Muslims globally celebrate Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha on the sighting of the moon crescent, with necessary rituals and recommended acts of worship. However, mere moon sighting and observing acts of worship on Eid does not make it correct Eid. There is another important criterion for Eid that a majority of the Muslims ignore.
Prayer and fasting (and Eid) are accepted only accompanied with Love of Ahle Bait (a.s.) & distancing from their enemies
It is a fallacy to believe that fasting and prayers are accepted merely by performing the physical actions that complete the worship.
Without correct belief, worship of any kind is described in the Holy Quran as ‘…their actions are like ashes on which the wind blows hard on a stormy day; they shall not have power over anything out of what they have earned; this is the great error.’ (Surah Ibrahim (14): 12)
Holy Quran has emphasized that while the physical aspect of worship is important, correct belief / spiritual aspect of the belief is a lot more important for acceptance of the worship:
‘There does not reach Allah their flesh nor their blood (of sacrificial animal), but to Him is acceptable the guarding (against evil) on your part…’ (Surah Hajj (22): 37)
Correct belief over here means love of Ahle Bait (a.s.) i.e. Tawalla and dissociating from their enemies i.e. Tabarra.
Abu Zarr (r.a.) narrates from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who informs Ali (a.s.):
O Ali! By Allah, if a person prays and fasts till he becomes like a decomposed skin waterbag, yet his prayers and fasting will not benefit him without your love and hatred towards your enemies. i.e. Tawalla and Tabarra.
- Kifaayah al-Athar p 69
- Irshad al-Quloob p 272
- Al-Insaf p 317
- Behar al-Anwar v 36 p 301
In another place, Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informs:
For the Nasibi, it makes no difference if he fasts or prays or fornicates or steals, he is in the Fire.
- Sawaab al-Aamaal wa Eqaab al-Aamaal p 210-211 under ‘Punishment for the Nasibi and denier of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and one who doubts in him and rejects him’
Note that a Nasibi is not just one who hates Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their Shias, even giving preference to others over Ali (a.s.) and infallible Imams (a.s.) qualifies as such.
Month of Ramazan and Eid is time for payment of wages to deserving workers
The Month of Ramazan especially the last days is the time when Allah forgives the fasting one as reward for his fasting, just like the employer pays wages to his deserving workers at month-end for the job done in the month.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah a-Ansari (r.a.) quotes from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
My nation has been given five things about the month of Ramazan which has not been granted to any nation before me….the fifth point is on the advent of the last night of Ramazan, Allah forgives all of their sins. Haven’t you seen how the (deserving) workers are paid in full by the master when they complete their work?
- Al-Khesal p 316-317
- Behar al-Anwar v 96 p 361
If we interpret this tradition with the earlier report on fasting accepted only with Tawalla and Tabarra, then it means that deserving workers who will be paid in full by Allah for their fasting are those who fasted with belief in Tawalla and Tabarra.
Others will not be rewarded for their fasting so the Month of Ramazan and subsequent Eid al-Fitr has no significance for them even with correct moon sighting.
Road to Eid al-Fitr and al-Adha is through Eid al-Ghadeer
To benefit from correct Eid al-Fitr and al-Adha it is important to believe in and celebrate another far more important Eid.
Narrator asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.):
Is there an Eid for the Muslims other than the Day of Friday and al-Adha and al-Fitr?
He (a.s.) said – Yes, an Eid that is greater than both al-Adha and al-Fitr.
I asked – And which Eid is it, may I be sacrificed over you.
He (a.s.) informed – The day on which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) appointed Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) when he (s.a.w.a.) said: Of whomsoever I am the Master, Ali is his Master. i.e. Eid al-Ghadeer
- Al-Kafi v 4 p 149
The Muslim nation must first believe in and celebrate the bigger Eid i.e. Eid al-Ghadeer as the day of appointment of Ali (a.s.) as the exclusive Maula / Imam / Caliph over all Muslims. They are then eligible to believe in and celebrate the lesser Eids, i.e. Eid al-Fitr and al-Adha.
Without proper belief, Eid is an illusion
When Imam Husain (a.s.) was killed and his head severed, a caller called out from Arsh:
Beware O nation in confusion and deviation after its Prophet (s.a.w.a.)! Allah will not grant you correct Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha.
- Al-Kafi v 4 p 170, v 7 p 654
- Man laa Yahzorohu al-Faqih v 2 p 175
- Al-Iqbal v 1 p 6
This warning (or curse) can be interpreted in a variety of ways according to Muslim scholars.
Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a.) in Mirah al-Uqool (v 16 p 411) offers his interpretation of this report:
- Allah will not grant the Muslim nation (that rejects Tawalla and Tabarra) the taufeeq of sighting the crescent as Shaikh Sadooq (r.a.) and others have understood.
- Or Allah will deprive them of proper knowledge of the laws of fasting and Fitr.
- Or He will deprive them of the taufeeq to pray Eid prayers under the leadership of the (infallible) Imam. i.e. they will reject the divinely appointed Imams (a.s.)
Simply put, something as basic as Eid (Fitr and Adha) that Muslims celebrate with joy and respect and acts of worship is devoid of any meaning and significance in the absence of correct belief in Allah, His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his infallible successors (a.s.).
With correct sighting of moon, Muslims only give their Eid a physical appearance. The spiritual appearance of Eid comes from correct beliefs as outlined by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah and by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on the occasion of (Eid al-Ghadeer).