A Call from my mother from back home today prompted me to write about the day of happiness for all Muslims all over the world. My mother asked me – what are you going to do on this Eid and with whom you’ll celebrate it? I went blank for a while and then I, on an attempt to take away her worries of me having a lonely eid, replied to her that I have some plans (though I was still wondering what I will be doing on Eid)! I thought to share the essence of this day with other alumnus & readers!
Eid: The word “Eid” is an Arabic word, which means celebration and “Eid-ul-Fitr” means Festival of Breaking the Fast, Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when the Muslims thank Allah for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment during the holy month of Ramazan.
Eid-ul-Fitr is the first festivity in the Islamic calendar. It is linked with the Holy month of Ramazan when Muslims have to observe day long fasts throughout the month. Fasting lasts 29/30 days*, on 29th day all the Muslims go out to see if the next day is Eid or not and it is determined by the moon sight, if the new moon is seen that means the Ramazan is over and the next day will be Eid day.
Names for Eid al-Fitr Across the World: Eid al-Fitr has many names. Here are some of them.
- Albania – Fitër Bajrami
- Azerbaijan – Ramazan Bayramı
- Holland – Suikerfeest
- Germany – Ramadanfest
- Greece – Bairami
- Somalia – Ciid Yare
- Spain – Fiesta de la ruptura del ayuno
- Turkmenistan – Oraza baýramy
- Portugal – Celebração do fim do jejum
Zakat-ul-Fitr: Alms-giving is the first ritual taking place before Eid prayers, by paying a charitable amount called, “Zakat-ul-Fitr” this is generally given in staple food of the country one lives, like grain or wheat or equivalent amount of 3 kilograms/ 6.61 pounds of the same, to the poor. Generally when you get to the mosque for Eid prayers; you’ll have to give that charity to the poor people who gathered there, but in U.S or other countries where Muslims are in minorities or there is very less/no number of poor people then this charity is given to the Muslim charitable organizations. This helps poor to celebrate Eid along with the rest of society.
Message of Eid: To enjoy the prosperity and blessings of Allah by helping poor and the needy on this auspicious day, meet and greet everyone without any discrimination of races and status. Share the message of love, humbleness, brotherhood and PEACE among the humanity.
Eid Celebrations: Usually the celebrations start with shopping for new clothes, shoes, jewelry etc. The markets remain open 24/7 and the shopping ends on Chand Raat (New Moon Night). Women wrap themselves with beautiful silhouettes, silks and enchanting Henna patterns, glow in embroidery and gorgeous cloths on the Eid day, cook and bake delicacies to be shared with guests coming over.
Eid Prayers: All the Muslims around the globe perform a special prayer on every Eid day, before prayers everyone appears in their best form for the prayer, eats well as the fasts are over and go for collective prayer. While heading to the prayer, people should be remembering and glorifying Allah in traditional words we say, “Allah – o – Akber, Allah – o – Akber, Allah – o – Akber, La Illah’a Illallah’o, Wallah’o Akbar, Allah – o – Akber, wa Lillah’il Hamd”. This mentions the greatness of Allah and we are thankful to him. Generally we pray 5 times a day in mosque, but Eid prayers are especially performed in open area to accommodate as many as possible for the prayers together. Though in countries like U.S & U.K we perform Eid prayers in mosques but generally in Muslim countries the Eid prayers are performed in Eid Mussalla/Eid Gaah (the open ground for Eid prayers only). This is a 2 Rakaat of pray, followed by a sermon by Imam (Leader of prayer).
Greetings: Following the prayers Laughs, smiles, and hugs fill the air as everyone greets an “Eid Mubarak”, women prepare different types of food including sweet dishes at homes, families gather and spend good times. Eid experience is especially exciting for children, as they get many gifts & Eidi (pocket money) as a treat by elders and family friends.
I will miss my family, friends, celebrations, traditional sweet dishes and a lot during this Eid, but I will have a chance to celebrate this Eid with my fellow community from various parts of the world and hope this will be an amazing Eid for my entire life.
May Allah almighty, accepts the fasts of hot days and long prayers of the nights and recitations of the Holy Quran which all the Muslims performed during the Holy month of Ramazan.