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Why do we Celebrate Eid- Get the Answers

July,2015- Introduction

Happy Eid

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], "festival of breaking of the fast"), also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, Bayram (Bajram), the Sweet Festivalor Hari Raya Puasa and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entiremonth of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality. However, in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (Jama’at) and, has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allāhu Akbar", literally "God is greatest"), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before Ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka'ah. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard فرض(obligatory), Mustahabb مستحب(strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob مندوب(preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by Allah, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers.

Eid al-Fitr goes by various alternative terms in English, including:

  1. Fastbreaking Eid
    Eid Mubarak
  2. Sweet Festival
  3. Ramadan feast
  4. Feast of Fasting
  5. Bajram
  6. Lesser Eid
  7. Smaller Eid
  8. Small Eid
  9. Minor feast
  10. Eid al-Saghir
  11. Sugar Feast

Regional Native terms for Eid-

  1. Acehnese – Uroë Raya Puasa ("Feast of Fasting")
  2. Albanian – Fitër Bajrami, Bajrami i madh ("Greater Feast")
  3. Arabic – عيد الفطر Eid Al-Fitr
  4. Azerbaijan – Ramazan Bayramı, Orucluq Bayramı
  5. Bambara – Seli, Selinicinin ("Lesser Seli")
  6. Bengali – রোজার ঈদ, ঈদুল ফিতর / Rozar Eid, Eid Ul-Fitr
  7. Bosnian – Ramazanski bajram ("Ramadan Feast"), Mali Bajram ("Lesser Feast")
  8. Bulgarian – Рамазан Байрам / Ramazan Bayram
  9. Chinese – 开斋节 / Kāi zhāi jié
  10. Croatian – Ramazanski bajram ("Ramadan Feast")
  11. Dutch – Suikerfeest ("Sugar Feast")
  12. Filipino – Wakas ng Ramadan, Araw ng raya, Lebaran, Hari Raya Buka Puasa, Pagtatapos ng Pag-aayuno
  13. French (esp. Senegal & Mali) – Korité (from Wolof)
  14. German – Ramadanfest, Zuckerfest (Ramadan Feast, Sugar Feast)
  15. Greek – Μπαϊράμι (Bairami, from Turkish Bayram)
  16. Hausa – Sallah, Karamar Sallah ("small Sallah")
  17. Hebrew – עיד אל-פיטר
  18. Hindi – ईद उल-फ़ित्र
  19. Indonesian – Hari Raya Idul Fitri, Hari Lebaran
  20. Javanese – Riyadin Pitrah (polite), Riyaya Pitrah; Lebaran; Idul Fitri, Ngaidul Fitri, Ngidil Fitri
  21. Kazakh – Ораза айт / Oraza ait
  22. Kurdish – جێژنی ڕەمەزان / Cejna Remezanê
  23. Kyrgyz – Orozo Mayram
  24. Macedonian – Рамазан Бајрам
  25. Maghrebi Arabic – عيد الصغير / 'Id as-Saghir ("Lesser Eid")
  26. Malay – Hari Raya Aidilfitri ("Day of celebrating Eid al-Fitr"), Hari Raya Puasa ("Day of Celebrating End of Fasting"), Hari Lebaran
  27. Malayalam – ചെറിയ പെരുന്നാ/ Ceṟiya perunāḷ
  28. Maldivian – ފިތުރު އީދު / Fithuru Eid
  29. Mandinka – Korité
  30. Minangkabau – Hari Rayo
  31. Montenegrin – Ramazanski Bajram
  32. Pashto – کمکی اختر / Kamkay Akhtar ("Lesser Feast"); کوچنی اختر / Kočnay Akhtar; وړوکی اختر / Warrukay Akhtar
  33. Persian – عید فطر / Eyd-e Fetr
  34. Portuguese – Celebração do fim do jejum
  35. Russian – Ураза-Байрам (Uraza Bayram)[6]
  36. Serbian – Рамазански бајрам
  37. Sindhi – Ramzan wari Eid
  38. Somali – Ciid Yare
  39. Spanish – Fiesta de la ruptura del ayuno
  40. Sundanese – Boboran Siyam
  41. Swahili – Sikukuu ya Idi, Sikukuu ya Mfunguo Mosi
  42. Tamil – நோன்பு பெருநாள் / Nōṉpu perunāḷ
  43. Thai language – วันอีด / Wạn xīd / Eid-Al fitr
  44. Tatar – Ураза байрам / Uraza bayram
  45. Turkish – Ramazan Bayramı ("Ramadan Feast"), Şeker Bayramı
  46. Turkmen – Oraza baýramy
  47. Urdu – چھوٹی عید / Choṭī ʿĪd—Smaller Eid ; میٹھی عید / Mīṭhī ʿĪd—Sweet Eid; عیدُ الفطر / ʿĪdu l-Fit̤r—Eid of breaking the fast
  48. Uzbek – Ҳайит(ингиз) Муборак / Hayit(ingiz) Muborak (Happy Eid)
  49. Uyghur – روزا ھېيت / Rozi Heyt
  50. Zarma – Jingar Keyna ("Lesser Feast")

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. Anas reports:

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:

Eid Festival

  • To show happiness
  • To give as much charity as is possible
  • To pray Fajr in the local Masjid
  • To go early for Eid salaat
  • To read the takbirat in an open field.
  • Go to the Eid prayer on foot

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 andBritish 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 colourful 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 — and 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 neighbours, 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 at this time include the Jama Masjid in New Delhi,Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow; in Kolkata there is a prayer held on Red Road. 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 neighbours 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 centre 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.

Sunni procedure

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 and 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 procedure

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.

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