Friday, September 10, 2010

Chand Raat (The night of Crescent)

Chand Raat, the night before the EID-UL-FIT'R (a holy festival of Islam), has a lot of importance for the Muslim community of the world.  Especially if we observe the Muslims of  South-Asia, we found that, they celebrate it as a special occasion of their socio-religious life. (further discussed in the end of the post)
The Islamic calendar is uncertain in itself, because the starting of every next month depends upon the crescent rather than on a fixed annual calendar. Although every month of the Islamic calendar starts by following the same pattern, but the crescent of Shwal (a month name of Islamic Calendar) gets more attention by the Muslims. This importance is because of the association which its crescent has with the holy festival of Eid-ul-Fit'r. The Shwal's crescent is the sign of the completion of the holy month of Ramadan (the month in which Muslim do fast for the sake of Allah) and also holds a message that tomorrow will be Eid-ul-Fit'r (holy festival).
EID-UL-ADHA (2nd holy festival of Islam), which Muslims celebrate on 10th of Zilhaj (another month of Islamic calendar) also follows a Chand Rraat, but as it comes on the 10th of Zilhaj the Chand Raat/crescent of it does not get the charm of celebrations like of the Eid-ul-Fit'r
The Islamic calendar could have 29 OR 30 days in a month, so it is must to look for the crescent after every 29 days of the calendar. This observation of the moon is compulsory in every region of the world. If the crescent is not seen/found on 29th of the month, the following month will be of 30 days, and after completing the 30 days, next month will start. It is not must to observe the moon after completing 30 days and next month will start.
The Chand Raat has importance in the teachings of the Islam as well. There is a Hadis (sayings of Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) that; In the Chand Raat, Allah forgives the equal number of men and women that has been forgiven in the whole month of Ramdan

Females making Designs of mehndi
In the south Asia the Muslims celebrate it in a different style. They do get together, give wishes of crescent to each other and do parties as well. Especially if we talk about the women, they celebrate it as a special occasion for them and enjoy alot in it. They make designs on the hands of each other with Hinna or Mehndi, visit markets to buy dresses, jewelry especially the bangles. While doing all this shopping they spend almost whole night for the preparation of Eid celebration of the next day.
In short the Chand Raat is not only the message of Eid-ul-Fit'r but has a lot of fun in it too.

Wish a bright and joyful "Chand  Raat" to everyne!

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