On the planet of Muslims, we celebrate feasts not like those who’re on planet earth, except for few things. Muslims have only two feasts to celebrate, one of them is directly after Ramadan for 1 day, some extend it up to 3 days, and is called “Al-Fitr”, the other is 2 months later, which called “Al-Ad’ha”, this latter is during pilgrimage, and it’s 4 days long.
Now, let’s give you a nice tour over what we do
1- The Charming Sounds:
Imagine you’re home and started hearing neighbors, together with the nearest worship place, and even your house members; all of them started repeating the same words praising God in one voice; with such a beautiful sound, in some tremendous spiritual atmosphere, for an entire evening long, or even for a few days. These sounds are called “Takbeer” which means Praising Allah (i.e The Creator of heavens and earth), saying Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar … listen yourself:
2- Bathing & Perfuming:
On the planet of Muslims, cleaning is a big part of the faith. Cleaning is the first step to worship God, so we perform something called “Ghusl” (i.e taking a shower from head to toes) every once in a while, and on the first day of the Feast.
3- Praying in Open Spaces:
Muslims in each city/neighborhood, gather in a specific open space to pray together, you can count up to thousands of Muslims. Watch, Russia: Drone captures massive Al-Fitr Feast celebrations in Moscow:
Shaking hands, hugs, and greetings are a big part of the feast when Muslims meet, Prophet Muhammad –peace & mercy be upon him- said:
By Him in Whose Hand is my life! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something which, if you do, you will love one another? Promote greetings amongst yourselves.” [Muslim].
Exchanging some gifts? Sometimes yes. Then after we finish praying, we go back from a different road, home or out, whatever!
Oh yeah! Feasts are about food, and food is really special during feasts; it’s like they were created for each other. Actually the first feast for Muslims which is “Al-Fitr” comes after Ramadan, the month of fasting, so we MUST eat, we’re even forbidden from fasting on the first day of this Feast.
5- Feeding the Poor:
In the first feast “Al-Fitr” it’s an obligation on each adult Muslim to feed the poor on the last day of Ramadan and before we go to pray, this one is about feeding the poor by a specific weight of grains. On the second feast “Al-Adha”, it is also essential for each family to feed the poor, but this time; with meat.
Do Muslims invent celebration forms?
Unfortunately, they do. Among the new forms of celebration is that women are exhausting themselves in cleaning the house from the ceiling to the floor, exhausting the husband’s budget with buying new things, new curtains, new sheets, new carpets, which is over costing the family and adding burdens to them. Some women actually exaggerate this to even buying new furniture, and that’s turning the feast from a spiritual, light, & happy celebration to a costly burden that needs more than 4 months’ salary.
They turned it from a spiritual feast to a materialistic one; from gathering and greetings to a race over appearance, buying jewelry, buying clothes, buying 5kg of cookies. Getting the feast out of its essential virtues to a superficial race of who do better than the others, who bought more, whose kids are wearing more expensive clothes, and who has more money, and that always happens when you’re out of the fundamentals of the faith!
Prophet Muhammad forbade the invention in anything religious. A main rule in Islamic Sharia says:
Worldly customs are permissible in Islam unless proven otherwise, and acts of worship in Islam are forbidden except what is explicitly prescribed.”
The Essence of Celebration
When Muslims follow Prophet Muhammad’s way of celebration, which is called “Sunnah” (i.e the Prophetic teachings, quotes, and actions), then we’ll be keeping the essence & virtue of the celebration, worthy of mentioning, all the manifestation of feast celebrations in this article have been performed by the Prophet Muhammad and are according to his Sunnah.
So feeding the poor,
Gatherings and greetings,
Eating good food,
Cleaning and perfuming,
Praying together in an open area, are the things that actually make the feat alive, not superficial buying burdens.
Have a –truly- Happy Feast Everyone!