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20 Fitr – Breaking of the Fast

Posted on 2nd May, 2021


20 Fitr – Breaking of the Fast


The month of Ramadan is followed by a feast, Eid al-Fitr, or the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast (see AR 30). It is known as the Lesser Feast (al-‘îd al-ṣaghîr) compared to Eid al-Adha, the feast of the Sacrifice, or the Greater Feast (al-‘îd al-kabîr), commemorating the sacrifice

of Abraham, which takes place at the time of the Pilgrimage (ḥajj). Since Eid al-Fitr comes at the end of the difficult period of fasting, it is usually celebrated with greater rejoicing than the Eid al-Kabîr. Children will receive gifts of new clothes and toys, as well as sweets. A special act of almsgiving is enjoined (zakât al-fiṭr) (see AR 28) before the celebration of the feast.


It could be said that during Ramadan there is a daily feast, the iftâr, or the meal after the fast is ended (see AR 4). Special dishes will be prepared, and the meal will be shared by the whole family or even the whole street. Very often non-Muslims will be invited to share the iftâr, and sometimes non-Muslims take the initiative to offer an iftâr. This common meal thus becomes an interreligious gathering through which Muslims and people of other religions get to know each other better.

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