The word “celebration” always seems to accompany the word “Eid”. Dictionaries may have their own definitions of the term “celebration” but in fact it happens to be one of those terms that take their meaning from a given situation.
Most of the channels claiming to be “Muslim” or those broadcasting from “Islamic” countries have distorted the very concept of celebrating Eid. Call it what you like but it is far from an Eid celebration; a fancy dress show where the most expensive clothes wins one some kind of prize; an eating competition where one has to prove how much they can take in and at what speed; a party where everyone seems to be a victim of a rock-and-roll-fever; a shopping frenzy where the price of gifts determine your social class. The tragedy is that even shows done in the name of Islamic teachings have evolved into some kind of a drama where actors appear in costumes of “religious scholars”.
Advertisement campaigns are designed around the Eid season where the target audience can be anyone but the social class; the class that can’t afford the showcased items in commercial adverts or make bookings in the restaurants boasting their banqueting halls and the majestic feasts they can offer. The one day where one could remember the less-privileged gets shrouded in a show of pomp and wealth available to only those who have surplus money and time to throw away.
These so called “Islamic” channels and “Muslim scholars” never seem to remind their viewers of the simplicity with which the Holy Prophetsa – upon whom the commandment of celebrating Eid was revealed – celebrated this day. Why? Only because that doesn’t suit the commercial agendas of these channels. After all, who would want to lose their bread and butter?
Of what has come down to us through the traditions in Ahadith, we know that the person who was the cause of the creation of the Universe, dedicated this day to prayers and to making others happy. He would be seen happy and this alone was enough to make others delighted. The simple gifts of food items that he would send to a deserving person or family would be taken by the family as a joy of a lifetime. The society that our beloved Master, Hazrat Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, lived in was one where life was all about eating, drinking and being merry. So it does not mean that the Holy Prophetsa was not aware of the means of rejoicing, adopted by the materialistic society. He knew it well; well enough to tell his followers to abstain from all that.
How fortunate are we that we believed in the Promised Messiahas whose sole mission was to call the people of the latter days to live the lives of those that belonged to the early Islam. Only this could fulfil the prophecy in the Quranic verse of Wa Akharina Minhum Lamma Yalhaqu Behim (And from among others who have not yet joined them). This in essence was a call to live a life of humility where being “happy” meant “seeing others happy”. Isn’t this the true purpose of Eid?
Then how fortunate are we to have a living example in the form of Khilafat from where we know what is an acceptable act in a given situation and what is not.
The way Hazrat Khalifatul Masih dresses for Eid is not different from his usual attire that we see during Friday Sermons; neat, clean, prestigious and simple. Huzooraa leads all five prayers in congregation in the Mosque – like any other day – on the Eid day also. Huzooraa ensures that every possible effort is made to make the less-privileged happy and content on this special day. He reminds us in his sermon every year to abstain from indulging in anything vain and making every effort to be happy through the happiness of those around us.
So let’s endeavour to follow the instructions of these pious persons and the model they set for us through their practice. May Allah enable us to do so. Amin.