Eid, also called Eid Ul Fitr, is celebrated
as a reaffirmation of the Islamic faith and Muslims from around the world show
their gratitude to Allah for all favours received and is eagerly awaited by every Muslim.
The day of Eid marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth
month of the Islamic calendar and marks the beginning of the
month of Shawwal.
Eid and Its Roots in Islamic History
As per Islamic tradition, the month of
Ramadan was the one in which Prophet Muhammad had the first revelation of the Quran from Archangel Gabriel. Ramadan, since then, has been a month of
peace, austerity, brotherhood and devotion to the tenets of Islam.
The entire month of Ramadan is one of piety
and self sacrifice. During this month, devout Muslims fast and pray the entire
day. They abstain from all physical needs during daylight hours and focus on
prayer, renunciation, repentance for wrongdoings and spiritual reflection.
Muslims break their fast after sunset and spend the time listening to sermons, eating
and serving communal meals and reading from the Koran.
The Traditions and Festivities During
There is a tradition of charity of serving
the needy with food in the form of grains or fruits. Donating money for this
practice is termed as Zakat Al Fitr and is considered to be a duty of every
devout Muslim during Ramadan.
On the day of Eid, Muslims wake early
and break their month long fast with a breakfast which traditionally includes
dates, harking back to Islamic roots in Arabia. They wear new clothes specially
purchased for the festive occasion and attend communal prayers called Salah. These
Eid prayers are held in a mosque or open ground which can accommodate a large
After the Eid prayers, a short sermon on
Islam is given and communal prayers for prosperity are uttered by all. Muslims
who haven’t been able to perform the Zakat Al Fitr donate food to the destitute.
They then greet and embrace the person sitting on either side at the prayer
Food is an important aspect in celebration of Eid and elaborate mean including the ubiquitous Sevai (a dessert made from Vermicelli and milk) are prepared for the guests.
Modern Day Eid Celebrations
The festivities continue for three days,
and Eid is mainly a time for meeting friends and family. People visit their
friends and exchange greetings. In remembrance of their ancestors, they visit
graveyards in a tradition called Ziyazrat Al Kub’r.
Each home is cleaned and adorns a festive
look during Eid. Women wear their best clothes and jewellery, while men
traditionally wear white garments. Children look forward to gifts of cash
Due to its stature as one of the prime
Islamic festivals, Eid brings together people like no other festival does.