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  • Sarah Naidjate from ELEVEN

Eid al-Fitr Through the Quran and Sunnah

Following the holy month of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr (fitr meaning to break fast in Arabic) is observed during the first three days of Shawwal. The days are filled with food, gatherings, prayers, gifts, and charity. While Eid traditions vary by country and across families, the entire ummah derives certain practices from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Takbeerat al-Eid (Glorifying Allah SWT):

How to recite the Takbir on Eid (

Eid al-Fitr is about praising and glorifying Allah SWT. In surah al-Baqarah verse 185, Allah SWT says:

“So that you may complete the prescribed period (of fasting in the month of Ramadan) and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.”

From this verse, we derive the practice of reciting praises to Allah SWT, beginning after the Maghrib prayer, until the end of Eid. Takbeer al-Eid glorifies Allah SWT and reminds us that we worship none other than Him.

Eid Prayers and Eating an Odd Number of Dates:

Photo of Dates by Rauf Alvi on Unsplash

The day of Eid al-Fitr commences with a special two rakaat in the early morning after Fajr,  followed by a khutba (Sahih Bukhari, Chapter 15, No. 77).

It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

The first thing to be done on this day is to pray”.

(Sahih Bukhari, Book 15, Hadith No. 71)

Even on days of celebration, our ibadah, or worship is the number one priority.

Another sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW is to eat an odd number of dates before leaving for the masjid. Anas ibn Malik RA narrated that:

“Allah's Apostle never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates.” 

Anas also narrated:

“The Prophet used to eat an odd number of dates.” 

(Sahih Bukhari, Book 3, Hadith No. 15)

Giving Gifts:

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have done a secret gift exchange for Eid. Each person draws a name from a hat and purchases a gift for that person to be exchanged the night before Eid. Many families and communities will give each other money, goodie bags, or other gifts. 

Gift-giving is something that is greatly encouraged in Islam. Abu Hurayra once narrated that the Prophet SAW said:

"تَهَادُوا تَحَابُّوا"

"Give gifts and you will love one another."

(Sahih Hasan, Book 30, Hadith No. 57)

Dressing in One’s Best Attire: 

Photo by Salman Preeom on Unsplash

From thobes, kaftans, and djellabas to baju kurungs, kurtas, and sarees, masjids on Eid are a beautiful showcase of clothing and the unique cultures of our ummah. Muslim communities pull out all the stops for post-Ramadan and Eid al-Adha festivities twice a year. 

Following the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, men and women enter the masjid neat, and wearing their best attire. 

The Messenger of Allah SAW directed the sahabah by saying:

“You are on your way to meet your brothers, wear handsome garb and make right your riding so you appear distinct among people as a fleck [on a beautiful face]. Allah does not like roughness nor rough manners.” (ibn Taymiyyah).

It is also reported that:

“... as the Muslims, when visiting each other, would beautify themselves”

(Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 348a)

Wearing beautiful clothing to visit the masjid and your Muslim brothers and sisters, is not only praised by the Prophet SAW, but there are also blessings in sharing culture through clothing.

In surah al-Hujurat, Allah SWT says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍۢ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًۭا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.”

(Al-Quran, 49:13) 

So let Eid al-Fitr be a time where diverse groups in our ummah come together as one to share, give, and love each other for the sake of Allah SWT.

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