Allah (SW) said: {For each [faith]-community, We have appointed [sacred] rites which they must devoutly observe} 22:67.  Eid is a ritual that relates to worshiping God, and it reflects on our unique identity as followers of Prophet Mohammad. (SAAW)

The word Eid in Arabic means: ‘A gathering of a group at any day.’ It is also related to the meaning: ‘to return’ which indicates that this day returns every year. From an Islamic perspective, Eid is the day Muslims celebrate the completion of fasting the month of Ramadan. Eid El-Fitr, or the celebration of breaking fast comes on the first day of Shawwal, after fasting the month of Ramadan. Eid Al-Adha, or the celebration of sacrifice comes on the tenth day of Zul-Hijja, after completing the major actions of Hajj.

The levels of Fasting during Ramadan start from abstaining from food, drink, and intimacy from dawn to sunset, but then it elevates to the fasting of our tongues and body parts from engaging in evil such as gossip, and it ultimately reaches the level of the fasting of our consciousness from anything that distracts us from being with God. Eid defines our identity by being unique from other nations in their rites. The prophet (SAAW) saw people celebrating two days of festivals when he came to Madinah. He said: “Allah had substituted for you better Days; the Day of Adha and the Day of Fitr”.[1]

Day of praising Allah (SW):

Praise is the theme of this celebrated Day of Fitr. We praise Allah (SW) by declaring that no one is greater than Him. People around the world attend Mosques repeating the same statements: Allah Akbar, La Ilaha illa Allah, wa-Lil-lahi Hamd. It is a moment to feel the support from the ONE who is the Greatest. Such words of praising God bring hope and strength into our hearts and minds.

Day of Unity:

Eid for Muslims is a time of unity when everyone breaks their fast together and performs a prayer [preferably] out in the open, with men, women, and children all attending the prayer. Ibn Abbas narrated that the prophet (SAAW) used to bring his wives and daughters to Eid prayer.[2]

Eid for Muslims is a time when we remember the poor through giving charity before the Eid prayer so that people in need can enjoy on this blessed day what they might be missing on other days. Zakatul Fitr is the term used for such a charity. Ibn Omar (RAA) said: “The prophet (SAAW) ordained Zakatul Fitr of Ramadan from dates or barley on everyone, whether it be a free man or a slave, a male or a female, and young or old.”[3]

Day of Fun:

Eid for Muslims is the time for entertainment and having fun. When the Abyssinians came to the Mosque in Madinah with their dancing performance, the prophet (SAAW) beckoned Aisha (RAA) to watch. When Omar, son of Al-Khattab, saw them performing in the Mosque and wanted to stop them, the prophet (SAAW) said: “Leave them alone, O Omar, this is what they do.” The prophet (SAAW) then looked at them and said: “Be safe [while performing] and let the people of the Book know that there is a space in our religion [for entertainment].”[4]

In this blessed Eid, we pray to Allah to grant us all the Barakah and blessings of Eid. We pray that Allah will unite Muslims, and bring happiness and peace to them in this life and in the Hereafter. Ameen.

 

By Sh Kifah Mustapha

 

[1] Abo Daoud

[2] Ibn Majah

[3] Bukhari

[4] Bukhari