In Islam festivals are observed to seek the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). They are occasions of joy and happiness. The happiest occasion of a Muslim’s life is to see the laws of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) established in their totality on the earth, ensuring peace and happiness to all Creation. Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha are the two major festivals in Islam.
Eid ul Fitr, falls on the first day after the month of Ramadan. On this day, after a month of fasting, Muslims offer congregational prayer, preferably on open ground. They express their gratitude to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for enabling them to observe the fast. Special food is prepared. It is customary to visit friends and relatives, and to make the occasion special for children.
Eid ul Adha, begins on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hajj and continues until the 13th. The celebration commemorates the willingness of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) when he was asked to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Prophet Abraham(peace be upon him) showed readiness and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was very pleased. A ram was sacrificed instead of Ishmael on Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) command. Muslims offer congregational prayer on the day and they sacrifice animals such as sheep, goats, cows and camels. The meat of the sacrificed animal is shared amongst relatives, neighbours and the poor.
Other celebrations include Eid Milad un Nabi (Mawlid) the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Hijrah (migration of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)), Lailatul Miraj (Night of Ascension), and dates of Islamic battles. Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power) is a special night in the last ten days of Ramadan. The Quran says it is “better than a thousand months”. Muslims spend the night offering prayers and reciting the Quran.