Islam religion: September 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Plucking and dyeing the eyebrows

Plucking and dyeing the eyebrows


I understand that plucking the eybrows is prohibited in Islam. I have the following questions. 1) Can the eybrow hairs be trimmed? 2) Can the eybrow hairs be lightened in color (for example from brown to blond)?


Please provided daleel.


 
Praise be to Allaah.



Namas is the word used to describe plucking the eyebrows. According to a saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman who plucks facial hair and the woman who has this done are cursed.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

Namas means plucking the hair, or it was said that it means plucking the facial hair. “The woman who plucks facial hair” is the woman who removes hair from her own face or the face of another woman. “The woman who has this done” refers to a woman who plucks hair from her own face or tells another woman to do this for her. Minmaas refers to tweezers, the tool used to remove a thorn. When a woman removes hair from her face, this can also be done by using a thread. This also includes thinning the eyebrows.

The fuqaha’ agreed that plucking the eyebrow hair is included in the removal of facial hair, which is forbidden because of the hadeeth: “Allaah has cursed the women who pluck their facial hair and the women who have this done.”

The majority of fuqaha’ said that removing facial hair other than the eyebrows is also included in Namas, and the fuqaha’ agreed that the prohibition on Namas in the hadeeth should be understood to mean that it is haraam.

Removing facial hair is also forbidden for men. (Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 14, Tanammus).

Al-Haytami said: as for removing some of the eyebrow hairs if they have grown long, I do not see anything wrong with this according to our companions, but it should be makrooh because it is changing the creation of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. Nothing concerning this was narrated so it should be makrooh. (Al-Fataawa al-Kubra by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, part 4, Baab al-‘Aqeeqah).

If the eyebrows have grown so long that they are troublesome or causing harm such as preventing one from seeing properly, then the part that is causing the problem may be trimmed.

With regard to dyeing the eyebrows or a part of them with a blonde colour or a colour similar to that of the skin, there is nothing wrong with this, as was stated in a fatwa issued by our Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him and raise his status). He also stated in a fatwa that it is permissible to remove hair growing between the eyebrows because this is not part of them, but he stated that it is not permissible to trim the eyebrows if they are not troublesome or causing harm.


And Allaah knows best
Sunday, 19 September 2010

The virtue of fasting six days of Shawwaal

Praise be to Allaah.


Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person's obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allaah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

And Allaah knows best.

Non-Muslim Scientists embraced Islam


 Scientists' Comments On The Qur'an

Extracts from the video This is the Truth by Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A. al-Zindani, Director, Project of Scientific Miracles in the Qur'an and Hadith, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
 


Keith L. Moore


Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto. Distinguished embryologist and the author of several medical textbooks, including Clinically Oriented Anatomy (3rd Edition) and The Developing Human (5th Edition, with T.V.N. Persaud).







Investigations in to the 'alaqa or leech-like stage.


Dr. Moore was a former President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, and of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. He was honoured by the Canadian Association of Anatomists with the prestigious J.C.B. Grant Award and in 1994 he received the Honoured Member Award of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists "for outstanding contributions to the field of clinical anatomy."

"For the past three years, I have worked with the Embryology Committee of King cAbdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, helping them to interpret the many statements in the Qur'an and Sunnah referring to human reproduction and prenatal development. At first I was astonished by the accuracy of the statements that were recorded in the 7th century AD, before the science of embryology was established. Although I was aware of the glorious history of Muslim scientists in the 10th century AD, and some of their contributions to Medicine, I knew nothing about the religious facts and beliefs contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah."[2]

At a conference in Cairo he presented a research paper and stated:

"It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur'an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah." [1]

Professor Moore also stated that:

"...Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur'an and Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge.

"The intensive studies of the Qur'an and Hadith in the last four years have revealed a system of classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D... the descriptions in the Qur'an cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century..."[1]

E. Marshall Johnson 


Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Author of over 200 publications. Former President of the Teratology Society among other accomplishments. Professor Johnson began to take an interest in the scientific signs in the Qur'an at the 7th Saudi Medical Conference (1982), when a special committee was formed to investigate scientific signs in the Qur'an and Hadith. At first, Professor Johnson refused to accept the existence of such verses in the Qur'an and Hadith. But after a dicussuion with Sheikh Zindani he took an interest and concentrated his research on the internal as well as external development of the fetus.

"...in summary, the Qur'an describes not only the development of external form, but emphasises also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasising major events recognised by contemporary science."

"As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Qur'an. As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described...

I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place... so I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write..." [1]

T.V.N. Persaud


Professor of Anatomy, and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Author and editor of over 20 books, and has published over 181 scientific papers. Co-author of The Developing Human (5th Edition, with Keith L. Moore). He received the J.C.B. Grant Award in 1991. Professor Peraud presented several research papers.

"It seems to me that Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn't read, didn't know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate...

We're talking about 1400 years ago, you have some illiterate person making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature...

I personally can't see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements." [1]

Joe Leigh Simpson

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



He is the President of the American Fertility Society. He has received many awards, including the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Public Recognition Award in 1992. Like many others, Professor Simpson was taken by surprise when he discovered that the Qur'an and Hadith contain verses related to his specialised field of study. When he met with Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A.Zindani, he insisted on verifying the text presented to him from the Qur'an and Hadith.

"... these Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the 'writer'... It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches... There exist statements in the Qur'an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur'an having been derived from God." [1]

Gerald C. Goeringer

Professor and Co-ordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA


 Sheikh cAbdul-Majeed A.Zindani met with Professor Goeringer and asked him whether in the history of embryology was there any mention of the different stages of embryonic development, or whether there existed any embryological texts at the time of the Prophet. Sheikh Zindani also asked his opinion regarding the terms the Qur'an uses to describe the different phases of fetal development. After several long discussions, he presented a study at the 8th Saudi Medical Conference:

"...In a relatively few ayahs (Qur'anic verses) is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis. No such distinct and complete record of human development such as classification, terminology, and description existed previously. In most, if not all instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature." [1]

Alfred Kroner

Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany.


 Professor Kroner is one of the world's most famous geologists, becoming well known among his colleague scientists for his criticisms against the theories of some of the major scientists in his field. Sheikh cAbdul-Majeed A. Zindani met with him and presented several Qur'anic verses and Hadith which he studied and commented upon.

"Thinking where Muhammad came from... I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case."

"Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here...

If you combine all these and you combine all these statements that are being made in the Qur'an in terms that relate to the earth and the formation of the earth and science in general, you can basically say that statements made there in many ways are true, they can now be confirmed by scientific methods, and in a way, you can say that the Qur'an is a simple science text book for the simple man. And that many of the statements made in there at that time could not be proven, but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what Muhammad said 1400 years ago." [1]

 
Yushidi Kusan 

Director of the Tokyo Observatory, Tokyo, Japan.


 Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani presented a number of Qur'anic verses describing the beginnings of the universe and of the heavens, and the relationship of the earth to the heavens. He expressed his astonishment, saying that the Qur'an describes the universe as seen from the highest observation point, everything is distinct and clear.

"I say, I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in Qur'an, and for us modern astronomers have been studying very small piece of the universe. We have concentrated our efforts for understanding of very small part. Because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts of the sky without thinking about the whole universe. So by reading Qur'an and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe." [1]

Professor Armstrong 

Professor Armstrong works for NASA and is also Professor of Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA



 Prof. Armstrong was asked a number of questions about Qur'anic verses dealing with his field of specialisation. He was eventually asked, "You have seen and discovered for yourself the true nature of modern Astronomy by means of modern equipment, rockets, and satellites developed by man. You have also seen how the same facts were mentioned by the Qur'an fourteen centuries ago. So what is your opinion?"

"That is a difficult question which I have been thinking about since our discussion here. I am impressed at how remarkably some of the ancient writings seem to correspond to modern and recent Astronomy. I am not a sufficient scholar of human history to project myself completely and reliably into the circumstances that 1400 years ago would have prevailed.

Certainly, I would like to leave it at that, that what we have seen is remarkable, it may or may not admit of scientific explanation, there may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen." [1]
 
William Hay

Professor of Oceanogprahy, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.


Professor Hay is one of the best known marine scientist in the USA. Sheikh cAbdul-Majeed A. Zindani met with him and asked him many questions about the marine surface, the divider between upper and lower sea, and about the ocean floor and marine geology.

"I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scriptures of the Holy Qur'an, and I have no way of knowing where they would have come from. But I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages."

And when he was asked about the source of the Qur'an, he replied, "Well, I would think it must be the divine being." [1]

 
Durja Rao

Professor of Marine Geology teaching at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



 Sheikh Zindani presented to Prof. Rao many verses dealing with his area of specialisation, and asked: "What do you think of the existence of the scientific information in the Qur'an? How could Prophet Muhammad have known about these facts fourteen centuries ago?"

"It is difficult to imagine that this type of knowledge was existing at that time, around 1400 years back. May be some of the things they have simple idea about, but to describe those things in great detail is very difficult. So this is definitely not simple human knowledge. A normal human being cannot explain this phenomenon in that much detail. So, I thought the information must have come from a supernatural source." [1] 

Professor Siaveda 

Professor of Marine Geology, Japan.



 Sheikh Zindani asked him a number of questions in his area of specialisation, and then informed him of the Qur'anic verses and Hadith which mention the same phenomena he spoke of. One of the questions was concerning mountains. Sheikh Zindani asked him about the shape of mountains; and whether they were firmly rooted in the earth. "What is your opinion of what you have seen in the Qur'an and the Sunnah with regard to the secrets of the Universe, which scientists only discovered now?"

"I think it seems to me very, very mysterious, almost unbelievable. I really think if what you have said is true, the book is really a very remarkable book, I agree." [1] 

Tejatat Tejasen

Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and is the former Dean of the faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand.


 Professor Tejasen studied various articles concerning the Qur'an and modern embryology. He spent four days with several scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims, discussing this phenomenon in the Qur'an and Hadith. During the 8th Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia he stood up and said:

"In the last three years, I became interested in the Qur'an... From my studies and what I have learned throughout this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur'an fourteen hundred years ago must be the truth, that can be proved by the scientific means.

Since the Prophet Muhammad could neither read nor write, Muhammad must be a messenger who relayed this truth which was revealed to him as an enlightenment by the one who is eligible creator. This creator must be God, or Allah.

I think this is the time to say La ilaha illa Allah, there is no god to worship except Allah (God), Muhammad rasoolu Allah, Muhammad is Messenger of Allah...

The most precious thing I have gained from coming to this conference is La ilaha illa Allah, and to have become Muslim." [1]

Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Born in 1920, former chief of the Surgical Clinic, University of Paris, has for a long time deeply interested in the correspondences between the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and modern secular knowledge.


 
 
 He is the author of a best-seller, "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" (1976). His classical studies of the scriptural languages, including Arabic, in association with his knowledge of hieroglyphics, have allowed him to hold a multidisciplinary inquiry, in which his personal contribution as a medical doctor has produced conclusive arguments. His work, "Mummies of the Pharaohs - Modern Medical Investigations" (St. Martins Press, 1990), won a History Prize from the Académie Française and another prize from the French National Academy of Medicine.

His other works include: "What is the Origin of Man" (Seghers, 1988), "Moses and Pharaoh, the Hebrews in Egypt", (NTT Mediascope Inc, 1994); and "Réflexions sur le Coran" (Mohamed Talbi & Maurice Bucaille, Seghers, 1989)

After a study which lasted ten years, Dr. Maurice Bucaille addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 concerning the existence in the Qur'an of certain statements concerning physiology and reproduction. His reason for doing that was that :

"...our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Qur'an could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times."

"The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur'an untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature?

How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human-being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?"
 
Bibliography 

[1] al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A, This is the Truth (video tape). Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah containing interviews with various scientists. Available in Arabic, English, French, Urdu and Turkish. A full English transcript of this video with illustrations is also available: Al-Rehaili, Abdullah M., This is the Truth, Muslim World League, Makkah al-Mukarrammah, 1995. Also available on the web at: This Is The Truth!

[2] Moore, Keith L. and al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A., The Developing Human with Islamic Additions, Third Edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1982, with Dar Al-Qiblah for Islamic Literature, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1983, page viiic. Limited Edition.

[3] Moore, Keith L., al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A., Ahmed Mustafa A, The Qur'an and Modern Science - Correlation Studies, Islamic Academy for Scientific Research, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Reprinted by World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), USA., 1990, ISBN 0-9627236-0-6. Collection of papers presented at a symposium sponsored by the Muslim Students Association, University of Illinois, May 1990.

[4] Moore, Keith L.; Johnson, E. Marshall; Persaud, T.V.N.; Goeringer, Gerald C.; Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A.; and Ahmed Mustafa A, Human Development as Described in the Qur'an and Sunnah, Commission on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, Muslim World League, Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, 1992, ISBN 0-9627236-1-4. Collection of papers that were originally presented in the First International Conference on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, held in Islamabad, Pakistan, 1987, and after some modifications and development, presented in their present form in Dakar, Sengal in July 1991.

Taken From :-

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Science/scientists.html

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Friday, 17 September 2010

Speak good or remain silent

Isn’t it funny how easily people label each other under different cathegories, just from single aquintance? Often early judgment based on brief and unprecised observation, stones in mind and is difficult to be altered. Prejudices and stereotypes are wicket traps of human’s mind, that influence and form one’s convictions most. Just a thought, but it reminds me of one old japanese saying:

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Good advice, especially as it is difficult to hold own tongue or not letting oneself backbiting and gossiping.

Allah says:

“Not a word does one utter, except that there is an (angel) Watching, Ready to record it.”
[Surah Qaaf: 18]



Abu Hurairah (RA) reported words of Prophet (SAWS):

‘Whosoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, then let him speak good or remain silent.’

[Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree]


Abu Moosaa Al-Ash’aree (RA) said:

“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah Which of the Muslims is best?’ He (SAWS) said:
‘He whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe from.”’
[Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that he heard the Prophet (SAWS) said:

‘Indeed, the servant will speak a word, while being unaware of (its consequences), and due to it, he will be cast into the Hellfire, farther than the distance between the east and the west.’
[Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


It is important aways to consider whether words one is about to say, are good or not.

Sufyaan Ibn ‘Abdillaah (ra) reported that prophet said:

‘O Messenger of Allaah (SAWS) , tell me of a matter that I may cling tightly onto.’ He (SAWS) said: ‘Say: I believe in Allaah and then remain steadfast (upon that).’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah (SAWS) , what is the most serious thing that I should fear for myself?’ So he (SAWS) took a hold of his tongue and said: ‘This.”
[An authentic hadeeth reported by At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah and others]

‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Aamir (ra) reported:

‘I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) , how does one attain salvation?’ He said: ‘Restrain your tongue, remain in your home and weep over your sins.”
[An authentic hadeeth reported by Ibn Al-Mubaarak in Az-Zuhd and it has support in Ahmad]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (ra) reported that the Prophet (SAWS) said:

“When the Son of Adam wakes from his sleep, all of his body parts seek refuge from his tongue, saying: ‘Fear Allaah with regard to us, for indeed we are part of you. So if you are correct, then we will be correct and if you are corrupted, then we shall be corrupted.”
[A hasan hadeeth reported by At-Tirmidhee and others]

“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” translated into japanese as “mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru”, is the simplest and most understandable etic rule…so why is it so difficult for some, holding on to it.
Saturday, 11 September 2010

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What's Eid Fitr

First Happy Eid To all my Brothers and sisters in Isalam.

The end of Ramadan ushers in one of two major celebrations in the Islamic calendar. A day of festivities called Eid ul Fitr. In Arabic Eid means something which returns and is repeated every certain period of time. The word eid, however, has evolved to mean a festivity. The word Fitr is the root of the word iftar (breaking the fast) and denotes the end of the fasting month. It would be wrong to assume that Muslims celebrate the fact that they no longer have to fast, as Muslims indeed are saddened by the passing of the month of Ramadan. The reality is that Muslims celebrate because God has allowed them to participate in and complete the month of fasting and spiritual reflection. Muslims celebrate the fact that God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, may accept their deeds and reward them.

“…that you should complete the number [of fasting days] and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks.” (Quran: 2:185)

The Eid (or celebration) is not carried out in the way you might expect. After the previous night’s moon sighting, indicating that the blessed month of Ramadan is over, Muslims wake for the dawn prayer and the beginning of a very special day. In the early morning Muslims bathe and put on their best clothes in preparation for the special Eid prayer. It has become customary to wear new clothes in celebration of Eid. “God is beautiful, and He loves that which is beautiful,”[1] and Eid is a time to display the favours of God. It is an act of worship to eat a few dates before setting out for the prayer in emphasis of the fact that the fasting month has indeed ended, and thus, fasting on the Day of Eid is forbidden, as it is a day of celebration and remembrance of God.

The Eid prayer is to be held outdoors in a large open ground. In inclement weather, or due to a lack of adequate arrangements, Eid prayer is sometimes performed in the mosques. Muslims can be seen walking and driving to the praying area, carrying prayer rugs and glorifying God. His or her words ringing out – “God is great, there is none worthy of worship but God; God is great, Praise be to Him.” As Muslim families begin to congregate at the prayer place, the praising of God is joined with words of congratulations such as, “Eid Mubarak” (a celebration full of blessings) and Happy Eid, as well as prayers for each other, “May Allah accept our righteous works”. Children dart about in anticipation of gifts and feasts, older people reflect on the success of Ramadan and the Magnificence of God. A quiet hush then spreads across the crowd as the Eid prayer begins. It differs slightly from the normal prayers, and although it is not obligatory, it is highly recommended that Muslims attend. Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder and give thanks to God not only for the joy of Ramadan, but also for the countless blessings He bestows upon us every day.

Before the prayer begins a special charity is to be offered. It is called Zakaat al-Fitr. Each adult Muslim, who is financially able, is expected to offer a small amount, roughly equivalent to $10 U.S, from which foodstuff is bought and distributed to the poor. Ramadan was a time when Muslims attempt to give generously and the celebration at the conclusion of Ramadan is conducted with the same spirit of generosity, ensuring that all Muslims have the opportunity to enjoy the day with feasting and celebration.

At the end of the prayer the congregation disperses and travels home or onto celebrations via a different route. Muslims try to emulate the guidance of Prophet Muhammad to travel to and from the Eid praying place using different routes. This and the fact of the prayer being held in open areas are done to show the strength of the Muslims, to induce pride on one’s faith, and to celebrate the praises of Allah openly. The actual Eid ul Fitr is one day, but in many Muslim countries, businesses and offices may close for up to a week. Due to time constraints and the fact that this Muslim holiday is not always recognised in western countries, some Muslims are unable to participate in more than a few hours of celebration. Muslims in different countries and different families celebrate in different ways.

There are gatherings of family and friends for breakfast, brunch or lunch. It is an occasion for visits, greetings, love and good wishes. It is a time to heal lost bonds, make amends, and revitalize relationships. Special foods are prepared and often dishes are sent to neighbours and friends. Each country or community has its signature dish, and a special benefit to being part of a Muslim community in the west means being able to sample delicious cuisine from around the world. Gifts, money and sweets are usually given to children and some adults exchange gifts too. Celebrations differ from community to community. There are picnics and barbeques, fairs and neighbourhood feasts, community events lasting into the night, and fireworks or laser light displays. New friends are made, old acquaintances renewed and families spend quality time together.

The celebration of Eid demands contact with relatives, kindness to parents, empathy for the poor and distraught and compassion for neighbours. It is a day of visiting and well wishing, and some Muslims take the opportunity to visit the graveyards. It is important not to make visiting the graveyards an annual Eid ritual. However, the remembrance of death and the hereafter is important at all times. Even at this time of celebration, one truly submitted to God understands that we are all but a breath away from death. In the midst of life is death and a Muslim realises that this life is but a transient stop on the way to the final abode – Paradise or Hell. Ramadan was a time of reflection and Eid is a time of celebration; however, lavish displays of wealth and materialism are to be avoided. Muslims who seized the benefits inherent in Ramadan are grateful for this time to celebrate and understand it is but one of the ways that God bestows His mercy upon us. Life can sometimes be full of tests and trials, but through the trying times as well as the celebrations God, there is with wisdom, mercy and forgiveness. A Muslim is encouraged to celebrate by glorifying God ,but reminded never to forget that the ability to love life and to celebrate, is but one of God’s bounties.

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim

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