This Thursday/Friday, Muslims in Galway will join their fellow Muslims around the world to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid-Fitr.
Eid is an Arabic word referring to something that returns and repeats. Eids and festivals are symbols to be found in every nation because celebrating festivals is an instinctive part of human nature.
All people like to have special occasions to celebrate, where they can come together and express their joy and happiness. Muslims all over the world celebrate two festivals; Eid al-Adha and Eid-Fitr.
Eid al-Adha comes when people complete their pilgrimage and commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham. Eid-Fitr (festival for breaking the fast ) comes after completing the fasts of Ramadhan, praying, asking the Lord for his forgiveness and guidance.
Compulsory charity is given to the poor by or on behalf of each member of the family, which is equivalent to €7. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace ) said: “Give them (the poor ) on this day and make them free from asking others.”
There is the Eid Prayer in the early morning after sunrise, where all the family members go to perform the prayer, because the Prophet never missed it, not even once.
The Eid Prayer starts with the “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest ) which is an expression used to show the greatness of Allah and said at births and funerals.
The Prophet’s way to prepare on this special occasion is as follows: To have a bath, use fragrance and adorn oneself with the best of clothes; To go to the Eid Prayer from one route and return from another, in order to meet more people and greet them by saying “Eid Mubarak” (May you have a blessed festival ).
To eat dates or something sweet before going to the prayer to break the normal routine of Ramadhan, which was not to eat anything; To start the day by saying “Allahu Akbar” wherever you go; To spend generously upon the family and relatives.
To meet and visit the relatives to tie kinship. The Prophet said: “The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who gets recompensed by his relatives equally, but the one who ties the kinship, even though others sever it.”
Things that should not be done on this day are fasting or spending extravagantly.
Ramadhan teaches us self-restraint and discipline in all aspects of life and reminds us yearly to maintain it for the whole year.
The Muslim community worldwide would like to express its heartfelt greetings of Eid to everyone in Ireland and would like to say “Eid Mubarak” and prays that each year brings with it greater blessing, mercy, happiness, and justice for everyone