Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Message of Eid al Fitr

Eid al Fitr is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramazan. Muslims start the day with an obligatory contribution called zakat al fitr in which prosperous families give away, for each member of the house, food items such as rice or wheat to the needy. This is followed by thanksgiving congregational prayers in mosques and open spaces. Although it is a time of rejoicing and festivity, the most positive act on this day would be to resolve to uphold the teachings of the Koran. Ramazan is hallowed as the revelation of the divine Book began during this month. Its recitation throughout Ramazan in late-night prayers is a reminder to follow it.

The two most important mandates of the Koran that the Prophet wanted Muslims to honour, especially during Ramazan, are social conscience and peace. The importance he gave to the idea of fellow-feeling is beautifully captured in a hadees. It states that even for a man who was recognised as the most benevolent of his times, the Prophet’s acts of goodness (khairaat) in Ramazan reached the level of a “gusty wind” (reehil mursalat).

In emphasising peace, the Prophet warned his followers against indulging in violence or verbal abuse. A report in Sahih Bukhari quotes him as saying that whosoever does not give up evil speech and deeds, Allah is not in need of his abstinence from food and drink. Certain recent acts demonstrate the extent to which such teachings have been abandoned by some. An overwhelming majority of Muslims is peace-loving. It falls upon this moderate generality to renew its pledge to spread that peaceful message.

A. Faizur Rahman

(Courtesy: The Hindu dated 6th July 2016)

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