EID-UL-FITR

Date of Issue (November 14, 2002)

Eid-ul-Fitr is the most important festival in the Islamic calendar. This festival is the culminating point of the Holy month of Ramazan, during which Quran-ul-Hakeem and Laila-tul-Qadr (Night of Grandeur) were gifted to the Muslim Ummah. While fasting teaches us self-discipline and provides us moral and spiritual blessings, Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting and brings the message of collective merry-making as well as sharing our good fortune with the less fortunate in our fraternity.

The entire Muslim Ummah celebrates this most auspicious festival in every nook and corner of the world with great spiritual devotion, offering Eid Prayers in eidgahs, mosques or open spaces in towns and cities. The Eid-prayer is the clima of this grand festival. One can see during this special congregation endless sight of row upon row of the faithfully spread across the open air eidgahs, a supreme manifestation of the Muslim fraternity and equality of mankind.

After Eid prayers, the Muslims embrace and greet other fellow Muslims and pay visits to graveyards to pray for the departed souls. This sufficiently indicates that Islam is the religion of peace, friendship and aspires to promote universal brotherhood. Special sweet dishes are prepared and served to friends, relatives and other visitors to ones house. The young folk wear bright costumes and enjoy themselves with various types of entertainments on Eid day including a visit to special Eid Fairs and participating in different cultural activities. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to wear a new dress on this occasion. But it was always very simple which every member of the brother could afford.

No doubt, there were people who could not even afford such simple dresses. To make it possible for them to join the rejoicings of Eid, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) ordered the rich to pay them a prescribed amount (known as fitrana) in advance, so that they may be able to get their new dresses prepared for the occasion. The institution of Fitrana re-inforces Islam's emphasis on one's obligations towards society.

Some of the prescribed practices or special spiritual etiquettes of "Eid- ul-Fitr" are given below:-

1 . It is compulsory for all the faithfuls to take a bath and wear new dress.
2. It is Sunnah to eat dates or some sweet dish before leaving for Eid prayers. The Holy Prophet always used to go for Eid congregation after eating some dates. (Reported by Anas bin Maalik & collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. Vol. 2 P-40 No. 73) & Ahmad.
3. It is Sunnah to recite "Takbiraat" loudly while going to Eidgah for offering Eid prayers or coming back from there. It is reported that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself used to recite these "Takbiraat" with a loud voice on this day.
4. Pay Fitrana before Eid prayers to ensure that the less fortunate among us are also enabled to share the festivities. Fitrana is to be paid for every young or old. Its rates are fixed according to the prevailing rates of wheat and dates in various Muslim countries by Ulema.
5. It is preferable to offer the "Eid Prayer' in an open ground or Eidgah and not in the Masjid, if possible. (Bukhari and Muslim).
6. It is Sunnah to adopt different routes to and from the Eidgah, preferably going on foot. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself used to go the Eidgah on foot and declared that it was more rewarding to seek the Divine blessings. Jabir reported that the Prophet (PBUH) used to come tack from the Eid prayer on a path other than the one used in going to it. (Bukhari).

Sending Eid-greetings to friends and relatives are customary on this occasion throughout the Muslim world. Exchange of special Eid cards is to show affection for the near and dear ones.

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