The word Eid has its origin in the Arabic term ‘awd’ which means to return. In this sense, Eid is the day of man’s return towards his Lord. After passing through the month of Ramaḍān, during which a believer purifies his soul, he may find his original fiṭrah, or nature, once again; he may find himself free from the burden of sins and find that he is better connected to his Creator. In this way, he leaves behind a life of heedlessness, and, instead, returns to his Lord, reverting to the original nature in which man has been created. This original nature is that of purity and tranquility; the rigorous training of the soul in the blessed month of Ramaḍān makes us shed the uncleanliness of material desires and returns us to that original self of purity.
Eid is a celebration as well. It’s a celebration similar to the daywhen a meritorious student receives his rewards for performing the best in exams. It’s a day of joy, a joy born out of the feeling of being reconnected to a long lost love. The Lord whose mercy precedes and exceeds His punishment, and who has made mercy incumbent upon Himself for His creatures, has declared this day as the day of celebration, is the love that has been found. It’s a celebration for all those whose fasts and prayers have been accepted and who have attained the purpose of fasting, as Imām ʿAlī (ʿa) is quoted to have said: “Verily, it is only a festival for he whose fasts Allah has accepted and whose prayers He has acknowledged, and every day in which we do not disobey Allah is a day of celebration.”
The day of Eid is also one of happiness and thankfulness. It’s an occasion for happiness because a believer has returned to His Lord with a clean soul, and so he celebrates the day with prayers, clean clothing, perfume, and so forth. It’s an occasion for gratitude as well because Allah provided a whole month for purification and bestowal of mercy. That being said, Eid is not merely a day of merrymaking and enjoyment. We as Muslims should celebrate with festivals for the special remembrance of Allah and with special thanks to Him for all His blessings and mercy. We must take care on this blessed day that our celebration should not belie the actual purpose and meaning of Eid. We shouldn’t be celebrating the release of accursed Satan but rather our release from the confines of sins, and the reconstruction and revival of our original nature.
The two recommended chapters, Chapter 87, “Al-Aʿlā” , and Chapter 97, “Ash-Shams” that are read in the Eid prayers admonish us about remembrance of Allah and that success is only for those who purify themselves. The Noble Qurʾān emphasizes on remembrance: “Therefore do remind, surely reminding does profit” (Noble Qurʾān, 87:09) and who will mind the reminding? “He who fears will mind” (Noble Qurʾān, 87:10). The month of Ramaḍān has the purpose of cleaning rusty souls: “He indeed shall be successful who purifies himself, And magnifies the name of his Lord and prays” (Noble Qurʾān, 87:14-15). The day of Eid is truly the day of success for the believers on which they should thank and praise their Lord.
The month long fasting, if done with due honor, surely raises us to lofty levels of spirituality. Ramaḍān clears the dust so that the right direction becomes clearer for the soul who is purified: “And the soul and Him Who made it perfect, Then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it; He will indeed be successful who purifies it, And he will indeed fail who corrupts it” (Noble Qurʾān, 91:7-10). This Eid, let us ask ourselves, have we purified our souls? Have we returned to Allah? This will measure our success in the month of Ramaḍān.
Editor’s note: The above excerpt was originally published by the Islamic Insights online platform and has been altered for grammatical accuracy while the original message has remained intact.