The end of Ramadan is celebrated with prayers, charity and then the consumption

This month long fast during the month of Ramadan will conclude with the end of this week. Eid-al-Fitr meaning the ‘festival of breaking the fast’ was speculated to either be this Friday or Saturday. By the time you read this, celebrations might be in full swing for Muslims all over Sri Lanka and the world.

The celebration of Eid bacons a holiday in itself, no wonder it’s a public one around here. To each person, Eid has certain significance. To the person who has managed to fast all 30 days of Ramadan, there’s a sense of fulfillment, a renewed sense of connection with Allah Almighty; most of all, a reason to celebrate.

While on the other hand if you ask a 10-year-old he will certainly tell you it’s that day of the year he or she gets to eat all those things that are too rich, too creamy and too sweet for an ordinary day. It’s also a day, his or her grandparent and relatives will give them money, buy them clothes or gifts. Consider it our kind of Christmas, minus the tree.
In certain parts of the Middle East, Eid is often welcomed with stuffed pastries and sweet delicacies; in South Asia, its rich meat dishes and super sweet desserts like the Wattalapam.

It is a common sight to see Muslims, men and women, young and old, make their way to their closets mosque for morning prayers. The prayer is compulsory and it marks the advent of the celebrations.

The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas and not necessarily at mosques, for instance you might have seen your Muslim peers praying at an open field, community center. Typically a call of prayer is not given for Eid and it consists of only two units of prayer with additional six incantations.

The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for God’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings. We are often reminded during this sermon of the many Muslims around the world, who will not and simply cannot celebrate Eid-for instance the Muslims in Gaza Strip, the Syrian refugees or Muslims in the Xinjiang province in China.  The sermon also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat (Charity).

It is after these prayers that Muslims would often return to their homes, visit and wish relatives. Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors and friends to feast, in an effort to introduce them to Islam and the culture we call our own.
The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.

Charity or Zakat as it is called in Arabia is central to fasting culture and Islam.  The Prophet of Allah said the Sadaqatul fitr is compulsory charity which becomes payable on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

The Messenger of Allah said: “The fast remains suspended between Heaven and Earth until the fitrah is paid.” Sadaqatul Fitr (or fitrah) is obligatory upon all and it is not permissible to delay the payment of fitrah later than the Day of Eid. The Nation wishes its Muslim readers a blessed and prosperous Eid-ul Fitr. Eid Mubarak!

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