Gearing up to observe end of blessed month

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Gearing up to observe end of blessed month
By Samir Salama, Bureau Chief GULF NEWS Published: October 10, 2007, 00:37

Abu Dhabi : Eid Al Fitr, the Islamic celebration following the end of Ramadan, is upon us once again and the choice of activities during the public holiday is wide across the Emirates. From contemporary Arabic music concerts, international dance troupes and theatre, there is something to do for all the family.

Eid Al Fitr is a day of blessings for all fasting Muslims as they are promised great rewards by Almighty Allah for observing their fast. It is one of the two festivals of Islam and celebrated by all Muslims on the first day of Shawwal – the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, which marks the completion of Ramadan.

By the end of Ramadan, Muslims express their gratitude to Allah for enabling them to fast and at the same time granted them abundant provision during the blessed month.
Eid Al Fitr, therefore, is a day of joy, acts of worship, thanksgiving to Allah, brotherhood, unity, and spiritual provision.

As Almighty Allah has put Muslims to test during Ramadan, Muslims feel a great sense of achievement at the end of the month: it is the joy of spiritual fulfilment.

Zakat Al Fitr, or the giving of alms, is offered to the poor during Eid.

The ceremony of Eid Al Fitr starts early morning with Eid prayers. This service is generally held in a large open place and is attended by thousands of Muslims.

After the prayer, the leader of the prayer or the Imam delivers a short sermon and then people greet each other. The rest of the ceremonies, generally, are held privately with families and friends.

Even though fasting is not permitted during Eid, the major part of the celebration is not to just eat and drink but to pray, and for Muslims to get together to remember Allah’s bounties and celebrate His glory and greatness.

Two festivals

Muslims have two festivals – Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, which mark the conclusion of important periods of worship like fasting and the Haj, or pilgrimage to Makkah. They also show determination to continue to obey and submit to Almighty Allah.

When Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) came to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On of those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet asked the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it.

They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet told them: “Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.”

For Muslims, the two Eids are an occasion to increase their good deeds.

What Muslims do during Eid

On the day of Eid, there are some Sunnah acts that Muslims should do, including:

Wake up early and have breakfast before leaving for the Eid prayer ground.

Dress in the best clothes that a Muslim can afford, that are reasonable and modest.
Apply perfume (men only).

Offer Eid prayers in congregation in an open place.

Engage in takbir prayers after the Faj, or sunrise prayer, until the imam comes out for prayers. Takbir is recommended for males, females, young and old.

It is also important to make sure to pay Zakat Al Fitr before the prayer. Ideally, it should be given in advance so that the poor can enjoy their Eid.

Wish every one the joy of Eid.

It is also a good Islamic practice to visit one another and exchange gifts. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Exchange gifts in order to foster love.”
Remember the true spirit of Eid is reflected in extreme generosity to the poor and the needy. So, a Muslim should be charitable as best as he or she can.
Changing route on returning from the prayer ground
to exchange Eid greetings with as many Muslims.

Movies

With movie going becoming an increasingly popular Eid holiday pastime, cinemas are gearing up to release some popular English, Arabic and Hindi titles.

“The Eid season has traditionally been the busiest week of the year for cinemas in terms of admissions,” said Cameron Mitchell, General Manager of Cinestar Middle East.

“Ramadan, on the other hand, is the slowest time of the year”.

Mitchell said film distributors often wait till the Eid season to release movies if they expect them to do better then.

Some of the major releases:

The Kingdom
Resident Evil 3
Daddy Daycare
Georgia Rule
Omar wa Salma (Arabic)
– Laga Chunari me Daag (Hindi)
Bhulbulaiyaa (Hindi)

Entertainment
Abu Dhabi
October 10 – 13
Moroccan Live cooking activities
Where: Al Wadha Mall
Price: Free

October 13 – 15
Who: Story tellers will be there to entertain children under the theme of Ramadan – Zamman or Ramadan in the past, backgammon competitions
Where: Marina Mall

First day of Eid
Who: Fatoon – Emirati singer, Live Music Performance by International Dance Group
Where: Al Wahda Mall

Second day of Eid
Who: Fatoon – Emirati singer, Live Music Performance by International Dance Group
Where: Al Wahda Mall

Third day of Eid
Who: Live Music Performance by International Dance Group
Where: Al Raha Mall

October 14 – Middle East International Film Festival at the Emirates Palace in association with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).
Who: opening night of The Atonement followed by an after party
Where: Emirates Palace
Price: Dh500
October 15 – Free screenings of films across Abu Dhabi, for listings check http://www.meiff.com

Dubai
October 10 – Dubai Ramadan Fair You can also make your way to the Airport Expo Dubai for one last night to meander amongst products from 10 countries from around the world. The fair is a unique event and attracts a large numbers of consumers from across the GCC.

Theatre every night during Eid – 9pm

“Travel Blind” by Safer Alemian performed in Arabic
Where: Rashid Auditorium, Indian School Council.
Price: Dh20 per person, with the proceeds going towards Dubai Cares.

“Shaabiyat” by Dubai Folklore Society Theatre, a comedy performed in Arabic
Where: Al Mamzar area, under the patronage of Dubai Cultural Council.
Price: Dh20 per person, with the proceeds going towards Dubai Cares.

Jumana – Secret of the Desert is a pyrotechnics show, which includes waterworks, fireworks and laser effects with hundreds of actors and acrobats who bring a stage play to life in the middle of the desert. The show takes place at the Al Sahra Desert Resort part of Dubailand.

First day of Eid
Who : Fares Karam, Aasi Al Helani and Nancy Ajram
Where: Madinat Jumeirah Arena
Price: Dh300

Second day of Eid
Who : Hussain Al Jasmi, Rashid Al Majid and Yara
Where : Madinat Jumeirah Arena
Price: Dh300
Who : Mohammad Hamaki, Myriam Fares
Where : The Aviation Club
Price: Dh150 to Dh750

Third day of Eid
Who: Elissa, Fadel Shakir and Shereen.
Where: Madinat Jumeirah Arena
Price: Dh300
Oct 15 – Disney Star Show will be staged at Dubai Creek Park between 7pm and 9pm. The Disney Symphony will feature songs from the early classics through to recent releases, including ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’, accompanied by two giant screens displaying scenes from each film. Call 04 366 22 77 for tickets.

Inputs by Emmanuelle Landais, Siham Al Najami, Zoi Constantine, Dina El Shamma, Staff Reporters

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