Saturday, October 6, 2007

3 Acts to Observe in the End of Ramadan


Allah (SWT) has mandated on us three acts to observe at the end of Ramadan.

Zakatul-Fitr, Takbeer, and 'Eid Prayer.

Zakatul Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim man and woman, adult and child. It should be distributed before the prayer of 'Id. Every person, having savings beyond his own and his family's feeding for one day and night should give two dollars for himself and for everyone he looks after. Zakatul Fitr is meant to purify the fasting (saum) and to keep everybody in society happy and pleasant - rich and poor equally - so that nobody should go hungry on that day. Thus, it presents a magnificent example of comprehensive social justice in Islam.

Allah has ordained upon the believers the utterance of takbeer, "Allah is the Greatest," at the conclusion of the month, Ramadan. Takbeer should start on the eve of 'Eid at sunset, and it continues until the time of 'Eid prayer. Allah (SWT) said: "...And complete the prescribed period and glorify Allah in that He has guided you and perchance you shall be grateful." (Al-Qur`an, 2:185)
The takbeer, Allah is the Greatest, is a superlative form indicating there is nothing in the creation that is bigger or greater than Allah. Everything in creation, things, ideas, institutions and planes, etc., pale into insignificance in the sight of Allah. This utterance is the believer's victory and national anthem upon the forces of evil, low desires, and our faith affirmation, song of obedience, and gratitude to Allah (SWT). Takbeer is always said when a Muslim reaches the summit, physical or spiritual, as in the completion of fast at the end of Ramadan. It takes greatness and remarkable inner strength to win one against the forces of evil, and the greatness goes to Allah.

The Formula for Takbeer

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La illaha illa llah Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa lillahil hamd.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and Allah is greatest. Allah is the Greatest and all praise is due to Allah.
It is recommended for men to say the takbeer loud in the Masjid, homes, and market places as a sign of glorification of Allah, and expression of our gratitude and worship to Him. Women, however, should say it silently. Wouldn't it be excellent to see that the Muslim environment is charged with the glorification of Allah? Instead of neon lights, and outdoor decorations, and honking the horns of cars, Takbeer is our outward sign of the festivity.

Eid Prayer

Self Preparation for Eid Prayer

It is highly recommended to have major ablution (Islamically correct bath or ghusl) and to use the most beautiful dresses and the best perfumes one can obtain. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so. There is also a tradition that one should eat something, preferably dates, before going to the Eid ul Fitr prayer and to eat nothing before Eid ul Adha prayer.

The time for Eid ul Adha is when the sun has risen two meters (7 ft.) above the horizon and the time for Eid ul Fitr is while the sun has risen to three meters (10 ft.) above the horizon.Eid prayers cannot be said after midday.

It is better to hold Eid prayers in an open place or ground if there is no obstacle like rain or bad weather. The Prophet never performed Eid prayers in the mosque except once due to rain.

No Adhan, No Iqamah:
There is neither Adhan nor Iqamah for Eid prayers.

Performance of 'Id Prayers:
Eid prayer consists of two Rak'a with twelve takbeeras, (Allahu Akbar), seven in the first Rak'a and five in the second. In the first Rak'a just after takbeeratul Ihram, say seven Takbeeras lifting your hands with each Takbeera and after finishing seven Takbeeras go on with prayer in the usual way (reading al Fatiha and surah aloud.) In the beginning of the second Rak'a say five Takbeeras in the usual way. There is no special Dhikr between Takbeeras - you can say Subhanalla Walhamdu Lillahi Wa Laa Ilaha Illallahu Wallahu Akbar.

After performing the Salat, the Imam must deliver a khutba just like jum'a khutba. But Imam Nawawi and some other scholars say that the khutba of Eid is not broken up into two parts with a period of sitting in between.

On returning home from the salat, it is recommended to take a different route than that which was taken to the prayer.

Enjoyment in Eid Days:

Islam urges us to enjoy life with every lawful means of enjoyment. Especially on eid days the Islamic spirit of enjoyment and brotherhood becomes manifest. Thus Islam nourishes the spiritual aspirations of mankind along with its physical abilities.
On these days everyone should be happy with his wife, his children, his Muslim brothers and sisters. Show mutual concern by exchanging gifts, smiling on the face of each other and expressing sincere love and affection to show the bondage of real brotherhood which stems from the belief in Allah. All Muslims should cherish brotherly feeling in their hearts toward each other, avoid talking behind each other's backs, avoid blaming one another and avoid causing disruption in the Muslim community. These are days when we should glorify the symbols of Allah and observe His signs to have piety in our hearts.

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