Eid-ul-Fitr may be a Muslim festival, but like other communities, Muslims too live in a society, in a neighbourhood. Therefore, automatically, Eid becomes a social festival. On this day, Muslims meet with their religious brothers, friends and neighbours of other denominations, and colleagues at work or in business.

Eid-ul-Fitr, being celebrated today, concludes the ritual fasting period of Ramzan, one of the five pillars of Islam. Besides bringing us closer to God, Ramzan inculcates the feeling of modesty, love, and compassion.

Eid symbolises a new basis for human unity as well. The occasion of this festival provides, above all, a valuable opportunity to extend the hand of friendship to people from other communities and remove misunderstandings often prevalent in society.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Therefore, Muslims should come out of their seclusion and forge friendships so that this misunderstanding, which often stems from a narrow perception, is effectively brought to an end.

Although there are several special times in the Islamic calendar, there are only two religious festivals — Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha.After a month of rigorous Ramzan training, Eid-ul-Fitr is a day of celebration that brings happiness and love among friends, family, and neighbours.

There is no prescribed ritual for Eid-ul-Fitr, except the offering of two units of namaz in a congregation. All followers gather in this congregational prayer to promote harmony and brotherhood.

Prophet Muhammad has observed that Eid-ul-Fitr is a day of divine reward for fasting during Ramzan. Thus, the day of Eid becomes a day of joy when Muslims thank God for His blessings.

According to Islam, our life is divided into pre and post-death periods. One who follows divine commandments in the pre-death period will be rewarded in the post-death period. Just before Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day all through the month of Ramzan. This is because fasting symbolises life in the present world, whereas Eid-ul-Fitr denotes the reward that will be given by God in the world Hereafter, in return for our good deeds.

Eid-ul-Fitr is observed with the spirit of thanksgiving all over the Muslim world by offering prayers to God and rejoicing in the accomplishment of an act of submission to the Almighty. In addition, Muslims pay obeisance to the Divine in congregation — displaying the real spirit of equality and fraternity through prayers and feasts.

Real happiness lies in sharing the bounties that God has given us with others. Therefore, one of the main reasons for celebrating Eid is to spread joy among all. By sharing happiness, we can make this world a better place. This will foster a feeling of brotherhood and promote love for all, irrespective of caste or creed.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who left his physical body on April 21, 2021, four years short of a century, was an Islamic spiritual scholar, who had adopted peace as the mission of his life. Author of more than 200 books, and known for his Gandhian views, he considered non-violence as the only method to achieve success.

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