Islam is a complete way of life. The righteous way that is chosen by ALLAH Almighty for Muslims to attain Jannah or Paradise. Being a selected way of life, ALLAH Almighty appointed and prescribed various festivals for Muslims to observe.
Man always wants and needs to socialize with other peoples in the society, and also observe communal gatherings that help bring back reminiscences of past events to help shape their future activities. Therefore, festivals, ceremonies and feasts have become an essential part of society and human life. Most of these ceremonies and festivals derive their origins from ancient practices, religious memorable events.
For Muslims, all religious ceremonies and festivals have their own special importance. In fact, at the end of different modes of ibadah (worship) comes a peculiar type of festival instituted by religion Islam for its adherents. The Friday prayer (Namaz-e-Jummah) is the weekly occasion celebrating the five daily prayers of the week; the Holy Ramadan fast culminates into the festival Eid-ul-Fitr, while the Hajj rites and rituals culminate into the Eid-ul-Adha festival.
Viewing festivity as an opportunity to rejoice in the form of visiting to relatives, loved ones and friends, then we may say there are two main Muslim festivals as set down in law of Islamic: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. However, if it transcends to identifying with precedent events of divine and miraculous victories over enemies; such the victory of Hazrat Moosa (AS) over Pharaoh and his army, or weekly marking the end of an occasion like the Friday (jummah) celebration, then we can say that there are more than two occasions to celebrate in Islam.
First of all, let’s take a brief look at the stipulated permitted festivals in Islam.
Eid-ul-Fitr (the 1st day of month of Shawwal )
The obligatory thirty day fast of the Holy month of Ramadan culminates into a great and huge celebration. This marks the end of Holy Ramadan, the blessed month of fasting, and is a festival of enormous celebration. In Islamic and Muslim countries public holiday is declared on Eid-ul-Fitr.
Everyone dresses and get ready in their best clothes. They go to the masjid (mosque) to pray eid namaz together. Extraordinary celebration meals are served up especially sweets. Muslims not only celebrate the end of fasting, but they also thank ALLAH for the strength and help that ALLAH gave them throughout the Holy month of Ramadan to help them in practicing self-control of abstinence from drink and food.
Eid-ul-Adha ( the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah)
This is the other huge Islamic annual festival. It marks the end of the Hajj rituals or holy pilgrimage, Hajj is one of the basic 5 pillars of Islam, though it is celebrated by all the Muslims, not only those who are on the Hajj pilgrimage.
It is to memorize the time when Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) was ready to sacrifice his own son, Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) to prove obedience to ALLAH Almighty.
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The pilgrimage to Makkah incorporates in Muslim tradition two pagan rites celebrated by the Arabs, one linked with the circumambulation of the Hajr-e-Aswad Black Stone of the Kaabah in Makkah, and the other the pilgrimage to the mount of ‘Arafāt outside the city. The rites and rituals are performed in the 12th lunar month and now generally include a visit to nearby Madinah. The pilgrimage HAJJ may be described as a restricted obligation; it is incumbent only on Muslims with the essential means and the physical ability to reach Holy Makkah. However, it has remained a very important element in Muslim life all through the centuries and, even in the most complicated and difficult periods of history, attracted many pilgrims. Today, with improved infrastructure, increased travel within the Muslim world, and safety in the pilgrimage area, it has taken on new scope of cultural and even political importance.
Sacred city Makkah has become a meeting place for Muslims from the whole world, and extremely deep impression is made on several pilgrims by the reaffirmation of their imaan (faith) in company with co believers of every colour and nationality. The yearly re-enactment of the ceremonies and occasions, with the pilgrims as active participants and not simple onlookers, gives them a particularly moving character.
The returning pilgrim, who is allowed to add the title HAJI to his name, is the object of congratulations and admiration, but more significant perhaps is the feeling on the part of those who have remained at the home of ALLAH Almighty The Holy Kaaba that he brings with him an atmosphere of religiousness which is shared by all. At all times the societal function of the pilgrimage HAJJ to the sacred places has been to serve as a sacred journey to a common hearth fire from which the pilgrims might carry back the restored and renewed flame of Imaan (faith) to their own communities. In this logic, the pilgrimage HAJJ may be looked on as the complement of the fast (roza), for while the fast (roza) solidifies the bonds that hold together every community by a general sacrifice, the pilgrimage allows the members of the elites of extensively different groups and regions to engage in a religious group which strengthens the strongly ties between the different communities of Islam.
In some Muslim states, though (e.g., Turkey and Tunisia), where the sacred law of shariah has been abolished, the secularist orientation of their patriotism has led the governments to give confidence fast breaking in the interest of general national economic imperatives or to consider it a matter of own conscience.
The state of being financially and physically able of performing the Hajj is known as istita’ah, and a Muslim who fulfils this form is called a mustati. The Hajj is a expression of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to ALLAH Almighty.
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The Holy Quran is a Sacred Book of ALLAH Almighty that is revealed on his Last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The believers of this sacred Manuscript are generally well-known as Muslims. Holy Quran not only consists of different stories from the Prophets and past nations, but also has Guidelines and Instructions which are equally applicable to all human beings that are living on the earth.
Apart from common teachings on way of life, Holy Quran also contains countless Ayahs (verses) which serve as enormous source of spiritual healing of soul and heart. Hence, everyone must consult the Holy Quran and also learn the Quran because it reminds a person about its dependence on ALLAH in every matter and aspect of life and that ALLAH is the Only One, Who can make everything right.
Some of the Ayahs (verse) of the Holy Quran that assist us in gaining the way of righteousness are going to share below.
- I) Tranquillity of Mind with Reliance and Remembrance of ALLAH Almighty
Life in this world is not easy as one wishes it to be. Sometimes it offers great moments of joy and makes a person experience from hardships at other times. This is the way of spending life and ups and downs are also part of it. The need is just to remain firm on one’s faith in the Ultimate Power of ALLAH Almighty, and getting Assistance of ALLAH in the moments of adversity.
Verse 9:51 of Holy Quran;
Say, “Never will we be struck except by what ALLAH has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon ALLAH let the believers rely.
The above mentioned Ayah (verse) urges a true believer of Islam to consider every difficulty and complexity as a means of trial from the ALLAH Almighty, and rely on ALLAH all the time for attaining a way out of all sorts of problems. Remembrance of the Most Merciful is also another way of getting peace of mind in all types of bad times.
Verse 13:28 of Holy Quran
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of ALLAH. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of ALLAH hearts are assured.
- ii) Recompense for Every act done For ALLAH
There come times in life when a person thinks of its religious and other actions done for the sake of ALLAH Almighty as being not rewarded. The Islamic ideology concerning this delicate matter tells one to remain positive about its reward for good actions, as the life on this earth is temporary and a person could get its return in the hereafter. The ALLAH Almighty says in the Holy Quran, verse 76:22
[And it will be said], “Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.”
iii) Be Grateful for All things that is Given by ALLAH
It is in the nature of human that it always looks at others wealth, possession, and pleasure in different matters of life like relationships, social status etc. and deterioration its own position in front of them. The feeling of ungratefulness is strictly prohibited by ALLAH, Who continuously directs His servants to be grateful for what they have in their lives:
“And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of ALLAH, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” [Holy Quran, 14: 34]
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