Every year after the Ramadhan fast, Muslims all over the world are joyous because of the Eid celebrations, popularly known in our part of the world as Sala. Muslims gather in different centers, dressed in their best clothes, and obviously in a very happy mood. People greet each other with warm hugs and with the joyous greetings, Eid Mubarak (Arabic) or Barkade Salah (Hausa), meaning, have a blessed Eid. Like most celebrations, families cook their favourite dishes to serve during Eid, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ghana is not left out, members engage in communal eating, as a way of deepening the bonds of brotherhood that exist among Muslims. The bond of Brotherhood is very much emphasized in Islam, and it is interesting to note, that the Eid Prayer, which is offered by all Muslims on the Eid day,can only be said in congregation. As such, all Muslims have to gather and perform the Eid prayers as one community, as one people, as brethren together. But it is possible that the real significance of the Eid Celebrations may have eluded many people, most especially those who are not privy to the many essences that underlie many Muslims functions.
Fasting, in truth, is not a burden on Muslims. It is looked upon as a great exercise with abundant spiritual benefits. During Eid Muslims show an expression of the joy of having been able to fulfill Allah’s commandment, and having thereby improved in spirituality. But to the person who was unable to fulfill this covenant with Allah, it is a day of sorrow, signifying his inability to progress in the worship of His Creator. In fact the word Eid in Arabic is therefore generally taken to mean, happiness that is renewed every year. It may come as a surprise to many to know that in contrast to the abstinence from food and drink during Ramadhan, fasting is forbidden on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. It is with the same spirit of obedience, practiced during the month of Ramadan that Muslims all over the world participate in the religious festivities, for the sake of Allah the Almighty. Eid is not only a happy occasion for Muslims because of what have been earned during the fast, it is also taken to signify the beginning of the Ministry of the Holy Prophet (saw), the Holy Qur’an having been revealed in the month of Ramadhan.
The need for service to humanity is also not left out in the Eid celebrations, as it is an integral part of the Muslim culture. After all, what blessings are there in eating and drinking, when your neighbours feels the pangs of hunger throughout the day. The Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) is reported to have said, As a caution Muslims should recognize the religious significance and desist from engaging in acts that go contrary to the teachings of Islam. Here I would like to mention that Islam forbids dancing and so Salah dances are in bad taste according to Islamic modes of behaviour. Individuals should therefore take heed not to overindulge themselves in food and drink during Eid and to be modest and moderate in dress. Holy Qur’an chapter 7 verse 32 says “O children of Adam! look to your adornment at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds.”
EID MUBARAK TO ALL MUSLIMS
BY: SALMA YUSUF ADUSEI, WOMEN'S COORDINATOR MUSLIM TELEVISION AHMADIYYA INTERNATIONAL (MTA INT) AFRICA, GHANA.