Eid Fitr is one of the two great Islamic festivals, the other being Eid-ul-Azha. Its importance can be judged from the fact that Almighty Allah Himself ordered the believers to celebrate it. It is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan) and has a special significance for the Muslim society. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) established the Islamic egalitarian society, free of all kinds of exploitation and corruption, and maintaining the sanctity of this society was made the obligation of the believers in every age. For this purpose, the holy month of fasting (Ramadan) was selected to help prepare believers for this responsibility. In this training, during the specific fasting periods believers are required to refrain from enjoying such things, which are otherwise lawful for them.
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The purpose of this exercise is mentioned in the following verse of the Holy Quran: "So that you may learn restraint." (2:183)
Believers happily obey these injunctions to please Almighty Allah. Such an exercise has pleasant effects on the practical life of believers and, in their practical life, helps them refrain from adopting corrupt ways.
Some jurists maintain that Itikaf (Etekaaf) during the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan is also a part of this training. In this worship, the believer confines himself in a mosque for the specified period of time.
The Islamic society, established in the light of the above teachings was a symbol of the greatness of Almighty Allah on this earth. Actually it was a gigantic achievement, which deserved all kinds of rejoicing. That is why Almighty Allah Himself asked the believers to enjoy this occasion, In this respect the Holy Quran says: "Say in the grace of Allah and in His mercy in that they should rejoice." (Chapter Yunus, Verse 58)
The celebration of the festival of Eid Fitr is itself a model of an egalitarian Islamic society, and Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) best explained this model by his personal example. It is reported that he used to wear a special dress to grace the occasion, but it was never a costly one and was always within the reach of everybody. Once Umar brought a costly dress for him requesting him to wear it on Eid days and other ceremonial occasions. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) immediately returned the dress observing that it did not behave a believer to wear such a costly dress. The result was that all the Companions dressed simply on this occasion and consequently this simplicity became a symbol of the Islamic society.
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