Eid al Fitr – More than celebrations
Eid al-Fitr that is also known as the Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Lesser Eid or the Sweet Festival marks the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan. On the day of Eid new moon is sighted. Sight of new moon generally falls in two dates as some people see the moon and other wait for an announcement from Mecca. The day falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. Muslim undergo a period of fasting during the Ramadan month and Eid al-Fitr is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal and at the end of the Ramadan. Prophet Mohammed had established the two Eids – Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. These days are celebrated as a gratitude to God.
Celebrations of Eid al-Fitr take place for one to three days. ‘Eid Mubarak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa’id (“Happy Eid”) are the Arabic greetings offered on this day. Apart from this most of the countries have their own versions of greetings. Forgiveness and charity is supported and encouraged on this day.
Day of Eid starts before dawn with prayer – the Salat ul-Fajr or the pre-dawn prayer. Muslims get up early in the morning, take bath and wear new clothes before offering prayers. Fast is forbidden on the day of Eid so after having a meal devotees head towards mosque to offer Eid prayers. This is a part of a community known as Salaat-al-Eid. Charity is encouraged on the day of Eid so Muslims give money to poor as an act of charity before Eid prayers. Eid prayer is performed in an open space and without a call to prayer.
Eid al-Fitr is the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It shows the empathy towards poor, patience, worship and charity. Fasting during the month of Ramazan is done to restrict one from all worldly desires and to focus on Lord. This is a way to thank Him for His blessings. All fasting teaches one the pangs of hunger and thirst. Through fast, one comes to know about the condition of poor who does not get enough food and water for the survival. So that is why charity is an important part of Eid al-Fitr. This is also the reason why during Ramazan eating and satisfying oneself is not recommended. Instead one should always break the fast and part take of Iftar with other. Prefer it with one who cannot afford meal.
Devote yourself to God. Significance of wearing new or the best clothes and to celebrate the day with family is to recognize the blessings of God and thank Him for what He has given. Remember and feel the pain of poor and for this charity is absolutely recommended. The best time to do charity is before going to mosque for prayer. In order to remember the lessons learnt in Ramazan it is important to fast for another six days in the month of Shawwal. Eid and its celebrations is a way to connect with the spiritual realm.