Eid al-Fitr: A Time for Gratitude and Generosity

During Eid al-Fitr, Muslim families and friends get together to celebrate. The day usually begins with the whole family enjoying a small breakfast. This is the first daytime meal they have after a month-long fasting. Muslims then gather outside or at a mosque to pray together and to listen to the Eid al-Fitr khutbah. There may then also be parades, processions, and other outdoor celebrations. They will then greet each other with “Taqabbala Allahulahu minna wa minkum”, which literally means May Allah accept (the fast and worships) from us, and from you.

Throughout  the day, Muslims rejoice by visiting friends and relatives, hosting food parties and sharing delicious desserts. Usually, children receive new clothes and shoes. Some families also give cash gifts to their elders and relatives.

The celebratory mood, however,may often be accompanied by bittersweet sentiments. Negative feelings of nostalgia may creep in and mar the serenity, spiritual blessings and rewards that come with Ramadan and the act of fasting itself. 

Be that as it may, the Eid al-Fitr serves as another occasion to be grateful to Allah for all that He has blessed us with. The day should encourage us to remember Allah and His kindness and mercy upon us.

Indeed, the holy Eid al-Fitr day allows Muslims to introspect and reflect upon their inner character. Ramadan serves as a character challenge for individuals as it brings out the best and the worst in them. They are brought to a reality check of  their sense of self , their strengths and weaknesses following which they may want subsequently to work upon improving what needs to be improved. The vital gift of Ramadan is self-awareness which is the first step in making an intrinsic change for the better.

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It must also be highlighted that Eid al-Fitr enjoins individuals to give portions of their wealth in charity and help those in need. After experiencing personally – by means of the act of fasting in Ramadan – what the poor and needy go through, Muslims are expected to have gained  a greater sense of empathy and community-consciousness, and be encouraged to help those who are not as fortunate as themselves, including those servants living under their roofs.

Eid al Fitr is a rejoiceful day for Muslims as it signifies the fruits of their labour and sacrifice that took place during the observance of Ramadan.  What is even more wonderful is the sense of community and unity that Eid brings forth.

Abdul Hakim Abd Jalil

Author Abdul Hakim Abd Jalil

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