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There are two annual key festivals that are celebrated in Islam - one is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid-ul-Adha.
Although they are both named Eid, they are two completely different celebrations altogether.
Eid-ul-Fitr follows the Holy month of Ramadan - the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Throughout the Blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims across the world unite and partake in the act of fasting, which not only involves abstaining from food and drink between the hours of sunrise and sunset but also refraining from any bad deeds or sinful acts – purifying the mind, body and soul in the process.
The month is intended to bring Muslims closer to their Lord and to encourage an equal, balanced society amongst other aspects – by way of giving to those in need.
The month of Ramadan is an incredibly popular time for giving as the rewards and blessings for good deeds and charitable acts are multiplied in this month.
On the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims will unite at their local Mosque, donate their zakat-ul-Fitr then recite Eid salaah (prayers) in congregation. Following these prayers, they will greet all other Muslims with “Eid Mubarak” which translates to “have a blessed Eid” and will then proceed to homes of family and friends to eat and celebrate together. It is a day where most will wear their best attire, enjoy sweet meats together and give Eid gifts to their loved ones, especially children.
Eid-ul-Adha falls just after the annual pilgrimage of Hajj (the fifth obligatory pillar of Islam), in Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and is widely known as the feast of sacrifice. Although this Eid has no direct link to the pilgrimage, it happens to fall just after the annual event.
Eid-ul-Adha commemorates the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (as) for the sake of Allah SWT. Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) willingness to sacrifice His son in His devotion to Allah SWT is what gives this Eid its title of ‘the feast of sacrifice’.
The act of Qurbani (sacrifice) is carried out on this particular Eid with cows, sheep, goats, bulls or camels. The meat from the animal is distributed in three equal portions between family, friends and those in need.
Many Muslims choose to donate their Qurbani through charities such as Muslim Aid to ensure proficient distribution of their Qurbani shares are given to those most in need.
Eid-ul-Fitr is expected to fall on or around Friday 15th June* this year.
Eid-ul-Adha is expected to fall on or around Tuesday 21st August* this year.
To donate your zakat-ul-Fitr this Eid-ul-Fitr 2018, please donate here with Muslim Aid and ensure that our brothers and sisters in need around the world can also join us in celebrating the completion of Ramadan this year.
From all of us here at Muslim Aid, we wish you a blessed Eid!
*All dates are subject to the sighting of the moon - please check with your local Mosque or Imam for details nearer the time.