On Eid, don’t forget have-nots

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Eid-ul-Fitr is the day of celebration – Muslims offer special Eid prayers thanking Allah for enabling them to fast for the month of Ramzan thus purify their souls of all ills and vices. On the culmination of Ramzan people greet each other for remaining steadfast during the month. However, besides celebrations, this festival has a much louder and clearer message for the believers. That is empathy and compassion. The month of Ramzan teaches us to help poor and needy. The biggest Eid celebration is if a Muslim is able to help the poor and make their Eid as celebratory as his/her own festival. That is the basic concept of Sadqa-e-Fitr. It is mandatory that the have-nots are helped to celebrate the Eid like the affluent ones. Every Muslim is to pay the Sadqa-e-Fitr before the Eid prayers. Muslims have to take care of the needy and downtrodden of their respective areas. That is message of Ramzan and that is the message of Eid. Eid is not just a festival of fancy clothes and sumptuous dinners and lunches.

This year, people who can afford, have to be more gracious in helping the poor. Post August, 2019 situation, frequent lockdowns due to pandemic and the inflation has dented the Kashmir economy. Due to these factors people, particularly daily wagers, labourers, BPL and salaried classes are on the receiving end. As per Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s report on monthly retail inflation, J&K has an inflation rate of 7.59 percent which is even higher than the national inflation rate of 6.95 percent.  This is a grave situation and people are in real economic trouble. It is the responsibility of every Muslim, who can afford, to help atleast one of his neighbours in distress.

The Masjid committees, both in rural as well as urban areas should have a scientific mechanism to identify the neediest people in their areas. There should be a mechanism in place to help such families without challenging their ego and self-respect. It goes without saying that if Muslims follow the teachings of their religion and their Prophet (SAW) and adhere to the basic concept of Zakat, no Muslim in the world will sleep empty stomach. Unfortunately Muslims have failed to streamline the Zakat and reach out to the needy. The entire concept of Zakat has been politicized and there are groups which collect it without ever explaining where the money goes. It is therefore the best way that local Masjid committees, without falling prey to political maneuvering, should take charge themselves – identify the needy and come to their rescue.



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