Eid is the day when Muslims thank Allah for giving them the will and endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment.
Eid Al Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event, nor is it a festival related in any way to worldly affairs.
Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when Muslims thank Allah for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment during the holy month of Ramadan.
In the Muslim world, this day brings happiness and rejoicing. The rejoicing is not, however, at the holy month of Ramadan coming to an end; it is the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task.
Muslims feel a sense of profound sorrow when the month of Ramadan comes to an end as they feel they are being deprived of the spiritual blessings associated with the month of fasting.
Religious observances of Eid Al Fitr are designed to offer thanks to Allah for helping us accomplish the aim of Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr can be interpreted as a three-fold blessing:
First it provides one more occasion for Muslims to thank God and remember His blessings.
Secondly, it affords an opportunity of spiritual stock-taking after the month of Ramadan. A Muslim can now ponder over the strength (or weakness) of his will power; he can see in the mirror of Ramadan what were the strong (or weak) points of his character, because under the stress of fasting, the hidden qualities (or evils) of human character come to surface in such a clear way which is, perhaps, not possible otherwise.
Thus a man gets a chance of self-diagnosis of the traits of his character, which probably no one else may ever detect.
Thirdly, it enjoins well-to-do persons to share a portion of what they have with their poor brethren – Zakat Al Fitr.
For many, Ramadan was not just an abstention from food and drink. Rather, it was an exercise in patience and discipline.
Eid is a celebration for those who fasted and obeyed God’s rules and teachings. It is for those who spent the holy month of Ramadan in complete devotion to Allah. Eid is a time when the entire Muslim community comes together to share in each other’s joy and blessings and also to lessen the burden of those who may be suffering.
Eid Al Fitr is an occasion, first for reflection and then for rejoicing. In the first place, gaiety and feasting within limits must follow, not precede, the thanks-giving prayers and distribution of obligatory dues (Zakat Al Fitr).
If this order of priority and this principle of proportion are observed in daily life, the spirit of saum will have been duly assimilated as a fortifying element of Taqwa – the highest attribute of a true believer.
It is this Taqwa – a persistent feeling of the fear of God and self righteousness – that enables man to conquer his lower nature and set before himself the noblest ideals of selflessness and the service of humanity.
In this sense, every Muslim must subject himself to honest soul searching on this day so as to determine whether the month-long observance of a divinely ordained test has really elevated him or her to a higher level of piety and virtuous action, not only in their own eyes but also in the eyes of others and whether it has equipped each one of them better in relation to their duties and obligations, spiritual and mundane.
Let us re-dedicate our life to the cause of humanity, which is the best way to demonstrate our love of God. Let us resolve that our energies, in the coming year will be directed towards strengthening a society based on mutual respect, brotherly love, and universal understanding.
Let us decide that, in the coming year, we will build a social order which would bring not only material benefits, but also spiritual satisfaction.
What the Muslim Ummah needs today is a true understanding of the spirit of Islam and that demands a going back to the holy Quran with all sincerity. Let us prove to be worthy of it to be able to share it with others. Let us harbour no doubt about the ultimate outcome. Let there be no fear in our mind of the material superiority of the forces of evil. Virtue and righteousness do not remain companionless for long.
As we gather today in large congregations all over the country, let us seek the blessings of Allah in all humility that in facing up to the present problems in the life of the Muslim nation, we do not falter.