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The spirit and purpose of Eid ul Fitr
Every festival has some external or worldly aspects as well as spiritual aspects. The externalities of Eid ul Fitr, being celebrated today, are in terms people meeting and hugging one another, feasting together, exchanging greetings of 'Eid Mubarak', exchanging gifts and sweets, wearing new clothes, decorating houses and saying prayers.

Commonly, Eid is the occasion of joyous reunion with one another after a month-long fasting and self-purification during Ramadan. Spiritually, it is the day of return of the soul to its pristine state of purity with one month of fasting and self-restraint and celebrations of 'Eid al-Fitr'.

Also, it is seen to that no Muslim remains hungry on this day. It is a day that the rich and the poor enjoy happiness of the day together and serve humanity. On this day, the haves give the fitra to the have-nots.

However, there is also a need to focus on the 'spirit of the festival' too. In its true essence, Eid is treated as day of return to the self-purified state with the revelation of the Qur'an and faith in Allah SWT. Regarding Eid, Imam Ali AS is quoted saying, "Eid is for those whose fasts have been accepted and whose salaat are worthy of reckoning and every day when one does not commit a sin it is Eid."

It is commonly held that the revelation of The Qur'an in the holy Ramadan month is a great success leading to a life of ethical behavior and realizing basic human values like kindness and unity of a single ummah. The practice of self-restraint by fasting, refraining from making allegations, shunning evil deeds, abandoning drinking, stopping shortchanging and eschewing false testimony for one month should result in an on-going ethical behaviour.

Imam Al-Ridha AS said that 'Eid is a day of unity. Hence, it is a day to give thanks and reaffirm faith in the Almighty, be grateful for His kindness and praise Him'.

Happy Eid 2014 ! Eid Mubarak 2014!!

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