Thursday, August 8, 2013
Eid ul Fitr Celebration in Muslim Society
Eid Fitr is one of the two great Islamic festivals, the other being
Eid-ul-Azha. Its importance can be judged from the fact that
Almighty Allah Himself ordered the believers to celebrate it.
It is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan)
and has a special significance for the Muslim society.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) established the Islamic
egalitarian society, free of all kinds of exploitation and corruption,
and maintaining the sanctity of this society was made the obligation
of the believers in every age. For this purpose, the holy month of
fasting (Ramadan) was selected to help prepare believers for this
In this training, during the specific fasting periods believers are required
to refrain from enjoying such things, which are otherwise lawful for them.
The purpose of this exercise is mentioned in the following verse of
the Holy Quran:
"So that you may learn restraint."
(2:183 Surah Baqara, Holy Quran)
Believers happily obey these injunctions to please Almighty Allah.
Such an exercise has pleasant effects on the practical life of believers
and, in their practical life, helps them refrain from adopting corrupt ways.
Some jurists maintain that Itikaf (Etekaaf) during the last 10 days of
the month of Ramadan is also a part of this training. In this worship,
the believer confines himself in a mosque for the specified period of
The Islamic society, established in the light of the above teachings
was a symbol of the greatness of Almighty Allah on this earth.
Actually it was a gigantic achievement, which deserved all kinds of
rejoicing. That is why Almighty Allah Himself asked the believers to enjoy
In this respect the Holy Quran says: "Say in the grace of Allah and in
His mercy in that they should rejoice."
(Chapter Yunus, Verse 58)
The celebration of the festival of Eid Fitr is itself a model of an
egalitarian Islamic society, and Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) best
explained this model by his personal example. It is reported that he used
to wear a special dress to grace the occasion, but it was never a costly
one and was always within the reach of everybody. Once Umar brought
a costly dress for him requesting him to wear it on Eid days and other
ceremonial occasions. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) immediately
returned the dress observing that it did not behave a believer to wear
such a costly dress.
The result was that all the Companions dressed simply on this occasion
and consequently this simplicity became a symbol of the Islamic society.
Today, the provision of shelter, dress and food are enumerated as the
three basic human needs, and equality in meeting these needs results
in all egalitarian society. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) already
solved the issue of shelter once and for all. He himself lived in a
simple house and expected his Companions to follow him in this
Once when a wealthy Companion built a palatial building, Holy Prophet
Muhammad (S.A.W.) disliked it to such an extent that he socially
boycotted that Companion (Sunnan Abu Daud, vol.4, p. 487).
As a result of the Holy Prophet's stern attitude in this respect, none of
the Companions ever dared to have an edge over his fellow believers
in the matter of construction of buildings. Due to this policy, even
the poor in the society were able to have shelter for themselves.
By dressing simply on this happiest occasion of Eid Fitr, Holy Prophet
Muhammad (S.A.W.) solved the issue of the second basic need of
The third basic need of society is food. Today this need has attained
such an importance that it results in political change in many developing
countries. By taking various steps, Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
ensured that nobody was deprived of this basic need in the Islamic
society. But the situation on festivals is usually different. On this day,
everybody tries to enjoy special dishes, which normally the poor
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) held this point in view, and he made
such an efficient arrangement that not only was good food guaranteed
for all the poor of the society on that day, but also some of their other
needs were met.
He ordered the rich believers to pay a fixed amount of money to the
poor on that day or before that day. This is known as "Sadaqa-ul-Fitr
(Zakat-e-Fitr)", and its rate varies according to the price of grain.
A huge amount of money can be collected under this system which may
be sufficient to meet the needs of the poor on this day, and some of it
may be saved to meet their needs in other difficult times.
Nowadays in many localities, (Sadaqa-ul-Fitr) is adjusted against the
emoluments of the Imams of the local mosques, and the poor in the
Muslim society air deprived of a big chunk of money which may
practically convert the present-day Muslim society into an egalitarian
It may be mentioned here that the sacred festival of Eid Fitr has been
selected by Almighty Allah Himself to guide the believers to establish
an egalitarian Islamic society on the face of this earth.
The Holy Quran was revealed during the month of Ramadan about which
it was marked: "It (the Holy Quran) is better than that which they hoard."
(Chapter Yunus, Verse 58)
Hoarding symbolizes a non-egalitarian society, which encourages the
hoarding of essential articles. This is done to fleece the needy persons.
The Holy Quran was revealed to eliminate this evil in all its details, and
the month of Ramadan was selected for this purpose.
The successful completion of all the various steps for establishing such
an egalitarian society deserves rejoicing.
Nowadays the Muslims with great pomp and show celebrate Eid Fitr,
but unfortunately its real spirit is ignored. That is why the present-day
Muslim society age, instead of becoming an egalitarian one, has been
divided into haves and have-nots.
This state of affairs has not only robbed the majority of Muslims of their
peace of mind, but has also converted them into the weakest nation of
the world. Such a situation demands that steps be taken to celebrate
this occasion of Eid Fitr in the same sprit as during the life of Holy
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
In this way Muslims will be able to convert their present day society
into an Islamic egalitarian one. It will prove beneficial for humanity
as it proved so during the early periods of Islam.