Eid-ul-Fitr marks one of the most celebratory occasions on the Islamic Calendar. This joyous festival is not linked to any historical incident nor is it celebrated out of worldly gains. Eid ul-Fitr is a purely spiritual festivity, commemorating the end of the month of Ramadan- the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims across the globe. It is a day to be grateful to Allah (SWT) for having given us the strength, determination, and patience to have gotten through the blessed month of Ramadan.
It is a day of joy and happiness for Muslims, who come together in brotherhood and celebrate their moral victory of having successfully completed a holy task assigned to them by Almighty Allah (SWT). It is also a day of forgiveness, of giving and sharing, of mutual respect, unity, and love.
However, these feelings of happiness are often accompanied by bittersweet sentiment. Feelings of nostalgia creep in as it dawns on the believer that he has now been deprived of the serenity, spiritual blessings and rewards that come with Ramadan and the act of fasting itself.
Eid ul-Fitr serves as a blessing for the ummah in many ways.
1. It serves as another occasion to be grateful to Allah (SWT) for all that He has given us and all that He has blessed us with. It encourages us to remember Allah (SWT) and His kindness and mercy upon us.
2. It allows Muslims to introspect and reflect on their inner character as Ramadan serves as a reality check for each individual, bringing out the best and the worst in them. Hence, Eid ul-Fitr helps unravel their sense of self and what their strengths and weaknesses are, which can then be worked upon during the rest of the year. Self-awareness is the first step in making an intrinsic change towards the better.
3. It enjoins individuals to give portions of their wealth to charity and help those in need. Having experienced what the poor and needy go through during the act of fasting in Ramadan, it instills a sense of greater empathy and community-consciousness in Muslims and encourages them to help those who are not as fortunate as themselves. Moreover, Muslims are required to give packets of food items etc to the servants and needy people living under their roof or otherwise.
These lessons and reminders are not restricted to be practiced on just this one day but, in fact, Allah (SWT) enjoins us to internalize these acts and practice them every single day.
The beautiful religion of Islam focuses on unraveling the highest characteristics in man and enjoins all humans to continuously strive towards improving themselves and become better versions of themselves. Moreover, it shuns worldly attachments and superficiality which degrades man to the lowest levels of his nafs.
Muslims across the globe come together on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and stand together, shoulder to shoulder, say their prayers in congregation, adorning their best outfits, with the sole purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT). It is a marvelous display of Muslim brotherhood and unity- setting it apart from all the religions of the world.
We should take this as a constant reminder for us to practice the deeds most loved by our Lord and work towards bettering society and helping humanity at large. The habits that we build during Ramadan should not cease upon its completion, but instead, they should become permanent habits practiced in our daily lives; Eid-ul-Fitr reminds us of that fact every year and it is our duty to direct our efforts towards building a society based on mutual- respect, love and brotherhood.