What are the Islamic holidays?

Muslims celebrate two holidays, which were announced as such by Prophet Muhammad: ‘Iyd al-Fitr (celebrated at the end of Ramadan) and ‘Iyd al-Adha (celebrated on the last day of the annual pilgrimage, al-Haj, to Mecca about seventy days after ‘Iyd al-Fitr).

Both holidays are celebrated in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.

The root of the word ‘iyd (holiday) is close to the word ma’âd (the hereafter). Therefore, the two ‘iyds Muslims celebrate remind them about the place of eternal happiness—Paradise.

The real holiday and celebration only occurs after one reaches Paradise, having lived his/her life in full and unconditional submission to the will and commandments of Allah.

Both ‘iyds start with holiday prayers (salâhs) for Allah. The difference in this salâh from other salâhs is the higher number of takbirs. These glorifications of Allah clearly state that no happiness is independent from Allah.

Muslims are to remember Allah in the times of happiness and are to express their gratitude to Him for happiness. The only source of happiness, healthiness, and joy is Allah, one of whose names is As-Salâm (peace, happiness).

Why is takbir a common feature of ‘iyd and funeral (janazah) prayers?

Indeed, the two prayers include more takbirs than other salâhs. The message here is clear: Humans are to remember Allah in times of both happiness and sadness.

Only then would the human realize that both happiness and grief are tests from Allah (Najm 53:43).

Proclaiming “Allah is Great!” cements the knowledge in one’s mind that only Allah is great.

The goal behind this is teaching believers how to manage themselves in times and situations of happiness and grief, and joy and sadness.

Having such knowledge adds wisdom. If one does not control these emotions but falls under happiness’ and sorrow’s control, they would certainly overwhelm and shatter that person.

And whoever is overwhelmed by emotions, they are first to lose spiritual independence and be enslaved by corrupting desires.

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