Dr Ismail Aby Jamal

Dr Ismail Aby Jamal
Born in Batu 10, Kg Lubok Bandan, Jementah, Segamat, Johor

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.....

Eid ul-Fitr

Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr (Arabic: ‎عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking (the fast)". The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal.

Eid-ul-Fitr Salat (Namaz in Persian) is a Wajib (obligatory), Sunnah muak'kad (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable) – depending on which juristic opinion is followed – Islamic prayer consisting of two raka'ah (units)[1] which is generally offered in an open field or large hall called an Eed-gah. This salaat or prayer, can only be performed with Jama’at (i.e., in congregation) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school.[2] Muslims are commanded by God in the Qur'an to complete their fast until the last day of Ramadan[3] and pay the Zakat al-fitr before doing the Eid prayer.


Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, we find mention of ‘id festivals as yawm al-sab‘ and yawm al-sabasab as well as some others among the idolaters of Arabia. The shari‘ah of the Israelites had ‘id festivals as well but as is evident from the Old Testament and other scriptures, these festivals related more to commemorating certain days of their history. The ‘id al-fitr was originated by Prophet Muhammad and is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal right after the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which the believers undergo a period of fasting. [4]

It is evident from certain Ahadith that these festivals were initiated in Madinah after migration. Anas reports:

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves by playing and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation of the days of jahilliyah. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: ‘id al-fitr and ‘id al-adha [5]

For Muslims, both these festivals of ‘id al-fitr and ‘id al-adha are occasions of showing gratitude to God, remembering him and are a means of entertainment. ‘A’ishah narrates that when on an ‘id day her father Abu Bakr stopped young girls from singing, the Prophet said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an ‘id and [this day] is our ‘id. [6]

General rituals

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated for one, two or three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak ("Blessed Eid") or ‘Eid Sa‘eed ("Happy Eid"). In addition, many countries have their own greetings based on local language and traditions – in Turkey, for example, a typical saying might be Bayramınız kutlu olsun or "May your Bayram – Eid – be blessed." Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences or past animosities that may have occurred with others during the year.

Typically, Muslims wake up relatively early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the Sunnah (traditions and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), clean one's teeth with a Miswaak or toothbrush, take a shower (Ghusul) before Fajr prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.[7]

It is haraam, or forbidden, to fast on the Day of Eid.[8] That is why it is recommended to have a small breakfast (as a sign of not being on a fast on that day) of sweet dish, preferably the date fruit, before attending the special Eid prayer (salaat). It is a Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) that the Sadaqat-ul-fitr, an obligatory charity, is paid to the poor and the needy before performing the ‘Eid prayer by all those adult Muslims who are required to pay Zakat.[9] Muslims recite the following Takbir (incantation) in the low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha ilal-lahu wal-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa-lilla hil hamd.[10] Another Sunnah of Muhammad Muslims are recommended to use two separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.[11]

Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at mosques. No adhan (Call to Prayer) or iqama (call) is to be pronounced for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two rakaʿāt (units of prayer) with an additional six Takbirs. The Eid prayer is followed by the khutbah (sermon) and then a supplication (dua) asking for God's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The khutbah also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat.[12] Listening to the khutbah (sermon) of Eid is a necessary requirement (wajib) i.e. while the khutbah is being delivered; it is haraam (prohibited) to talk, walk about or offer prayer while the sermon is being delivered.[13] After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.

Gifts on eid (called eidi in some cultures) are frequently given to children and immediate relatives; it is also common in some cultures for children to be given small sums of money by adult relatives or friends(eidi).

Islamic Tradition

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community; i.e., empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc. Fasting is also believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from wordly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank him for his blessings. It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord. After the end of Ramadan, is a big celebration of Eid.[14]

Practices by Country


Further information: Islam in Africa

In Africa, Eid is celebrated by many people, especially in North Africa where Islam is practised by most people.

[edit] Tunisia

Tunisia sees three to four days of celebration, with only 2 days as a national holiday (1st Eid and second Eid), with preparations starting several days earlier. Special biscuits are made to give to friends and relatives on the day, including "Baklawa" (Baklava) and several kinds of "ka'ak". Men will go to the mosque early in the morning, while the women will either go with them or stay in and prepare for the celebration by putting together new outfits and toys for their children, as well as a big family lunch generally held at one of the parents' homes. During the daylight hours, there may be dancing and music, but the feasting lasts all day long, and many gifts are a large part of tradition. Also, food is the centre of this holiday, so this is one of the hightlights of the evening. Different members of a family visit each others. Usually, children accompany their father and visit aunts, uncles, grand parents and friends to congratulate them on the Eid. They will be offered drinks and special cookies. Women will stay at home with some of the children in order to welcome members of the family that come to visit and congratulate for the eid.

[edit] South Africa

In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims will gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan each year for the sighting of the moon. The gathering brings together people from all walks of life, and everyone comes with something to share with others at the time of breaking the fast. The Maghrib (sunset) prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter.

The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by first attending the mosque in the morning for Eid prayer. This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbours. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbours. Most people wear new clothes with bright colours, while biscuits, cakes, samosas, pies and tarts are presented to visitors as treats. Lunch is usually served in large family groups.


Nigeria is officially a secular country populated by large numbers of Muslims and Christians. Therefore, as Muslims celebrate the Eid festival, many Christians also participate. Eid is popularly known as "Small Sallah" in Nigeria and people generally greet each other with the traditional greeting: "Barka Da Sallah," which means "Greetings on Sallah" in the Hausa language. Muslims observe their Eid prayers at designated praying grounds before heading home to partake in festive meals, generally prepared by the women of the household. The Federal holiday typically lasts for two days in Nigeria. If Eid falls on a weekend, or is continuous with a weekend, Nigerians of every religious persuasion will travel to their respective hometowns to visit with family and relatives.

Middle East

[edit] Saudi Arabia

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great pomp in Saudi Arabia. Saudis will decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. The whole country engages in untainted revelry during Eid. The innumerable Saudi Arabia festivals & events include the Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha festivals.

Eid festivities in Saudi Arabia may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is that the generosity and hospitable traditions of the Saudi people become quite apparent during Eid. First, it is common Saudi tradition for families to gather at the patriarchal home after the Eid prayers. Before the special Eid meal is served, young children will line up in front of each adult family member who dispenses Riyals (Saudi currency) to the children. Family members will also typically have a time where they will pass out gift bags to the children. These bags are often beautifully decorated and contain candies and toys.

Even many shopkeepers will show their generosity at Eid providing free Eid gifts with each purchase. For example, during Eid, many of the chocolate shops will give each customer who buys a selection of candies a free crystal candy dish with their purchase.

In the spirit of Eid, many Saudis go out of their way to show their kindness and generosity. It is not uncommon for even complete strangers to greet one another at random, even by occupants of vehicles waiting at stop lights. Sometimes even toys and gifts will be given to children by complete strangers.

It is also traditional in some areas for Saudi men to go and buy large quantities of rice and other staples and then leave them anonymously at the doors of those who are less-fortunate. Also, im some areas in the middle of Saudi Arabia, such as Al Qassim, its a common tradition that during Eid's morning and after the Eid prayer people will put large rugs on one of streets of their neighborhood and each household will prepare a large meal where these meals will be shared by all neighbours, its also a common practice that people will swap places to try more than one kind of meal.


Turkey, nation-wide celebrated holidays are referred to as bayram, and Eid ul-Fitr is referred to as both Şeker Bayramı ("Bayram of Sweets") and Ramazan Bayramı ("Ramadan Bayram"). It is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire three-day period of the celebrations.

The celebrations of this Bayram are infused with national traditions. It is customary for people to greet one another with Bayramınız kutlu olsun ("May your Bayram be blessed"[15]) or Bayramınız mübarek olsun ("May your Bayram be blessed"). Mutlu Bayramlar ("Happy Bayram") is an alternative phrase for celebrating this Bayram. It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as Bayramlık, often purchased just for the occasion, visit all their loved ones (such as relatives, neighbours, and friends), and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the Bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighbourhood mosques for the special Bayram prayer.

It is regarded as especially important to honour elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one's forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighbourhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy Bayram, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, similar to the Halloween custom in the United States.

Municipalities all around the country organize fund-raising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter – a Janissary Band founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.


Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day feast and an official holiday in Egypt with vacations for schools, universities and government offices. Some stores and restaurants are also closed during Eid.

The Eid day starts with a small snack followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women and children in which the Islamic people remind Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do unto others, even strangers, during Eid and throughout the year.

Afterwards, neighbours, friends and relatives start greeting one another. The most common greeting is "Eid Mubarak" (Blessed Eid). Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid, so they have the other two days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or a Nile cruise, but Sharm El Sheikh is also considered a favorite spot for spending holidays in Egypt.

Children are normally given new clothes to wear throughout the Eid. Also, women (particularly mothers, wives, sisters and daughters) are commonly given special gifts by their loved ones. It is customary for children to also receive a Eid-ey-yah from their adult relatives. This is a small sum of money that the children receive and is used to spend on all their activities throughout the Eid. Children will wear their new clothes and go out to amusement parks, gardens or public courtyards based on how much their Eidyah affords. The amusement parks can range from the huge ones on the outskirts of Cairo-Nile, Felucca Nile rides is one common feature of Eid celebration in Egyptian villages, towns and cities.

The families gatherings involve cooking and eating all kinds of Egyptian food like Fata, but the item most associated with Eid al-Fitr are Kahk (singular = Kahka), which are cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar. Egyptians either bake it at home or buy it in the bakery. Thus, a bakery crowded in the last few days of Ramadan with Kahk buyers is a common scene. TV in Egypt celebrates Eid too, with a continuous marathon of movies as well as programs featuring live interviews from all over Egypt of both public figures and everyday citizens, sharing their Eid celebrations.

For a lot of families from working neighborhoods, the Eid celebration also means small mobile neighborhood rides, much like a neighborhood carnival. In a lot of neighborhood courtyards, kids also gather around a storyteller, a puppeteer or a magician mesmerized by Egyptian folktales or by a grownup’s sleight of hand. It is also customary for kids to rent decorated bikes to ride around town.

Egyptians like to celebrate with others so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid.[16]


Eid ul-Fitr is particularly important to Qataris because it is a time when the entire family gathers and celebrates and family obligations come first. Eid breathes the spirit of community and togetherness into people in Qatar and puts everyone, even the grumpiest of people, into an unusually good mood.

Preparations for Eid, usually start between ten days and two weeks prior to the end of Ramadan. It’s a particularly busy time for Qatari women, who do most of the preparations. Tailors are overloaded with work, as women get new abayas or traditional dresses, known as disdaashas, made for themselves, as well as traditional clothes made for their children. Many men will also go to tailors to get new thowbs (long, loose-fitting white robes) made.

The last ten days of Ramadan in Doha, the Qatari capital, is often a traffic nightmare as everyone floods to shops, tailors and the souks (markets) to get all their Eid preparations done on time. In the last few days of Ramadan it is not unusual to find police on the corners of every street trying to keep traffic under control.

Qataris usually decide and prepare weeks in advance what they are going to wear, what sweets they are going to buy and who they are going to visit. Some Qataris even buy new furniture, or rearrange the furniture in their homes just for Eid, emphasizing the specialness of the occasion.

Salons and barbers are also packed in the week leading up to Eid. Women will get facials, haircuts and hair-dye, while men will have their beards trimmed and shaped. Women and girls may end up waiting hours on end to get their hands and arms decorated with intricate henna patterns.

[edit] Afghanistan

In the predominantly Sunni Muslim culture of Afghanistan, Eid ul-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. The most common greeting is "Eid Mubarak" (Blessed Eid). This Eid among the Pashto-speaking community is called "Kochnai Akhtar."

In Afghanistan, the Eid ul-Fitr festival holds such special importance that Afghans start preparing for it up to ten days prior by cleaning up their homes. This act is known among the Persian-speaking community as Khana Takani. Many will also go to their local bazaars to buy new clothes, sweets and other snacks such as semyan, shor nakhod, and cake wa kolcha to serve their guests during the festivities.

On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Afghans will first offer their Eid prayers and then gather in their homes with their families, greeting one another by saying "Eid Mubarak" and usually adding "Eidet Mobarak Roza wa Namazet Qabool Dakhel Hajiha wa Ghaziha", which means "Happy Eid to you; may your fasting and prayers be accepted by God, and may you be counted among those who will go to the Hajj-pilgrimage." Family elders will give money and gifts to children. It is also common practice to visit families and friends, which may be difficult to do at other times of the year.

South Asia

In Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, "Night of the Moon." Muslims in these countries will often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families for Eid shopping. Women, especially younger girls, will often apply the traditional Mehndi, or henna, on their hands and feet and wear colourful bangles.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace. Gifts are frequently given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders. It is common for children to offer salam to parents and adult relatives.

After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. It is also common to visit neighbours, family members, specially senior relatives called Murubbis and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid. Special celebratory dishes in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh include sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit.[17] In Bangladesh, the dish is called shemai( bengali: সেমাই ).

On Eid day before prayers, people distibute a charity locally known as fitra. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one's annual savings, to the needy. Zaket is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes.

In Bangladesh, Sholakia (Bengali: শোলাকিয়া) is a locality famous for its Eidgah where the largest congregation of Eid prayer of the country is held on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, the day of celebration after the fasting month of Ramadan.[18] Around 300,000 people from all over Bangladesh join the prayer on every Eid.[19]

In India, some popular places for Muslims to congregate to celebrate Eid at this time include the Jama Masjid in New Delhi,Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow; in Kolkata there is a prayer held on Red Road. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. Eid is a public holiday and is celebrated all over India. It is common for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their good wishes. Eid is celebrated grandly in the city of Hyderabad which has rich Islamic Heritage. Hyderabadi haleem a type of meat stew is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan, it takes centre stage and becomes the main course at Iftar(the breaking of the fast).

Southeast Asia

Eid is known in Indonesia as Idul Fitri (or more informally as Lebaran) and is a national holiday. Additionally, in Indonesia Idul Fitri has a legally mandated salary bonus for all employees, known as Tunjangan Hari Raya (THR) as enforced by Indonesia's Department of Labour, Employment and Society ("Departemen Pengawasan Dinas Tenaga Kerja dan Sosial"). The mandated amount of this salary bonus differs by region. For example, within the Jakarta region the THR bonus must be at least Rp not less than one month's full salary paid in advance of Idul Fitri, in addition to the employee's regular salary. Thus, Idul Fitri is also a paid holiday. Breaching or withholding THR is a very serious labour law infraction and punished severely, regardless of employer status or position.

In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya, which literally means 'Celebration Day'. Idul Fitri is the biggest holiday in Indonesia and Brunei; and one of the biggest in Malaysia and Singapore. Shopping malls and bazaars are usually filled with people to get things for Lebaran such as ; new clothes, shoes, sandals even food to serve days ahead of Idul Fitri, which creates a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country, along with traffic mayhem. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for the duration of the Lebaran festivities.

In Indonesia, it is common during this period for people to engage in "mudik" activity. It is an annual tradition that people in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, or elsewhere, travel to their hometowns or other cities to visit relatives, to request forgiveness, or just to celebrate Eid with the whole family. The government of Indonesia has prepared the transportation infrastructures to accommodate a huge amount of travellers by repairing damaged roads and bridges. However, the impact is still tremendous as millions of cars and motorcycles jam the roads and highways, causing kilometres of traffic jams each year.[20]

Additionally, the wealthier classes often "escape" to local hotels, or went overseas to avoid not having domestic servants, drivers or sometimes, security personnel. Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian hotels have been particularly successful marketing lucrative Lebaran or Idul Fitri "escape package".

One of the largest temporary human migrations globally, is the prevailing custom of the Lebaran where workers, particularly unskilled migrants labourers such as maids and construction labourers return to one's home town or city to celebrate with their families and also to ask forgiveness from ones' parents, in-laws and elders. This is known as mudik, pulang kampung or in Malaysian balik kampung (homecoming).

The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin chanting the takbir in the mosques or musallahs. In many parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around homes. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol,opor, cookies, rendang, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Indo-Malay (and in the case of Malaysia, also Nyonya) delicacies are served during this day.

The lively or alternatively very emotional devotional music blended with Qur'anic verses associated with Ramadan and Eid – known as Kaisidah or more correctly, Qasida – can be heard throughout the country. These are commonly performed by famous musicians, some of whom may be international stars, and televised nationwide.

It is common to greet people with "Selamat Idul Fitri" ( in Indonesia) or "Salam Aidilfitri" or "Selamat Hari Raya"(in Malaysia) which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "mohon maaf lahir dan batin" in Indonesia and "maaf zahir dan batin" in Malaysia, which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but also a time for atonement: to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.

It is customary for Muslim-Indonesians and Muslim-Malaysians to wear a traditional cultural clothing on Eid ul-Fitr. The Indonesian male outfit is known as baju koko: a collarless long or short-sleeve shirt with traditional embroidered designs with a "kilt" sarung of songket, ikat or similar woven, plaid-cloth. Alternatively, men may wear either Western-style business suits or more traditional loose-fitting trousers with colour-matched shirts, and either a peci hat or regional cultural headwear and songkok. The Malay variant (worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and parts of Indonesia (particularly in parts of Sumatera and Kalimantan) ) is known as the Baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping or songket and a headwear known as songkok.

Traditional female dress is known as kebaya kurung. It consists of, normally, a loose-fitting blouse (which may be enhanced with brocade and embroidery), a long skirt both of which may be batik, or the sarung skirt made of batik, ikat or songket and either the jilbab (hijab) or its variant the stiffened krudung. Malaysian clothing is referred to as Baju Kurung and baju kebaya. It is a common practice however for the Muslim-Malaysians in Singapore to refer to the baju kurung in reference to the type of outfit, worn by men. It should be noted this term is not used in Indonesia, as it is an example of humorous poor translation between Malaysian and Indonesian dialects, as kurung means a cage, parentheses, or a sack, depending on the context.

For non-Austronesian Muslims, or even non-Muslims they may don costumes of their respective culture and tradition, or wear Islamic clothes to show respect to their relatives' or friends' differing religious beliefs for the occasion. This is particularly common in Indonesia, where many families have close friends or relatives of differing faiths, namely Catholic, some Protestant, some Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim.

Once the prayer is completed, it is common for many Muslims in both Indonesia and Malaysia to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they will clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (sura) from the Qur'an and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done as a means to ask God to forgive both the dead and the living for their sins.

The Javanese majority of Indonesia are known for their pre-Islamic Kejawen traditions of washing the headstone using scented water from the traditional terracotta water-jug, the kendi, and sprinkling hyacinth and jasmine over the graves.

In Indonesia there is a special ritual called halal bi-halal. During this, Muslim-Indonesians visit their elders, in the family, the neighbourhood, or their work, and show respect to them. They will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations.[21]

The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Idul Fitri is a very joyous day for children as the adults give them money, in colourful envelopes. In Malaysia, specially in the major cities, people will take turns to set aside a time for open house when they stay at home to receive and entertain neighbours, family and other visitors. It is common to see non muslims made welcome during Eid at these open houses.

They also celebrate by lighting traditional bamboo cannon firecrackers known as meriam bambu Ramadhan, using kerosene in large hollow bamboo tubes or Chinese imported crackers. The traditional bamboo cannon, meriam bambu, and fireworks are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous to operator, bystander and even nearby buildings. These are usually bamboo tubes 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 4–7 m (13–23 ft) long, filled with either: water and several hundred grams of calcium carbide, or heated kerosene, then ignited by match.

Celebrating with firecrackers in the early morning during Ramadan is now banned in many areas – though many rascals evade the law and disturb the neighbourhood.[citation needed]

In Malaysia, children will be given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya", from their parents or elders.[22][23]

In the Philippines, Eid ul-Fitr, known to the Christian majority and other non-Muslims as "Wakás ng Ramadán" ("End of Ramadan") or incorrectly as "Ramadan", has been recognised by the Filipino Government as a regular holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177, signed into law on November 13, 2002. This law was enacted in deference to the Filipino Muslim community and to promote peace and harmony among major religions in the Philippines. The first national commemoration of Eid ul-Fitr was on December 6, 2002, marked by prayers and celebrations by the Muslim community.



Despite Australia being a predominantly non-Muslim, secular country, Muslims are able to practice their religion with great freedom. Most large companies allow for special religious holidays allowing Muslims to take a day off for Eid ul-Fitr. Areas where there are large (but not necessarily majority) Muslim populations have overflowing attendances at the mosque for the Eid ul-Fitr prayer and police frequently block off roads and divert traffic to cater for the prayer and subsequent festivities.

In 1987, The Australian MEFF Consortium commenced the Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair to celebrate Eid in Sydney, held shortly after Eid ul-Fitr. The festival has grown to now cater for tens of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims and has included as guests Yusuf Islam, famous Australian footballer, Hazem El Masri, the then Governor-General of Australia, Michael Jeffery and the Premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally. This festival has now been replicated in cities all around Australia. The biggest Eid fair in Melbourne is held in Broadmeadows usually on the weekend following the Eid day.


Eid ul-Fitr lasts for only one day among Burmese Muslims, who call the day Eid Nei’ (Nei’=day) or Eid Ka Lay (Ka Lay=small) or Shai Mai Eid (Shai Mai=a meal of sweet vermicelli served with fried cashews, coconut shreds, raisins, and milk that is traditionally eaten by Burmese Muslims during Eid). Burmese Muslims predominantly follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence in Sunni Islam.

During Ramadan, in the small towns and big villages with significant Muslim populations, Burmese Muslim youth organize singing teams called Jago (in Urdu and Hindi), which means "wake up." Jago teams usually do not use musical instruments apart from the occasional use of harmonica mouth organs.[24] These youth will walk throughout the neighborhoods before sunrise to wake up the fellow Muslims for Suhoor (pre-dawn meal), which precludes the day of fasting.

The roving groups of singers will take the tunes of popular Hindi movie songs, replaced with Burmese lyrics and invocations about fasting, the do's and don’ts of Islam and about the benefits of Salaat.[25] These songs could also be called Qawwali, which are popular in India and Pakistan. Sometimes these Jago groups will also visit Muslim homes on the Eid day, where they are welcomed with food and monetary donations for the team with Eidi or Duit Raya.

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a public holidays in Burma, most employers have an understanding of the festival and are usually willing to accommodate days off for Muslim staff. Some may even take time off during office hours to visit with Muslim staff at their homes, usually accompanied by other non-Muslim coworkers. As there is no single Islamic authority in Burma to make official decisions on moon-sighting, it is sometimes difficult to reach consensus on the start and end of Ramadan. This often results in Eid being celebrated on different days in small towns and villages.

The Eid al-Adha "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a public holiday in Burma as this event falls annually on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (ذو الحجة) in the lunar Islamic calendar. Unlike Muslim countries that observe a three-day festival, Eid al-Adha is only observed on one day in Burma. During both Eids, the traditional greeting is merely the common Islamic greeting of Assalamualaikum, and Eid Mubarak is only seldom heard. The greeting is followed by placing the right hand on the forehead (as if giving a salute); there is no shaking of hands and rarely only includes a formal embrace.

Gifts and food are frequently given to the elder relatives and even to non-Muslim employers and government authorities. New clothes are traditionally given to family members and coworkers, but Burmese Muslims elders will give Eidi gifts to children. Children will receive at least token amounts of money, even from strangers, especially if they went around the neighborhoods in groups just to collect Eidi. It is common for children and young people to go around giving greetings of "salaam" to parents, elder relatives and other elders in the community. During Eid, Burmese Muslims ask forgiveness from parents and elders and themselves try to forgive and forget any misunderstandings that may have occurred amongst one other.

Sometimes Burmese Muslims pray or perform Eid salah (called Eid Namaz) at an Eidgah at in open spaces outdoors. Burmese Muslim women typically do not attend the mosque or join with the men at an Eidgah.

As Burmese Muslims are discouraged by the religious authorities from decorating their homes with lights, lamps or colorful bulbs, sending Eid cards, and more recently, sending e-cards through the internet, is fairly common. Children and adults are also urged not to celebrate the religious festival with fireworks firecrackers.

United States of America (USA)

Most Muslims in the United States offer the Eid prayer in big-city Islamic centers, convention halls or open parks. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In some cities, prayers are done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Generally, Muslims visit each other's homes on Eid or hold large feasts in mosques or community halls.

During the weekend of the Eid week, many Muslims join big parties sponsored either by a community mosque or Islamic center or by a wealthy Muslim in the community. Children receive gifts, and all participants enjoy sweet, spicy and other flavorful delicacies. Many Muslims also donate money to those less fortunate. Sometimes, Muslims reserve amusement parks, skating rinks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun.


For Eid ul-Fitr, just as in the United States, most Canadian Muslims will take a day off from work and go to prayers held in big-city mosques or Islamic centres, convention halls or sports arenas. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In the larger cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, congregational prayers may be done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Many Muslims will visit each other's homes on the Eid day or the days following to attend designated "open houses" in which everyone is welcome to visit. Children receive gifts or money, and sweets and tasty dishes are served throughout the day. Smaller Muslim communities, particularly in the rural areas, hold other communal gatherings in mosques or rented community halls. Muslims also donate money or contribute to their local food banks on this day for those who are less fortunate.

In many Canadian communities, Muslim organizations and mosques also hold large Eid parties that are open to the entire Muslim community. Some groups may reserve amusement parks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun and celebration, while others may hold public Eid parties in mosques as a means of outreach to the larger non-Muslim society.

Students from Canadian schools usually take 2-3 days off, due to the fact that Eid is a major holiday in the Islamic culture.

United Kingdom

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a recognised public holiday in the United Kingdom, Muslims are obliged to attend the morning prayer. In large ethnically Muslim areas, schools and local businesses often grant exemptions to the Muslim community in consideration of this holiday, allowing them to take days off.

During the morning, men of South Asian descent usually wear a thawb, jubba and sherwani, and women usually wear a salwar kameez. They will proceed to a local mosque for the Eid prayers, after which people greet each other. Some men may go to a local cemetery after Eid prayers to remember the deceased and pray for them. When they return home they will congratulate family, friends, and other Muslims and visit relatives across the city. They may also cook traditional food and sweets for their relatives. Bengali dishes and Pakistani Dishes such as samosas, Siweya, Rice and Handesh, Noonor Bora, and Fulab are particularly popular within those communities.

People's Republic of China

In the People's Republic of China, out of 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by at least 10 ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. These groups are said to total 18 million according to official statistics, but some observers say the actual number may be much higher. It is also a public holiday in China in certain regions, including two Province Prefecture Level regions, Ningxia and Xinjiang. All residents in these areas, regardless of religion, are entitled to either a one-day or three-day official holiday. Outside the Muslim-majority regions, only Muslims are entitled to a one-day holiday. In Xinjiang province, Eid ul-Fitr is even celebrated by Han Chinese population during which holiday supplies of mutton, lamb and beef are distributed to households as part of welfare scheme by government agencies, public and private institutions or businesses.

In Yunnan province, Muslim populations are spread throughout the region. On Eid ul-Fitr, however, some devotees may travel to Sayyid 'Ajjal's grave after their communal prayers. There, they will conduct readings from the Qur'an and clean the tomb, reminiscent of the historic annual Chinese Qingming festival, in which people go their ancestors' graves, sweep and clean the area and make food offerings.

Finally the accomplishments of the Sayyid 'Ajall will be related in story form, concluded by a special prayer service to honor the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed during the Qing Dynasty, and the hundreds killed during the Cultural Revolution.[26]


Muslims comprise around 7% (63,000 people) of the total population of Fiji, a small tropical island-nation north east of Australia. The Islamic community mostly consists of people of Indian origin, who were brought to the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there are also a few hundred indigenous Fijian Muslims (Melanesians).

The day of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated in Fiji with Muslim men attending the mosque for Eid prayer. (Women do not go to the mosques for prayers in most parts of Fiji). This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbors. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbors. Most Muslims will wear new clothes on this day, and serve samai, a dish of fine, sweet vermicelli noodles mixed in warm milk. This is usually accompanied by samosas, curried chicken and beef as well as sweets and Indian snacks for guests visiting throughout the day.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.

In the Gregorian calendar

See also: Islamic calendar and Gregorian calendar

Although the date of Eid ul-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last week of the same Gregorian calendar year. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local sightability of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined for their home country, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence. In the Islamic calendar, a new day, and therefore also Eid ul-Fitr, begins at sunset.

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