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Eid-ul-Fitr

Eid-ul-Fitr

A festival that marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan

Eid-ul-Fitr

The Festival Celebrated after Fasting the Holy Month of Ramadhan

This religious celebration is observed on the day following the last day of fasting which is observed daily by all able-bodied Muslims from dawn till sunset throughout the Islamic month of Ramazan. It is a day of much rejoicing and happiness especially by those fortunate persons who observed the fasts and reaped the spiritual fruits of this holy exercise in accordance with the directions of God in the Holy Quran.

Fasting has been prescribed in one form or another by all the revealed religions of the world. The Bible tells us that Prophet David declared ‘I humbled my soul with fasting’ (Psalms 35:13) and we read in the New Testament that ‘the disciples of Jesus and the Pharisees used to fast’ (Mark 2:18). We are also told that ‘Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights’ (Matthew 4:2).

One does not only feel happy on Eid-ul-Fitr because through exercising self-discipline one has successfully complied with the commandment of God to observe the fasts, but also on account of a feeling of spiritual exhilaration which glows within the heart and soul.

No doubt on Eid-ul-Fitr much pleasure is derived from wearing new clothes, meeting friends and relatives and eating specially prepared food. These are all ways of celebrating the occasion. The main event, of course, is the religious service when one offers prayers and listens to the inspirational address of the Imam on relevant matters concerning the significance of the occasion. As the main purpose of fasting is to develop righteousness and self-purification (Quran 2:186) the most attractive garment one should be wearing is the one mentioned by God in the Holy Quran:

The raiment of righteousness – that is the best. (7:27)

The real food one should be enjoying is the spiritual nourishment acquired during the month of fasting.

Eid-ul-Fitr should remind one of many lessons learned from fasting and which, during the holy month of Ramazan, one should have endeavoured to keep in mind and to have practised. One of them is the offering of one’s morning (Fajr) prayer before sunrise and also of the offering the efficacious pre-dawn prayer (Tahajjud) which is highly recommended. One realizes that it is not too difficult to arise early and offer these prayers at the proper time. If one can discipline oneself to do so during the month of fasting then it is not impossible to do so during the other months of the year also.

The purpose of taking medicine is to combat and cure an ailing condition and when it takes good effect one wants to maintain one’s improved condition. Likewise when one reduces weight after a course of dieting one wants to maintain one’s lower weight and similarly one wants to maintain one’s improved physical condition after completing a course of exercise. After completion of the holy month of fasting one is able to gauge one’s improved spiritual condition as a result of one’s devotion, conduct, prayers and divine favours received during that period. On Eid-ul-Fitr one should reflect one’s condition of spiritual improvement and resolve not to lose what one has gained but rather, not only to maintain it, but press forward to even higher spiritual development through righteous conduct, prayers and seeking the Grace of God.

This is the spirit of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Sadaqatul Fitr

Fitrana

What is Fitrana and Eid Fund?

In Arabic, Fitrana is called Sadaqatul Fitr, which has to be paid before Eid, so that the poor and needy can be provided with means to celebrate Eid in time. Its rate is one sa’a of grain, which is equivalent to 2.5 Kilograms. If someone is unable to pay at the full rate, they can pay at the half rate. It is obligatory on every Muslim man, woman and child, so much so that it even has to be paid on behalf of a newborn.

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ کَمَثَلِ حَبَّۃٍ اَنۡۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِیۡ کُلِّ سُنۡۢبُلَۃٍ مِّائَۃُ حَبَّۃٍ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُضٰعِفُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ

“The similitude of those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah is like the similitude of a grain of corn which grows seven ears, in each ear a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies it further for whomsoever He pleases; Allah is Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.262)

Hazrat Anas(ra) narrated that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The best charity is the one that is offered during the month of Ramadan.” (Tirmidhi, Kitab az-Zakat)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates,

The Holy Prophet(sa) was the most generous of all people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel would meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Quran with him. Allah’s Messenger(sa) then used to be more generous than a fast, fierce wind.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib)

In Arabic, fitrana is called Sadaqat-ul-Fitr, as it is stated in a Hadith:

Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates,

“The Holy Prophet(sa) deemed Sadaqat-ul-Fitr obligatory upon Muslims. It is a means of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language and also to feed the poor.” (Sunan Abu Dawood, Kitab az-Zakat)

Fitrana has to be offered before Eid. At times it is observed that it is offered right before or after the Eid prayer, however it is better to offer fitrana well before Eid, so that the poor and needy can be provided with the means to celebrate Eid in time.

The amount or rate of fitrana is one saa‘ of grains, which is equivalent to 2.5 kilograms. However, if someone is unable to offer the exact amount, they can offer half of the amount. Fitrana is obligatory upon every Muslim man, woman and child, so much so that it has to be paid on behalf of a new-born as well.

Keeping in view the amount of fitrana, it is fixed annually at a national level and then collected accordingly.

Eid Fund

The practice of offering Eid fund exists since the time of Promised Messiah(as). The purpose of offering this fund is so that as a person spends money on clothes, food, gatherings and gifts etc., on all happy occasions like Eid, one should bear in mind the requirements of faith and religion.

The amount of Eid fund in the time of the Promised Messiah(as) was such that each Ahmadi who had a source of income would offer one rupee as Eid Fund. However, in the present age, the value of the rupee has not remained the same, so instead of restricting it to one rupee Ahmadis should pay a sum on both Eids keeping in view the spirit of this fund according to their financial position.

The Promised Messiah(as) said:

“What a blessed time this is! No one is asked to lay down their life. This is not the time for offering the ultimate sacrifice, but rather it is the time to spend out of one’s possessions, according to one’s means.” (Al Hakam, 10 July 1903)

Why and how is Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated?

As the name suggests, Eid-ul-Fitr means “the feast of breaking the fast.” It is a festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and it is celebrated on 1st Shawwal. This joyous day serves as a reward for those who observe fasts and occupy themselves in the worship of Allah during the blessed month of Ramadan.

How should a person begin the day of Eid-ul-Fitr?

As Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the very next day at the end of Ramadan, therefore a person should begin their day by carrying on the practise of offering Tahajud prayer, the obligatory prayer of Fajr and the recitation of the Holy Quran. However, one should not fast on this day. One should take a shower, wear good clothes, perfume and offer Eid prayer in congregation which is offered in an open area or the mosque before the sun begins to set. Hazrat Anas(ra) narrates,

“The Messenger(sa) of Allah never proceeded [for the prayer] on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates.” He also relates that, “The Holy Prophet(sa) used to eat an odd number of dates.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Eidain)

Hazrat Jabir(ra) bin Abdullah relates,

“On the day of Eid, the Holy Prophet(sa) used to return [after offering the Eid prayer] using a different route from that which he went by.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Eidain)

How is Eid prayer offered?

In the first rakat [unit of prayer] of Eid-ul-Fitr, after reciting thanaa, the imam says 7 takbirat [Allahu Akbar] in a loud voice before commencing with the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah. The imam and followers should raise their hands to their ears and drop them at each time. After the takbirat, ta‘awuz and bismillah, the imam recites Surah al-Fatihah and a portion of the Holy Quran aloud and completes the rakat as is the sunnah.

On the second rakat, instead of 7, the imam says 5 takbirat and then completes the second rakat as mentioned above. The imam delivers a sermon after the Eid prayer as is delivered before the Jumuah prayer.

Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Umar narrates,

“The Holy Prophet(sa) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and used to deliver the khutba after the prayer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Eidain)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) narrates ,

“The Holy Prophet(sa) offered a two-rakat prayer on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and did not pray before or after it. Then he went towards women along with Bilal(ra) and asked them to pay alms and so they started offering their earrings and necklaces [in charity].” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Eidain)

Is it obligatory to offer Eid prayer?

The Eid prayer is Sunnat-e-Mu‘akidah (a practice that the Prophet(sa) told us to follow). Everyone should come for Eid prayer. Even women having their period should also come to the mosque, but they should not take part in the prayer and instead, occupy themselves in the remembrance of Allah.

How can we celebrate Eid in the best possible way?

A person should celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr by keeping in view the lessons learned during the month of Ramadan. All those goals and aims that are achieved during the blessed days of fasting should be made part of one’s life. One should remember everyone in their happiness, especially those who are poor and needy. One should not only maintain their previous good deeds but in fact progress in spiritual development and attain the pleasure of Allah.

Highlighting the importance and spirit of Eid, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V(aa) states:

“Today, young and old, men and women have gathered together because this day holds great significance. Islam has decreed the day of Eid as a day of happiness in which Muslims should join together with their loved ones…

“Today, if Ahmadi Muslims wish to celebrate Eid in the true sense, then where they seek to attain the blessings of true Eid by bringing about a moral reformation, they should also make every effort to free the world from injustices and should engage fervently in prayer to free the Muslim world from the disorder and troubles it is engulfed in.” (Eid-ul-Fitr Sermon, Baitul Futuh Mosque, London, 19 July 2015)

In Arabic, Fitrana is called Sadaqatul Fitr, which has to be paid before Eid, so that the poor and needy can be provided with means to celebrate Eid in time. Its rate is one sa’a of grain, which is equivalent to 2.5 Kilograms. If someone is unable to pay at the full rate, they can pay at the half rate. It is obligatory on every Muslim man, woman and child, so much so that it even has to be paid on behalf of a newborn.

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