The noble Qur’an has clearly expressed the act of Fasting as a blessing and not a calamity: “Allah desires ease for you, not your discomfort. He desires you to fast the entire month, and that you may magnify Him for giving you His guidance, and that you may give thanks.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185).
Among other essential elements is paying Zakat (wealth tax) and Fitra to minimize the harsh impact of any prevailing misfortune, hunger or widespread poverty. Therefore, when it comes to this religious obligation, the Muslims are duty bound to help out the needy people before the Eid Prayer.
Charity: The Muslims are required to pay Zakat based on their wealth and financial ability. It consists of spending 2.5% of one’s wealth for the benefit of the needy people. The good thing is paying Zakat is considered to be the personal responsibility of all Muslims to eliminate inequality and ease economic hardship of others for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa taalaa.
Charity in the form of fitra (fitrana) is obligatory at the end of the Fasting month before the Eid prayer. This again means the real happiness of “EID” lies in sharing our happiness with “the have nots.”
Furthermore, while meditating and prostrating in congregation to God Almighty, the Muslim Ummah actually displays its real spirit of brotherhood and equality. So, on this happy occasion, we should always remember those who are afflicted with poverty, ignorance, disease, or are otherwise less fortunate.
The other beauty is Muslims on this very day are encouraged to erase their grudges or differences if any with others that might have occurred during the year.
Eid day schedule: After offering the regular Salat ul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), the Muslims head out shortly after the sun-rise to perform the obligatory prayer in congregation (slaat ul Eid) in open areas, community centres, or at masajid in some cases.
However, the important thing is Eid prayer is followed by special Khutba (Sermon) and supplication asking for God's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The Imam delivers khutba explaining to the Muslims about performing rituals of Eid, such as the compulsory Zakat or Sadaqat ul Fitr. It’s extremely important to listen to the obligatory Eid Khutba as well.
The Muslims are encouraged to stay away from worldly desires; they are advised to focus entirely on pleasing and thanking Allah for His merciful blessings. Indeed, it is a rejuvenation of the Deen of Islam, which creates stronger bonds between the Muslim person and his/her Lord.
Right after the Khutba is over, Muslims hug each other wishing Eid Mubarak, and then they visit their relatives and friends.
Also, The Eid gifts, known as Eidie, are frequently given on this precious occasion to children and immediate relatives. Children receive gifts in cash or kind; sweets and tasty dishes are served throughout the day.
Altogether, the caring Muslims donate money generously; they contribute to their local food banks for the less fortunate.
Beyond doubt, Eid is an opportunity for Muslims of different ethnic or cultural background to share together for prayers and celebrations.
Usually, the Canadian Muslims take time off from work to join prayers held in big-city mosques or Islamic centres, convention centres or sport grounds.
In the larger cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, congregational prayers may be offered at multiple times to accommodate the large number of worshipers.
In many Canadian communities, Muslim organizations and mosques also hold large Eid parties that are open to the entire Muslim community. Smaller Muslim communities, particularly in the rural areas, hold other communal gatherings in masajid or rented community halls.
Some groups reserve other activity centres for the full day of fun and celebration, while others may hold public Eid parties in mosques as a means of OUTREACH to the non-Muslim society.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually make long distance phone calls to greet dear ones.
The festival is aimed at promoting peace, strengthening the feeling of brotherhood and enabling the Muslims to move on with their lives normally as a refined Umma in the eyes of our Creator. Hence, the Eid and its celebration in Islam carry a distinctive meaning and spirit as they are totally different from the celebrations in non Muslim communities.
It’s commonly seen that holiday for non Muslims is a chance to indulge in worldly pleasures, or involve oneself sinfully or immorally and unlawfully. But for Muslims, there is zero tolerance in the eyes of Allah subhanahu wa talaa for committing forbidden acts.
In nutshell, the `EID’ is an occasion to increasingly go for good deeds only. The 'EID' doesn’t give an automatic ticket to take a vacation from Islamic responsibilities, and no wasting of time and money is permitted either, simply because our obedience and submission to the will of Allah cannot be compromised under any circumstance.
Furthermore, the ‘EID’ is a chance to multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts of other Muslims, by devoting for the sake of Allah SWT.
Most importantly, it’s the spirit of thanksgiving that make the Muslim Umma stronger all over the globe for the accomplishment of an act of dedication and submission to the total will of Allah, the Almighty.