Celebrate with Sobriety and Proportion

Celebrate with Sobriety and Proportion

The blessed month of Ramadan is about to meld into the month of Shawwaal, on the first day of which Muslims across the world will celebrate Eid al Fitr. Eid will be celebrated with much merriment, gaiety and happiness across the Muslim world. Sumptuous lunches and meals will be prepared and served, the older folk will give Eidee to the younger ones, relatives and friends will visit each other and Eid prayers will be offered either in Eidgah’s or local mosques. All in all, the overall mood will be celebratory and defined by gaiety, in the nature of a rounded closing off and farewell of the holy and blessed month of Ramadan. We, Muslims, across the world, will have deserved and earned the gaiety and the festive mood. But, it is these very reasons that should make us pause and give a thought to the underprivileged, the needy and the poor. These are people who are caught and trapped in circumstances and conditions not of their making. It is various structures that make them vulnerable and underprivileged. And while the fight has to be against these structures of poverty and lack of privilege, but we, as individuals and perhaps even as society, can actually do our bit to make a small difference in the lives of the underprivileged and the needy. We can and must go beyond the mandatory zakat and sadqa and actually not merely and only think about the poor but also do something about them. It can all start at the mohalla (neighborhood) level wherein we can scout for the poor and give, in both kind and cash, to make their and their children’s Eid at par with that of the materially well off. We can also visit orphanages and either bring gifts for these hapless people (or even from another perspective, a special people) or invite them home for the Eid meals, make them feel part of our families more importantly emotionally and psychically. We must also spare a thought for the innumerable peoples across the world who are unable to spend their Eid with their families, who have lost their near and dear ones to conflict(s) that are raging across the Muslim world. Last but not the least, our Eid must be defined by sobriety and proportion where we must not indulge in extravagance and wherein we must pray for peace all over the world.