Why We Love Eid
The joyous Islamic occasion of Eid ul Fitr is like a farewell party of a dear old friend. Afia R Fitriati explains why.
Ramadhan has passed by so quickly that the time has now come for us to welcome Eid ul Fitr, the Islamic holiday that falls on the first day of Shawal in the Islamic calendar. To many, Eid is a joyful occasion. For me, though, Eid feels more like a farewell party of an old friend. I celebrate it but with a tinge of sadness in my heart, as if I am parting with my dear friend, the blessed month of Ramadhan.
Having said that, what a great farewell party Eid ul Fitr is. ‘Eid ul Fitr’ literally refers to the festival of fast-breaking, and there are plenty of reasons and so many ways to celebrate Eid. Here are just a glimpse of some of them:
- God has designed Eid ul Fitr (and its sister, Eid ul Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice) in such a way that everyone, including the destitute, can rejoice and join in. To make that happen, towards the end of Ramadhan, Muslims are required to pay alms to the poor called ‘zakat fitrah’. Hence, everyone can look forward to Eid ul Fitr with a smile on their faces
- Eid is fashionably fun because on this day, everyone is encouraged to put on their most presentable outfits for Eid prayer, held in the early morning of Eid ul Fitr. Eid prayer is a dazzling spectacle because on this morning, Muslims from different backgrounds come together looking their very best, with all smiles and with the glorification of God (takbir) coming from everyone. And when the prayer moment comes, everybody bows down together to worship The One Almighty. It is such a beautiful moment to behold!
- After fasting and repenting for a whole month, Eid ul Fitr represents a clean slate for our souls. There is a sense of rejuvenation, positive energy and lots of love as everyone visits each other and asks for forgiveness from one another
- And, of course, just like religious holidays of other faiths, Eid ul Fitr is filled with festivities, family moments and jolly good food! This is why the day is also called ‘Hari Raya’ (Celebration Day) in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Muslims of different cultures have their own traditions and foods associated with this day and you can read our article Eid Around the World (in the Eid issue of August 2012) to find out more
Rich and bittersweet, just like a cup of cappuccino at the end of a lovely dinner, that’s what Eid ul Fitr is like. It’s bubbly on the surface, and slowly reveals its layers of flavours as you sip through it, before finally leaving you rejuvenated and filled with warmth.
If you are not a Muslim, don’t miss the opportunity to experience a taste of this Islamic festival with a Muslim community near you. And to my Muslim sisters and brothers, here’s wishing you a very happy and blessed Eid ul Fitr. Eid Mubarak!
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