EID UL FITR an occasion of caring, sharing, joy and thanks giving



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By Dr M. Haris Z Deen


On Friday 15th of this month Muslims all over the world will be celebrating the culmination of one month of fasting from dawn to dusk during the lunar month of Ramadhan. Eid means a celebration and event of festivity and Eid al Fitr is the celebration of breaking the fast at the end of the month of Ramadhan.


Ibn Hajar writes in Fath Al-Bari, "It is related that the Prophet said that day: ‘Let the People of other religions know that our religion is spacious [and has room for relaxation] and I have been sent with an easy and straightforward religion."’
Regarding Eid al Fitr, the Messenger of God (on whom be peace) is reported to have said, "when the month of Ramadhan is over, and the night of Eid al Fitr has arrived, that night is called the "Night of Prize". Then, in the early morning of Eid al Fitr, Allah Ta’ala will send His angels forth to visit all the towns and cities on the earth below. Once they have made their descent, they will position themselves at the entrances to all streets and alleys. There in a voice that is audible to every being created by Allah Ta’ala, apart from the jinn and humans, they will issue a proclamation saying, "O Community of Muhammad, come forth into the presence of a Noble and Generous Lord, who will grant your gifts in abundance and forgive your terrible sin".
Then when the believers have emerged and presented themselves at their place of prayer, Allah Ta’ala will say to His angels, "O My angels, what is the recompense of the hired labourer, once he has done his job?" The angels will reply, "Our Lord and our Master, You will pay him his wages in full!" So Allah Ta’ala will say, "I now call upon you to bear witness, O My angels, that I have conferred My acceptance and My forgiveness as the reward for their fasting and night vigil during the month of Ramadhan." Allah Ta’ala will then say, "O My servants put your requests to Me now, for this I swear by My Might and My Majesty, you will not ask Me this day, in this gathering of yours for anything connected with your life hereafter, without My granting it to you; nor for anything connected with your life in this lower world, without My attending to your need. By My Might and My Majesty, I will not put you to shame, nor will I expose you to disgrace amongst those who are faithfully committed to observing the laws (of Shariah). Now you may depart, knowing that you have been forgiven. You have won My approval, and I am well pleased with you."" [Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq, Vol. 3]


ZAKAATHUL FITR


The most important obligation for every Muslim before celebrating and enjoying the festivities is the obligation upon every bread winner in a family to pay Zakaathul Fitr commonly termed Fitrana. This is approximately equal to 2 kilograms of the staple food of the country or the equivalent in money to those in need. People who do not have over 2 kg. of the country’s staple food are exempted from this obligation but are eligible to receive the Fitrana. This obligation must be fulfilled by the breadwinner in each family on behalf of every member to whom he is responsible and it is required to be paid also on behalf of unborn children where the breadwinner’s wife is expecting additions to the family. This has to be done on or before the morning of Eid al Fitr prior to Eid salah to enable those in need to celebrate the completion of the auspicious month along with joining in the festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr.


CARE AND KINDNESS


It was Eid day, the day of celebration and a day of rejoicing. There was an air of festivity in the streets of Madinah. All the people, both young and old were dressed in their best clothes, especially for this special day of Eid.


As it was time for early morning Eid prayers everyone made their way to an open piece of land on the outskirts of the city. The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, arrived and led the prayers. After they had finished they all greeted each other and everyone was walking back home. The children running and playing in excitement, smiling and laughing, without a care in the world.


As the Prophet walked back home, he suddenly became aware of a little boy (Zuhair Bin Saghir) sitting by himself on the side of the path. The little boy was crying and looked very sad. The Prophet of love and mercy bent down and patted him on the shoulders and asked 'why are you crying?' 'Please leave me alone' sobbed the little boy. The boy didn't even see who was talking to him, such was his overwhelming sadness.


The loving Prophet ran his fingers through the boy's hair and very gently and kindly asked him again why he was crying. This time the boy said, 'My father was martyred fighting, and now my mother has married again and my stepfather does not want me to live at home any more. Today is Eid and everyone is happy. All the children have new clothes and nice things to eat, but I don't have any clothes except what I am wearing


All the children have new clothes and nice things to eat, but I don't have any clothes except what I am wearing. I have no food and I don't even have a place to live.'
The Prophet said to him, 'I know how you feel, I lost both my mother and father when I was a little boy.' The boy was surprised to hear that it was an orphan who was comforting him, and when he looked up to his great surprise it was the Prophet Muhammad, the most beloved person in the whole world - and he immediately jumped up to his feet out of love and respect.


The Prophet said to him 'If I were to become your new father and Ayesha you new mother, and Fatima your new sister, would that make you feel better?' 'Oh yes, that would be the best thing in the world!' The boy started smiling. The Prophet took him home and gave him new clothes and good food on this beautiful day of Eid. The boy indeed had a wonderful Eid that day.


Later on Zuhair Bin Saghir, who was a companion of Prophet said, "I was hungry and thirsty. Messenger of God fed me. I was an orphan, but now, Prophet Muhammad is my father and Hazrat Aisha is my mother. I am no longer an orphan."


Someone asked the Prophet Muhammad, what actions are most excellent? He replied, To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Jibaly writes: "The major part of the celebration is not eating or drinking – rather, it is a prayer that brings Muslims together to remember Allah’s bounties and celebrate His glory and greatness. The Eids and their celebration in Islam carry a distinctive meaning and spirit. They are completely different from the celebrations in other nations and cultures. For other nations, a holiday is a chance to immerse in worldly pleasures, or to involve oneself in prohibited acts to the utmost.
Not so for Muslims! For Muslims, the Eid is an occasion to increase in good deeds. Each Eid marks the conclusion of an important worship, and the determination to continue in obedience and submission to Allah. In moments of extreme pleasure or sadness, a Muslim never forgets his Lord’s greatness, might, glory, and watchfulness. A Muslim’s actions are always controlled by this continued remembrance and awareness.
There are several instances where the Prophet permitted Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, to indulge in suitable recreation on Eid.
Ayesha said: "The Messenger of Allah, entered the house and I had two girls who were singing about the battle of Bu’ath [a 120-year battle between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj that ended with the advent of Islam]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) lay down on the bed and turned his face to the other direction.
Abu Bakr entered and spoke harshly to me, ‘Musical instruments of the Satan in the presence of the Messenger of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, turned his face to him and said: ‘Leave them.’ When Abu Bakr became inattentive I signaled to the girls to leave. It was the day of Eid and the Africans were performing with their shields and spears. Either I asked him or the Prophet asked if I would like to watch them [I don’t recall now]. I replied in the affirmative. At this the Prophet made me stand behind him and my cheek was against his. He was saying: ‘Carry on, O tribe of Arfidah,’ until I tired. The Prophet asked: ‘Is that enough for you?’ I replied: "Yes," so he said: ‘Leave [then].’"


In the time of Prophet Muhammad women and children would participate in the ‘Eid prayer. Allah's Messenger would pay special attention to children, greeting them, stroking their heads, joking with them and giving them presents.


Prophet Muhammad, who always spent time with his friends, would visit their houses at the ‘Eid, accepting their hospitality. He would also receive guests, feeding and entertaining them. Prophet Muhammad did not approve of bad feelings among Muslims and said "It is not permissible for a Muslim to be angry with another Muslim for more than three days" (Bukhari, Adab, 57; Muslim, Birr, 23-25). Allah's Messenger put great importance on visiting the ill; he stated that this was a duty for Muslims. In addition, Prophet Muhammad wanted Muslims to visit graves, praying for the deceased and think about death. In the era of Prophet Muhammad, people congratulated one another on the holiday. It is reported that the first Muslims congratulated one another on the ‘Eid with the prayer, "May Allah accept this from us and from you" (Bukhari, II/2-12); this was most likely inspired by Prophet Muhammad saying "Allah, accept this from Muhammad, from Muhammad's family and from Muhammad's community!" (Muslim, "Adahi", 19).


May Allah grant that we become increasingly more mindful of the gifts and blessings of Allah, we become more grateful and also to offer our compassion and mercy to those near us through acts of charity, goodness and love. Eid Mubarak to all my readers.


Email: deenmohamed835@gmail.com


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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