The end of Ramadan is marked by all Muslims going to Morning Prayer services and then the Islamic Holiday Eid Al-Fitr begins. The night before Eid al-Fitr is regarded as a very blessed night and Muslims believe that it should be spent in nafl (voluntary) salat (prayers) and worship.
There will be no taraweeh prayers on this last night of Ramadan, but a devout Muslim will spend the night in prayer, remembrance of Allah and reading the Quran.
Before the Eid al-Fitr salat, Mulsims will be sure to pay the “Sadakah Al-Fitr.” This is money due to the poor and the needy. Every Muslim must pay this, even the poor. Sadakah al-Fitr is a fairly small amount of money equal to 1.75 kilograms of wheat for every person in the family.
The morning of Eid al-Fitr, it is considered sunnah to perform certain acts in preparation of thanking Allah for a blessed Ramadan which include:
- Wake up early in the morning and clean yourself completely i.e. take a bath and brush the teeth.
- Wear the best available clothes and get completely ready.
- Men should use perfume.
- Eat a few dates before the Eid prayer.
- Recite the Takbir in low voice before going to the ‘Eid prayer: “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Ila Allah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Alhamd.”
Anas (ra), a companion of Prophet Muhammad reported that when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals and carnivals. Prophet Muhammad asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad told them: ‘Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.’
EID-UL-FITR is celebrated on the first day of Shaw’waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw’waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The Eid-al-Fitr is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Umm Atiyah (ra) reported: “The Messenger of Allah commanded us to bring out on Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, young women, hijab-observing adult women and the menstruating women. The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaat but participated in good deeds and Duaa (supplication). Umm Atiyah said to the Holy Prophet – Messenger of Allah, one does not have an outer garment. He replied: Let her sister cover her with her garment.” On the Eid day, every believing man, woman and child must go to the prayer ground and participate in this joyous occasion.
Structure of Eid prayer – Eid prayer is wajib (recommended). It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The prayer is followed by the Khutbah. The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and Jihaad should be aroused in the community. At the conclusion of the prayer the Muslims should convey greetings to each other, give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.