At the time when Prophet Muhammad (saw) honored Medina with his presence, there were two Eids being celebrated there. In those days, there were games and celebrations. The Prophet (saw), who witnessed these, said: “Almighty Allah has allotted the Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha as more blessed than these two festivals.

Thus, from the Age of Happiness on, the Islamic world has celebrated two religious festivals. Muslims received a great blessing by being able to sense a shared spiritual air on the tranquil Eid morning.

Days of forgiveness and reward

By the end of Ramadhan, for one month, Muslims has risen from their beds very early for the pre-dawn meal; they have opened their hands to plead, to implore, to repent, to beg forgiveness from Almighty Allah at daybreak; and they have prayed and asked for mercy. They have endured a variety of hardships during the day, remaining without food or water, and showing patience and endurance. They have endured their fast with not only physical, but also a spiritual asceticism-that is, they have controlled their stomachs, their tongues, and their hearts, so they have successfully passed this test of servanthood. They have broken their fast with the evening call to prayer; they have claimed toward a joy of the spirit and the soul; they have fed the poor, the orphaned, the lonely, the stranger and they have shared their table with friends and relatives. They have gone to the tarawih prayer: they have placed their heads to the ground in a joyful congregation; they have prayed together; vengeance, ambition, enmity have all been eliminated, one by one; and they have become humble, mature, sincere servants of Allah.

Thus, it is with these earnest efforts that the days have rolled up toward the day of the Eid; the Eid has arrived and today they will attain Divine forgiveness. Today their faces will smile, their hearts will be full of joy, and their houses will become a place of celebration.

Days of brotherhood – unity – solidarity

Eid days are days when the feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood are most apparent. Those who have fallen out of makeup and friends are reunited, while everyone, adult and child, does what is required of them. Relatives and neighbors visit one another, respect is paid to elders, everybody’s health and general situation are enquired about, elders are visited and efforts are made to bring together those who have fallen out in the neighborhood – as everyone supports such efforts.

On this day, the children put on their best clothes; and orphans, the poor, and those without homes are not forgotten. We should never forget when the thorn was pulled from the foot of the orphan that Almighty Allah let roses blossom in its place and blessed the charitable soul who performed the action with happiness in his grave. In a word, any act of charity, goodness, or help will never go unanswered.

The Eid prayer

In many Muslim societies, people get up early on Eid. If possible, they have a bath; if this is not possible, then they make wudhu and put on clean garments. They walk to the mosque in an unhurried, sedate manner, remembering Allah and glorifying His name. On Eid al-Fitr, it is the tradition of the Prophet to eat something sweet before leaving the house for the Eid prayer, but on the Eid al-Adha, it is best if the first thing to be eaten is from the sacrificed animal. In the same way, the young, the old, and even children all go to the mosque together, or follow one another in quick succession; this helps the younger generations, in particular, desire to participate in the prayer.

Muslims attend the Eid prayers in great masses; this prayer only occurs twice a year and is observed as a congregation. Therefore, it is likely that the Eid prayer could be the first occasion for many Muslims to come to the mosque.

After the Eid prayer had been prayed and the sermon has been listened to, the people pour out of the mosque and congratulate one another on the Eid, either in the garden of the mosque, in their neighborhood, or in the local halls, according to the custom of the place.

by Huseyin Algul