What Is Raya Puasa
Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, "festival of breaking of the fast"), also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, Bayram (Bajram), the Sweet Festival or Hari Raya Puasa and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality. However, in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia.
Eid al-Fitr has a particular Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (Jama’at) and, has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allāhu Akbar", literally "God is greatest"), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before Ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka'ah. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard(obligatory), Mustahabb (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable).
Muslims believe that they are commanded by Allah, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers.
The festival of Eid, known in Singapore as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa, falls on the first day of Syawal, the 10th month of the Hijrah (Islamic) calendar. It is a celebratory occasion following a month of fasting, which is known as Ramadan. Hari Raya is Malay for "grand day of rejoicing".
Date Of Hari Raya Puasa
According to the Hijrah calendar, Hari Raya Puasa falls on the first day of the 10th month of Syawal. The Hijrah calendar is a lunar calendar and therefore the dates on which Hari Raya Puasa falls varies each year.
Hari Raya Puasa should not be mistaken for the first day of the Islamic New Year.
The Fasting Month Of Ramadan
The Fasting Month Of Ramadan
Ramadan falls on the 9th month of the Islamic year. Puasa is Malay for "fasting". Fasting in Islam means abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and indulging in any form of behaviour that serves to nullify the fast. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and perform religious duties, such as reading the Quran.
All Muslims are required to fast, with the exception of children who have not reached puberty, feeble elderly, the sick whose health is likely to be severely affected by fasting, expectant mothers and women nursing their children. Women who are menstruating can take a maximum of 10 days off. However, they must make up for each day taken off at another time. Travellers are also permitted to eat during the period of fasting provided they make up for the lost days later on. Fast is broken after sunset when it is time for the evening meal, which is known as Iftar.
The breaking of fast can be performed individually or as a group. When breaking fast communally, individuals can take turns to undertake the necessary preparations for the majlis berbuka puasa (gathering for the breaking of fast). In Geylang and Jalan Bussorah (behind Masjid Sultan), streets are brightly lit with all sorts of Malay culinary specialties that go on sale for the breaking of fast.
It is desirable that, during the nights of Ramadan, Muslims perform tarawih prayers in addition to their daily prayers. Tarawihprayers are performed only during Ramadan and are conducted after the Isyak (night) prayers, the last of five obligatory prayers of the day for Muslims. While tarawih prayers may be conducted alone at home, Muslims are encouraged to join the congregation at the mosques or temporary prayer halls at the void decks of housing flats.
During Ramadan, every Muslim is obliged to give to the poor the zakat fitrah (religious tithe). The tithes are usually paid according to amounts stipulated by the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS). Many Muslims also choose this time to pay an obligatory yearly amount of 2.5% of their annual savings. Zakat literally means purification and growth. In Islamic law, the zakat prescribes 2.5% of property or 1/40th of income to be distributed to the poor and needy. By the eve of Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims would have paid their zakat at authorised collection centres.
The Festival of Hari Raya Puasa or Aidilfitri
Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is a time of forgiveness within the Muslim community and a time for strengthening of bonds amongst relatives and friends. New clothes, decorated houses and exchange of invitations between friends and relatives commemorate Hari Raya Puasa.
The first day after Ramadan is a busy one. A visit is made to the mosque and the recitation of special prayers is a practice that Muslims observe on the morning of Hari Raya Puasa to celebrate the end of the month-long fast. Other practices include asking forgiveness from elders and visiting relatives and friends. Visitations usually begin with the parents' home as the first destination. It is a custom among many Muslims to ask forgiveness from their parents for the wrongs they have committed in the past year. Although it is not required for Muslims to visit the cemetery during Hari Raya, many do so as a remembrance of those who have left them.
Hari Raya Puasa is a public holiday. On this day Muslims have a lavish spread of food on their dining table. They would have specialties such as beef rendang (a spicy dish of beef that is like a dry curry), ketupat (rice cake wrapped in coconut leaf) and lontong (rice cake immersed in coconut gravy). Along with these would be cookies, cakes and pineapple tarts
In the past, homes were lit with lampu colok, a small kerosene lamp that was usually homemade. The trend now is to use decorative, flickering lights..