Eid brings festivity; it brings joy. It embodies the spirit of love, connection, reconciliation and ensures that every single Muslim irrespective of his sect is fused together under a single umbrella. Eid is one of those few occasions where we try to give up on our differences and attempt to re-establish our lost connections. The festivity around the city or any hamlet for that matter represents a painting full of colour, richness, zeal, dyed with the colours of excitement, with a smile on every second face, greetings exchanged, hugs delivered and the voice quivering with excitement.
In this era of "globalisation" and "brain drain", where people move like non-viscous fluids from one place to another, connections do get lost over the period of time. The People rarely speak to each other and as the world has become increasingly connected through the domain of technology, the "human disengagement" has proportionately increased. In this era where people move away busy with their lives, trying to construct and reconstruct at every interval, they often forget the vast majority of relations, friends, acquaintances they often leave behind. The "dust of survival", that is the struggle to try and survive in this competitive world eats away the majority of time. And this is why EID brings hope.
Eid is one occasion when people from diverse backgrounds, residing in different places all around the country or even globally fly home to spend this joyous occasion with their families. Eid acts as "attractive glue" which helps to bind the unconnected. This is one occasion where the family members, relatives irrespective of their status, money, position, come together to talk and enquire about a million things. The family makes it a point to have their "Eid lunch'' together which is completely rare in this era of fast and wild life. The tendency to respect the sanctity of the occasion and to undertake this responsibility that we need to be kind-hearted, empathetic, and embody the spirit of compassion is what defines this joyous and momentous occasion.
The Festival of Eid has served as an important source of fulfilling a Muslim's urges and needs. It stands for celebrating the quintessence of harmony and brotherhood It is not only an occasion of merry making but also provides an opportunity to people to give vent to their emotions and at the same time infuses a spirit of life and invigorates sustenance of a community or nation.
Eid is a sacred celebration when the Muslims come together and hug each other with promises of charity, kindness, harmony and brotherhood. This festival is not about being happy but to make others happy and nurture their desires. The Islamic community from all across the globe shows its gratefulness to Allah for everything they have been bestowed upon. On the day of celebration of Eid, Muslims offer gifts to those in need and celebrate it with great affection and joy. Moreover, they get together in hundreds or thousands in places like Eid Gah or Jamia Masjid to offer prayers.
The Eid we are celebrating today is called Eid-ul-Fitr which literally means 'festival of breaking the fast'. Like other festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr is a symbol of an important article of faith. It reminds one of an Islamic belief in the form of social practice. Just before Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslims observe fasting in the month of Ramdhan. (Fasting in the month of Ramdhan is not simply giving up food. In fact, it symbolises abstention from all kinds of practices that are unlawful in Islam). The Arabic word for fasting is 'sawm' which means abstinence. Abstaining from food and water in the daytime during Ramdhan reminds the Muslims that they have to lead their lives with a sense of responsibility. They have to remind themselves that, in the present world, they have to adopt a life of goodness, virtuousness, and munificence and devote themselves completely to the worship of Allah.
Eid-ul-Fitr also has social connotations because on this day Muslims go out of their homes, offer congregational prayers, meet their neighbours, exchange good wishes with other people and eat and drink without any restriction. The Muslims meet not only with their religious brothers, but also with neighbours of other religions. It is this social aspect of Eid-ul-Fitr that has led to the practice of Eid Milan by inviting relatives, friends and neighbours and others to spend some time together. Like other festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr cannot be observed in isolation. It is but natural that the festival begins as a Muslim tradition but, in practice, it turns into a social festival when Muslims visit shopping centres during the pre- Eid period to purchase things for the festival, they meet their fellow brethren and other people. Thus, every activity of Eid-ul-Fitr turns into a social activity. In this sense the observation turns into a human festival rather than a Muslim festival, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly.
If Eid-ul-Fitr is observed in its true spirit, it will energise the whole community, bringing people together in harmony and gratitude. Therefore, it can be called "Festival of Humankind".