فِطْرَتَ اللَّـهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
Fitrata-llāhil-latī fataran-nāsaa ‘alayha
The original nature endowed by Allah according to which He originated mankind
(Sūratur Rūm, No.30, Āyat 30)
The day of Eid al-Fitr which is celebrated after going through the month of Ramadan is a new beginning when the believer is now pure of all sins. He returns back to his original form, clean and unblemished. Hence the day is known as the day of Fitr – a return to the original nature as created by Allah ‘azza wa-jall. This is the nature that is based on acceptance of Allah as the true Lord and the self as an obedient servant. Amīrul Mu’minīn Imam Ali ‘alayhis salām says about the day of Eid: It is an Eid for him whose fasting Allah accepts and of whose prayers He is appreciative; and every day wherein no sin of Allah is committed is an ‘Eid. (Nahjul Balāgha, Saying 428)
The day of Eid has a lot of spiritual meanings. It includes the day when the following spiritual values are manifested:
1. Exaltation of Allah subhānahu wa ta‘āla- The takbīr of Eid exalts Allah for His guidance. For the Message of guidance that was sent in the holy month. The guidance to achieve closeness to Him through fasting and worship. The guidance to have one’s sins forgiven in the month. All this is from the grace of the Almighty. The Quran says: that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you (Q 2:185)
2. Gratitude – It is a day when Allah is thanked for all His many blessings. Without that human beings would not know how to achieve closeness to Him and get happiness in both the worlds. As the Quran says: that you should complete the number and that . . . you may give thanks. (Q 2:185)
3. Receiving reward – Eid is a day to receive the rewards of the worship of the month. Imam Ali (a) says: O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted during Ramadan is an angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadan saying, “O servants of Allah! Rejoice the glad tiding that all your previous sins have been forgiven” (Rawdatul Wā‘zīn, p.564)
4. Unity – A day when Muslims unite and stand together in rows to say their Eid salāt. They are united in their exaltation and gratitude to Allah, having all worshipped and fasted during the holy month. It is a day of renewing and strengthening bonds within the community.
5. Reminder of the Day of Judgement – Imam Ali (a) talks about the day of Eid as a reminder of the Day of Judgment. He says: O people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing before your Lord. Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you your souls shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in the presence of your Lord (on the Day of Judgment). And when you return to your homes after prayer, remind yourselves about your returning to your homes in Paradise. (Ibid).
May this Eid be a spiritual reminder of the inherent nature of the human being! The nature that gets covered with veils of heedlessness and sins but which has regained some of its original luster in the month of Ramadan.