celebrate two Eid festivals during their calendar year. One. Eid-ul-Fitr,
marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a time of focus,
humbleness and selflessness.
The other, Eid-ul-Adha,
is celebrated just after the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the Holy land.
Over two million people congregate in Mekkah in Saudi Arabia from
all corners of the world to make their pilgrimage to Allah.
is an annual event and it is obligatory for a Muslim, if he can
afford it, to make one trip in his lifetime. It is common place
therefore for a lot of family members to be on Hajj at the time
of Eid, while you could never tell with the hundreds of people that
are still around on Eid day in Birmingham.
and his family
I think of Eid these days, I think firstly of the days that lead
up to it. Islam is based on a lunar calendar, and so being at the
mercy of the moon and when it can be seen. Eid day is usually narrowed
down to one of two possible days, as
it is not always possible to predict accurately a New Moon.
period leading up to Eid, we all anticipate eagerly when the mosques
will make their announcement of which day Eid will be so we can
make Eid prayer that morning. In Birmingham's central mosque, there
are more than 5 Eid prayers held during the morning, such is the
size of the Muslim community in the area.
house is no different. In waiting for the announcement from the
mosque, our house goes crazy in preparation for Eid. Every year,
the family has new clothes sent over by our family in Pakistani
to wear on Eid day. To mark the occasion, it is tradition these
days to celebrate the day by wearing your best or newest clothes.
send all their kids and husbands for that matter also to the local
hairdressers, tidying them up before the big day. As is always the
case, not one Muslim will be seen at the hair salon in the run-up
to Eid. But on the day before, the salons will be packed full of
Muslim people needing a last minute haircut, to avoid mumís
wrath when they get home.
a couple of days to go, mum is found buying all the somosas and
kebabs in preparation for the big day.
with all religious festivals, Eid is a time of coming together and
visiting as many people as possible, like one big family. No one
is left out and no one is made to feel alone, it is a time for coming
together in unity.
with the family
there is no better time, than just after the Eid prayer. After praying
in the mosque and embracing everyone you know, we come back home
and look forward to our father giving us Eidi. This is a gift that
is given on Eid day traditionally by elders on younger family members.
In our case, dad gives each of the three sons money and, as always,
it is very well received. That'll take care of the latest Britney
rest of the day is spent going from house to house meeting with
old friends and eating to our hearts content.
clothes, good food, gifts, meeting old friends, Eid is a very cool
time of the year. Not all is lost on the material side of things
though. The message remains clear, as a time of sacrifice to Allah,
to reaffirm your father and rejoicing as a Muslim community.
say our goodbyes and make our journey home. The end of another Eid
festival, happy to have met with everyone and catch up. As I go
to bed that evening, I look forward to the next Eid.
Mubarak to everyone!!!