Festivals are enough reason to put our regular lives on hold and have a little fun, meet those whom we never get a chance to meet otherwise, count on our blessings, and be grateful for everything. And the most prominent festival for the Muslim community, Eid al-Fitr, the symbol of peace and brotherhood, is here.
In the year 2020, the world is learning new methods, simpler ways to find joy in life. Communal prayers are restricted this year due to the ongoing social distancing, extended families, relatives, and friends may not get together for the grand feast. Today is the day and we are still sitting at our homes. On one end we are held apart but the virtual world also keeps us close. Although we can’t take part in this festival as we planned, no one can stop us from talking about it, right?
So, here we are, with more about Eid and what it is like to celebrate it in lockdown.
The ninth month in the Islamic calendar is the month of Ramazan or Ramadan, a holy month in which Prophet Muhammed, the last prophet who is honored by the term ‘peace be upon him’ was blessed with the knowledge that was later converted in the Quran.
Muslims believe observing Roza (dawn-to-sunset fasting for the whole month) and refraining from indulging in any vices during Ramazan leads to spiritual purity. Eid symbolizes that Muslims are grateful to Allah for letting them complete the fasting and seeking forgiveness for all the past deeds. Doing good in one month of Ramadan is considered better than 1,000 months.
The crescent moon that marks the end of the month’s long fasting also marks the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, ‘the festival of Breaking the Fast’ which lasts for the next 2-3 days. It is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid.
Across the globe, people come together on Eid, prayers are offered at the mosques, Eidgah is read, charities are made, from sheer khurma to biryani, all that’s delighting is cooked for the great feast, and gifts are exchanged with wishes of prosperity for each other. Chand Raat is the night when families go out for shopping together, the markets stay lighted up the entire night.
Eid Amidst Lockdown
Yesterday, we asked Tabish Khan, a Delhi based poet about what is different this year. His answer is like a steady ray of hope in this time of distances.
Tabish shares, “everyone is doing their bit to keep it as normal as possible and it starts with the efforts of my mother. We know no one will come to our homes like every year, still my mother cleaned the entire home. Every year we have 50-60 guests dining for the feast but this year we are just 10 people who share the same roof. Yet my mother is cooking each and every dish like each year. I’ve received texts, calls, video calls wishing me Chand Mubarak from all my close as well as distant friends. We'll be sharing photos of ourselves all dressed up with our home-cooked food this year.
Before Eid, everyone buys at least one set of new clothes for the big feast. Instead of feeling low about all the shops being closed and unable to buy new clothes, we have washed and ironed our newest attires for Eid. Rest who needs new attire when we have ittra (perfume) that’s always pleasing to senses.
This year, no one from our society will be going out for the prayers or shopping, still, we all have cleaned our terraces and balconies so that we all can read the morning namaz from our places, knowing our neighbors are with us.
Eid greetings are one of the most unique moments of Eid, wherein we hug each other thrice, shake hands, and then wish ‘Eid Mubarak.’ This year, we will wish each other from our terraces with the safe distance maintained. The lack of human touch will disappoint a little, as long as it is for everyone’s good, it can be ignored. When thousands of souls will pray for the best, the world will surely see some good days ahead.