End of Ramadan


The festival of Ramadan is celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is believed that the Holy Quran was revealed to Muhammad during this period. It is a month of rigorous fasting and prayer, where Muslims worldwide remain without even a drop of water from dawn to dusk. However, the fasting is not entirely a physical concept; Ramadan is also the time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, a time of intense spiritual renewal, and practice self-sacrifice.

Ramadan ends on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. The month of Shawwal begins after a confirmed sighting of the new moon, either in Saudi Arabia or locally. Known as Eid ul Fitr, this day marks the purging of the soul of all impurities after a month long fasting, and one of the most important festivals of the Islamic religion. Eid ul Fitr also goes by the names - Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, Bayram, the Sweet Festival, and the Lesser Eid. Eid ul Fitr is indeed a joyous occasion for the Muslims and is celebrated for three days.

Prayers During the End of Ramadan

On this day the Muslims attend communal prayers known as the Khutba, meaning sermon. The prayers are held early in the morning in places with an open area, like fields, community centres, or mosques. Muslims from all the nearby areas converge here to pray together to their God. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to participate in pious activities of charity in the form of Zakat al-Fitr (charity in the form of food). Zakat al Fitr is a ration of food items like barley, dates, raisins or wheat flour, or its monetary equivalent, which is given to the poor. Those who have not been able to give Zakat ul Fitr during Ramadan, do it on the day of Eid ul Fitr.

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Celebrations

Eid ul Fitr is the festival of the breaking of the fast. Muslims worldwide prepare festival meals on this day and share it with their near and dear ones. They wear new clothes, exchange gifts, and visit friends and relatives. They greet each other with an embrace and the words "Eid Mubarak".

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Feast

The feast on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr is prepared and shared by the extended families. It includes mouth watering gourmet dishes like Biryani, a rice dish with lamb or beef, Kebabs, breaded meat or vegetables on skewers, Haleem, beef or mutton minced and cooked with spices on a slow fire, and kohlrabi-carrot salad. Desserts include pastries with a stuffing of dates, Jalebi, or Badam phirni, and Seviyan, vermicili noodles sweetened with milk and sugar.

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Eid ul Fitr 2016

This year the end of Ramadan will be on the 7th July, when the new moon appears ushering in the 10 month of Shawwal.

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