The month of fasting is over. Muslims across the globe are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr and so are we in Kashmir. The word Eid-ul-Fitr is comprised of two separate words: Eid and Fitr. The word Eid means something which returns over and over. Hence, Eid refers to the kind of happiness which comes again and again. This word is only used in one instance in the Holy Qur’an, in reference to the disciples of the Prophet Jesusas.
The word Fitr means to break or open the fast. Hence, Eid-ul-Fitr is the oft-returning festival of the breaking of the fast.
Eid is a festival which is celebrated by millions of Muslims around the world at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting is obligatory upon all healthy Muslims who are not travelling or subject to certain other conditions.
The first Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated by the Holy Prophet (PUBH) in the second year of Hijra (the migration from Makkah to Madinah). It was in this year that fasting during the month of Ramadan was divinely ordained to Muslims. Incidentally, the Battle of Badr was also fought during the month of Ramadan in that same year. It is mentioned in the books of Ahadith that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was still weak from the fatigue of the battle, and that he had to be supported on the shoulders of Hazrat Bilal (RA) whilst delivering the Sermon.
The people of Madinah used to gather and have celebrations and festivities for two days of the year. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) told them that Allah had in fact given them two even better days of festivals, i.e., Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowed and encouraged Eid-ul-Fitr to be a day of the remembrance of Allah Almighty, as well as a day of general happiness and festivities. Hazrat ‘A’ishah (RA) narrates that once on the day of Eid, the Holy Prophetsa came into the house and two girls were singing songs and playing a simple instrument. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) came and lay down on the bed and did not say anything. Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) then came into the house and became angry, and asked the girls to stop singing. The Holy Prophetsa stopped Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) and asked the girls to continue singing.
Eid by all means celebrations and remembrance of Almighty Allah and remembering those who cannot afford to be part of the celebrations owing to them being less fortunate of not having ample worldly material support.
However, Eid for all of us who have the capacity to spend and feed their families on this auspicious day need to be on the lookout for those who deserve our empathy and support.