A man takes a selfie with his family after offering prayers during Eid Al Fitr at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday. AFP
The Pakistani nation celebrated Eid Al Fitr with great religious fervour and enthusiasm to mark the end of Holy Month of Ramadan on Wednesday.
The day began with special prayers in mosques for well-being of Muslim Ummah and progress, prosperity and security of the country.
Eid congregations were held at open places, mosques and Eidgahs in all major cities and towns. The Ulema (clerics) in their sermons highlighted the significance and philosophy of Eid Al Fitr.
A woman offers prayers during Eid Al Fitr at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on Wednesday. AFP
In the federal capital, the main Eid congregation was held at Faisal Mosque where federal ministers, politicians and parliamentarians present in Islamabad, Muslim diplomats and notables joined thousands of faithful in prayers.
Stringent security measures have been taken to maintain peaceful atmosphere in the province on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr.
President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday felicitated the nation and Muslims across the globe in separate messages.
Alvi in his Eid message to nation, called upon the people to "adopt fraternity and compassion in their ranks and work for the progress and prosperity of the country by rising above personal, regional and sectarian biases."
The president further said: "The festival of Eid Al Fitr carries the essence of Islamic values and traditions and also symbolises the religious ethos. It is also a day of completion of the month-long training which Muslims undergo during the blessed month of Ramadan."
Imran in his Eid message urged the nation to show compassion and "share pleasures with the needy and poor" as that is the only way to truly enjoy the religious festival.
"The objective of Eid Al Fitr is to promote unity, brotherhood, sacrifice and generosity among Muslims," he was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.
Children ffer prayers during Eid Al Fitr at the Eidgah Sharif Darbar in Rawalpindi. AFP
He further said: "People can only share [the] joys of Eid with others if they abide by the golden principles of Islam and promote generosity by doing away with negative behaviours including jealousy, greed and hatred."
He promised that his government will "continue playing its responsible role for developing Pakistan into a real welfare state."
Director General, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) taking to the social networking website twitter wished fellow countrymen on Eid Al Fitr from the entire Armed Forces of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.
The tweet read: "Armed Forces of Pakistan wish a happy Eid to fellow Pakistanis. "Eid Mubarak with prayers for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan. Aameen.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has also felicitated the nation and the Pakistani community living abroad on Eid Al Fitr, saying the day reiterates the message of unity and brotherhood.
"Eid gives us an opportunity to care for the needy, promote the message of brotherhood and pray for the prosperity of our beloved country,” the foreign minister said in his message on Eid Al Fitr. The foreign minister prayed that may this Eid become a source of peace for the Muslims across the globe and in Pakistan.
Worshippers arrive to offer prayers during Eid Al Fitr at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. AFP
In Karachi, the day dawned with 21 gun-salutes while special prayers were offered for the safety, security and prosperity of the country and unity of Muslim Ummah. The main Eid congregation was held at Gulshan-e-Jinnah (old Polo Ground).
Meanwhile, Sindh government has made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order situation in the province especially in Karachi.
In Punjab, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar offered Eid prayer in Lahore. The main congregation was held at Badshahi Mosque, which was attended by Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.
Like rest of the country, Eid Al Fitr is being celebrated in Balochistan with religious zest and zeal. In Quetta, more than 180 Eid prayer congregations were held at open places, Imambargahs and Eidgahs while the main congregation was held at Eidgah Toghi Road Quetta.
Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai and Chief Minister Mir Jam Kamal Khan offered Eid prayer at Governor House in Quetta.
Girls take a selfie after attending Eid Al Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. Reuters
The Chairman Senate Mir Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Muhammad Qasim Khan Suri are also celebrating Eid in Quetta.
Eid Al Fitr means "festival of breaking the fast" and marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Traditionally, Eid is celebrated for three days as an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries. However, the number of vacation days varies by country.
Like Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr begins with the first sighting of the new moon, so usually Muslims have to wait until the night before Eid to verify its date. If the new moon is not visible, the month lasts 30 days. Because it is a lunar occurrence, the date of Eid changes annually on the Gregorian calendar and varies from country to country depending on
To declare the start of Eid, Muslim-majority countries depend on the testimonies of local moon sighters. The Judicial High Court then decides if Eid has arrived. When the sighting has been verified, Eid is declared on televisions, radio stations and at mosques.
Muslims across the world begin Eid celebrations by partaking in communal dawn prayers, followed by a short sermon. While in some countries the prayers take place in mosques or large halls, in many countries it is also held in the open.
People congratulate one another as they head home after Eid prayers. They spend the day visiting relatives and neighbours and accepting sweets as they move around from house to house. Children, dressed in new clothes, are offered gifts and money to celebrate the joyous occasion.
This is preceded by the giving of alms to the poor, or zakat, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
It is common for the capitals of Muslim-majority countries to decorate their streets with festive lights and hold carnivals to commemorate the end of the holy month.
Each country has traditional desserts and sweets that are prepared before Eid or on the morning of the first day. These foods range from special biscuits and bread to cakes and puddings.
NNI News Service
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