Eid-al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) is a day of feasting and is celebrated by Muslims to congratulate themselves for fasting the month of Ramadan. It is celebrated on the first of Shawwal (10th month of the lunar Islamic calendar). This Eid is a reward to the Muslims who spent the month of Ramadan fasting and in worship. Like Eid al Adha, this Eid begins early in the morning with a prayer held in a large, open area. Before the Eid prayer, Muslims are obligated to pay Zakat-al-Fitr, a charity that goes to poorer families who cannot otherwise engage in the festivities.
Eid-al-Fitr Facts & Quotes
- Prophet Muhammad asked the Muslims of Madinah about two carnivals that they used to engage in. They replied that before Islam, celebrating by setting up grand carnivals was traditional. It is reported that Muhammad said,
Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. (Book of Hadith).
- For Eid-al-Fitr it is customary to eat breakfast before prayer (unlike Eid al Adha). It is the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad to eat something sweet.
- In accordance with Islamic tradition, many Muslims wake up extra early on Eid-al-Fitr to take a bath, called ghusl. They also wear the best clothing they own.
- Every single month in the Islamic calendar begins when the new moon is sighted. Eid-al-Fitr begins when the new moon of Shawwal (10th month of the Islamic calendar) appears. Because the moon appears on different dates in different parts of the world, many Muslim communities celebrate Eid-al-Fitr on whatever day this occurs in Mecca.
- Unlike regular prayers, Eid prayers do not begin with an adhan or a call to prayer. The format for Eid-al-Fitr prayer is quite different from those of the daily prayers.
Eid-al-Fitr Top Events and Things to Do
- In Islamic South Asian communities, sheer khorma is typically made for breakfast. Sheer khorma is a sweet milky dish with broken vermicelli pasta, dried fried dates, and roasted nuts.
- Women often decorate their hands with beautiful henna designs on Eid-al-Fitr. In the United States, many Islamic centers have henna booths set up on the last night of Ramadan.
- The prayer of Eid-al-Fitr, like the prayer of Eid al Adha, begins with a sermon. During this sermon, the Imam encourages Muslims to do good deeds and be responsible citizens. After prayer, Muslims hug all people around them and say Eid Mubarak, which is a way of saying, Congratulations. The words Eid Mubarak translate to Eid Blessings.
Eid-al-Fitr References and Related Sites
Dr. Abdul Hye, Basics of Islam
, CreateSpace Independent Publishing , 1999