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Tuesday 11th February 2003
"Eid Mubarak to everyone!"
written by Zia Rahman from Birmingham
Zia's family
Eid is a time of celebration, joy and of family values. Zia tells us how he and his family in Birmingham celebrate the festival.
SEE ALSO

BBC Religion - the Hajj

BBC Religion - Islam UK

FACTS

Eid- ul- Adha: -The Festival of Sacrifice.

This festival marks the end of the Hajj or holy pilgrimage, which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. However it is celebrated by all Muslims, not just those who are on the pilgrimage.

This is a 4-day public holiday in Muslim countries.

 

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Muslims 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 Hajj
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.

Hajj 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.

Zia and his family
Zia and his family

When 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.

Preparing for Eid
In the 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.

My 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.

Mum's 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.

Zia's family

With a couple of days to go, mum is found buying all the somosas and kebabs in preparation for the big day.

As 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.

Celebrating with the family
And 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 Spears CD!

The rest of the day is spent going from house to house meeting with old friends and eating to our hearts content.

New 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.

We 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.

Eid Mubarak to everyone!!!



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