib till the time for the maghrib prayers (obligatory fourth prayer of the day performed just after sundown).
The programme at Hajah Jawahir’s home included: Tahlil and Doa; Solat Maghrib (Congregational Maghrib prayers), and Breaking of Arafah Fast (optional fasting in respect of Arafah Day); and at 8:00 pm: Arrival of Dr Maliki Osman followed by the Recitation of Takbir Hari Raya.
Hajah Jawahir was excited that a Hari Raya takbir visit was held in her home for the first time.
The takbir session, which started at 8:30 in the evening, was led by Ustaz Salim Jasman and graced by the attendance of Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District.
A number of non-Muslim friends were also invited for the occasion.
Hajah Jawahir said: “This event enlivens the spirit of the eve of Hari Raya Haji. We also invited some of our non-Muslim friends to share our joy with them. At the same time, they can understand about Islam better and why we celebrate Hari Raya Haji. I feel very happy that most of all those invited came.”
“I felt good doing the takbir rounds during which I learned the invaluable values of the Muslim community and the friendly bonding amongst those in the Muslim society.” – John Vijayan
Among the non-Muslim guests was Mr John Vijayan, a community leader. He said the takbir event was an enlightening experience for him. “I am happy to be part of the Muslim group reciting the takbir to be one in spirit with those pilgrims who are now performing the annual Haj, and welcoming the arrival of Hari Raya Haji tomorrow,” he said.
John said he would certainly cherish his takbir experience. “I felt good doing the takbir rounds during which I learned the invaluable values of the Muslim community and the friendly bonding amongst those in the Muslim society.”
Indeed, after Hajah Jawahir’s home, we visited two Muslim homes in the Eastwood Ria area a short distance away to recite the takbir for about half an hour in each home.
Hajah Jawahir felt the takbir rounds were a good idea. “When we recite the takbir together in a big group, we can get to know each other and strengthen silatur-rahim.”
“Silatur-rahim” means friendship and togetherness and the event met the objective in uniting people.
The takbir “visits”, mooted by Ustaz Salim Jasman, have been held for some years in the Eastwood Ria. “But this year, we decided to include Limau Estate, and our Siglap MAEC Adviser Dr Malik decided to join in to get to know more people from both areas,” said Mr Yacob Hussein, Chairman of Siglap MAEC.
He explained that for this year, the Eastwood Ria Muslim residents were invited to Hajah Jawahir’s home to recite the takbir. “We decided to include Limau Estate residents, starting at Hajah Jawahir’s home, and after the takbir at her home, the group would go to two homes in the Eastwood residential area,” he said and added: “When we have sufficient manpower, we would extend the takbir rounds to HDB residents in Bedok in the future.”
From Hajah Jawahir’s home, the group went to the homes of Mr Abdullah Shafiie and Mr Kadir Maideen in Eastwood Ria.
“I was exceptionally delighted when I was invited to partake in the doa, a special supplication prayer. Though I am a non-Muslim, there was never a moment when I felt out of place.” – John Vijayan
John admired the welcoming spirit of the hosts. “The families of the three hosts graciously opened their homes and welcomed all of us – Muslims and non-Muslims. I enjoyed interacting with the hosts and the other Muslim guests after the takbir session when food and refreshments were served for us.”
He added: “I was exceptionally delighted when I was invited to partake in the doa, a special supplication prayer. Though I am a non-Muslim, there was never a moment when I felt out of place.”
Mr Yacob, on behalf of everyone who attended the takbir rounds, thanked the three hosts for offering their homes in support of this special function to usher in Hari Raya Haji.
The third part of the article, “Hari Raya Haji prayers and Qur’ban” will be out in the next posting.
20 September 2016