Last Monday marked the blessed festival of Eid-el-Fitr. Somehow I have grown fond of the English translation of “festival” much more than “holiday”; it holds this childlike colorful description of heartfelt festivities. Though the Ummah might be aching or your heart might be breaking for whatever hardships or losses that might be upon your way; this is a day to rejoice and celebrate the countless blessings of Allah upon us. Come to think of it, it is a culture of gratitude no matter how little you have, that you have completed the holy month of Ramadan.
I have traveled far and wide in my young age, spending Eid across three continents. Although the taste of Eid is not truly the same missing family and friends and feeling homesick; there was a new meaning I had yet to feel this Eid…
Paper bunting and Smarties cookies sounded all too weird to the traditional Egyptian “ka’hk” yet it was not about making do, but making new memories. At times I feel that happiness on that day is a grace in itself as well as a choice; nostalgia can be deadly if you dwell upon the lost rather than focusing on the found.
The visit to the Masjid must have been the highlight of the day; as it truly should and is meant to be. The smiles of sisters of every color and every hue, hugging and greeting without previous acquaintance and sharing their chocolate “Celebrations”. If I think of the origins and nationals I might make a list of a 100 countries; no kidding. Everyone is well dressed and groomed in their own culture, a kameez, an abaya, or even matching fabric for the family of four; only the best is reserved for the Masjid. It may sound subjective, but many a times I’ve attended Eid prayer in Egypt you’d only see sleepy heads in old prayer clothes. I most certainly don’t mean whomever is struggling to make ends meet; but those who are better off, but just don’t want to “ruin” the new outfit saved for the better outing. You see, it was here that I felt the Masjid was indeed a Mecca to the diverse different peoples gathered under the flag of faith. There was no room for prejudice, only a beautiful unity of humanity.