The celebration of Eid ul-Fitr culminates a
month of fasting wherein the faithful have 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 the entire Muslim community comes together
to share in each others joy and blessings and also to lessen the burden of those
who may be suffering.
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 homes and shops illuminates our life. We use see this day and the
following days to spread happiness and social harmony by visiting our friends
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 warmth
As we buy gifts and clothes for our children,
let us earmark a special 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; war torn
areas of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Kashmir and Chechnya, the poor and downtrodden
areas of Africa, Asia and South America, and even in the forgotten ghettos
of Europe and North America who do not 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. To do this
would be an injustice to humanity. The Quran (5:8) tells us ...
Be just: that is next to piety.
Many of us donate money to charity and fulfill
our religious duty. However, if we actually meet the recipients of our charity
the perception of charity changes. There is a feeling of belonging when the
recipient and giver meet.
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 hereafter.
Adapted from Spirit of Eid Al-Fitr by Khaled