Friday, October 12, 2007

Symbolic Meaning of Sighting New Moon and Breaking Fast

Eid Mubarak! Greetings of Festival to you all. After a month of fasting, the celebration is going to be on Saturday here in North America.

Based on scientific astronomical calculation (which i support as well) according to The Fiqh Council of North America & the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Eidul Fitr 1428 is Saturday, October 13, 2007. Have a very Happy Eid Celebration!

Iftar, the breaking of fast and Eid-ul-Fitr (the Festival Celebration that follows after one month of fasting) both are derived from the same Arabic word root F-T-R which means Essence.

Now when we break our fast by taking food it doesn’t limit only to taking nourishment for our body. After a full day of fasting, abstinence from desire of food or bodily need we reach the pinnacle by negating our bodily desire and then comes iftar which represents the essence of spiritual nourishment.

Remember the spiritual nourishment that Jesus prayed for: Said Jesus the son of Mary: "O God our Lord! Send down to us a table spread with nourishment from heaven which should be to us an ever-recurring happiness, for the first of us and for the last of us, a sign from Thee; and give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best Sustainer." - The Quran, Chapter: The Table Spread, 5:114

The Iftar thus symbolize the Essence of Spiritual Nourishment.

When a whole month of fasting ends, Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, instructed to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr when new moon appears. Exoterically it concerns the moon that is out there. But from esoteric perspective we are instructed by the Mystic Master to witness the inner shining, that is enlightenment of heart.

The Prophet said: "... whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain God's rewards, then all his past sins and negativity will be forgiven." (Bukhari). The exercise of a whole month of fasting along with other spiritual practices, divine consciousness, seclusion and remembrance one move to reach that state of innocence when one’s heart shines like a beautiful new moon adorning the sky.

That’s the essence (F-T-R) inside Eid-ul-Fitr and that’s where real celebration is.

- inspired from talk given by Jilla Behnam in a meditation workshop organized by MTO Shahmaghsoudi.

O God, do Thou cause the appearance of this moon to be a harbinger of peace, faith, security and submission to You for us. Thy Lord, O moon, and mine is God. May this be a moon presaging guidance and goodness. - Prophet's prayer when new moon appeared
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