The people of old find our bold proclamations of self-importance peculiar. What a strange thing, this annual celebration of the new orthodoxy, fostered in every nation on earth by the high priests of the age. In times past it was thought of as a chronic disease, associated with the tongue of Iblis:

He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” — Qur’an 38:76

It is curious indeed: this self-glorification, self-exaltation, self-advancement which afflicts us. The good man is the one who is good in the sight of God, an unknown to mere mortals like us. The arrogant man confounds when dispensing advice, and rude when on the receiving end. Our belief that we are better than others is pure, unadulterated ignorance.

This bitter pride of ours is poison. The great man in the one who is great in the sight of God alone, and only He can judge. Until we stand before Him, gathered together at the end, we have no idea how we will be judged ourselves, let alone our companions on the road.

So shun this new-fangled Eid, devised to glorify the self en masse. We are but dust; no, less than an atom, or a quark. God guides whom He wills and leads astray whom He wills. Our state today could change tomorrow, or in an instant in between. So why this boastful declaration of pride, celebrating ourselves and our own? May our Lord make us humble, recognising that none of us is greater than the unknown servants of the Most Merciful, the Most High.

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