Chand Raat: A Thoughtful Perspective

July 11- Chand raatThe announcement of the sighting of the moon is the signal for us to shift from prayer mode to party mode, and why not? After a month of spiritual devotion, we feel like we’ve earned the right to some worldly indulgence. However, the conclusion of the month of fasting shouldn’t mean the end of our awareness of being a Muslim. We should carry that consciousness throughout the enjoyments of Chand Raat as a testament that we haven’t forgotten Allah (swt) in the joy of the new moon. We can enjoy ourselves without losing our self respect as the best creation. Here are some handy tips:

Go easy on the accelerator

I don’t mean just literally. The Quran says: “Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (God) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

Sure, eat out and buy pretty things, but don’t go overboard. It is best to decide beforehand the exact things you need to get, in order to avoid impulse purchases. Do you really need those silver bangles when you have a perfectly good set at home? If you still fall victim to over-shopping, instead of keeping the extra stuff guiltily among your things, give it as a gift to someone.

Leave the tinkles and shimmers at home…

Every day is not special enough to wear special clothes. We all jump at the chance to wear them, but there is a place for everything, and public places, especially on this night, are not fit for wearing attractive outfits; we all know the kind of crowd that is on the streets on this occasion.

…or stay at home with them

Who says you have to go out for fun? Food can be delivered at home, or someone can go out to get food for the whole party. Whether you go to the people or get the people to come to you, fun is how you make it.

Bazaar and Dhikr are not mutually exclusive concepts

Want the shopping and sightseeing but don’t want to leave the Barkat (goodness) at home? Begin with the name of Allah (swt). “I begin my adventure among the crowded stalls and malls by invoking Allah (swt),” may sound weird, so we have this tailor-made Dua for the marketplace to use: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise. He brings life and He causes death, and He is living and does not die. In His Hand is all good, and He is Able to do all things.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Don’t let the Isha prayer slip by in all the excitement. It’s the first post-Ramadan prayer. You don’t want to be marked absent on His attendance register immediately after the holy month has ended.

Keep it down

While staying up late at night chitchatting or watching TV, remember that it only seems that the whole world is awake. There are early sleepers, little babies and elderly people all around the neighbourhood. Even if you know that your neighbours will stay up longer than you, you should still avoid making noise out of charity.

Abdullah Ibn Masood (rta) has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) has said: “A man is not a Muslim till his heart and tongue are submissive, and he is not a believer till his neighbor is safe from injurious behaviour on his part.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Remember those who work at your house

A set of bangles for the maid is a small price to pay to make her feel special.

Chand Raat: the “night of reward”?

The Hadeeth “Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die” is weak: its chain of narrators is unsound. The night before Eid has not been recommended for worship. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t pray during this night. We just shouldn’t go out of our way to do special worship that we wouldn’t do normally.

Instead of weighing the propriety of an action or practice on the unstable measure of public opinion (“if I do that, what will people think?”), it is better to consider what the Almighty thinks. Unlike our fellow flawed human beings, He will actually reward us for taking His approval into our consideration.