Eid-ul-Fitr refers to the festival after completion of fasting in the Month of Ramadaan. This auspicious occasion is celebrated on the 1st of Shawaal, which is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr is a manner of showing appreciation and gratitude to Almighty Allah for all that He has bestowed upon us.
Muslims are very glad to receive the Eid following a month of fasting to perform a sacred duty prescribed upon them. In this month, Muslims entered a state of purity and spiritual worship to seek the mercy and forgiveness of Almighty Allah.
People had during the month of Ramadaan exercised an unusual level of restraint and self-control to defy temptations and achieve victory over shaitaan. The spirit of social unity, sympathy, love and true affections prevailed throughout the entire month of Ramadaan. Muslims helped the poor in distress, showed love to the unfortunate, stayed up at night for prayers and fasted during the day. They hope that all the spiritual strength which they gained through prayer, contemplation and fasting will assist them to lead a good life and enter Jannah. Where do we go from here? What should now be our objective in life?
The benefits from this one month of fasting, should also be apparent in the other eleven months of the year. In other words, Muslims should show kindness, modesty, patience in times of difficulties and gratefulness when gaining the blessings of Almighty Allah. Not only should we show all these good qualities, but we should also abstain from all evils, such as jealousy, hatred, etc. Those Muslims who exercise self-control and patience are the pious ones that gain Allah’s favour. We should try our best to build good relations with fellow Muslims. We should show gratitude, pity and love. In doing so, the Muslim world would be an embodiment of virtue and good morals, and stand out as an example to people of other faiths. It is a necessity in the trouble-filled world that we live in, for people to exercise self-restraint, patience and a deep sense of human understanding in order to alleviate the human misery that we see today and bring about the greatly needed peace that we desire. Last but not least, we should try to rejuvenate the enthusiasm to serve humanity.
Now that the month of Ramadaan is over we should understand that while our spiritual well-being is constantly under threat, a return to a life of greater devotion and prayer is the only foundation which the human race can build on for the future. In Islam lies total salvation, despite the state of Muslims today, to those wishing to take advantage of it as a remedy for the ills of the world.
On the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims throughout the world perform the traditional Eid Salaah, which is Waajib upon all Muslims. It is not permissible to miss the Eid prayer without any valid reason. With the exception of performing the Eid Prayer, there are also various actions which are desirable on the day of Eid. These are:
1. to trim the hair and nails,
2. to perform the Ghusl (Ceremonial Bath),
3. to use the Miswaak (special toothbrush),
4. to wear (if affordable) or good clean clothing, to wear a ring (for men – a silver ring with one stone), and to use Ittar (Perfume),
5. to perform the Fajr Salaah (morning prayer) in the nearest Mosque of your area,
6. to leave early to perform the Eid Salaah,
7. to give the Sadqa-e-Fitr (Eid-ul-Fitr Charity) before the Eid Salaah,
8. to go by foot (if possible) for the Eid Salaah, and return home in another route,
9. to eat a few dates (preferably an odd number) or something sweet before going for Eid Salaah, and
10. to show happiness and gratification, to give charity in abundance, to walk modestly towards the Eid gathering, and to
11. wish and congratulate one another after the Eid Prayer.
As much as Eid is a time of rejoicing, it is also a time of giving and sharing with those less fortunate than yourself. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) would always be the first to congratulate the poor and the orphans. We should also try to be as kind as possible on this day to our fellow Muslims. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Smiling in the face of your brother is Charity.”