How is Eid Al Fitr Determined
Eid Al Fitr, commonly known as Eid, is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the Muslim community worldwide. It is celebrated at the end of the holy Ramadan, the ninth and the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The interesting fact about Eid, celebrated on the 1st day of the Islamic Calendar’s the 10th month, is that this is the only day that does not permit fasting. Another interesting fact is that Eid unites all Muslim communities to share love, happiness, and kindness.
Remember that the Eid celebration begins after sighting the lunar crescent. This is why the Moon plays a vital role in defining the day of the Eid celebration. In 2022, the Eid festival or celebration may begin on Monday, May 1st, 2022 and may last until the evening of Thursday, May 4th, 2022. However, the beginning dates may vary from region to region.
What determines the celebration of Eid?
Each year, the Eid date is usually decided on the last or 30th day of the preceding month. However, when the Moon is not sighted, the Eid celebration begins on the following day. In short, the Eid date or celebration depends on the appearance and the subsequent sighting of the lunar crescent. Once the crescent moon is sighted, Eid day is officially announced by the Imams (religious heads) or the moon sighting committees.
The power of the Moon
Every year, when the end of the Islamic Holy month approaches, every Muslim wishes for clear skies to see the Moon, giving them a sign that the time comes to prepare their best outfits and start the celebration. Islam follows the lunar calendar based on the moon phases. Ramadan starts in its ninth month. The interesting fact about the lunar calendar is that every year the month begins around 10 days before the month started in the previous solar year. It is crucial as it significantly impacts how Muslims experience Ramadan from year to year.
Actually, Muslims practice fast during Ramadan, which means they are restrained from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. If the Islamic months are based on the solar calendar, with the fixed seasons, people living in certain parts of the world would always experience Ramadan in summer; however, people living in other parts will always have Ramadan in the winter season. Therefore, following the lunar calendar makes every Muslim taste fasting in different seasons.
The sightings debate
In Islam, there is a debate that when it actually begins. Muslims from many countries may rely on the news from the official moon-sighting committees and do not look at the sky to find Moon on their own.
Some countries or regions follow a set lunar calendar, whereas others may follow astronomical observations to announce the arrival of the new Moon. As well as this, some people start the new month only after personally seeing a crescent moon in the sky. So, it declares that the Eid dates may differ around the world. Usually, the difference of one or two (rarely) days from each other.
For example, Saudi Arabia authorities – the origin of Islam, announce the start and end of the Ramadan, depending on the public member's testimonies who observe the Moon by sight. Muslims, then, from many other countries follow the same schedule.
On the other hand, the people of Iran follow the government announcement. In Iraq, people follow the announcement of the officials of their sects.
Turkey – officially known as a secular country, uses astronomical calculations to decide the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan. However, in the rest of the Europe, Muslims look for the announcements declared by the leaders of their communities.
How do Muslims celebrate Eid?
Eid Al Fitr is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by Muslim communities from across the world. During the Eid Al Fitr, Muslims take part in special morning prayers. The celebration does not start without greets and formal embraces and Eid wishes they make after morning prayers. Muslims meet or gather with their family and friends and exchange gifts with each other. They also offer children special gifts or "Eidi" to make their day awesome. Muslims throughout the world love to eat and share sweet delights after morning prayers. People get busy with welcome parties and other festivities throughout the day or festival.
What is the spiritual meaning of Eid Al Fitr?
As it comes after the Ramadan or fasting month, Eid Al Fitr is also celebrated as a spiritual event of Allah's provision of endurance and strength. Besides rejoicing and celebrating, Eid Al Fitr is also an event that teaches us about charity. Charity to the poor people to help them celebrate the festival happily and joyfully. This charity is also known as Zakat in Islam – which means to help poor people financially or monetarily. Muslims help the poor throughout the world by giving them money and gifts like clothes, shoes, and other items that can make their Eid festival blessed and joyful. The Eid celebration lasts for three days. Almost all Muslim countries and states offer Muslims three days or more public holidays to celebrate the Eid festival.
The importance of giving gifts on Eid
Giving gifts on Eid is considered the most effective way to create and enhance love and devotions. There are several reasons Muslims offer or exchange gifts on Eid. The first thing is that giving gifts is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). As well as this, giving gifts to your loved ones is a way to remove all the ill feelings, it is considered a sign of gratitude, it is the simplest way to spread the love, it creates stronger connections between people, and also makes you feel happier.
There are several things to consider when giving someone Eid gifts. First of all, you need to know what they actually want and fulfill their requirements. In this way, they can also have the same joy of Eid as other people will get. However, if it is difficult for you to determine what your loved ones and other deserving people need, you can give them money, allowing them to buy whatever they need to make their Eid festival blessed and happier.