Another Joyful Eid Celebrated  SPIRIT OF EID AL-FITR [Archives:2001/51/Last Page]

December 17 2001

We are celebrating Eid Al-Fitr this week. This time culminates a month of fasting wherein the faithful spent their time praying and beseeching God forgiveness and mercy. For many, Ramadan was not just an abstention from food and drink. Rather, it was an exercise in patience and discipline.
Eid is the celebration for those who fasted and obeyed Gods rules and teachings. It is for those who spent the month of Ramadan in complete devotion to Allah. Eid is a time when all get together to celebrate. It is preceded by people shopping and looking around for gifts for their near and dear ones. It is a time when the bright lights from shops seem to beckon us to enter, look and purchase, and very rightly so.
Eid should be celebrated in a bright manner, we should see that this day and the following days are used to spread happiness by visiting our friends and relatives.
Gifts are exchanged during Eid by the young and old alike. We also visit the elderly and the sick. Eid is a time where all kinds or festivities prevail.
Many of us gormandize to make up for lost food during the month of Ramadan. However, with all the going around we some time forget our lesser privileged brethren. We forget that there are many out there who have nothing to celebrate. There are those among our brothers and sisters for whom Eid day is just another ordinary day. There are those who open their cupboards on Eid day and find them empty. There are those in hospitals who go through a bleak and lonely day with no one visiting them. Friendless and deprived of company, they have no one to offer solace or comfort to them. Let us, therefore, see our deprived brethren welcome the day of Eid with warmth and hope.
As we buy gifts and clothes for our children, let us set apart a small sum for those who cannot afford to buy them. Also we should instill in our children a sense of compassion so that when they buy something they will also think of their unfortunate brethren. Let us teach them the art of giving. We should let them know that there are millions of children in Africa, Asia, , Kosovo and elsewhere who dont have the basic necessities to make Eid a day different from any other.
We cannot insulate ourselves from the misery of others. We cannot shrug it off saying that it does not concern us. Many people tend to be inward looking. They may, at times, donate money to charity and feel rightly that they are doing their duty. However, the fact is that if one is seen with these people, the perception of charity changes. There is a feeling of belonging when the recipient and the giver meet.
In the west, people donate money and time to be with the under privileged. Those who cannot offer material things give their time. We should also do this. We dont have to emulate the west because our own Islamic ideology teaches us to be kind and compassionate. Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said: I and the provider of the orphan will be together.
And what grater reward is there for anyone of us than to be around our beloved Prophet? All we need for that is compassion, sincerity and a feeling of brotherhood and understanding. And that will decide the quality of our life on Earth and the Hereafter.
Let us pray for the true spirit of Eid and I wish you all Eid Mubarak.
By Ismail Al-Ghabiri