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Eid and End of Ramadan

The Prophet, may Allah praise him, would leave his house on the day of Eid saying takbeer until he had performed the prayer.

By NewMuslims.com / 20 Jul 2013

Your Islamic center will announce the end of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid.  The first day of the month following Ramadan is Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of fast-breaking.  Very likely, in the last few days of Ramadan, your mosque will also start collecting obligatory post-Ramadan food (or money) due for the poor Muslims called  Zakat al-Fitr (Fast-breaking obligatory charity). 

Zakat al-Fitr

One of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

"Messenger of Allah made Zakat al-Fitr obligatory to purify the fasting person from indecent words or actions, and to provide food for the needy.  It is accepted as Zakat for the person who gives it before the Eid prayer, but it is mere charity (like any other) for the one who gives it after the prayer." [Abu Dawoud, Ibn Majah]

We learn three matters regarding Zakat al-Fitr:

(a)   It purifies the person who fasted Ramadan and cleanses him of indecent talk and minor sins performed during Ramadan.

(b)  This Eid is a day of eating and drinking, as the month prior to it was one of fasting. Zakat al-Fitr ensures that even the poorest of Muslims will partake in this show of festivity..

(c)   Paying Zakat al-Fitr is required of every Muslim capable of giving for himself and on behalf of every family member under his care.

The Quantity of Food

The quantity of food to be given out per person is roughly equal to four handfuls of the two hands held together.  Its weight will be different for different foodstuffs.  It is allowed to give money to a charity organization or mosque so that they buy the foodstuff and distribute it to the poor on your behalf, and that is why many mosques will offer to collect its dollar equivalent from you instead.  You also have the option of giving the food stuff to the mosque or charity organization, paying them to take care of distributing Zakat al-Fitr on your behalf, or you can give it out on your own.

The Type of Food

The staple food of the people in your area may be given.  Dates, barley, wheat, olives, raisins, wheat, and dried yogurt used to be commonly eaten food in the time of the Prophet.  Today, pasta, rice, beans, potatoes, cheese, and similar foods are more common.

The Best Time to Give It

The best time for it to be given out starts from the eve of Eid until right before going to the prayer.

Permissible Time to Give It

You may offer it one or two days before Eid.

Delaying it after Eid Prayer

It is a sin to delay it after Eid prayer.

Who to Give It To?

It is given to a fellow Muslim with limited financial means, but not necessarily in complete poverty.

Eid al-Fitr

“Eid” means a day of social gathering.  In Islam there are only three festivals:

(a)   The yearly Eid al-Fitr

(b)  The yearly Eid al-'Adha

(c)   The weekly Friday.

Eid al-Fitr is a major festivity for the Muslims, a time for gratitude to Allah, family bonding, fun, and merriment.  On this day people greet one another and visit relatives and friends. Elaborate dishes are prepared, new clothes are worn, presents are exchanged, and children have fun.

The following are some recommended acts to be performed on Eid:

a)     Ghusl or bathing early in the day before the Eid prayer.

b)     Beautifying oneself: The Prophet used to wear his best clothes to go to the Eid prayer.  He had a cloak that he wore specifically on the two Eids and Friday.

c)     Eating something in the morning: Allah's Messenger would not leave his house on the day of Fitr until he had eaten some dates. [ Saheeh Al-Bukhari.]

d)     Saying Takbeer is a distinctive feature of Eid and is mentioned in the Quran:

"…And that you should exclaim Allah's greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful."(Quran 2:185)

When?

The time for Eid takbeer's starts from the time a person leaves his house heading towards the prayer-hall.  The Prophet, may Allah praise him, would leave his house on the day of Eid saying takbeer until he had performed the prayer.  He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would stop saying the takbeer after the prayer.

What to Say?

There are various authentic narrations about what should be said in the takbeer. For brevity, we will mention the one which is most common.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akar, La ilaha ill-Allah, w’Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil-Hamd. [Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest. None deserves to be worshipped but Allah. Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest and all thanks and praise is for Him!]

The Eid Prayer

Islam teaches us how to celebrate these occasions of joy.  Their spirit is to remember God’s gifts in our everyday life; that is why the major part of the celebration is a public prayer.  The Eid prayer is composed of two rak’at, with some additions.  The prayer leader will describe the method of Eid prayer.  After the prayer he will deliver the Eid sermon, typically lasting for half an hour.

Afterwards, people will greet each other saying ‘Taqabbal-Allahu Mini wa Minkum,’ [May Allah accept our worship.”] ‘Kulla aam wa antum bi-khayr,’[May each year see you prosperous.] ‘Eid mubarak,’[Have a blessed Eid.] or simply ‘Happy Eid.’

I will encourage you to take some time off from school or work to celebrate Eid with fellow Muslims.  As you grow spiritually in years to come, developing friendships, and hopefully, raising a happy Muslim family, Eid will surely become a meaningful family festival, in which all come together and praise God for the gift of Guidance.

/plsquo;Taqabbal-Allahu Mini wa Minkum,

 

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