Etiquettes and obligations in celebrating Eid Fitr’

By Syakir Nizam

Every year, on the first day of Shawal (Hijr calendar), about one billion Muslims around the world celebrate the biggest day in Islam called Eid Fitr’. It is symbolic of the victory for Muslims after completing a month of fasting and abstaining themselves from eating, drinking, and doing things that can make their fast false. On that day, Muslims will gather with their siblings and relatives, asking for forgiveness and visiting their neighbours and nearby relatives. So, this year, we will celebrate Eidil Fitri most likely on July sixth 2016 (if Allah wills it), however as a Muslim, we should be concerned with certain etiquettes or manners before and during the celebration of Eid Fitri.

Here, the etiquettes on celebrating Eid Fitri:

Before Eid Fitr’

1) Do not waste your money

It may not become a real problem if you want to spend your money to buy new clothes, new furniture or to renovate your home for Eid Fitr’. However, you need to check against your budget and try to minimise expenses by buying what’s necessary only. If we were to spend beyond our means it can affect us with the burden of debt. For example, if we want to change the furniture in our home but we do not have enough money, and we resort to taking loan from the bank. As a result, we will be saddled with the debt after Eid Fitr’. The best tip to avoid this from happening is to prepare a checklist of the real expenses you need to spend. Remember, Islam teaches us to be moderate in everything that we do.

2) Do not forget to pay ‘zakat’ (alms)

Muslims need to pay zakat which is one of pillars of Islam in fulfilling the obligation. According to Khan (n.d) zakat (alms) can be defined as what a believer returns out of his or her wealth to the neediest Muslim for the sake of the almighty Allah. Allah stated in the Quran,”of their goods take alms so that thou mightiest purity and sanctify them (Surah 9 verse 103). Other than that, Islam also provides guidelines upon Muslims that it is obligatory to pay zakat. The Muslims must be adult, sane and free, nisaab, the wealth should be possessed for a complete lunar year and should be productive in nature from which one can derive profit or benefit.

Next, Islam also provides justification to those who are eligible to receive zakat such as the poor, the needy, zakat collectors, muallaf, slaves, debtors, wayfarers and musafir.

As Muslims, although we are busy making preparations for Eid Fitr’ we need to fulfil this obligation.

During Eid Fitr’

Now let’s move to etiquettes during Eid Fitr’. As we know, celebrating Eid Fitr’ is very exciting and fun especially it’s an opportunity to meet people whom we love, gather with family members and visit our neighbours to strengthen the ukhwah.

Here are the etiquettes to observe during the celebration of Eid Fitr’:

1) Eating before going out to pray on Eid Fitri

One of the etiquettes is eating before leaving to the mosque to perform the solat Eid Fitr’.  It is sunnah that we eat something like dates. It is mentioned in the hadis narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas ibn Maalik, that said the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to go out in the morning of Eid Fitr’ until he had eaten some dates… of which he would eat an odd number (Al-Bukhaari, 953). So based on this hadis, it is encouraged for us to eat some food before performing our prayers.

2) Takbir on the day of Eid

Usually people say the takbir on the night of first Syawal at the mosque. We say the takbir  as symbolic to be grateful to our creator. Allah mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah verses 185 which stated “(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”. The takbir of Eid Fitr’ starts the night before Eid until the imam enters to lead the Eid prayer.

3) Be in our best and proper attire

In celebrating Eid Fitr’ we should be in our best attire. We are encouraged to clean ourselves and wear something beautiful and suitable for us. Many Muslims nowadays are not aware of the obligatory to cover their aurah. It is compulsory for men and women to wear clothes that fulfil Islamic guidelines. For women, their aurah covers all parts of the body except face and palm while for men their aurah starts from the navel to the knees.

What have been mentioned here are only part of the etiquettes and obligations that we need to know. As Muslims, we should be aware of certain etiquettes because our behaviour can reflect our lives. As good Muslims, we should improve ourselves in every aspect of life like knowledge, ethical practice and  ibadah towards our creator.

Happy Eid Fitr’. Selamat Hari Raya Eidil Fitri.***

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