Holy Qur’an for Carmona
By JANELLE DE SOUZA Saturday, August 10 2013
PRESIDENT Anthony Carmona was yesterday presented with a copy of the Holy Qur’an by eight-year-old Arshad Ali after the Head of State observed an outdoor Eid-ul-Fitr celebration hosted by the Takaaful Trinidad and Tobago Friendly Society.
Carmona and his entourage arrived at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya at 7.15 am and sat under a tent, surrounded by his security detail. After the khutbah (sermon), Carmona was presented with the Qur’an and moved into the Centre of Excellence where he greeted, spoke and took pictures with attendees.
Brother Umar Salim, who delivered the Eid Khutbah, told Newsday that Carmona had told him he (Carmona) was extremely impressed by the sermon, which particularly resonated with Carmona as regards to the relationship between children and their parents, and parents and God.
Salim said he decided to focus his message on the family unit as it was the core of society and if problems within the family were rectified, so too would many ills in society be rectified. “Sometimes we go outside and we try to deal with issues such as crime and delinquency, but the root of it is that there is a breakdown in the family. As they say charity begins at home. As Muslims, it is important that we understand and we put that in order. If we do that as a community, and other communities do that, whether Christians or Hindus or whatever, we would see an improvement in society,” Salim said.
In his khutbah, Salim concentrated on Jacob, who he explained was one of the prophets of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. He stated, when Jacob was about to die, he called his sons to him and asked, “What will you worship after me?” because he was concerned whether or not he did his duty as a prophet, about his legacy and his children. Salim noted that all parents should have those concerns, but said they could not ask that question until they put things in place, and proceeded to advise parents on how to do so.
Salim told parents they needed to fulfil their duty to their children by teaching them the difference between right and wrong and adhering to the commands of Allah. Parents should be there for their children, constantly providing counsel and advice, as well as protecting them from danger. He said parents should know their children, where they go and who their friends are, and parents need to be forgiving when their children make mistakes.
He pointed out that Jacob’s sons accredited all their father’s positive attributes to his worship of Allah, and so they wanted to follow Jacob in his submission to Allah. Therefore, he urged parents to be an example to their children so that they would not blindly follow Islam because of tradition or because it was the religion of their father, but because it is part of them as well.
Salim emphasised that Islam was not something a Muslim could do part time. He said Muslims had rights and responsibilities, and if they wanted to enjoy those rights, they must live up to the responsibilities. “Your adherence is what is going to leave a lasting impression on those around you. Remember that your actions are what people are going to conflate with Islam,” he concluded.