The end of Ramadan fasting is here and its time to spread the message of love, peace, happiness and joy as we celebrate ‘Ei-Ul-Fitr’.
Eid ul Fitr – One month of arduous fasting by the young and the old during the pious month of Ramadan, this religious festival culminates with the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr and marks a day of highest significance among the Muslim community, as they display a deep sense of devotion and surrender to Allah. It refers to the breaking of the month-long routine of fasting from sunrise to sunset. ‘Eid’ also marks the beginning of a ‘festive’ occasion that spreads joy and happiness all around. It is the momentous day of Eid-ul-Fitr that hails the Shawwal month. Eid is a three-day long celebration that revives the feeling of peace, happiness, love, charity, humility and togetherness among Muslims all over the world. It is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm and affection across the globe.
In Islam, it is believed that the Allah sent his messenger to reveal his words to the common man. Recited over a period of 23 years, these words formed the teachings of ‘Holy Quran’. For the Muslim community, this festival is a great opportunity to part away with their sins and also serves as a testimonial of their surrender to Allah. The month long fasting not only imbibes upon the practitioner a strong will-power and commitment, but also makes the individual more responsible and dedicated towards his humanly duties. The uncompromising rules of the practice inherits a phenomenal sense of self-development. The practitioner does not only refrain himself of food, but also of water. Even, the saliva in the mouth is not supposed to be gulped. No harsh and abusive language used, prayers observed 5 times a day, charity with all magnanimity is the essence of the practice. With passing time, and more practice over years, it makes a person more humble, patient and pious. The holy practice of ‘Zakat’, or giving of alms and charity to the poor and needy is an important ritual during this period, in which the Muslims generously give away some part of their earnings to the needy, allowing them too, to enjoy Eid. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for other Muslims and eliminate inequality for followers of Islam.
Typically, practicing Muslims wake up early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the traditions of Prophet Muhammad clean themselves before prayers,dress in new clothes and apply perfume.
It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid. It is customary to acknowledge this with a small sweet breakfast, preferably of date (fruit), before attending Salat.
Salat (prayer) consists of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall of a mosque. It may be performed only in congregation (Jama’at) and, has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allāhu Akbar”, literally “God is greatest”).
Then, they proceed to greet their family, relatives and friends ‘Eid Mubarak‘. This is done through friendly embraces and handshakes, as good gestures of unity. The ritual of distributing alms on this day is observed throughout the ongoing celebrations.
Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations in India:
In India, there were many popular places for Muslims to congregate to celebrate Eid at this time include the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow; Red Road in Kolkata observes prayers . Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their good wishes.
Hyderabadi Haleem, a type of meat stew is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan, the main course at Iftar.
Sivaiyan: A sweet dish prepared from Vermicelli base and topped with loads of dry fruits.
Men typically wear white clothes that stand for purity while women and children are attired in especially tailored, bright-coloured clothes.The festival is also associated with extravagant decorations, dinner parties and enjoyment. The spirit of Eid transcends community and religious barriers, and the sight of even non-Muslims partaking of Eid celebrations is a common one.
Eid-Ul- Fitr has an important significance in India and like all other festivals, it is celebrated equally by both Muslims and the non- Muslims celebrate it alike. The day is announced in India as public holiday. With time, these traditions have strengthened their interaction and intermingling with the Indian culture. Eid-ul-Fitr has, thus, seeped into India’s cultural milieu and is looked forward to by everyone.