Thoughts of the Holy Eid
8/17/2012 9:54:44 PM -
According to latest information released in the international media, Muslims in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will celebrate Eid Al Fitr on Sunday as Shawal moon was not sighted on Friday [August 17] evening. A noted UAE astronomer had predicted last week that Eid Al Fitr will fall on Sunday 19th August.
Astronomy researcher and General Superviser of the Sharjah Planetarium Ibrahim Jarwan insisted that calculations showed that the crescent moon marking the beginning of the month of Shawwal will rise on Friday 17th August at 7.54pm. As the moonrise takes place 65 minutes after the sunset on that day, it will be impossible to see it because it will not be there on the horizon.
But Pakistani media reports said that Shawal moon has been sighted in Pakistani cities bordering Afghanistanand the Muslims there will celebrate Eid tomorrow.
Reports said that Muslims in Miran Shah and North Waziristan will celebrate Eid tomorrow after authorities declared Eid tomorrow in those areas. Reportedly, the Shawal moon was sighted in the Hyderkhel area of North Waziristan. While according to Bangladeshi media, the Eid will be celebrated on Monday, as Shawal moon was not sighted in Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria has scrapped a centuries-old festival featuring a traditional horse pageant in the days ahead of the advent of `Eid Al-Fitr, amid conflicting reports about the cause of the cancellation. The festival was set to begin this weekend in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north. The centuries-old festival features a horse pageant called a 'durbar', where riders in colorful robes and turbans pay homage to the local emir. In the festival, the Emir of Kano, the top traditional and spiritual figure in the area and his royal entourage tour the city on horseback while dressed in richly ornamented robes. The festival has been one of Nigeria's few tourist attractions, with stunning photographs of the processions making their way into guidebooks.
While millions of Muslims around the world are getting prepared to celebrate Eid either on Sunday or Monday, there is shocking report published in Gulf News titled 'Saudi Arabia's professional beggars con zakat system'.
The report says, professional beggars in Saudi Arabiahave been selling rice given to them as Zakat Al Fitr to restaurants at cheap rates.
The zakat, alms given to the poor and the needy at the end of Ramadan, aims to provide all people with a means to celebrate Eid, the festivities that follow the fasting.
In Saudi Arabia, people tend to give bags of rice they buy from stands set up near mosques and give them to the needy sitting in the vicinity.
'Professional beggars take the bags that are often distributed haphazardly and sell them to popular restaurants, often at half price,' workers in restaurants said, quoted by local daily Al Eqtisadiya.
Abdul Mumen Yazdi, an Afghani who works in a restaurant that sells rice dishes, told the daily that the food outlet buys up to 600 bags from beggars.
'Most of the beggars are African women and children,' he said. 'For the restaurant owner, this is an opportunity not to be missed since they pay only half the price for the bags, he said. According to reports, Saudi nationals and expatriates paid about SR450 million [US$12 million] to buy rice and give it as Zakat to the poor in Ramadan.
According to reports, the total amount of Zakat paid by the citizen only in the Middle East would exceed a few hundred million dollars. Even the royal families in the Middle East are known to be one of the front ranking payers of their Zakat. There are highly affluent people, who complete this religious obligation of paying Zakat even secretly without letting anyone know about their noble and sacred deeds. But what most of them greatly miss is, they mostly hefty manner, thus putting their Zakat money into mostly to wrong hands, including con beggars. Should it be properly done, only three years Zakat would changes lives of hundreds and thousands of poor Muslims around the world as well as Zakat funds can even be utilized in making Muslim media much vocal and effective. Giving Zakat money to such projects are duly allowed by the religious codes.
Author is a journalist, writer and editor of Weekly Blitz in Bangladesh. Online edition of this newspaper is available on: www.weeklyblitz.net