In Islam, the most two prominent festivals celebrated among the adherents of this religion include, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha, In this regard, the Prophet (SAW) was recorded to have said that, “O you Meccan Muslims.
It is noted that you are festive inclined, Allah in his infinite mercy has granted you the opportunity of celebrating two festivals in every year, this include Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha”.
In the course of explaining this narration attached to the Prophet of Islam, It was made known that the people of Mecca had flair for festivity and celebration to the extent that, they celebrate not less than hundred festivals in a single year.
In the bid of replacing these festivals by Islam because of their idolatry background, Allah made it lawful for Muslims to celebrate just two festivals annually in the religious sense.
Both Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha have became prominent in the world where Muslims occupy because it is mandatory for all Muslims to celebrate and felicitate with others.
The significance of these festivals can never be over-emphasised, Occasionally, these festivals make the hearts of Muslims filled with happiness and joy.
Festivals in some cases have cultural background and as well religious background, but it is worth noting that in the case of these two festivals, they are religiously connected particularly with Islam.
In Islam, Festival days are seen to be sacred days and as such Muslims are enjoined to keep it holy and sanctified, the days of festivity are equivalent to the day of Judgement, therefore, whoever commit any illegality on that day is equal to committing illegality on the day of Judgement and vice versa.
The celebration of these festivals was introduced on the first year of Hijrah, In both festivals, Prayer is always observed as it is part and parcel of the celebration, It is important to trace back the history of these festivals as both have different origin and background.
In the case of Eidul Fitr, It is usually observed after the conclusion and termination of Ramadan fast which comes occasionally when the crescent of the month is sighted, the fast during this month was made obligatory and binding on all Muslims for the purpose of bringing to the knowledge of all what it takes to be poor materially and for Worship purpose.
Immediately after concluding this fast, Muslims are obliged to make a festive celebration termed under the rubric of Islamic religion as Eidul Fitr.
Eidul Fitr is unique because it enables the Muslims to be relieved of the fast for a whole month, therefore, Eidul Fitr is not celebrated until when Ramadan comes to an end.
In this festival, People are meant to go to the praying ground in mass chanting “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, La ilaha ila llahu Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa lilahi l hand”, meaning God is the most gracious, there is no other God except Him, and to him we direct our praises, the Muslims keep on chanting this until the Prayer of Eid is about to commence.
Before going to the praying ground, Celebrants are enjoined to keep themselves clean by performing the ritual bath (Ghusl), On getting to the praying ground, the people expect the arrival of the Imam.
When he comes in, the Prayer commences, the Eid festival is somewhat special because it is different from all other five daily prayers, In the first phase of the Prayer, the Imam(Leader) says Allahu Akbar(7 times) before starting the recitations, while in the second phase, he says the Allahu Akbar (5 times) before the recitations. Also, In this prayer, there is nothing like Adhan( First Call to Prayer) nor Iqamah(Second Call to Prayer).
After this prayer, A khutbah(Short Discourse) is made by the spiritual leader and after the talk, People continue the celebration with eating, drinking and felicitating.
One of the traditions of the Prophet is making the path one followed to the praying ground different from the one he follows while going home if possible.
Both the women and the children are encouraged to be at the Prayer Centre as no one is exempted from its participation. Celebration continues until the day comes to an end.
Eating, drinking, playing are well enjoined till the end of the festival, and more importantly, feeding the poor is always a commendable effort.
On the contrary, Eidul Adha is similar to Eidul Fitr but different on the basis of its origin and some other facts, In the case of this festival.
It is traceable to the history of Prophet Ibrahim (The Father of Faith) who was inspired to make a very tasking sacrifice of slaughtering his only son, the story seems to be very long but in essence, When he was about to do this, the son was replaced with a big ram.
Therefore, One of the distinctions between both festivals is that in Eidul Adha, Rams, Goats, Cows and others are slaughtered for worship service which is not in the formal.
Another thing is that, Individuals are enjoined to fast to the praying ground on the day of Eid in this regard and terminate it immediately after the conclusion of the Prayer.
More so, the celebration of this festival is done on that particular day and three consecutive days after known as (Ayyamu Tashreek) in Islam, therefore, the jollification still remains after the D-day itself.
Another notable point is that this festival comes after the conclusion of Hajj (Pilgrimage rites) while the formal comes after the conclusion of fast during the month of Ramadan. Apart from the listed differences in both festivals, they are both conducted and celebrated in the same way.
This two festivals gave a landmark of Islamic celebration across the globe and it also formed the basis of festival celebration in Islam.
The adherents of Islamic religion are encouraged to keep this day holy, enjoyable and entertaining, Muslims are also enjoined to exchange gifts amongst themselves, wear the best of their clothing on this day and mark a level of spiritual upliftment.
A short talk on the origin of these festivals particularly that associated to the father of faith, Prophet Ibrahim should be repeated often and Muslims should learn a lot from this event. In relation to slaughtering of Rams, Goats, Cows and others.
This is only obligatory on those that have the capability in terms of finance as Islam does not enforce individual to do what he is not capable of.
On the part of he who intends to slaughter any of the permissible animals, he must not shave any hair or cut his nails short when the month of Dhul Hijah clocks 20 as this is contained in one of the narrations attached to the Prophet.
Conclusively, the two festivals are purposely celebrated occasionally to enhance the spirituality of individuals in an attempt to imitate the way of the Father of Faith, Prophet Ibrahim.
Furthermore, the day or days of the festival should be made to be entertaining by different events as Islam wants everyone to be happy and healthy on that like, therefore, there is no room for sadness on festival periods.
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