Eid-ul-Fitr: Here’s why the day is so significant in Islam
Eid-ul-Fitr is a celebration of breaking the fast as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends. During the holy month of Ramadhan, Muslims all over the world observe fasting from dawn to dusk and the fasting culminates on this day amid celebrations.
The history of the most significant Islamic celebrations dates back to 610 AD when the visions of angel Jibril, the messenger of Allah, guided Prophet Mohammed. Under the guidance of Jibril, were writtem the holy verses of wisdom by Prophet Mohammed and those verses later were documented as the holy book of Quran. The verses, thereon, became the code of conduct for all Islam followers and it is believed that it was during the month of Ramadan that the wisdom from the holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad. The ritual of Muslims observing fast for a month was entreated by Mohammed to express gratitude to Allah.
Five Eid-ul-Fitr facts
Eid-ul-fitr literally translates to the Festival of Breaking the Fast and the day marks the end of a month-long fast, called sawm, that Muslims all over the world observe during the month of Ramadan. Muslims are expected to abstain not only from food and drinks, but also from material and spiritual vices including lying, cheating, violence and theft. The whole month is spent with the motive of self cleansing and purification. On the day of Eid, however, it is forbidden to fast.
The start of Eid is determined by the sighting of crescent moon after sunset on the last day of the holy month and the moon sighting also marks the beginning of the month of Shawwal, the 10th month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
The ritual of an early hour bath- called ‘ghusl’ to cleanse their body, begins the holy day for Muslims, who then put on their best clothes and eat dates and breakfast before going to the special Eid prayer ceremonies in the mosque. A sermon is given. followed by a prayer called Salat-al-Eid, that may only be recited with others. Large feasts, processions, greetings and celebrations with friends and families mark the rest of the day.Eid Mubarak, which means ‘Blessed Eid’, and Eid Said, meaning Happy Eid, are the traditional greetings during Eid.
The Eid prayer is different from the regular prayer known as Adhaan and the special prayer can be done anytime between Ishraq and Zawal prayers.
Also, Zakat-al-Fitr, charity of breaking the fast, is a duty to be performed by all Muslims. A certain amount of food is donated to the poor so that they too can break the fast and celebrate Eid. Zakat, which means ‘alms’, is one of the five pillars of Islam and every Muslim is obligated to contribute to to their community.