Eid-ul-Fitr is not all about dressing up in fine new clothes, eating delicious treats and pursuing carnal pleasures and delights.
In its outward celebration Eid-ul-Fitr is actually meant to symbolize:
- the acceptance of acts of worshipful obedience;
- the remission of sins and mistakes;
- the conversion of bad deeds into good deeds;
- the glad tidings of promotion to higher spiritual degrees
- and the conferring of robes of honor, gifts and gracious favors.
Eid should be celebrated, but together with celebrating it, Allah Ta’ala should also be remembered.
Whether there is happiness or sadness, He should never be forgotten; just as Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “The people who will be called towards Paradise first on the Day of Judgment are those who praised Allah Ta’ala during happiness and sadness.”
Let us look at the true essence and significance of Eid-ul-Fitr and the way in which those pious servants closest to Almighty Allah celebrated Eid.
Eid of our Pious Predecessors
If we study the lives of the Companions and our pious predecessors we will see that even though they used to worship extensively in the month of Ramadaan, they would still feel regret and sorrow on the day of Eid. They were constantly worried about the fact of whether or not they had fulfilled the rights of Ramadaan.
It is reported about Hazrat Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that on the day of Eid, he sat in a corner and cried so much that his blessed beard became soaked. When people asked the reason for this, he replied, “How can a person who does not know if his fasts have been accepted celebrate Eid?”
This is that same Hazrat Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala ‘Anh) about whom Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that his good deeds are equivalent to the number of stars in the sky, is crying upon reflecting as to whether his fasts have been accepted or not, whether he has obeyed the orders of Almighty Allah properly and if Allah Ta’ala is pleased with them.
Allahu Akbar Kabeera!
And yet sinners like us are absolutely carefree and cannot wait to engage ourselves into sin again!
It was on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr that a man once entered the presence of Hadrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and found him eating coarse brown bread.
“Today is the day of Eid, yet here you are, eating coarse brown bread!” the man exclaimed.
So Hadrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied to the visitor, saying, “Today is the day of Eid for someone whose fast has been accepted, whose effort has been deemed worthy, and whose sin has been forgiven. Today is Eid for us, and tomorrow is Eid for us. Every day in which we do not disobey Allah Ta’ala is an Eid for us.”
Commenting on this incident, Hazrat Shaykh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A.) says that it is therefore important for every intelligent person to stop focusing on the external aspect, and not to let it capture his attention. His perspective on the day of Eid should be from the standpoint of contemplation and reflection.
Let us, this year spend a different Eid than we have spent all our lives, and show some loyalty to our Rabb who gave us the blessing of Ramadan. Let us prove to Him that we worship not only the Rabb of Ramadan but the Rabb of all 12 months. And that we want to please Him outside of Ramadan as well!