By Anver Kamal Siddiqui
June 25, 2017
Eid comes after 30 days of fasting during the month of Ramadan, a process of self-purification from pre- dawn to dusk which involves not eating food or drinking and regular prayers and control of one’s senses from any anger or abusive expression.
In my childhood, when I was in school, I dreaded the month of Ramzan. It seemed a difficult proposition to keep asking for breakfast and lunch, when every member of the household starved themselves during meal time. Often, I skipped fasting, and, under some pretext like school homework, examination studies or simply ‘I am not keeping well’, I contrived to eat. As I entered my teenage years, I really began to feel guilty as well as irreligious, not observing fast during this month.
Gradually, I began to learn the true value of fasting as opposed to observing it simply as a ritual. I came to know about the health benefits - not just physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual rewards. Actually it is said that Ramzan is charity for one’s body. It not only serves to cleanse the body of toxic elements but refurbishes the entire system by improving its functioning and making it stronger and immune. Thus, I realised that Eid Day is the culmination of 30 days of self-restraint as a reward for those who believe and remain steadfast.
Ramadan emphasises noble actions and deeds – not just remaining hungry. To be honest, fasting and Namaz (prayer) which is absolute submission to the Creator of all things existing, seen or unseen, are both morale boosters as well as physically gainful exercises coupled with spirituality.
Of course, the fast is broken by Iftari in the evenings and by enjoying delicious dates, fruits and Halim – a meat preparation from a variety of lentils garnished with coriander leaves and a dash of lemon. Eid is a time of rejoicing and sharing of goodwill and love with friends and relatives.
On Eid day, one gets up early in the morning and bathes, then wears new garments and heads straight for congregational prayers. One then returns home and enjoy a plateful of delicacies of vermicelli with milk and Firni. The affluent and the poor mingle embracing each other, wishing Eid Mubarak. It is a day when the true believer feels that blessings of his God have descended on earth.