Eid al-Fitr, (Arabic: “Festival of Breaking Fast”) also spelled ʿĪd al-Fiṭr, also called al-ʿĪd al-Ṣaghīr, Turkish Ramazan Bayrami (“Ramadan Festival”), first of two canonical festivals of Islam. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. It is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar (though the Muslim use of a lunar calendar means that it may fall in any season of the year). As in Islam’s other holy festival – Eid al-Adha, it is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (ṣalāt) at daybreak on its first day. Eid al-Fitr is a time of official receptions and private visits. When friends greet one another, presents are given, new clothes are worn, and the graves of relatives are visited.
Celebrated at the end of the most sacred Islamic month Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr is a three-day long festival that is enthusiastically celebrated by all Muslims of the world. But how did this exciting festival originate?
According to the Islamic tradition, it was in the year 610 A.D. that Prophet Muhammad, while meditating in Mount Hira one night during the month of Ramadan, had a vision of the angel Jibril (also known as Gabriel) appearing before him telling his name to Muhammad and declaring to the latter that he was the messenger of God. Jibril said to him : “Iqraa” (meaning “read” or “recite”).
To this Muhammad replied that he could not read.
Jibril embraced Muhammad and after liberating him repeated “Iqraa”
“I cannot read” Muhammad answered again
Jibril hugged Muhammad for a third time and asked him to recite what he said. He told him
Recite in the name of your Lord Who creates.
Creates man from a clot.
Recite: And your Lord is the Most Bountiful
Who teaches by the pen
He teaches man what he does not know.”
Though the angel informed him that he was the messenger of Allah and was going to be a prophet for his people. Muhammad was greatly disturbed at his meeting with Jibril. It is believed that he at first considered the angel as an evil spirit. It was his wife Khadijah who allayed his fears reminding him of his good conduct until then and that it was impossible for him to be visited by a demon. Even her much learned old cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal convinced him that he was indeed a messenger of God and the angel who visited Muhammad was the one who had also visited the Hebrew prophet Moses. Muhammad was of forty years of age at this time.
In the following twenty-three years, Muhammad was visited many times by Jibril who taught him the holy knowledge in verses. This sacred knowledge consists of the code of conduct that Allah wants his people to maintain on earth. It is inscribed in verses which are compiled in the holy Qur’an, the most sacred book in Islam. It is said that the sacred knowledge was revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. As a mark of respect to Allah and to show gratitude to him for the true knowledge that he gifted to his sons and daughters, the prophet asked his followers (and therefore the followers of Islam) to pass the month of Ramadan in fasting, prayers and other austerities and end the month-long non-indulgence with festive celebrations. This is how Eid-Ul-Fitr was born. This three-day long celebration ends the ninth month and begins the tenth month of Shawwal with absolute happiness and contentment for the ability to sacrifice for Allah. The aim of this festival is to promote peace, strengthen the feeling of brotherhood and bring oneself back to the normal course of life after a month-long period of self-denial and religious devotion.
According to the Islamic trad
Timing of Eid-
Traditionally, it is the day (beginning at sunset) of the first sighting of the crescent moon shortly after sunset. If the moon is not observed immediately after the 29th day of the previous lunar month (either because clouds block its view or because the western sky is still too bright when the moon sets), then it is the following day.
Although the date of Eid al-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last week of the same Gregorian calendar year. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local sightability of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined for their home country, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence.
Eid in Ancient times
Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal at the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims undergo a period of fasting. According to certain traditions, these festivals were initiated in Madinah after the migration of Muhammad from Mecca.
When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated for one, two or three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘īd (“Happy Eid”). In addition, many countries have their own greetings in the local language – in Turkey, for example, a typical saying might be Bayramınız kutlu olsun or “May your Bayram – Eid – be blessed.” Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences with others or animosities that may have occurred during the year.
Typically, practicing Muslims wake up early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad clean their teeth with a toothbrush, take a shower before prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.
It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid. It is customary to acknowledge this with a small sweet breakfast, preferably of date (fruit), before attending a special Eid prayer (known as salaat).
As an obligatory act of charity, money is paid to the poor and the needy (Arabic: Sadaqat-ul-fitr) before performing the ‘Eid prayer.
On Eid we should not fail:
1 – To show happiness
2 – To give as much charity as is possible
3 – To pray Fajr in the local Masjid
4 – To go early for Eid salaat
5 – To read the takbirat in an open field.
6 – Go to the Eid prayer on foot
7 – Say Eid Mubarak-
Muslims recite the following incantation in a low voice while going to the Eid prayer:
Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar. Lā ilāha illà l-Lāh wal-Lāhu akbar, Allahu akbar walil-Lāhi l-ḥamd.
Recitation ceases when they get to the place of Eid or once the Imam commences activities.
Muslims are recommended to use separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.
Women are encouraged to join Salat of Eid
Eid in India –
Celebrations in India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent share many similarities with regional variations, because a large part of the Indian subcontinent was ruled as one nation during the days of the Mughal Empire and British Raj. The night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, “Night of the Moon”. Muslims in these countries will often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families for Eid shopping. Women, especially younger girls, often apply the traditional Mehndi, or henna, on their hands and feet and wear colorful bangles.
The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace. Gifts are frequently given. New clothes are part of the tradition. It is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders. It is common for children to offer salam to parents and adult relatives. After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. It is also common to visit neighbors, family members, specially senior relatives called Murubbis and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid. Special celebratory dishes in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh include Lachcha or sivayyan a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit.
On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitra. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one’s annual savings to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes.
In India, there were many popular places for Muslims to congregate to celebrate Eid. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbors on Eid to convey their good wishes. Eid is celebrated grandly in the city of Hyderabad which has rich Islamic Heritage. Hyderabadi haleem a type of meat stew is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan. It takes center stage and becomes the main course at Iftar (the breaking of the fast).
Prayers on Eid –
Eid al-Fitr prayer (Salat al-Eid) or Eid al-Fitr Namaz is performed on the occasion of Eid. The Prayer of Eid al-Fitr is performed in two different ways by Sunni and Shia Islam.
There are two Rak’ah (Rakaat) performed in the Eid al-Fitr prayer. The prayer of Eid al-Fitr starts by doing “Niyyat” for the prayer. Then Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) is said by the Imam and all the followers. The next is to recite “Takbeer-e-Tehreema” in first Rakaat. Then the congregation says Allahu Akbar seven times. Every time raising hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when hands are folded. Then the Imam reads the Surah-e-Fatiha and other Surah. Then the congregation performs Ruku and Sujud as in other prayers. This completes the first Rak’ah. Then the congregation rises up from the first Rak’ah and folds hands for the second Rak’ah. In the next step the Imam says five takbirat, followed by the congregation. Every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when the hands are folded. Again the Imam reads the Surah-e-Fatiha and another Surah followed by the Ruku and Sujud. This completes the Eid prayer. After the prayer there is a khutbah.
Shia also perform two Rak’ah in the Eid al-Fitr prayer. Prayer starts with the Niyyat followed by the five “Takbeers”. During every “Takbeer” of the first Rak’ah, a special Dua is recited. Then the Imam recites Sūrat al-Fātiḥah and Surat Al-‘A`lá and the congregation performs Ruku and Sujud as in other prayers. In the second Rak’ah again the same above steps (five Takbeers, Sūrat al-Fātiḥah and Surat Al-‘A`lá, Ruku and Sujud) are repeated. After the prayer, Khutbah starts.