Eid ul-Fitr (Id-ul-Fitr), often called as Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the completion of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. It is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the Islamic calendar, and it occurs after the first sighting of the new moon.
Muslims do not only celebrate the end of fasting, but also give thanks to Allah for the health and strength He endowed the people to fulfill the obligation of fasting. It is also a time of forgiveness and to make amends.
The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by Prophet Muhammad with his friends and relatives after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar.
Eid is an Arabic word meaning festivity while Fitr means 'to break the fast, and the Muslims celebrate it on the first day of Shawwal (Shaw'waal).
Eid ul-Fitr, in other places and countries, is also called:
- Eid, "Ramadan Eid", or "Smaller Eid"
- Idul Fitri and Hari Lebaran (Indonesia)
- Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Lebaran, or Aidilfitri (Malaysia)
- Riyoyo, Riyayan, Ngaidul Fitri (Javanese)
- Rojar Eid (Bangladesh)
- Ramazan Bayramı (Turkic)
- Korite (Senegal)
- Sallah (Hausa)
- Kochnay Akhtar (کوچنی اختر) (Pashto)
- Eid-e-Sayed Fitr (Persian)
- Choti Eid (Urdu)
- Ramazanski Bajram (Bosnian)
- Cejna Remezanê (Kurdish)
On the day of the celebration, the Muslims wakes up early and does the first Eid prayer (salah) which is performed in congregation at mosques or open areas. Before attending the mass prayer, the Muslims are encouraged to maintain cleanliness and wear their best clothes. They are required to eat a little before leaving, to symbolize the end of Ramadan. For the children who kept their first fast, their Eid is special.
The Takbir is recited after the confirmation that the moon of Shawwal is sighted on the eve of the last day of Ramadan (while on the way to Salaat) and continues until the start of the Eid prayer. Before the prayer, the Muslims should be able to pay Zakaat-al-Fitr, an alms for the month of Ramadan.
The Takbir consists of: Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd.
(Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is great, Allah is great. And all praises are for Allah)
After the Eid prayer, it is followed by the khutbah (sermon) and then a supplication (dua) asking for forgiveness, mercy and help for all living beings across the world. The khutbah also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the Zakaat. It is then customary to embrace the persons sitting on either side of oneself, while greeting them with the Arabic ‘Īd mubārak ("Blessed Eid") or ‘Īd sa‘īd ("Happy Eid"). After the prayers, people also visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances and some people also pay visits to the graveyards (ziyarat al-qubur).
Eid ul-Fitr in the Philippines
Being the country where population majority is Catholic or Christian, the Filipinos have also recognized Eid ul-Fitr as a regular holiday as mandated by Republic Act No. 9177 and was signed on November 13, 2002 and the first holiday was set on December 6, 2002.
The law was enacted in deference to the Filipinos Muslim community and to promote peace and harmony among major religions in the country.
- The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia. Accessed 06 May 2009.
- BBC - Religion and Ethics - Eid ul Fitr. Accessed 06 May 2009.