Eid brings Mus­lims to­gether

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

WHEREAS prayer is es­sen­tially a pri­vate act of wor­ship, which has (or is sup­posed to have) an im­me­di­ate ef­fect on the per­son who per­forms the prayer, it also pro­motes unity of the Ummah (fol­low­ers of Is­lam).

The cel­e­bra­tion of Eid-ul-Fitr, at the end of the Ra­madaan, in­spires the real feel­ing of be­ing part of the global Ummah. There is in ex­cess of 1.5 bil­lion Mus­lims on the planet, and on this day, what­ever our dif­fer­ences in lan­guage, cul­ture, cui­sine or the dis­tances that sep­a­rate us ge­o­graph­i­cally, we are one.

The term “car­ni­val” is de­rived from the Latin “Carne Vale” which means, lit­er­ally, “farewell to flesh”. Thus while a car­ni­val gives free rein to the re­straints that had in­hib­ited cer­tain con­duct for a pe­riod, Eid, in con­trast, mod­er­ately re-ad­mits those ac­tiv­i­ties that had been re­stricted dur­ing Ra­madaan, which would have been a pe­riod of pu­rifi­ca­tion (of the body and soul) and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion (of con­duct where one is con­trolled by the more base and pri­mor­dial senses).

Eid is set apart by the don­ning of new gar­ments, the com­mu­nal Eid prayer and the hos­pi­tal­ity that is gen­er­ously shared among fam­ily and friends.

This stark con­trast be­tween fast­ing and feast­ing re­vi­talises our lives in a way that can­not be ex­pe­ri­enced in cul­tures where fast­ing has lost its full mean­ing and true ben­e­fits. The bal­ance be­tween these two poles (fast­ing and feast­ing) demon­strates that Is­lam is a way of life that strives for that path of me­di­a­tion, that in­tan­gi­ble har­mony one strives for in life and the equi­lib­rium that is the hall­mark of an en­light­ened and egal­i­tar­ian.

On Eid, one is re­minded of the true code of con­duct of Is­lam. Petty dif­fer­ences are put aside, and there is har­mony, warmth and broth­er­li­ness be­tween Mus­lims.

This is a mi­cro­cosm of the har­mony of cre­ation, and our Cre­ator’s Mercy and Love, with­out deny­ing the ma­te­rial world, but ac­knowl­edg­ing in­stead that there is an Eter­nal Light which il­lu­mi­nates this world and the Hereafter.

At the pin­na­cle of cre­ation stands an en­light­ened hu­man be­ing, in har­mony, peace and love with his fel­low cre­ation, eman­ci­pated from self­love, ar­ro­gance, ma­te­ri­al­ism, van­ity, ego and greed.

This en­light­en­ment arises by his grate­ful ac­cep­tance that it is the Mas­ter of the Day of Judg­ment who con­trols all of our af­fairs, our health, our lives.

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