HAJRA SAEED - Eid-ul-Fitr, is one of the two major events in the Islamic calendar, celebrated by all the Muslims irrespective of their global location. It is a joyous occasion which comes after the blessed month of Ramazan. For every Muslim it is an additional treat at the end of fasting. I remember ever since I was a child, I have always associated the Eid with colours, aromas, happiness, festivity, gifts, traditional dishes and delicacies. For me, it has been a memorable occasion to be cherished with family and friends.

Today, the Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated with fervour in our country. At the very onset of Ramazan the preparations begin in full swing. One just has to step out of the house and visit the bazaar to be a witness of that. Everyone is running about in a frenzy to get their shopping done. It is the only topic of conversation at ifftaris. The stories of who bought what, from where and for how much is eagerly discussed. It is here that one begins to realise that a change has occurred in the past two three decades. On the surface everything appears to be the same, yet the simplicity, the importance of values and the spirit of sharing and caring has lessened to a considerable extent. The tastes of, a large segment of our society have become too extravagant. Thousands of rupees are being spent by families just on making clothes and buying matching accessories. It is all about brand names and designer labels. It is all about looking good and one feels as if some sort of competition is going on to see who can beat the other, in terms of outfits, jewellery, makeup etc. Materialism and commercialism has been woven into the very fibers of our culture.

It is one of the reason that the balance between the strata’s of the society has been disturbed, for these people are living in a world of their own, seemingly unaffected by the upheaval, uncertainty and suffering in our country at the moment and oblivious to those people who can’t even afford to buy new clothes, don’t have enough to eat, and in short would not be able to celebrate. Yet Eid is for everyone, isn’t it? Therefore everyone should be able to rejoice in someway or the other. Though it’s true that Allah tells us to spend on ourselves of what He blesses us with, but He also asks us to spend on others. Therefore, that is what we should do; spend less on ourselves and give to others, so they too can be part of this occasion which is their right.

Let us try and bring some happiness to those who are less fortunate than ourselves; let us be compassionate towards those who have lost their loved one’s and would be celebrating without them or simply not celebrating at all. They say, ‘charity begins at home,’ so start with your own home, those who work for you, like your cook, gardener, driver, guard, etc. Just imagine that if every household contributed even a little, what a difference it could make to the lives of so many people. Let us also appreciate the policemen, and the security and army personnel, who will be on duty even on Eid, away from their families, so that we may spend ours peacefully.

In one of the Eid ul Fitr messages, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah captured the true essence of Eid by saying “…You have gone through the regime and the discipline of Ramazan for one whole month; and now comes Eid-ul-Fitr which means recurring happiness. It is a day of happiness which follows the performance of duty in order to inculcate in you and show you that true happiness lies in the successful performance of duty.” 

Remember, that Eid is all about sharing and helping those in need! So come forward and make a ‘difference’ in the lives of those who have lost the hope of living. n

HAJRA SAEED