Eidl Fitr marks the end of a month of fasting, of Ramadan, and of
It is a celebration of goodwill and of the mercy of Allah,
which we mark with gift-giving and good cheer. This is when we
congregate to pray as a community in open areas like fields, community centers, or at mosques.
Before the first day of Eid, which is during the last few days of the
holy month of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a donation of money to the poor, usually a traditionally-defined amount of cash.
We Muslims come together as a community for the Eid prayer, after which we go out to visit family members and friends to give gifts, especially to the children.
Ramadan, and Eid, are occasions when we focus on empathy, charity, worship, steadfastness, and patience. Fasting is believed by some Islamic scholars to help us make fundamental distinctions and gain power from the spiritual realm while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. The holy days also teach us to stay away from worldly desires and to rely entirely on Allah, to thank God for his blessings. They are a rejuvenation of our religious beliefs that are meant to create a stronger bond between Muslims--individually and as a community--and Allah.
Eidl Fitr is nostalgic because every celebration of this three-day
feast brings back childhood memories of family reunions, where cousins and siblings sit down together to feast on food prepared by their elders. Everyone in the family should be included. We all go to
mosques to pray as a family, wearing their best clothes.
On a more serious note, Eidl Fitr is also the time when family members seek forgiveness from each other and make efforts at reconciliation with those whom they may have had disagreements.
This is also a time for reflection: Muslims come together to pray for
other Muslims who continue to suffer injustice and oppression in the world. This is the time that we close the holy month with prayer, actions and stronger community and family ties that are worthy of the joy we celebrate as we break our month-long fast.
We have spent a month in prayer and reflection, mindful of our speech and of our actions. We have abstained from food and drink during the daylight hours. We have abstained from impure and negative thoughts and speech. We have been mindful of what good we can do in our communities and in our families. Ramadan is a time when we focus on our spiritual growth and nourishment and Eidl Fitr is the celebration of this month of abstinence and good works.
We celebrate the renewal of our own mindful choice to practice Islam and its pillars, and the good it brings to our lives, our families and our communities. We feast and share our worldly goods because God is great. In a world where we face many challenges, this celebration is vital to our well-being and our continued faith in the goodness that Allah brings to our lives.
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