When somebody has done us a service or a favour, we must be grateful. Gratefulness is not only a human duty but it is also a religious prescription. By the way, the greatest gratefulness should be shown to the Merciful, the Benefactor, our Lord. It is Allah Ta’ala who has brought us out of non-existence and has created us, has moulded us in the best forms, has taught us by the Pen, taught us what we knew not. By His Mercy, He has endowed us with health, intellect and thousands of other favours. Allah Ta’ala is the only source of all kindnesses: “Were you ever to count the blessings of Allah, you would never be able to do so”. (Surah 14, Verse 34). Hence, our Lord deserves absolute gratefulness, at the highest level. It is for that reason that we must worship Allah Ta’ala, prostrate ourselves before Him and accomplish deeds that will express to Him our thankfulness. Ungratefulness towards the Lord is akin to KUFR, and that is why a non-Muslim is called KAAFIR, someone who does not show his thankfulness towards his Creator and Nourisher.
The principle of the sense of gratitude is a fundamental mainspring in the building up of the Shariah. This principle demands belief in the Unity of Allah Ta’ala, obedience to the messenger of Allah (PBUH) and the duty of being thankful to one’s parents, and so on. On another occasion, this matter of principle in Islam will be dealt with elaborately.
Sir Abdul Razack Mohamed has had a major contribution to the welfare of Muslims in Mauritius. It has been rightly said that he was a champion of the rights of minorities. He was a mujaahid who fought for worthy causes. By the way, one of the preconditions on which Sir A. R. Mohamed had laid stress before his party, the C.A.M, could join the coalition with the Labour Party in 1967 was the introduction of Muslim Personal Law. He already had his community in mind and it was thanks to his insistence that ultimately the Muslims could enjoy the overwhelming freedom of benefiting from the beauty of Islam under the four colored flag.
All this shows the sincerity of Sir A. R. Mohamed and his enthusiasm in favour of the progress of his community, although it was only a minority. He was a politician of a high caliber who carried much weight and who raised his voice in favour of civil servants being granted official permission to attend Friday (Jummah) prayers. He also fought for the symbol of Islam and obtained from the labour Government that the Muslim call to prayer (Azaan) could be broadcast by way to loudspeakers. In the time of Sir A. R. Mohamed Muslims did enjoy three public holidays. He also endeavored with his team to build orphanage (Yateem khanas) to unable Muslim orphans from benefiting from religious values taught therein. He also promoted education within the community and ensured that Muslim students obtained study grants to pursue higher education. It was also under his insistence that legislation was introduced for the physical separation of halal meat and the slaughter house from others unclean meats. In this way, Allah Ta’ala had granted us great progress under the case of His noble servant, Sir A. R. Mohamed. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has said: “Whoever has established a good deed in Islam, will be rewarded for his own action and also for the action of all those who will practice that good deed after him, without any reduction in their reward.” (Bukhari). All these benefits that we have derived up to now are due to the everlasting good deeds of Sir A. R. Mohamed. The Prophet (PBUH) has stated: “On the death of a man, all his deeds come to an end, except for three: everlasting deeds (Sadaqah jaariyah), Islamic instruction given whereby others have benefited from, and a pious child who sends duas upon him” (Muslim).
That was an example to be followed! In fact, the particular characteristic of Sir A. R. Mohamed was that the Muslim community was first and foremost in his thought. On several occasions, he staked his political career in order to satisfy the needs of his electorate. He cared little for his own personal benefits.
And yet we did not do justice to him when the time came. And we were wrong since we were about to be dispossessed of the Muslim Personal Law and the Muslims were about to lose the respect they had before. Mr. Reza Issack is right and all of us need to offer our apologies to Sir A. R. Mohamed since he did his best for the community and in return, he did not obtain their gratitude. The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) has stated:” Whoever has not thanked human beings has not thanked Allah Ta’ala.” (Tirmizi). May Allah Ta’ala grant him his due reward altogether in Hereafter for his total contribution towards the Muslim community of Mauritius! A Muslim’s thankfulness is as follows: Jazaakallah khairan. “Whoever has benefited from a favour and has told his benefactor: Jazaakallah khairan, has in fact shown gratitude in excellence” (Tirmizi). Sir A. R. Mohamed deserves a thousand times Jazaakallah khiran. However, even if he is no longer among us, we can always express our gratitude to his children. In fact, after the demise of Zaid (RA), who was the freed Abyssinian slave so beloved of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), the latter had expressed his friendship to Usama (RA), son of Zaid (RA) (Bukhari). In the same way, Ibn Umar (RA) used to develop friendship with the children of a deceased friend.
May the example of Sir A. R. Mohamed inspire all those who aspire to walk in favour of the Muslim Community! Ameen!