Eid-ul-Fitr is not just about delicious foods. It teaches one to be grateful, considerate, and patient to others.
The month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims, as a reminder that Allah, in the year 610 revealed the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is considered the most sacred month of the year by Islam. It is the ninth month according to the Islamic lunar calendar, a calendar that is based on the moon cycles.
During this period, Muslims fast, abstain from all pleasures and spend time in prayer in order to become close to God. This is also a time for the family to come together for the celebration. Muslims also give Zakat to support those in need during this period.
The observance of Ramadan begin on the morning after the crescent moon is sighted, which marks the beginning of the month. It had been a tradition for people to look out for the sighting of the crescent with the naked eye, which led to different times for Ramadan depending on the geographical locations.
Now-a-days, Muslims the world over have started using astronomical calculations. As the use of science to determine the start of the sacred month is still a matter of controversy, Ramadan does not begin until the religious leaders have announced that they have sighted the crescent moon personally.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five duties for a Muslim. These duties form the basis on how Muslims should be practicing their religion.
During this month, a Muslim will fast from sunrise till sunset. Fasting is not just about abstaining from food or drink. They must also refrain from smoking, sex, oral medications, gossip, lying, and fighting.
Those exempted from fasting include people who are ill, travelers, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or lactating.
Fasting is observed by waking up early and eating suhoor (a light meal) before dawn. The fast is broken after the sun sets at the end of every day. The fast is usually broken with water and dates. This then followed by an iftar meal after prayers.
The real happiness of the day lies in what one does for the poor and needy. So, helping the ones in need, by giving Zakat as Sadqa and donations, are the real essence of the holy Ramadan month and the celebration of Eid Al Fitr.