The miens of joy and fraternity during festivity [Archives:2007/1097/Community]

October 25 2007

For an educated person, it's not ambiguous that festivals are different in their targets and kinds from one country to another. Feasts can be classified as political, historical, social, aprioristic or religious, and as many know, the Islamic and Arab world just celebrated a great religious occasion – Eid Al-Fitr.

On the day of celebration, an exemplary family awakens early morning, its male members going to the mosque to perform the dawn prayer after taking a hot shower. They also are required to eat a few dates or something like that, symbolizing the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

From this moment, life begins to spread out into veins and the day's splendor commences its appearance in the atmosphere with the golden sunrise. The male family members then attend special congregational prayers – held only on this occasion – in mosques, large open areas, stadiums or arenas. Women sometimes get to pray in those mosques with a second floor especially for them.

The prayer generally is short and followed by a sermon. After completing the prayer, images of fraternity and overwhelming joy attract one's attention as congregants embrace each other in a spirit of sympathy, tolerance, peace, purity and love, congratulating one another with a flow of joyous words. Afterward, social solidarity and merriment commonly are observed in visits to the homes of relatives, neighbors and friends to exchange congratulations.

In fact, Eid Al-Fitr is a time to make peace with all bodies standing in front of you and a manifestation of cheer, splendid happiness and pleasure wherein people come together with their souls and goals.

Eid is the melodious chant sung by many poets, as it's a day bestowed for childlike innocence. With merriment on their faces, children reflect upon adults because children are the flowers of life that splash their essence onto a certain space of existence.

Indeed, the festival day has a distinct flavor from the rest of the year because it's a day uniting souls and spirits. Throughout history, we find that feasts have existed since the creation of humankind, as down the ages, humans have celebrated with special occasions.

For instance, ancient Egyptians celebrated the festival day in order to come together to express their pleasure and delight after completing their work. The Qur'an speaks of this when Moses came to Pharaoh to confront him about the pretext of believing in God but supporting that with supernatural miracles:

[Pharaoh] said, “Have you come to us to drive us out of our land with your magic, O, Moses? Then we will surely bring with you magic like it, so make between us and you an appointment, which we will not fail to keep and neither will you, in a place assigned.” [Moses] said, “Your appointment is on the day of festival when people assemble at mid-morning.” (Taha 20: 57-59)

Thus, feasts in the ancient ages were either for relieving one's feelings after a long period of hard work and fatigue or for reminding people via an actual incident that sometimes related to their living, such as specifying a certain day for harvest, etc. It can be said that in ancient nations, feasts were times of amusement and diversion.

On this excellent occasion, I'd like to address those fathers who give their children absolute freedom to play wherever and whatever they wish, particularly the crackle of fireworks. Don't you see that it's perilous for children to do this? I'm afraid that the inundating happiness of this day will turn into lasting gloominess.

Also noticeable are some people lamenting and moaning about something lost that has been covered with the dust of time or something out of hand, as if these people couldn't find any other day to think about or lament their problems except this beautiful day.

Actually, regret and sadness on the day of eid will never be the remedy for tragedies. Rejecting delight, extinguishing every beaming cheek and submitting to gloom and grief have nothing to do with solving even a simple problem. Such things spoil the cheerful spirit of eid through lamentation and sadness over trifles.

Let us rejoice together at festivity! Let hearts be reconciled and souls be loyal toward one another. Let us happily and peacefully play and leave worry aside.

Let us renew the treaty of fraternity and unity. Let us dream of a promising future for our homeland. Let us live a life full of optimism, happiness and animation.

In fact, eid is a radiation dispelling the dark that engulfs souls and the despair that confines hearts; however, the joy of festivity isn't sensed by those whose hearts are malevolent, whose consciences are deceitful or whose souls are overwhelmed with greed. Last but not least, please, dear reader, don't raise the white banner of sorrow, but always smile because it is eid. Happy New Year!