Celebrations while in the Muslim World

I am far from an expert in the Islamic faith. I was raised Anglican Catholic and my expertise towards my own faith is lacking, permit alone a faith I am just beginning to attempt to understand. I raised my children in the Anglican faith and now that they are adults, each has created their personal option as to faith.

Surprisingly, to me anyhow, my eldest son converted to Islam related to two years ago. This roused my here-to-for dormant interest in the Islamic faith. To further clarify, my interest in Islamic holidays was peaked when I realized that my son was not celebrating Christmas (understandable), New Years, birthdays, and other celebrations he had grown up with. This seemed to be with or without regard to their significance with respect to the Christian faith.

I don’t know if you have ever read the Quran. It is relatively brief into comparison to the King James Version for the Bible. The Quran has 114 Surahs (chapters for lack of a better word). Several professing the Islamic faith have memorized it and I am given to understand that committing the Quran to memory is everyone’s goal. However I digress! What, if anything, do the Islamic faithful celebrate?

My research discovered 2 great celebrations or festivals while in the Islamic faith. They are ‘Idul-Fitr and ‘Idul-Adha. I will describe for you, to the best of my ability, the meaning and timing of each of these.

The primary, ‘Idul-Fitr, (”Festival for the Breaking of the Fast”) occurs at the end of Ramadan. Ramadan, by way of meaning, is the 9th lunar month during the Arabic calendar, and this month was always known as Ramadan even before the existence of Islam. In the Islamic faith, this month is devoted to fasting from dawn to sunset each day. The fasting includes abstaining from food, river, and sexual relations. Additional components of devotion are expected also, such as reading the entire Quran, seeking forgiveness of past sins and performing good deeds, to name a few. The basis for Ramadan as a month of fasting and retrospection is Surah 2, verse 185, for those who may have an interest into further research. The celebration of ‘Idul-Fitr has the following components:

* Donations to the poor * Celebrants wear the best clothing (commonly new) that they have obtainable * Early morning communal prayers * Feasting and visiting relatives and buddies

The second, ‘Idul-Adha, (Festival of Sacrifice) occurs during the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month on the Arabic calendar. This festival acknowledges Abraham’s (Ibrihim’s) willingness to obey God’s (Allah’s) command to Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael, his only son. The event of ‘Idul-Adha has the following components:

* Recite the Takbir (”God is Great”) before prayer in the preliminary day and after prayers on each of the succeeding three days for the festival * Celebrants wear their best clothes * Sacrifice an animal for food or donate money for the purchase of food and provide with the poor so that no one goes hungry

These are the two principal celebrations while in the Islamic faith and of course, there is much more to learn about them than I might possibly provide while in the brief span of this article, though I hope I have succeeded in giving you certain insight in to these Islamic celebrations.

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