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Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Almost one billion people adhere to Islam across the world. There are two major festivals that are celebrated by Muslims across the globe. These festivals are namely Id-al-Adah and Id-Ul-Fitr. Both the festivals are celebrated with great pomp and joy. Eid-Ul-Fitr falls before Id-al-Adah. These two major festivals are closely related to spiritual enhancement and signify the most important events as per Quran.
Eid-Ul-Fitr is celebrated after 30 days of Ramadan. Month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims across the globe observe fast during these 30 days. Id-ul-Fitr is also known as choti Eid. This festival is celebrated on the first day of Shawal. Sighting of crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan. Day after the sighting of crescent moon is celebrated as Id-ul-fitr. Eid-Ul-Fitr rituals
This festival is a single day festival, though the celebrations often extend to two or three days. On the day of Eid, all the Muslims get up early in the morning around 4.30 am. They bathe and dress themselves in the best of their clothing. Many Muslims will also atone their bodies with natural oils or perfumed oils before bathing. The family shares breakfast together. After the breakfast, the first prayer is offered. This prayer is known as ‘Salat-e-fajr’ and it is offered in an open ground. Generally, mosques have an open ground, where all Muslim men gather. They offer prayers in congregation. Before offering the’fajr’ prayer, every devout Muslim must donate something or indulge in the act of charity. This is known as sadaqat-ul-fitr. Sadaqat ul-fitr refers to giving money to poor and needy.
Eid Salaat consists of two ‘rakats’ and six ‘takbirs’. Muslims have to follow certain norms while celebrating Eid-Ul-Fitr. Every devout Muslim must go to offer Salaat-ul-fitr on foot. Eid prayers must be said in congregation and they should be said in an open ground. It is forbidden to use any other words apart from words that refer to almighty god or spiritual Islamic terms before offering Salat-e-fajr. After offering prayers, the imam delivers the sermon. It is important that Muslims attend the sermon and they should not indulge in talking or praying when the sermon is being delivered. After the prayers and Khutbah (sermon) is over, all Muslims hug each other and say Id Mubarak.
Celebrations of Eid-Ul-Fitr
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After offering the ‘Salat-e-fajr’, celebrations of Eid begin. Friends and families exchange gifts and sweets. Children often receive Eidi from elders. Eidi can be in form of gifts, money, clothes, or sweets. It is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid. Several delicacies are prepared on this day. Muslims also invite their friends and relatives home. Many non-Muslim friends are invited to share the festivities of Eid-Ul-Fitr
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Eid-Al-Adah is the most important of all Islamic festivals. This festival is also known as the greater Eid. It begins on the 10th day of Dhua-al-hijjah and lasts up to 13th day of dhua-al-hijjah as per the Islamic calendar. Dates for Eid-Al-Adah may differ as the Gregorian calendar as the western calendar is based on the movement of the sun. History of Eid-Al-Adah
Eid-Al-Adah is also known as the festival of sacrifice. In many parts of the world, it is also known as Bakri Id. This festival symbolizes the spirit of sacrifice. Origins of this festival can be traced back to Quran.
This festival celebrates Ibrahim’s dedication to God. Ibrahim was asked to take his wife and his son Ishmael to Arabia. He left them there as per god’s will. Hajar and Ishmael were thirsty when Angel Gabriel pierced the land and well of zamzam was created for them. Ibrahim was asked to join his wife and son after several years. They built the kabba, next to the well of zamzam. When Ishmael turned 13 years old, he attained Prophet-hood. At this juncture, Ibrahim started getting recurring dreams of his slaughtering his son. He realized that it was God’s command that he should sacrifice his only son Ishmael. Ibrahim told his son about his dreams and asked him his viewpoint. Ishmael readily agreed to obey God’s command. Quran states that satan tried to divert Ibrahim’s mind by tempting him and at that juncture, Ibrahim pelted stones at Satan and drove him away. Even today, hajj pilgrims throw stones at pillars symbolizing satan during their holy pilgrimage.
When Ibrahim tried to behead his son, Ishmael remained unharmed and a ram laid dead on the sacrificial platform. God was pleased with Ibrahim’s devotion and he delivered the good news about arrival of his second son Isaahaq. Since then, this day is celebrated as day of sacrifice.
Salat for eid-al-adah can be offered anytime after sunrise till the dusk. These prayers must be offered in a mosque. It is essential that every Muslim does ‘wudu’ and offers ‘salaat-ul-fajr’ on the day of Eid. They must dress well and stay like that throughout the day. Travelers are exempted from offering their Eid prayers at mosque.
Eid prayers consist of two ‘rakats’ and seven ‘takbirs’. After the recitation of prayers, the imam delivers a ‘Khutbah’, which is also known as a sermon. On this day, a lamb, cow, goat or camel is sacrificed. This sacrifice is done in remembrance of Ibrahim, who was ready to sacrifice his son for the will of God. The sacrificial animals need to meet particular standard, age and quality. Meat from the sacrificial animal is divided in three parts. First part is retained by the family. The second part is distributed to friends and relatives whereas the third part of the meat is distributed to poor and needy.
Devout Muslims try to feed the poor and needy during this day. Eid-al adah lasts for three days. It is essential that a ‘takbir’ is recited loudly before offering the Eid prayers. Recitation of ‘takbir’ begins from the ninth day of dhua-al-hijah to the thirteenth day of dhua-al-hijah. Friend and relatives visit each other and wish ‘Id Mubarak’.