Eid-ul-Fitr (Id al-Fitr) is linked with the Holy month of Ramadan. It signifies the end of the month of fasting (the first day of the month of Shawwal).
Eid-ul-Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs.
Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when the Muslims thank Allah (SWT) for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment during the holy month of Ramadan.
This day, in Muslim world, brings rejoicing and happiness. The rejoicing is not, however, at the departure of the month of Ramadan; it is the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task.
It is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Eid-ul-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation.
The feast of Fitr is God's reward for those who fast during the holy month of Ramadan. In this month, man should try to add to his true knowledge of God, do acts of charity for the needy, renew his beliefs towards his Lord and this will be a real Bairam Feast (Turkish word meaning festival) for him. The prayers of the day of Bairam a reason of unity and solidarity of Muslims all over the world. On this day do honor God for His endless and all-enhancing mercy.
In view of the great significance attached to this day of Eid, numerous traditions consisting of prayers and worship of God on this day, have been quoted from Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Ahlul Bayt.
Taking a solemn bath (Ghusl) on the night preceding Ramadan Eid is highly recommended (Sunnat). This is a night of great sanctity and profound virtues, and should be preferably spent in worship and prayer to Allah (SWT).
Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S.) used to spend this whole night in devotion, and has said: "This night is as important as that of Shab-e-Qadr/Laylatul Qadr" (that is to say, the odd night towards the latter part of Ramadan when the Holy Qur'an was first revealed to our Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)).
It is quoted from Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) that "one who offers six Rakat prayers on this night reciting in each Rakat Sura 'Al-Hamd' once and Sura 'Qul Huwallah' five times Allah (SWT) will pardon his sins".
Haris Aawar narrates that Hazrat Ali (A.S.), on this night, after Maghrib prayers, used to offer two Rakats prayers. In the first one he used to recite Sure 'Al-Hamd' once and Sura 'Qul Huwallah' one hundred times, and in the other both the Suras only once. After completion of the prayers he would bow his head in prostration and recite "Atubo Ellallah" 100 times and then would say, "I swear by one (God)! He has the sole command over my life". Whoever will, in this way, offer two Rakats prayers, the Beneficent will positively fulfill any wish begged from Him. (Aamal-e-Shabe Eid-ul-Fitr)
The conception of Eid in Islam is not confined only to celebration extravagance, luxurious feasts, friendly handshakes and embraces. The Muslims should rather devote this day to the worship of Allah (SWT) and should beseech Him to approve their virtuous deeds and forgive their sins. This is because the doors of God's pardon are kept open this day and His Blessings are bountiful.