- The most important Muslim festivals are the Muharram and the Id.
- The significance of these festivals. How they are celebrated.
- Their good effects and what they teach us.
Religion has existed since the beginning of human life. The conception of God, of good and evil and right and wrong has been responsible for the birth of religion. Gradually, as human life advanced, different qunits of men had their different problems, necessities and viewpoints, different religions sprang up and today the most important religion which has great following is Islam. The tenets of Islam were propounded by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) · in Arabia and very soon it became so popular that it spread through many countries of the middle-east and the Muslims who were the? torch-bearers of Islam, got into this Indo-Pak subcontinent and the people here embraced Islam in no small number. Like all religions the Muslim have also their religious festivals which are meant to commemorate the good actions of the Holy Prophet (PHUH) and other Muslim saints and to inspire in their followers the ideals of love, religiousness and brother-hood. Out of the muslim festivals the two most important are the Id and the Muharram.
There are two occasions of Id, namely, Idul-fitr and Idul-zona. Idul-fitr is more important and is a festival of rejoicing. It is preceded by a month of fasting and in the Hijri era the month is called ‘Ramzan’. Fasts are observed for the purification of the self and this is a period when pious, duty is performed towards God. There are huge congregational prayers at the most important mosques of every city. The celebration of Id depends on the visibility of the first moon after the month of Ramzan. People are in good spirits, young and old alike put on bright coloured clothes. Sweets are distributed adn all Muslims visit each other and embrace each other with brotherly affection. The festival inculcates in them the feeling of piety and brotherhood.
On the other hand, Muharram is a festival of sadness. It commemorates a religious battle. This battle is a noble example of righteousness, and just case, firmly refusing to bow down to the unjust. Though thin in number, nothing could lead them astay from the right path, and is dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of Karbala. Hazrat Imam Hussain, grandson of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) along with his followers, stood up for the preservation of right and religion against the tyrannies of the unjust rule of Yazid. All Muslims become sorrowful and observe this festival to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his followers. For several days mourning in the sing-song form of poems known as the ‘Marcias’ are recited in Muslim households. Black clothes of mourning are put on and no rejoicingsare held. After a few days the effigies of Hazrat Imam Hussain known as the Tazias and which are colourfully decorated, are taken to the place of burial followed by a procession of men beating their breasts and tearing their hair and wailing loudly. The Muharram procession is accupanied by muffled dromms which are sounded. The effigies are buried. During this period Muslims distribute alms to the poor and the in needy and practise all those virtues which their martyrs of Karbala possessed. Along with Id the Muharram is one of the most important festivals among the Muslims.
These festivals, like the festivals of other different religons, have a good effect on people of that faith in so far as they bring back to them the importance of religious and social conduct and inspire in them a feeling of affection and brotherhood. In a world where religion does not scem to have its old place of importance in our lives, the celebration of these festivals helps by reminding people of certain forgotten duty. If only there is sincerity and genuinenes behind the celebration and observance of these festivals greater good can be achieved. It is necessary for all those who aim at social reform and uplift that though these festival should not assume petty and sectarian outlook they must help build up and heighten the religious and ethical conduct of society.