The following is an extract from an Eid Talk given by Shaykh Fadhalla Haeri.
“May every instant of our lives be full of joyful optimism so we progress from one level of understanding and inner light to a higher one, until such time there is nothing left for us to do in this world other than to remain in the ecstasy of truly saying, knowing, singing la ilaha illallah! I would like to share with you the origin of this Eid celebration.
We love to celebrate, to be in a state of positive expectation, to be generous, intelligent and courageous. So we celebrate the Eid in order for us to return to the original condition of our father Adam in the Garden. This state of consciousness is within our soul and needs to be recalled by transcending our earth bound identity.
Life on this Earth is a prelude to a return to the Garden from where Adam, Hawa and all of us – as children of Adam – came from. On earth we are constantly challenged with dualities and choices. We seek the best continuously. This life of ours on earth is only a practice to return back to the Garden. This is why we love beautiful, tranquil, earthly gardens with water and flowers. Unlike these gardens, the original Garden is forever. It does not change. The Qur’an mentions that for all those who are in cautious awareness and remembrance, paradise is close by.
We move after this month of restriction back to normality. We only need to restrict a little of the outer in order to increase on the inner. The wonderful experiences during the month of fasting enable us to access a higher zone of consciousness and boundlessness.
The word Eid appears only once in the Qur’an, in Surah Ma´idah. It is the story of the sincere followers of the Prophet Isa. They ask him: ‘Can’t you bring upon us from the unseen a banquet or a meal, or some nourishment? We want to taste of it so that our hearts become completely certain that all of it is from Allah.’ So Isa asks his Lord to bring down a heavenly banquet – an Eid, not only for those who came first but also for those of later time. We always quest the proof of the connection between the seen and the unseen, as our soul is heavenly but living on earth.
This is the meaning of Eid. The Arabic root is ‘aada’, ‘to have returned’. Return to what? All of us, who have fasted, tend to return once more towards over indulgence. This is not an interesting return. What is worthwhile to return to is the original condition of Adam in the Garden. We need to move towards that Eid.
A day in which you are constantly aware of Allah’s presence with you is an Eid. So every instant can be an Eid, meaning a return back to the original state that we aspire for. We are here to interact in this world without being overwhelmed by it. This knowledge is liberating. Our worldly existence is not a prison. It can be a path towards the ultimate liberated perfection. Space and time will no longer hold us down as happens in our normal consciousness. We want to do things fast and go beyond the speed of light. We want to do everything instantly, so that we are close to that state of constant, timeless perfection. This is our original nature. This is where we came from, and this is where we are all struggling to return to.
Our path is based on grooming the self. Once you have realised that the lower self is of no consequence it can lead you to your higher self. The lower self is only an ego, ever changing, ever treacherous, and you can only recognise its shadows and darkness because of the divine light in you. You, then, recognize that you are often frightened, often greedy, that you are ignorant about what comes after death and are scared of it. Once you taste this knowledge you realise you are a soul.
Every one of us desires the same thing. Beyond what we see as troubles and difficulties there is a most just Creator, whose order is within us. No matter the individual level of knowledge, education, spiritual understanding and awakening, we all have the same potential. All of us have a soul, which is a spark from the original sacred light of Allah. We all have a divine treasure in our heart.Once we realise that our source of inspiration and connection to Allah – our soul – lies within us, we can rise to the true original Adamic worshipfulness. Allah will guide everybody how best to worship. All we need to do is to stop our lower self. This is all what we can do. We have no control over the soul. So this is why it all begins with la ilaha illallah. Eid is about arrival. It is about returning to where we have emanated from, returning to the state that we yearn for. The little outer garden is a sample of the eternal Garden, whose pattern lies within our hearts.”