“ The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.” - Mahatma Gandhi


Eid


Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيدالفطر‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], "festival of breaking of the fast"), also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, the Sweet Festival and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity. Since some of the countries have different calculation and observation techniques, the day of celebration may change 1 day depending on the country, but in most of the Islamic countries, it is celebrated on the same day.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allahu Akbar" [God is Great]), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school. This Eid al-Fitrsalat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard (obligatory), Mustahabb (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadanand pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers.


History


Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, there is mention of festivals as well as some others among the Arabs. The Israelites had festivals as well, but as is evident from the Old Testament and other scriptures, these festivals related more to commemorating certain days of their history.

Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophetMuhammad. It is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal at the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims undergo a period of fasting.

According to certain traditions, these festivals were initiated in Madinah after the migration of Muhammad from Mecca. Anas reports:

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha

For Muslims, both the festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are occasions of showing gratitude to God and remembering Him, and are an occasion of entertainment. ‘Aishah narrates that when on an Eid day her father Abu Bakr stopped young girls from singing, Muhammad said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an ‘id and [this day] is our Eid.