Eid al-Fitr Message S.M Mohamed Idris President, Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP)



I wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy and meaningful Hari Raya          Eid al-Fitr. I pray to Allah to accept our worship, fasting and charity during Ramadhan, the holiest month. First of Syawal will soon arrive for us to celebrate our victory in our struggle for spiritual empowerment.

For one month, we have gone through a strenuous spiritual exercise to cleanse our bodies and souls. We abstained from food and  drinks for long hours to discipline ourselves and experience the hunger and suffering of those who are denied these basic needs by an uncaring world. Millions of people, especially in the conflict areas like Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia have no food, shelter, education and healthcare. Ramadhan must remind us of our duty to help them to come out of their misery. Ramadhan has also taught us to avoid selfishness and arrogance and to submit ourselves to the service of God.

Eid al-Fitr should be celebrated in accordance with Islamic teaching. We must avoid wastefulness and extravagance. Our society is rooted in materialism and overconsumption. We are chasing happiness through acquisition of expensive cars, clothes, houses, food and holidays but it eludes us.  Eid has become an occasion to indulge in wasteful spending on     decorating homes and acquiring products and gadgets that are not needed. It goes against the simplicity and discipline we practised during Ramadhan.

Allah swt warns in the Qur’an: “…do not be extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant,,” [Al-Anam 6;141]  The Qur’an also condemns those who are obsessed with acquisition of wealth and do not spend in the way of Allah such as helping the poor and needy and contributing to the welfare of society. In Surah Al-Taubah, 9:34, Allah s.w.t. warns “…there are those who amass gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah; Announce to them the tidings of a painful chastisement….”

Chasing after an opulent lifestyle has landed many in heavy debts. Some of them have turned to criminal ways – corruption, abuse of power, theft, criminal breach of trust- to support their unsustainable way of living.

Muslims should emulate the example of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w who practised simplicity and moderation during his lifetime. He was the most powerful and influential person and could have had anything he wanted. But he led a very simple life with very few material belongings. When he died he left behind only a white donkey and a piece of land reserved for the benefit of travellers.

I appeal to our Muslim brothers and sisters, while celebrating Eid, to be conscious of the spiritual significance of the celebration and not indulge in gluttony, waste and extravagance. Avoid holding open houses overflowing with food, drinks and entertainment. The money spent on these wasteful activities could be channelled to helping the poor and deprived here and in other parts of the world.




Press Statement,  11 June 2018