Eid in Islam means ‘celebration’ or ‘festival’. In Islam, Muslims celebrate two dedicated times of Eid: Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. However, the reasons for these celebrations mostly put people in a dilemma. These are important religious celebrations of joy, gratitude, and togetherness for the Muslim community as they celebrate with family, friends, and fellow believers.
However, DUBAWA has decided to bring clarity to these two celebrations. This explainer stemmed from a post by former President John Mahama when he wished the Muslim community well on Twitter. In the post, he attributed the Eid-ul-Adha celebration to Ramadan.
In the post, he said, “During this holy month of Ramadan, we have all worked hard to deepen our connection with Allah through prayer, fasting, and act of kindness. As we come together to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, let us continue to embody these values and honour the spirit of sacrifice passed down to us from our ancestors. Eid Mubarak!”
This has also been published by the Ghana News Agency.
With over two million followers, his post has garnered over 61,000 views and over 200 retweets. This has, however, generated concerns from other users in his comment section.
What is Ramadan?
According to Yaqeen Institute, a nonprofit organisation on a mission to pioneer Islamic research, Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is also known as one of the most sacred times for Muslims. During this month, Muslims observe a strict daily fast from dawn until sunset for a month. During these daylight hours, they are not allowed to eat, drink, or even water.
What is Eid ul-Fitr?
For Muslim Aid, Eid ul-Fitr is a celebration observed right after Ramadan, which is the fasting period. This is further confirmed in an interview with an Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Alfaduol. According to him, “Eid ul-Fitr means the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is either 30 days or 29 days. So we celebrate Eid ul-Fitr right after Ramadan. And it’s just a day to thank Allah for seeing us through fasting.”
What is Eid ul Adha?
Meanwhile, Islamic Relief Worldwide posits that the Eid-ul-Adha celebration is three days. For Sheikh Ahmad, it is celebrated in the last month of the Islamic calendar. For him, it is known as the “Feast of Sacrifice.” Eid-ul-Adha commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah and readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail. This command from Allah was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness and commitment to obey his Lord’s command without question. Therefore, Eid-ul-Adha means the festival of sacrifice where Muslims on that day also offer sacrifice to Allah using cows and sheep.
Is there a relationship between Ramadan and Eid ul Adha?
To seek further clarity, Islamic Scholar Sheikh Ahmad Alfaduol says there is no relationship between the two, as indicated in former President Mahama’s Twitter post. He explained that “one can’t attribute Ramadan to Eid ul Adha because the reason for celebrating the Eid ul Adha is to offer sacrifices to Allah. However, celebrating Eid ul-Fitr is to show appreciation to Allah for protecting them throughout the month-long fasting.”
In summary, Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is a celebration of the completion of fasting, a ritual of self-denial, while Eid-ul-Adha commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Thus, former President Mahama’s attribution of Ramadan to Eid ul Adha is misplaced.