By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
Let us, on this Eid, spare a thought for those umpteen people who either lost their lives or were maimed in the brutal killings of the innocents recently in Decca, Istanbul, Orlando, Pathankot and Pampore in the holy and pious month of Ramzan.
Festivities though at a low ebb, should be there for the simple reason that let’s not allow the terrorists’ sinister designs to destabilize the humanity. Eid should be celebrated but not without a human touch for those who had suffered in the recent terrorist tragedy.
Being a Muslim, I competely fail to comprehend as to who these devils are who are who are striking multiple blows in the name of Islam. It is owing to these dastardly and depraved acts that Islam, a religion symbolizing submission, is today under scanner.
The day of Eid-ul-Fitr truly symbolizes piety, patience, fortitude and Godliness. Socially, Eid-ul-Fitr reminds us of the noble human feeling to share the festivities with the poor, the underprivileged, the downtrodden, orphans, neglected and the cast off besides embracing people from all walks of life.
So let’s all get together and at least pray if not help the families of the affected ones. Muslims need to clearly denounce those misguided people who, in the name of Islam, call for the death of innocent people. Quran says, “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” (Chapter: 2, Verse: 256)
The Quran says whoever kills an innocent person, it is as though he has killed all mankind. These clear warnings should be forcefully brought home to every Muslim at a time when killings and terrorism against innocent men, women and children in the name of religion are growing.
Nowhere in the Quran, it is mentioned that the innocents be butchered, nevertheless, the Book implores that the needy, the indigent, the handicapped, the orphans and the hapless ones be helped.
It has never said that one who is not a follower of Islam be not helped or sympathized for the simple reason as Allah is not only the God of Muslims alone but He is “Rehmatullil Aalameen”, meaning that He is the God of all people irrespective of their faith, caste, colour or creed.
This day of happiness is also a day of introspection for Muslims who should spare at least some time to see if their actions and character can be assessed favourably in the light of Islamic teachings as to whether they have contributed to the well-being of their fellow beings, non-Muslim brethren and the nation above all. May this message reaches all those who are indulging in killing innocents in the name of religion.
Eid is also a time to realize the urgency of fraternal bonding and the concept of interfaith harmony that demand meeting of hearts and minds to weld the Ummah as a cohesive and pious force on the track of peace and tranquility.
Muslims must see to it that on Eid, though a day of happiness, there is no squandering of wealth and care is taken that the downtrodden too are taken care of. Gratitude and service to humanity are the fundamental values that Islam inculcates in every person. That is why service to humanity is the grain of a Muslim.
The Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated, in brief, to express gratitude to God and the nation for enabling the faithful to observe fasts for a month in the manner of a “refresher course” punctuated with strict self-discipline and the night tarawih prayers.
Eid truly means not to celebrate merely for one’s self but sharing the joys as the following incident from the life of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) illustrates in the Hadith Ibn-e-Ma’aja. On the day of Eid in the streets of Madina, Prophet Mohammed saw a small child weeping and his eyes welled up with tears. On being enquired, the child replied that he was an orphan and had no money, friends or relatives to celebrate Eid.
The Prophet brought him home and asked his wife Ayesha to bathe the child such that he becomes neat and tidy and be clothed in the manner best possible. The Prophet said, “Child, from this day onwards, Mohammed is your father, Ayesha is your mother, Fatima is your sister and Hasnain your brother.”
The child became so ecstatic that the very next moment, he ran in the streets of Madina singing, “Is there any child whose father is like Mohammed or mother like Ayesh? Is there any child whose sister is like Fatima and brother like Hasnain?
Merely celebrating Eid unmindful of what’s happening in the neighbour’s house as to whether he is happy or not, is not the true spirit of Eid. It was a principal with Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) that first of all he used to make sure whether all the needy, widows and the backward were able to share the joys of Eid. The Prophet (pbuh) even had a great reverence for the women. Earlier the women used to attend the Eid congregation to whom the prophet used to speak in a Khutba (address) after the prayer. Now the women don’t go for prayers. Hazrat Mohammed’s (pbuh) regard for women is depicted in the incident when some girls who were singing songs on the day of Eid, were scolded by Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique and the Prophet (pbuh) believed that Islam is a natural religion which never curtails pertinent human desires. He even helped the widows and their children in making them share Eid joys.
Eid is also a time to realize the urgency of fraternal bonding and the concept of interfaith harmony that demand meeting of hearts and minds to weld the Ummah as a cohesive and pious force on the track of peace and tranquility. In the present context, when Muslims are being widely portrayed as terrorists owing to the zealots, the need to highlight Islam’s stress on universal brotherhood binding mankind together into one entity and its image as the promoter of peace and harmony demand exemplary behaviour by its followers is of paramount importance.
*Commentator on social and religious matters, grandnephew of Maulana Azad