Two festivals with the same name? What’s that about? Well, not quite.

Eid” (عيد) in Arabic translates to “festival” or “celebration” in English.

Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two of the most significant celebrations in the Islamic calendar. It is a time when muslims worldwide rejoice and celebrate with family and friends marking moments of joy, gratitude, and spirituality. But, what is Eid in Islam and what is the difference between the two.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, celebrating the completion of fasting the holy month. Upon sighting the moon, Muslims complete their Ramadan and prepare to engage in the Eid prayer the next day.

Traditions of Eid al-Fitr

  • Sighting of the Crescent Moon: The sighting of the crescent moon marks the beginning of Eid al-Fitr and the month of Shawwaal.
  • Eid Prayer: Muslims gather in mosques or open spaces to perform a special Eid prayer, known as Salat al-Eid, expressing gratitude to Allah for their strength and guidance throughout Ramadan.
  • Charity: Zakat al-Fitr, a form of charity, is obligatory for every Muslim before the Eid prayer, which is dedicated for the poor ensuring that everyone can partake in the festivities.

What is Eid Al-Adha?

This is the second of the two Eids!

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan – an entire month of fasting which is one of the main 5 pillars of Islam! So, how does Eid al-Adha compare?

Well, similar to Eid al-Fitr, Eid al Adha is also a major checkpoint in Islam. It is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah during the annual Hajj pilgrimage which is also one of the 5 pillars of Islam that all able Muslims must complete at least once in their lives!

During this pilgrimage, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah. It also honours the sacrifice and devotion of Prophet Ibrahim  with his son Isma’il as they submitted themselves to the will of Allah and were rewarded.

Traditions of Eid al-Adha

  • Eid Prayer: Muslims attend mosques and open areas to perform the Eid prayer.
  • Qurban: Muslims around the world celebrate this holy day by slaughtering livestock and distributing the meat to the less fortunate.
  • Hajj: The 5th Pillar of Islam. Muslims are required to attend Hajj once in their lifetime unless they are excused.

The Sunnah acts of Eid

So what are the Sunnah’s of Eid that we should follow? The Prophet Muhammad’s traditions during Eid included:

  • Dressing in his best clothing
  • Doing Ghusl (shower or bath) before the Eid prayer.
  • Reciting the Takbeer.
  • Consuming an odd number of dates before the Eid prayer.
  • Gathering in open spaces to perform the Eid prayer.

So, now we know what the differences are between the two Eids! What will you do next Eid? Be sure to visit a Mosque and nab some sweets and celebrate with your family and friends, exchange gifts and visit one another!

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