We are celebrating Eid Al-Fitr today. This day culminates a month of fasting
wherein the faithful spent their time praying and beseeching God for forgiveness
and mercy. For many, Ramadan was not just an abstention from food and drink.
Rather, it was an exercise in patience and discipline. Eid is the celebration
for those who fasted and obeyed God's rules and teachings. It is for those who
spent the month of Ramadan in complete devotion to Allah. Eid is a time when all
get together to celebrate.
It is preceded by people shopping and looking around for gifts for their near
and dear ones. It is a time when the bright lights from shops seems to signal us
to enter and look and purchase. And very rightly so. Eid should be celebrated in
a bright manner . We should see that this day and the following days be used to
spread happiness by visiting our friends and relatives.
Gifts are exchanged during Eid by young and old alike. We also visit the elderly
and the sick. Eid is a time where all kinds or festivities prevail. Many of us
gormandize to make up for "lost food" during the month of Ramadan.
However, with all the going around we some time forget our lesser privileged
brethren. We forget that there are many out there who have nothing to celebrate.
There are those among our brothers and sisters for whom Eid day is just another
ordinary day. There are those who open their cupboards on Eid day and find them
bare. There are those who in hospitals who will go through a bleak and lonely
day with no one visiting them. Friendless, deprived of company, they will have
no one to offer solace or comfort. Let us therefore see to it that our deprived
brethren welcome the day of Eid with warm and hope.
As we buy gifts and clothes for our children, let us earmark a small sum for
those who cannot afford to buy. Also we should instill in our children a sense
of compassion so that when they buy something they will also think of their
unfortunate brethren. Let us teach them the art of giving. We should let them
know that there are millions of children in Africa, Asia, Bosnia, Kosovo and
elsewhere who don't have the basic necessities to make this day a different day.
We cannot divest ourselves from the misery of others. We cannot shrug it off
saying that it does not concern us. Many people tend to be inward looking. They
may at times donate money to charity and feel rightly it may seem so that they
are doing their duty. However, the fact that if one seen to be with these people
the perception of charity changes. There is a feeling of belonging when the
recipient and giver meet.
In the West, people donate money and time to be with the underprivileged. Those
who cannot offer material things give their time. We should also do this. We
don't have to emulate the West because our own Islamic ideology teaches us to be
kind and compassionate. Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that
"I and the provider of the orphan will be together." And what greater
prize is there for anyone of us than to be around our beloved prophet. All we
need for that is compassion, sincerity and a feeling of brotherhood and
understanding. And that will decide the quality of our life on earth and the
Let us pray for the true spirit of Eid and I wish Eid Mubarak to all.