By Rachid Acim
By Rachid Acim
Beni Mellal – During the blessed month of Holy Ramadan, Muslims, throughout the globe, have fasted. They have controlled their thirst, hunger and other body instincts for the sake of Ramadan. They have revived Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Destiny, prayed day and night, asked for Allah’s forgiveness and pardon. They have abstained from all misdeeds, and they sought God’s proximity in all forms of worship.
The biggest reward has come
As soon as the new crescent appears, the Muslims officially break the fasting. They commemorate the feast of Eid Al Fitr. This is a good occasion for all Muslims to rejoice, laugh and completely forget about their past conflicts.
Also, this feast is an opportunity to thank the Almighty for all the bounties He has kindly offered them. Neither hatred nor enmity is present on this day. Old friends t show up suddenly and exchange e-mails and short messages of love and care for each other. Children wear new clothes and keep handsome the whole day.
Some TV programs stop for awhile, allowing the Arabo-Andalusian music to be broadcast cheering up the souls in this celebratory atmosphere. Some other channels broadcast “Eid chants” led by children. The purpose remains the same: to implant joy and happiness into people’s hearts wherever they are.
Prior to the day of Eid Al-Fitr, we see women immersed in preparing sweets, cookies and pastries. Others rush to purchase that from nearby bakeries and patisseries.
But what makes this feast so special for us? Why do we need thousand days like the Fast-breaking feast?
Indeed, the feast of Eid Al Fitr, first of all, fortifies one’s faith in God. It begins with the Eid Prayer. All Muslims, in the very morning, feel obliged to intend the local mosques (also some big squares reserved for praying) to perform the congregational prayers of Eid Al Fitr. This consists of a religious sermon and two prayers beset with God’s praise and glorifications: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), repeated several times to invoke the divine.
Second, if there is something fantastic about Eid Al Fitr, it is that it solidifies inter-family-relationships. In the afternoon, Muslims scatter to visit their relatives, and look after them, while setting aside any other family problems they might have.
The orphans and the have-nots are to be seriously remembered on this day. Not all children have parents and not all children have new clothes to wear. It will be awesome and terrific to paint a beautiful smile on the faces of these children, provide them with new clothes, money and other valued gifts.
Probably this is why it has been recommended that Muslims give special charitable contributions, Zakat al-Fitr, to the poor on Eid Al-Fitr. The poor people are in dire need of those contributions. If ever we manage to do so, then we will not only fulfill one religious duty, but take part in sustaining development in our country.
We should not only give these handouts in Eid El Fitr, but turn this into a habit all year long. Imagine, what would be the reaction of the poor? They would be all happy, grateful and jubilant. They would not be miserable or distressed. Then, we would see less beggars filling the streets and thieves in buses looking for other victims. In short, by that moment, we would have not only combated poverty, but contributed immensely to human social solidarity.
Rich families, therefore, should invite the poor ones, sit and gather together around the same table, share festive meals, delectable cuisine and exchange a variety of succulent foods with them.
Certainly, a very lovely and friendly atmosphere shall pervade by the end. The rich people will be thrilled and overjoyed, and the poor people will be contented and highly delighted. The society will never witness any crime and we shall prosper in all vital sectors of life.
The feast of Eid Al-Fitr is not about showing off in front of one’s neighbors and cronies. It is not about arrogance and selfishness. These defects are supposed to vanish after Ramadan; hence, paving the ground for positive traits such as empathy, altruism and love to take the lead.
Eating and dressing are not the ultimate goal of Eid Al-Fitr. These are just means towards an end: to taste genuine happiness after a long month of forbearance, piety and fasting.
So, while every person you are more likely to encounter in your neighborhood or in the public street will welcome you with a cheerful face, smiling out of joy, happy that s/he has met you, the poor people can both thank and gratify you for a noble gesture you did for their benefit and say heartily: “Happy Eid!”