Eid Mubarak and Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum (May Allah accept (the righteous deeds) from us and you)!
It is finally the joyful season of Eid, Allahu Akbar wa Lillah al-Hamd.
Back then, your hearts may have sunk at the thought that this year’s Ramadan is never going to be the same.
Mosques were closed or only opened with limited access. Communal Ibadah was prohibited. You were on your own to make the most of Ramadan.
But now that Ramadan has passed and Eid has come, you realise that you’ve learnt a great lesson from Allah.
It was for Ramadan to change your life significantly, and for your Eid to be the most grateful for.
Eid in the new normal
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s narrative today is occupied with a new normal — about how society is to adapt its lifestyle, about how the less fortunate can be helped, about how the economy can be rebuilt, and about how the industries may change its course to thrive forward.
Sometimes it took a brutal situation to change mindsets and whole systems.
Similarly, Allah subjects you to go through an intense and difficult training period of Ramadan every year so that you would adopt a new normal of a Taqwa-based life system (Quran 2:183) and make the achievement of your glorious Hereafter easier.
As proclaimed in the Quran, “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, and (He wants) for you to complete the period (of Ramadan)” (al-Quran 2:185).
As a matter of fact, the Sahabas went through an adaptation period to the new normal when they converted to Islam.
When they became Muslims, they were alienated by their disbelieving family and friends. Both the latter insisted against the ‘new normal’ introduced by ar-Rasul SAW, saying that they preferred their age-old practice of idol worshipping and all the Jahiliyya traditions that came with it.
What this means is that the adaptation to a new normal is not new. The Sahabas have gone through it. You also went through it during Ramadan. And now in Eid, we believe you have already acquired some skill in adapting to a new normal.
Eid and being far from family and relatives
One of the signature activities of Eid around the world is the visit of family and relatives from near and far. Such strengthening of the Silaturrahim is blessed in Islam.
However, for this year’s Eid, the situation would be quite different. To prevent the pandemic from spreading further, people are forced to quarantine themselves in their homes. International and interstate travels are restricted around the world which means that some of you may have to celebrate Eid far from your parents and family members.
If you are upset by this unusual “celebration” of Eid, know that the Sahabas also experienced such overwhelming feelings when they migrated (Hijra) to Medina.
Still, they put their faith first and left their disbelieving family and relatives behind. Not only that, they also left their nation behind.
You can go through the Seerah to learn how much ar-Rasul SAW himself missed his hometown.
Tell yourself that it is okay to be far from your beloved during the Eid. Such a challenge should not stop you from expressing your gratitude to Allah for the coming of Eid.
If faith had driven the Sahabas to choose separation from their families, let the similar faith unite and bond you and your family together virtually in the grateful and joyful spirit of Eid this year.
Eid and you’re coming back stronger, thanks to Allah
The Sahabas converted to Islam and embraced the new normal of divine life. They migrated to Medina due to their strong faith, leaving behind their families, friends and their belongings.
Ten years later, they returned to their beloved hometown of Mecca to liberate it from idolatry and Shirk.
If previously they travelled to Medina discreetly and in a small group, now they returned to Mecca publicly, and in a large troop.
If previously they were mocked and persecuted, now they returned to be treated with respect.
By the same token, if during the beginning of Ramadan, you were struggling to be consistent with prayers, Quran recitation and the Sunnah, now you ought to be performing much better.
After all those challenging years of persistency in terms of both Da’wah and persecution, the believers came back stronger. The event of Fath al-Makkah (the opening of Mecca) was the proof of that achievement.
In the same vein, after all the challenging COVID-19 Ramadan you went through, this Eid should see a new and a better you.
As history has it, more success stories of Da’wah followed the Fath al-Makkah. By the same token, this Eid onwards should bring you closer to further success too.
And for all this solid Ramadan achievement it is only appropriate that now is the time for you to praise Allah – to express your gratitude and embrace the change. For behind all your achievements was the guidance from Allah through your ups and downs.
Indeed, this is the real meaning of the Eid takbeers: you are acknowledging the grace of Allah for your achievement; you are submitting to the truth that your success is never from your sole efforts. That’s how you cleanse yourself of any trait of inner arrogance. You are sincerely admitting that without His grace you would not be able to achieve anything.
As the Quran reiterates “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, and (He wants) for you to complete the period (of Ramadan),
and to glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful“ (al-Quran 2:185).
Behind the joyful #EidStory there could be various Da’wi lessons that would make you feel closer and grateful to Allah, and inspire you to do better in the upcoming Da’wah endeavours.
Not least, you learn that this year’s #EidStory reminds you of the value of the Sahabas’ struggles and achievements.
Now, what’s your version of Da’wi #EidStory? Mind to share?