EID EL-FITR

By - Naheem Adeniyi

Eid el-Fitr was celebrated
in Nigeria yesterday following the sighting of the moon of Shawwal and the
subsequent announcement by the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad, who is
also President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. Eid
el Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, means “festival
of breaking the fast” and is celebrated for three days. On the morning of the
first day of Shawwal, Muslims gather for prayers. 



The second meritorious
aspect of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is that it has
been chosen by Allah Almighty for the celebration of Eid el-Fitr, one of the
only two annual festivals recognized by the Shari’a. This joyous day is
intended by the Shari’a to serve as a sign of gratitude by Muslims on the
accomplishment of Ramadan and as an immediate reward by Allah for those who
spent the month of Ramadan in fasting and performing other forms of ritual
worship.



Eid el-Fitr is one of the
two most important Islamic celebrations and on Eid el-Fitr day people dress in
their finest clothes, adorn their homes with lights and decorations, give
treats to children and enjoy visits with friends and family. Beyond that
however, the main event is the religious service when one offers prayers and
listens to the inspirational address of the Imam on relevant matters concerning
the significance of the occasion. As the main purpose of fasting is to develop
righteousness and self-purification (Qur’an 2:186) the most attractive garment
one should be wearing is the one mentioned by God in the Holy Quran: The
raiment of righteousness - that is the best. (7:27). 



Eid-el-Fitr should remind
one of many lessons learned from fasting and which, during the holy month of
Ramadan, one should have endeavoured to keep in mind and to have practised. One
of them is the offering of one’s morning (Fajr) prayer before sunrise. After
completion of the holy month of fasting, Muslims are able to gauge their
improved spiritual condition as a result of one’s devotion, conduct, prayers
and divine favours received during that period. We should therefore reflect on
our condition of spiritual improvement and resolve not to lose what one has
gained but rather, not only to maintain it, but press forward to even higher
spiritual development through righteous conduct, prayers and seeking the Grace
of God. 



In the spirit of
Eid-el-Fitr, the cardinal message is that although Eid-el-Fitr signifies the
end of Ramadan, the doctrines of moderation, avoidance of excessive
consumption, piety, regular supplication to Allah and being a brother’s keeper
subsist always beyond the Ramadan. Amidst the day’s celebration therefore,
Muslims should spare a thought for the entire country and how to lift it from
its persistent underdevelopment. All Nigerians should be concerned that
although the country is well endowed in terms of natural and human resources,
many citizens are living below the poverty level in their own country.



Nigerians, especially
Muslims in positions of authority as leaders need to re-orient their character
and daily deeds to be in tune with God. It is a lesson of Ramadan and
Eid-el-Fitr that no one should be happy when he is surrounded by dozens and
hundreds of hungry and unhappy people. Thus Eid-el-Fitr should teach us that
the wealth bestowed on any person is for the purpose not of enjoying life to
the fullest but to raise several other persons from their state of hopelessness
and helplessness. 



Government officials
particularly Muslims should shun greed, corruption, nepotism and other maladies
that have been stunting the country’s growth. Such acts are starkly against the
grain of Islam, Ramadan or the Eid-el-Fitr which is an apt occasion to repent
and seek Allah’s forgiveness. Muslims should bear in mind that giving alms to
the needy at all times is a pillar of Islam enjoined by Allah. We wish all our
readers happy Sallah.

© 2017, Jama'atu Ta'awunil Muslimeen.
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