After the beautiful posting yesterday following the expert posting by our guest bloggers over the last few days, today's posting unfortunately will not be as beautifully worded. For those who wants to continue to subject raised by Abu Iman, Abu Iman and I have talked about it and we will be opening up another blogsite which will be catering to the needs of the ummah especially Bruneians very soon. We will certainly be looking for contributors to write articles for the site and I will cross post Islamic related materials on that site as well.
Today being the last day (or 2nd last day) of fasting, I thought I will go into any last minute Ramadan and Syawal needs just like many Bruneians whom I saw yesterday at the shops. I actually popped over to buy a replacement water dispenser bottle at one electrical shop in Kiulap and all the shop sales people were busy catering to the needs of everyone else wanting to buy tv sets, hifi sets, dvd sets etc. Nobody wanted to layan someone like me just wanting to buy a plastic bottle. I overheard one of the managers called up his store to send another truckload of stuffs. Apparently the first truckload sent in the afternoon sold out. Eventually someone served me and I think my purchase must have been the smallest value on that day. On the way I passed by a few other electrical and even a computer shop and a furniture shop, they were all full of people! We have talked enough about this, so I won't go into it.
Back to today. When was the first Eid-ul-Fitr or Aidil Fitri celebrated? The first Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in in the second year of Hijrah or 624 CE (Common Era) by the Prophet Muhammad SAW with his companions and relatives after the victory of the Battle of Badr (Perang Badar). The Battle of Badr was fought about two weeks before on the 17th Ramadhan. So after the victorious battle against the Quraish, not only was the end of the month-long fasting in Ramadan celebrated but also to mark that victory. Eid-ul-Fitr is called Eid-ul-Fitr because Ul Fitr means 'breaking of fast'.
Why was the Battle of Badr such a big thing? For Muslims, winning the battle marks a huge turning point. The Battle of Badr was the first big skirmishes between the Quraish based in Mecca and the Muslims based in Medinah. The Muslims all this while had been carrying out succesful raids against the Quraishs by attacking caravans belonging to the Quraishs. In this particular instance, the Quraish decided to fight back with a huge force three times bigger than Prophet Muhammad SAW's army. In this particular instance, the Muslims managed to defeat the Quraish including killing several important leaders. And by winning the battle, it was the first major event that the Muslims who were forced out of Mecca two years earlier, felt that they will be able to overcome the Quraishs who until then was seen as one of the most powerful and the richest in the Arab world then.
One of the most important aspect of Eid-ul-Fitr is charity where all Muslims are expected to help the needy. Someone left a comment in the comment chatter box to talk about Zakat. I wanted to write about it earlier but I saw S@S already did, what I will do is link you to her article on it. What's important is to remind everyone that if you are an independent person, in other words, no longer relying on your parents, you must pay for your zakat fitrah now! You only have today until tomorrow's (or Monday's - depending on moon sighting) Eid-ul-Fitr prayer to pay it. It is only $2.84 for Bruneians in Brunei, 3 pounds in UK, US$8 for those in America and for those in Australia and New Zealand, I have no idea what the rates are. Do let me know.
Parting notes - do the takbir tonight first and last minute shopping later. And from www.islamicity.com - tomorrow for the prayer, a reminder of the Sunnahs of Eid-ul-Fitr:
+ Wake up early.
+ Prepare for personal cleanliness, take care of details of clothing, etc.
+ Take a bath after Fajr.
+ Brush your teeth.
+ Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones.
+ Use perfume (men only).
+ Have breakfast on Eid-al-Fitr before leaving for prayer.
+ Pay Zakaat-al-Fitr before Salaat-al-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr).
+ Go to prayer ground early.
+ Offer Salaat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not permitting like rain, snow, etc (a bit hard to do in Brunei).
+ Use two separate route to and from the prayer ground.
+ Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of Salaat-al-Eid:
Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbur. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbur. Wa-lilahill hamd.
(Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is great, Allah is great. And all praises are for Allah).