Who will win the prize this year? Which one among us has obeyed the Lord Almighty and has been able to adapt to taste the sweetness of fasting, perform Tarawih, recite the Qur’an, remember Allah, supplicate, perform Tahajjud, give charity and zakah, and all other acts of worship?
The market is over! Some have won and some have lost. Ramadan, the honorable host, has left us after bearing the trust to the Lord Almighty. It has witnessed the acts of worship and obedience we performed throughout the thirty days.
Here is the day of the prize, the blessed Eid Al-Fitr, when joy prevails all over the houses of Muslims, when all Muslims, young and old, rejoice. The Eid is, in fact, the minor joy that the believers feel as they break their fast; whereas their major joy is when Allah rewards them for their fast in the Hereafter. Thus, the Takbir “Allahu Akbar” with which we start the `Eid day is a way of thanking Allah for the favor of guidance and belief that He has granted us.
Don’t Be Prodigal
The days of Eid are days of joy, maintaining the ties of kinship, visiting others, and reviving friendly relations with relatives and neighbors. On those days, Muslims can eat, drink, enjoy themselves through permissible means that do not take them away from remembering Allah Almighty. Moreover, spending generously on one’s children in Eid is an act of the sunnah. However, spending in Eid should be moderate without prodigality or stinginess, for both behaviors are abominable in the sight of Allah. He Almighty says [and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals] (Al-Araf 7:31) and [And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded] (Al-Israa’ 17:29).
However, many people are unaware of this meaning, for once Eid comes, they hurry to eat and drink excessively, prepare sweets, play much, and stay up at night. Some even exceed this and eat or drink prohibited foods or drinks. All these acts definitely do not please Allah and are very far from the wisdom of Eid.
Allah Almighty has ordained Eids after the performance of obligatory acts of worship as occasions for the Muslims’ recreation and for the rejoicing of family, relatives, and neighbors. Eids are also ordained for the Muslims to comprehend the sublime values and meanings of Islam, which strikes a balance between the needs of the soul and the needs of the body, and between the soul and matter. Islam never neglects the human nature, its basic needs, and its innate desires, which always incline toward recreation, amusement, and trying to forget pains.
In this way, `Eids represent chances for permissible recreation, which Allah has made lawful, without prodigality or stinginess, for the Muslims to refresh themselves and be ready to do their work in the best way.
On Eid, the real meanings of mercy and solidarity between the rich and the poor become apparent. Those who are granted abundant provision from Allah give from this bounty to their needy Muslim brothers and sisters whether directly, indirectly, or through donations, gifts, and charity fairs. In this way, the poor do not feel the bitterness of poverty during Eid, nor do they envy those whom Allah has granted abundant wealth because they have given them from it and have not been stingy.
Family and `Eid
Eid is a good chance to teach children the meanings of mercy, goodness, visiting people for the sake of Allah, maintaining the ties of kinship, loving people, working together in goodness, and giving to the poor and the needy. It is also a great chance to implant the love for Allah and His Messenger in the hearts of our children and teach them the guidance of Islam, which all lead to goodness. Therefore, parents should explain to their children the wisdom of making Eid immediately after performing the obligatory fasting, in a simplified way, so that children may feel Allah’s favor on them. Otherwise Eids would pass by without leaving any good effect on their souls. In fact, these Eids are like gifts that Allah Almighty gives to the people who have completed their fast and all their other acts of worship in the best manner.
We Will Never Forget You!
However, the joy of `Eid will never be complete until the Muslim nation is gathered and united, the banner of Islam is raised in all its areas, and the pains and griefs befalling us day and night come to an end.
Eid evokes in the soul several feelings that appear to be joy and delight but, in fact, these feelings conceal deep grief. In what condition will our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world experience Eid this year? Do widows, bereaved mothers, and hungry children rejoice in `Eid as we do?
Hearts are full of grief for the condition of our Muslim nation. Some may think that reminders of such matters are misplaced here where we talk about `Eid and its joy, but we should not forget or pretend to forget our brothers and sisters who live in extreme distress and hardship in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Afghanistan. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that mutual love, affection, and fellow-feeling make Muslims like one body; when any organ of it aches, the whole body aches and suffers sleeplessness and fever.
Whoever is not interested in the affairs of Muslims is considered to not be of them. How could we live in tranquility or feel pure pleasure while we see our nation in such distressful conditions? How could we forget the pictures of our frightened and hungry children in Iraq ? How could we overlook the pictures of the widows who are suffering the severest levels of humiliation under the ‘white collar’ occupation? It is impossible to rejoice in `Eid and pretend not to see wounded Palestine and its martyrs who die at every moment while none of the Arabs or Muslims take any action. How can we ignore our brothers and sisters in Kashmir against whom the Hindu commit hideous crimes? What do we know about our Muslim brothers and sisters in Chechnya, Myanmar (Burma), and in other areas where Muslim minorities are suffering from persecution and genocide while no one feels their sufferings or takes any action?
We should share the pains of our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world and invoke Allah to grant them victory over their enemies. Our joy will never be complete unless all Muslims all over the world also feel such joy. We further will never find the real happiness of Eid unless every Muslim heart on earth is happy. Real happiness will be realized only when Islam and Muslims regain their glory and honor. Only then will every one of us will find the real taste of the Eid greeting, “May Allah accept our and your good deeds.” Only then will this felicitation reach all Muslims on earth while they are enjoying victory, dignity, and superiority.