By Pye Bank pupils Fatima Abdillahi and Laial Al-Basit. Photos courtesy of Pye Bank School.
Pupils at Pye Bank were asked to write and explain Eid-Al-Fitr
Fatima: Eid -Al- Fitr is a sacred, joyous Muslim festival celebrated to indicate the end of Ramadan. An estimated two billion people (believers of Islam) enjoy Eid all around the world. All Muslims are cleansed of their sins and are given a chance to start over.
What is Ramadan?
Fatima: It is a month where Muslims understand the plight of those who face poverty. Ramadan is the ninth month (Shawal) of the Islamic Lunar Calendar . We fast from sunrise till sunset; the last meal is Suhoor and the first one is Iftar. In other terms, from the first prayer -Fajr- and the fourth prayer -Maghrib- we do not eat.
Before we eat for Iftar, we break our fast with a traditional date and the reason to this is because it is said that our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) broke his fast with a sweet date. Fasting is intended to help teach Muslims to focus on Allah and to be self- disciplined. Fast (sawm) is the fourth pillar of Islam; there are five in total.
How is the end of Ramadan marked?
Laial: Eid-Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. It starts on a new moon. On Eid, Muslims are forbidden to fast: the occasion is to celebrate the sacrifices made during Ramadan. Most Muslims consider this as a day to be cheerful.
Fatima: Once the new moon (a crescent moon) has been seen, Eid officially falls upon us. The word ‘Eid‘ translated to English is feast. There are 2 Eids. Eid -Al-Fitr and Eid -Al- Adha. Because of the Islamic Lunar Calendar which place at different times of the year.
How is Eid celebrated in the community?
Laial: Muslims celebrate Eid by praying and wishing each other Eid Mubarak –blessed Eid. Additionally, parents give eidi (Eid money) to their children. On this special event, Muslims forget about animosity to others. It is also a time to meet up with friends and family.
Fatima: Ladies wear a long dress called an abaya and khamees. As a thanks to Allah, we have a special prayer. Due to restrictions, we cannot come together and pray. We greet others by saying Eid Mubarak and Eid Kareem. We put aside our animosity and enjoy the celebration.
What foods are eaten around the world to celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr?
Fatima: Across the globe, Muslims celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr differently. For example, in Turkey they eat baklava and Turkish delights. But in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they eat a rose-flavoured cookie. Yet in Yemen, they eat basbousa.