Eid Muslims

Eid ul-Fitr

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the month long fasting during the month of Ramadan. This holiday is celebrated for three consecutive days in the tenth month of the Muslim calendar called Shawwal. The word 'Fitr' means to break as this is significant for the breaking of the fasting during the month of Ramadan

The festivities of Eid ul-Fitr begin with the sighting of the new crescent moon in the evening of the last day of fasting during Ramadan. When the sighting of the moon of Shawwal is confirmed, Muslims recite the "Takbir" which is a prayer glorifying the almighty. The Takbir consists of the lines:

Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber La ila-ha ill-lal-lah Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber

Wa-lilahill hamd.

(English Translation:)

Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no deity but Allah Allah is great, Allah is great And all praises are for Allah).

For all Muslims of the world, these are three days of great merriment and festivities. On the first morning following the last day of Ramadan, Muslims traditionally wake up early in the morning and have a small breakfast (preferably of the date fruit) to end their month-long Ramadan fast. Then they dress up in their best attires, preferably new clothes which are specially purchased for the occassion. After this, they head to a local mosque or any other large open area (such as a field in the neighborhood) to attend the "salah", a special Eid prayer that is performed in congregation. Before the Eid prayer begins, every Muslim who has some means must pay "Zakat al-fitr", a sum to be donated for the month of Ramadan, to destitute Muslims living nearby. The "Zakat al-fitr" equates to about 2 kg of a basic foodstuff (wheat, barley, dates, raisins, etc.), or its cash equivalent, and is typically donated at the mosques. The donation is given during the early days of Ramadan so that the recipient can use it for Eid purchases.

The "salah" is held only for a short duration and is traditionally followed by the khutbah (sermons). This is followed by the "dua", a prayer asking for God's forgiveness, mercy and help for all living beings of the world. When the "dua" is completed, all Muslims greet and embrace the persons sitting on either side of themselves.

The prayers over, it is time for 3-day long festivities to be observed in every home. People pay a visit to the houses of their friends, relatives and acquaintances.