[11 Things to Remember for Eid Day]

Are you still shopping for those last minute Eid gifts? Any luck finding the right kufi/hijab to match your new dress for Eid prayer? Deciding which Eid parties to attend got you stressed?

Here are some tips, etiquettes and pointers to remember for Eid day to make it happy and comfortable for all insha-Allah:

1. Prepare all clothes, maps, donations, belongings one day in advance:
Make sure you don't find yourself having to ask for directions to the Eid prayer hall last minute. Save time by picking out and ironing your clothes a day earlier. Take prayer mats with you for yourself and others. If you are going to be giving Zakat-ul-Fitr, calculate and set aside the donation and carry it on you in a secure place.

2. Talk to the kids about proper behavior:
You want them to benefit from the Eid experience. Make sure they know the etiquettes of a Masjid, teach them how the Eid prayer is performed, and what to do if they are separated from you in the crowd.

3. Say the Takbirat on the way to Eid prayer and all day:
The days of Eid are the days of intense remembrance and thankfulness to Allah - the days of "Allahu Akbar". Don't let shyness stop you! Have the younger kids lead with everyone else following. Take pride in continuing this beautiful tradition throughout Eid especially after every Salah.

4. Aim to pray in the first Saff (line):
That means arriving early.
For men, this is the best place to be if you want to catch the Imam's explanation of prayers, his Khutbah, as well as any other announcements. Sadly, it's also the place where there is a greater chance prayer lines will be straight.

5. Be quiet while the Imam is explaining how to pray:
If Maryam, a new Muslim sister, is trying to understand how to do the Eid prayer, she can't exactly do that if Hafsa on her right is gabbing incessantly with her friends. Out of respect for others, we should be silent or at least whisper if necessary so we don't disturb others who are trying to understand how to do the Eid prayer.

6. Straighten your lines in prayer:
Standing shoulder to shoulder and feet to feet in straight uniform lines is part of the perfection of one's Salah and the beauty of the jama'ah (congregation).
Strive your best to fill any gaps in front or beside you and encourage others with courtesy.

7. Be quiet during the Khutbah:
After the Eid prayer, the Imam will give a brief Khutbah (sermon). It is highly encouraged to stay and listen to it. Even if we do have to get up and leave, we should do so as quietly as possible so as not to disturb those who are listening.

8. Greet those whom you know and those you don't:
Say Salam and hug the person next to you once the Khutbah is over. Isn't it ironic that we stand so physically close to someone in prayer (shoulder to shoulder) but completely ignore them once it's over? Hug your prayer neighbor and at least wish them "Eid Mubarak".

If they are alone, invite them over or at least get their phone number and inform them of any Eid activities that are coming up in your community. The offering and returning of greetings of Peace and Mercy to strangers and acquaintances alike is one of the best aspects of Islam according to the Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and not doing so is a violation of your brother's/sister's right.

9. Contribute to the arrangement of the Eid prayers:
Some places may pass around a box or bag seeking donations to cover the cost of the Eid prayer place. Don't be embarrassed. Give generously. The costs of rental normally run in the thousands and letting the organizers run into debt every Eid is neither healthy for the community nor appreciative of their efforts.

10. Look for the Muslim leadership and congratulate them:
How often do you see Muslims thanking their leaders, those poor people who work so hard for the community with minimal to no pay?
Seek these people out and give them your Eid greetings. Specifically thank them for all of their hard work for the community, especially during this past Ramadan. They deserve our words of kind support!

11. Get the family to help out with clean up:
See if the family can volunteer to help clean up the prayer area after everyone has left. Here is your chance to learn a practical lesson in selfless giving and community service.

This is also a time when you may see Muslims who don't have family in the community or are new Muslims. How and with whom will they be spending the 'happiest day of the year'? Do they have Muslim friends or family with whom to experience 'the joy of Eid' that we take for granted? Greet them and invite them over or at least inform them of any upcoming Eid activities. We must begin to feel responsible for others in good times and in bad. Isn't this the lesson we learnt from our Siyams and Qiyams in Ramadan?

May Allah accept our fasting, our prayer, our sacrifices, our giving, and our efforts in His Cause and forgive us our shortcomings and weaknesses and help us overcome them!

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