COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 24 June) — There are two religious festivals in Islam – ‘Id al Fitr which takes place on the first day of Shawwal following the end of fasting in Ramadhan and ‘Id al-Adzha which takes place at the conclusion of the pilgrimage on the 10th day of Dhu-l-Hijja. Associated with these festivals is congregational service and giving charity.
To prepare for the ‘Id one has to take a bath, put on the best clothes, use scent and do everything possible to appear neat and tidy. The congregational prayer should preferably be in open place to accommodate big size of the congregation, which mosques may not be able to hold and in order for women who are in their menses to be present although they will not be performing the prayer.
The congregational service consists of two rak’a followed by a khutba (sermon). There is no adhan and iqama for ‘Id prayers but there is number of takbir in addition to those that indicate changes of position.
During these festivals Muslims are not only enjoined to remember God by performing the prayer but they should also remember their poor brothers and sisters by giving charity. During ‘Id al-Fitr they are required to give sadaqa Fitr before the start of the congregational service (they can start giving sadaqa Fitr from the start of the fasting in Ramadhan). During ‘Id al-Adzha Muslims who can afford sacrifice an animal after the congregational prayer on the ‘Id day, or during the two or three days that follow. The meat of the sacrificed animal shall be given to the poor and part can be eaten by the family of the person who sacrificed the animal.
(Prof. Abhoud Syed M. Lingga is Executive Director of the Institute for Bangsamoro Studies in Cotabato City. He is a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Peace Implementing Panel)