“O Mankind! Partake of what is lawful and good on earth, and follow not Satan’s footsteps: for, verily, he is your open foe and bids you only to do evil, to commit deeds of immorality, and to attribute unto God what you do not know.” (Quran 2:168-169)
God addresses all of humanity, the faithful and the faithless, to think about something we take for granted: food. God produces everything on earth: seeds, fruits, vegetables, and meats for human consumption, but forbids us relatively few things that are unwholesome. Some of the foods God has forbidden are the meat of dead animals, blood, and pork. Every food is lawful in God’s law except what He has forbidden, that has been stolen, or taken by breaking God’s law. The best foods for us are organic, natural, and wholesome – foods produced by God, but when people start altering the food chain, they produce new, unknown diseases like the mad cow disease. We need to be grateful for what God provides us.
This verse also indicates that eating enough to live is a duty imposed on human beings by God. Going to extremes in starving oneself to look beautiful, for example, is not permitted.
God also commands humanity not to follow the footsteps of Satan, meaning what Satan commands. First, Satan is real. Second, Islam tells us everything important for us to know about Satan, including how to protect ourselves. What does Satan command? Disbelief, rejecting faith in God, oppression, injustice, sins, and eating what God has forbidden. God reminds us that Satan is an enemy, so human beings should be on guard against him. God, in His mercy, did not stop at warning us from following Satan’s footsteps, but also warned against what Satan commands:
(a) Satan commands evil. Evil includes all types of sins.
(b) Satan commands adultery, fornication, drinking alcohol, getting drunk, and killing.
(c) The greatest command of Satan is to make us say of God what we don’t know. Satan’s greatest way of misguiding people is to say God has a son, an equal, to liken God to an old man sitting in heaven, to think God will punish everyone or forgive everyone without any knowledge from God Himself, or to say God permits or forbids something without any basis in knowledge from what God has revealed. As for God, He commands justice and forbids immorality and wrongdoing. Everyone should assess what they believe in order to ensure what they are following is God’s guidance rather than the promptings of Satan.
From The Religion of Islam with thanks
After being absorbed in a month long exercise of vigorous worship and spiritual enrichment, the Muslim Ummah stands on the threshold of Eid-ul-Fitr. The day of Eid is one to express sincere gratitude to Almighty Allah (SWT) for His favours – gratitude for the opportunity to fast through the day, stand in prayer at night, give charity and recite Holy Quran abundantly. It is a day of celebration for the believers who have executed their duties honorably.
Eid is the culmination of this spiritual empowerment and a festival marking the accomplishment of all Muslims. However, it does not signal the end of the mission. The good discipline developed in Holy Ramadan must remain and be sustained. A true reflection of our efforts in Holy Ramadan being accepted is continuity with good actions post Holy Ramadan.
Whilst the day of Eid is a joyous occasion the night should be one of contemplation and worship. It had been the practice of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward (Lailatul Jaiza). Almighty Allah (SWT) bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Holy Ramadan abiding by the dictates of Shari’ah, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform Nafl prayers in this night.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said: “Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah)
Holy Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa (saw) said: “I swear by Him Who has sent me with the truth as Prophet; Archangel Gabriel has reported to me from Archangel Israfel who directly reports from Almighty Allah (SWT) that one who offers this prayer, (at the last night of Ramzan al-Mubarak) will not raise his head from prostration before Almighty Allah (SWT) would forgive him, accept his acts during the month of Ramzan, and overlooks his sins …” (Mafatih al-Jinan)
To benefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this night as he can and should pray for all his needs and desires.
Surely for those who repented profusely in the month of Holy Ramadan and used the auspicious month in the best possible way to gain proximity to their Creator, the day of Eid is one of true joy and celebration. They know well that they have seized the opportunities that availed in Holy Ramadan, and have firm hope in the reward and pleasure of their Creator. On the other hand those who squandered the opportunities, procrastinated in their repentance, and did not seize the blessed moments, will be left to regret their failure. Eid is a sweet sour occasion for such people, as they eat, meet, and greet with a regretful heart and look back at what could have been a life changing experience.
Our life is no different. The month of Holy Ramadan may be likened to the entire life span of a person and the day of Eid likened to the day a person will meet Allah (SWT). Every day is an opportunity to run towards Allah (SWT) and those who seize the opportunity of life and fulfill life’s objective will be truly celebrating ‘tomorrow’, on the day of Qiyamah, when mankind will stand before their Lord. Holy Quran urges a believer ‘to run to Allah’ and ‘hasten to the forgiveness of your Lord and paradise.’
Just as Holy Ramadan comes and goes in flash, so will life. The end of each Holy Ramadan signifies the inevitable end of our lives. Whilst one may have some hope that if this Ramadan was squandered, Allah (SWT) may give life until another, there is no such hope for the journey of life, for when the ‘Ramadan’ of life is over then it shall never return. So, if we have been unmindful, we have a chance with every moment of life to repent and mend our ways. For a believer who spent his life fruitfully, the meeting with his Creator will be the Eid of all Eids.
We ask Allah (SWT) to bless us this Eid-ul-Fitr and give us such a bond and relationship with him that will grant eternal happiness on the day we return to Him.
(From Islamicoccasions With Thanks