Islam is the second-largest religion globally, and Eid is one of the significant religious occasions which Muslims faithfully celebrate worldwide. The occasion signals the end of a period of fasting from dawn to sunset, spiritual meditation and prayer. Usually, the day begins with prayers, and a big meal is generally the largest attraction, although there are other different ways people celebrate. The Islamic calendar has two main types of Eid. The first one is Eid al-Fitr, which comes first in the year. It is a three-day festival, which is referred to as “Lesser Eid”. It is followed by Eid al-Adha, which is called the “Greater Eid”, and it is a four-day festival.
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Eid is an Arabic word, which stands for a festival or celebration. Therefore, Eid ul Fitr means to celebrate the “breaking of fast” and persistent happiness. It is the most popular holiday which is observed by Muslims, and the single day on which the faithful are not expected to fast. On the other hand, Eid ul-Adha, whose meaning is ‘Sacrifice Festival’, is also an important event in the Islam faith. The celebration recalls the determination of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice the only son he had when the Almighty commanded him to do so. Eid ul Fitr has a unique salah (prayer) comprised of two rakahs (movements performed during Salat prayer) and usually provided in an open area or a vast space. It is sometimes done only in the congregation, and it has six extra Takbirs which means, God is greater. After the salah, there is a speech in Arabic, a few kalimahs (declaration of faith), which the imam says, and everyone is obliged to attend to, and after these prayers, Eid is celebrated.
The significant aspect of Eid is fasting, which, according to Islam, helps Muslims get closer to Allah while reflecting on the past year (Chitwood). Moreover, Muslims use this opportunity to ask for forgiveness of sins committed in the passing year. They believe, as stated in the Holy Quran, they are ordered by Allah to maintain fasting until the last day of Ramadan, and to pay zakat and fitra before offering the Eid Prayer. Prophet Muhammad was the originator of Eid al-Fitr, and by celebrating it, people experience a time of fasting (Gadzo). After the migration of Muhammad from Mecca, Eid festivals were introduced in Medina by the Prophet when he arrived there. He found residents had two exclusive days which they used to entertaining themselves. He was not pleased to see how people were lost in the worldly pleasures. It was then when Muhammad told them that the Almighty Allah had set aside two days, which were unique to Him, and which He as the Almighty wanted them to be observed with dignity. These days were Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (“Islam: Celebrations and Festivals | URI”). These are the days which people now celebrate by showing gratitude to Alla Himself and also remember the poor by giving them offerings.
The Significance of Eid
Eid ul-Fitr is essential because it is a gift from God in the context of a celebration after yet another period of fasting. On the 29th of the month of Ramadan, Eid is reported by the appearance of the moon. If there is indeed sighting on a particular night, the following day is scheduled to be the holiday. Eid is honored by the Muslims all over the world.
Consequently, the whole purpose of fasting is to recognize all the blessings and think about the society’s less fortunate. Eid is all about giving thanks to Allah and appreciating the love He has for mankind. It is essential to give offerings during this period, as the Almighty has directed His people to do. It is also a time to rejoice with family members and friends. Finally, it is a moment to ponder and acknowledge other people and appreciate their existence as well as their presence in people’s lives.
Chitwood, Ken. “What is Eid and How do Muslims Celebrate It? 6 Questions Answered”. The Conversation. 2019, Web.
Gadzo, Mersiha. “How Muslims Are Celebrating Eid Al-Adha Amid Coronavirus”. Aljazeer. 2020, Web.
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“Islam: Celebrations and Festivals | URI”. Uri.Org. 2020, Web.