The new moon has been sighted and the end of the holy month of Ramadan has arrived. It also rings in the festival of Eid al-Fitr or the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ and the start of the 10. month called ‘Shawwal’.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends to celebrate and give gifts (especially to children) for the three days of Eid. This year, the first day of Eid is 17. July and as this falls on the weekend, the official government holiday has been extended to also include Monday (20. July).
With the fasting month having come to an end, Muslims have concluded one of Islam’s five primary obligations, or ‘5 Pillars Of Faith’, each Muslim is obliged to. They consist of:
- Muslim life – ‘Shahadah’ or declaration that there is no god except God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger;
- prayer – “Salat’ or ritual prayer five times a day;
- concern for the needy – ‘Zakat’ or giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy;
- self purification – ‘Sawm’ or fasting and self-control during the holy month of Ramadan;
- the pilgrimage – ‘Hajj’ to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if possible.