On Sept. 10, 2010, Muslims all over the world will celebrate the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the beginning of the month of Shawal on the Islamic calendar. Eid is one of the most important days of the year, and one of only two holidays that Muslims take part in. Eid literally means “festivity,” while fitr means “break-fasting.” Basically, it’s a celebration symbolizing the end of the difficult and arduous month-long fast of Ramadan. It’s a time for all the families of the community to come together and rejoice at the blessings that Allah has bestowed on us, and to thank Him for those blessings.
There are only a few more hours of fasting left before this Ramadan comes to a close, and I pray that Allah accepts my fasting and rewards me for the deeds that I have done. These last 30 days have gone by all too quickly, leaving me wondering if I could have done more, if I could have pushed myself further and tried harder to earn the blessings and rewards of my Creator; Allahu Alim (God knows best).
I do know that this Ramadan has been more productive than the year previous. I really tried to focus on the act of fasting and what it made me feel, and what it was teaching me. I learned that I am indeed grateful for the things that Allah has provided for me. I learned that even though I may not be where I thought I would or should be in life, Allah has provided me with everything I need. Whatever faults I may be able to find in my world, there are folks who are worse off. I have a roof over my head, I have food, I have clothes, and I have my health. Every night as I was about to break my fast, I prayed to Allah, thanking him for the beautiful gifts that he has bestowed on me, knowing that no amount of prayers, dua, or dhikr could possibly be enough to properly do so.
I had a very introspective Ramadan this year. I really put a lot into improving myself and relying on my creator alone for help. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my weaknesses and how I can overcome them through my submission to Allah. I practiced patience, without which I would go to pieces waiting for iftar to roll around. I practiced the fine art of holding one’s tongue in those situations where every fiber of one’s being wants to lose control, without which I would most certainly have lost my job. And I practiced trying to let go of the things of this world, focusing instead on the much more wonderful things that Allah will provide in the hereafter. If I could master these things on an empty stomach, I should be able to continue them while full, insha’Allah.
I plan to start my holiday celebration this year by taking the day off from work to attend the Eid prayers and to spend time amongst my friends and family in the community. I plan to dress well, eat well, and be joyous. But most of all, I plan to take the things I learned this Ramadan and apply them to my life all year round, and I plan to praise Allah that he has given me the strength, guidance and wisdom to do so. Alhamdulillah!