Id-ul-Fitr

What is it?

The followers of Islam consider Id-ul-Fitr as one of the most auspicious festivals following Ramadan fasting. It is a celebration of the end of fasting.

When is it?

It is the end of the month of fasting, at the end of Ramjan (Ramzan/Ramadan), by Muslims all over the world. It is usually celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This tenth month in the Muslim lunar calendar begins when people sight the new moon.

In 2017 that date falls on Monday 26th June.

How is it celebrated?

The Muslim devotees put on new clothes and at the mosque or in the open courtyard to offer namaz. After prayer, devotees participate in the feasts and fairs. Rich people give zakaat or charity to the poor. The elders distribute gifts and money to children. This is called ‘Idi’. A typical sweet dish called Sewaiyan is also prepared.

This traditional festival combines the rituals and traditions of the religion as well as addding fun and festivities to the occasion.

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Notes
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Shawwāl means to ‘lift or carry’. Named because a female camel normally would be carrying a fetus at this time of year.

Namaz (Persian) or Salah/ṣalāt/ṣalawāt called namāz (‘Muslim prayer’)  is one of the Five Pillars in the faith of Islam and an obligatory religious duty for every Muslim. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship that is observed five times every day at prescribed times. In this ritual, the worshiper starts standing, bows, prostrates themself, and concludes while sitting on the ground. During each posture, the worshiper recites or reads certain verses, phrases and prayers. 

Zakat/Zakaat means ‘that which purifies’ and is a form of alms-giving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (salat) in importance. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. It is not a charitable contribution and is considered to be a tax or obligatory alms. Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one’s possessions and is customarily 2.5% (or 1/40th) of a Muslim’s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab.

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