Report of Id-ul-Fitr
13th November 1939
Imam declares in sermon:
the very fact that synagogues have been pulled
down in Germany
makes it obligatory upon us Muslims
to throw our weight into the cause of the Allies
From The Islamic Review, February and March 1940
Britain declared war on Germany on 3rd September 1939, and this
announcement marked the commencement of the Second World War. The
lives of individuals and communities throughout Britain were deeply
affected and disrupted. The Woking Muslim Mission and Muslims in
U.K. were affected like the rest of the country. This can be seen
from the report of the next Id-ul-Fitr at the Woking
Mosque, given below, which was held on 13th November 1939.
In his khutba, the Imam, towards the end, dealt with the
teachings of Islam regarding the two or three kinds of objects for
which Muslims are permitted to go to war. One of these objects,
the one which the Imam emphasised, was: To enable every person
to follow his religious convictions, to whatever persuasion he may
belong. He went on to say:
A Muslim is bound to wage war against any person, whether
of his own kith and kin and religion or not, who interferes with
the beliefs of a non-Muslim.
Muslims are ordered to sacrifice
their lives not only to save their own mosques but the religious
houses of other peoples as well.
The Zionist policy in Palestine has done us great harm. Untold
miseries has it brought upon our brethren in the faith in that
country. But the very fact that synagogues have been pulled down
in Germany upon the slightest pretext makes it obligatory upon
us Muslims to throw our weight into the cause of the Allies.
(The Islamic Review, March 1940, pp. 97, 98)
We quote below the report of the function. From the names given
in it of some of those present, we find that the audience included
Muslim ambassadors and other distinguished Muslims, and Christian
ID-UL·FITR (1358 A.H.) AT THE SHAH
By S. A. TOTO
The Muslim festival of ld-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan,
was celebrated at the Shah Jehan Mosque on Monday, 13th November
Many things combined to make this Id different from those of preceding
years. On account of the War Emergency, and the subsequent departure
of many Muslim residents from this country, it was anticipated that,
comparatively, fewer people would take part in the celebration.
Travel facilities were meagre. The special cheap day travel tickets
issued to participants on all previous occasions were no longer
obtainable. In fact, prior to the event none but an incurable optimist
would have expected that on this occasion the attendance would approximate
to the figure of former years. Last minute surprises were, however,
in store for us. No sooner had the invitation cards been issued,
than applications for more came from numerous new friends
Muslim and non-Muslim. The number of the visitors was in the neighbourhood
Nature was benevolent that day; the rains which had become a regular
feature for the past fortnight stopped; the sun which was peeping
from behind the clouds reappeared.
One giant marquee was used in place of the usual two. Inside it
on the walls were hung the flags of five different Muslim nations
a new feature which greatly enhanced the importance of the
occasion and also served as a symbol of the unity of Islamic nations.
In the rear of the tent, at its far-end side, were placed tables
for serving refreshments. Thick carpets on the floor and stoves
scattered about the arena made the atmosphere inside the tent cosy
and warm, and provided a reasonable safeguard against the exigencies
of the English climate.
One early arrival was none other than Sir Firoz Khan Noon, the
High Commissioner for India, who was accompanied by his entourage.
By 10-30 a.m. other visitors had begun to arrive. The gathering
in front of the marquee was gradually increasing, as, although all
the arrivals were ushered into the sheltered atmosphere of the tent,
the majority preferred to remain outside walking about the grounds
or standing in groups gaily chatting with one another till the appointed
time for prayers.
A medley of all Muslim nations on terms of perfect equality and
distinguishable from one another only by the different costumes
worn, is a heartening sight. And, if it were not for the presence
of some members of His Majestys Forces, one would have almost
forgotten that there was a war on.
Just before prayers a large number of Indian seamen arrived in
buses a solid phalanx in blue uniforms. Their hastily wrapped
headgears alone indicated that, for the moment, they were not on
their daily nautical duties. When it was announced that prayers
were going to be said, the problem of space inside the tent became
acute, so much so, that even the uncarpeted passage on the bare
ground was utilised.
After the prayers, a very interesting Id sermon was delivered by
the Imam. At the end of the lecture his statement reflecting the
attitude of Muslims in this war aroused much interest and
comment. The guests were then entertained to an appetising luncheon
consisting of Oriental dishes.
So ended a very successful Id day.
Amongst those present were: His Excellency Sheikh Hafiz Wahba,
Lt.-Col. Sir Hassan Suhrawardy, Sir Firoz Khan Noon, The Rt. Rev.
Bishop J. Wedgwood, Rev. S. R. Bawtree, Rev. P. L. Quitlet, Afifi
Fakhouri, Secretary, Arab Centre, London, Dr. H. G. Patel, Captain
Rashid, Mr. Ikramullah, I.C.S., Mian M. Nasir, P.C.S., Prof. Dr.
A.M. Deen, Mr.Omar Flight, Mr. Lewis Parker, Mr. Dawood Cowan, and
Mr. Ibrahim Arif.
From The Islamic Review, February 1940, pages 4244.
The complete text of the khutba can
be read here.
See also from the same issue of The Islamic Review: Imam
of the Woking Mosque replies to question about Fascism/Nazism in