I WAS glad to read an article in last Thursday’s Al-Qabas daily newspaper written by columnist Dala’ Al-Mufti about the lack of fun and rejoicing in our ‘Eid’ celebrations nowadays. Instead, fun and rejoicing stormed the celebrations of others, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, the article is hundred percent on point. Our Eids have become tantamount to routine, depression and traveling. We spend our first day of Eid by exchanging greetings and felicitations among families and friends, eating together and then giving children some money which they put in their pockets or purses then they go to someone else for the same purpose. At the end, they give the money to their parents to keep in envelopes bearing their names.
The celebration ends with sleeping or going to the chalet or farm or traveling without any change in routine in terms of fun, rejoicing or even feeling sad about it. Over the past days, I was preoccupied watching Lebanese television channels — Christian and others, where I witnessed scenes of merriment in advertisements of parties, gift shops, men and women’s salons; in addition to the Christmas tree with its blinking and gleaming lights in every estate, street, house and shop.
The scenery imposes rejoicing and calls for ditching depression and whining, let alone the children wearing their best of clothes and singing in choirs; whereas pastors deliver sermons which call for peace, love, deliverance and harmony. These merits are disposed by nature for humans, not the wicked ones.
This is to say Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that “I was only sent to perfect moral character.” This begs us to ask if there is any virtue greater than “love for others what you love for yourself,” or is there any human being who does not love amicability, fun, joy and love of the other?
We congratulate ourselves and our brothers in humanity who profess Christianity and wish them merry Christmas and many happy returns. We hope they will pardon us for the deeds of those who falsely claim to profess our religion — fundamentalists, ‘takfirist’ and haters of fun.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil