For Muslims around the world Ramadan is a special moment provided by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (SWT). It marks a month of virtue, more so than any other month. Muslims who sincerely take part in Ramadan worship commit to be pious behaviour and firm religious practice, and when the moment of Eid al-Fitr 1445 Hijriyah arrives (10 April 2024), they will welcome a feeling of renewal.

 Ramadan, the Month to Enhance Individual and Social Piety 

Ramadan is the most honourable and special month in Islam. For muslims it is an opportunity for reflection, introspection and self-discipline with a focus on deepening one’s relationship with Allah SWT (May He be praised and exalted). The month of Ramadan beckons a call to the ‘good path’, promising blessing equal to a thousand months. Not observing Ramadan is considered wasting an opportunity from Allah.

The month is primarily focused on individual spiritual growth and self-reflection, with an emphasis on personal acts of worship, such as fasting full of the month, reciting the Quran, taraweeh prayer, giving alms, and seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT. Enduring thirst, hunger, and anger is the path to the qualities of patience and piety. That is why fasting for the whole month of Ramadan can lead muslims to further piety.

There are two strong proponent to Ramadan, the first is improving one’s relationship with Allah (Hablum Minallah), and the other is improving our relationship with fellow humans (Hablum Minannas). These are not mutually exclusive, as one is considered necessary for the other, and thus during Ramadan both spiritual and social value improves.

With that in mind, one of the first preparations one must commit to before starting the month of Ramadan is actually to improve relationships with those around us, especially through forgiveness. It is considered that through the many months since the last Ramadan, humans will have have been sinful, made mistake, been disobedient, etc, and so this month is considered a moment of real repentance — to both of fellow humans and Allah.


The Meaning of Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr has a more social focus, with communal prayers, family gatherings, and celebrations. It is a time for muslims to come together as a community, strengthen familial bonds, and spread joy, and happiness among each other.

Eid al-fitr comes from the two words id and al-fitri. Id is derived from the word aada – ya’uudu, which means to return. The holiday is called id because it occurs repeatedly, celebrated every year, at the same time.  Meanwhile, the word fitri has two meanings, namely holy and breaking. Holy means clean from all sins, mistakes, and ugliness. Meanwhile, fitri which means breaking the fast is based on the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAW: “From Anas bin Malik: Not once did the Prophet Muhammad SAW. went (to pray) on Eid al-Fitr without eating some dates beforehand

In conclusion Eid al-Fitr means the return of a person to a state of purity or freedom from all sins, mistakes, and ugliness so that they are in state of purity or fitrah. It is also a day of victory where muslims celebrate by breaking their fast or eating. That is why one of the sunnahs before performing the Eid prayer is to eat or drink even just for a little. This is to show that on Eid al-Fitr 1 Shawwal it is time to break the fast and it is forbidden to fast.

Eid al-Fitr is also a time for charity, known as Zakat al-Fitr, which is meant to be a time of joy and blessings for all Muslims and a time to share one’s wealth with those who cannot afford it in order to share in the joy of the holiday.

Eid al-Fitr is a celebration of spirituality. It is a time to express gratitude to Allah for the blessings of Ramadan and to seek forgiveness for any shortcomings in our spiritual practices. The act of fasting during Ramadan, which involves abstaining from food, drink, and other physical desires from dawn until dusk, is intended to cultivate self-discipline, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Celebrating Eid al-Fitr means carrying forward the spirit of Ramadan and renewing the commitment to spiritual growth and moral excellence.

It is also a celebration of community. It is a time to come together with family, friends, and neighbours to share the joy of Eid and strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. In many muslim-majority countries, like Indonesia, Eid al-Fitr is a national holiday, and people often travel long distances (mudik) to be with their loved ones. The sense of unity and solidarity that is palpable during Eid al-Fitr reflects the core values of Islam, which emphasise the importance of compassion, generosity, and social harmony.

Eid al-Fitr is not about the amount of food and not about new clothes, but how clean our hearts are to forgive others. In addition to making Eid al-Fitr a day of victory, Muslims should use it to purify themselves from the sins they have committed. Eid is a time to repair, forgive and reflect. Let’s make the momentum of this victory day to become a better person in obedience. 

Eid Mubarak!

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.