Muslims around the world look forward to Eid ul-Fitr as an occasion of peace, happiness, joy and festivity. It is a day for special prayers and the extension of forgiveness and generosity.

Eid ul-Fitr is an Arabic term which means the ‘festival of breaking (the fast).’ The festival marks the culmination of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims turn inwards through fasting and spiritual devotion; and outwards through acts of kindness and compassion.

Historically, Muslims have celebrated Eid ul-Fitr since the time of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him and his family), emphasising our values of spiritual upliftment and generosity towards those facing difficulty and hardship. It is an occasion of peace, happiness, joy, and festivity.

During Fatimid times, Ismaili Imam-Caliphs used to address believers on the day of Eid in a Khutba (sermon). In an Eid address in the 10th century CE, Mawlana al-Qaim told a gathered assembly of believers that this day of Eid is a festival that Allah honours and exalts. He counsels Muslims on this day to “be faithful in your intentions and submit your requests to God.”

Traditionally, Eid ul-Fitr begins at sunset on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon, marking the beginning of the month of Shawwal. In some countries in the Middle East and Asia, the festival is a public holiday, and is celebrated for one to three days.

As we celebrate Eid, we also express our gratitude for the blessings which have graced our lives. On this day, we extend our compassion and our generosity to our brothers and sisters in faith, and to humanity as a whole.

The Ismaili wishes you and your family a joyous and heartfelt Eid Mubarak!