Eid ul-Fitr

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Eid ul-Fitr
Official name Arabic: عيد الفطر
Also called Translation:

Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, Eid, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Malaysia, Singapore),
Idul Fitri, Lebaran (Indonesia),
Rojar Eid (Bangladesh),
Şeker/Ramazan Bayramı (Turkey),
Ramazanski Bajram (Bosnia),
Suikerfeest (The Netherlands),
Zuckerfest (Germany),
Aïd el-Fitr or Fête du Sucre (France)

Observed by Muslims
Type Islamic
Significance Marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting
Date 1 Shawwal
Celebrations Eating with Family and Friends, Gift-Giving, Praying
Observances Prayer
Related to Eid ul-Adha, the other Islamic festival, which occurs approximately seventy days later

Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر, Persian: عید فطرTurkish: Ramazan Bayramı / Şeker Bayramı) , often abbreviated as simply Eid, sometimes spelled Eid al-Fitr, is an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Fitr means "to break the fast" and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family is awake very early and then after praying the first normal everyday prayer, is required to eat in a small quantity, symbolizing the end of Ramadan. They then attend special congregational prayers held only for this occasion in mosques, in large open areas, stadiums or arenas. The prayer is generally short, and is followed by a khutba. Worshippers greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer. After the special prayers festivities and merriment will be commonly observed with visits to the homes of relatives and friends in thanking God for all blessings. Eid is a time to come together as a community and to renew friendship and family ties. This is a time for peace for all Muslims in the world to devote to prayers and mutual well-being.

It is a joyous occasion with important religious significance. Happiness is observed as attaining spiritual uplift after a month of fasting. Muslims normally dress in holiday attire.

For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims here are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking God for the help and strength that they believe He gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control. It is a time of giving and sharing, as like Christmas in Christianity.


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The first Eid was celebrated in AD 624 by the Prophet Muhammad with his companions and relatives after winning the Battle of Badr. This very occasion is celebrated annually in the lunar calendar as Eid ul-Fitr.

[edit] Timing

The holiday follows the month of Ramadan, falling on the first day of Shawwal (the tenth month in the Islamic calendar). As with all months in the Islamic calendar, it begins with the sighting of the new moon, although some people choose to use scientific calculations instead of a confirmed visual sighting.

Because the day depends on the sighting of the moon, the sighting could only be possible just before the sunset. Most check with local mosques or other members of the community to see if the moon has been sighted by authoritative parties. In Malaysia, they are using both sighting of the moon and astronomical calculation to verify the date. But the calculation is only used to verify the sighting of the moon (i.e. the exact time of the visibility of the 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.

Eid ul-Fitr commemorates the end of the month of Ramadan. Fasting is forbidden on this day as it marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. A Muslim is encouraged to rise early and partake of a light snack such as dates before then attending morning prayers with family members in the local community mosque.

[edit] Traditions and practices

Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting "Eid mubarak" or "Eid saeed" which, loosely translated, mean "Happy Eid!". In addition, many countries have their own greetings based on local language and traditions.

Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes (new if possible) and to attend a special Eid prayer that is performed in congregation at mosques or open areas like fields, squares etc. When Muslims finish their fast at the last day (29th or 30th Ramadan), they recite Takbir (Arabic audio clip with English meaning).

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر
la ilaha illa Allah لا إله إلا الله
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illahi al-hamd ولله الحمد
God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest
There is no deity but God
God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest
and to God goes all praise

The Takbir is recited after confirmation that the moon of Shawwal is sighted on the eve of the last day of Ramadan. It continues until the start of the Eid prayer. Before the Eid prayer begins every Muslim (man, woman or child) must pay Zakat al Fitr, an alms for the month of Ramadan. This equates to about 2 kg of a basic foodstuff (wheat, barley, dates, raisins, etc.), or its cash equivalent, and is typically collected at the mosque. This is distributed to needy local Muslims prior to the start of the Eid prayer. It can be given at any time during the month of Ramadan and is often given early, so the recipient can utilise it for Eid purchases. This is distinct from Zakat based on wealth, which must be paid to a worthy charity.

The Eid prayer (salah) is followed by the khutba (sermon) and then a prayer (dua') asking for forgiveness, mercy and help for the plight of Muslims across the world. It is then customary to embrace the persons sitting on either side of oneself as well as ones relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Muslims spend the day thanking the Creator for all their blessings, as well as simply having fun and enjoying themselves. Children are normally given gifts or money. Women (particularly relations) are normally given special gifts by their loved ones. Eid is also the time for reconciliations. Feuds or disputes, especially between family members, are often settled on Eid.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in the Western World

Typically, the end of Ramadan is announced via e-mail, postings on websites, or chain phone calls to all members of a Muslim community. Working persons usually attempt to make arrangements for a lighter work day on the days that may possibly be the Eid day, but many North American Muslims are often noted to not be able to take the entire day off.

Typically, a Muslim family in the West will wake up very early in the morning and have a small breakfast. Next the family will go to the nearest congregational prayer group to pray. The prayer may be held at the local mosque, a hotel ballroom, local arena or stadium. Often these prayers are held in shifts; for example, the first prayer would at 7 am, the second at 9 am, and the third at 11 am. After prayers, the family members disperse to school or work accordingly, or head home to prepare celebrations if they managed to get the day off. Depending on the nation, Muslims in North America tend to celebrate different traditions, yet most of these are based upon similar customs that are simply followed out differently in each individual country.

Since every family has a different work-related situation, some Muslims may attempt to take the entire day off to spend it as a family. A few other families may have to ask for a partial day off, or in many cases, not take the work day off at all due to the importance of their job in terms of the family's financial situation or in terms of importance to the company itself, though this does not generally occur due to being denied the time off work as this goes against religious freedom laws in both nations. Because North American Muslims come from all parts of the world, one particular type of food cannot be identified as served on this day. Many Muslim North American families visit the homes of others to congregate on a day of celebration.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei

Main article: Hari Raya Aidilfitri

In Malaysia and Singapore, Eid is also commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya literally means Grand Day i.e. The Day. Muslims in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Eid like other Muslims throughout the world. It is the biggest holiday in Malaysia, and is the most awaited one. Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for this holiday, which usually lasts a week.

The night before Eid is with the takbir which is held in the mosques or musallas. In many parts of Malaysia, especially in rural areas, oil lamps or pelita/panjut are lit up in house compounds. Eid also witnesses a huge migratory pattern of Muslims, from big metropolitan cities to rural areas. This is known as balik kampung — literally going back to home town to celebrate Eid with ones parents. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo), and other Malay delicacies are served during this day.

It is common to greet people with "Selamat Hari Raya" or "Salam Aidilfitri" which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "maaf zahir dan batin" which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", due to the fact that Eid ul-Fitr is not only for celebrations, but also the time for Muslims to cleanse their sins and strengthen their ties with relatives and friends.

It is customary for Malays to wear traditional Malay costumes on the Eid. The dress for men is called baju melayu which is worn together with songket while the women's are known as baju kurung and baju kebaya. It is also common to see non-Malay Muslims wear costumes of their culture.

Once the prayer is completed, it is also common for Muslims in Malaysia to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (surah) from the Qur'an and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done to ask for God to forgive the dead and also those who are living.

The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Eid ul-Fitr is a very joyous day for children for on this day adults are especially generous. Children will be given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya" from their parents or elders <ref>"Hari Raya Puasa". Retrieved Nov. 2, 2005.</ref> <ref>Yusof, Mimi Syed & Hafeez, Shahrul (Oct. 30, 2005). "When Raya was a bewildering experience". New Straits Times, p. 8.</ref>.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in Indonesia

In Indonesia the feast is named Hari Raya Idul Fitri or informally, Lebaran. Hari Raya literally means The Great Day of (Celebration) . Sometimes, there are different statements on when the day falls, especially between Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, because people use different techniques to determine it. Almost all of the people follow the government of Indonesia's statement and such differences do not get in the way of people celebrating. This event is recognized as a national holiday and starts a few days before Eid ul-Fitr and lasts some days after it. Schools also have different schedules for the holiday as many Islamic schools usually make it a longer holiday.

Muslims in Indonesia usually ask forgiveness from their relatives and friends after the special prayer. Another interesting Eid ul-Fitr tradition in Indonesia is mudik that usually applies to urbanites who came to Jakarta from the other provinces of Java or other islands in Indonesia. Before Eid ul-Fitr comes, people will go back to their hometowns where their relatives, sometimes including their parents, reside. This event often causes crowding in airports, seaports, and bus stations while some who are traveling by car are trapped in the traffic jam for hours. For little children, asking for money as well as forgiveness from relatives is common to motivate them. Many, especially in the cities, also use the term angpau for the money just like Chinese people do.

It is common to greet people with "Selamat Hari Raya" (Indonesian) or "Salam Aidilfitri" (Malay) which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "Mohon maaf lahir dan batin" which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", due to the fact that Eid ul-Fitr is not only for celebrations, but also the time for Muslims to cleanse their sins and strengthen their silaturrahim with relatives and friends. The term "fitr" in Eid ul Fitr, coincides with the word "fitrah" of the Indonesian language which means the purity of birth, just as babies are pure when they were born. Many Indonesian muslims acknowledge that on the day of Eid when they forgive each other, their sins with each other are cleansed and they are without sin just as they were at birth. Another term in addition to "Mohon maaf lahir dan batin" mentioned earlier, is "minal aidzin wal faidzin" (alternate spelling, minal aizin wal faizin) . The origin of this phrase is suspectedly arabic and has loosed meaning of "may you be part of the people who return to purity and part of the people who are granted glory"<ref>"(20061021) semoga kita minal 'aidin wal faizin. Amin!".Retrieved October 31, 2006</ref>. The latter phrase is usually used in conjunction of the former; thusly, "Minal aidzin wal faidzin, mohon maaf lahir dan batin."

At the night of the last day of Ramadan, Indonesians usually do 'Takbiran'. Takbiran is a big celebration where people, from little children to old men, recite the takbir with a microphone in a parade. They travel around the town and usually they hit 'bedug', a large drum, as a background music of the takbir.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in India/Bangladesh

After the Holy month of Ramadan, in which the Muslims are asked to observe fast and do extra prayers and observe religious values rigidly, the Muslims celebrate the sighting of the new moon (start of the new Muslim month) by going to bazaars and shopping malls, with their families and children, for Eid shopping. In India and Pakistan, the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. Women, especially young girls, often paint each others' hands with traditional "henna" also called "mehendi" and wear colourful bangles.

On the morning of Eid ul-Fitr, every Muslim is required to wear new clothes, if they can afford them, otherwise wear washed clothes, have a fresh bath and go to mosque for special Eid prayers, thanking God for the health enabling a Muslim to observe fast and enjoy the blessings of God Almighty during the holy month of Ramadan. The Muslims are ordained to pay Zakat al-Fitr (special charity money) to the poor and needy before the Eid prayer, so that they can also join other Muslims to celebrate the happiness of Eid.

After the prayers, the congregation is dispersed and the Muslims meet and greet each other, family members, children, elders, friends and others.

Some Muslims especially go to graveyards to pray for the departed and convey their salam (peace). Usually, children visit their parents and other family elders to pay respects and greet.

Special arrangements are made for the family/friends to visit each other to greet on this special occasion. They even exchange gifts, pay charity to needy and enjoy.

One of the special dishes in India Pakistan and Fiji is savayya, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles <ref>Food Events - Eid Celebrations. BBC Food Online. Accessed 2 November, 2005.</ref>. Elder family members give eidi (small amount of money or gifts) to children. After meeting friends and relatives, some people go for joyous parties, feasts, special carnivals and parks (with picnics, fireworks, etc.). In Pakistan, many bazaars, malls, and restaurants get crowded with people.

Some people also avail this opportunity to distribute Zakat, the obligatory tax on ones wealth, to the needy.

In this way, the Muslims celebrate their Eid ul-Fitr by thanking God Almighty and bringing their family, friends and the poor and needy closer together.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in Iran

In the predominantly Shia culture of Iran, Eid is a highly personal event, and celebrations are often more muted. Called Eideh Fitr by most Iranians, charity is important on that day. Typically, each Muslim family gives food to those in need. Often meat or ghorbani (literally translated as sacrifice, for it is usually a young lamb or calf that is sacrificed for the occasion), which is an expensive food item in Iran, will be given by those in wealthier families to those who have less. Payment of fitra or fetriye is obligatory for each Muslim. The donation is designated as either saadat or' non-saadat based on whether or not the financial provider and head of the family

The best kind of eid is celebrated in pakistan. in pakistan there are 30 days to fast in and that u are rewarded. the is a calf that is slother after Ramidan. The holy phr

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in Turkey

In Turkey, where Eid ul-Fitr is infused with more national traditions (and where country-wide celebrations, religious and secular alike, are altogether referred to as Bayram), it is customary for people to greet one another with "Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun" (same as "Eid mubarak"), "Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun" (kutlu is calque for mubarak). It is a time for people to attend services, put on their best clothes (referred to as "Bayramlik", often purchased just for the occasion) and to visit all their loved ones (such as friends, relatives and neighbors) and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. Municipalities all around the country organize public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre as well as fundraising events for the poor. It is regarded as especially important to honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one's forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for children to go around the neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy "Bayram", for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as Baklava and Lokum, or a small amount of money at every door, almost in a Halloween-like fashion. Helping the poor, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the joyous occasion, where streets are generally decorated and lit up for the celebrations, and television and radio channels broadcast special Bayram programs.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in the Philippines

Ramadan, as it is colloquially known to the majority Christian population, has recently been declared as a regular holiday for the entire nation by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This is meant to give more importance to the Muslim population of the nation, with Tuesday, October 24, 2006 being the date this came into effect.

[edit] Eid ul-Fitr in the Gregorian Calendar

See also: Islamic calendar

While Eid ul-Fitr is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, much like Easter, due to differences between the two calendars, since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Furthermore, the method used to determine when each Islamic month begins varies from country to country.

These future dates are only estimates:

Eid ul-Fitr officially begins the night before each of the above dates, at sunset.

[edit] References

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[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Muslim holidays and observances
Muslim New Year | Festival of Muharram | Day of Ashura | Imamat Day | Arba'een | Mawlid
Imam Musa al Kazim day | Lailat al Miraj | Shab-e-baraat | Ramadan | Laylat al-Qadr | Eid ul-Fitr | Eid ul-Adha
ar:عيد الفطر

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