30 days of fasting drawing to a close, the festival of the breaking of the fast is here. The event is one of the most anticipated days of the year for the Muslim Ummah. Having abstained from food and drink, exercising patience, trying to follow Allah’s teaching more closely than ever in the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslims of the world are impatient to welcome the festivities of Eid-Ul-Fitar promised at the end. This day is when the entire Muslim community comes together under one roof of happiness to hug and to laugh with their Muslim brothers and sisters, sharing joys, blessings and good humor over treats and sweets, fit for royalty.
Much time and thought, not to mention the endless visits to the shopping arcade are put into preparation for the day. The entire household buys new clothes for the three consecutive days of holiday making. Women spend wealth deciding on new and intricate jewelry. Everyone does their best to look spectacular on the day. Not only this, the tables are also furnished with exotic dishes and all kinds of goodies the mind can imagine. With the grocery list extending, people make it a point to shop and stock their larders well before the big day. After all, it is the breaking of the fast. The world makes it a point to welcome their palate with the most delicious tastes, hands could churn up.
It is an early awakening on the big day. Men, women, children alike are rushing to the bathroom to settle their last minute curls and furrows. Some are tangled in the new clothes, others are looking for their shoes, it is quite a specter to behold as everyone hurries to get ready. The men and children go off to offer the ‘Eid prayers amid thousands of other Muslims. As the prayer commences, a roar of ‘Eid Mubarak’ greets the ears, hugs all around and a smile on everyone’s face as sweets are distributed and the merrymaking begins. It is customary for families to mingle, relatives from the distinct corners of the city unite. Some people make a special effort to come home from abroad in an attempt to spend this time of the year with their loved ones.
A unique tradition of Eid-Ul-Fitar is the giving of Eidi, an event much awaited by the Muslim children. On ‘Eid, all the elders are obliged to give some money to their younger siblings, cousins and children alike. These young ones celebrate their own ‘Eid, frolicking up to every relative asking for Eidi. It is a joy in its own, seeing their happy faces collect souvenirs from aunts and uncles. The traditions even extend to grownups, who receive Eidi from their elders as custom. In effect, it is only the eldest, who has empty pockets. However, this is nothing compared to the hearts full of joy, bought in exchange.
In our excitement of ‘Eid, however, let’s not forget the lesser fortunate. Some financial help, new clothes or even a share of your table can go a long way. Let’s include the poor and make them a part of our day, after all, they are our brothers and sister in Islam, aren’t they? As the lights go down on the big day and lids half closed with tiredness from the events, the holiday making rests for the night. Children snuggle up in their beds, too tired to even move, but wait there is a promise of more. The festivities of ‘Eid are unlikely to be over before the three days are up, the fun has just begun!
Contributors : Aiman Ibrash – Adnan Ahmad – Abdul Qadir