Eid ul-Fitr

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are fast approaching the end of Ramadan and are about to celebrate the ending of the 30 day fast with Eid ul-Fitr.

Eid ul-Fitr, often referred to as Eid is a festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan. Fitr means ‘to break’ and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period and of all evil habits. Eid ul-Fitr is the first of two celebrations in Islam. The second celebration is called Eid ul-Adha and falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hajj, which is the 12th month and occurs during the Hajj (pilgrimage).

Muslims celebrate ‘Eid ul Fitr on the first day of Shawwal – the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, following the month of Ramadan. ‘Eid, which means “festivity” in Arabic, is celebrated after the sighting of the new crescent on the previous evening. As with all months in the Islamic calendar, it begins with the sighting of the new moon. For this reason there may be regional differences in the exact date of Eid, with some Muslims fasting for 29 days and some for 30 days.

Abu Hurairah (ra) related the Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: “Fast by sighting the hilal (the new moon), and break your fast by sighting of the new moon. If there is a cloud, complete the counting of Sha’aban 30 days.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Eid ul-Fitr commemorates the end of the month of Ramadan. Therefore, fasting is forbidden on this day as it marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. It may come as a surprise to many non-Muslims, but many people feel a sense of loss or sadness at the passing of Ramadan.

The air of festivity and celebration can be felt on the eve before Eid when Eid preparations are at its height. People stay up late preparing food for the next day and the whole house is a hub of activity and excitement.

For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking God for the help and strength that they were blessed with.

Eating before going to the prayer area:

Since Eid ul-Fitr is the day on which Muslims break their Ramadan fast, it is encouraged to eat before going to the Eid prayer. It is a Sunnah of the Prophet, (SAW) to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray Salat al-Eid. Anas reported:

“The Prophet, sallaallahu `alayhe wa sallam, would not go out on the day of Eid al-Fitr without eating an odd number of dates.”(Related by al-Bukhari.)

The ‘Eid prayer is important for Muslims as it has the merits of the daily prayers and the weekly gathering (Jumu’ah). It is performed in unison and consists of two rak’at, followed by a khutbah ‘sermon’.

It is preferred to make Ghusl (take a bath) and Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes, new if possible, and for men to put perfume on before going to Salat al-Eid. Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“The Prophet (SAW), used to wear his best clothes for the Eid prayers and he had clothes that he reserved for the two Eids and Jumu’ah.”

It has been narrated that when the Prophet’s companions met each other on the Eid day, they would say to each other: “May Allah accept from us and from you.” (Related by Ahmad.)

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