Eid – ul – Fitr Nawaz (Prayer), Calcutta (Kolkata)
Eid – ul – Fitr Nawaz (Prayer)
Nakhoda Masjid and Red Road (Maidan), Calcutta (Kolkata)
“Islam has always been an urban faith, ill at ease with the wilderness; its civilization has always flourished most successfully in the labyrinths of the ancient bazar towns of the East. Certainly there can be no doubt that Islam looks at its most impressive in a great urban cathedral mosque, especially on an occasion like Id.”
William Dalrymple, City of Djinns
Eid – ul – Fitr, also known as the “Feast of Breaking the Fast” is an important Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. This is a day when Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.
According to Islamic lunar calender the day of Eid – ul – Fitr falls on the first day of the month of Shawal. It is based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality. However in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia.
The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at mosques. No call to prayer is given for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two units of prayer with an additional six incantations. The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for God’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The sermon also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat. (Source: Wikipedia)
Typically, Muslims wake up relatively late in the morning—always after sunrise and have a small breakfast (as a sign of not being on a fast on that day) of preferably date fruit, before attending a special Eid prayer.
Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes (new if possible) for the occasion. Common greetings during this holiday is the Arabic greeting of “Id Mmubarak.”
In Calcutta (Kolkata) the Eid – ul – Fitr prayer are held in many places, including the Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata’s principal mosque.
Located at the crossing of Chitpur Road (Rabindra Sarani) & Zakaria Street in Chitpur Area of central Calcutta the 1926 built mosque consists of three domes, two minars and 25 minarets.
But the greatest Eid spectacle in Calcutta (Kolkata) unfolds at the Red Road, in Calcutta (Kolkata) Maidan, where thousand of Muslims turn up for their Eid – ul – Fitr prayer.
The Namaz (prayer) at Nakhoda Masjid starts at about 8:00 am but well before the prayer starts all races of Islam seems to converge at the principle mosque.
As the interior of the Nakhoda Masjid fills to its capacity the crowd spill out to the adjoining Zakaria Street, Sitting on rugs they wait patiently for the prayers to start. The special Eid prayers, lead by the Imam of Najhoda Masjid, last only a few minutes and the ceremonial hugging marks the end of the event.
The Eid celebration is similar in Red Road, Maidan but at a small larger scale. It starts about 9:30am and is also presided over by the Imam of the Nakhoda Masjid. The Imam also delivers a speech, before the start of the namaz, dealing mainly with current social and political issues.
Here also the namaz is lead by the Imam of Nakhoda Masjid. His voice “Allaha hu Akbar” (God is great) thunders through the loudspeaker. The whole congregation stand up and raise their open palms to their ears. Kneeling down they touch their forehead on the ground, while the voice of the Imam thunders “La Allah illah Allah, Muhammad Rasul – allah!” (There is no Gog but God and Muhammad is the Seat of God). The nawaz is soon over and ends with the ceremonial greeting and wishing of “Eid Mubarak.”
More Kolkata Eid Photos.