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Islam and Spiritualism ( 1 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Eid: A Day to Rejoice

By Sadia Dehlvi

Sep 01, 2011

Eid is a day to rejoice, particularly for those who have been able to fulfil Allah’s command to fast for an entire month. They feel spiritually uplifted as a result of being able to control their senses during the prescribed daylight hours of Ramzan. Fasting results in a heightened awareness of God, which is one of the rewards of patience. And patience is a state God constantly asks of us in the Quran.

Eid is a day of forgiveness, when we overlook differences and remember that one of Allah’s 99 names is Al Ghafur, a manifestation of His attribute as the Forgiver. Prophet Mohammad made it clear that God extends his mercy and forgiveness to those who forgive others. Union with family, relatives, community and friends is not just about sharing food, but spending quality time and strengthening relationships.

Pious Muslims spend chaand raat (the night preceding Id) praying because the Prophet said that this night contained the blessings of the entire month. Before attending congregational prayers, it is necessary for the fortunate ones to pay Zakat ul fitr, a specified amount of money, to the poor. This is a gift for the poor so that they can participate in Id festivities, bridging barriers between the rich and the poor.

Id congregational prayers are unique; there is no Azaan. On the way to Id prayers, Muslims recite Allah ho Akbar, Allah ho Akbar, Allah ho Akbar, La illaha ill lal lah, Allah ho Akbar, wa lilahill hamd (God is great God is great, there is no God but God, God is great and all praise be to God).

There are a number of extra takbeer, recitations of “Allah ho Akbar”, that are recited during the Id prayers made up of two raka’s (cycles), requiring a set of prostrations. A khutbah (religious sermon) and duah (supplications) follow the prayer, after which devotees greet one another. Listening to the sermon is compulsory, where the Imam reminds people of their responsibilities to God and fellow human beings. These traditions remind us that even though the sacred month is over, our relationship with Allah remains for ever. The idea is to resolve to continue the prayers, meditations, charities and other pious deeds throughout the year. Id mubarak.

Sadia Dehlvi is a Delhi-based writer and author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam

Source: The Asian Age, New Delhi