Celebrating Eid with Others in Mind

0
108

Frank F Islam

Near the beginning of Ramadan, I shared my thoughts on the importance of reflecting, sharing and caring during this blessed month. As the month draws to a close and we Muslims prepare to celebrate Eid, I am blessed to be able to share some additional thoughts on those important topics.
Ramadan is the period to reflect on our blessings and to show gratitude for all that we have. It is also the time to remember those who are less fortunate and to share our blessings.
During Ramadan, Muslims focus on purification and charity. Through fasting, during this month we cleanse our hearts and minds and souls. By giving, we come together to enlighten and uplift the hearts, minds and souls of others.
Eid is the culminating point for all of this. Eid is also known as Fitrah or Sadaqat al-Fitr. The term Fitrah is derived from the same root as Iftar, which means ‘breaking of the fast’, and Futoor, which means ‘breakfast’. In Islam, therefore, Fitrah refers to the charitable donation made at the end of the Ramadan fast.
Eid and Ramadan are transformative for Muslim communities worldwide. During this period, millions of Muslims donate billions, including their yearly zakat, to charity that benefits others.
Pakistanis are known for their generosity and are among those generous donors. Their charitable donations this year are more important than ever.
This is the case because the majority of Pakistanis are struggling with record-high inflation, making it difficult to make ends meet. Government statistics show that the purchasing power of ordinary people has been severely affected.
During this month of Ramadan itself nearly two dozen people, including women and children, have been killed in stampedes at various free flour distribution sites. In addition, due to last year’s historic floods, there are food shortages across the country. Millions have been left homeless and in need of necessities. Political instability and tough economic conditions have also contributed to the numerous challenges faced by Pakistanis.
The economic collapse has caused more than approximately 196, 500 Pakistanis to leave the country in the first three months of 2023, according to a report from the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment. Most of them were labourers (83,205) and drivers (42,960), while some were professionals including 1,935 accountants, 2,140 engineers, 790 doctors and 330 teachers. The bulk of those who departed from Pakistan went to the Middle East.
These are clearly dire times both for those who left Pakistan and for many who remain. That explains why as Ramadan ends, it is not only important to reflect on the cultural and religious significance of Eid, but it will also be very important to take action to help those in need.
Unfortunately, some reports indicate that Ramadan-related charitable donations and contributions this year have been somewhat lower than normal. Eid can be a time to correct this. As I emphasized in my earlier article, I know that Pakistani are steadfast in their willingness to care for and care about one another. Therefore, I am confident Pakistanis will rise and address this challenge to the extent to which they are financially able to do so.
As I have stressed in the past, fortunately, there are many organizations in Pakistan that a conscientious citizen can contribute to or get involved with that are helping those in need. Also, for those who can make bigger charitable investments, as always, I recommend, concentrating charitable investments on targeted philanthropic initiatives that bring about strategic social and economic change as a priority.
While Eid is a time to come together and celebrate with loved ones, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of unity, and peace and to care for one another. Pakistan is a diverse nation with people from different backgrounds and faiths. During Eid, Pakistanis should embrace this diversity and come together to promote understanding and respect for one another. In closing, Ramadan and Eid are crucial times for reflecting, sharing, and caring. In reflecting on myself in these times. I am reminded of the golden words of the Qur’an, “whoever saves a life is as if he had saved all mankind.”
Remembering that, let us celebrate this Eid with others in mind. And in so doing, my wish for my fellow Muslims in Pakistan is that your celebration this Eid be a joyous occasion filled with love, happiness and blessings for all.
Eid Mubarak!

The writer is an Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, and Thought Leader based in Washington DC.