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Friday, November 12, 2004

The true spirit of Eid


Recently a Muslim sister was asked by her non-Muslim colleagues : "Is it true that Muslims have to be near water on your holy day, that's why you all go to Zoo Lake?".

Every Muslim loves the day of Eid. It is a day of happiness and joy. Whether it is the atmosphere of the Eidgaah, the Eid treats and delicacies, the family coming together or the beautiful clothes - Eid means something special to young and old. For one moment let us stop and ponder what is the true meaning of Eid from an Islamic point of view.

1. Sadaqatul Fitr

Muslims are commanded to spend on the less fortunate prior to the Eid Salaah as a token of gratitude to Allah for all that He provides. Sadaqatul Fitr is a special gift to the poor allowing them to enjoy Eid as well. It seeks to build a community by breaking the barriers between rich and poor.

2. Eid Salaah

Allah has prescribed a special prayer on the day of Eid which is characterized by a number of unique features. There is no Azaan and Iqaamah. There are a number of extra takbeers which are recited. A khutbah follows the Salaah.

This uniqueness serves to remind Muslims that Eid is a unique day. The fact that the day begins with a prayer teaches the Muslims an important lesson :

Even the days of celebration in Islam are linked to worship.

Unlike other nations and people Islam does not celebrate with music, dancing, liquor and entertainment. The spirit of Islamic celebration is filled with love, serenity and spirituality.

Eid Salaah is a reminder to Muslims that although the compulsory fasting has ended but the relationship with Allah can never end. This is a link and bond which must be inseparable.

3. Laylatul Jaaizah

The righteous Muslim stands in prayer on the night preceding the day of Eid in emulation of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam who used to stay awake the entire night. On this night Allah bestows his rewards on those who spent the month of Ramadhaan abiding to Islamic teachings.

A hadith states : One who stands in worship in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting reward his heart will not die when other hearts will die (Ibn Majah).

Even though Eid is a day of joy a true Muslim will be sad at the thought of the departure of a beloved guest whose arrival was anticipated for eleven months.

4. A few thoughts on the Day of Eid

When you and your children wear new clothes and shoes on Eid morning, think of the thousands of Muslim children who are wearing filthy and torn rags.

When you are enjoying the tasty treats and delicacies of Eid, spare a thought for the millions of Muslims who will have bread crumbs.

While you are free and happy with your children and family, spare a thought for the thousands of Muslims languishing under unspeakable conditions in prisons or battlefronts all over the world.

Spare a few quiet moments on this Eid Day to make Dua for our innocent brothers and sisters who are being tortured all over the world for no crime other than the fact that they are bearers of the kalimah Laa Ilaaha illallaah Muhammadur Rasoolullah.

When we have such important thoughts and duas to make can we really justify going to places like the Zoo Lake and the Waterfront on Eid. Besides the un-Islamic dressing, fashion parading, intermingling of the sexes, music and pride which comes with this there is a serious misrepresentation of the auspicious day of Eid to the non-Muslims. May Allah grant us the ability of using the day profitably.

5. Sunnats of Eid

Make this a checklist for Eid Morning

Awake very early in the morning
Use a miswaak
Have a bath
Dress in one's best available clothes ensuring that it conforms with Shariah
Use itr
Eat a sweet dish (preferably dates before the Eid Salaah)
Go early to the Eid Salaah
Discharge Sadaqatul Fitr before going to the Eid Salaah
Offer the Eid Salaah at the Eidgaah / Musallah
To return from the Eid Salaah taking a route that is different from the one that was taken when going.
To go to the Eid Salaah on foot. However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Eid Musallah is a distance away.
To recite the takbeer in a low voise while proceeding for the Eid prayer :
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallahu Wallaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar Walilaahil Hamd

May Allah grant us all the true spirit of Eid. Aameen!

Make this article practical

1. Print and read on the Iftaar table on the last day of Ramadhaan

2. Hang the Sunnats of Eid on the fridge and use as a checklist


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