But before the celebrations begin, Muslims must pay zakaat-ul-Fitr. This requires believers to give one saa’ (four handfuls) of the types of food people mainly eat in the regular diets, such as wheat, rice, dates and barley to the poor. This ensures that all Muslims, rich or poor, are able to break their fast at the end of Ramadan and share in the festivities. It also reminds Muslims that all are equal in the sight of Allah. The shared fasting and shared giving make the feelings of togetherness among Muslims strong. When the new moon is sighted, celebrations begin.
Food plays a major role in the festival of breaking the fast. Special food is prepared and is shared with families and friends. New clothes add a sense of occasion to the event. Muslims wash and attire themselves in preparation for the celebrations.
It is really something to celebrate when a difficult task has been successfully completed. Keeping a month-long fast is not an easy task.
The Eid prayer is the Sunnah of the Prophet ( #f ). The Eid prayer is held to celebrate the most important Islamic festivals – Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adh-haa, or the festival of sacrifice.
The Eid prayers are usually performed in a large mosque or in an open space so that all the people of the locality can gather to pray together. The Eid prayers are held a little after sunrise.
The Eid prayers have no adhan and no iqamah. They consist of two rak’ahs. They follow the form of the ordinary two rak’ahs. The only difference is that after the intention of the Eid prayer, the imam and the followers open the prayer by saying Allaahu Akbar, pronounced seven times, which includes the Takbeeratul-lhraam. When they stand up for the second rak’ah, they also say Allaahu Akbar five times after saying Allaahu Akbar pronounced for standing after the prostration.
The prayer is followed by a sermon (khutbah) given by the imam. At other times, most of those attending the mosque are male, but on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr women and girls also join in the worship. Mosques become very crowded so much so that people often gather in the open area outside to pray. There is a great sense of togetherness on this occasion.
After the khutbah they depart. After leaving the mosque, Muslims visit their friends and relatives. Presents and sweets are given to the children. Greetings are exchanged.
Eid-ul-Fitr is not just a time for eating, drinking and having lawful fun. It is also a time for remembering Allah. It is a deeply religious occasion when Muslims remember their duty to Allah. It is also a time for forgiveness. It is a time when Muslims are reminded to treat others as brothers and sisters.
It is also a time to thank Allah the Almighty for helping them complete the fast of Ramadan.
- Answer the following questions.
1 . What does Eid-ul-Fitr mean and when does it come about?
- What special things happen on the day of Eid?
- Where is the Eid prayer performed? Why?
- Are these statements true or false?
1 . Zakaat-ul-Fitr may be given after the Eid prayer.
- Zakaat-ul-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal.
- The Eid prayer is held before sunrise.
- The Eid prayer has four rak’ahs.
- The Eid prayer has neither adhan nor iqamah.
Act out the scene of the Eid prayer in your class with the help of your teacher.
Hajj is the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah in Makkah; it is the fifth pillar of Islam.
Allah says in the Qur’an: ••
“وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬ۚ “
“Hajj to the House is a duty to Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way to do it.”
The main purpose of the hajj is to show obedience to Allah. The hajj is a way of worshipping Allah. It is the duty of each Muslim to go for hajj at least once in their lifetime as long as they can find a way to it and the family left behind is properly provided for.
In the centre of the Grand Mosque – al-Masjid al-Haraam – in Makkah is the building known as the Ka’bah: the House of Allah. This was built by Prophet Ibraaheem and his son Isma’eel. It was the first place for the worship of Allah on earth. We face the Ka’bah in Makkah in our prayers five times a day.
Hajj and Eid-Al-Ad-haa :
The Ihram :
Ihram is the intention to perform hajj or umrah. Before entering Makkah, each pilgrim takes a bath and puts on a special dress for ihram. For men the ihram clothing consists of two unstitched pieces of cloth to cover the upper and the lower parts of their bodies. Women wear clothes which cover everything except their faces and hands. In fact, ihram clothing for ladies consists of their simple daily clothes. They are required to keep their faces and hands uncovered while in the state of ihram.
As all the pilgrims dress alike, many differences between them vanish. They are all equal. During the hajj, pilgrims must not cut their hair, wear perfume, or hunt or harm any living thing in any way, while in the state of ihram. They must make efforts not to get angry with others.
The Arabic term miqaat means the place around Makkah from which a pilgrim assumes the state of ihram. The pilgrim changes into ihram clothing at the miqaat and pronounces his intention to perform hajj or umrah. For people living inside the miqaat permanently, their place of residence is their miqaat. Once the pilgrim assumes the state of ihram, he becomes a muhrim. He offers two rak’ahs and pronounces his intention to perform hajj or umrah as the case may be. He then starts reciting the talbiyya loudly and frequently and continues to do so until
he arrives at the Masjid al-Haraam. Women recite the talbiyyah silently.
Now the first thing to do is to walk around the Ka’bah, saying prayers, seven times. This act is called ‘tawaaf’. As each person gets to the Black Stone, he touches or kisses it while saying Allaahu Akbar just as Allah’s Messenger () did. Pilgrims who are too far away to do so raise their hands in its direction and say Allaahu Akbar.
After performing the tawaaf, pilgrims run or walk at a pace between two hillocks near the Ka’bah called Safa and Marwah. This act is called sa’ee. It reminds Muslims of the time Isma’eel and his mother Haajar had been left in the desert by Prophet Ibraaheem () at Allah’s Command. When their stock of water ran out and the child was thirsty, Haajar ran frantically between these two hillocks in search of water. Returning to Isma’eel, she found that a spring of water had gushed forth near him. This spring, called Zamzam, is now found underground, beneath the courtyard of the Ka’bah. Pilgrims go to drink some of the water before beginning the sa’ee.
After the sa’ee, halq (having the head shaven) or taqseer (having a haircut) follows. Pilgrims now shower and change into everyday clothes, depending on the type of hajj they perform. This completes the pilgrims’ umrah. All restrictions of the ihram are now temporarily lifted from the pilgrim. He will now wait for the 8th of Dhul Hijjah to start the other rites of hajj.
On the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, most pilgrims pronounce a new niyyah at their place of residence to perform hajj. There is no need for them to go to the miqaat for this reason. The pilgrims change into ihram clothing and proceed to Mina soon after the Fajr prayer. On the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the first day of hajj, Muslims travel to Mina, about 8 kilometres from Makkah. Here they spend the night.
The next day (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), they travel to the plain of Arafah, about 22 kilometres from Makkah. They halt for the day in this plain and pray to Allah. They ask His forgiveness. It is a moving experience to join together with
as many as three million other pilgrims in the same
place for one purpose: to worship Allah. This gathering reminds the pilgrims of the day when everyone will be brought before Allah for judgement.
At sunset, the pilgrims travel to Muzdalifah. This is a bare rocky place back in the direction of Makkah, midway between Arafah and Mina.
The pilgrims spend the night there. They combine the Maghrib and Isha prayers together and shorten the Isha prayer to two rak’ahs. They also offer the Fajr prayer there and collect pebbles ready for the next day when they reach Mina.
At Mina, there are three stone pillars called jamraat. The jamraat are located within a few hundred feet of one another in a line. They remind Muslims that it was here that Shaytan hopelessly tried to tempt Ibraaheem () not to perform the sacrifice Allah wanted. Pilgrims pelt the Aqabah pillar with the pebbles they have already collected from Muzdalifah. This symbolic action shows that it was not only Ibraaheem () and Isma’eel () who had to reject Shaytan.
Everyone has to struggle against evil.
After stoning the jamraat, many pilgrims sacrifice an animal in memory of Prophet Ibraaheem’s sacrifice of a sheep instead of his son Isma’eel. They now have a haircut or have their heads shaven and proceed to
Makkah to perform Tawaaf Al-lfadah and then the Sa’ee if they have not performed Sa’ee after performing Tawaf Al-Qodoom.
Pilgrims stay in Mina for another two or three days to pray, stone the jamraat pillars and remember Allah. They return to Makkah for tawaaf of the Ka’bah again. At the end of the hajj, large numbers of pilgrims go to Madinah to visit the Prophet’s Mosque: al-Masjid an-Nabawee.
Eid-Al-Ad-haa: The Festival of Sacrifice
One night Prophet Ibraaheem () had a dream. He saw that he sacrificed his son Isma’eel Ibraaheem was a truthful
Prophet. His dream was a true dream. Ibraaheem () decided to do what Allah had commanded him to do in the dream. Ibraaheem () asked Isma’eel (), ‘My son, I saw in a dream that I must sacrifice you, what do you think about this?’ To this Isma’eel () replied, ‘Do as you are ordered, Allah willing, you will find me resolute.’
When Ibraaheem () reached Mina, he made ready for the sacrifice of Isma’eel (). Isma’eel laid down on the ground and Ibraaheem () put the knife to Isma’eel’s throat. By doing this, Ibraaheem () showed that he loved Allah more than his son. When Ibraaheem () had passed the test, Allah sent Jibreel () with a ram to spare Isma’eel’s life. Allah was pleased with Ibraaheem (). So He commanded the Muslims to make a sacrifice of an animal in remembrance of this incident.
Eid-ul-Ad-haa comes on the tenth day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. This is the festival of sacrifice which marks the end of the great time of hajj. Eid-ul-Adh-haa lasts for four days and is celebrated much in the same way as Eid-ul-Fitr with big congregational prayer – Salaat-ul-Eid – and exchange of gifts. Its special feature is the sacrifice of an animal in memory of the story of the Prophet Ibraaheem () and his son Isma’eel (). The purpose of this festival is to remind Muslims of their duty to submit to the Will of Allah at all times!
The slaughtered animal then is divided into three portions. One is kept for the family itself, one is given to relatives, neighbours and friends, and the third is given to the poor and the needy, for whom this may be the only time in the year that they eat meat. Eid-Al-Ad-haa is a period of joy and remembrance of Allah.
- Explain these terms in brief.
1 . Ihram
- What is the miqaat for the permanent resident of Makkah?
- Rearrange the following words to indicate the procedure of hajj.
1 . Ihram
11 . Shaving the head
- What is the special feature of Eid-Al-Ad-haa?
- How many portions is the sacrificed animal divided into?