With the birth of a new moon, Muslims will bid Ramadan “adieu” on Sunday, May 24, and celebrate the fruits of their observance of the holy month with Eid al-Fitr (the breaking of the fast festival).
Islam urges building, preserving, and strengthening community. Eid is typically celebrated in large gatherings with family and friends. Due to the current pandemic, Eid will be celebrated much like Ramadan this year, under quarantine and with social distancing. The commonly large and well-attended Eid prayers and sermons will be held online. Observers will tune in to the sermon and pray in their homes instead of mosques.
Despite the unprecedented circumstances, Muslim families have been preparing for Eid. People have been decorating their homes and will wear new clothes. Children will get their Eid money, toys, gifts, and candies. Eid pastries and desserts are prepared and ready to be enjoyed (varieties differ depending on family heritage), along with the much-awaited morning cup of coffee or tea, after a month of fasting during day hours.
Mosques will host Eid gift “drive-thrus,” where goody bags for kids and treats can be safely picked up.
This past month, it was awe-inspiring to see the generosity and creativity of people who dropped off gifts, sweets, food, and cards onto one another’s doorsteps.
There are many families in need and the current crisis deepened that problem. The Muslim community has, as always, been actively donating, organizing, and delivering or hosting safe pickups of food, money, and gifts.
The Quran and prophetic teachings urge Muslims to remember the favors of their Lord, to seek silver linings, keep strong faith, and maintain optimism for better times ahead.
“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is ease. Verily, with every difficulty, there is ease.” – Qur’an [94:5-6]
With that, I wish you all a blessed Eid al-Fitr. Eid Mubarak!
Photo (top): Decorations from last year’s Eid party at the home of my close friend.