If you think the past month has felt long then imagine how it felt for all those who have spent it fasting, praying and reflecting. The long month of Ramadan is one of the most important dates in the calendar, known the world over for those who follow the Muslim faith being unable to eat and drink during daylight hours – but in reality, there is much more to it than that.
To mark the end of Ramadan, Islam celebrates Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid al-Futr or simply Eid. The first day of Shawwal indicates the beginning of the festivities. This is the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The event traditionally begins with the sighting of a new moon but as Muslims are celebrating Eid in every corner of the globe, many now await the announcement from Mecca.
The first ever Eid al-Fitr dates all the way back to 624 CE, where it was celebrated by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar.
The Sunnah dictates the beginning of Eid. The day begins with Muslims waking early in the morning in order to pray Salat ul-Fajr.
After waking up most Muslims follow the routine of brushing their teeth, taking a bath and wearing perfume before having breakfast and then heading out to perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. On the way to the prayer ground many Muslims will recite the takbir, the declaration of faith. Special charitable donations known as Zakat al-Fitr are also made.
Eid itself is a day for great celebration and merriment and to give thanks. Most Muslims celebrate with their families where they prepare sweet delicacies, wear new clothes, exchange gifts with each other and put up decorative lights as well as other decorations to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
You will often hear the common holiday greeting of “Eid Mubarak” around this time, which means “Have a blessed Eid!”.
Visit Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in London to celebrate this Eid.