Eid al-Fitr is the first day of the month of Shawwal and one of the greatest religious holidays in Islamic tradition. “Fitr” means opening and since in this day Muslims break one month of fasting is called Eid al-Fitr. There are some verses and hadiths that mention the importance of this day. Fasting is forbidden on this day and Muslims hold Eid prayer. Paying Zakat al-Fitra is obligatory for Muslims on this day. This day is usually followed by official holidays in Islamic countries.
Eid al-Fitr in Hadiths
It is quoted from Jabir who quoted from Imam al-Baqir (AS) and he (AS) quoted from the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “when the first of Shawwal comes, the caller will call ‘O believers! Rush to your rewards in the morning!” He then said, “O Jabir! Rewards of God are not [like] the rewards of kings.” And he said, “That day is the day of rewards.”
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “angels on the day of Eid stand at the alleys and paths and say, ‘rush to the Generous Lord who gives great blessings and forgives great sins.”
In some Eids, Imam Ali (AS) said, “This is Eid of the one, God has accepted his fasting and worships and every day in which God is not disobeyed is Eid.”
Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (AS) looked at some people who were happy and laughed; then he turned to his companions and said, ‘God, the Almighty, created the month of Ramadan as a field for the competition of his creatures, so that through obeying God, they excel each other towards His happiness. Some excelled and won and some left behind and lost. Thus, it is so surprising one who is frivolously playful and laughing on the day the good-doers are rewarded and those who fall behind lose. By God I swear that if the veils are removed, the good-doer will engage in his good-doing and the evil-doer will be taken captive in his evil-doing.”
Imam al-Rida (AS) said, “The day of Fitr is appointed as Eid so that Muslims have a gathering and come out for the sake of God and praise Him for the blessings they have been given; and the day of Eid is the day of gathering, day of breaking the fasting, day of giving Zakat, day of happiness and day of worship; and it is the first day of the year in which eating and drinking is permissible, since the month of Ramadan is the first month of the year for the people of truth. So, God wanted them to have a gathering to praise the Lord and on this day, saying Takbir in the prayer is more than other days, because Takbir is glorifying God and praising Him for His blessings as He has said, ‘and magnify Allah for guiding you, and that you may give thanks.’ (2:185) and in that day, 12 Takbirs have been instructed to be said, of which 7 have to be said in the first Rak’a and 5 Takbirs in the second Rak’a, and they have not been made equal since it is recommended that the obligatory prayer follows 7 Takbirs. Therefore, the first Rak’a begins with 7 Takbirs. And there are 5 Takbirs in the second Rak’a, since Takbirat al-Ihram for all the prayers during one day are 5 Takbirs and because Takbirs in each of the two Rak’as be odd.”