Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Eidhul Fitri 1436 Hijrah

17th July 2015 marked the 1st day of Muslim's festive season after a month of fasting. Following Muslim's calendar year, 17th July 2015 is 1st Shawal 1436 Hijrah, means Islam has been existed since 1436 years ago. Let's found how it was celebrated and where my family was.

Masjid at my sister's village, adjacent to Kuantan Airport was where we performed Eid prayer

First and foremost, let us understand what the festive meant for us, the Muslim. Eid ul-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of the month long fast of Ramadan and the start of a feast that lasts up to two days public holiday in Malaysia. Malaysian usually prolong the celebration for the whole month of Shawwal by inviting relatives and friends to the house, mostly for foods. On the last night of the fasting day, usually on day 29, there will be a regional customs or moon sightings that may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar (quite accurately with Chinese Lunar Year Calendar) and the days begin at sunset, so there may be 1 day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen. My family was travelling on the last day of Ramdhan, i.e. day 29 to Kuantan (Eid's eve) to celebrate the jouyous festival with my sister. On the eid morning, we went for eid prayer at the her village mosque where all the village people gather and seek forgiveness with each other.

In Malaysia, we wish everyone who celebrating a “Selamat Hari Raya”, meaning wishing you a joyful celebration. In other part of the world, mostly the Arabs will wish their fellow Muslim “Eid Mubarak or Blessed Eid) which becoming a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of both Eid ul-Adha (sacrificial eid) and Eid ul-Fitr. Eid means "Celebration" in reference to the occasion itself, whilst Mubarak means "blessed". People will greet those who celebrating as for example: "Eid Mubarak, sister!"

Muslims usually wish each other "Eid Mubarak" after performing the Eid prayer. In the social sense people usually celebrate Eid ul-Fitr after Ramadan and Eid-ul-Adha in the month of Dhul Haj (12th and Final Islamic month), by visiting family and exchanging greetings like "Eid Mubarak". This exchange of greetings is a cultural tradition and not part of any religious obligation. In much of South Asia, Eid Mubarak wishes are very common and often accompanied by hugging three times after the Salat al Eid, and that's what we did too.

In Turkey, where 'Eid Mubarak' is not common, the phrase "May your holiday be blessed" is being used. Muslims in other countries, such as Indonesia and Malay language-speaking population (Malaysia, Brunei, & Singapore) use the expression "Selamat Idul Fitri" or "Salam Idul Fitri". This expression is usually accompanied by the popular expression "Minal Aidin wal Faizin", an Arab sentence meaning "May we be sacred one more time and succeeded our fasting". For note of reference, the expression is not recognized by Arabians although it's in the Arabic language. It is a quotation from a poem written by Shafiyuddin Al-Huli during the time Muslims ruled in Al-Andalus.

There will be a spread feast of food on a table at every house. A special foods are prepared and friends or relatives are invited to share the feast during Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr is an important Islamic holiday for Muslim communities across the world especially those in Muslim country. This event involves many Muslims waking up early and praying either at an outdoor prayer ground or a mosque. People dress in their finest clothes and adorn their homes with lights and other decorations. Gifts and greeting cards are exchanged and children receive presents.  Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion but its underlying purpose is to praise God and give thanks to him, according to Islamic belief.

You may observe how the 1st day of Eid was celebrated by my family by looking at few photos that I shared in this entry, not forgotten a compulsory family raya photo 2015.

Our Family photo

Cousins from 3 different families
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