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The Gift of Eid  

The Gift of Eid  
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Eid-ul-Fitr is a beautiful gift bestowed by the Almighty Allah to Muslims after the blessed month of Ramadan wherein Muslims observe fast and try their best to please Allah with increased zeal and enthusiasm. It is among the two most celebrated and most awaited festivals of the Muslims. Anas (RA) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked the Muslims of Madinah about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told them: ‘Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.’ (Hadith)
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Eid’? Grand celebrations, new clothes, social gatherings, sweets, lots of delicious food and much more. However Eid has a lot more to offer than we even realize. Apart from all the above mentioned things, Eid also brings with it lots of spiritual blessings that usually remain unnoticed. These blessings are showered upon as soon as the moon for the month of Shawwal is sighted.

The Night of Prize Giving – Laylatul Jaaizah
What happens when we hear that the moon for Eid has been sighted? We start preparing for Eid, some people go shopping, girls start applying henna on their hands and more often than not, we forget the significance of this blessed night.

It had been the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Prize Giving (Laylatul Jaaizah). Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadan trying to please Him, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Although there is no specific worship to be performed in this night, one may engage in any form of worship; prayers, remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Holy Quran, etc. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said: Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die. (Ibn Majah). Therefore, we should try our utmost to benefit from this opportunity and gather as many prizes as we can.

Rituals of Eid Day
First of all, it is mandatory on all the well-off Muslims to start their day by paying “Sadaqat-ul-Fitr” to the poor of their society, so that they, too, may enjoy the day along with others, and may not be worried for earning their livelihood at least on that day of happiness. After paying the “Sadaqat-ul-Fitr”, the Muslims are required to proceed to an open place where they can offer the Eid prayer collectively. In this way, they are supposed to present themselves before their Creator and offer two rak’ats of Eid prayer, which makesthem receive blessings from Allah and start their celebration with these divine blessings.

Sadaqat-ul-Fitr
Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is an obligation for every Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silver or its equivalent, either in the form of money, ornaments, stock-in-trade, or in the form of some goods or commodities beyond one’s normal needs. Every person who owns such an amount has to pay Sadaqat-ul-Fitr, not only on behalf of himself but also on behalf of his minor children.

The prescribed amount of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is 1.75 Kilograms of wheat or its value in money. This amount is for one person only. If a person has some minor children, the same amount has to be paid on behalf of each one of them separately. All adult Muslims are responsible to make sure that it has been paid.  Sadaqat-ul-Fitr should be paid only to a person who is entitled to receive Zakah.

It is a Sunnah that the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is paid before performing the Eid prayer. It can also be paid before the Eid day, but it is not advisable to delay it up to the performance of Eid prayer. However, if a person has failed to pay on its proper time, he should pay it as soon as possible, so that the obligation will stand discharged.

Importance of Eid Prayer
Ibn Abbas (RA) says in a lengthy hadith, that he heard Prophet (PBUH) say: On the morning of Eid Allah sends down the angels to all the lands of the earth where they take their positions at access points of roads, calling out with a voice that is heard by all except men and jinn. “O Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) come forth from your houses towards a Lord that is noble and gracious, who grants much and pardons the major sins”. When they proceed towards the places for their Eid prayer, Allah says to the angels: “What indeed is the reward of that employee who had rendered his services?” The angels reply, “O Lord and Master, it is only right that he should receive his reward in full for his services”. Allah then says, “I call you to witness, O My angels, that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadan, and for their having stood before Me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness. O My servants ask now of Me, for I swear by My Honor and My Greatness, that whatsoever you shall beg of Me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of the Hereafter, I shall grant you; and whatsoever you shall ask for worldly needs, I shall look at you favorably. By My Honor I swear, as long as you shall obey My commands, I shall cover your faults. By My Honor and My Greatness do I swear that I shall never disgrace you among the evil-doing ones and non-believers. Depart now from here, you are forgiven. You have pleased Me and I am pleased with you.” The angels on seeing this great reward bestowed by Allah upon the Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr become greatly pleased and happy”.

The above hadith clearly indicates the significance of the Eid prayer and the Eid Khutba. Yet again Allah is giving us another chance to pray to Him for all our desires and needs and He promises to take care of them. SUBHANALLAH! The promise of Allah, the creator of all the worlds.

Eid Prayer
The Eid prayer is Wajib (obligatory) on every male Muslim. It can be performed any time between the Ishraq and Zawal. It is preferable that the Eid prayer is performed at an open field and not in a mosque. However, if, it is difficult for any reason to perform it in an open field, it can also be performed in a big mosque. It is not advisable to hold the Eid prayer in every mosque, rather it is preferable that the people from several small mosques get together to either perform it in an open field or, in its absence, in a big mosque which can accommodate a large number of people. The Eid prayer has neither Adhan nor Iqamah.

Sunnahs of Eid

The following acts are prescribed as Sunnah at the beginning of the day of Eid-ul-Fitr before proceeding to the Eid prayer:

1. To wake up early in the morning. Offer Fajr prayers.

2. To clean one’s teeth with a Miswak.

3. To take a bath (Ghusl).

4. To put on one’s best available clothes, whether new or cleaned old ones, ensuring that it conforms with Shariah.

5. To wear perfume (Itr).

6. To eat a sweet food, preferably dates, before departing for Eid prayer. It was the noble habit of Allah’s Apostle (PBUH), not to go out in the morning on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr until he ate some dates, and he would eat an odd number. (Bukhari)

7. To go to the Musallah (Eid Area) as early as possible.

8. To give ‘Sadaqat-ul-Fitr’ before leaving for the Eid Area.

9. To choose a separate route when returning from the Eid Area.

10. To walk to the Eid Area. However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Eid Musallah is a distance away.

11. To recite the following Takbir Tashreeq in a low voice while going to the Eid prayer: “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Ila Allah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi ‘l-Hamd.”
“Allah is greater. Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater. Allah is greater. And all praises are for Allah”.

Offering Congratulations

The etiquette of Eid also includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another:
“Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you)” or “Eid Mubarak”
and other permissible expressions of congratulations. Offering congratulations was something that was well known among the companions of Prophet (PBUH), and scholars have also allowed it.

The Don’ts of Eid Day
No supererogatory prayer can be performed before the Eid prayer, neither in one’s home, nor at the place of Eid prayer. Similarly, supererogatory prayer cannot be performed after the Eid prayer at the same place. However, it can be performed after one comes back to his home.

Most importantly, all Muslims are supposed to rejoice the day in a responsible manner, without violating the limits prescribed for them and never indulging in the acts prohibited by Allah.

Six Fasts of the Month of Shawwal
It is commendable to keep six fasts in the month of Shawwal. The Prophet (PBUH), has said: Whoever completes fasts of Ramadan then adds to them the fast of six days in the month of Shawwal, it will carry
the reward of fasting for the whole year. (Sahih Muslim)
This hadith has described the great rewards of six fasts of this month. Therefore, the Muslims should take this opportunity of acquiring such an enormous reward from Allah. It is more preferable to start these fasts from the 2nd of Shawwal and keep fasting up to the 7th of it.

MAY ALLAH ACCEPT OUR IBADAHS OF RAMADAN AND MAKE US AMONG THOSE WHO
UTILISE THE GIFTED FESTIVAL OF EID WISELY!!! AMEEN

By Farhat Aziz, Student, 2nd Year, Essentials Program.

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