Id ul-Fitr is “Festival or Feast of Breaking of the Fast”, the Sugar Feast, Bayram (Bajram), the Sweet Festival, and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm).The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. The holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan (or fasting). It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day when Muslims around the world show a common goal of unity. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new (or crescent) moon by local religious authorities but based on the Hadiths, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality. However in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia. This year it falls on August 8 plus or minus one day.
Eid al-Fitr has a particular Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (Jama’at) and, has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allhu Akbar”, literally “God is greatest”), three of them in the beginning of the first raka’ah and three of them just before Ruku’ in the second raka’ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam.
Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the begining of the second raka’ah. Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadaand, pay the Zakat and fitra (charity0 before offering the Eid prayers.
This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramia or ar-rama, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fard “obligatory” for adult Muslims, except those who are ill, traveling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.
While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations; in some interpretations they also refrain from swearing. Food and drink is served daily, before sunrise and after sunset. According to Islam, the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.
So here’s wishing the Muslim population “Eid MubaraK!