Eid ul Fitr,1 ShawwalThe first Eid
was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with his friends and relatives after the victory of the battle of Badr.
Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control.
The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Muslims in most countries rely on news of an official sighting, rather than looking at the sky themselves.
The celebratory atmosphere is increased by everyone wearing best or new clothes, and decorating their homes.
There are special services out of doors and in Mosques, processions through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal—eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.
Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.
The Islamic Eids are unique in every way. To them there can be nothing similar in any other religion or any other socio-political system. Besides their highly spiritual and moral characteristics, they have matchless qualities:
Each Eid is a wholesome celebration of a remarkable achievement of the individual Muslim in the service ofAllah. The Night Preceding"Eid ul Fitr"
It had been the practice of the Prophet (pbuh) that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day ofEid ul fitr.This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward
(Lailatul Jaiza). Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadan abiding by the dictates of Shari"a, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform nafl prayers in this night. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said:
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. (Ibn Majah)
To benefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this night as he can, and should pray for all his needs and desires.
Before Going to EidPrayer
The following acts are prescribed as tradtionsat the beginning of the day of"Eid ul Fitr"before proceeding to the Eidprayer: 1.
To wake up early in the morning. 2.
To clean one"s teeth with a Miswaak or a brush. 3.
To take a bath. 4.
To put on one"s best available clothes. 5.
To wear perfume. 6.
To eat a sweet food, preferably dates, before the Eidprayer. 7.
To recite the following Takbirin the low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Ila Allah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Alhamd
Ibn Abbas reported: “I participated in the Eid al-Fitr Prayer
with the Prophet Mohamad (pbuh), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, and all of them held Eid Prayer before sermon, and then the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), delivered the sermon.”
Who should go to the prayer ground & offer Eid Prayer:
On the Eid day, every believing man, woman and child should go to the prayer ground and participate in this joyous occasion.
Structure of Eid prayer:
Eid prayer is
recommended. It consists of two Rakahs (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The prayer is followed by the sermon.
The sermon is part of the worship and listening to it is tradition. During the sermon, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do virtue and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Muslim people at large and the feelings of sacrifice and Jihad should be aroused in the community. At the conclusion of the prayer the Muslims should convey greetings to each other, give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.
Zakaat ul Fitr (fitriya)1
The word Fitr
means the same asIftaar
, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakaat ul Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan
. 2. CLASSIFICATION
Zakaat ul Fitr is a duty which is obligatory
on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.
The head of the household may pay the required amount for the other members. Abu Sa"eed Khudree said, "On behalf of our young and old, free men and slaves, we used to take out during Allah"s Messenger"s lifetime one Saa" of grain, cheese or raisins". [collected by Muslim - English transl. vol. 2, p. 469, no. 2155] 3
The significant role played by Zakaat in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Zakaat ul Fitr. However, in the case of Zakaat ul Fitr, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity. Thus, Zakaat ul Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community. The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor. This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have. 4
The main purpose of Zakaat ul Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakaat ul Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (Eid ul Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.
Ibn Abbaas reported, "The Prophet made Zakaat ul Fitr obligatory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before prayer will have it accepted as Zakaat, while he who gives it after the prayer has given Sadaqah (alms)." [Collected by Abu Dawood - Eng. transl. vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 - rated Saheeh by Shaikh Naser Al-Albanee]
Hence, the goal of Zakaat ul Fitr is the spiritual development of the Believers. By making them give up some of their wealth, the believers are taught the higher moral characteristics of generosity, compassion (sympathy for the unfortunate), gratitude to God and the righteousness. But, since Islam does not neglect man"s material need, part of the goal of Zakaat ul Fitr is the economic well-being of the poorer members of society. 5
Zakaat ul Fitr is only obligatory for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Eid (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the companions of the Prophet) used to pay Zakaat ul Fitr a couple days before the Eid. 6
The amount of Zakaat is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is two handfuls of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the
Eid ul Fitr in Muslim countriesEGYPT
The full moon rises in between the two minarets of al-Nour mosque in Cairo late night November 20, 2002. The Islamic calendar is governed by the moon and the full moon marks the middle of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. The month will end when the new moon appears marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday. REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby
Thousands of Egyptians crowd into a public square in Cairo for dawn prayers of the first day of Eid el-Fitr, a Muslim feast, December 5, 2002. The feast ends the Holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby
In Pakistan the celebration the night before Eid is called Chand Raat
, or night of the moon. Women often dance and paint each other with henna tattoos. One of the special dishes in India, Pakistan and Fiji is savayya, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles.
Indian Muslims take part in the prayer to mark the end of the month of Ramadan with the holy Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr at Kotla Feroz Shah Mosque, in New Delhi, India, Friday Dec. 6, 2002. The Muslim festival of Eid held added tension in communal hotspots across India as it fell on the 10th anniversary of the demolition of a 16 century mosque by Hindu extremist. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)
Indian Muslims make their way up the steps of the Jama Masjid in the walled city of Delhi to break their fast, December 5, 2002. Muslims inIndia will celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr on Friday, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month where Muslims across the world fast from dawn to dusk. Twelve percent of Hindu-majorityIndia"s population is Muslim. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore
Thousands of Indian Muslims offer their prayers on a main road in Calcutta on December 6, 2002. Muslims across the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw
Indian Muslim woman offer evening prayers at the Jama Masjid in the walled city of Delhi to break their fast, December 5, 2002. Muslims inIndia will celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr on Friday, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month where Muslims across the world fast from dawn to dusk. Twelve percent of Hindu-majorityIndia"s population is Muslim. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore
Kashmiri Muslim women offer Eid prayers in the Grand Mosque in Srinagar India, Friday, Dec. 6, 2002. Muslims across the country are celebrating the festival of Eid al-Fitr on Friday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Hundreds of people wave from atop a packed train leaving for northeastern Mymenshingh from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka December 4, 2002 ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday. Predominently Muslim Bangladesh celebrates the holiday on Friday or Saturday depending on the sighting of the crescent moon at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman
In Indonesian the feast is namedIdul Fitri
. Sometimes, there are different statements on when the day falls, especially between Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, because people use different techniques to determine it. Almost all of the people follow the government of Indonesia"s statement and the different times have never sparked any riots or protests. This event is recognized as national holiday and starts a few days before Idul Fitri and lasts some days after it. Schools also have different schedule for the holiday as many Islamic schools usually make it a longer holiday.
Another Idul Fitri tradition inIndonesia is mudik
that usually applies to urbans who came to Jakarta from Java or other islands in Indonesia. Before Idul Fitri comes, people will go back to their hometowns where their relatives, sometimes including their parents, reside. This event often causes crowding in airports, seaports, and bus stations while some who are travelling by car are trapped in the traffic jam for hours. For little children, asking for money as well as forgiveness from relatives is common to motivate them. Many, especially in the cities, also use the term angpau
for the money just like Chinese people do.
A young child attends morning Eid prayers outside a Jakarta mosque, December 6, 2002. Millions of Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
Muslim women perform morning prayers for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, inJakarta,Indonesia, Friday, Dec. 6, 2002.Indonesia is the world"s most populous Muslim nation. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Pakistanis pray in front ofKarachi"s Eid-Gah mosque,December 6, 2002. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Akbar Baloch
A Pakistani mosque is bathed in light on the twenty-ninth night of the fasting month of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, in Rawalpindi December 4, 2002. Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan with religious zeal by abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn until dusk. The Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. The photo is taken through glass that is reflecting lights. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
Pakistan"s Faisal mosque is bathed in light on the twenty-seventh night of the fasting month of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, inIslamabad, December 2, 2002. Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan with religious zeal by abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk. The Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr is then celebrated at the end of Ramadan. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
Filipino Muslims pray inside the largest Muslim Mosque in Manila for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2002. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
A Muslim family celebrates Eid al-Fitr inXining, thecapital of northwest China"s Qinghai Province on Thursday Dec. 5, 2002. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Han Yuqing)
A Muslim woman selects pancakes at a market in China"s western most city of Kashi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous RegionThursday Dec. 5, 2002. Muslims here are preparing for the Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Xinhua Photo, Luo Xiaoguang)
Bosnian Muslims pray inSarajevo"s Skenderija Olympic hall on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr,December 5, 2002. Despite poor weather, Muslims gathered at mosques and cemeteries to pray on the first day of their biggest holiday Eid el-Fitr, ending the fasting month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic
In the predominately Shia culture ofIran, Eid is a highly personal event, and celebrations are often more muted.
Veiled Iranian Muslim women pray at the grand mosque of Imam Khominei, during the Muslim holiday Eid, the fast breaking feast that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Friday Dec. 6, 2002.(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
Iranian Muslims pray at the grand mosque of Imam Khominei, during the Muslim holiday Eid, the fast breaking feast that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Friday Dec. 6, 2002. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
A disabled Afghan man prays in front ofKabul"s Eid-Gah mosque during celebrations for the Muslim festival Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, December 5, 2002. Afghan police said they prevented a deadly explosion at a main mosque in the capital after finding several kilograms of explosives and two hand grenades before the start of the religious festival. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti
Afghan men pray in front ofKabul"s Eid-Gah mosque during celebrations for the Muslim festival Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,December 5, 2002. Afghan police said they prevented a deadly explosion at a main mosque in the capital after finding several kilograms of explosives and two hand grenades before the start of the religious festival. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Makhtoum, crown prince of Dubai and UAE minister of defense, offers prayers during the Eid al Fitr festival in Dubai, Dec. 5, 2002. Muslims celebrated the Eid al-Fitr festival after a month of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. (Anwar Mirza/Reuters)
A boy holds a flag of the Islamic militant group Hamas as hundreds of Palestinians pray at dawn to mark the first day of Eid, the feast that ends the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Thursday Dec. 5 2002, in a yard left after rubble was removed at the Jenin refugee camp. Part of the camp was totally destroyed by the Israeli army during a military operation conducted last April. (AP Photo/Mohamad Balas)
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