New Muslims: Why Celebrate Eid?

New Muslims: Why Celebrate Eid?

written by Theresa Corbin for About Islam

No matter what the weather, no matter how tasty the Eid breakfast, no matter how well I felt my Ramadan went, for many years after I converted to Islam, I followed the same old Eid pattern.

Wake up. Pray fajr (morning prayer). Eat breakfast. Go to Eid Prayer.

Then I, my husband or both of us, would go to school or work. It was anti-climactic at best.

After a month of character building, spiritual highs and building a better relationship with the Quran, it was always right back to pre-Ramadan business as usual, hoping to keep the lessons and increased faith as we exited the month un-commemorated.

Until one year, I said enough! I put my foot down and didn’t go into work. I took the day off of school and insisted my husband do the same. Guess what happened?

No, the world didn’t fall apart. No, we didn’t fail our classes. We actually enjoyed ourselves.

We spent time to acknowledge what Ramadan meant to us and to celebrate our successes in it. And because of our celebration we felt more Muslim somehow. We felt closer to our community. We felt better prepared to move on and face the challenges of life outside of Ramadan.

In the Western world where few even know what Eid is, it is very difficult to get out of day to day commitments to celebrate the holiday or rather the holy day. It is even more difficult to have that holiday feeling when those around you are treating the day like any other ordinary day.

As converts, we have to give up a lot of our old holidays when we come into Islam. Giving up holidays where everyone is celebrating and everything is decorated can be difficult.

Many of us treasure our holiday memories and family traditions. But as Muslim we are not left with nothing in the place of our old tradition. As converts we can and must make new traditions and create a holiday feeling for ourselves.

Why Celebrate? For Gratification and Gratitude

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Have Yourself a Very Multi-Cultural Eid!

Have Yourself a Very Multi-Cultural Eid!

Written by Gracie Lawrence
eid-2014

Eid! Who knew three letters could pack such a punch.

What does it mean to a lot of people? Well, for some it conjures up memories of seeing loved ones, going to early prayer at the mosque and eating certain traditional sweets.

Unfortunately for many converts, who grew up celebrating different holidays, we may not feel as connected to this happy occasion. We may still painfully cling to lingering images of our own childhood, collecting colorful eggs in baskets or throwing tinsel and garlands on trees, and you know what … that is okay.

It is normal to psychologically associate feelings with memories triggered by events as these- times when we were closest to our families. We do our best to try and create new memories that can also similarly capture the feel good events of our past- whether with new Muslim friends, new spouses or growing families.

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And so we celebrate these Muslim holidays sometimes hesitant, not wanting to create bid’ah ( Also know as innovation in religion. Bid’ah in Islam is considered a deviation and a serious sin) and yet only familiar to celebrating holidays in a certain fashion, the way in which we were raised.

One area new to many converts that begin to mingle with Muslims outside of their culture is the Eastern cultural practice of Eidia or Eidie. Eidia is money that is handed to women or children during Eid that can range from a few cents to hundreds of dollars and is given as a gift instead of an actual present wrapped in ribbons and bows.

Memories....from the corner of my mind....
What can be inside? Don’t shake it too hard!

Generally reserved for family including extended family members- depending on the culture it may also include neighborhood children that visit houses door to door wishing happy Eid in exchange for a few cents.

For new converts, depending on their own cultural upbringing, it can be strange to see people pass out money- generally, much effort and consideration is put into finding a loved one an actual object that we believe may be cherished or enjoyed.

In fact, in many circles handing out money may be seen as kind of insulting– a kind of whoops, we forgot about you – so here is some cash or the awkward … don’t know you so well third cousin, once removed, here, have a gift card.

This “cash-as-an-after-thought present” is not the perception in many Eastern cultures where the extra money can be used not only in the purchase of the rare indulgent treat of choice, but more often than not, as money that can be used to fulfill a basic need (such as paying an electric bill) or fulfill other social obligation … such as giving your Eidie money or Eidia to someone younger or more in need than yourself.

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Kids will be lining up all “Happy Eid good sir…..”

However you chose to celebrate the upcoming holiday, sharing tokens of friendship and kindness that puts happiness in the heart of another Muslim is always a good deed pleasing to Allah.

So if you are a converts, don’t look down on someone who is handing out cash. If you are a born Muslims, understand the consideration that went into a finding the right gift, if it is not cash.

However you decide to spread cheer, whether you choose to do that through passing homemade sweets, treating another with a thoughtfully wrapped gift, passing out Eidia or just sending smiles, salams and a “Happy Eid”, it always tends to make the season bright.

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This Eid let’s take time to reflect, be grateful for what we have been blessed with, praise Allah, and enjoy.

 

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Eid Time

Eid Time

Written by Theresa Corbin

from sunniforum.com

Eid is in the next few days. It is celebrated to mark the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan). I have never really celebrated Eid except to go to Eid prayer then go back to work or school. That’s Eid in the West for ya! This year will be different inshaAllah. I will leave you an Eid present. It’s a video making fun of Muslims who use fasting as an excuse for everything, even as an excuse to get out of prayer, among other Ramadan no nos. Hope it makes you smile.

islamwich out!

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Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.