Ramadan & Eid Al-Fitr in 2016

Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr are two of the most important festivals for Muslims around the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic year, when, according to tradition, the Holy Quran was handed to guide people (Ramadan in Arabic, or Ramazan in Turkish). This month is sacred for Muslims, as they are required to comply with certain rules that have lustration character and obedience to the commandments of God (Allah). In 2016 Ramadan begins on the 6th of June and ends on the 5th July.

The month of Ramadan is the time when Muslims during the day restrain from … nearly everything that can be considered as temptation. From morning until sunset, they do not eat, do not drink, do not smoke and do not have sex in order to achieve full physical and spiritual cleansing. The absolute fasting during the day alone is not enough for the believer to fulfill his duty to God. They will also have to restrain from other sins, such as lying, slander, envy and greed.

Ramadan is a period of rebirth and one of the five main tasks of a good Muslim. After dawn, everything is allowed as believers pray and sit at the dinner table, called Iftar. Then they visit friends and acquaintances, and many Muslims pray awake until the next dawn. From midnight to sunrise there is a meal called sahoor in order to confront believers who have prolonged their fasting day.

Ramadan ends with a three-day celebration of joy, which is called Eid Al-Fitr (‘breaking of the fast, Seker Bayram in Turkish) or Eid Al-Shahir (small celebration).

The Eid according to Islamic tradition, is one single day in which Muslims are not permitted to fast by the Sacred Law. The festival of Eid celebrates the end of fast in the month of Ramadan. That day (of Eid), is also the first day of the month of Shawwal.

On the celebration day, a Muslim family wakes up very early, making their first daily prayer, and eat just a little, symbolising the end of Ramadan.

Later on, they attend the prayers that take place in mosques, outdoors and in stadiums. The prayer is generally short and followed by a sermon (khuṭba). Pilgrims greet and embrace each other with peace and loving spirit after the prayer. Then, they pay visits to relatives’ and friends’ homes to exchange greetings and wishes. The Eid al-Fitr is a festival of great religious significance for all Muslims. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace, brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting but they also praise Allah for the help and strength that He gave them during the fasting month of Ramadan.