Eid or “Eid ul Fitr” is also known as ‘festival of fast breaking’ is the most celebratory of all Muslim festivals. The term ‘Eid’ has been derived from the Arabic word “oud” , which means ‘the return’ & signifies the return of the festival each year. The festival is significant as much for its timing, as for its religious implications. It is celebrated after the long fasting month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar), on the first day of the “Shawwal” month of the “Hijri” year (Islamic calendar). People have strong belief that the “Quran” was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in the last ten days of Ramadan.
The month of “Ramadan” is historically associated with two important victories of Prophet Muhammad – the battle of Badr & the conquest of Makkah. Fasting during the month of Ramadan, according to Islamic beliefs, helps in developing self-control & is a way of getting closer to Allah. The festival of Eid ul Fitr marks the beginning of celebrations extending over three days. Women prepare sweets at home & all Muslims are seen adorned with new dresses on this day. Eid ul Fitr is synonymous with joy and thanks-giving. Such is the spirit of this great festival that even a lot of Non-Muslims participate in Eid celebrations in India.
It is a believed that fasting in the month of ‘Ramzan’ purifies the soul. The prayers after fasting save them from going to hell and open the doors of heaven. Thus, they lead a pure and holy life during the month of ‘Ramzan’. They observe fasts, offer regular prayers in the form of ‘Namaz’; read the holy Quran, feed the hungry and give alms to the poor. Charity is the greatest virtue to be practiced during the month of ‘Ramzan’. Fasting comes to an end when the new moon of Eid is sighted. The sight of the new moon of Eid is considered very pious & holy by the Muslims. It is a signal for the celebration of Eid the very next day.
They embrace one another and exchange Eid greetings. ‘Eid Mubarak’ is on the lips of each Muslim. Sweets are distributed, gifts are given and delicious dishes are prepared at home. Friends and relatives are invited to feasts. Sweet noodles are the most popular dish cooked on this day. At some places, Eid fairs are also held. Eid greetings are exchanged by one and all. Children buy toys and sweets.
In India, all communities join the Muslims in celebrating Eid. Sweets are shared & greetings exchanged by all. The Hindus, Sikhs and Christians greet their Muslim brothers on this day. The celebration of Eid promotes national integration and the feeling of brotherhood. Joys are doubled when they are shared. Eid brings a message of brotherhood for all of us.
It is a festival of love & goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none. It teaches us to embrace all men as brothers. Separated lovers hope to meet on this day. It exhorts us to bid goodbye to hatred, jealousy and enmity and bring in an era of love, sympathy & brotherhood.
Author By:- Prafful Sarda (Entrepreneur , Columnsit & RTI Activist)
Co-Author:- Sangeeta Tiwari (Ex. Chairman PMC – School Education Board)
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