`Eid Al-Fitr: A Day of Joy and Thanksgiving
`Eid Al-Fitr is the day of thanksgiving and joy. It marks the end of the month of fasting, and it is when we feel happy and give thanks to Allah that He enabled us to obey His commands. We all fasted during the month of Ramadan, and by the end of the month, we realize that Allah’s commands are good for us; they aim at our well-being.
Allah does not want to put any burden on us; He gave us the rules of fasting for our own benefit. Fasting has many benefits for individuals and for communities. It has spiritual, moral, and physical benefits.
`Eid Al-Fitr has a deep significance. Its spirit is marked by distinguished values and virtues:
- Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude to Allah
- Experiencing joy and rejoice
- Receiving the great reward of obeying Allah
- Maintaining ties of kinship
- Taking care of the poor and the needy
Thanksgiving and Expressing Gratitude
`Eid Al-Fitr is a day that marks the successful completion of the sacred month of Ramadan. It is a festival that signifies the completion of an act of duty and devotion. It teaches us that real happiness results from performing one’s duty and making sacrifices for a noble objective.
We should thank Almighty Allah, for He guided us to fasting in Ramadan, to doing good deeds, and to reciting the Qur’an. We should thank Him, for He is the One Who gave us the money we paid for zakat al-fitr and other charities. Allah says in the Qur’an,
“And (He desires) that you should complete the prescribed period and that you should glorify Allah for having guided you and that you may give thanks.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
Joy and Rejoice
`Eid is our joy; it is our feast. The month of Ramadan is a test from Almighty Allah. At the end of the month, we experience a great sense of achievement and closeness to Allah. It is the joy of spiritual fulfillment.
The day of `Eid Al-Fitr is time for celebration. On that day, we should not indulge in insulting or abusing others, as this may detract from the achievements of the month of Ramadan. `Eid Al-Fitr is a day of decent happiness and joy.
Almighty Allah says,
“Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy — therein let them rejoice. It is better than what they hoard.” (Yunus 10:58)
Abu Hurairah reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Those who fast will have two times at which they will feel happy: When they break their fast, they feel happy for breaking the fast, and when they meet their Lord, they will be happy because of their fast.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
However, in celebrating `Eid Al-Fitr, we should enjoy our time by sticking to what is permissible and avoiding what is unlawful.
The Day of `Eid Al-Fitr is a blessed day for those who have observed their duty toward Allah during their fast in Ramadan. In heavens, `Eid Al-Fitr is called the day of reward.
It is reported in a Prophetic hadith that, on the day of `Eid Al-Fitr, the angels stand on both sides of the roads and proclaim,
“O believers, walk toward your Lord, Who is the Most Generous. He favors you with goodness and gives you great reward. He commanded you to pray during the night and fast during the day. Now that you have obeyed Him, come and receive your rewards.“(At-Tabarani)
As the believers finish the `Eid Prayer, the angels say,
“Allah has forgiven you. Return to your homes with the best of good and glad tidings. This is the day of reward. This day is called the day of reward in heaven as well.” (At-Tabarani)
Maintaining Ties of Kinship
`Eid Al-Fitr is a day when Muslims become more keen on visiting their relatives and friends. In the process, they exchange greetings and maintain ties of kinship. We should all visit our relatives or at least call them. Muslim brothers and sisters should greet one another by saying “Happy `Eid” or “May Allah accept your good deeds and ours.”
The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should maintain good relations with his or her kindred.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Taking Care of the Poor and the Needy
Although Almighty Allah commanded us to take care of the needy, the poor, and the orphans throughout the year, taking care of them during `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha is given greater emphasis. Allah and His Prophet instructed us to fulfill the needs of the poor and the needy in both `Eids, so that they would not be in need of begging.
This is the spirit of `Eid Al-Fitr, so let’s always keep this spirit among us. Let’s strengthen our bonds with our Creator and with one another. Let’s be more united and more and more committed to righteousness as individuals, families, and communities.
The Prophet is reported to have said, “The one who repents of his or her sins shall be equal to the one who did not sin.” So, seek Allah’s forgiveness and seek His favors and gifts.
Finally, here are some tips that can help us all keep the spirit of `Eid Al-Fitr:
- Before you finish your i`tikaf (spiritual retreat in the mosque), greet all your brothers and sisters, saying “Happy `Eid” or “May Allah accept your good deeds and ours.”
- Visit all your relatives and close friends, and call those who are living far away.
- Take care of your family and your kids, and let them feel the happiness of `Eid.
- Take part in `Eid celebrations to see your Muslim brothers and sisters.
- Make du`aa’ for your Muslim brothers and sisters everywhere.
- Try to celebrate the `Eid through permissible practices and keep away from unlawful ones.
May Allah accept our good deeds and grant us His forgiveness and mercy.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from onislam.net.
Dr. Wael Shihab holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and is the Head of the Shari`ah and Fatwa sections at the English website of Onislam.net. You may reach him at this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.