The Five Eids (Islamic Festivals)
Eid is an Arabic word which means an event which happens again and again.
In Islam Eid is known as the happy festivals which occur every year.
The word Eid occurs in the Holy Qur'an once in Sura Al Ma-idah verse 114:
"Isa son of Maryam said: "O Allah our Lord! Send down to us from Heaven a table laid with food, that it may be a recurring happiness (Eid) for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from You, and give us sustenance, for You are the best of Providers." (5:114)
The above ayat is telling us when Prophet Isa (A) asked Allah for food from Heaven because his Disciples wanted more evidence to increase their faith, and to witness a miracle, and to always celebrate the occasion with joy and satisfaction.
We are lucky in that we have five Eids in the year:
Eid ul Juma'
Eid ul Haj
Eid ul Fitr
Eid e Gadheer
Eid e Mubahila
EID UL JUMA'
Juma' is Friday and for all Muslims it is a very religious day.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said:
"Indeed the 24 hours of the night and day of Friday belongs to Allah. In every hour there are 600,000 opportunities of freedom from the fire."
In the Islamic calendar the night comes before the day and so Friday begins at the time of Maghrib Salaat (Sunset) on Thursday.
There are certain A'maal recommended for Juma'
For the night of Juma' (Thursday night):
To remember our Marhumins (our friends and family who have gone back to Allah). We should recite Sura Al Fatiha for them.
To recite Sura Ya'seen
To recite Du'a Kumail
To learn something about Islam.
For the day of Juma' (Friday):
To do Ghusl of Juma'
To cut your nails, and wear nice clothes and apply perfume (after all it is Eid).
To visit the graves of our loved ones.
To pray Salaat of Juma' (in congregation).
To learn something about Islam.
EID UL HAJ
Eid ul Haj is also known as Eid ul Adha (Eid of Sacrifice).
It takes place on the 10th day of the last Month of the Islamic Calendar (Dhulhijja).
It marks the end of the Holy Pilgrimage (Haj) of Muslims to Makka.
It is the remembrance of the sacrifice of Prophet Ismail (A) by his father, Prophet Ibraheem (A).
When Prophet Isma'il (A) was 13 years old, Prophet Ibrahim (A) dreamt that he was sacrificing his son. It was the 8th of Zilhaj, also known as Yawme Tarwiyah (The Day of the First Dream).
Prophet Ibrahim (A) often received Allah's commands in his dreams, but because he was being asked to actually kill his son, he wondered whether it was real.
On the next day he saw the same dream and was now sure that it was a true command. Thus, the 9th of Zilhaj is known as Yawme Arafaat (The Day of Knowledge).
The Holy Qur'an says in Sura Saffat verse 102:
"And when (Isma'il) became Baaligh, he (Ibrahim) said, "O my son! I saw in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What is your view?" He (Isma'il) said, "O father! Do as you have been commanded. If Allah wills, you will find me from the patient ones." (37:102)
Thus, Prophet Ibrahim (A) led his son into the desert. On the way, Shaitan appeared in the form of an old man, and tried to convince Prophet Ibrahim (A) that he was making a terrible mistake in killing his son. Three times Shaitan came, and each time Prophet Ibrahim (A) made him go away by throwing seven small stones at him.
When they reached Mina, Prophet Ibrahim (A) laid his son on the ground and took the knife.
Prophet Isma'il (A) saw how distressed his father was at having to kill him, so he said, "O my father! Tie my hands and legs so that I do not struggle. Put a blindfold over your eyes so that you do not have to see me die. Make your knife sharp so that you can do your job quickly. That way I will feel no pain."
Prophet Ibrahim (A) did as his son requested, and then cut the throat of his son. But when he removed the blindfold, he was surprised to see his son standing safe besides him and that he had slaughtered a male sheep instead.
Allah made the actions of Prophet Ibrahim (A) and his family Wajib for all Muslims.
The sacrifice of the animal is the last stage of the Haj and thus the joyous day is also known as Eid ul Adha (Eid of Sacrifice).
It is a joyous occasion because we hope that our Haj has been accepted and we are starting fresh with all our sins forgiven.
EID UL FITR
Eid ul Fitr is the festival that marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan. It is on the 1st of Shawwaal.
Fitr means to break and it therefore marks the breaking of the fasting period and of all evil habits.
It is a happy occasion because we have spent the whole month fasting - keeping away from all Haraam actions and also food and water - throughout the day, and thus have trained ourselves into living a life in which we do not do any Haraam actions.
It is also a happy occasion because we hope that all our prayers have been accepted and that we have been forgiven for our previous sins and so start a fresh.
During Ramadhan we think of the poor people who stay hungry even after Ramadhan because of lack of food, and by fasting we appreciate the blessings that Allah has given to us and share these blessings. To reinforce the idea in our minds Allah has made a Wajib charity of Zakat ul Fitr at the end of Ramadhan.
EID E GADHEER
On the 18th of Dhulhijjah, the angel Jibraeel (A) revealed the following verse from Sura Al Ma-idah:
O Messenger! Convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, it would be as though you have not conveyed His message (at all). Allah will protect you from the people. (5:67)
In obedience to this very important command, the Holy Prophet (S) stopped immediately at a place called Ghadeer-e-Khum (the pond of Khum).
He gave instructions for an area to be cleared and a pulpit to be made from the saddles of camels. He asked Bilal, who had a loud voice, to call back the people who had gone further and to attract the attention of those who were behind.
It was noon time and very hot. The Holy Prophet (S) led the Salaat and then stood on the pulpit so that all the people could see him. He then gave a sermon, part of which was:
O People! I am leaving behind two valuable legacies, the Book of Allah and my progeny, the Ahlul Bayt (A). Never shall they separate from one another until they reach me in Heaven at the fountain of Kauthar. As long as you will stay with both my legacies, you will never be led astray after me."
The Holy Prophet (S) then asked the listeners,
"O People! Am I not a greater authority (Mawla) over you then your own souls?"
All the people replied "Yes! O Prophet of Allah (S)."
Then the Holy Prophet (S) bent down and lifted up Imam Ali (A) with his hands, showing him to the crowds on all sides of the pulpit and said:
Of whomsoever I am the Master (Mawla), this Ali is also his Master.
Then, he raised his hands towards the heavens and prayed, "O Allah, love those who will love Ali, hate those who will not support him, and reject those who will reject him." Announcing this three times, he got down from the pulpit.
At this time the angel Jibraeel (A) descended with the following verse from Sura Al Ma-idah:
This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favours to you, and have chosen for you the religion Islam. (5:3)
The Holy Prophet (S) thanked Allah for His favour and then asked Imam Ali (A) to sit in a tent so that the people could shake hands with him and congratulate him.
Amongst the first people to congratulate Imam Ali (A) on his appointment were Abu Bakr and Umar. Strangely, they were also the first to steal his rights after the Holy Prophet (S) died.
This day of 18th Dhulhijjah is known as Eid e Ghadeer.
EID E MUBAHILA
The Holy Prophet (S) had sent letters to the heads of different countries inviting them to Islam. One such letter was addressed to the Christians of Najran.
When they received the letter they decided to meet the Holy Prophet (S) in person. The group arrived in Madina and entered the mosque wearing silk clothes, golden rings and crosses around their necks. On seeing them dressed in this fashion, the Holy Prophet (S) was disturbed and he ignored them. They realised that something was wrong but were unsure as to what to do.
On the advice of Imam Ali (A) they changed their style of dress to simple clothes and removed their ornaments. They then returned to the Holy Prophet (S) who received them with a warm welcome.
Before they entered into a discussion, they requested for permission to say their prayers and this was granted.
Then the discussion began, the people of Najran would not listen to the Holy Prophet (S) and said that they believed in Prophet Isa (A) as the son of God because he had no father.
At this time, angel Jibraeel (A) brought the following verse of the Holy Qur'an from Allah (Sura Aale Imran, verse 59):
"Surely the example of Isa to Allah is like that of Aadam; He created him from dust, and then said to him, "Be!" and he was." (3 : 59)
This meant that if Prophet Isa (A) could be called the son of God because of the fact he was born without a father, then Prophet Aadam (A) deserved this title more, because he was born without a father or mother.
The Christians could not reply to this argument but they continued to argue out of obstinacy. Then the following verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed (Sura Aale Imran, verse 61):
"And whoever argues with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves, then let us humbly pray (to our Lord) and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars." (3:61)
The Holy Prophet (S) produced this verse before the Christians and declared the challenge of "Mubahila", which means to curse one another. The Christians accepted the challenge.
The next day on the 24th of Zilhaj 9 A.H., the Holy Prophet (S) came out for Mubahila. He held Imam Husain (A) in his arms and he held Imam Hasan (A) by his hand. Bibi Fatima (A) came behind him, while behind her came Imam Ali (A). The Holy Prophet (S) said to them, "when I pray you should say Ameen."
In obedience to the verse of Mubahila sent by Allah, the Holy Prophet (S) had brought Imam Hasan (A) and Imam Husain (A) as his "sons", Bibi Fatima (A) as his "women" and Imam Ali (A) as his "self".
The Christians, on seeing the beautiful and shining faces in front of them began to tremble and shake.
They backed away from Mubahila, and admitted defeat.