LET’S PRAY FOR PEACE, HARMONY

Eid-ul-Fitr holds special significance for Indians as the nation has a multi-religious composition and every festival finds participation of people belonging to all communities irrespective of their religion or other affiliations, upholding the ages old secular ethos in this region. The festivals are not only the personal, family, and social occasions of fun and merriment for Indians, but also the occasions for prayer and worship for self realization, peace prosperity among all the communities. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is a festival of breaking the month long fast by the Muslim brethren and celebrated across the world. As we celebrate this festival also called as the Sugar Feast, Bayram, the Sweet Festival or Hari Raya Puasa and the Lesser Eid, it is time to reiterate our commitment to Austerity which is by any yardstick one of the greatest virtues of human beings and fasting is an age-old tradition of austerity acknowledged by almost all the religions followed in India. With the global scenario across the world being quite dismal especially in some nations of the Muslim world, there is a dire need to realize the real meaning and essence of Eid-ul-Fitr which is the celebration of the culmination of the fasting that is believed to cleanse the mind, purify the heart besides guiding us to follow the path of love, peace and mercy. Ramadan, in essence, teaches us a higher philosophy to conduct ourselves for the good of the society and the mankind at large. Islam that was born in Saudi Arabia in the year 622, the first year of Muslim calendar, literary means ‘surrender’ i.e. surrender to Almighty God. Islam has all along been a religion wedded to the Absolute Truth and surrender to the Almighty Allah. Surrender to God makes Islam something eternal and Infinite. However given the happenings around the world with the self styled Jihadis carrying out a campaign of mayhem and bloodshed in the name of religion there is a dire need to maintain a strict guard against the tendency, which prevents and keeps people away from progressive thoughts, trends, and times. There is a need for guard against those who supply irrational thinking and distorted interpretation of Islam as and when it suits their interest, least bothering about the interests of the common people among the community. Jihad stands for struggle for a prosperous and peaceful brotherhood and Nabi permitted fighting in the name of Jihad when the Muslims were compelled to fight in self-defence in Medina. The best Jihad is considered in a visit to Haj pilgrimage besides performing the acts of compassion and generosity like Zakkat i.e. donating for charity besides fulfilling all other religious duties. All that is needed to establish peace today is compassion, sincerity and a feeling of brotherhood and understanding which is going to decide the quality of our life and that of the future generations. So let’s all rejoice the traditional celebrations on this Eid-ul-Fitr not only by wishing ‘Eid Mubarak!’ and exchanging gifts but also by appreciating the value of rational thoughts besides denunciating religious obscurantism and mindless terrorism because the real Islam has known it since its birth and knows it even today that rational thinking is not anti-humanity or against any religion, nor is any other religion against any community, sect or human values. So on this auspicious day let’s pray that peace and harmony prevail across the globe and especially in J&K which has experienced the trauma of terrorism and natural disasters during the past few years. Amen!