My Ramadhan – The Journey to Eid
  Nerissa Hosein
FEATURES
June 2018

My Ramadhan – The Journey to Eid

Paradise Pulse writer Nerissa Hosein shares her personal experiences about Eid-Ul-Fitr and the holy month of Ramadhan. 

Ramadhan month is upon the Muslim community once again and we are all fulfilling the month as best as we can. Fasting from sun up to sundown and keeping our minds and thoughts clear and pure, reflecting on our own lives while giving back to those who are less fortunate than we are: that’s what Ramadhan is about.

The month is not about starvation, but appreciation for what so many in the world are facing on an everyday basis. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam but it is not a radical stance from our community. It is done as an act of worship to our deity and for us to have compassion to others. Now more than ever, where hunger is rampant all over the world, it teaches us understanding for the world that we live in.

I myself do not keep fast. I have not done it in years, due to medical reasons. Another myth that overshadows our religion is that fasting is forced upon us. This is simply not so. We are advised to, once we are able to, but not forced to do so. I may not fast but I do try to give charity as much as I can, especially around this time of the year.

Many mosques and homes hold iftars to feed those who have kept their fast for the day. It is a good deed to hold an iftar and feed the fasting members of our community. My father holds one at least every year and we all try to help as best as we can with it.  The Iftar does not need to be fancy. We do a simple plate to break the fast, which usually has finger foods such as samosas, pies or pholourie and, of course, a date or two. The date is a widely popular food during this month as it is believed that it was the food of the Prophet Muhammad. After the fast is broken, we pray the Maghrib salaah, which is known as the sunset prayer. After that, a simple dinner is organised at the end of which sweets are shared. It is a wonderful way of showing appreciation to all those who kept the fast.

One thing I’ve always noticed is that, although people say fasting is so hard, the month of Ramadhan flies by so fast for our community. Before we know it, Eid-Ul-Fitr is here and fasting is over for another year. Eid is a celebration for all those who kept the fast during the month. It is an auspicious end to Ramadhan and as families get together to share the day, another Ramadhan bids us farewell. But hopefully a new generation that fasted for the first time has gained some appreciation and grown a bit more thoughtful to the plights of the world.

Our Eid starts the week before with the house cleaning and prepping of our Eid feast. My husband and I make the burfi from the night before and my grandmother makes her kurma and patches the sawine. So the smell of Eid starts from then. Curtains are changed, windows wiped clean and grounds shine. It is a tradition as old as I can remember and I feel it deep down inside, the sense of family and unity. It doesn’t matter what we’ve been through the year before. Eid brings us all home. It also brings the memories of all those we have lost through the years and we celebrate their time in our lives and honour their memories.

Getting ready to head to mosque with my husband Muhammad Hosein

We go to mosque on the morning and pray the Eid Salaah to give thanks for being able to partake in Ramadhan and bid farewell to the month. Beggars line the streets outside of most mosques on Eid day to get charity from the Muslim community and though we know one day of giving will not fix their suffering, we give and we open our hearts to giving for the rest of the year also. We teach the children that took part in the fasting for the first time this year to give openly and freely without prejudice, because acceptance and understanding is what being a Muslim is all about.

Most of us end the day surrounded by family and friends, opening our homes and hearts to the happiness and unity that this time has brought us. So as another Ramadhan comes to an end, let me say Eid Mubarak from my home to yours.

 

By: Nerissa Hosein | FEATURES | June 2018


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