BY V. M. KHALEELUR RAHMAN
Eid-ul-Fitr or Ramadan Eid is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving to God after successful completion of the month-long fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and on sighting the crescent moon of the 10th month called Shawwal. Ramadan is meant for fasting, worship and charity, and also for self-introspection for the purpose of purification of one's soul and body by giving up bad and attaining good things. The Holy Quran says, "Fasting is prescribed to you as it was to those before you so that you may learn self-restraint." Fasting brings people together and creates a sense of camaraderie among them. It inculcates in them righteous conduct, to be good people and brotherhood of man by eradicating evils such as anger, greed and malice.
Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) has said, "Do not belittle even the smallest act of kindness even if it is no more than meeting your neighbour with a smiling and cheerful face. We should not consider any charity small or not worth doing. Charity, big or small, should be given in a pleasant manner without hurting the feeling of its receivers and with the thought that we are only discharging a religious duty from the wealth God has given us." According to Islam even our day-to-day acts, like being kind to others at home and outside, are charity and it makes a big difference in our relations with them.
Once when Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) was on his way to Idgah for Id prayers, he saw a poor boy about five-years-old sitting on the pavement sadly. He went near him and asked, "Why are you alone here, my dear boy?" The boy started weeping and said, "I am an orphan with nobody to care for me." The Prophet could not bear the pathetic words of the poor boy and consoled him saying, "From now on you can look to me as your father and Ayesha as your mother," and returned home with him. When his wife Ayesha fed him and dressed him well for Id prayers the Prophet lifted him on his shoulders and said, "Ayesha, this is the happiest Id for me. I experience true happiness at the happiness of this little orphan boy." He was a great benefactor of humanity and his mission right from the beginning to end was to see that every individual maintained his self-respect free from any sort of slavery.