Festival of Breaking the Fast

25 May 2020, 8:39 AM

- Written by Sona Sharma, intern

May the magic of this Eid bring lots of happiness in your life.
May you celebrate it with all your close friends & may it fill your heart with wonders.

In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset across the world to pay respect to the month during which the Quran had been revealed to Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam. Although the date keeps on changing every year, the celebration is aesthetic as it ever has been.
Eid al-Fitr has a specific prayer called Namaz which is regarded as one of the fiver pillars in the religion of Islam. It is said to be observed 5 times a day at particular times while facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca which is the holy place for every Muslim located in Saudi Arabia.
The festival of breaking the fast originally started by Muhammad initially celebrated in Medina and it is based on lunar cycles. In simple words, the new month starts and ends with the full moon and the rituals follow prayers, gatherings in mosques, and sermon.
The celebration lasts around 3 days however it sometimes depends on family to family. Right before every prayer, Muslims wake up and clean their body thoroughly, it is a ritual knows as “ghusl”. After they are done with their prayers, some of them also visit the graves of their dear ones to pray. The holiday is also called as “The Lesser Eid” or “sweet Eid” because delicious sweets are distributed in abundance. It is the day to celebrate life, wear the best of our clothes, and offer our service to God and the needy people. It is a time for our friends, families, and relatives, a day to cherish every moment of life.
“Eid Mubarak” or “Khair Mubarak” is a way to wish people on the day of Eid which means “blessed festival” and wishing goodness to the person who has greeted you respectively.
Celebration of Eid may vary from country to country like for example in Egypt, the celebrations take place in gardens and parks and the little ones also receive an Eid, which is a small amount of money or in Afghanistan, children go from house to house where they are offered Pala, cookies or biscuits.
Pakistan has a different way of celebrating, people perform charitable work to share the happiness of Eid, a lot of sweets and desserts are cooked starting from Kheer to lassi to dry fruits and what not!
Indonesia, which is the home of 12.7% of the Muslim population in the world celebrates Eid by distributing Zakat to the poor ones.
In India, Eid-Ul-Fitr is known by various names and public holiday is declared in all states except for Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and Jharkhand. Another surprising fact is that Kerala is the only state in India which follows the date determined by the moon position in Saudi Arabia.
So, the question is why do we actually celebrate Eid? Firstly, it is one day where we get to show our gratitude towards God for his guidance and to ask for forgiveness, also it a day look around and be grateful for our lives and help the people who are in need. This month of Ramadan also helps us in enhancing our skills of self-control and self-discipline. With all the fasting, prayers, and helping the poor, we are able to witness the real acts of humanity and become more and more modest.
There are exceptions when it comes to following the tradition of fasting, for example, senior citizens, pregnant women, or individuals suffering from any medical conditions.
In 2020, the Muslim community is getting ready to celebrate the Eid-Ul-Fitr on May 23rd -24th, unfortunately, due to the pandemic outbreak, people have to choose the alternative ways to celebrate, however, we can always show our joy and be thankful to the ones near us. The common tradition was to have a communal affair, however, since the pandemic has become very severe for the past few months, the governments of a few of the nations have suggested to not gather around and just celebrate in amongst their families at home. Egypt has banned all the activities like Iftars and charity work. Also, in Singapore and Malaysia, the local markets have not been set up this year.
Eid is a very joyous time not only for the Muslim community but others as well, which is celebrated with such eagerness and enthusiasm. It has been really fortunate that people have understood that the real connectivity is through the heart and even though all of us have to follow the lockdown instructions, it is important to be happy and grateful as we were.

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References
11 Things You Might Not Know About Eid Al-Fitr
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/501821/11-things-you-might-not-know-about-eid-al-fitr

d-ul-fitr in India in 2020
Toby Shaw – https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/india/eid-al-fitr

Eid-ul-fitr in 2020
https://www.muslimaid.org/what-we-do/religious-dues/ramadan/eid-ul-fitr/

Eid Ul Fitr
https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/muslim/eid-al-fitr

Eid Ul-fitr – Festivals – Gcse Religious Studies Revision – Bbc Bitesize
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zrg9mp3/revision/1

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