A day of thanksgiving...
Thus, the sight of the first moon of Shawwal marks the end of fasting in Ramadan and the following morning dawns bright and warm, gesturing the festival of Eid.
Accepting the order of God, all Muslims are now at the peak of their celebration of Eid which really symbolises the day of thanksgiving to Allah for giving Muslims the strength and valour to carry out the spiritual and physical tests during the month of Ramadan.
Really speaking, the tests in Ramadan were like a rough sea. But, the Muslims could successfully swim in the rough seas of life due to the mercy of Allah. All their sense of organs like tongue, eyes, ears, hands, and feet observed fasting by accepting all sorts of prohibitions laid down in the Holy Quran.
On assessing and analysing different festivals, one could understand that the festival of Eid stands as an exceptional one due to its preservation of holiness throughout its period of celebration.
How can a Muslim who repeats the chants of Takbeer with true spirit violate the rules of God during and after the period of Eid celebration? It does not mean that Islam totally prohibits celebration. A religion of nature cannot ignore the celebration.
Being a modest religion, Islam allows its followers to celebrate the day of Eid in a reasonable manner. And as such, the children are allowed to sing songs with playing of drums.
In spite of the fact that Islam controls celebration, all Muslims especially boys and girls, feel happy in burning the midnight oil during the penultimate night of Eid and beautifying their hands and feet with henna. It is due to their spiritual approach that they derive pleasure out of burning the midnight oil.
However, Muslims regard Eid as a joyous occasion which makes them busy with certain compulsory activities such as distribution of Zakatal Fitr, participation in the congregational prayer of Eid and the sermon.
Distribution of Zakatal Fitr is incumbent upon every Muslim who possesses one Sa'a (nearly 2.5kg) of staple food which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for a period of one day and night.
The purpose of Zakatul Fitr is to purify one from any indecent act or speech that he committed during his fasting time and to help the poor.
Now coming to the Eid prayer, it is compulsory for all Muslims, irrespective of their sex and age, to join Eid congregational prayer followed by a sermon.
Even menstrual women were asked by the Prophet to attend the Eid sermon. But they should refrain from the prayer.
In addition to the above, every Muslim should have his bath and wear new dresses before they join the congregational prayer of Eid and sermon.
In short, the day of Eid comprises the remembrance of God which breeds peace and happiness in the minds of Muslims. These attributes are to be allowed to thrive on the real brotherhood, fellow feelings and solidarity of people.
We should also remember that the day of Eid is an occasion for all of us to take an oath to renew the life that we really portrayed during the month of Ramadan lest the road to achieve paradise will be diverged.
Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News
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