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Eid 2016

Posted on : 19/10/2016No of views: 270

Eid 2016

By Naureen Choudhry

Every year, during a period of thirty days, Muslims around the world embark on a spiritual undertaking which revolves around one of the basic necessity for human beings to stay alive: food. Actually, it involves giving up of food.

To an untrained eye, perhaps it may look as surrender of food, but if probed a bit deeper, it involves abstention from “that which is otherwise permitted”.

This thirty day period is known as Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, anticipated by millions of Muslims who look forward to a period of intensive spiritual infusion and rejuvenation that keeps them going on their divine journey for the rest of the year.

During this time, Muslims do not only give up food and water, but make every effort to rid themselves of other bad habits they may have picked up over time, like smoking, unfavourable language, bad attitudes, addiction to techno gadgets, or any other activity that is wasteful and vile.

Thus, Ramadan becomes a time not only for physical, but for emotional and spiritual cleansing as well. It is a time when special focus is given to prayer, meditation, introspection and recitation of the Quran to cultivate closeness to God.

Ramadan also creates a special occasion for Muslims to engage with peoples of other faiths as well. When Muslims take the opportunity to invite their interfaith friends to share a meal and join in a dialogue to promote understanding, it nurtures tolerance and fosters brotherhood. A true spirit of compassion and cooperation has the opportunity to emerge and spread across the community.

At the end of the thirty day period, Muslims who have participated in this spiritual exercise are overjoyed when it is time to celebrate their hard work and efforts to strengthen their bond with their Creator.

Eid ul Fitr, or festival of breaking of the fast, is an extremely joyous event for Muslims when they once again gather together to express gratitude to God that He enabled them to undertake this feat and to thank God for the blessings they reaped during Ramadan.

On this day, Muslims also remember their less privileged brothers and sisters and show their compassion by offering assistance and contributions. It is also a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate what is good.

The tradition is to wear your best clothes, to cook special dishes, to visit and invite friends and family to each other’s homes, exchange gifts but most importantly to remember that the bond that was cultivated over the month of Ramadan is continued through the rest of the year.

 

 Naureen Choudhry with son Ebaad during Eid celebrations

 

Although Eid is a festive and a happy time to celebrate, for the past many years, it has become a time of deep reflection and profound prayer for world’s instable situation. The state of affairs for Muslims around the world has worsened due to the actions of extremist radicals who are spreading havoc in the Muslim and non-Muslim world. This year, many tragic incidents befell around the world which not only violate the sanctity of Ramadan but attack the core principles of Islam which are peace, love, compassion, mutual respect, justice, and above all, humanity.

In the words of Morgan Freeman, actor and activist, “There is no bad religion. There are only bad people”.

It is the earnest wish and hope of every Muslim to see a world where people of all religions, races, belief systems, cultures can live together in peace and harmony.


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