Eid al-Fitr is festival of breaking fast to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan
Eid al-Fitr is one of the two Islamic festivals. The word Eid is a derivative of Arabic word ‘Oud’ which means ‘to come back’ or ‘return’. Thus, Eid means recurring festival of happiness because the day of Eid al-Fitr returns every year for the Muslims around the world. And every time it brings joy and happiness with it, therefore it is called Eid.
Imam Ragheb Isfahani writes about the word Eid:
“The literal meaning of the word Eid is a day that returns over and over again. And in Islamic terminology this day is designated to celebrate as a festival.” (Al Mufradat)
Eid is a way for Muslims to thank Allah for all His blessings and bounties that He has blessed them with.
Allah has mentioned supplication of Prophet Jesus in Surah al-Mā’idah in which the Eid is mentioned. Allah says in Quran:
قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيداً لِّأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآيَةً مِّنكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
Meaning: Isa, the son of Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) said: ‘O Allah, our Lord, send down to us from heaven the table spread (with bounties) so that (the day of its descent) becomes (Eid) a festival day for us, and for our predecessors (as well as) successors, and that (spread table) comes as a sign from You, and provide us with sustenance, and You are the Best Sustainer.’ (al-Mā’idah : 114)
In the following verse, Allah says:
قَالَ اللّهُ إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ فَإِنِّي أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ
Meaning: Allah said: ‘I certainly send it down to you, but whoever of you disbelieves (after that), I shall punish him with a torment such as I will never inflict on anyone else in all the worlds. (al-Mā’idah : 115)
Meaning of Fitr
Fitr is a derivative from the word Iftar which means to break the fast. The day of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of fasting. Allah rewards His men on this day who fast during the holy month for their fasting, good deeds and prayers. Therefore, this Islamic festival is called Eid al-Fitr.
Excellence of the Night of Eid al-Fitr
The night that marks the end of Ramadan is the first night of the Islamic month of Shawwal. This night has a lot of reverence in Islam. Spending this blessed night in remembrance of Allah Almighty (i.e. to invocate Ism-e-Allah Zaat), would be a source of blessing for us. It is particularly relevant to those who follow Sufism and want to attain closeness and recognition of Allah Almighty.
Excellence and superiority of this night in light of Hadith
Abu Huraira (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said that my ummah has been blessed with five benedictions in the month of Ramadan which were not bestowed upon any other ummah before them. The last of these benedictions is that during the last night Allah forgives those who fast. One Companion asked, O’ Prophet of Allah! Is that night the Night of Destiny i.e. Laylatul Qadr? The Holy Prophet replied, ‘No, that night is the last night of the holy month of Ramadan and the first night of Shawwal.’
This is in fact the night in which the moon of Eid al-Fitr is sighted and Eid al-Fitr is declared the following day. We should strive to spend this night in remembrance of Allah by invocating and contemplating Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
Eid al-Fitr – An important Islamic Festival
Eid al-Fitr is an important Islamic festival that the Muslims around the world celebrate at the end of the holy month of Ramadan to mark the end of fasting. They celebrate it with zeal and fervour. Muslims are forbidden from fasting on the day of Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr is marked with a special prayer that is known as Eid al-Fitr prayer. It is offered either in the mosque or in an open space.
The Sunnah related to Eid al-Fitr and etiquettes to observe
Below are some of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet related to Eid al-Fitr.
- Take bath as per Islamic rituals before going for Eid al-Fitr prayer
- Eat something sweet before going to mosque to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer
- Say Takbir (praise Allah Almighty) on the day of Eid al-Fitr. These are to be read on the way to mosque and while returning from the mosque after offering the Eid al-Fitr prayer. On Eid al-Fitr, the Takbir are read in low voice whereas on Eid al-Adha they are read loudly. These Takbir are:
اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر، لا إلَهَ الا اللّه، اللّهُ أكبر ، اللّهُ اكبر، و لِلّه الحمدَ
- Congratulate fellow Muslims and say greetings of Eid al-Fitr. To shake hands and embrace each other.
- Wear elegant dress and wear perfume
- Use different route on the way to Mosque when going to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer and when returning from the mosque after the prayer
Time of Eid al-Fitr Prayer
The Eid al-Fitr prayer time begins when the sun rises to approx. the length of the shadow of a spear and lasts until approx. 15 minutes after noon. It is compulsory to call the Azan before the five daily prayers. However the Eid al-Fitr prayer is exempt from that. Eid al-Fitr prayer has only two rakat.
Method of Offering Eid al-Fitr Prayer
The Eid al-Fitr prayer has two rakats with six additional Takbirs. In the first rakat, after the opening supplication (thanaa), the Imam reads three Takbirs. Then the Imam reads Surah al-Fatiha and few verses from the Quran before bowing to complete one rakat.
In the second rakat, the Imam reads Surah al-Fatiha and then reads few verses from the Quran. He then reads three Takbirs before bowing and then completes the rest of the prayer as normal. After completing the prayer, the Imam delivers a special sermon in accordance with the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. During the address, the speaker highlights the importance of mutual trust, brotherhood, equality and helping each other. The address comes to an end with special supplication for the prosperity and progress of the whole Muslim ummah.
Etiquettes to Observe on the day of Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr is the day of reaping the rewards for fasting and all the good deeds that the Muslims performed throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Allah Almighty showers his blessings on this day upon His men who strived to cleanse their inwards of the various ills of the inciting innerself by adhering to the Sharia and keeping themselves occupied with the remembrance of Allah.
Therefore, on the day of Eid, we should stay away from unnecessary activities. For example, some youngsters spend their Eid going around streets wearing ludicrous costumes and making loud noises that annoy others. All such activities are in fact lures of Satan that he uses to distract Allah’s men from His remembrance. Staying away from such activities is piety. However, it is only possible to achieve true piety in company of the perfect spiritual guide. Without piety and recognition of Allah Almighty, all sorts of prayers and good deeds are hollow just like a body without soul. Therefore we should strive to make these moments of joy and happiness a source of salvation from the clutches of Satan and the inciting innerself.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen and Eid al-Fitr
We are lucky to have the company of the present Shaikh of the Sarwari Qadri order, Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Sultan ul Ashiqeen is the Universal Divine Man of the present era. It is obligatory for anyone who wants to gain closeness and pleasure of Allah to adopt company of Sultan ul Ashiqeen.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen is on the footsteps of the Holy Prophet
Being the Universal Divine Man of present era, Sultan ul Ashiqeen is on the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Sultan ul Ashiqeen trains his disciples spiritually in the same way as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) trained the sacred Companions i.e. through his company.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Fitr is the first Eid that Muslims celebrate according to Islamic lunar calendar. It marks the end of the holy month of fasting i.e. Ramadan. It falls on the first day of Shawwal. Eid al-Adha which some people also call Eid al-Baqr or Eid Qurban is the second Eid that Muslims celebrate. It begins on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for three days. Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate it to honour the sunna of Prophet Ibrahim (as). Whilst fulfilling Allah’s will, Prophet Ibrahim was preparing to sacrifice his son (Ismail) in the way of Allah. However, just before he could sacrifice Ismail, Allah replaced him with a ram.
As followers of every religion or culture have certain festivals to celebrate which become their identity and distinguish them from others. Similarly, for Muslims, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two festivals they celebrate to highlight two very important Islamic occasions. We celebrate Eid al-Fitr to thank Allah for providing us the opportunity to earn reward by fasting for His pleasure and achieving piety through fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. As the reward for each devotion increases seventy times in this month.
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are the two Eids that Muslims around the world celebrate every year.
It is mandatory to pay Sadaqa Fitr before the Eid al-Fitr prayer. Paying it after the Eid al-Fitr prayer will not be accepted. Sadaqa Fitr is obligatory for every free and independent Muslim who has enough wealth to make him or her eligible to pay Sadaqa Fitr. Best time to pay Sadaqa Fitr is within the month of Ramadan as is the case for Zakat and other charitable donations.
NOTE: This article is English translation of the Urdu article عید الفطر which appeared in May 2020 issue of the monthly Sultan ul Faqr magazine (https://www.mahnama-sultan-ul-faqr-lahore.com/may-2020-eid-ul-fitr/). Mohammad Yousuf Akbar Sarwari Qadri wrote the original article. Waheed Hassan Sarwari Qadri has translated it in English.