In Arabic, ‘Eid’ means joy and ‘Waid’ means curse. Allah’s mercy is turned into a curse by disregarding the blessings or by abusing the blessings. Eid is a blessing of Allah. Every nation has Eid or festival. Allah has given Muslims two Eids (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha).

It may seem to many that this is a festival like the festivals of other nations, but the reality is that Islamic Eid is unique in all respects from the festivals of other nations. It is different in form, significance, method of celebration and in all aspects. 

If Islamic Eid is considered as an annual festival and fictional activities are associated with Eid like other nations, then Eid will undoubtedly turn into ‘Waid’ (curse). There are many things in our society that turn Eid into a ‘waid’ (curse). For example

1. The significance of Eid-ul-Fitr is to be thankful to Allah for gaining the month like Ramadan and the tawfiq of worship like fasting. But in our ‘Muslim society’ there are many people who have no importance of fasting or prayer, but they are the foremost in the ‘procession’ of Eid. If on the day of Eid they realize themselves and give up sins, repent and return to the rules of Shariah, then it is very good. But their habit is that they do not give any importance to Islamic beliefs and obligatory acts of Ibadah. They only want to show them as Muslims on a few days by completing some formalities. And their relationship with Islam is limited to formalities. Needless to say, this mentality is very sad. This is a very wrong interpretation of Islam. There is no doubt that this kind of mentality accelerates the curse of Allah. 

2. Those who do not feel any hesitation in destroying the dignity and sanctity of Ramadan are seen present at the Eidgah. During the month of Ramadan, there is no control over cinema halls, nor any control over porno sites and entertainment pages of newspapers. Nor is there any restriction on eating and drinking publicly, not nationally, not socially. Nor do those people feel ashamed that in this month the great devils are imprisoned, at least in this month we make their subordinates refrain from sinful activities.

The thing to worry about is that these people are present at the Eidgah. If attending the Eidgah (Eid open space) is for repentance, for attaining the blessings of Eid, then it is very good, but it does not seem so outwardly; Rather, it seems that the purpose is to complete only a formality. Needless to say, this mentality is also a cause of curse and a means of converting Eid into ‘Waid’.

3. Eid is one of the important symbols (shiar) of Islam. The days of Eid are very blessed. The context of ‘Shiar’ in Islam is very delicate and sensitive. It is horrible to destroy the dignity of special blessed times. With a little thought, we realize that the special programs that are being taken in cinemas and on various TV channels centered on Eid, is a public and open disrespect to these Islamic symbols. Aren’t all those who participate in the management and propaganda of these issues in any way and those who celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr by observing these obscene scenes involved in the disrespect of this ‘Shiare-e-Islam’? Think about it, did it not convert Eid into Waid?

4. Another issue of disrespect to this important symbol of Islam is seen among women. In the cities and villages, women go out unveiled on Eid days. They walk around the streets showing their beauty. From this house to that house, from this place to that place…

Even if you have to be unveiled, you should be restrained, at least on the days of Eid. You should not oppress yourself so much that you started disrespecting the Islamic symbols! This Eid is not given to us by western civilization, it is given by Islam. Therefore, it is the duty of Muslims to celebrate it according to the rules of Islam. Could it be Muslim’s work to associate Western fashion, Western nudity and obscenity with it?

5. Another practice of making Eid a ‘waid’ has nowadays spread like an epidemic and has become an integral part of society. Since it is assumed that the Islamic Eid is merely a festival, it is seen that people are immersed in the extravagant arrangement of decorations for the celebration. The last ten days of Ramadan is wasted in this work. Markets and shopping malls are very crowded day and night during this time. Women are seen more than men, and most are unveiled. The funny thing is that the most pioneers in this shopping are the people who do not have the thoughts of fasting and Tarabi, nor the feeling of maintaining the dignity of Ramadan. In fact, they do not have the right to be present at the Eidgah, but they are the most busy with Eid shopping. In the hadith, it has been said about Qurbani Eid: “Whoever does not intend to offer Qurbani should not come to the Eidgah.” So how do those who abandon the obligatory provisions like fasting have the right to appear at the Eidgah? 

Some people fast but in the last ten days of of Ramadan they leave Tarabi and get stuck in the cycle of Eid shopping. We should not forget that our duty is fasting during the day in Ramadan and Tarabi and Tahajjud during the night. Tarabi is Sunnat Muakkada. To be deprived of this means to be deprived of hearing the Qur’an from the mouth of Hafez. What a loss this is!

Then when women are sitting in the markets unabashedly unveiled, what is the problem if the men are determined to avoid walking in the market for protecting their faith and keep their eyes safe from sins? 

There are some people who observe Taraweeh along with with fast and finish Qur’an in Taraweeh, but they finish it in fifteen or twenty days and in the last ten days they only recite Surah Taraweeh, with the congregation or alone. In most cases, the purpose of finishing Qur’an earlier is to facilitate going around in last ten days. But the virtues of the last ten days are the most in the whole of Ramadan. That is why it has been ordered to do Itikaf and seek Laylat al-Qadr in these days. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Salafee Saleheen worked much harder in prayer, recitation and other acts of worship in the last days than in the first twenty days of Ramadan. That is why it is necessary to keep ourselves very busy at the nights of the last ten days. These blessed nights should not be wasted on marketing.

*By Mawlana Muhammad Abdul Malek 

* Mawlana Muhammad Abdul Malek  is a famous Islamic scholar in Bangladesh. The article was translated by: Enam Hasan Junaid