When the beast awakens on Eid
Let us ask ourselves this. Eidul Fitr approaches amidst scorching heat and Panama hearings. Gulping down fancy iftars and filling sehris, what have we stored for our Eid? I will tell you what – the Pret collection of branded clothes, quality makeup kits and tall heels. We’ve fixed appointments at salons and parlours to look our best on Eid day.
There are lavish meals planned with family and friends. While festive gatherings are in consonance with the harmonious spirit of Islam, there is a question as to how much we actually recall from the holy month that is nearing its end. While these blessed days are spent in sujood (prostration) and taraveeh (obligatory prayers), how many of us will remember to bow in prayers of gratefulness on Eid day or even after it? More importantly, it is commendable how righteous values are promoted during this month, which is precisely the actual aim behind it.
These 30 days are a gift from the divine Ruler to reconnect with our existential aims in this world. Each day dawns with a hope of continuation of the values that we learn from this month but alas!
As Eid day nears, we forget more than what we remember. These learned traits and values are not merely theological and religious in nature, but are actually well-rounded tips for a spiritually supple year instead of just one month that flies by quite quickly. There needs to be a conscious effort to ensure that we stay steadfast on all that we have learnt from this sacred month and what is a more appropriate occasion to make this pledge to oneself, than Eidul Fitr?
Here are five acquired traits that we borrow from Ramazan and abandon on Eid altogether.
Learning the Holy Quran
While it is very important to learn the Holy Quran during any other month of the year, we tend to recite it more in Ramazan than we do on other days. But starting from Eid day onwards, we place this Holy book back into the shelf where it gathers dust all year until the next Ramazan is upon us. While this subject has been broached, it is imperative to mention here that the reading of the Holy Quran cannot be limited to merely reciting its Arabic text. If we were to truly try and understand its true meaning, then we would encounter no moral and practical conundrums in life.
Slander and backbiting
“She could have lost a few more pounds during the fasts to fit into this dress!”
Such comments and much more are quite commonly thrown around on Eid day. Normally during Ramazan, we avoid contributing to smear campaigns in order to preserve our fast. However, the beast awakens on Eid. If only we could try to avoid this practice as eagerly as we try to preserve the sanctity of our fast, it would do everyone a world of good.
Moderation and humility
Observing a fast is all about making moderate choices. Eating habits, working hours, all things remain moderate in Ramazan. Humble dispositions are what we witness this month when people remain simple, soft and benevolent in their dealings. We tend to limit our desires in order to reflect the meagre lifestyle of the less fortunate and it teaches us to get by without much.
However, as soon as Eid approaches, we give in to our instincts of greed and vanity. We blow money on extravagance and snobbery. If only we could remain moderate on Eid as well as in the days that follow, we can hope to eradicate social poverty woes.
Healthy eating habits
They say you are what you eat. If that is so, my brother should be a pakora by now. Jokes apart, the staggering health benefits of Ramazan are not news to anyone. Here, I would like to mention that even during Ramazan, people tend to eat in unprecedentedly large quantities that end up defeating the very purpose of fasting.
However, even with this habit of devouring more food in sehri and iftar, the time in between these two meals gives our digestive system the rest that it needs to perform detoxification. But as soon as we hear the ‘moon sighting’ news, our kitchens start brimming with more food that we can sufficiently consume. Why not just continue this practice from Ramazan days into the rest of the year? Easier said than done, I know. But we could at least try.
I know I said this will be about things we must continue even after Ramazan and yes Ramazan transmissions are also on the list. No, I do not have brain damage and yes, this is a joke. Who does not like to come home after a long day’s work to watch aam khao (eat mangoes) instances, people standing on one foot to win a motorbike, and girls running after the valiant ‘defender’ of Quaid’s honour on a daily basis? I don’t actually!
But if you do, nobody can judge you for it. It is all on a light note anyway. This is what we should carry with us throughout the year – the lighter note, the happy outlook or the positive side of things.
There are many more practices that we adapt and abandon as Ramazan comes and goes. What needs to change is this lack of consistency (a word not known to our cricket team). Ramazan brings blessings and lessons with it which are never meant to be limited to its duration. It could actually help us throughout the year. Then why don’t we let it?
Eid Mubarak to everyone!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.