How does Eid festivities compare to Christmas celebrations? The religions Islam and Christianity being so similar means that the celebrations are probably similar aswell? Why is Eid celebrated twice in one year and Christmas only once?
Christmas is celebrated for the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of December and the gifts the three kings gave to him, but Eid is not celebrated for any prophet’s birth or any significant dates. So what is Eid and what practices are involved in honoring Eid by Muslims all over the world?
This is islamic details for people who would like to understand what the islamic holiday is celebrated for. Why do so many muslims take the day off from work to celebrate this muslim holiday? What is Eid? Muslim people give each other eid cards, clothes and gifts in this special Eid festival. So this brings us to exploring what is Eid?
Eid is an Islamic name meaning ‘Festival’ or ‘Celebration’, and is celebrated during the world by all Muslims. It is comparative to Christians celebrating Christmas.
There are two Eids celebrated every year, one is called Eid Ul Fitr and the other called Eid Ul Adha. The main difference being, the first is celebrated after the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and the other is celebrated about two and a half months from the end of Ramadan, which is the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, and is a festival of sacrifice and pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
After fasting for one month, Muslims across the world wait for the sighting of the moon, which is a sign of the end of Ramadan, and from next morning is the start of the celebrations which goes on for three days. Some people celebrate Eid on different days and upto three days.
Through the month of Ramadan, Satan is tied up and the gates of Hell are closed, and the gates of Heaven are opened. Every soul is set free from Hell for this special month. This is why most people are better behaved towards family, friends and neighbours, and try their best not to become involved in sinning. When Ramadan is coming to a close, especially when it gets to the 28th day, everyone start talking about when and if the moon will be sighted on the 29th day or the 30th. This means that sometimes 29 fasts are made, and in other years 30 fasts are made, although on both of these days, Ramadan is completed.
As soon as the moon is sighted, in different parts of the world, the celebrations start with people buying new clothes (a few days or weeks before), gifts and treating one another with their hospitality and food. After the Mosque prayer in early morning, all men hug each other three times then go home or to other family members’ homes to wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’. Eid Ul Fitr is also an expression of a person to show his happiness upon his results in Ramadan in praying and striving for absolution, Mercy and protection from the fire of hell from Allah. This Eid is also to thank Allah (God) for all the things people have in their lives. It is hoped to continue the good deeds and a extension of good character and offering prayers to Allah, and to live a better life.
One of the most important things that take place in either Eids, and everyone continues to do so, is visit the sick and offering prayers for the deceased and visit graveyards. Another important part of celebrating Eid is paying ‘Zakat’ (Islamic religious tax, which is given to purify one’s wealth), which is paid before, or in the day before the prayer to the poor. Zakat is usually 2.5% of ones wealth and on the amount of gold in posession within a 12 month period.
Islam is such a perfect belief that wealth is shared with the poor from the zakat that is paid from people who are able to pay it to the poor and needy.
Eid Ud Adha falls in the month of Dhu Al Hijjah which is the month for the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and takes place every year.
Eid Ul Adha means ‘The festival Of Sacrifice’, which entails limiting an animal, such as a chicken, goat, sheep, cow or camel, whichever is affordable within one’s means to give to the poor, (one third) to eat. The other third is given to family and friends, and the last is to be eaten by the person and his family who gave the animal for sacrifice. The annual pilgrimage to Hajj in Mecca and Medina is ended by sacrificing an animal they can afford with their wealth, to honor the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham.
“Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Qur’an 16:120-121)
Abraham had to sacrifice one of his sons for the sake of Allah, when he was being tested, and he obeyed, but when Abraham went to cut his sons throat, it would not cut, even with the sharpest of knives which would cut through anything placed in front of it. This happened because Allah had already accepted Abraham’s sacrifice and purpose to sacrifice, which then led to him diminishing a lamb.
The verse below from the Qur’an is a truth which people in previous years misunderstood. They thought the animals blood or meat atoned for their sins, when in actual fact, it is the piety that pleased Allah.