Ramadan ends: Sleh Mohammed, of Silver Spring, Maryland, prays to mark the end of Ramadan at the Muslim Community Center of Silver Spring, Maryland. *MCT photo
Ramadan ends: Sleh Mohammed, of Silver Spring, Maryland, prays to mark the end of Ramadan at the Muslim Community Center of Silver Spring, Maryland. *MCT photo
Eid Mubarak! Welcome to the celebration of Eid where we acknowledge the beginning of a spiritual awakening, and the end of the blessed month of Ramadan.

We in Bermuda, along with more than one billion Muslims around the world have for the past month observed the fast of Ramadan, in hopes that we have achieved a spiritual purification through our fasting, self-sacrifice and prayers.

May Allah the Sublime, accept our fast and our efforts to achieve a higher spiritual state.

Ramadan concludes with the festivities of Eid ul Fitr, which means ‘the feast of the breaking of the fast’. The celebration of Eid usually is a three-day affair where Muslims, together with their friends and families, enjoy each other’s company and share food; and, of course, reflect on the virtues of the fast.

The holiday of Eid ul Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and is the culmination of the month-long struggle; and believe you me, it has been a struggle, these have been some long and hot, hot days, but well worth it as the fast is a journey towards a higher spiritual self.  As we all know, with Eid comes the giving of our Zakat. Zakat al-Fitr is a charity obligatory upon every Muslim who is self-supporting. 

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reportedly enjoined Zakat al-Fitr upon all Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, to encourage support of those less well off and to circulate wealth within society.

The Prophet commanded that it be paid before people went out to pray the Eid prayer (in congregation at the masjid) and the commencement of the Eid celebrations, this is to allow the Zakat to be distributed to the poor and needy, so they too may enjoy the celebration of Eid.

The charity can be given in the form of staple foods such as rice and barley, as well as in money.

In a Hadith, reported by Ali bin Abi Talib, that our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Hasten with your charity, because disaster does not trample it.” 

The giving of charity is always good. Allah, the Merciful says: “My mercy encompasses all things, but I will specify it for the righteous who give Zakat.” (7:156).

There is great joy in helping people in need and the end of Ramadan commands us to do this. Supanallah.

The new month following Ramadan, that we are now in is Shawwal.

Shawwal, too, has special merits and it is recommended and commendable to fast six days in the month of Shawwal. 

Fasting six days in the month of Shawwal is mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh).  He is reported to have said, "Whosoever observes fast in Ramadan and then follows up with six fasts in Shawwal, will be regarded as though he had been fasting the whole year." (Reported by Muslim).

This hadith describes the great blessings of fasting six days of Shawwal.  It is highly recommended to fast six days of the month of Shawwal, as this is a meritorious act, which results in abundant reward. However, one cannot fast on the day of the Eid.

Fasting during Shawwal is unlike the fast of Ramadan, where one is required to fast 29 to 30 days continuously; during Shawwal there is flexibility and one may fast six days in any way they please. Allah Almighty knows best. We the Muslim community invite you to attend the Eid celebrations with us this weekend at any of the three masjids on the island.

Eid Mubarak!