By Abubakr Mohammed, Grade 6
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. We have approached the last days of Ramadan, and as this blessed month draws to a close, many of us may seem sad. But a lot of us may be rejoicing on one exciting fact: the first moon of Shawwal. This moon marks a day of happiness, Eid ul Fitr. However, is there a sunnah to Eid? What does Eid mean? What should we do on Eid? Inshallah, this article will cover all that and more, bi’thnillah. So let’s dive in!
Laylatul-Jaiza (The Night of Prize-Giving)
When and what is Laylatul-Jaiza and what should we do then? After Maghrib, on the last day of Ramadan, marks this night, which is basically Eid night. After we break our last fast, many of us will rejoice at this fact, and start all of the Eid celebrations. People will start cooking for Eid, setting up decorations, and playing games, but Eid night isn’t meant for celebrating just yet. What is it meant for?
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah)
In another hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said, “On the last night of Ramadan the fasting Muslims are forgiven. The Sahaabah (ra) inquired, ‘O Prophet (SAW), is that the night of power (Laylatul-Qadr)?’ The Prophet (SAW) replied, “No! But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his duty.” (Ahmad)
So this is the night of prize-giving, the one where you will receive all of your ‘Ramadan Reward.’ And because Allah (SWT) is giving you this reward, you should show you deserve the reward and spend the night in prayer. The Prophet (SAW) would not even sleep on Laylatul-Jaiza. Remember also to make du’aa because this is a night where du’as are accepted.
It is obligatory upon every self-supporting adult Muslim who has food in excess of their needs (on behalf of themselves and their dependents) to pay this zakat to allow for the less fortunate to celebrate with the community.
Ibn `Abbas (ra) reported: “The Prophet (SAW) ordained Zakat ul Fitr to purify the fasting person from indecent words or actions, and to provide food for the needy.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
When is Zakat al-Fitr due? Some hold that the best time for payment is early on the day of Eid. Others allow payment a day or two before. Still others say it is obligatory to pay Zakat al-Fitr before the Eid Prayer. Ibn ‘Abbas also said, “It is accepted as Zakat for one who pays it before the Eid Prayer; but it is a mere Sadaqah for the one who gives it after the prayer.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
So make sure to pay your Zakat al-Fitr before the Eid salah so that any deficiencies during the month of Ramadan are forgiven and you are rewarded for paying the zakat. It is important that we show compassion to those in need and allow them an opportunity to partake in Eid festivities.
Eid morning is an exciting time for everyone. What should we do on Eid morning? First of all, recite the takbir! The takbir is to be recited all the way from Laylatul-Jaiza to the Eid prayer. There are many different ways to recite the takbir, but one of the most common and easy ways are:
اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبرلا إلَهَ الا اللّ اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبرو لِلّه الحمدَ
And the sunnah is to recite it, not to listen to it, unlike the Qur’an. Recite it on your way to and fro Eid salah and throughout the day.
Next, make ghusl. The Prophet (SAW) always used to take a bath before Eid. You should also wear your best clothes (both men & women) and wear perfume (men only). Before you go to the Eid salah, remember to eat something. Many of us will have our own special dishes we like to make, like sheer korma or baklava, and it is the sunnah to eat an odd number of dates before going out.
This signifies you are finally breaking your fast and you are showing that you are not going to fast on Eid because it is prohibited. This also shows the beauty of the Deen, to completely submit. Just yesterday you were fasting for 30 days in a row and now Allah (SWT) tells you to break your fast. SubhanAllah.
The Angels descend down on this day asking Allah (SWT) to forgive our sins. Allah (SWT) will say: “I call you to witness, O My Angels, that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadan, and for their having stood before Me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness.”
By the will of Allah the Almighty, your sins are forgiven. Your fasts are accepted. There is nothing to do now except to congratulate each other and rejoice. Pray the Eid Salah outdoors, not indoors, unless there is a necessity. This shows the unity of the Muslims and how they pray under one imam today, under One God.
Try to walk to the Eid Salah. If that is not possible, try to take a different route to the masjid and back from the masjid. These paths will be a witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Listen to the Eid khutbah, for it is fardh.
So now congratulate one another. Say, “Eid Mubarak!” and other greetings. Give gifts because the Prophet (SAW) said, “Give gifts, for it will increase in your love for one another.” And always remember: Just because Ramadan is over, that does not mean you can stop doing ‘Ibadah. Always keep your intention pure.
We ask Allah (SWT) to always keep our intentions pure. We ask Allah (SWT) to accept all of our fasts and good deeds. We ask Him to forgive all of our sins. And we ask Him, (SWT), to grant us a position to see Him in Jannatul Firdaus.