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Eid - ul - Fitr  - Eid Mubarak

Astrojyotishi wishes all its readers a very "Happy Eid". May almighty bless us all. Amen..

What is Eid - ul- Fitr ?

Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "to break the fast" (and can also mean "nature", from the word "fitrah") and so symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period.

Eid ul-Fitr starts the day after Ramadan ends, and is verified by the sighting of the new moon. Muslims give money to the poor and wear their best clothes. Eid ul-Fitr is a one day celeberation and is called "The Smaller Eid" (Arabic: العيد الصغير ) compared with the Eid ul-Adha that lasts three days and is called "The Greater Eid" (Arabic: العيد الكبير).

On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family awakes very early, does the first everyday prayer, and is required to eat a little, symbolizing the end of Ramadan. They then attend special congregational prayers held in mosques, large open areas, stadiums and arenas. The prayer is generally short and is followed by a sermon (khuṭba). Worshippers greet and embrace each other with hugs in a spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer. After the special prayers, festivities and merriment are commonly observed with visits to the homes of relatives and friends to thank God for all blessings.

Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting but also thank God for the self control and strength that Muslims believe God gave them. It is a time of giving and sharing, and many Muslims dress in holiday attire.


Timing of Eid
Because the day depends on the sighting of the moon, the exact date varies from country to country, and the sighting can only be possible just after sunset. Many people check with local mosques or other members of the community to see if the moon has been sighted by authoritative parties such as knowledgeable scholars. Although many of us believe the Quran says that the sighting of the moon determines the start of Eid, this is written in other books.


Rituals in Eid

Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting EĪd mubārak ("Blessed Eid") or "Happy Eid". In addition, many countries have their own greetings based on local language and traditions. People 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 the rozedaars finish their fast at the last day (29th or 30th Ramadan), they recite Takbir (Arabic audio clip with English meaning).

Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر
Laa ilaaha illa Allah لا إله إلا الله
Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
Wali-illaahi al-hamd ولله الحمد
It means 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 individual, if possible (man, woman or child), must pay Zakat al-fitr, 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 locals 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 utilize 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. The khutba also instructs Muslims as to the rituals of Eid, such as the zakat (if they have not already given it). It is then customary to embrace the persons sitting on either side of oneself. People will also visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances.

After the prayers, some people will pay visit to the graveyards (ziyarat al-qubur). People spend the day thanking the Creator for all their blessings, as well as simply having fun and enjoying themselves. Children are normally given sweets 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.


(Source : Wikipedia)

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