AFTER ‘solat asar’ (late afternoon prayers), at a ‘masjid’ during last Aidilfitri (Hari Raya Puasa), I was surprised when the ‘imam’ (person who leads a prayer) recited the ‘takbir raya’ (reciting religious verses). I was confused because from my experience, I noticed people only do the 'takbir' after the 'maghrib' (dusk) prayers on the last day of Ramadan till before the 'raya' prayers in the morning of 1st Syawal.
Some people say celebration for Aidilfitri is only for a day. We do the 'takbir' only for a night before ‘solat raya’ (raya prayers) in the morning as compared to four days during Eid Adha (Aidiladha) that is on the 10th, 11, 12 and 13th of Zulhijah. It was ‘haram’ for us to fast on Aidilfitri (only for day) compared to four days during the celebration of Eid Adha.
After the celebration on Ist Syawal, we are recommended to do the 'puasa enam' (fasting for six days in the month of Syawal); thus we must aware to adhere to all God's and His prophet's words regarding the taking of food. For example in the Qur'an (7:31), Allah SWT said: "...and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance..."
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: "Man has not filled a container worse than his stomach; he should be satisfied with a few bites to survive. However, if his appetite beats him, let it be a third (of his stomach space) for his food and a third for his drink and a third for his breath." (Ahmad)
Some pious people especially among elders I noticed 'puasa' (fast) for six straight days; on the 8th of Ramadan some of them were eager to celebrate 'their second raya'. But for the majority us, every day in the month of Syawal is 'hari raya' - we even celebrated 'hari raya' outside Syawal!
If most of us 'bloated' our stomach with drinks and food days and days after the last day of fasting (normally 30th Ramadan); the disciplined ones could have their 'second raya' and some of them even continued to fast on every Mondays and Thursdays which were recommended (sunat) deeds.
Now back to the 'imam' who recited the 'takbir raya' after the 'asar' prayers on Aidilfitri...was he 'right' or 'wrong' in doing so? Sometime ago during a question and answer session in a 'tazkirah' (Islamic class) at a 'masjid', I posed the matter to the 'ustaz' who said we should only do the 'takbir raya' during the designated time frame; for Aidilfitri it only between 'maghrib' prayers on the last day of Ramadan until the recommended (sunat) prayers of Aidilfitri on the morning of 1st Syawal.
The 'ustaz' said if the 'takbir raya' was recited outside the time frame, it was not a 'sunat' (recommended) to do so, but 'insya-Allah' the people who do so would be rewarded in doing 'dhikir' (reciting words of praises to Allah SWT). Prayed to Him that He would accept our 'good deeds'.
The 'ustaz' said Muslims should always have the spirit to update their knowledge especially on 'ibadah' (performing our obligations to Allah SWT), thus we would not make such mistake. Knowledge could differentiate between those who do good deeds as they wish or those who do it just for Allah's shake.
Observe that during the early days of the holy month of Ramadan, 'masjids' were full of congregators but decline as the days past by and the attendees at 'masjids' were back to square one after ‘Raya’.
Ramadan is ‘a university’ to cleanse one inner soul but sadly we do not ‘hijrah’ (change or transform) to be in line with the Islamic teaching but back to our old ways including satisfying our old enemies – ‘syaitan’ (devils) and their gangs.
Before Eid Mubarak, Muslims have to observe fasting for the whole month of Ramadan. By fasting, Muslims were taught to be trift and wise in their spending but allocate more money and time providing for the poor and needy. They too were taught to spend more time improving their inner being, seeking the pleasures of Allah the Almighty by doing good deeds such as doing ‘sunat’ (recommended) prayers such as ‘tarawih and witir’ (night prayers usually held in masjids).
As we enter Eid, the 'magic' of Ramadan suddenly were no longer among us. Aidilfitri is a religious celebration, but the capitalists and oppourtunists turned it into one that provided them worldly pleasures. The capitalists were heaped with money and power at their feet after their success in ‘distorting’ ‘Hari Raya’ while the oppourtunists such as politicians ‘misuse’ ‘Hari Raya’ to fish for support and gaining popularity.
Not long time ago, during a 'tazkirah' at a masjid near my house, the 'ustaz' told congregators actually there are five 'rayas' (special day) to be sought after and work hard for by every Muslim. "These are the actual 'hari rayas'," said the ustaz.
"Number one, we can celebrate 'hari raya' if our day ended with we are free from doing any mistakes or sins - whether small or big sins," said the ustaz.
"This is impossibe because everybody except the Prophet s.a.w. makes sin every now and then. Thus no day would we be able to celebrate 'hari raya', but we must keep on working hard for it, if it is not today, then tommorrow, the days after that until the day when we 'leave this world' (die)," he said.
"Second, we could celebrate 'hari raya' if we die as a person with faith (beriman). In short die in 'husnul khatimah'. This is the 'biggest 'hari raya' for us at the moment we leave the world for good," said the ustaz.
The third 'hari raya' said the ustaz is when we are able to make our way on the 'siratul mustakim' (narrow bridge in the Hereafter). 'Mukmin' (pious persons), 'insya-Allah' (God willing) would be able to drink from the 'Khausar Nabi' (Prophet's well) before making their way to the 'sirat bridge', said the ustaz.
The fourth 'raya', is when we were able to enter the Almighty's paradise (syurga), and the last (fifth) 'raya' is the greatest of all is when The Lord (Allah SWT) acknowleges (reda) us as His servants and gave His blessing for us to witness and having the pleasure of looking at His Glorious Countenance that is (His Essence).
"So hunt and work hard till 'yakin' (complete belief) comes to us (our last moment in this world) so that we could celebrate those 'five hari rayas'. Those days are the actual 'hari rayas'," said the 'ustaz'. 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin'. – ES