Eid-ul-Fitr: Sacrifice, Acceptance, Forgiveness – Megha Vyas

Reflectionist Megha Vyas (ITBM 2021-23)

Eid-ul-Fitr, a symbolic occasion of embodying the spirit of praying for acceptance of the good deeds, forgiveness for the sins and relief from sacrifices made by the people, is observed during the holy month of Ramadan. It is the festival of breaking fast after a month long fasting from dawn to dusk, that is observed by Muslims around the world. 

On the joyous occasion of Eid, Muslims and everyone celebrating get together, indulging in sumptuous feasts, collectively gathering for religious talks, attending mass prayers at mosques and utilize this time to thank Allah out of respect as well as to thank for letting the month of Ramadan go smoothly. They pray to Allah for acceptance of their good deeds, forgiveness for their transgressions and to ease the suffering of all people around the globe. 

One good deed is said to be repaid ten times over. Ramadan, the month-long fasting season, is a symbol of endurance, patience, and commitment. It is stated that those who complete it, will experience harmony, prosperity, good health, and peace in their life and the lives of their loved ones. Those who put in the most effort are the ones who succeed the most. Muslims pray shortly after daybreak to commemorate this anniversary. Everyone dresses up, greets one another with ‘Eid Mubarak,’ and exchanges sweets. Many people exchange gifts with one another. With their close friends, the kids enjoy a joyous time. 

It’s a moment to reflect on the previous month, to rejoice in having completed a month of fasting and worship, and to pray for the coming month. Before finishing the Eid prayer, cash is given to the poor and poverty-stricken as a mandatory act of charity (Zakat-ul-Fitr). This serves as a reminder that fasting has made them more aware of others’ needs. Then they go to the Eid prayer in mosques. The majority of people then visit family and friends to exchange gifts and spend time together. In most Muslim communities, a lavish and luxurious Eid supper will be held later in the evening to bring people together. Haleem, kebabs, biryani, nihari, and desserts like seviyyan are among the many cuisines available. It’s the most awaited and ecstatic time of the year for the ones celebrating. The festivities last a few more days, perhaps even until the next weekend.

According to Muslim belief, the Islamic prophet Muhammad founded Eid al-Fitr. These festivities began in Medina after Muhammad’s journey from Mecca, according to some learned people. When Muhammad arrived in Medina, he discovered people celebrating two special days on which they enjoyed themselves with pleasure and merriment, according to Anas, a well-known friend of the Islamic prophet. At this point, Muhammad stated that Allah had appointed two feast days: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The Prophet Muhammad is believed to have received the first revelation of the Holy Quran during the holy month of Ramadan. Eid Ul-Fitr marked the end of the morning-evening fast and the beginning of the Shawwal month during Ramadan. Eid-Ul-Fitr is also a successful month celebration of fasting, prayer, and refraining from all negative actions, thoughts, and words, and a way to show respect for Allah. 

This festival is celebrated in the honor of Prophet Muhammad’s unflinching love, dedication, and faith on his God. Being the festival of joy and celebration, Eid brings about a lot of happiness in everyone’s lives. It serves as a reward to people who fast the whole month and enjoy on Eid like it’s their feast. In other words, it is a reward for all the good deeds people have done during Ramadan. Thus, it spreads joy and brotherhood.

Eid-ul-fitr is observed as a national holiday in India. The festivities of Eid begin soon after the observance of the new phase of the moon on Chand Raat. On its evening, individuals head to markets for Eid shopping, and start food preparations for daawat on the successive day. Ancient Eid food typically includes biriyani, sheer khurma, and sivayyan, a dish of fine, cooked sweet pasta noodles with milk and edible fruit, among different regionally specific dishes. Ladies apply henna on every other’s hands. On the following morning, Muslims attend their native Masjid or Eidgah for Eid-Namaz. Afterwards, kids are given Eidi (cash gifts), friends and relatives visit every others’ homes to eat and celebrate.