Islamic Holidays

Posted on November 18, 2011

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Islam is not a “holy day” religion. In fact, there are only a handful of holidays. Although some sects participate in different holidays, these are the few almost all Muslims partake in.

Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating muslims refrain from eating, drinks, or sex during the daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God and to offer more prayer than usual. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual intercourse among spouses is allowed after one has ended the daily fast. During fasting, intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, and resistance of all temptations is encouraged. Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. It also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity (zakat). In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur’an. According to tradition, Ramadan is a particularly blessed time to give in charity, as the reward is 70 times greater than any other time of the year

Laylat al-Qadr is Arabic for “The Night of Power”. It falls on one of the last ten days of Ramadan on an odd numbered day. It is considered the holiest night of the year, since it is the night in which the Qur’an was first revealed. It is also considered better than a thousand months [Qur’an 97:1–3]. It is said that if a person performs voluntary worship on this night, that worship is equal to a thousand months or approximately 80 years

Eid al-Fitr (Feast of fast-breaking). Three days of festivities marking the end of Ramadhan.The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.It is haram or forbidden, to fast on the Day of Eid. That is why it is recommended to have a small breakfast (as a sign of not being on a fast on that day) of sweet dish, preferably the date fruit, before attending the special Eid prayer (salaat).Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greetings ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘eed(“Happy Eid”). Gifts on eid (called eidia/eidiya in some cultures) are frequently given to children and immediate relatives; it is also common in some cultures for children to be given small sums of money by adult relatives or friends (eidia).

Eid al-Adha “Festival of Sacrifice” or “Greater Eid” is an important holiday celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Ibraahim(Abraham) to sacrafice his son Isma’il(Ismeal) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice instead. Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and needy. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by concerted efforts to see that no impoverished person is left without an opportunity to partake in the sacrificial meal during these days. During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day and after prayers throughout the three days of Eid, are considered essential parts of this important Islamic festival.

 

Here is the calander for the year 2012 CE (1433)

Ramadan                      July 20,2012

Lailatul-Qadr             August 14,2012

Eid al-Fitr                    August 19,2012

Eid al-Adha              October 26,2012

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Posted in: Holidays, Islam, Ramadan