Friday, August 9, 2013

Aidilfitri - Return to Human Fitrah.

Like all other good Muslims with just an average knowledge os Islam, i've always celebrated Aidul Fitri as a day of festivities to celebrate the end of Ramadhan, the month of fasting. For a whole month we have been denying ouselves food and water in the daytime,from about 5.30 am to 7.30am in Malaysia, without excusing ourselves from undertaking the normal daily chores. And at night we must perform an additional 11 to 23 rakaats of prayers in addition to the five daily prayers of 2, 4, 4, 3 and 4 rakaats which are compulsory. The 'tarawih' and 'Witr' prayer are voluntary like many other additional prayers but highly recommended as performed by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).

So, everyone knows how trying the fasting, additional prayers and additional stringency in the observation of good conduct for the Muslims in the month of Ramadhan can be. Thus when the month drawa to and end, the muslims are ready to celebrate and feast around until the tummy groans with indigestion.

Beginning with the 1st of Shawal, there will be a month long feasting and festivities,with open houses and get- togethers of family members and friends.a typical hariraya gathering of family members

That's what I used to know about and enjoy when Aidil Fitri comes around. Like others anticipating and enjoying Christmas, CNY, Deepavali etc. i love the festivities and the feasts that the auspicious day bring. The beautiful clothes and warm well-wishes that greet us are something to wait for, a whole year.

Then I learned about the true meanibg of Aidil Fitri. It means comiNg back or returning to the original nature of human beings - the human 'fitrah'.and what does that mean? As far as i'm concerned it means a return to the original nature of Man as created by Allah with all the perfection and good aatributes that only Allah knows how to create. The human being is so perfectly created both physically, mentally and spiritually that no human creation can ever match. The soul breathed into the lifeless form of the child in his or her mother's womb in the fourth month of pregnancy is a part of Allah's breath (roh), and is both pure and incontaminable. It only bocomes encrusted ( some say not even contaminated) by the the banalities of temporal life to the extent that human being cam be entirely consumed by his greed and material interest.exchanging smiles and family news

Fasting and the other religious prescriptions imposed on the Muslim in the month of Ramadhan are supposed to cleanse the Muslim from all the worldly encrustment or contemination of his soul so that he or she becomes as clean as when he or she was born. In other words it is as if he or she is reborn, without any of the sins that the temptations of life had brought upon him or her.

Well, the concept is most appealing but whether a month of abstenance from thefrom this pointnonward. temptation of life can clean up years of indulgence is another matter. Of course you've a chance of doing it every year and a good Muslim is supposed to continue the good things he had learned to practise in the month of Ramadhan in the other months of the year. A Muslim who doesn't benefit from Ramadhan is considered a tragic case. The month is considered as a training period for inculcating all the good values of a Muslim.

So, let's hope that Muslims all over the world who had just completed an intensive character training and will be a much better Muslim from this point onward. Let's hope that our brothers in the Middle East will stop all kinds of enmities between each other and come back to the basic fitrah of being peaceful, considerate and kind to each other. Otherwise the objectives of Eidilfitri would have no meaning for them.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
The good thing (besides the spiritual make-up) is the practical side of Ramadan.It is telling us (or proving to our own self) that we can do what we set out to do, not just fasting! It follows therefore there being no excuse not being able to do more! Some do little but some can do more with conscience tugging all the while.


abdulhalimshah said...

Akhi Norzah,
Your elucidation of the Eidh which means "kembali" needs no further addition, and "Fitrah" is the endowment from Allah S.W.T. from the day of the soul being given to the human being formed in the womb, and then born into the world complete with all the senses, pure and untainted. But it is the parent's duty to mould the child into becoming a God-fearing person. Ramadhan is the institutional conditioning that put the desires subject to discipline so that it does not become the master that dominates our actions, thus what is permissible is proscribed for a certain period of our 24 hours day.The final outcome of the Ramadhan should be making all believers practice what is in the Holy Al-Quran and the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)and unless this becomes the benchmark in our daily life, we have not achieved the "Taqwa" (piety) which is the penultimate of fasting in Ramadhan.

norzah said...

Akhi Hank dan Halim,

Thanks so much for the comments and I totally agree with both of you. What amazed me is that few ustazs in the past explained the meaning of Aidilfitri in terms of returning to the basic human fitrah. The basic difference between a Muslim's and a Christian's understanding of fitrah is that a Muslim believes that he (or she) is born pure and innocent as is the 'roh' blown into the lifeless child when in its mother's womb.
When born into the dirty world he or she has to struggle to keep the "roh" clean and unsullied by the filth that fills this terrestrial life.
The Christian believes that he or she is born a sinner and must therefore struggle to cleanse and purify himself/herself. So, returning to the basic human fitrah could mean the opposite of what the Muslims believe - returning to the pure and faultless soul.

This could be the cause of the basic lack of understanding by leaders of the two faiths. One can discuss this to no end.