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Positive Ramadan (4 of 4)

Why Do We Celebrate Eid?

This is about the celebration as the Day of Eid is upon us; this is a festival of thanksgiving.

I’m going to explain that with reference to the verse about Ramadan, 2:185:

… and that you exalt God’s greatness for having guided you and perhaps you will be grateful.

Allah wishes for you to complete this plead of time of fasting and to glorify His name, to make Takbir and that’s why we’re hearing on the Day of Eid when we say: “Allahu Akbar.. Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar” we’re celebrating Allah’s praises for the fact that He’s guided us.

He has guided us to worship Him, to fast, to pray, to give in charity and all these things come from Him. So we’re giving thanks to Him; that you make thanks for all those blessings that He has bestowed on us.

Give thanks so we can be increase the more good deeds after Ramadan as Allah said:

If you give gratitude, then I will certainly increase you.

Time for Celebration?

Now, people may ask a question here:

“Is it appropriate to celebrate, to be happy and to express joy at the time when there are so many tragedies and so many afflictions facing this global community and particularly amongst so many of the Muslims around the world who are under occupation and war and famine and so on?”

The answer to that is:

Yes we must celebrate that is not to forget those who are suffering but we celebrate something which is based on heart, something which comes from heart our faith in Allah, our hope in Him and our trust in Him that things will come better. And that is not a vain wish but rather we have that trust and we act on that trust; we have that hope and we work to be among those people who bring about those solutions.

We’re celebrating because in this month we have been working to rectify ourselves and individuals and the rectified individual is the first step solution to all of the world’s problems.

We are also celebrating because there is a continued blessing upon us and this blessing is the Quran and the guidance it contains. Allah says:

Say, in the bounty of Allah and in His mercy- in that let them rejoice: it is better than what they accumulate.

Ramadan coming to an end is not the end of the matter, rather it’s a new beginning.

The day of Eid represents a new month, a new chance to progress on the path that we are on.

I’d like to share reflections to a chapter that we recite so often, we recite it in every cycle of prayer throughout Ramadan, before Ramadan and after Ramadan and that is chapter Al-Fatihah.

We’re taught to say in this chapter: {You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help} so we only worship Allah, we are not worshiping Ramadan, we’re not worshiping even the spiritual highs that we experience during this month; rather we’re worshiping the Lord of Ramadan, of Shawwal, and the Lord of all the year.

We should not face sense of loss when Ramadan has passed to the extent to leave off any of the worship that we have been doing and achieving, that we’re blessed to have in our lives.

And we’re asking Allah’s help for our worship, that’s why it come after the previous words. You alone we’re asking help for things pleasing to You and accepted by You. And you alone ask for help to make our actions continuous.

An Prophet Muhammad has taught us that the most actions beloved to Allah are most frequent and continuous even though they are small actions.

Guide us on the Straight Path.

Why Guide Us?

Guide us as a community and this reminds us the importance of sticking together as we gather in congregation in the mosque during Ramadan so we must stick to the congregation and we must spend times with believers, people who share our goals and our destination in order to support us on this path.

And why we’re asking for guidance when, as Muslims, should probably believe that we already have guidance, that we already have the Quran, that we already have the Sunnah, why do we need to say so frequently “guide us on the Straight Path”?

4 Stages of Guidance

So of the scholars explained that there actually 4 stages of guidance:

Knowledge

The first of these stages is to have knowledge of what we need to do, to know why we need to pray for example, many people don’t have that level of guidance.

Guidance

Then there is the level of guidance that is motivation to do it. So I know I have to pray and I want to pray. How many people know but they don’t have the willpower within themselves to achieve.

Ability

The third stage is ability because there are many people who have the knowledge, have the motivation but they are not able to fulfill certain commandments due to some physical impairment or some issue which is preventing them from carrying it out.

Consistency

So we’re asking guidance on these levels and the fourth that is to make that action continuous because then it becomes something truly pleasing to Allah.

We ask Allah guidance on all these four levels, guidance onto the straight path because life is a path, it is a journey.

We’re going everyday towards our destination and our direction traveling to Allah, traveling to the Hereafter and this path is a steep path, we’re asking Allah’s guidance to keep us going straight on the straight path, being upright on the upright path, steadfastness, consistency in our life.

This is the key and this is the message that I want to leave you with.

Go and read chapter 41:30 and will tell you what is the result for the people of istiqmah, those who say our Lord is Allah and go straight.

I will leave you here. I hope that you enjoyed our short series.

Episode 1 – Episode 2 – Episode 3


About Sohaib Saeed

Sohaib Saeed is a Scottish Muslim scholar specializing in Quranic studies and exegesis. He is founder and director of Quranica, an institute for research, education and outreach (www.quranica.com).

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