Sunday, October 24, 2004

Islam Holy Days

There are only two Muslim festivals set down in Islamic law: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha ( Eid is a word significance for festival). But there are also several other unique days which Muslims celebrate. Some Muslims disapprove of commemorateing the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh), on the grounds that it is an innovation, and novelty in religious matters are prohibited. Some Muslims say that if amended were made in sacred issues it would entail that Islam was not absolute when it was exposed to the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not tell Muslims everything that was revealed to him. This would be seen as extremely irreverent by many Muslims.

Eid ul Fitr: (1 Shawwal):

This marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and is a festival of great celebration. In Islamic countries it is a public holiday.The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) with his comrades and kins after the triumph of the battle of Ghazwa-e-Badar. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but expressing gratitude to Allah Almighty for the assistance and potency that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them carry out self-control. The fiesta begins when the first view of the new moon is seen in the sky.The festive feeling is enlarged by everyone wearing best or new attire, and decorating their homes.There are extraordinary services out of doors and in masjids, parade through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal-eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month. Eid is also marked as a time of pardon, and making atonement.

Eid ul Adha: (10 Dil Hijja):

This fiesta symbols the end of the Hajj or holy pilgrimage, which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. though it is celebrated by all Muslims, not just individuals who are on the pilgrimage.
This is a 3-day public holiday in Muslim countries. The festival memorizes the prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his son when God decree him to... Messenger Ibrahim (peace be upon him)whole compliance to the will of God is celebrated by Muslims each year. Each Muslim, as they celebrate, reminds themselves of their own submission to God, and their own willingness to sacrifice anything to Allah Almighty wishes. During the festival Muslims who can afford to, sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep, as a sign of Messenger Abraham's sacrifice. The meat is dispersed among family, kiths and the deprived, who each get a third share.

Ashura: (10 Muharram):

Shi'aat in particular use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 680 A.D. It marks two past events: the day Messenger Nuh/Noah (peace be upon him) left the Ark, and the day that Musa/Moses (peace be upon him) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah Almighty.Shi'aat in particular exercise the day to honor the martyrdom of Hussain, a grandson of the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) in 680 A.D. In Shi'aat communities this is a somber day: plays a replica of martyrdom, repeatedly staged and many take part in bereavement ceremony.

Al-Hijra: (1 Muharram):

This carnival celebrates the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 A.D when the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina . Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year, is the first day of the month of Muharram. It symbols the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 A.D when the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina , and set up the first Islamic state. The Muslim calendar counts dates from the Hijra. There is no precise spiritual service required on this day, but Muslims will think about the broad meaning of Hijra, and observe this as a good time for "New Year Resolutions". The Quran uses the word Hijra to mean moving from a bad place or state of affairs to a good one - and so Muslims may believe about how their belief helps them leave behind bad ways of living and attain a healthier life. The date marks the opening of Islam as a community in which pious and earthly life were completely incorporated. It was a community inspired by God, and totally obedient to God; a group of people bound as one by faith.

By breaking the connection with his own clan the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) established that tribal and family loyalties were unimportant compared to the bonds of Islam. This Muslim community grew progressively over time, unifying the many tribes that had made up the Arab world in advance. Islam now evolved as a joint spiritual and earthly community, with political and military power working hand in hand with spiritual authority and direction. At the same time the community developed the religious and ethical codes of actions that still provide the base of Muslim existence.

Lailat al Qadr (27 Ramadan):

The fiesta of The Night of command symbols the night in which the Quran was first opened to the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) by Allah Almighty. Muslims observe this as the most important event in history, and the Quran says that this night is better than a thousand months (97:3), and that on this night the angels come down to earth. This is a festival that Muslims spend in study and prayer. Some will spend the whole night in prayer or in reciting the Quran. The date of 27 Ramadan for this day is a customary date, as the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) did not tell us when the Night of Power would be, although he suggested it was in the last 10 days of the month. As of this, many Muslims will treat the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan as a mainly fine time for prayer and understanding the Quran.


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