Word For Peace
Let us also be empathetic of those in need, misery and distress in this ravaging pandemic of Covid-19 by extending our helping hand!
Eid is an Arabic word meaning: something that returns every year, while Fitr means a form of charity from the rich to the poor. Obviously, the full name of this Islamic festival, Eid-ul-Fitr denotes that its prime concern is ‘charity for the poor’.
Thus, Eid-ul-Fitr is an occasion that comes every year to remind us of our humane duty towards the weaker sections of society. It returns every year to enliven the spirit of charity, alms giving, generosity and sharing with the poor and destitute ones. In fact, the sole purpose of this festival is helping the needy, feeding the poor and assisting the less fortunate ones, and not merely feasting on delicious foods and wearing fancy dresses.
In fact, many Muslims in India would shun wearing new clothes on Eid-ul-Fitr and save that money to help the poor, downtrodden and the needy. This year, they are going to observe, rather than celebrate Eid ul Fitr on Friday. On this occasion, we have to offer our respect and prayers to those who lost their lives and solidarity and compassion to those who lost their loved ones. Let us also be empathetic of those in need, misery and distress in this ravaging pandemic by extending our helping hand!
After days and nights of Ramadan are spent in complete devotion to God and sincere goodwill for other fellow human beings, Eid-ul-Fitr comes at the end of this month overflowing with joy, ecstasy and charity for the poor. This is precisely why Islam has enjoined upon Muslims on this day to distribute fitrah (a fixed amount of charity mandatory for every Muslim) to the poor. They are also exhorted to hold delicious feasts and invite friends and neighbours from all faith communities to their tables. Such noble acts on the Eid-ul-Fitr strengthen bonds of love, mutual harmony, human brotherhood, and social integrity among Muslims and other communities. Among the prime objectives of Eid-ul-Fitr is to spread the spirit of peace, delight, kindness, compassion, brotherhood and equality among all peoples, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Eid-ul-Fitr greatly marks the holy Prophet’s ambition of spreading social cohesiveness, cultural festivity and national unity and solidarity. According to a hadith tradition, when the Prophet Muhammad arrived at the city of Madinah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) strongly felt the need for a feast that could imbibe peace, unity, charity, brotherhood, equality and deep humane emotions. Having received divine inspiration, the holy Prophet (pbuh) announced: “Almighty Allah has granted two blessed Eids: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha …” (Abu Dawud)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) greatly stressed on universal brotherhood among all the members of human albeit with their cultural distinctions. Therefore, the Prophet pbuh, while emphasizing the value of universal brotherhood, used the Arabic word “Ummah”. It includes all religious communities, races, ethnic tribes and social ranks, each with their own cultural, national, linguistic or temperamental features. The Prophet (pbuh) exhorted his followers to behave towards all of them as brothers and treat them as they want themselves to be treated. He inculcated noble humane values through the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, with an aim to foster universal human brotherhood. Among those prophetic traditions (Sunnats) relating to the Eid-ul-Fitr are greeting people time and again, shaking hands and hugging when meeting or parting, visiting and comforting the sick, offering condolences to the bereaved, exchanging gifts with other members of the society, sharing happiness with all means possible. Such acts that strengthen fraternity, brotherhood and charity are greatly valued in Islam, and they are most importantly exhorted on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi