Eid is the time when the entire Muslim community comes together for special prayers and congratulate each other by visiting friends and family, but also by feasting together while remembering and praising Allah (God) for all the bounties he bestowed upon us.
The word is derived from A`ada (returned) because people return to it periodically every year. Indeed, even though unlike Christmas Eid doesn’t fall on a fixed Georgian calendar date, the date of Eid varies in accordance with the Islamic Lunar Calendar. Therefore, just as several grand Cultural Festivals which are celebrated in the world every year, Eid is celebrated worldwide at the same period of time by Islam followers. Muslims begin the feast day by bathing, wearing their finest traditional clothes and by going to the mosque in order to start the day in prayers.
And guess what? It’s an official public holiday in Muslim countries that lasts for at least three days.
There are two kind of Eid:
- Eid-Al-Fitr (Celebration of breaking the fast)
- Eid-Al Ada (Celebration of sacrifice to God)
- Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. One interesting fact about Ramadan is that within the span of 30 years or so the month of Ramadan falls in each of the four seasons of the year. Hence, just like the nature of the lunar system.
The actions Muslims are commanded to avoid during fasting hours:
2. Eid-Al-Adha commemorates the completion of the Hajj (Pilgrimage), where pilgrims do many rituals in the holy sites, one of which is a sacrifice. Muslims around the world gather in the sacrifice of an animal and celebrate the festivals.
Why does Muslims celebrate Eid?
According to Quran (Holy Book of Islam), God says-
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, have completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Noble Quran 5:3]
Islam followers believe that Quran did not neglect any information needed by people to achieve happiness and avoid harm in all matters – small or large.
They believe that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad, are prophets of Gods who preach the same message of peace, happiness, and submission to Gods’ will.
What I like the most about this festival is that they have an entire month for fasting and give away donation with an open heart. A special gift known as Zakar Al Fitr is given to the poors so that they have enough provision during the Eid day.
We know fasting is an important part in every religion around the world. Fasting in all these religions has much inner and outer wisdom underlying it. I think it’s a way to feel united with the millions of poor and hungry people around the world who are fasting day or night without a choice. People take food and water for granted, rarely ever feel the real hunger and don’t think about those who are suffering.
Therefore, fasting is a means for one to share in a little bit of the pain that millions of others go through every day and feel more motivated to give charity and help those who are in need.
If you don’t get side track because of negative images of media about Islam, you would actually be able to explore the good side of it and discover the inner Cultures and Traditions of Islam.
Edited by Jeevan Thapa