After keeping fast in the Holy month of Ramazan, and like in all parts of the world Eid ul Fitr was celebrated by the muslim community of Leh on 29 August 2014 at Imam Bargah Leh and Eidgah Leh under leadership of Sheikh Abdul Qasim and Hafiz Ghulam Mohammad, Imam Jamia Masjid Leh.
With violence and killings in Palestine escalating at an alarming rate, the Muslims of Leh like their brethren the world over, expressed solidarity with the sufferings of the people of Palestine and also with those fighting oppression and tyranny anywhere else on the globe irrespective of religion. They offered special prayers for the people of Palestine for their sufferings and general peace in the region and elsewhere.
This day is celebrated with all traditional festivity and with great enthusiasm. People participated in the Eid prayers and prayed for the innocent victims of Iraq, Syria and Gaza, an end to Zionist regime and freedom of Majid Al Aqsa and expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of Gaza. Signifying the fact that Eid brings with it the message of peace and brotherhood both the leaders prayed for the welfare of all humanity particularly for the maintenance of peace and a sense of belonging and unity among all the communities of Ladakh, which has since ages set an example of communal harmony to the whole world.
Eid stands for festivity and Fitr means breaking the fast. Eid ul fitr is celebrated every year after completion of the holy month of Ramazan, the conclusion of the fasting from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days and appearance of the new moon of Shawaal. After purifying their heart, mind and soul during the holy month of Ramazan, muslims celebrate this eid by giving charity also known as zakaat, cooking grand feasts at their home and wearing new clothes. The eid morning begins with performing namaz (prayer) at the mosque or eidgah and people embrace or hug each other, saying 'Eid Mubarak'.
This day is considered as one of the most joyous days for the Muslims. Wearing new clothes, cooking of delicious meals, sweets and exchange of gifts and Eidi, where the elders are supposed to give some amount of money to the children is practiced at large. They also visit the graveyards of their family members and relatives and pray for the salvation of departed family members. Women color their hands with ‘mehendi’ (heena) designs and visit their friends and relatives. Decorating the houses and mosques with lights is another important part of this eid.
Before the day of Eid, all Muslims’ are supposed to give some charity locally known as ‘fitra’. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one's annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes to the poor so that they also get a chance to celebrate Eid with their families.
Eid signifies the beginning of a new austere and pure style of living after a month of fasting where people are supposed to have learnt to control their materialistic and worldly desires as during the month of Ramazan people not only fast but also abstain from doing any sins. This month is supposed to be a practice run for the coming months to live a life of piety and humbleness and promoting in them the values of charity and humanity.
Ramadan is said to be the holy month of Muslims, it is believed that holy book Quran was revealed to prophet Muhammad during this month. It is believed that during this month the gates of hell are closed and the gates of heaven are open. People refrain themselves from food, drink, smoking and sexual activities during daylight all the Muslims devote themselves to pray to Allah. Once the crescent moon is sighted it’s the time to break the fast and get over with the Ramadan month and celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr.