There are two celebrations in the Islamic calendar that have the name of Eid - Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Both of these festivities fall on important dates; Eid-ul-Fitr takes place on the first day of Shawwal, following the conclusion of the Holy month of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha follows the annual Hajj pilgrimage and is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah (SWT).
While we’ve previously discussed the differences between the two Eids in greater detail, we will now focus on the importance of Eid-ul-Fitr and why Eid is celebrated.
Eid-ul-Fitr translates from Arabic as, ‘the festival of the breaking of the fast’, and is a celebration which traditionally takes place over a three-day period. The festival of Eid holds great importance in Islam and is a time for loved ones and communities to come together.
We celebrate Eid to mark the conclusion of the blessed month of Ramadan, which commemorates the moment when the Holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). After the month of sacrifice and reflection, Eid is a time to rejoice with family and friends and exchange gifts with loved ones.
‘The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So, whoever sights the new moon of the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and wants for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.’
- Quran 2:185
Taking place as the Holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, the date when Eid is celebrated is dependent on the sighting of the new moon. Once the sighting is confirmed, the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr can begin.
Eid dates in 2019 are anticipated to fall around Tuesday 4th June, however, this is dependent on the sighting of the moon so it's always best to check with your local Mosque for confirmation nearer the time.
While the exact date of Eid-ul-Fitr would normally vary across the world, some communities choose to retain consistency and celebrate at the same time as their brothers and sisters across the world by officially declaring Eid once the new moon appears above Mecca.
The first day of Eid follows an important routine that must be carried out throughout the day to properly show your devotion to Allah (SWT).
The day begins by greeting your family and performing the Fajr salah (dawn prayer) followed by the ritual of ‘ghusl’, meaning to purify the whole body through an act of cleansing.
Following the ablution (the act of washing oneself in the intent of purification) you, together with your family, will prepare your clothing for the day. Traditionally, new ornate clothing is purchased for the occasion, although some people choose to wear their finest outfits.
Families will then go to the local Masjid and worship in congregation before greeting one another with "Eid Mubarak", which translates to 'have a blessed Eid'. Before the beginning of Eid prayers, Zakat al-Fitr must be paid. This is the donation that goes to the poor and needy, allowing those who would normally go without to join in the celebrations of this Holy day.
It’s also traditional to exchange gifts, particularly between young children and close family members. This holiday is also known as “The Lesser Eid” or “Sweet Eid” due to the increased number of sweet snacks available and because this day holds less importance in the Islamic calendar than Eid-ul-Adha.
‘Worship God and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet) ... Verily, God does not like such as are proud and boastful.’
Eid is a joyous time and many Muslim communities look forward to the celebrations with eagerness. Are you making plans for Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr this year? If you’d like to pay or prepare your Zakat donation, please visit our Zakat calculator to work out the amount owed or use our Zakat-ul-Fitr donation page to make your Fitrana contribution to help those in need celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr this year.
‘Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve’
- Surah Al-Baqarah 2:277