Quranic Reflection No 625. Āyat 2:185 – Gratitude for the month of Ramadan

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وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

So that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.

(Surat al-Baqarah No.2, Āyat 185)

At the completion of the month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr. It is one of the greatest days of the Islamic year. ‘Fitr’ means opening and since on this day Muslims break one month of fasting it is called Eid al-Fitr. The Eid day is the culmination of the month for which spiritual preparations had begun from the month of Rajab. Eid is a time to be happy, not because the month is over, but because of having had the chance to worship and fast in the holy month. It is a time for brotherhood, forgiveness, and socializing. Most of all, as outlined in the above verse, it is a time to proclaim the greatness of Allah and be grateful to Him.

Many hadith talk about the immense rewards for a believer on the day of Eid. The Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam said: Angels on the day of Eid stand at the alleys and paths and say, ‘rush to the Generous Lord who gives great blessings and forgives great sins (Mustadrak al-wasāil, 6:154). In explaining the above verse Imam Ali al-Ridā ‘alayhis-salām said: The day of Fitr is appointed as Eid so that Muslims have a gathering and come out for the sake of God and praise Him for the blessings they have been given; and the day of Eid is the day of gathering, day of breaking the fasting, day of giving Zakat, day of happiness and day of worship; and it is the first day of the year in which eating and drinking is permissible since the month of Ramadan is the first month of the year for the people of truth. So, God wanted them to have a gathering to praise the Lord and on this day; saying Takbir in the prayers is more than other days because Takbir is glorifying God and praising Him for His blessings as He has said, ‘and magnify Allah for guiding you, and that you may give thanks’. (Man lā yahduruhu al-faqīh, 1:522)

Gratitude on the day of Eid al-Fitr is because the Almighty gave us a chance to witness another month of Ramadan. He gave us the blessed opportunity to have our sins forgiven and raise our ranks with Him. Only He knows if that was achieved but there was the potential for that, and we hope that He accepted us. Knowing that we have a merciful Lord who gave us a special invitation and served us a spiritual banquet fills the heart with happiness and gratitude. Eid is the thank you card sent after enjoying the Divine banquet. Not everyone will be able to feel gratitude for the month of Ramadan on the day of Eid, hence the verse says; ‘perhaps you may be grateful’.

Gratitude here is an acknowledgement of the favor of Allah for having sent the Quran in the month of Ramadan to deliver us from darkness into light. It is for granting us a night which was better than a thousand month.  It comes when believers appreciate the month and what it stands for and understand the worth of the message of Allah. True gratitude is expressed not just verbally but by actions that show appreciation for the month by continuing what has been gained in it.

There is much to thank God for as we celebrate Eid. Let us remember the above verse and show our gratitude to Allah for the holy month.

Sources: https://en.wikishia.net/view/Eid_al-Fitr;  Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh

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