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Eed Message for Non-Muslims


You may notice Muslims wearing variety of outfits, happily gathering at some big halls, hugging each other and sharing sweets with friends and neighbours. If you wonder what these people are up to, they are celebrating Eed-Fitr or festival of fast-breaking.

You may also wonder who was born on that day or what important event is being commemorated. Actually no prominent person or event is being celebrated. Rather it is a celebration of individual accomplishment. Islam is a goal oriented religion and wants people to celebrate achievements of objective, not personalities or events in the history of the community.

The most important objective Islam want Muslims to achieve is personal excellence – excellence in ethics, all dealings (including social and business), and overall personality. Prophet Muhammad said, “I have been sent to perfect the excellence in dealings and behaviour”.

That is also one of the most important objectives laid down for Muslims in the Qur-aan. Muslims are reminded every Friday a command from the Qur-aan:
Verily, Allaah commands:
‘Adl (Fairness, justice, balance);
Ihsaan (Excellence in worship, benevolence towards people, graciousness in dealings); and,
Giving to those close to you;
while He forbids:
Fahshaa (Lewdness, indecency, licentiousness, immorality);
Munkar (Activities and behaviour considered undesirable or unacceptable in the society); and,
Baghy (Transgressing limits, exploiting or violating others’ rights, abuse of authority or freedom).
He admonishes you so that you heed the advice.
The Qur-aan 16:90

This verse gives six dimensions in which excellence of personality is to be attained; or the six values that must govern a Muslim’s behaviour: Three guiding values and three avoiding values.

For one month of fasting, a Muslim practices to improve himself / herself in inculcating these qualities in his/her day to day behaviour.

One may wonder how abstinence from food, drinks and sex during the daylight hours help in attaining excellence.

The fast, in fact, is much more than a restriction on bodily appetites. The fast is intended to prevail over all senses of the fasting Muslims. It is to help them guard against seeing, hearing or even contemplating any undesirable activity. Behaviours and social vices that are normally undesirable and unlawful for a Muslim become even more offensive and sinful during fasting. Lying, jealousy, arguments, fighting, use of abusive language, harsh words, gossiping, vain talk are some of the things which observant Muslims always try to avoid. These kinds of undesirable behaviours are avoided extra-carefully when fasting during Ramadhaan. For example Prophet Muhammad said, “Anyone who does not abandon telling a lie or witnessing falsehood, God does not need his remaining hungry.”

Forgiveness, graciousness and generosity are the kind of qualities Islam strongly encourages in its followers at all times. They become even more important during fasting. Even in response to belligerence, a faster is supposed to respond simply by saying, “I am fasting”.

This wholesome concept of fasting is designed to train Muslims to practise restraint, to resist temptations, to control their emotions, to improve their behaviour, and to get rid of undesirable traits they may have acquired throughout the year.

Just imagine what a splendid society we would have if every human being learned to control his or her temptations, urges, desires and lusts. After all, aren't most crimes and social problems caused by people's lack of control over their behaviour?

Ramadhaan was also the month in which charity, an important theme in the Holy Qur’aan, is most strongly emphasized. Fasting is intended to remind Muslims of the importance of helping fellow human beings. The pangs of hunger during the day remind the fasters of the agony of the deprived and starving people of the world. Being charitable both financially and socially is a life long responsibility of a Muslim, but one which he or she must make one of the top priorities during this month.

The month of Ramadhaan, thus, provided a holistic and comprehensive training program for human personality to develop in the light of three guiding values and three avoiding values.

At the end of the fasting season, the achievement is celebrated. Naturally, true celebration is for those who really strived consciously to achieve the objective of personal excellence during Ramadhaan.

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