By Hajra Saeed

Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated today across the country like every year, though this time it was even more eagerly awaited because Ramazan started in the hottest month of the year i.e. July accompanied with excessive load shedding making it quite difficult for people.

However Eid is not just a symbol which marks the end of the Holy month of Ramazan, it’s not about spending a lot of money on personal items and gifts; it’s not just about festivity, food & drink, and enjoying with family and friends.

It is something much more meaningful. And unless and until we understand that meaning alongside fulfilling certain moral and social obligations, we cannot actually celebrate this occasion in its true spirit.

To be reminded of the significance of Ramazan in our lives and how it attributes to that of Eid, I would like to quote from one of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Eid messages, in which he said “The month of Ramazan is the month of fasting, prayer and communion with God…It teaches you a lesson that you should be prepared for privation and undergo a hard trial in performance of duty…It enables you to feel that you are not a slave of food or appetite, but you should be its master…Nor can its social values be underrated. Islam lays great emphasis on the social side of things. Every day the rich and the poor, the great and the small, living in a locality are brought together five times a day in the mosque in terms of perfect equality of mankind and thereby the foundation of a healthy social relationship is laid and established through prayer…Then at the end of Ramazan comes the new moon, the crescent, as a signal for a mass gathering on the Eid day, again in perfect equality of brotherhood, which affects the entire Muslim world.”

Yet when one observed the everyday happenings it was clear that we did not enrich ourselves spiritually from the opportunities Ramazan brings to us. That the social relationship is rather weak and nothing much was done to strengthen it. Furthermore the condition of our present day society is quite deplorable due to the widespread poverty, which is a result of our own incompetence.

Whereas this was the month that could have motivated us to initiate a call of action, and what action is that? It is the duty of promoting equality and brotherhood, as well as creating peace and harmony in the community. This is the best way to revive the ‘Islamic spirit’ within us and the best way of bringing about a ‘social regeneration’ is through ‘charity’.

But charity does not begin and end by just giving ‘Zakat’; it is something far more than that. Any good that we do which benefits someone in some way is considered charity. We are to give out of what Allah has blessed us with, and so it is our responsibility to look after relatives, friends, neighbors and even those who are unknown to us but are not as fortunate as ourselves.

These people cannot ask themselves, so we have to be sensitive and compassionate towards their needs. It is stated in (57:18) “Verily, those who give Sadqaat (acts of charity and zakat), men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit) and theirs shall be an honorable good reward (i.e. Paradise)” While (2:215) states: They ask you (O Muhammad (SAW) what they should spend.

Say: “Whatever you spend of good must be for your parents and kindred, orphans and Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well”

Therefore if such efforts are started during the blessed month, due to which the members of the society can enjoy a collective sense of well-being to a certain extent, then Eid would be a very happy and momentous event, as people would rejoice at mass level. Only then can the real purpose of Eid be achieved. Therefore do not be indifferent to all those around you. Become the living expression of Allah’s benevolence, by dedicating a portion of your Eid to become a comfort to those who are sad, to feed and clothe little orphans, to spend time with the sick; young or old or just to simply walk up to and thank any person who is sacrificing his Eid to provide us some service. So there are countless things to do; and each one could bring a great change.