Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr, but what exactly is the Islamic holiday?
Eid-al-Fitr (also written and pronounced as Eid-ul-Fitr) is the first of two Eids of the Islamic (lunar) calendar year. It rounds off the month of Ramadan, which Muslims observe every year to acknowledge Allah’s revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
Eid-al-Fitr is regarded as a time to celebrate, with Muslims gathering their friends and family to show gratitude toward God following the previous month of reflection. The holiday serves as a great reminder for Muslims to be grateful for what they have, and to share with those who may be less fortunate.
As well as giving thanks, Muslims give an obligatory payment to charity (zakat al-Fitr), but this one is a smaller donation compared with the usual 2.5-percent zakat that wealthy Muslims are taxed. This is another of the five pillars of Islam. In addition to these payments, some Muslims take the initiative to work voluntarily at soup kitchens and hand out their own food to those in need of relief.