Good Cheer, Purifying Fast, Grief on Eid
Issue 800 » July 25, 2014 - Ramadan 28, 1435
Yunus (Jonah) - Chapter 10: Verse 58
We must learn to remedy our sorrows with joy and good cheer. There are so many things that we can rejoice in. We should rejoice in our very humanity, knowing that Allah has so honoured the human being.
We should rejoice in the blessings that we have, and that we often overlook or take for granted. We should feel joy in being alive. We should rejoice in our family and loved ones, and in the provision that Allah has given us.
We should take cheer in thanking Allah for His blessings, since through our gratitude Allah will continue to bless us.
When Allah says in the aforementioned verse: "Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His Mercy…" He is calling us to rejoice in His bounty and His mercy. This refers to all the goodness that Allah provides for us in our lives, including but not limited to material wealth.
Allah's bounty refers to His providence – to everything that He gives us that we obtain in a wholesome and lawful way. Even if what we are given is little, we should not exhaust ourselves spiritually and emotionally in the pursuit of wealth and in the incessant competition with those who may have more than us. A little wealth that suffices our needs is far better that an abundance of wealth accompanied by avarice and discontent.
Allah likewise tells us to rejoice in His mercy, which we can find in our knowledge of Him, in our faith, in the revelation of the Qur'an, and in the goodness He has placed in our hearts.
When we achieve joy and contentment in these two aspects, we have attained true worldly happiness. This is a blessing that Allah bestows on whomever He pleases. Moreover, it is a blessing born of faith, since faith brings us to pin our hopes on Allah and to set our sights on the Hereafter. Faith allows us to look beyond our present circumstances – even when those circumstances seem hopeless – with the expectation of surmounting them by Allah's grace.
We take strength in such faith so we can persevere.
"Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His Mercy - in that let them rejoice" - Salman al-Oadah
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Remember! Zakat al-Fitr is Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) on every Muslim, man or woman, free or in servitude, adult or child." (Tirmidhi)
Literal meaning of Zakat (or Zakah) is the process of purification. Fitr is from the word Fitrah and its literal meaning is (one’s) nature or natural state. Hence, the meaning of Zakat al-Fitr is to purify one’s nature.
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet made the Zakat al-Fitr obligatory for the purpose of: purifying our fasting from vain talk and shameful mistakes, to make arrangements for the poor and the needy for food and clothing (for the festival of Eid). (Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja)
Every adult Muslim, with sufficient food for the family for a day, should pay Zakat al-Fitr for himself/herself and all his/her dependents. Even those who did not fast should pay it. Zakat al-Fitr should also be paid for the child born or the person died before the Fajr (dawn) on the day of Eid.
At the time of the Prophet, payment of Zakat al-Fitr was made in terms of weight of grain. It is one Sa for each person. One Sa approximately equals to 3.15 kg or 6.94 lbs. The Muslim jurists agree that Zakat al-Fitr can also be paid in cash equivalent to the cost of 3.15kg/6.94 lb. of grain including rice, wheat, lentils, corn, and dry cheese.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, "Whoever paid it (Zakat al-Fitr) before Eid Prayer, it is acceptable Zakat before Allah. Whoever paid it after Eid Prayer, it is just a charity." The companion of the Prophet used to pay it a few days earlier. (Bukhari)
Zakat al-Fitr should be paid early enough so it will reach the needy and the poor before the Eid day. It will enable them to use it for food and clothes and give them the opportunity to enjoy the happiness of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Zakat al-Fitr should be paid directly to the needy and the poor. However, you can also pay it to an organization, which would distribute it in accordance with the teaching of Islam. Remember! It is still your responsibility. So, make sure before paying that the organization will distribute it according to the teaching of Islam and before Eid Prayer.
"Zakat Al-Fitr is Wajib" - Ali Siddiqui
Grief on Eid
While Eid is definitely a time of joy and happiness, it's also one of sadness for those who recall happy occasions with deceased family members. Whether we're experiencing this sadness ourselves, or know someone who is, grief is something we can't ignore.
Pray to Allah (Dua)
One way of dealing with sadness on Eid is through Dua (supplication). Once a man from the tribe of Salmah came and said to the Prophet, peace be upon him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Do my parents have rights over me even after they have died? And Rasulullah said: Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfill the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends. (Abu Daud, Ibn Majah).
Why not use Eid to make Dua and remember deceased parents? As well, why not use it as an occasion to visit and show respect to their relatives and friends? This will alleviate some of the pain of missing them on an occasion when families get together and celebrate.
Cherish the good memories
If the deceased is another relative or friend, why not invite over those who remember him or her on Eid day for a meal followed by an Eid gift. This way you can be with those who cherish the memories of your loved one.
Turning the tables, if you know someone dealing with personal grief this Eid, make a special effort to invite them over. If this is their first Eid after their loved one has passed away, then extra sensitivity may be needed. Maybe you can take them out for a meal at a restaurant instead of having a large get-together so that you can both share fond memories of the relative or friend.
Personal grief isn't just connected to the death of a loved one. It could be related to family problems, losing a job, failing grades or more. In this case, the need to get together with others on Eid is even more important. The key is to avoid isolation on a happy occasion. If you have a family member or friend who is suffering through such problems, inviting them over on Eid day can lift their spirits. This can help them break the cycle of depression and hopelessness they may be going through. Offer them words of Dua, hope and comfort which can also help them cope with their difficult situation.
This Eid, if you see someone suffering, try to comfort them. We must make a special effort to help anyone in need, and Eid day, which is a happy occasion, is an excellent occasion to do so.
"Dealing with grief on Eid" – SoundVision.com