Eid ul-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fitr means “to break fast”; and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.
Eid ul-Fitr lasts for three days of celebration and is sometimes also known as the “Smaller Eid” as compared to the Eid ul-Adha that lasts four days and is called the “Greater Eid”.
Muslims are commanded by the Quran to complete their fast on the last day of Ramadan and then recite the Takbir all throughout the period of Eid.
The Takbir and other Rituals
The Takbir is recited after having confirmation that the moon of Shawwal is sighted on the eve of the last day of Ramadan. It continues until the start of the Eid prayer. Before the Eid prayer begins, every Muslim who is able must pay Zakat al-fitr, an alms for the month of Ramadan. This equates to about 2 kilograms of a basic foodstuff or its cash equivalent, and is typically collected at the mosque. This is distributed to needy local Muslims prior to the start of the Eid prayer. It can be given at any time during the month of Ramadan and is often given early, so the recipient can use it for Eid purchases. This is distinct from Zakat based on wealth, which must be paid to a worthy charity.
End of Ramadhan – vary in different countries – depending on the reliable sighting of the crescent moon. Festival begins with the first sighting of the new moon and lasts for 3 days although the main festivities occur on the first day. Eid is a joyous celebration with important religious significance Happiness is observed as attaining spiritual uplift and enhanced piety after a month of fasting.
The believers celebrate at Eid because Allah has helped them to complete the month of fasting. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking God for the help and strength that they believe He gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control and to renew their commitment.