Updated at 1249 on Sep 01, 2011
"Eid-ul-Fitr", or the festival of charity was celebrated in Prasanthi Nilayam by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning who perform educational and inspiring programme on this day every year and this year was no different. After the Vedic invocation, the programme started at 1700 hrs with Namaz, a prayer for the well being of one and all. After the Namaz, the students presented a skit with a story woven around the five pillars of Islam namely - Shahada (Faith),. Salat (Prayer), Sawm (Fasting), Zakāt(Charity) and Hajj (Pilgrimage).
The importance of prayer was described with a beautiful song and dance. Fasting and charity with a story of sacrifice where a poor Muslim feeds a destitute boy with the food he was taking for his family to break their Ramadan fast., Faith and Pilgrimage was discussed by the students and their inner significance sought. Pilgrimage, they said, is not merely to be undertaken to a distant land but also toward the inward path. For the true abode of peace is within.
The students then enacted an incident from their hostel life when two students join an Islamic brother in the Ramadan fast. Learning about this a fourth student, inspired by their sacrifice and resolve, would wake up very early and prepared a feast for them in the morning before sunrise. The students concluded the programme stating that Islam is not a religion, but a state of mind, a state where the mind is surrendered to Allah, the Almighty.
The programme was interspersed with melodious music and energetic dance performances based on the teachings of Bhagawan and the Holy Quran. After the programme, the students sang Bhajans for 10 minutes after which Arati was offered to Bhagawan. Prasadam was distributed to the assembly.