Ramadan is one of the most festive times for the whole Islam community.
Throughout the month, early in the dawn, the Muslim people wake up, have their Sehri or Suhoor, and then visit the nearby mosque for the fajr or the Morning Prayer. Friends and family come together, and greet themselves heartily. The time is a sort of conveying the gratitude towards Allah by the implication of introspection, meditation and self-control within oneself.
Recitations of the Qur’an, or Tarawih, are held in the mosques every night during Ramadan. The whole community gathers there together for listening to the oratory verses. This not only uplifts the spiritual awakening within them, but also strengthens the bond of fraternity.
Throughout the month, Iftar parties are organized in various households. People celebrate together with their near and dear ones feasting on mouth-water delicacies after the day-long fast.
Ramadan is also one of the greatest times for shopping. Muslim people go out shopping, eating and spend time with their friends. As they come back from their respective work-places only in the evening, so, many shops remain open until late hours of the night during the entire month of Ramadan.
The holy month of Ramadan concludes in the gala celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid ul-Fitr actually means the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. The occasion is regarded very auspicious. It is observed on the first day of the month that follows the month of Ramadan.
The whole community comes together for the special salat (prayer) at the beginning of the day. They put on new clothes, buy sweets, and gather together. Thereafter, they visit the mosques in groups and have family meals. Food and clothes are also donated to the poor. Now-a-days, fairs are also held on the occasion of Ramadan.
Islam dictates all Muslims to enjoy the festivities of Eid. It also asks the more privileged ones to lend a helping hand to the poor during the time of celebrations, so that they are not left out of the bright picture of Eid. All well-to-do people, thus have to pay the Zakat-e-Fitr (three kilo of food, or its equivalent in terms of money) to the poor ones.
However, the payment of Zakat-e-Fitr is an obligation, not a choice, and it implies upon every well-to-do person who is adult, able, and sane at the time of the sunset on the last day of Ramadan.
The Muslim population is scattered everywhere throughout the globe. And the inhabitants of each country have their own unique way of celebrating the grandeur of Eid. But some set of festivity and way of celebration remains the same irrespective of any boundary.
Ramadan celebrations don’t stop at being just a red-letter day on the calendar. Observing fasts throughout the month and celebrating Eid with great gusto are both parts of being the true Muslim.