Alhamdulillah, Eid Al-Ahda this year was just as ok as it has always been for me over the past years. It was neither exciting nor dull but a bit different from the previous years. Some of the Eids, I spent with friends and at other Eids, I just go back home after the prayers, depending on what I have on for that day. Alhamdulillah, last year Eid was the first Eid I spent with a family in the last decade, i.e my brother. But it was still unlike those exciting days of Eid I spent years gone by with all my family. Those Eids were exactly was I call “celebrating Eid“, anything besides is just spending Eid like any other day, nothing extra-ordinary, except for the Salat.
Drenched on Eid? It’s a blessing!
As usual, I never get to attend the first Eid prayer; I went for the last but one prayer. It took approximately an hour bus journey with a few minutes of brisk wal in-between changing buses and getting into the mosque. There was light rain shower but with my Jilbaab, I was all covered even without the brolly. That brought to mind the thought, “I can’t remember spending any Eid without rain”. Even back with my family, it usually rains on Eid day and you will see the people in their best and new outfits, wet and smeared with mud, since we pray Eid on plain grounds on the outskirt of town. “Who cares about it being wet and muddy, it’s all part of the celebration”, I suppose is what comes to mind when you think of it.
Sometimes, even when the heavens is let loose with heavy rain, people are not deterred an ounce from appearing in their best of best outfits, sitting all soaked up on the grounds listening to the Khutbah after the prayers, only leaving after the Imam has performed his Udhiyah. The people always see the rain as part of the blessings of Eid and it shows that Allah (swt) is pleased with us and has accepted our prayers and sacrifice. Generally in Islam, we see rain as a blessing from Allah, both in the ordinary and the spiritual sense. One of the occasions, in which dua is most likely to be answered is said to be when it rains. So, a rain on Eid day, we can say is a way Allah (swt) out of his mercy is giving us the opportunity to make dua that will be accepted. Even if we are not mindful of this opportunity on other occasions it rains, at least on Eid day most people make a lot of dua plus those with the Imam.
Back to the present, on my way to the mosque I did the recommended Zikr..
Allâhu Akbâr, Allâhu Akbâr, lâ ilâha ill-Allâh, Wallâhu Akbâr Allâhu Akbâr, Walilâhilhamd
..and some dua. On entering the mosque, I renewed my wudu, do two rakats and wait with the people for the start of the Salat Eid while continuing with the Zikr till the Iqamah was called and we prayed the Eid Salat. The Imam gave the Khutbah both in Arabic and English, as it has always been with the women, chit chat started immediately after the Tasleem and the noise made it hard to hear what the Khutbah was all about. It’s unfortunate that most of the women never yield to the warnings of the grave sin it carries to talk during Khutbah, even chiding someone else to keep quiet is disliked as much as the talking itself. Some hadiths I found on this.
From what I could grasp from the Khutbah in English, the Imam said the one and only slogan we are saying today is the Eid Zikr, exalting the greatness of Allah, purifying His unity and praising Him. In unison as Muslims we are all gravitating towards the Tawheed, not any other ideology, nationalism or race. This Ummah, is united upon the Tawheed and so on. The khutbah ended and I decided to wait for Zhur, since the time is close. A friend of mine came and we exchanged Eid pleasantries and I saw another sister I met during Ramadan (lailatul Qadri prayers).
My friend left because she had to go but I waited to pray Zhur, unknown to me, it’s going to be Juma’ah salat. I was of the understanding that if the Eid falls on the day of Juma’ah, we only pray one of the salat, usually the Eid and we pray salat Zhur instead of Juma’ah, since it will be doing two Eids on the same day if we were to pray both Eid and Juma’ah. I suppose before the salat Eid, the Imam already announced that we will be praying Juma’ah but I did not hear this because of so much noise. I was still thinking its Zhur prayer when the adhan was called until another khutbah started and I asked the person next to me what was going on and she said we are praying Juma’ah. I was a bit perplexed about this, but was later to understand that the two situations apply.
Without thinking, I nearly jumped out of my place when I saw a sister I know to talk to her. Of course, I quickly realised, sunhanallah! Its Jummah khutbah and I am supposed to sit and listen. I sat back, gathered my thoughts and then made 2 sunnah rakat before sitting back again to listen to the khutbah. The Khutbah was similar to that of Eid, about Muslims being brother to one another and all being equal in the sight of Allah except in piety and so on. We prayed the Juma’ah salat and people start dispersing at the end.
Once in a blue moon friends
There are certain friends or people I know that I only see once in a blue moon. The moon turned blue today and I saw two of them, we exchange pleasantries and went our separate ways afterwards. There is this particular sister, Ma sha Allah! she is so pleasant. Whenever I meet her, we tend to talk about certain issue I rarely talk about with my other friends. We spent few minutes going over the issue and as usual she advised in her customary candid way. While we were at it, Ma sha Allah! Her six-year old son gave me a pleasant surprise by trying to help put my shoes on.
I had put on my shoes half-way with the straps undone, I continued talking to the mother and all of a sudden, I felt someone tugging at my feet. I looked down, there he was, Mohammed trying to do my shoe strap. I asked him,” what are your doing?” he said, “but you have to put your shoes on”. That brought a broad smile to my face, thinking how thoughtful of a child to do that. He must have thought, if the shoes are not done now, we will spend more time waiting around here after all the talking is done and I got round to doing my shoes, the best thing he could do to save us time is just to do it for me while I talk. I said “thank you” to him that he needn’t do that and I went on to do my shoe straps myself.
Party for two
After talking and exchanging Eid pleasantries, I parted with the Sister and made my way to another friend of mine who had invited me for Eid dinner party. The Sister had invited another friend plus her own sister, but both of them were unable to come. It ended up that the party is only going to be just for the two of us. I got to her place at Asr time, I prayed and we had the food she cooked. Ma sha Allah, she cooked a very simple but delicious dinner consisting of rice, mixed vegetable sauté with fish and salads. The meat from her Udhiyah has not arrived from the butcher, hence the fish. The atmosphere was relaxed and we enjoyed each other’s company. Actually, that was the first time I will be celebrating Eid alone with the Sister and the second time I will be celebrating Eid with her. The other Eid, was last year Eid Al-fitr, we both celebrated with some other Sisters in a Community hall. I don’t feel comfortable in a large gathering of people whom I am not close or familiar with, even if I know them. Hence, I did not enjoy that Eid as much as I did this one, even though it is pleasant and more rewarding to celebrate with other Sisters.
My friend was to tell me later on that she deliberately invited me and the other two people because she knows that I will not feel comfortable with more Sisters. She said she knows the personality of all her friends and tend not to invite some Sisters at the same time, if she feels there may be a clash of personality. I told her, Ma sha Allah, She will be a good host when she gets married, her husband will be able to depend on her judgement on whom to invite with whom and when to their home. I really admire and respect her thoughtful action, I least expected she would go to that length for me. We’ve been friends for nearly a decade, lived twice in the same house but never spent a lot of time together because each of us was busy with whatever it is we were doing. Whatever time we are able to spend together must be a quality time in which we both could enjoy and benefit from each other’s company in a way pleasing to Allah (swt). Alhamdulillah, this Eid was such a time and I left her place after Isha with a feeling of gratitude to Allah (swt) and thanks to her for a pleasant Eid day. On Saturday, I got my share of the Udhiyah meat from my friend after she received it from the Butcher and I shared with my Landlady.
Eid greetings and messages
Alhamdulillah! for blessing us with this Eid, allowing us to wind-down, celebrate, cherish our family and friends and remember His countless blessings upon us. Apart from visiting and greeting each other when we meet, I love it when I receive messages from people; it shows that out of sight is not necessarily out of mind, especially on a day like this. Apart from the e-mails and text messages I received, at 7am on the day of Eid, the first call I got was from one of my younger sisters and that really made my Eid! I took time to send messages to my friends and family on Eid day too, even if I was still going to visit or call them. I called another sister of mine on Saturday and we talked, exchanged Eid pleasantries and catch up with all there is to catch up with. My dad celebrated Eid on Saturday in China and my call was just spot on.
May Allah bless us with many more Eid to come, increase our Imam and perfect our Ibadah. (Ameen)