A little late. I know. Eid ul Fitr is over but I had scheduled blogger to publish a blog post about it but clearly it didn't! And now I can't even find it either =/ *puzzled* Well anyhoo! What's done is done. Onto the post!
For anyone who is unfamiliar with 'Eid ul Fitr', I thought I'd give a quick explanation! Eid, means 'festivity' and 'fitr' means 'breaking of the fast'. It is a Muslim holiday which marks the end of our month of fasting - Ramadhan - after the moon has been sighted, and therefore falls on the first day of Shawwal. It is a day that we show gratitude to God the Almighty, the Merciful, and celebrate the end of a good, hard month of fasting!
We have a special prayer in the morning at the masjid/mosque, which is (depending on who you ask) either obligatory or strongly recommended that we pray. Women however do not have to, but are definitely allowed to if they wish to do so. This prayer can only be made in congregation though, so you would have to get to the masjid nice and early! There is also a sermon at the end, where we ask Allah swt for forgiveness, and to shower His Love and Mercy upon the world. You are not allowed to speak, pray, or walk about whilst the Imaam is doing this - and besides, it's rude anyway so shush :P
We are required to give our Zakat - a fixed portion of our wealth - which is given to charity to the poor and needy before Eid prayer, preferably a couple of days before Eid. This is because if it's given early, it can be sent to the poor early so they can buy things they need but cannot afford. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory upon all muslims, just like fasting is.
Because in Islam charity starts at home, we are allowed to give our Zakat to our family. Not our immediate family, not our parents, but extended or distant family who are desperately in need of it. My family back home is from a poor area, but Alhamdulillah they are doing well, so instead we give it to our distant relatives instead, who live in more rural areas.
After Eid prayer, we greet each other with Eid Mubarak and rejoice and celebrate and are told to try and forgive each other for any mistakes we've made against, or any bad things we've done to one another. :-)
In my culture, we call Eid ul Fitr 'Choti Eid' in urdu which translates to 'Little Eid'. Why? Well because Eid ul Fitr is for one day only, and Eid ul Adha (which is in a couple of months) is for three days. I'm Pakistani for anyone who doesn't know, and the language we speak is Urdu! :o)
This Eid, I had a quiet one, stayed at home with my family and ate a lot. Which to be honest, is what we usually do anyway :P but only because we don't have much family in England. We do however Skype with everyone back home or abroad, and call up those who don't have internet! Tis loads of fun catching up! (^__^)
We also wake up early (or stay up all night in this case - we were too used to it from staying up till suhoor!) and cook loads of yummy food to eat and share with our neighbours. The elders give the children gifts, and many give money as a gift, calling it 'Eidie'. I'm just wondering how long it will be until *I* have to start giving out their kind of Eidie.. LOL
I usually take loads of pictures, but this year I had a really bad migraine and couldn't get up till about 12 and was groggy for most of the day :-( or I would have shown you all the food we made and if I was confident enough an outfit of the day. Oh well maybe next Eid! :P
Hope you all had a lovely day those who celebrated it! May Allah swt accept all your hard work and reward your efforts in the holy month of Ramadhan, and may He bless you with happiness, in this life and the next, ameen, thumameen.
And for all of you who don't celebrate Eid, I hope you had a good weekend! :D