“O ALLAH, bless Muhammad (PBUH) and his Progeny! Bless us in this day of our festival and our fast-breaking, make it one of the best of days that have passed over us.” Imam Sajjad (AS) - Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya
Eid al-Fitr is the most important festival in the Islamic calendar. It provides us with an opportunity to offer thanks to Allah for having given us the will and strength to observe fast during the holy month of Ramadan. This Eid falls on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and marks the end of Ramadan.
On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family gets up very early to perform the following tasks:
It is recommended to recite the following Takbirs after performing the Dawn prayer (Salat al-Fajr):
"اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُلاإِلَهَ إِلااللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُوَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُالْحَمْدُلِلَّهِ عَلَى مَاهَدَانَاوَلَهُ الشُّكْرُعَلَى مَا أَوْلانَا"
‘AllaahuakbarAllaahuakbar la ilaahaillallaahuwwllaahuakbarallaahuakbarwalillaahilh’amd al ha’mdulillaaha’laamaahadaanaawalahushukrua’laamaaawlaanaa’
It means: “Allah is Great. Allah is Great. There is no god but Allah. And Allah is Great. Allah is Great. (All) praise be to Allah. (We) sing the praises of Allah because He has shown us the Right Path. (We) gratefully thank Him because He takes care of us and looks after our interests.”
Zakat al-Fitr is a mandatory religious tax paid by those who can afford it as a kind of charity at the sunset of Eid alFitr night (i.e. the night preceding Eid day), which is about three kilos of the item commonly eaten per person in the house (e.g. wheat, barley, dates, raisins, rice or millet, etc.).
You can also pay the price of one of these items in cash. Fitrah should be given to deserving believers whose income is not sufficient to spend on their families for one year. It is better to give it before the Eid prayer (Salat al-Eid).
The Eid prayer is performed in the morning, between sunrise and the Midday prayer (Salat al-Zuhr). It can be performed either individually or in a congregation and consists of two Rak’ahs (units). During the first Rak’ah, you should recite the first chapter of the Holy Quran (Surah al-Fateha).
Thereafter, you can recite another chapter of your choice. However, it is recommended to recite Chapter 91 (Surah al-Shams) in the first Rak’ah and Chapter 8 (Surah al-Ghashiya) in the second one following Surah al-Fateha; or alternatively, recite Chapter 87 (Surah al-A'ala) in the first Rak’ah and Chapter 91 (Surah al-Shams) in the second (following Surah al-Fateha).
After reciting the Quranic chapters, there are five Takbirs-i.e. ‘Allahu Akbar’- that needs to be said in the first Rak’ah and four in the second one - and along with each of these, you should recite a Qunut (raising hands in prayer).
After the fifth Qunut of the first Rak'ah, you should recite a Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and then perform the Ruku’ (bowing) and continue with the Sujud (prostration) twice. In the second Rak’ah, the actions of the first Rak’ah are repeated with four Takbirs. At the end of the prayer, upon the completion of the second Sujud, you should recite the Tashahhud and complete the prayer with the Salutations (Salam).
Although any recitation or Dua will suffice in Qunut of the Eid Prayers, it is recommended to recite the following Dua:
"اَللّهُمَّ اَهلَا لْکِبْرِيَاءِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ،وَاَهْلَا لْجُوْدِ وَالْجَبَرُوتِ، وَاَهْلَا لْعَفْوِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ وَاَهْلَا لتَّقْوٰی وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ،اَسْاَلُكَ بِحَقِّ هٰذَا الْيَوْمِ الَّذِی جَعَلْتَه لِلْمُسْلِمِيْنَ عِيْدًاوَلِمُحَمَّدٍصَلَّی اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ ذُخْراًوَكَرَامَةً وَشَرَفًا وَمَزِيْداً اَنْتُصَلِّیَ عَلٰی مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاَنْ تُدْخِلَنِی فِی کُلِّ خَيْرٍاَدْخَلْتَ فِيْهِ مُحَمَّداً وَآلَ مُحَمَّدٍ،وَاَنْ تُخْرِجَنِی مِنْ کُلِّ سُوْٓءٍ اَخْرَجْتَ مِنْهُ مُحَمَّدًا وَآلَ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَواتُكَ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمْ اَجْمَعِيْنَ.اَللَّهُمَّ اِنِّی اَسْاَلُكَ خَيْرَمَاسَاَلَكَ بِهِ عِبادُكَ الصَّالِـحُونَ،وَاَعُوْذُبِكَ مِمَّا اسْتَعاذَ مِنْهُ عِبادُكَ الْمُخْلِصُوْنَ"
‘Allahummaahlalkibriya'iwal 'azamah, waahlaljudiwaljaburat, waahlal 'afwi war rahmah, waahlattaqwawalmaghfirah.
As alukabihaqqihazalyawmillazija'altahulilmuslimina 'ida ,waliMuhammadinsallallahu 'AlaihiwaAlihi, zukhranwasharafanwakaramatanwamazida an tusalliya 'ala Muhammad wa Ali Muhammad wa an tudkhilani fi kullikhayrinadkhaltafihi Muhammadan wa Ala Muhammad wa an tukhrijani min kullisu'inakhrajtaminhu Muhammadan wa Ala Muhammad salawatuka 'alahiwa 'alahim. Allahummainni as alukakhayra ma saalakabihiibadukassalihun, waauzubikamimmastaazaminhuibadukalmukhlasun.’
“O Allah, (belongs to You only) pride, glory, excellence, omnipotence. (You) grant amnesty and show kindness, (You are) Holy and Oft-forgiving, (so), I ask You in the name of this day which You have ordained as a day of happiness for the Muslims. An occasion for Muhammad (blessings of Allah be on him and his progeny) to plan ahead and grow strong to send blessings on Muhammad and on the progeny of Muhammad. And introduce me to every good that had been made available to Muhammad and Muhammad’s progeny. Educate me to keep from every evil as You kept safe Muhammad and Muhammad’s progeny from it. Your blessings are on him and on them. O Allah, I ask you to give me the good which Your pious servants had asked for. And I take refuge with You from that which caused Your pious servants to seek refuge with you.”
This is how Muslims joyfully celebrate the achievement of enhanced piety on this day of forgiveness, moral victory, and peace, of fellowship, brotherhood, and unity. Muslims not only celebrate the end of fasting but also thank God for the strength that He gave them during the previous month to help them practice self-control.
Happy Eid al-Fitr!
Going through the history of the world, one can realize that women have always played significant roles in society. When men and women accompany each other, and each party plays its own role to the fullest, miracles start to appear. And as we are going to discuss the role of women, it is good to recollect that the patience of a woman in nurturing a child is no different from her patience and tolerance in nurturing and training her husband and her whole family. That is why when a mother is taken away from a family, putting it again together as a healthy family is a hard job.
When Allah wants to give examples of good and bad role models for non-believers and believers in the Quran, he mentions four women:
“Allah cites an example of the faithless: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah … Allah cites an example of the faithful: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, ‘My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.’ And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded the chastity of her womb, so We breathed into it of Our spirit. She confirmed the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was one of the obedient.” (66: 10-12) [i]
Now that we have discussed the central role of women in many significant events, we would like to study the role of women in the important event of Karbala, in about 1400 years ago.
When we discuss the role of women as mothers, sisters, wives, or daughters, we never mean to neglect the vital status of women as individuals. Of course, a woman should have a strong, self-built character as an individual to be able to influence and train others and manage different situations.
The fact that faithful women's names who were present while, before and after the event of Karbala have remained in history is due to their characters. They were strong to some point before the day of Ashura and represented their strength and beauty within the hard situations of the day of Ashura and after that.
To be able to represent such an astonishing character, a woman needs to have developed her character in the following dimensions: individual, spiritual, social, political and cultural, while having a high status of knowledge and wisdom at the same time. This type of woman is of the kind who can observe the event of Karbala and see it a blessing from Allah. The famous few words of Lady Zainab (AS) after witnessing all the cruelty and brutality of the enemies of her brother shows it very well: “I did not see anything but beauty.” 
When women read about the character of those women who were present in the day Ashura with Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions or women whose names have remained in history for their well-being, they may think that those women were extraordinary and not every woman can be like them. But reading the history and commemorating the events of Karbala is to show us that we can all become astonishing characters, only if we follow the orders of Allah, the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and his household.
An example of those ordinary women whose name has remained in history is Habib Ib Mazahir’s wife. What made her special was the right choice she made based on the teachings of her religion and obeying the commands of her Imam; Imam Hussein (AS). Thus, when her husband tested her by saying that he was not going to join the army of Imam Hussein (AS) as he was an old man, she blamed him and reminded him of the status of the Imam based on what she had learned from the Quran and narrations. 
Therefore, all women who read and obey the rulings and advice of the Quran can reach the highest levels of faith and spirituality.
The vital role of mothers in the event of Karbala is to be studied many years before the incident occurred. That is when the soldiers of Imam Hussein (AS) were just born and were being nurtured and trained by their mothers to become great servants of Allah and to recognize the truth from the wrong in a critical situation.
The first one of them was Lady Fatimah (AS), Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) daughter, who brought up her children in a way to be the greatest leaders of all times.
The second Fatimah that should be mentioned here is Fatimah bint Hizam. She was a knowledgeable and pious woman and a few years after the martyrdom of Lady Fatimah (AS) Imam Ali (AS) married her. She gave birth to four sons, and therefore she was called Ummul-Banin (Mother of Sons). His eldest son was Abbas ibn Ali (AS); the commander of Imam Hussein (AS) forces. All her four sons were martyred while defending Imam Hussein (AS); the Imam of their time. 
The role of those mothers who were present in Karbala and encouraged their sons to fight and defend their Imam should not be neglected. Lady Zainab and Umm-e Wahab are among the most significant ones.
Also, the behavior of Lady Robab, who lost her six months old baby and never mentioned it before her Imam and husband can be an excellent lesson for all the women in the world.
One of the most significant moments when women nag their men is when they feel insecure for any worldly reasons. It is less probable for women to complain to their men when they find them spiritually at risk. In such situations, the faithful woman would find ways of preparing her husband for growth and spiritual improvement where nagging won’t work. But if men put the worldly belongings of a woman at risk, the woman would usually fight against him.
However, in Karbala, Imam Hussein (AS) and his followers gave everything in the way of Allah, including their life. But those specific women who were with them, not only encouraged them to do so, but also supported them and promised to follow their true path after them.
One of these outstanding women was Wahab’s mother; Umm Wahab. Wahab was a Christian and was traveling with his mother and his newlywed. They met Imam Hussein (AS) on the way and were informed of what was going on to the household of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). So Umm Wahab tells him that she will not be satisfied with him until he joins and defends Imam Hussein (AS). Wahab joined Imam’s army and fought until he was martyred. When he was laid in the middle of the battlefield, his mother sat at his body, cleaning blood and dust off his face, where the enemy attacked her, and she was also martyred in the way of Allah. 
Such women can be great role models for all women in the world to support their husbands if they find them on the right path or even to guide them to the right path.
In the event of Karbala Lady Zainab (AS) was present as a sister and a mother, while for some specific reasons, she was not accompanied by her husband [ii]. Imam Hussein’s (AS) daughters were also present in Karbala.
The leading roles that they played in the event of Karbala were to encourage and support men to defend their leader, to take care of the sick and the wounded ones, to stay together and take care of women and children.
When they were captured and were being taken from city to city, the women were careful not to let children take any charity from people, as charity is forbidden for the household of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). They also kept reporting the true events that went on in Karbala, and before and after that, to increase the awareness of people about the truth. 
When they returned home, they narrated the event of Karbala to the next generations, by giving speeches, saying poems, and mentioning the events wherever they could.
Commemorating the aims of Imam Hussein (AS) in confronting the corrupt rulers of his time was a tradition that started by faithful women of his time, and should be continued to help us realize the true path from the wrong path.
[i]The above verses show that in the same way that women can help developing the spirituality of the individuals, the family, and society they can also lead them towards decadence and corruption
[ii] Search history for “Why lady Zainab’s husband was not present in Karbala?”
One of the significant aspects of responsibility in Islam is the responsibility towards ourselves and how we treat our bodies and souls. As discussed previously, every Muslim is responsible towards himself.
Since human beings owe their existence to their unique Creature, they should treat themselves as their Creator has commanded. The spiritual responsibilities of a human towards him\herself and some of the duties that one has towards his\her body were discussed in the previous part of this topic. Here, we continue the discussion on the rights of the parts of the body.
The eyes are the means of insight and awakening of the heart. Imam Ali (AS) said that a faithful person looks to learn, but a hypocrite looks to amuse . Thus, of the rights of the eyes and one's responsibility in Islam towards them is to lower the gaze from whatever that is unlawful (Haram) and not to look at everything and everywhere around, unless there is a lesson or advice behind . According to Imam Ali (AS), whoever closes the eyes from Haram, his\her heart will be relieved .
The legs are the means to walk towards the right path and to overtake others in doing good deeds. Hence, of the rights of the legs over one and the responsibility in Islam towards them are not going towards what is unlawful (Haram) or what humiliates him\herself .
Of the rights of the hands are not to do what is unlawful (Haram) with them, otherwise one will be punished in the Hereafter for what has committed by his\her hands, and will be blamed by others in this world; not to prevent the hands from doing what God has commanded to; and, to allow the hands to seek what is beneficial and useful for one .
Of the rights of the stomach are :
To be careful about what you eat (80:24);
Not to eat what is unlawful (Haram), neither a little of it nor too much;
Not to consider the stomach as a container and not to overeat while ignoring others who suffer from hunger; “eat and drink, but do not waste” (7:31);
To eat moderately even when eating lawful (Halal) foods because eating less is the key to good health ;
Not to forget that overeating makes one bored and lazy and stops him\her from doing good deeds. According to Imam Ali (AS), to eat less enlightens the mind ;
To remember that drinking too much will also cause indiscretion and absurdity;
Of the rights of the private parts are to protect them from what is unlawful (Haram). To do so, one requires lowering the gaze since the eyes affect the heart and mind greatly. Also, one should frequently remember the death and the afterlife. He\she should always have a fear of the divine punishment and ask God to help him\her to protect his\her private parts from sins .
Every human being is composed of a body and a soul. These two, together, help one to live a natural life. The health of the body is as important as the health of the soul. Devoting everything in life to prepare for the afterlife and depriving oneself of the God’s blessings in this world is blamed in Islam. In Surah Qasas verses 77, Muslims are advised to apply the capabilities and wealth that they have been given to do good deeds and to gain rewards for the afterlife.
But, they should also consider and benefit from the blessings of this world (28:77). Indeed, it is possible to consider both the physical needs as well as spiritual ones simultaneously. Although fulfilling the physical needs is known to be important in Islam, one should keep a balance in life and avoid being luxury-oriented. Otherwise, he\she will always be busy to increase his\her wealth, and this might force him\her to unlawful (Haram) ways of raising money.
- S. al-Harrani “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 212.
- Imam Sajjad (AS), Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).
- “Ghurar Al-Hikam Wa Durar Al-Kalim”, T. 9122.
- S. al-Harrani “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 172.
- “Ghurar Al-Hikam Wa Durar Al-Kalim”, T. 8462.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 78, p. 321.