Muslims across the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the ending of Holy Month of Ramadan. Masarat Daud’s final article in the Ramadan Musings series. Follow @asianlitemedia for latest news & views
It is common to hear passing comments on how time flies but it is felt even more intensely in this month. What seemed like yesterday has ended today. The day after the last fast, the coming of the new moon (since Islam follows the lunar calendar) is called Eid.
There are only two festivals in the Islamic calendar and confusingly enough, both are called Eid! The one that follows Ramadan is called Eid-ul-Fitr and the second one that follows the Muslim pilgrimage and commemorates Abraham slaughtering an animal instead of Ishmael to show his devotion, is called Eid-ul-Adha.
The day starts with dressing up in new clothes and then heading to prayers (in a mosque or a public place such as a park), as early as 6.30AM. This is followed by a traditional breakfast at home. Depending on the culture, most people have a different menu but in most South Asian houses, the lunch or dinner that day consists of a Biryani. It is a day when prayers are made that the sincerity of our fasts are accepted and the hope that the blessings of Ramadan continue all year long. It is also a day to forgive others.
You can wish your friends a ‘Happy Eid’ or ‘Eid Mubarak’. For children, this is one of the most awaited days because it turns you rich overnight. Usually, children receive some money as gifts called ‘Eidiya’ and when I was much younger, I would make upto £200 on a single day! As one grows older, the riches dwindle and soon, we become the ones handing out Eidiya to others in the family.
Jasvir Singh, Co-Chair of The Faiths Forum for London says that more than Ramadan itself, it is Eid that he has great memories of. A Malaysian friend of his hosts an open-day on Eid where throughout the day, all friends and family can pass by their house any time and enjoy some food and conversations. It is an event he looks forward to each year.
For us as Muslims, the day will be somber remembering the recent terrible tragedies and the post-EUReferendum surge of racism. It is a time we remember all the countries globally who are suffering and we use charity contributions to alleviate the suffering in any way that we can. It is a time to continue the patience into our regular lives, to always build bridges, to help those in need. We cannot be bystanders to injustice and cannot simply watch others being bullied.
I wish you a very happy Eid and hope that the positivity of all our collective reflections spills into our life post-Ramadan.
Masarat Daud is many things. A girl’s education campaigner, a TED speaker, a TEDx curator, a recent SOAS MA graduate and a politically-incorrect humourist currently based in London.