WHAT IS EID UL-FITR LIKE IN EGYPT?
Muslims across the globe are always united in one activity whenever the fasting period is around – Ramadan. You will find both young and old Muslims observing this season of holiness and spirituality. After fasting for thirty days, the holy month ends with a period of celebration. As the first of the two canonical festivals of Islam, Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan (the holy fasting season).
Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt is a time of private visits and hospitable receptions when friends visit one another, gifts are presented, and new clothes are worn. This season is always marked as a public holiday, as it is indeed a season to relish for Muslims. But what is Eid ul-Fitr like in Egypt? Here are some interesting facts about what to expect when you go to celebrate the end of Ramadan in Egypt.
EID UL-FITR IN EGYPT
Eid ul-Fitr is one of the biggest celebrations in Egypt. In fact, it is a three-day holiday in Egypt. The word Eid (from the Arabic language) implies celebration, feast, and recurring joy but to Egyptians, this word rings more than just bells. If you were to mention the word Eid to any Egyptian, he would respond with a sense of delight, reflecting a heart full of joy as if he were still a child.
Ramadan in Egypt
Officially marking the end of Ramadan, which is the period of fasting, Eid al-Fitr is commended with energy all through the Muslim world, and Egypt is no exception. You will find some of the eateries and bistros of Cairo continue to give sustenance to guests who don’t share their faith; however many close early or even completely during the day, to guarantee that staff return home so they can break their fast at sunset. After dark, the streets are filled up with people who are prepared to satiate themselves on delectable dishes, following a late evening of extra prayers and more eating.
How do Egyptians prepare for the first day of Eid ul Fitr?
In Egypt, Muslims celebrate Eid al Fitr by following the sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). So here is how Egyptians start their celebration of the Eid:
1. Taking a shower before going out for Eid prayer.
It was narrated in a sahih hadith in al-Muwatta that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar used to do ghusl on the day of al-Fitr before going out to the prayer place in the morning. [Al-Muwatta 428]
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said that: “the Muslims unanimously agreed that it is recommended to do ghusl for ‘Eid prayer.”
2. Eating three dates before going out for the Eid Ul Fitr prayer.
It is a sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to eat three dates before the Eid prayer.
Narrated by al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Malik, who said that: “the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to go out on the morning of ‘Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… of which he would eat an odd number.” [Al-Bukhari, 953.]
Muslims are instructed to eat before going out for Eid prayer as a mark that the fasting is over because it is forbidden to fast on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. It doesn’t have to be dates, you can eat anything you want.
However, be careful, eid Al-Fitr and Eid Ul Adha are not the same. On ‘Eid al-Adha you shouldn’t eat anything from Fajr until you come back from the Eid prayer.
3. Eid al Fitr Takbir.
One of the most amazing things when it comes to celebrating Eid al Fitr in Egypt is the takbir of eid. Once it is announced that tomorrow is the first day of the eid you will hear the Takbir after the Isha Azan.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami said, “They emphasized it more on the day of al-Fitr than the day of al-Adha.”. Waki’ said, this refers to the takbir.” (Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/122)
Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated with a sahih isnad that al-Zuhri said: “The people used to recite Takbir on ‘Eid when they came out of their houses until they came to the prayer place, and until the imam came out. When the imam came out, they fell silent, and when he said takbir they said takbir.” (Irwa al-Ghalil, 1/121)
Al-Walid ibn Muslim said: “I asked al-Awza’i and Malik ibn Anas about saying Takbir out loud on the two ‘Eids. They said, Yes, ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar used to say it out loud on the day of al-Fitr until the imam came out (to lead the prayers).”
Al-Daraqutni and others narrated that: “On the morning of ‘Eid al-Fitr and ‘Eid al-Adha, Ibn ‘Umar would strive hard in reciting takbir until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite takbir until the imam came out.”
The above hadiths show the importance of saying Takbirat Al-Eid. In the past Muslims used to recite the Takbir when they came out of their houses until they reached the place of the prayer and until the Imam came out to lead the prayer.
Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say, “The people used to recite takbir from the time they came out of their houses until the imam came in.”
4. Offering congratulations to each other.
Eid Ul Fitr in Egypt is different, In Egypt, people say Eid Mubarak to each other and exchange wishes regardless the religion. Some congratulate one another by saying “Taqabbala Allah minna wa Minkum (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” and some say “‘Eid Mubarak”, it’s okay to say whichever you prefer.
Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “When the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) met one another on the day of ‘Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.” Ibn Hajar said, its isnad is hasan. (Al-Fath, 2/446)
5. Wear new clothes.
Eid al Fitr is celebrated in Egypt by wearing new clothes, it doesn’t have to be new but you should wear the best clothes that you have.
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two ‘Eids and on Fridays.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, 1756)
Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a sahih isnad that Ibn ‘Umar used to wear his best clothes on ‘Eid.
6. Go to Eid prayer and return from different routes.
Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “On the day of ‘Eid, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to vary his route.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 986)
What is the takbir of Eid ul-Fitr?
It was narrated in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah with a sahih isnad from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to recite Takbir during the days of Tashriq:
“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most great, Allah is most great, and to Allah be praise).”
Al-Mahamili narrated with a sahih isnad also from Ibn Mas’ud: “Allahu akbaru kabira, Allahu akbaru kabira, Allahu akbar wa ajallu, Allahu akbar wa Lillah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great indeed, Allah is Most Great indeed, Allah is most Great and Glorified, Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise).” (See al-Irwa, 3/126)
What are the most noticeable events during Eid ul-fitr in Egypt?
- Families gather and come together to cook and eat various Egyptian delicacies. The most common one is the “Kahk”. Kahk are cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdery sugar.
- Crowded scenes and large lines of Kahk buyers will be seen at various spots of the city (at the bakeries) in the last few days of Ramadan, before Eid ul-Fitr has even started.
- Be prepared to say and receive a lot of “Eid Mubarak” at the end of Ramadan, if you want to celebrate your Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt. This is a general greeting you hear everywhere you go in the country.
- If you enjoy large crowds, be sure to visit public places like parks, gardens, beaches, and cinemas. Crowds flock to these locations more than usual during the holiday. During Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt, families spend the first day of the holiday visiting and receiving guests but on the last two days, it is all about outings and hang-outs in Egypt.
- Don’t be surprised if you see kids donning new dresses and attires throughout these three days. Everyone loves wearing their new clothes for Eid!
- Many people spend the day cruising on the River Nile.
eid al fitr
The first day of Eid is primarily about family. Children receive gifts, usually new clothing and a gift of cash known as Eidyah. Family members travel from far and wide to be together, and women may also be given thoughtful gifts to mark the occasion by their loved ones. Lunch is the main meal for families on this day, usually consisting of delicately spiced rice, fish, meat, and salad dishes. Eid falls on the first day of the new moon and is an official open occasion in Egypt. All schools, government workplaces, and colleges are closed during this time. In case you’re arranging a visit to Cairo during Eid al-Fitr, remember that a few cafés and stores might be closed also, albeit all touristic destinations should be open. This is likewise an incredible time to plan multi-day of shopping since Cairo’s primary business regions make the most of their least jam-packed days of the year while occupants invest energy at home with their families.
what is eid al fitr
Many Egyptian families take to the streets to enjoy celebrating with their local community, with mobile carnivals, performers, and storytellers keeping the crowd enraptured with traditional folktales. The streets are often lit up with lanterns and other festive decorations, so whether you’re outside enjoying the atmosphere or attending a family celebration, you’re guaranteed a memorable and magical time.
Egypt is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world where you can enjoy your end of Ramadan celebrations as well as celebrate in ways that will make you marvel for years to come. Are you a Muslim looking to travel to an Islamic state to celebrate the next Eid ul-Fitr? Look no further than Egypt because Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing experiences you will experience.