Eid: A genuine celebration while bowing in gratitude to Allah

Updated 07 October 2013
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Eid: A genuine celebration while bowing in gratitude to Allah

Once again, the Muslims of the world complete the days of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan wherein they engaged themselves in the offering of Taraweeh prayers, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, giving charity and various acts of worship. These dedicated believers then ask Allah for acceptance and forgiveness of any shortcomings that came about during this holy period. The day of Eid then dawns and it is the occasion to celebrate after all the hard work.
The day of Eid is the day wherein all the Muslims feel happy and express their joy for the blessings of completion of fasting and the ability from Allah upon the fulfillment of one of the greatest commands of Allah. They thank the Lord for the virtues derived and the obedience they were able to display during this month. This is, in reality the most rightful and legitimate joy in Islam. Many enjoyments of this world transpire due to temporary passion, lust and fleeting ambitions, which are generally regarded as reprehensible. This is why Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: “Say in the bounty of Allah, and in His mercy (i.e. Islam and the Qur'an); therein let them rejoice. That is better than what (wealth) they amass.” (Qur’an, 10:58)
In reality the day of Eid is a day of gratitude and remembrance and a day to enjoy a good meal in happiness of this day. This is why it is regarded haram and unlawful to fast on this day. This is the day of the Muslim calendar, when we are the guests of Allah. Fasting on this day is like rejecting the call and invitation of Allah the Almighty.
When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) arrived for the very first time to Madinah and witnessed the people of Madinah maintaining two days for their celebrations, pleasures and amusement, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) whilst addressing his companions exclaimed
“Verily, Allah has given you in exchange of this, two other days superior then them, the days of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Allah has altered those two days of amusement and pleasure to two days of remembrance, gratitude and forgiveness.” (Abu Dawood)
For the believers, in this temporary abode, there are three days of celebration. Each of them approaches us after the completion of some great worship of Islam. There is the Eid of the week, Friday, which comes after the completion of all the daily five prayers of the week. Allah the Almighty has prescribed for the Muslims on this day of the week a congregational prayer wherein all the Muslims of different localities united, gather and listen to the sermon.
Then, is the Eid Al-Fitr which arrives upon the completion of the obligatory fasting of the holy month of Ramadan, which stands as the forth pillar of Islam. They had persevered the trouble of fasting and asked Allah for forgiveness and release from the Hellfire, for verily from amongst the benefits of fasting is the forgiveness from Allah of any previous sin and finally the attaining freedom from the hellfire. When the Muslim world concludes these fasts, Allah rewards them with the blessed day of Eid so that they may gather and thank, remember and praise the Almighty for these great blessings. This day is also the day of reward for all those who fasted. They return to their homes in the state of being forgiven and attaining the pleasure of Allah. The Muslims offer the prayer of Eid as Allah has prescribed in the Holy Qur’an: “Indeed whosoever purifies himself and remembers shall achieve success” (Qur’an, 36:14-15)
Then is the day of Eid Al-Adha that is followed by the offering of the Haj (sacred pilgrimage) being the fifth pillar and one of greatest principles of Islam. In this, we justify that the joy of a Muslim is upon the completion of some sort of worship.
There remains no other celebration in Islam, other than the three discussed above, whether it be the birthday of someone, a national celebration, a festivity of incidents or commemoration of victory, because by doing so, will be an innovation in the pure and completed deen of Allah. This may also be the imitation of the non-believers and polytheist. Many great victories and incidents took place in the history of Islam but the Muslims and in fact the pioneers of Islam (Companions and the pious predecessors) had never celebrated anything nor are there any support for such festivals in the Holy Qur’an or in the teachings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
We should all be aware that the lawful days of celebration and joy are on the days of Eid, which are awarded to the Muslims. They are not merely events of amusement and pleasures but rather for thanks, gratitude, remembrance of Allah and an occurrence to increase and excel in the obedience of Allah. The Islamic days of joy are unlike the celebrations of the kuffar and nonbelievers, which are programmed for pride, becoming drunk, behaving like animals etc.
Our day’s of joy should signify humbleness, and be a means for us Muslims to draw nearer to our lord Allah upon the completion of fasting and giving of charity and other righteous deeds. The fortunate one, on this auspicious day of Eid, is not the one who wears new flashy garments and fills the belly with different courses of food and delights or rattles some jokes and words of laughter. But, in reality, the fortunate on this day of Eid is the one whose fasts and prayers are accepted and is forgiven for his faults and sins. The one who offers the prayer of Eid after the completion of fasts and returns from the prayer hall reaping the rewards from Allah.
We as Muslims, should develop the fear of Allah and comprehend the prominence of this day of Eid and for what reason it has been stipulated and what has been prescribed for this day and take heed from the passing of these Eids and remember the moments of death and understand that the only code of life which will lead us to success is the way demonstrated to us by the final Prophet and Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him), for verily Allah the Almighty says: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers.” (Qur’an, 3: 84)

n Courtesy of ccmt.jucanada.org


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.