People’s interest in the appearance of the moon. People’s activity on the Shawwal moon announces the end of the holy month of Ramadhan. The next day is the day of Eid-ul-Fitra. It is a day of prayer and joy. The Muslims thank God Almighty for having enabled them to observe the fasts.
Everybody waits for this day anxiously. Their eyes scan the western sky. They are looking for the moon. The children are more eager to see the moon. When the evening falls, everybody rushes to the roof. All the men, women, the young, the old and the children get on the roof. Everyone is overjoyed, Everyone wishes to point out the moon first. They do their best to point out the moon. At that time all the faces are toward the west and eyes fixed in the sky.
Someone raises his hand towards the sky and shouts. “There is the moon!” Others redouble their efforts to search for the moon. Suddenly many people begin to shout. “The moon has appeared“. Then they raise their hands in prayer. Children clap and laugh and are happy. They are excited. Someone explodes a cracker in the street. In a short time, the news of the appearance of the moon spreads throughout the city. People begin preparations for the Eid. Shops and markets remain open till late night.
“Eid” is the word of the Arabic language that means “joy”. Muslims throughout the world celebrate two Eids. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the others is Eid-ul-Azha, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated when Ramadan, the month of fascism is over. As the Islamic calendar is the lunar calendar, the change of month depends on the appearance of the moon. Moon sighting is the beginning of the Eid day celebrations.
After the “Aftari” on the twenty-ninth day of Ramadan, people go to open places or the roofs of the houses. They fix their gaze on the western horizon locate the crescent If it is cloudy, they get disappointed. But in a clear atmosphere, they try their best to find out the moon. If luckily someone finds it, he shouts with joy. Others look in that direction and wish to see it with their own eyes.
After sighting the moon they embrace one another and exchange “Eid Mubarak” and “Chand Mubarak.” If the moon is not visible in any area, the people remain o restless and sit before radio and television and wait for the official announcement. Usually, the announcement is made at midnight that the moon has been sighted. God knows better why it happens like this If the declaration is otherwise, they get disappointed.
Anyhow, visits are exchanged among friends and relatives if the moon is sighted well. in time. People remain busy till late at night. Markets remain open. Ladies go to bazaars and buy bangles of their choice. They also have “Mehndi” on their palms. All the people whether they are young or old rich or poor, wear new dresses on the Eid day. So they keep their dresses ready on this night. Next morning people get up early. They wash properly, wear the dress of their choice and move towards the mosques to say the Eid prayer.
Bazaars and markets are properly decorated. There are so many things that attract onlookers. There is a great rush at the confectioner’s shops. In the mosques, there is a great rush. After saying the prayer people embrace one another and say “Eid Mubarak”. Then they come back home. At home delicious snacks are ready.
Meanwhile, guests start coming. People love to go out and see their friends. Eid is really a great day for children. They receive their “Eidi” from their elders and the visitors. This cash is the children’s own. They are at liberty to spend it according to their wish. It is a great day for every Muslim but particularly it is a special occasion for the children. It is a day of merrymaking and celebration.
While doing so, we often forget the basic spirit of this day. Our Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has advised us to take special care of the poor people on this day. We remain busy in entertaining our near and dear ones but very rarely allow the advice of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). The poor are also human beings. They also have their wishes. We should give them due importance on is the day at least.