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Prayers and Greetings mark the joyous occasion

Dr Anwar Ghani – 2. Compassion signifies- Dr Anwar Ghani

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated by Muslims across the world, at the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar.

It signifies the breaking of the fasting period, with the sighting of new moon in the evening on the last day of Ramadan.

Thanksgiving Day

Eid Al Fitr is the most important festival on the Islamic calendar. The day does not mark any historical event or episode but its provides Muslims an occasion to offer thanks to Allah (creator) for giving him or her strength and will to observe fast, do extra prayers, read and understand the Quranic text and do good deeds during the Holy Month.

For Muslims, Eid Al Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety, a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, fellowship, brotherhood and unity.

At Eid prayers, Muslims gather in large numbers, standing shoulder to shoulder, to demonstrate the equality and equity which is the inherent feature of the Islamic society.

On the day of celebration, a typical Muslim family gets up early and dresses well, generally with new, traditional clothes.

Women and and young girls will sport henna on their palms.

Men, women and children attend the Eid prayer as a family unit.

Family spirit

After attending the special congregational prayer in the morning, worshippers greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace, love and brotherhood. People visit each other on the day and enjoy the festive food. Gifts are given to children.

Another important provision before the prayer of the Eid is the distribution of Zakatul Fitr (Charity) which is to be given to needy.

The charity can be given in the form of cash or basic food stuff.

Zakat in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Zakatul Fitr has been fixed at $10 per person.

Effort is made to distribute this charity locally but sometimes sent through verified sources to other parts of the world where people are impoverished and places such as orphanages.

New Zealander Muslims would have fulfilled the obligation of the Holy Month of Ramadan by fasting, regardless of their social, financial, religious status, giving charity to poor and needy, demonstrating self-control over worldly desires during the month, being hospitable to their families, neighbours and friends.

These qualities will give them ability to work towards creating a more united community within and greater social cohesion with other fellow New Zealanders.

No longer should it be difficult for Muslims to refrain from negative actions or acts which are harmful to other members of the society.

Let us use the spiritual, moral and positive training we have received in the blessed month of Ramadan be our guide to create peace within our families, neighbours and the country.

Let us re-dedicate our life to the cause of humanity which is the best way to demonstrate our love of God.

Muslims in New Zealand will celebrate the Festival of Eid either on July 6 or 7, 2016, subject to confirmation of the New Moon by the Ulema Board of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

I take this opportunity to convey my Greetings to Indian Newslink readers-Eid Mubarak, Kullo Aam Wa Antum Be-Khair, Salamat Hari Raya, Eid Saeed, Happy Eid.

Dr Anwar Ghani is a thought leader on strengthening communities. Since 2010 he has been listed in the List of Top 500 Most Influential Muslim Leaders of the world. He is the Immediate Past President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

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Photo Caption:

Muslims offers Eid Prayers at Jamia Masjid Al Mustafa in South Auckland

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