Eid ul-Fitr 2014: A celebration at the end of Ramadan (PHOTO ESSAY)

28 07 2014

CENTRAL-EUROPEAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM INSTITUTE WISHES ‘EID MUBARAK’ TO ALL MUSLIM BELIEVERS

 

One of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid ul-Fitr or Eid, is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan (a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims). This year Eid al-Fitr will most likely be observed on Monday, July 28. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Traditionally, the observance begins with the sighting of the new moon.

To mark the beginning of Eid and in accordance with the Sunnah, or practices of the Prophet Muhammad, many Muslims wake up early in the morning and pray Salat ul-Fajr, or the pre-dawn prayer. After brushing their teeth, taking a bath and wearing perfume, they have breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. Many Muslims recite the takbir, a declaration of faith, on the way to the prayer ground and give special charitable contributions known as Zakat al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes. A common greeting during this holiday is Eid Mubarak, which means, “Have a blessed Eid!”  Here, we round up some of the best photos of Eid 2014 celebrations across the globe.

A Palestinian vendor offers balloons for sale at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor offers balloons for sale at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor plays with balloons at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor plays with balloons at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Yemeni woman, center, shops in preparation for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival, at a market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

A Yemeni woman, center, shops in preparation for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival, at a market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

Muslims listen Eid al-Fitr sermons at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney on July 28, 2014. Thousands of Australian Muslims celebrated their religious Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Saeed Khan (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Muslims listen Eid al-Fitr sermons at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney on July 28, 2014. Thousands of Australian Muslims celebrated their religious Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Saeed Khan (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An Egyptian child plays as Muslims pray Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Azhar mosque, the highest Islamic Sunni institution, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

An Egyptian child plays as Muslims pray Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Azhar mosque, the highest Islamic Sunni institution, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

 

Pakistani girls buy traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistani girls buy traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

A Pakistani beautician paints the hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints the hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Sultan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Sultan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

A Pakistani woman browses traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

A Pakistani woman browses traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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A Yemeni girl poses for a photograph as she attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer with her father, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Bahraini fishermen look at the sky where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Malkiya village, Bahrain, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Bahrain and several other Gulf countries announced Eid will begin on Monday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Bahraini fishermen look at the sky where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Malkiya village, Bahrain, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Bahrain and several other Gulf countries announced Eid will begin on Monday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA - JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims uses a telescope to hold a Rukyatul Hilal to see the new crescent moon that determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA – JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims uses a telescope to hold a Rukyatul Hilal to see the new crescent moon that determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA - JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims speaks during a Rukyatul Hilal, to see the new crescent moon, which determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA – JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims speaks during a Rukyatul Hilal, to see the new crescent moon, which determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

 

 





Pope Francis sets a good interfaith example

6 08 2013
Pope Francis salutes as he arrives at the Chiesa Del Gesu' in Rome on July 31, 2013. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis salutes as he arrives at the Chiesa Del Gesu’ in Rome on July 31, 2013. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

By Yasmine Hafiz/Huffington Post

Pope Francis personally reached out to Muslims around the world with Id al-Fitr greetings for the holiday that concludes the holy month of Ramadan. While the message has been traditional since 1967, usually the greetings are sent by the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Pope Francis explained that he wanted to personally write this year’s message as a mark of his “esteem and friendship” for all Muslims, citing the example of his namesake Saint Francis, who “loved every human being deeply.”

Addressed “To Muslims throughout the World,” the message is an important call to action for peace and tolerance as he proposed reflection on the theme, “Promoting Mutual Respect through Education.” As sectarian and religious tensions continue worldwide, the pope emphasized the importance of respect and need to educate Muslim and Christian youth in a tolerant and loving manner. He said, “We all know that mutual respect is fundamental in any human relationship, especially among people who profess religious belief. In this way, sincere and lasting friendship can grow.”

The pope also offered good wishes to Muslims at the beginning of Ramadan during a visit to the island of Lampedusa in Italy on July 8, saying in a speech, “I also think with affection of those Muslim immigrants who this evening begin the fast of Ramadan, which I trust will bear abundant spiritual fruit. The church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families.”

His sincere and friendly greetings will hopefully be warmly received by leaders of the Muslim community, many of whom felt uneasy with the last pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, after he quoted an anti-Islamic remark in his 2006 Regensburg lecture and sparked worldwide outrage.

“In issuing a personal, heartfelt and meaningful message to Muslims around the world at the end of Ramadan, we see a genuine effort on behalf of Pope Francis to send a message of good will and compassion. Focusing on youth and ‘mutual respect through education,’ Pope Francis underscores the critical components of cohesiveness -– that people of all faiths should respect the other and learn about ‘the other,'” said Farah Pandith, the U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities. “His important message of mutual respect will no doubt have a powerful impact on how the next generation of Muslim and Christian youth view and interact with each other.”

Francis is being called “the People’s Pope” for his outreach to many marginalized groups.

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Eid ul-Fitr: Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting

30 08 2011

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex with their partners during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. During fasting, intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, and resistance of all temptations is encouraged. Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. It also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity.

Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘eed (“Happy Eid”). Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences or past animosities that may have occurred with others during the year.

In the name of Central-European Religious Freedom Institute, I wish Eid Mubarak to all Muslim believers.

Jura Nanuk,
President of the Committee for Inter-Religious Cooperation








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