Islam is a complete way of life. The righteous way that is chosen by ALLAH Almighty for Muslims to attain Jannah or Paradise. Being a selected way of life, ALLAH Almighty appointed and prescribed various festivals for Muslims to observe.
Man always wants and needs to socialize with other peoples in the society, and also observe communal gatherings that help bring back reminiscences of past events to help shape their future activities. Therefore, festivals, ceremonies and feasts have become an essential part of society and human life. Most of these ceremonies and festivals derive their origins from ancient practices, religious memorable events.
For Muslims, all religious ceremonies and festivals have their own special importance. In fact, at the end of different modes of ibadah (worship) comes a peculiar type of festival instituted by religion Islam for its adherents. The Friday prayer (Namaz-e-Jummah) is the weekly occasion celebrating the five daily prayers of the week; the Holy Ramadan fast culminates into the festival Eid-ul-Fitr, while the Hajj rites and rituals culminate into the Eid-ul-Adha festival.
Viewing festivity as an opportunity to rejoice in the form of visiting to relatives, loved ones and friends, then we may say there are two main Muslim festivals as set down in law of Islamic: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. However, if it transcends to identifying with precedent events of divine and miraculous victories over enemies; such the victory of Hazrat Moosa (AS) over Pharaoh and his army, or weekly marking the end of an occasion like the Friday (jummah) celebration, then we can say that there are more than two occasions to celebrate in Islam.
First of all, let’s take a brief look at the stipulated permitted festivals in Islam.
Eid-ul-Fitr (the 1st day of month of Shawwal )
The obligatory thirty day fast of the Holy month of Ramadan culminates into a great and huge celebration. This marks the end of Holy Ramadan, the blessed month of fasting, and is a festival of enormous celebration. In Islamic and Muslim countries public holiday is declared on Eid-ul-Fitr.
Everyone dresses and get ready in their best clothes. They go to the masjid (mosque) to pray eid namaz together. Extraordinary celebration meals are served up especially sweets. Muslims not only celebrate the end of fasting, but they also thank ALLAH for the strength and help that ALLAH gave them throughout the Holy month of Ramadan to help them in practicing self-control of abstinence from drink and food.
Eid-ul-Adha ( the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah)
This is the other huge Islamic annual festival. It marks the end of the Hajj rituals or holy pilgrimage, Hajj is one of the basic 5 pillars of Islam, though it is celebrated by all the Muslims, not only those who are on the Hajj pilgrimage.
It is to memorize the time when Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) was ready to sacrifice his own son, Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) to prove obedience to ALLAH Almighty.
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