Eid Ul Fitr marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and gives Muslims a day to celebrate a great achievement, which they make in the form of winning the pleasure of their Lord and Creator, Almighty God, by fasting and carrying out other acts of virtue during Ramadan.
One of the greatest blessings of Ramadan is that believers, by suffering hunger are filled with the spirit of sympathy towards the less fortunate sections of society.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon Him) showed His personal example in this regard and we read about Him that His generosity and acts of charity, though already of high class, knew no bounds during Ramadan.
A perfect example
If fellow feeling is the lesson learnt during Ramadan then how can Eid Al Fitr be truly celebrated without showing it practically?
Yet, in this regard, we find our Holy Master, our beloved Prophet at the forefront to show extreme compassion to the less fortunate ones.
On one occasion, making his way to the grounds for the Eid Prayers, he saw an orphan boy in tatters, with eyes full of tears, as he did not have anyone to feed and clothe him even on that day of festivity.
The Holy Prophet kissed the boy like a kind father and took him home to arrange for his food, bath and new garments so that he may partake in the celebration and not feel deprived any more.
The holy founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, whose purpose of establishing a Jama’at under the divine instruction was to revive Islam in its pristine purity.
He also drew the attention of his followers to show extreme love for the under-privileged as part of their religious obligations.
“My condition is that if someone is in pain and his cry reaches me, even if I am in Prayer, I feel like breaking my Prayer so that I may help him. I should show compassion to him to be the best of my capacity. This is against good morals that one should not assist his brother in distress or hardship,” he said.
By Allah’s grace, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’ats all over the world observe fast during Ramadan and celebrate Eid in the true spirit of fellow feeling as taught by the Holy Prophet of Islam.
To display such a spirit, Ahmadi Muslims around the world offer gifts to the poor, orphans and prisoners as a part of Eid celebrations.
They would also visit hospitals and old homes on the Eid day.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at New Zealand, through its charity wing, has contributed towards many humanitarian crisis in recent times including the Christchurch Earthquake Fund and the Pike River Mine Disaster Fund.
Aiding the poor
The Holy Month of Ramadan this year saw our members ‘feed-the poor-day activity,’ which will be repeated before Eid, accounting for at least 100 families to get a food parcel each containing dry food items to suffice an average size family for a week.
The Jama’at also hosts formal lunch twice every year in honour of all new refugees at the New Zealand Refugee Centre, Mangere, as part of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha celebrations.
The spirit, which highlights the Eid celebrations of Ahmadi Muslims, is well portrayed in the following message of their fourth spiritual head, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, of blessed memory.
“You will have a genuine Eid for yourselves only when you help the poor to celebrate their Eid. You should share their problems. You should visit their homes and see their circumstances first-hand. It is possible that on seeing their poverty-ridden lifestyle, your eyes would shed some tears out of mercy. These tears may become instrumental in putting your life irreversibly on the right course. It is likely that you were unaware as to what poverty really is. When you come to realise what it is, it may initiate a revolutionary transformation within you.’
Shafiq Ur Rehman is the Maulana at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at based in Auckland.