Fasting and the breaking of the fast both are different experiences in their own right. The reality of this life can be known through the experiences of fasting. Eating, drinking and certain other specific activities are prohibited during the fast for temporary period throughout the day. Similar prohibitions are imposed upon the true believer throughout his or her life. He or she has abstain from all that has been forbidden by God and live life as a fasting person. The very purpose of the life is the test of mankind. Fasting is a semblance of this test. This worldly life is only to do good deeds as enjoined by God, to follow the path He has shown and refrain from all that he has prohibited. For this conscientious life, the promise of God is boundless reward .Fasting thus gives an awareness of the patience and struggle of this life .
In contrast to fasting, Iftar (breaking the fast) presents a semblance of the Hereafter .In the same spirit ,the whole month of Ramadan resembles the conditioned life of this world .Likewise Eid-Ul-Fitr, the day of feasting ,also gives us a faint taste and semblance of the life Hereafter. The day of the festival brings an end to the prohibitions and restrictions placed during the period of fasting. Eid reminds us of the joys and pleasures of the Hereafter for a believer who has successfully passed this worldly test. A true believer, having undergone the period of fasting in a most sincere way, gets the feeling of the hereafter as soon as the month of Ramadan is finished and the celebrations for Eid are under way. He or she feels as if he or she is being entertained as guest by God himself:
Oh God as you have helped me carry out the injunctions
Of fasting and at the culmination of the month
Have bestowed on me the joy of Eid
Accept this life of mine as one
Spent in fasting and bestow on me the delight of paradise.
Write me down amongst the list of persons Who have been bestowed the life Of paradise by opening thy gates of mercy.
As fasting does not imply mere hunger and thirst, the day of the festival does not imply mere feasting and celebration. It should rather strengthen in us the right perspective of the ephemeral nature of this worldly life and the imminent delights of the life hereafter that are sure to follow. This should be truly manifested in the thankfulness we present to the Creator by offering prayers and also by giving more in charity to needy. As the period of fasting was spent in self preparation and spiritual development, the day of Eid should inculcate in the believer a new spirit and sense of zeal and determination towards the journey to the life hereafter.
The message of Eid fosters the rekindling of our faith and the opening of new vistas and an entirely fresh and innovative approach to the struggles of life which would culminate by the grace of God with the rewards of everlasting paradise.
—The author, a Microbiologist from Nadihal, Bandipora, can be reached at: [email protected]