Eid or Eid-ul-Fitr is the greatest festival of the Muslims. The Muslims, all over the world, celebrate it with great pomp and show, zeal and gusto.
This festival marks the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month of fasting. The Muslims observe fasts for a full month after sighting the moon of ‘Ramzan’. When the month of ‘Ramzan’, is over and the moon of Eid is sighted, they end their Roja (fasts). In this way, the Muslims break their month-long fast. The next day, the festival of Eid is celebrated. Every year it comes off on the first day of the month of Shawwal. It is a day of gaiety, festivity and feasting.
It is a believed that fasting in the month of ‘Ramzan’ purifies the soul. The prayers after fasting save them from going to hell and open the doors of heaven. Thus, they lead a pure and holy life during the month of ‘Ramzan’. They observe fasts, offer regular prayers in the form of ‘Namaz’; read the holy Koran, feed the hungry and give alms to the poor. Charity is the greatest virtue to be practiced during the month of ‘Ramzan’. Fasting comes to an end when the new moon of Eid is sighted. The sight of the new moon of Eid is considered very pious and holy by the Muslims. It is a signal for the celebration of Eid the very next day.
On the Eid day, Muslim people get up early in the morning. They take a bath and put on their best dresses. Houses are decorated. They thank Allah, visit mosques and offer prayers in the form of ‘Namaz’. They embrace one another and exchange Eid greetings. ‘Eid Mubarak’ is on the lips of each Muslim. Sweets are distributed, gifts are given and delicious dishes are prepared at home. Friends and relatives are invited to feasts. Sweet noodles are the most popular dish cooked on this day. At some places, Eid fairs are also held. Eid greetings are exchanged by one and all. Children buy toys and sweets.
In India, all communities join the Muslims in celebrating Eid. Sweets are shared and greetings exchanged by all. The Hindus, Sikhs and Christians greet their Muslim brothers on this day. The celebration of Eid promotes national integration and the feeling of brotherhood. Joys are doubled when they are shared. Eid brings a message of brotherhood for all of us.
It is a festival of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none. It teaches us to embrace all men as brothers. Separated lovers hope to meet on this day. It exhorts us to bid goodbye to hatred, jealousy and enmity and bring in an era of love, sympathy and brotherhood.
Category: Essays, Paragraphs and ArticlesTagged With: Indian Festivals
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, Muslims observe a complete fast from dawn until sunset. The observance of the sawm Ramadan, considered to be the fourth pillar of Islam, is detailed in the Qur’an:
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was set down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind,
also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).
So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it
in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up)
by days later.
Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.
(He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided
you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Surah 2:185, King Fahd trans.)
The fast of Ramadan encourages self-restraint, God-consciousness, compassion, and collective worship. During the daylight hours, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual activity, while striving to avoid all evil speech and any bad thoughts or actions. As the Bulletin of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York explained in their 1994 Ramadan issue, the fast must be understood as more than abstention from food and drink, “It also means abstention from the illegitimate use of our minds, our tongues, and our hearts.”
Meals are taken before dawn and after sunset, known respectively as suhoor and iftar. At dusk, many gather to break the fast by eating dates and drinking water, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad. The nights of Ramadan are a time for families and friends, often a festive occasion with special foods. Many mosques (masajid) offer a Qur’anic recitation nightly during Ramadan, such as the Islamic Society of Greater Houston’s Southwest Zone mosque. On Lailat al-Qadr, the “Night of Majesty” on which Muhammad received the first revelation, much of the community gathers in the mosque to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an; many others stay up all night praying and reading the Qur’an at home.
At the end of the month of fasting, Muslims gather in large groups to perform the prayers of Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-breaking. In Atlanta, the imams of ten local masajid gather to coordinate the observance; in Houston, Muslims gather at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston at a celebration organized by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH). Some Muslims, in addition to paying the obligatory zakat al-fitr, a special offering for the needy, perform acts of charity throughout the month, and especially on this day. Portland, Oregon’s Muslim Educational Trust coordinates an annual Eid Toy Drive, collecting toys for needy children. Eid al-Fitr is also a time to visit friends and relatives, and many Muslims celebrate with their families for two or three days. Children receive new clothes, jewelry, toys and other gifts, and parents teach the next generation the importance of following the Islamic obligations of fasting, prayer and reading the Qur’an.