An Eid Wish

Women wait for the call to eid prayer in Boston (September 2010)

The last time I spent Eid-ul-Fitr in Islamabad was in 2008. I don’t seem to remember much about that day except for ami’s amazing saviyaan, and getting ready early morning for 2-rakat of eid namaz. I remember chaand raat in Jinnah Super as abu did his last minute eid shopping, and I remember being happy. Now four years later, a steel pot of milk and sugar is still condensing into saviyaan, and I’m up early in the morning but not to get ready.

In my last eids away from home. I was a little nostalgic for eid in Pakistan, and missing my family. I celebrated with friends and for the first time in my life, got up early for the eid prayer at the local masjids. In Pakistan, I never really visit the mosque, because it’s unconsciously a male thing. Maybe it’s just my family, but all the women just say their eid prayers at home while the men of the house visit the mosque. It has probably something to do with the fact that we’re more comfortable at home. But right now as my dad, uncles and cousins just left for eid namaz in starched shalwar kameez, I’m a little nostalgic for Boston’s Islamic Center. The beauty of that as it’s the biggest one in Boston, you see Muslims from all races, colors and sects congregated for prayer. You hear so many different languages being spoken and see all outfits, from colorful sarongs and saris to delicately embroidered abayas. Salams and smiles are exchanged, and you see community representation from little kids to the elderly. It’s a good feeling as you see that Islam isn’t the monolithic belief system you thought it was.

This year, Islamabad’s lovely as ever and there’s a faint petrichor scent in the air because it just rained. I’m with family, and there’s no comparison to delicious Pakistani food. But I wish we could have more of a sense of community, and that the mosques become friendly places of worship. I wish that the atmosphere wasn’t fraught with tension, and that eid day wasn’t synonymous to red-alert security. Last night there was news of mobile phone services being suspended for eid security. Most of all, I wish that we could be inclusive of different muslims and non-muslims and celebrate without isolating our Pakistani brother and sisters. Eid is supposed to be a time of joy and giving for all.


9 Replies to “An Eid Wish”

  1. Couldnt have said it better myself. i used to love Ramadan and Eid in the States because of the all night masjid programs, the happy shared aftaaris and the overall sense of togetherness and celebration. ramadan was spent being happy and excited and learning about religion instead of being cooped up at home sleeping or whining about being hungry. and Eid was always beautiful! So many people, so many colors, huge stadiums full of Muslims! Old friends, new friends, exotically dressed
    foreigners. Going to the Reliant Arena in Houston and praying on strips of butcher paper – it was glorious.

    i think Pakistan and kids my age are lacking that spirit these days. Ramadan and Eid are meant to be celebrated together. Hope theres more of this to be seen in the next few years.

    1. Seriously! I never thought I would miss Ramadan and Eid in America, but I feel like because we’re a minority there, we don’t take our traditions for granted and actually value the joy eid brings… “Ramadan was spent being happy and excited and learning about religion instead of being cooped up at home sleeping or whining about being hungry” – SO TRUE!

  2. Eid is supposed to be a tradition for Muslims. I do not see how non-Muslims can be a part of such tradition. It is illogical to celebrate something that one does not believe in.

    1. I meant being inclusive of everyone if they wish to celebrate. Mostly this post was about tolerance and love for all in all situations, regardless of their religion or sect and not just on eid… Does that make more sense? 🙂

  3. Would you be inclusive of a murderer or a rapist if he/she wanted to celebrate eid as well? Would be able to hold on to “love for all in all situations” mantra if you were asked to love the murderer of your family (in an unfortunate situation)?

    You do realize that such naive humanism betrays all norms of human reality, human biological evolution, and human existence?

    Would you happily be inclusive by marrying a guy whom you dont like?

    All these examples are not the same as someone celebrating the eid, but they do have one thing in common: one’s hypocrisy. I am not saying that you specifically are a hypocrite, I am saying everyone who says what you have said is displaying hypocritical attitude and that includes myself if I were to share your views.

    Islam considers disbelief in God as a bigger sin than murder. That is why it says shirk will never be forgiven but God can forgive a murderer.

    1. I believe that Allah (SWT) alone has the right to judge. Who are we to judge anyone? Your murderer analogy seems misplaced… My point was about the spirit of eid as an inclusive holiday, but like I said earlier, it was a general call for tolerance for one another and you’d understand why there’s an urgent need for us to stop killing one another on the basis of faith:

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