Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Festivals of Charity

Islam has given its followers many beautiful days to celebrate the blessings of Allah. Each day a Muslim celebrates his Faith by being thankful to His Lord and by offering prayers that bring happiness and tranquility to his heart. Even when a Muslim is feeling low, going through pain or hardships, he is given the glad tidings of help and reward from Allah if he turns only toward Him for help and tries to be patient in the difficult times.

Further, each Friday is a day of minor eid for those who submit themselves to the Will of Allah. They are required to bathe, apply perfume, wear good clothes and gather in the Masajid to offer congregational prayers.

Everyday a muslim is expected to give charity by whatever means he is able. If he is too poor to give anything then only his smiling face can be a charity, his offering the voluntary noon prayer can be a charity from each of his limbs, his removing any harmful thing from the path is also counted as charity from his side.

To sum it up, a muslim is in constanct celebration of happiness, thankfulness, blessings, charity, unity and in anticipation of getting the ultimate success with Allah, the One God.

Twice each year the muslims celebrate the two Eids, or the days of happiness and thankfulness. The thing to be noted here is that these days too are not just a show of material and shallow happiness rather it is based on the concept of being grateful to the Almighty and offering a part of their happiness to the needy as a token. Muslims are required to pay the poor's due each year thrice as charity from their wealth and this is compulsory or obligatory upon those who can afford it. Each year after the 30 days of continuous fasting in the Month of Ramadan, the muslims are required to pay Al Fitr or the compulsory charity to the poor before attending the Eid prayer in the morning.

Ibn ’Abbas (RAA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) enjoined Zakat-ul-fitr on the one who fasts (i.e. fasted during the month of Ramadan) to purify him from any indecent act or speech and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah for the person who pays it before the Eid prayer and it is Sadaqah (i.e. voluntary charity) for the person who pays it after the Eid prayer.’ Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim graded it as Sahih.

Annually each Muslim is required to pay the Zakat which is again the poor's share in his earnings and property. Numerous times in the Quran, Allah has commanded the faithful to pray the obligatory prayers and to pay Zakat.

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. 
Chapter: The Cow; Sign 43

The same goes for Eid ul Adha. Muslims are required to distribute their sacrificial meat among the relatives, neighbours and the poor. 

The celebrations on these two days of Eid are not just about buying new clothes, ornaments or food but the intrinsic part is gratefulness to the Almighty and charity.

Even during the other months like Muharram and Rabiyul Awwal the days of happiness are celebrated by keeping fasts and doing more and more deeds of charity and goodness because during these special days the rewards are doubled and the sins are forgiven.

In a Muslim's life there is no room for extravagance, show-off or unneccessary gloom. We are taught to be thankful by being more and more charitable and giving in whatever ways we can. 

A submiited slave is neither out of control on the occasions of happiness nor is he mournful or hopeless. He is always in a state of thankfulness and repentance because he realizes God's blessings on him and he accepts that he makes mistakes every now and then. 

Celebrating the happiness by sharing ang giving is more fulfilling and rewarding than wasting money on material things and neglecting those in need. 

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