Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eid Greetings

I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartiest good wishes to all my readers on a successful end to the blessed month of Ramadan. If you fasted your joy is doubled not only do you have the pleasure of meeting your brothers in sister with good cheer you also have the pleasure of resuming your normal eating habits. Hopefully you won’t overdo it and make yourself sick!

Like always Eid was unique this year. Each year the date goes back by about 10 days. That way there is no fixed season for the holiday as we follow the lunar calendar. Before Ramadan had started we were already calculating when the festival would be. Crunching the numbers we all came to the same conclusion it would fall on or around September 11.

With the mosque controversy, Gainesville and a general air of Islamophobia we did not want to give the haters another excuse to mock and ridicule us. We could only hope our community leaders could guide us to an amicable solution. One of the biggest problem we face as a people is the moon sighting. Typically the Arab brothers call it a day early while the Desi brothers call it a day late. Meaning the Arabs start fasting a day earlier while the Desis start fasting a day later.

This is just one of the silly things we do which is a cause of disunity. Naturally since there are two different starting points we get two different ending points to the month of Ramadan or Eid. Therefore our communities celebrate the festival on two different days and never as one. That changed this year. Everyone realized we couldn’t be seen celebrating for whatever reason on 9/11. It was a day of mourning and should be respected as such.

One ending point was September 10 while the other was September 11. Both ending points were valid and from a religious standpoint both were permissible. People would have been well within their rights to celebrate on 9/11, but we didn’t. In an unprecedented move the second date was dropped and the entire community celebrated on September 10. For once we were united as a people.

So that’s the story in a larger context. But what about me personally? Well that’s a different story. My family and I began anticipating the end of Ramadan during the last 10 days of the holy month. My mom called me at work telling me about how she bought a new pair of shalwar kameez for me. Plus the munchkins (my two little nephews) were hand crafting Eid cards for me. She was about to FedEx it to me when I asked her to include a DVD of my engagement. I left the movie behind and have been regretting the decision ever since. My mom said she would be sure to include it and send it over, I should have it within a week.

Lo’ and behold I did receive said package. I couldn’t wait to get home that day and open it up. The first thing that caught my eyes were the cute little cards my nephews had made. Scanned and reproduced here for your viewing pleasure:



The first one is by the youngest Bilal while the second one is by the oldest Hammad. I love being a maternal uncle (mamoo) to them. Gets me ready for when I have kids of my own. The outfit my mom had picked out for me was in good taste and suited my youthful yet refined taste. But my favorest gift of all was the DVD, I popped it in my laptop with eager anticipation. I dimmed the lights and my LCD came to life with the sounds and colors of two years ago. When MW and I promised to marry each other one day. I tell you my heart ached after watching that I looked around my empty apartment and didn’t see anyone, let alone the love of my life.

I mustered on through the week and before you knew it, the end was upon us. Prayer service was at a local mosque we all congregated in a multi storey prayer hall. Black, white, old, young it didn’t matter we were all there to glorify our lord. Afterwards we all embraced each other congratulating each other on a job well done. I returned home and got a call from MW. That was real special we talked for a long time. I gathered the nerve to say “I love you” our last exchange had her professing her love to me with me replying “um..okay” sheesh talk about awkward!

It was a Friday so I went for mid-day prayers which had me meeting more friends and more hugging. The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home. Kinda bland but hey what are you going to do? The next day my uncle invited me over for dinner. Which was nice. And that was that. A very modest celebration if I do say so myself, something very typical of Muslim celebrations. Hopefully next year MW and I can celebrate together in our own home. That would be a dream come true for both of us.

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