The literal meaning of Eid is of "festival", "feast". The word "Fitr" means to break the fast. It comes from the same root of word " Futoor" which means breakfast. So Eid-ul-Fitr is the event which Muslims celebrate after fasting for the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan depends on the sightedness of the moon of Shawwal. Eid-il-Fitr observes each year on 1st of Shawwal. Eid act as an incentive to encourage Muslims for fasting as they knew they will be rewarded with Eid after the fasting period gets over.
Lexical meaning of word Eid in Arabic is of " to return or recur". So in the past, whenever an Arab afflicted community found prosperity and peace returned, they celebrate that day as Eid. In Qur'an, the word "Eid" was used in Surah Al-Maida verse 112-114 describing a conversation between prophet Esa as and his faithful disciples. The disciples asked Isa as:
[And remember] when the disciples said, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said," Fear Allah, if you should be believers." (5:112). They said, "We wish to eat from it and let our hearts be reassured and know that you have been truthful to us and be among its witnesses."
"Said Jesus, the son of Mary, "O Allah, our Lord, send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us, and You are the best of providers."
Hazrat Isa as regarded that day Eid as the faith was returned to Allah and souls of followers get cleansed from the worship of idols. During the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad SAW, after the migration of Prophet SAW to Madina, Ibn-Anas reports that " When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about nature of these festivities to which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha". Allah Almighty stated in Qur'an:"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous " (2:183).
To many of us, Eid is the day of eating, greeting and celebrating the way we want to without bothering it whether it is the right way of celebration or not. Here I am quoting a beautiful and accurate definition of Eid in words of Imam Ali as. Imam said: ''Eid is for those whose fasts have been accepted and whose salaat are worthy of reckoning and every day when one does not commit a sin it is 'eid" (Nahjul Balaghah, maxim 427).
From the above-quoted hadith of Imam Ali as it is clear that eid is not just about eating the variety of dishes, wearing clothes and catch up with friends and family but to realize the bounties of Allah Almighty, to analyze what you practiced and gain from fasting. Do your fasts make you realize your flaws and helped them to fix them? if yes then definitely, the 1st of Shawwal will be your eid day. And if not, you should promise to yourself and plead Allah to grant his mercy upon you so that you could also be one of His obedient men.
Eid-ul-Fitr is indeed a blessing from Allah Almighty as it fulfills the most basic purposes of humanity. These are:
1- Eid-ul-Fitr provide every Muslims who had fast during Ramadan, an opportunity to ponder over his personality, his wrongdoings and to seek Allah's Almighty on this blessed day.
2-Eid-ul-Fitr is a source to help the needy ones through "Fitrah" by those who are enjoying basic facilities of life. Zakatul-Fitr is a mandatory religious tax paid by those who can afford it at the end of the month of Ramadhan. It depends on the type of major item of food consumed by the believer during the year. This may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc. In weight, it should be at least three kilograms of food per person. It is also permissible to pay cash of equivalent value. As Imam Reza as said," Worship is not the abundance of fasting & praying; rather, worship is only the abundance of contemplation about the affairs of Allah". So what could be better than helping the needy creation of Allah?
3-It provides an atmosphere of unity, love, and joy. Everyone seems happy on that day. They spend their day Greeting each other and nothing could be fascinating than this.
Ramadan is the month of success, blessing, and achievements. Success over satan, blessings of Laila-tul-Qadr and revelation of Qur'an. Muslims spend the whole month in collecting countless bounties of Allah Almighty and then there comes the day of Eid-ul-Fitr which also brings blessings for the fasteners. Imam Ali as has delivered a beautiful sermon on how to celebrate the eid day. In His a.s sermon He a.s said "O, people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing (before your Lord). Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you (your souls) shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in the presence of your Lord (on the day of Judgment). And when you return to your homes (after prayer), remind yourselves of your returning to your homes in Paradise. O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadan (saying): O SERVANTS OF ALLAH! REJOICE THE GLAD TIDING THAT ALL YOUR PREVIOUS SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN..." (Nahjul-Balaghah).
Muslims started Eid celebrations from 29th or 30th of Ramadan depending on which date the moon of Shawwal sighted. In Pakistan and India, that night is known as "Chand Rat" or " Moon night". Girls after the announcement of moon sightedness, geared up to put mehndi and bangles on their hands. Eid dress is already prepared. Special prayers are offered all over the world from sunrise to noon. Males offer their prayers in the mosque and after the prayer greet each other with a tight hug and greeting words" Eid Mubarak". Females usually offer prayers at home but they can also offer it in the mosque if arrangements are made by mosque administration. Childs wear new and glittery clothes. Elders give youngers "eidi", a cash amount to make them happy. Fitra is delivered to the deserving ones so that they can also enjoy Eid. Three days of Eid are spent in parties, meetups, and fun.
Eid is a source of joy on sad faces, a message of happiness for the distressed ones. As Ramadan is approaching and so is Eid. Let's pray to Allah make this Eid an Eid with its true essence for all of us. May this Ramadan lead us to our creator with all His obedience and love. Eid-ul-Fitr 2018 Mubarak in advance.