This religious celebration is observed on the day following the last day of fasting, which is observed daily by all able-bodied Muslims from dawn till sunset throughout the Islamic month of Ramadan.
It is a day of much rejoicing and happiness, especially by those fortunate persons who observed the fast and reaped the spiritual fruits of this holy exercise in accordance with the directions of God in the Holy Quran.
Fasting has been prescribed in one form or another by all the revealed religions of the world.
For example, the Bible in Psalms 35 v 13 tells us that Prophet David declared that, “I humbled my soul with fasting”.
In the New Testament 'the disciples of Jesus and the Pharisees used to fast' (Mark 2:18).
We are also told that 'Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights' (Matthew 4:2).
One does not only feel happy on Eid-ul-Fitr but also on account of a feeling of spiritual exhilaration which glows within the heart and soul.
No doubt, on Eid-ul-Fitr, much pleasure is derived from wearing new clothes, meeting friends and relatives and eating specially prepared food. These are all ways of celebrating the occasion.
The main event, of course, is the religious service when one offers prayers and listens to the inspirational address of the Imam on relevant matters concerning the significance of the occasion.
As the main purpose of fasting is to develop righteousness and self-purification (Quran 2:186), the most attractive garment one should be wearing is the one mentioned by God in the Holy Quran:
The real food one should be enjoying is the spiritual nourishment acquired during the month of fasting.
Eid-ul-Fitr should remind one of the many lessons learned from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
One of them is the offering of one's morning (Fajr) prayer before sunrise and also of the offering the efficacious pre-dawn prayer (Tahajjud), which is highly recommended.
One realises that it is not too difficult to arise early and offer these prayers at the proper time.
If one can discipline oneself to do so during the month of fasting, then it is not impossible to do so during the other months of the year also.
After completion of the holy month of fasting, one is able to gauge one's improved spiritual condition as a result of one's devotion, conduct, prayers and divine favours received during that period.
On Eid-ul-Fitr, one should reflect on one's condition of spiritual improvement and resolve not to lose what one has gained.
Also, one must press forward to even higher spiritual development through righteous conduct, prayers and seeking the grace of God.
This is the spirit of Eid-ul-Fitr.