Happy Eid-ul-Fitr | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2007


Happy Eid-ul-Fitr

Let the values of Ramadan enrich life

At the end of a month of fasting, Muslims all over the world observe Eid-ul-Fitr. This observance comes after days spent in recalling the spirit of the Islamic faith and practising it in daily life. Indeed, the month of Ramadan is a constant reminder that religion, and with that a deep sense of religiosity, is what underlines the pursuit of life. Faith is that fundamental guiding principle which lifts individuals from the banalities of the temporal world to one that is spiritual in nature. For what is religion after all if it does not act as a spur to a strengthening of one's moral base? The prayers and the fasting that Muslims have observed in Bangladesh and across the world are simply a reassertion of that moral base. It is with such an awareness of what we as mortal beings must do to uphold faith now proceed to a celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The lessons that come with Ramadan and with fasting are many and varied. While the individual is expected to purify himself in the eyes of the Creator through abjuring all worldly temptations, he is equally expected to ensure that those in need of succour will be treated with the dignity that religion promises to accord to them. Such dignity is to be manifested through fitra and zakat, as part of the rules governing our collective observance of Ramadan. In a larger sense, however, the fulfillment of fitra and zakat-related responsibilities are a reassertion of the principles that we as Muslims holding faith in Islam are normally expected to uphold. In other words, it is caring for those who have been uncared for, lifting out of misery those who have wallowed in despair and offering the light of hope to those who have long been in darkness that we will be expected to re-emphasise on this occasion. There is, besides, the thought that Ramadan is a month that teaches us again the values which enhance the quality of life and living. And among those values are a need for humility and a remembrance of the transitory nature of life. In Ramadan, it is an opportunity to move from the ordinary to the metaphysical that presents itself to us. Let us hope that as this Ramadan nears an end, we will have rekindled all these values within ourselves and indeed passed them on to our families, neighbours and friends.
The end of Ramadan and approach of Eid-ul-Fitr is also a time for us, here in Bangladesh, to reflect on the moral perspectives that we can bring into our collective national life as we prepare for a return to democratic politics. Let the year ahead be one of moral and social rejuvenation.
We wish all our readers a happy Eid-ul-Fitr.

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