Farewell Ramadan, Welcome Eid (Festival)
Eid is a day of joy and cheer. It is one of the nice days that lofty feelings overflow; the feelings of love and respect revive among believers. Solidarity and fusion reach the limits that day.
Eid is one of the best means of bringing people together and integrating them. The spirit of mutual assistance and gift exchange that climax on eid days do not become limited with living people; it reaches to the people in the grave who wait for al-Fatiha. Believers visit graves on eid days to fulfill their wishes; they read verses from the Quran, al-Fatiha and prayers, and please the people in the grave.
Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Festival) has a different place among believers because it shows the total joy of iftar (meal of breaking the fast) of the fasting of one month like the joy of iftar of the daily fasting. Believers, who make their souls fast for a month, which is a long period of time, especially on hot days when Ramadan comes in the summer, experience the joy of being freed from the spiritual responsibility by being successful in test of patience in Eid al-Fitr.
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (Sacrifice Festival) were started to be celebrated beginning from the second year of Hegira. Fasting in Ramadan became obligatory that year and believers who fasted in that month celebrated the first three days of the next month (Shawwal) as eid. Therefore, it was called Ramadan festival.
Acting upon the hadith; "The first thing we will do on this day is to perform prayers"(1), Muslims start Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha by performing eid prayers.
Hazrat Prophet said,
The day of Arafa (one day before eid), the day of sacrifice and the days of tashriq are days of eid for Muslims. They are days of eating and drinking. (2)
The Prophet regarded Eid al-Fitr a day like that and he defined it as the iftar day of the Ramadan fasting.(3) That is why it is forbidden to fast on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The fact that it was forbidden to eat a day ago and it becomes forbidden to fast the next day is the most important factor that reminds believers in their world of thoughts and feelings about the real Owner of the bounties.
Everybody fasted based on the command of a Being a day ago and breaks the fast in order to please the same Being today. Everybody realizes fully that He is the real Owner of the bounties and finds a way of thanking Him.
Since eid is the total iftar of the fasting of a month, the sunnah acts of fasting are carried out on eid day too. Our Prophet (pbuh), who broke his fast by eating something sweet every evening, started Ramadan Festival by eating something sweet. He never left his house without breaking his fasting of a month by eating something sweet like dates. (4)
Our Prophet (pbuh), who encouraged us to perform worshipping and good deeds for the hereafter on every occasion, advised getting up and worshipping on both eid nights. He said that being awake on those nights would cause the heart be awake too. He stated the following in a hadith:
The heart of a person who gets up and worships on the nights of two eids does not die on the day when hearts die. (5)
There was an atmosphere of joy on eid days in the Era of Bliss (the period when the Prophet lived). Our Prophet (pbuh) went to the mosque in the morning on eid day. He wanted his wives, other women and children to go to the mosque too. Women stayed at the back side of the mosque.(6) Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that after the performance of eid prayer, our Prophet (pbuh) delivered a sermon. Ibn Masud went on as follows:
"I witness by the Messenger of Allah that he performed the prayer before the sermon. Then, he delivered the sermon. Then, he went over to the women because he thought they could not hear his voice. He reminded them some issues. Then, he read the following verse: “O Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the oath of fealty to thee that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatever with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood and that they will not disobey thee in any just matter then do thou receive their fealty and pray to Allah for the forgiveness (of their sins): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” then:
– Will you give oath upon those?, he asked. One of them said:
– Yes O Messenger of Allah! The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
– Give alms! He encouraged them to give alms. The women who listened to him removed their earrings from their ears and bracelets from their arms, and their rings and necklaces. Bilal al-Habashi spread his garment and said:
–Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you! Come and give (alms)!”
And they started to cast their bracelets, earrings and rings into Bilal's garment. The garment was full of jewelry. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not wait there after eid and went to his house.” (7)
When one of the companions who narrated that event was asked, "Were the things that the women gave zakat of Ramadan?, he said: "No. What they gave was sadaqah. The women kept on casting their rings."(8)
Mentioning the same event, Abu Saidi'l-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said that those who gave the most sadaqah were women on eid day.
Eid al-Fitr is a sign of joy indicating having been forgiven. Angels give man the glad tidings of being forgiven.
Sa'd bin Aws al-Ansari narrates: The Messenger of Allah stated the following.
In the morning of Eid al-Fitr, angels come down to roads and say: "O the Community of Muslims! Run towards the mercy of your Lord, whose generosity is abundant. He gives you favors and grants. They are given plenty of rewards. You were ordered to worship at night and you fulfilled that order. You were ordered to fast during the day and you fasted. You obeyed your Lord, so take your rewards.
After the eid prayer is performed, a caller calls out as follows:
"Behold! Glad tidings for you! Your Lord has forgiven you. Go to your houses as having been forgiven. The day of eid is the day of reward. Today is declared as the day of reward in the sky."(9)
Since the days of eid are days of joy, legitimate games and entertainment that will show that joy clearly are permitted. There is a separate chapter in ‘Muslim’ about the issue and there are examples. In one of those narrations, Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates as follows:
"When a group of Abyssinians came and started dancing, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) called for me. And I went and put my head on his shoulder. I started watching the play of the Abyssinians. Finally, I was the first to give up watching them."(10)
However, it is necessary not to exaggerate the joy and turn it to heedlessness. Entertainment should be within legitimate limits and it should not contain any elements of sin. As a matter of fact, eid is a divine feast given to us by Allah. Therefore, we need to remember Allah and thank Him the most on the day of eid. In the timeline, eid is the beginning of a new change, a milestone and time for reckoning. It is one of the means of reminding us that one more year has passed and we have taken one more step towards the realm of grave.
"It is because of this that there are among the narrations many that strongly encourage thanks and remembrance of God at festival times, in order to prevent heedlessness from prevailing and deviation into the illicit. Then at such times, this may transform the bounties of joy and happiness into thanks and make the bounty continue and increase it because thanking increases bounty and dispels heedlessness." (11)
Indeed, the takbirs uttered all together in congregation during the eid prayer is a means of eliminating heedlessness and fulfilling the duty of thanking. When we imagine that not only the people of one country but also more than a billion people all over the world utter takbirs all together, the wonderful situation makes our eids a universal event. At that time, the earth becomes like a single mouth and acts as if it utters takbir and performs a prayer. The raising of those voices that unite in the realm of similitude in this world is the world’s calling out of the oneness towards the heavens like a wonderful chorus.
The disagreements and resentments that occur due to small matters have no place on eid days when such wonderful events take place. Therefore, each believer should renew his fraternity contract with other believers, strengthen it, help the poor, and rejoice children so that the real meaning of the eid will be practiced.
The real adornments and jewels of the eid are takbirs. Each takbir that is uttered revives the spiritual enthusiasm in the spirits and hearts. They make the servant reach lofty feelings before the magnificence of his Lord.
Abu Hurayra narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following: “Adorn your eid by uttering takbirs.” (12)
Getting ready for eids in accordance with sunnah turns that custom to worshipping, and it makes people spend those days of joy in the consciousness of belief.
Therefore, getting ready for the eid beforehand, putting on clean and nice clothes, having a bath, brushing teeth with miswak or toothbrush, wearing nice perfumes, having a cheerful face and eating dates or something sweet before the prayer of eid as they are all present in sunnah will make the eid days assume a different significance.
As a matter of fact, fitrah, which is known as sadaqah al-fitr, is given on the day of eid. If it has not been given during the month of Ramadan, it is necessary to give it on the day of eid. Besides, the name of Ramadan festival is Eid al-Fitr in hadiths, that is, the festival of fitr. It has that name because the duties of worshipping, which are the necessities of being created, are carried out.
The best form of eid is to shake hands and hug other believers whether you know them or not and wish them happy eids. During the Era of Bliss, the companions wished each other happy eids by saying: "Barakallahu lana wa lakum", that is "May the blessings of Allah be upon us and you”.(13) that wishing can be expressed as “blessed eid, happy eid, have a good eid” etc.
1) Bukhari, Iydayn: 3; Muslim, Adahi: 7.
2) Ebu Davud, Sawm:50; Tirmizi, Sawm:59; Nasai, Manasik:195.
3) Ibn Majah, Siyam: 32.
4) ibid, Siyam: 49.
5) ibid, Siyam: 67.
6) Muslim, Salatu'l-Iydayn: 11.
7) ibid, Salatu'l-Iydayn, 2.
8) ibid, Salatu'l-Iydayn, 3.
9) at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib Trns. 2:332.
10) Muslim, Salatu'l-Iydayn, 20.
11) Lem’alar (Flashes), 230.
12) at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib Trns. 2:332.