Eid-ul-Fitr- A Festival For All

In every tradition there are festivals which are celebrated annually. Just as the most important festival for Hindus is Deepawali, Christmas for Christians, similarly Eid al-Fitr is for Muslims. The style of these festivals may look different but, in effect, they are same in terms of their expressions which are to promote social harmony and to be together with the feeling of peace and brotherhood.

Eid appears to be a festival related to a particular community, but in a broader perspective it is a part of the celebration of all communities around the world.

Festivals are often born off many different historical traditions. Since the traditions of different communities are different, they are bound to differ naturally when they take shape. However, the underlying essence remains the same. It is not possible to bring uniformity in the style of the festivals because of their variance in the external appearance. However it doesn’t matter whether there is a difference in appearance. If there are ten members in a family, it is natural that the shape of all those members will be different from each other but as part of the family unit, they are all the same. Similarly, each religion has different festivals but they are like brothers and sisters who thrive like beads in a rosary.

In the context of the festival of Eid al-Fitr, in an extended sense, we can say that the meaning of Eid al-Fitr is to break the barriers and join the festivals with groups of different traditions. One of the greatest needs of mankind is the spirit of brotherhood between different groups of a society. Today, academic institutions and workplaces continue to serve this work at a secular level without any discrimination. This is also necessary at the religious level and Eid gives us a similar opportunity. On the day of Eid, people meet and greet each other, exchange gifts and sweets.

Muslim brothers pray in congregations in the mosques, there is a tradition of donating charity to Muslims as Sadqa-e-Fitr or Fitr, especially given to the poor so that they can also join the festival. Sadqa-e-Fitr is not just a ritual; it is a great divine reward. It provides an opportunity for charity.

When Muslim brothers pray in gatherings, they greet each other while saying: "You are blessed with the grace of God." This practice promotes universal love and compassion by giving a universal taste in this festival. Eid or other festivals are basically a part of social culture. Festivals are not just mere opportunities for exchanging gifts; their importance is more than that. Through these, opinions of other communities are exchanged. Every such opportunity creates dialogue and discussion among people and where there is mutual activity and discussion, intellectual development happens proceeds automatically. This leads to all kinds of development in our lives. In life, everyone is busy in areas of self-interest. This type of situation produces a kind of distance between different groups. Festivals like Eid help people to connect, negotiate, and maintain social harmony.

Varsha Sharma

<[email protected]

New Delhi


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