Chaand Raat is the eve of Eid-al-Fitr at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is also known as the “Night of the Moon” signifying the new moon for the 10th Islamic month of Shawwal. It is considered a festive occasion amongst Muslim communities and the celebrations last till the morning before the day of Eid-al-Fitr.
Muslims spot the new moon on the eve of the 29th fast after Iftar. If the moon is sighted, it marks the end of Ramadan, and the night is called “Chaan Raat”. And if the moon is not sighted, then Chaand Raat happens on the eve of the 30th fast starting after Iftar.
Announcements of the moon sighting are made from mosques, television channels, and radio stations.
Chaand Raat is not an Islamic festival proven in the Quran and Hadith rather its celebration is customary. The main highlight of Chand Raat is the sighting of the crescent moon. It is recommended that Muslims keep the spirits of Ramadan and continue striving for good deeds and seek Allah’s forgiveness. Perform the Isha prayer just like you would in Ramadan. Many scholars encourage additional praying, Nawafil, on the Night of the Moon, doing Dhirk, and being grateful to Allah for experiencing the blessed month of Ramadan.
Also, Islam encourages moderation in all aspects of life. So, while you are eating, drinking, and shopping on the Chaand Raat, do not waste or indulge in extravagance. Allah mentions in the Quran:
“Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (God) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance).” Al-Araf 7:31
Moreover, ensure that others don’t get harmed or experience unease because of your actions on the Night and in general. And do not forget the less privileged in your Eid preparations.
Chaand Raat is a time of joy and excitement. Muslims celebrate the sighting of the new crescent moon with greetings such as Chaand Raat Mubarak, "Have a blessed night of the new moon". The night is marked by various activities, such as shopping, decorating homes, and preparing special Eid dishes.
In many Muslim countries, people decorate their homes and streets with colorful lights and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere. Markets and shopping malls stay open late into the night, as people shop for new clothes, jewelry, and gifts for themselves and loved ones. Barber shops and beauty salons are filled with aspirants preparing for the main event on the following day, the Eid-al-Fitr.
Chand Raat is also a time for socializing and celebrating with family and friends. Many people gather for traditional foods and sweets, such as haleem, sheer khurma, and mithai (sweets). Women apply henna (mehndi) on their hands, as a conventional adornment for special occasions.
In summary, Chand Raat is a festive occasion that marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-al-Fitr. It is a time of joy, celebration, and socializing, as Muslims come together to prepare for the Eid festivities.
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