CAIRO - With `Eid ul-Fitr around the corner, preparations for the celebration are in full swing with sleepless markets in Indian cities.
"During Eid all people who had kept the fast are rewarded and Allah accepts their prayers, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli told Times of India on Saturday, August 18.
As Ramadan draws to its end, markets keep Indian cities awake as Muslims try to get their needs of new clothes and sweets to celebrate the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Just after iftar, Muslims throng shopping areas in Aminabad, the hub of `Eid shopping, to savor the culinary delights offered to them.
Muslims used to buy sweets, special food and new clothes for `Eid festivities.
Special Indian dishes are always prepared for `Eid festivities, including nahari kulche, sheermal, bandgosht, chicken masala, paya mutton and chicken changezi.
"It is the best time for the sale of nahari and a minimum of 30 plates are sold every day," Moin Ahmad, owner of Alamgir Hotel, said.
People do not go only for food shopping.
New clothes have always been associated with `Eid festivities around the world.
Trying to woo customers, shopkeepers, especially those selling garments, are giving good discounts to woo customers.
"The shopkeepers have hired tailors so that it's a do-it-all at one go. It saves a lot of time," said Sufia Khan, a housewife.
Anticipating the birth of Shawwal new moon, Muslims gear up for special family gatherings and `Eid festivities.
"`Eid comes once a year and we don't compromise on anything," said Ramsha Rizvi, a teenager.
Everything, right from garments to jewellery has to be new.
But for Yusuf Raza, `Eid is all about `ediya (cash) given from the family.
`Ediya is generally given in cash but nowadays, gifts are also popular.
"It's the best part of the festival," said Raza.
Even though I earn now, but getting `Ediya from my relatives and elder ones is such an unforgettable moment.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.
During `Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
After special prayers to mark `Eid Al-Fitr, festivities and merriment start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).