Significance of Eid-ul-Fitr is immense in Muslim life01 May 2022
Dr Matiur Rahman :
Humans are social creatures. It is human nature to live together in a socialized way. In this process of socializing, people have created various festivals at different times which carry their individual identities. Such festivals are prevalent in all societies or communities of the world.
The people of Bangladesh are no exception to this traditional rule. People organize various festivals to share the happiness, sorrow, joy and pain of each other in society. Various social festivals are now a constant part of the people of Bangladesh. These social festivals of the Bengalis have made this country more lively, a land of beauty and full of diversity.
When a community or family gathering is enjoyed, it is usually called a festival. So festival means any joyous occasion. However, the colours and forms of the joy of different festivals are different. A festival is accomplished through the participation of the public or many people. The festival can be divided into different categories based on the occasion and the spirit of the event such as religious festivals, social festivals, cultural festivals, family festivals, national festivals etc.
The Bengali nation is always festive. From time to time they celebrate various festivals on different occasions. Evidence of the festivity of the people of this country can be found in the long history of Bangladesh. There is a wonderful combination of different religious communities in Bangladesh. Among various religious festivals, Eid of the Muslims, Puja of the Hindus, Buddha-Purnima of the Buddhists and Christmas of the Christian community are particularly noteworthy.
Religious festivals have now become much more social festivals. That is why it is said that anybody can belong to any religion but the festivals of any community belong to everyone. Eid is the biggest festival in the Muslim community. They celebrate Eid twice a year. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid-ul-Azha. After observing a month of fasting in the month of Ramzan, devout Muslims observe Eid-ul-Fitr in a very joyous atmosphere.
In Eid prayers, rich-poor, small-big, owner-worker, teacher-student, white-black, educated-uneducated, people of all classes and professions, say Eid prayers together at Eidgah or mosque. They embraced each other. It is believed that the Eid festival eliminates differences among people of all classes.
It is also said that by sharing each other's happiness and joy on Eid day, they create a strong bond of brotherhood. This day is therefore celebrated by all, rich and poor alike. Greet one another. Visit the neighbour's house. They look after their nearest and dearest ones. They entertain each other with good food. The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr is more socially important in villages and small towns but in the capital city or the big town, it creates less harmony among the city dwellers because of their heterogeneity.
Preparations for the Eid festival start from the third week of Ramzan. Muslims flock to the market to buy new clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewellery and other necessities. At this time an overflowing crowd appeared in the shops. Shopkeepers offer various special offers on the occasion of Eid. During the last week of Ramzan, there was a huge traffic jam on the street of the capital city and other cities. At this time, many people goto the village to celebrate Eid with their families andrelatives.
It is said that Eid-ul-Fitr is not just a religious ritual but it has a significant and far-reaching role. Eid-ul-Fitr is recognized as a unique example of shaping personal, family, social and economic values and equality. In the pure joy of Eid, all the hatred and enmity of the human mind is washed away and the inner soul of the human being becomes clean.
The celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr brings some relief in a society of inequality and discrimination. The rich paid Zakat, Fitra and Sadqah to the poor before Eid-ul-Fitr. The poor and helpless people get that Zakat and Fitra which bring some financial solvency on the day of Eid. Throughthis, they can spend the day with their families in a festive mood. On the other hand, rich people also feel happy to provide some of their assets to the poor in society.
The social significance of Eid-ul-Fitr is immense. As human beings, we all live in a society or a state but everyone has different opinions or thoughts. There are differences in our political philosophy, social norms, principles and practices which in our daily life poisons us with each other for a long time and pushes us away from each other - creating social conflict. But Eid-ul-Fitr brings us together, overcoming all these filths, forgetting all differences.
Due to professional reasons, relatives who are scattered in different parts of the country also get together on the day of Eid and go to each other's houses to exchange views. So, Eid-ul-Fitr binds people in brotherhood, turns enemies into friends, strengthens kinship ties, and promotes social equality.
Enjoyment is an essential element of human life. People's minds are thrilled in a pleasant environment through entertainment. In this way, they always get a chance to stay fresh and lively mentally. And the most important source of healthy entertainment for people of Bangladesh is the Eid festival.
In the formality of the Eid festival, people forget their sorrows and rejoice. Festivals are a joyful expression of human social consciousness. Everyone in society can't get together without festivals. There is no substitute for social festivities to create beautiful relationships between people. Thus, the social significance of the Eid festival is deep and wide.
Socially, Eid-ul-Fitr reminds us to share the festivities with the poor, the underprivileged, the downtrodden, orphans, the neglected and the cast-off besides embracing people from all walks of life. It enhanced social cohesion and solidarity.
Realizing the significance of the Eid festival as the medium of our social consciousness, we all come forward to build a beautiful and balanced society by sharing the honest virtues acquired during the month of fasting and through the holy, pure joy of the Eid festival.
(The writer is a researcher and