Saturday 18th of November 2017

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Call to Prayer

Festivals

The two major Festivals of celebration in Islam are Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha. They are both occasions of thanksgiving to God for helping us individually and collectively to fulfill our religious duties.

They are occasions of happiness and joy during which everyone should make the effort, if it is within their means, to turn both themselves and their family out in their best attire.

It is a time for all to show affection and mutual appreciation for each other's efforts particularly within the family through the exchanging of gifts and presents and toys for the children.

The whole family should attend the Eid Prayers, including menstruating women (who do not have to pray) but are recommended to take advantage of the social aspect of the occasion and by listening to the Khutba – the sermon delivered by the Imam, together with the rest of the community. The prayer is usually held in an open space, weather permitting, or in a Mosque or community hall.

These occasions attract more of the community than usual resulting in a huge turnout and difficulty with parking and accommodating the women and children in some instances. Even when the prayer is held in a larger venue or in the open air the organisers often overlook or remain oblivious to these basic needs. You will have to enquire about provisions for this in your local area.

Because these festivals serve as important social occasions for the community those participating are encouraged to try to interact with and greet as many people as possible on the completion of the Prayer.

Fasting, which would curtail this social occasion, is forbidden on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha as well as the two days following Eid-ul-Adha.

Zakat ul Fitr, must be given by every financially able Muslim. It is preferable that this payment should be made before going to pray so that the less fortunate may also participate in the celebrations. If one should forget they should make their contribution as soon after the Prayer as possible.

It is recommended that every family (financially permitting) should offer a sacrifice on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. None of the meat should be sold but should be divided in three portions, one for the poor, one for relatives and friends and one for the family's own use. The time for this to be carried out lasts for four days including the day of Eid-ul-Adha itself.

This requirement can also be accomplished by donating the equivalent cost of the sacrificial animal to a reputable charity which will arrange for its distribution throughout the Muslim world where there is greatest need.