x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Muslims prepare for traditional Eid prayer

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, will perform the traditional Eid al Fitr prayer at Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan mosque alongside other dignitaries.

ABU DHABI // Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, will perform the traditional Eid al Fitr prayer at Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan mosque alongside other dignitaries. According to an official statement, the group prayer will take place in the early hours of the first day of Eid, directly after Fajr prayer, and it will be outdoors following the Islamic tradition.

Also following tradition, Sheikh Khalifa will receive guests and well-wishers at Mashrif Palace on the first day of Eid. Sheikhs and ministers, diplomats and top officials from the military and police are among the expected guests. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will offer Eid al Fitr prayers at the Grand Musalla in Bur Dubai and will then receive sheikhs, ministers and others at his Za'beel Palace, the state news agency WAM reported.

Millions of Muslims and their leaders around the world will also gather outdoors to perform the prayer, a ritual required of adult male Muslims. Women perform it privately. In Friday's government-issued sermon, worshippers were reminded that the holiest night of the year, The Night of Power, may still be upon them as they prepared for Eid. "The Night of Power is a great night," said the sermon, issued by the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

Worshippers on The Night of Power, which the devout believe occurs on one of the odd-numbered nights during the final 10 days of Ramadan, remain awake all night to pray. They believe it is the night the Quran was revealed to the Prophet, and that the heavens are open to answer all prayers. The sermon also reminded worshippers of the importance of charity through Zakat al Fitr. In the UAE, Zakat al Fitr will be distributed through regulated channels in much the same way iftar meals have been throughout Ramadan, with responsibility falling mainly to Red Crescent tents and organised efforts at selected palaces and wealthy households.

The first day of Eid is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on moon sightings. @Email:relass@thenational.ae