Question: In Indonesia, during the time of Eid ul-Fitr, when people apologize, they say ‘minal aidin wal faizin’ for whatever they have done that year. Is this adopted culture out of habit or is this from the sunnah? Is it recommended?
It is sunnat. It is recommended to ask for forgiveness because the month of Ramazan is the month of cleaning, Fitr. And when you enter into Eid ul-Fitr, that means that you come back to your Fitrah, coming back to your state of purity, originality, your purity. But everything that is sunnat and everything that is coming from Allah and His Prophet (AS), it doesn’t mean that it is just like that, meaning that people can take it and corrupt it and pervert it or make it to become something that is robotic or mechanical, they can do that too. Especially in this Ahir Zaman. So the meaning for that is that they are asking each other for forgiveness. Yes, it is sunnat. Is it sunnat to do it in Ramazan time, is it sunnat to do it in Eid, to ask forgiveness from each other? Yes, why not? You’re supposed to ask for forgiveness from Allah seventy times a day, regardless of Ramazan or Eid or something. And we have to ask each other for forgiveness. One thing that the Ottomans did was they didn’t wait until Eid to say this, especially, they said, when they are leaving, when they are leaving each other, they are departing, and they say what? Hakkın helal et. May my rights, my haqq, be helal. Implicit in that is ‘I’m also making your rights to be helal,’ meaning that ‘forgive me if I did anything wrong. Don’t take me into account on the Judgement Day.’ They don’t wait for Eid ul-Fitr to do that. They do that every time. It has become a custom, yes, but the custom can become robotic when there is no meaning in it. The namaz can be robotic when there is no meaning in it. You can go up and down a hundred times a day, when there is no meaning in that, there is no value. The zikr can be that, same thing. It doesn’t mean that now you have to throw away the practice. You cannot. You have to put meaning into it.
So people are, like that person is asking, in Indonesia it’s very big amongst the Shafi’is over there, to ask each other for forgiveness. Yes, it’s good. But if you do it without any meaning, you just say ‘eh, forgive me, I forgive you,’ like that, as a custom-custom, without any meaning, it becomes valueless. But that doesn’t mean that the practice itself is without any value. You must still continue to do it. And people must put meaning. How are you going to put meaning into it? If you understand, ‘what are the wrongs that I’ve done to this man? What did I do the whole year? I said these rough words to him. I did this wrong thing. I thought this ugly things. This one, I did the same things. This one, I had a fight. This one…’ That means that you keep a record, you keep a tab, okay? What do people do? They keep a tab, they keep a list of all those things that people say to them, do wrong things to them, they keep a tab. ‘I’m not going to forgive this one, I’m not going to forgive this one, this one did wrong,’ yes? But nobody ever says ‘I did this one wrong, I did this one, I did this one, and I must clear my debt.’ They don’t. So this practice lets us at least to say that. If it is just with the words, at least to say that.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
5 Shawwal 1441
May 28, 2020