Eid-ul-Fitr : A Celebration of Muslim Faith01 May 2022
Md. Mamunor Rashid :
'Eid-ul-Fitr' which comes after Ramzan on the first day Shawwal is one of the greatest festivals of the Muslim community all over the world. Here, there is a couple of words, one is 'Eid' and another is 'Fitr' and both are from Arabic. 'Eid' means repeatedly; again and again; often; time and again; continually; over and again. Eid is called Eid because it comes to us over and again and 'Fitr' means breaking down. There are two separate Eid festivals known as Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha in a year. Eidul-Fitr signals the end of the holy month of Ramzan and the beginning of Shawwal. Muslims break down one month of fasting and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with joy, happiness, giving thanks to the Almighty.
When the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) migrated from Makkah to Madina he saw the people celebrating two festivals as 'Nyroz' and 'Meherzan' in a year as special and they spent the days with playing and doing some activities as their customs. He commenced two days celebration as Eid festivals by the command of Allah (SWT). In this connection, there is a Hadith:
Narrated from Anas ibn Malik (R.) : When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast. (Sunan Abi Dawud: Hadith No. 1134)
Eid is such a festival where the rich people share their happiness with poor people giving Fitr (fitrana), love and respect. The people who are eligible to pay Fitr must provide it to the needy and poor. The head of household can also pay zakat al-Fitr for their dependants. It is the best to pay Al-Fitr (Zakat al-Fitr) during Ramadan or at latest before Eid al-Fitr prayer, so that the poor can enjoy the day of Eid. Reported some Hadiths about Sadqa al-Fitr or Zakat al-Fitr:
One is reported form Ibn 'Umar (R.) that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered that the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr should be paid before the people go out for prayer. (Sahih Muslim: Book 5, Number 215). Another is reported form Hazrat Abdullah ibn 'Umar (R.) that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the payment of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before people go out for prayer. (Sahih Muslim: Book 5, Number 2160), And the other is reported form Hazrat Ibn 'Umar (R.) that the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) prescribed the Sadaqa of Ramadan (Sadaqat-al-Fitr) one sa' of dates or one sa' of barley for every free man or a slave, male or female, and then the people equalized (one sa' of dates or barley) with half a sa' of wheat. (Sahih Muslim: Book 5, Number 215)
Our Prophet (pbuh) went at Eidgah (field for performing Salat) spontaneously together with his followers. He advised the people and they listened to his speeches. Everyone from Muslim community gathered at Eidgah to perform Salatul Eid at the time of Prophet (pbuh). In this connection there is a Hadith: Narrated from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (R.): The Prophet (pbuh) used to proceed to the Musalla (field of performing Salat) on the days of EId-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer and after that he would stand in front of the people and the people would keep sitting in their rows. Then he would preach to them, advise them and give them orders, (i.e. Khutba). (Sahih al-Bukhari 956)
Anyway, putting on the best dress or clothes and celebrating are not the only proper ways to carry out Eid day but also there are some Sunnah activities on Eid day what the Prophet (pbuh) used to perform. To rise as early as possible then making Ghusal (ablution, taking bath) after that wearing one's best clothes whilst ensuring that it conforms with Shariah (Sunnah dress) and then apply a'tr (perfume) and eating anything sweet (such as dates) before departing for Eid salaah are related to Sunnah. Besides these the Prophet (pbhu) used to do some acts like going to the "Musalla" as early as possible and giving "Sadaqatul-Fitr" before leaving for the Musalla and also choosing a different route when returning from the Musalla. (Found from Sahih Bukhari: Chapter 15- The Two Festivals)
Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the special days than those of others due to some specialties. There are five implication days in a year and both Eid days are from them. Allah gives the Eid days as special and He declares the significance of Eid days. It is found from Hadiths: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, 'There are five nights on which du'a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha)'. (At-Targib Wat-Tahrib: 2nd Part: Page: 98: Hadith : 1656)
Another, It was narrated from Abu Umamah (R.) that the prophet (pbuh) said: "whoever spends the nights of the two Edi in praying voluntary prayers, seeking reward from Allah, his heart will not die on the Day when hearts will die." (Sunan Ibn Majah : 1782)
Lastly, we all are one and we must share our Eid happiness among others like fathers, mothers, family members, relatives including poor people in our society and we ensure Zakat al-Fitr to the needy persons so that they can enjoy the Eid days with their family members. From all of us we would like to wish a wonderful Eid al-Fitr. May Allah (swt) accept all of our fasts with prayers and bring us all endless joy on this blessed day.
(Mamunor Rashid is a Lecturer, Department of Islamic Studies, Leading University, Sylhet).