Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Friday, September 25, 2009

How long is 'Id-ul-Fitr (Hari Raya Puasa)?

Narrated Aisha:
Abu Bakr came to my house while two small Ansari girls were singing beside me the stories of the Ansar concerning the Day of Buath. And they were not singers. Abu Bakr said protestingly, "Musical instruments of Satan in the house of Allah's Apostle !" It happened on the 'Id day and Allah's Apostle said, "O Abu Bakr! There is an 'Id for every nation and this is our 'Id."

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 72

Selamat Hari Raya and maaf zahir batin. :):)

How long is Hari Raya Puasa?, my youngest daughter Nadhrah asked.

In actual fact, Hari Raya Puasa or 'Id-ul Fitr is only ONE day - the day right after the last day of fasting. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of Ramadhan. To go out in the morning to offer the Eid prayer, to offer alms...

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet offered a two Rakat prayer on the Day of Id ul Fitr and he did not pray before or after it. Then he went towards women along with Bilal and ordered them to pay alms and so they started giving their earrings and necklaces (in charity).

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 81

...and to eat (in moderation) after a whole month of fasting. As such it's prohibited to fast on Hari Raya - Eid.

Narrated Anas bin Malik,:

Allah's Apostle never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of 'Id-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet used to eat odd number of dates.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 73


Narrated Abu 'Ubaid:

(the slave of Ibn Azhar) I witnessed the 'Id with 'Umar bin Al-Kattab who said, Allah's Apostle has forbidden people to fast on the day on which you break fasting (the fasts of Ramadan) and the day on which you eat the meat of your sacrifices (the first day of 'Id ul Fitr and 'Id ul-Adha).

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 211

HOWEVER, it is a custom of (ONLY) the Singaporean and Malaysian Malays to make use of this month as a month of visiting relatives and friends. It is important for us to KNOW the difference.

Having said that, I personally believe, as long as we do not think that it is some kind of syariah, to celebrate eid a month long - then it's ok for us to continue to use this month as a month of more frequent visiting and catching up, as it really fosters relationships amongst families and friends, which is encouraged in Islam too.

It is also interesting to note that, this does not happen else where in the world (as far as I know). In Indonesia, they start celebrating on the eve of Raya - even start visiting neighbours on eve of Raya, and next day, they go out as a family for picnics etc. In Jeddah I hear, they have fireworks and carnivals, but even that lasts for only 3 days. :p I wonder how it is in other areas.

And I have a feeling that this 'prolonged' celebration is somewhat influenced by the 15 days Chinese New Year celebration (which I have no idea how it's celebrated else where in the world). But I was 'comparing notes' with my Chinese colleague about what we do on Hari raya and Chinese New Year... apart from the reunion dinner (which equates to our big feast on actual day), we do exactly the same thing.. like go to parents/grandma's place.. visit aunts/uncles/cousins.. etc.

Anyway, it's always good to keep in touch.. so have a fun month of open houses, visitings, feastings every weekend, for the next 2-3 weeks. :p

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