Me and myself celebrating Eid

This past week when thinking about what I would do for my first Eid, I started to feel a bit disconnected again. Eid is a time for community, family traditions, and celebration with loved ones. I will spend it alone.

But I remembered when I started Ramadan I had the same thought. While I did spend much of it on my own, I was not really alone. Some of the time was spent in a normal day-to-day manner at work. I was also incredibly fortunate to spend some of my time in Dubai where I met wonderful people with whom I hope to develop lasting friendships. And friends checked in on me on nearly a daily basis and stayed up late with me via text messaging on a few occasions.

I admit I also spent a fair amount of time connected to the world via the internet: perusing articles by fantastic bloggers like yourselves, relishing stories of Ramadan experiences around the world, staying caught up on the achievements of Muslim athletes at the Olympics, and reading the news from Burma, Syria, Egypt, the US, etc.

All of this has made me feel inspired, disappointed, energized, horrified, elated, and a little bit scared.

We all know that the depiction of Islam in the mainstream media is imbalanced and overwhelmingly negative, and others have written far more eloquently on this topic than I could — but the question that keeps running through my head is how – in this environment – do I explain to non-Muslim friends and family that I chose to follow Islam because at its core it is about peace and benevolence? And what is my responsibility in all that is happening in the world? Ramadan and Eid are times for charity, which is hugely important, but it is enough?

So, as I think about how I will celebrate Eid, first I will be grateful as I realize I will spend it in a lovely apartment, in a safe neighborhood, and with plenty of food and clean water to drink. Alhamdulilah! I am blessed.

Next I will begin to establish my own Eid traditions. Remembrance of my sister and other loved ones who have passed, perhaps a pancake breakfast followed by a long walk by the river, and calls to friends and family (even if they do not realize they are celebrating Eid with me).

And finally, I will pray for guidance for how best to represent and communicate the beauty of Islam to my non-Muslim friends and family during the next year, and for guidance on how I can be a positive force in the community. (Suggestions are welcome!!!)

What do you think about the happenings in the world during this Ramadan? What is our responsibility as Muslims in all this? How do you think we can shift the negative perception?

13 responses

  1. 😥 I feel sorry for you have to celebrate your very first Eid alone.. while I feel a little bored stuck at my grandma’s.. I wish you have a great Eid this first year! … and if you don’t mind, if I can give a suggestion, maybe you can spend your Eid at orphanage maybe.. cuz I really think that they deserved to be celebrate with, since they have no one anymore in their life, except for their caretakers and teachers, and us.. or maybe not. I am actually half awake right now haha.. and also, I always wanted to visit an orphanage, but money and study bind me. ok. Assalamualaikum sister, and Eid mubarak! 🙂

    • Eid Mubarik! You are so kind but please do not feel bad. I really am so lucky. But I love your suggestion of the orphanage. I am not quite sure where to find one where I live but what a wonderful idea. I will have to see what I can find. 🙂

  2. You are never alone in this techie driven world:) I must say this Ramadan was very challenging in many aspects. The weather was extremely hot here in the northeast but more important my preparation was not enough to accomplish as much as i wanted with working full-time…..inshallah i will be better prepared next year. My heart still goes out to those tragic events in Syria……i pray that Allah will ease their pain and struggle and justice will prevail soon.In the end we are all like nomads in the desert seeking Allah’s guidance…..and like you said i’m thankful for everything in my life….knowing there are good people like you is a blessing in itself. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring those of us looking to embrace our faith just a bit more…..EID MUBAREK to you and those closest to your heart:)

    • Salam! It is really amazing how connected we are these days. I was very skeptical when I first started this at the suggestion of a friend. I didn’t think I would be someone to truly connect with people online – beyond family and friends that I already know. But it really is a small world – and now more than ever we need to connect and communicate with each other.

      I am glad you liked the post. Anything good of course comes from Allah, I am just happy to be part of it.

      I hope the whether has cooled down a bit and that you had a wonderful Eid.

  3. Assalamu Alaikum!
    Dear Sister!
    Nicely written article……Masha Allah!
    EID MUBARAK!
    There are times even Muslims in the Muslim family, in the Muslim country feel lonely because of many factors:
    In my country I see many poor people sleeping at sides of the roads even on Eid day they have no new clothes, no one to greet, and are fed by Allah fearing people. And there are places where daily free food is distributed…….. yet when I see many they say proudly ALHUMDULLIH (Praise is to Allah)…………………..because they know what is coming ahead of them………. This really amazes me…….

    the soldiers on the border continuously on alert so that we can live in peace…

    In huge earthquake in 2005 northern areas of Pakistan, more than 80,000 people embraced martyrdom………..in this calamity entire families were perished, there were many males, females and little GIRLS & BOYS, who were only left behind from the entire family……… …..in few miraculous incidents there were only INFANTS who were found alive from entire family. . . . . there were people with no legs and arms….family martyred …but even when they were interviewed they had firm belief in Allah that whatever it is, is temporary……………

    Not all Muslims who are born as Muslims follow Islam as they should………. ……unfortunately……………Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe wa’salam) told this 1400 years ago of this time……

    Guidance is something that can come to anyone anytime depending on his/her heart when it comes don’t let it go……….

    there are many born Muslims who used to do every sin, no salah(namaz) or remembrance of Allah……non muslim lifestyle……….
    but there are one’s who decided to read Quran……..when they read from beginning……they start to tremble……….why because that’s how it feels when one comes to know of truth…………….the world gets upside down………….but when they start to live by that way………they become new borns…………..But the reward is even greater for converts/reverts, their previous sins are forgiven.

    Narrated / Authority of: Abu Huraira
    the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wa Salam) said: Allah (Subhan Allah Wa’Ta’ala) said: I had prepared for My righteous slaves what no eye has seen nor any ear has heard nor any human mind has realised (nor it has occurred to any human heart). (This Hadith is sound and reported by Bukhari, Muslim,Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah). Later on Abu Huraira said: Recite if you wish: No soul knows about the joy of eyes (pleasure) which has been hidden for them.
    Note: there are pleasures in paradise for the pious one’s that no one has seen or heard on Earth………..

    Narrated / Authority of: Abu Said Al-Khudri
    Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said: Verily, Allah will address the inhabitants of Paradise: 0’inhabitants of Paradise! They will say: We do respond and are at Your pleasure; and goodness rests in Your Hand. He will ask them: Are you satisfied? They will say: Why should we not be satisfied, 0 Lord! while You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creation? Then He will say: Would you not like Me to grant you something better than that? They will say: 0 Lord! What is better than that? He will say: I will never be angry with you afterwards. (This Hadfth is sound and reported by Bukhari and Muslim). (Sahih Bukhari) (Sahih Muslim)

    But again many will have their Exam of life in a different way.

    Allah says in Quran:
    “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labour’s] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity (Surah/chapter- Baqarah(2) : 155)

    “You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him – this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon”. (Surah/chapter- Ale Imran(3) :186)

    One cannot imagine the hardships that all Prophets from Adam (Alaihe Salaam) to Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihe Wa’salam) had to go………including their families……..
    There are numerous hadiths (sayings of the Prophet sallallaho alaihe wa’salam) in relation to the hardships experienced by Prophet Mohammed’s family in terms of the provision of food. Among these hardships was the time when the Prophet had to tie a stone on his stomach to stop his hunger pains….
    Mohammeddur Raoolullah (Sallallaho ALaihe Wa’salam); He is an example for the entire mankind; yet he is the best ever human lived simply throughout his life. Do you know; more than three nights the house of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) Stoves not fired as there was no food to eat…….

    if Quran is the guidance then Holy Prophet’s life is the practical example.

    But Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe wa’salam) has said that whoever goes out in search of his livelihood through just and honest means and feeds his children is also a type of worship…..

    The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe wa’salam) and his companions celebrated Eid and encouraged all Muslims to do so. They told Muslims to wear good clothes, put on perfume, and go to the mosque to recite the Eid prayer. They also said we should exchange Eid greetings, visit each other, and generally pass the day joyfully. It is supposed to be good to remember the poor by taking out the fitrah (money given to needy) before Eid, and visiting them and sending them gifts if we can (its optional).

    Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe wa’salam) has said whatever cloth you select for yourself, select same for your servants or poor people……

    Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) thus told him: When a non-believer does good he is made to taste Its reward in this world. And so far as the believer is concerned, Allah stores (the reward) of his virtues for the Hereafter and provides him sustenance in accordance with his obedience to Him.
    (Sahih Muslim, Book 039, Number 6740)
    Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wa’salam) as saying: The Similitude of a believer is that of (a standing) crop which the air continues to toss from one side to another; in the same way a believer always (receives the strokes) of misfortune. The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a cypress tree which does not move until it is uprooted.
    (Sahih Muslim Book 039, Number 6742)

    Ka’b(r.a) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaho ALaihe Wa’salam)) said that the similitude of a believer is that of a standing crop in a field which is shaken by wind and then it comes to its original position but it stands at its roots. The similitude of a non-believer is that of a cypress tree which stands on its roots and nothing shakes it but it is uprooted (with) one (violent stroke).
    (Sahih Muslim, Book 039, Number 6744)

    Both will get pleasures, but difference is that the worldly pleasures are in their smallest shape that non-believers are getting but their ultimate abode is hell……..As far believers are concerned their ultimate abode is paradise and its pleasures are unlimited (nothing forbidden and impure) ……………because Allah is just.

    You can do one thing, try to search other converts/reverts……….and make up a group, start preaching and get together on Muslim festivities.
    You can also help out Dawah centers…………..

    Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wa’salam) has said that my Ummah is like a body when one part of it is in pain the entire body is in pain……..

    And last but not least you have millions of brothers and sister in faith………………..now open your mouth and have a imaginary sweet from my hands (your brother)……..again have a very happy EID MUBARAK!

    May Allah make you the resident of highest paradise (Firdous)……….Ameen!
    Takecare
    ALLAH HAFIZ!

    • Dear Brother, First thank you so much for the thoughtful post. I have read it several times and I still find wonderful things in everything you have written.

      I also must say that your reminder of how challenging things are in different parts of the world make me even more grateful for everything I have.

      Finally, I feel quite inspired. I am not quite sure what direction to take my energy, but we all definitely have a responsibility to the Ummah. I do so appreciate your suggestions.

      Thank you!

      • You are most welcome dear sister! as you are a revert (every child is a born Muslim that is why i didn’t use convert), during judgement day my Mighty creator will ask me, you had the knowledge, why didn’t u spread THE MESSAGE. But I feel the best way to spread this truth is to start from my own self….once you equip yourself with teachings of Islam, everyone can see the soul of Islam in your character(THAT’S HOW ISLAM SPREAD IN OLD ERA)….. That is the reason I feel responsibility towards other human beings specially those Muslims who want to seek more knowledge but again I m just a human being can’t be 100% every time but effort/struggle should be 100% that’s what Allah(S.W.T) wants to see………………..there is much more but I will be back after few days….
        ALLAH HAFIZ!

  4. As Salam Alaikum! Eid Mubarak! Great article about Eid. Idk if you’ve heard of “onelegacyradio.com” it’s an online radio station with Islam dialogue. Personally, Yasmin Mogahed is my favorite. I think you would like it! Other people think it’s sad you spent your first Eid alone. I feel happy for you, because even though you were alone you were able to count your blessings! Alhamdulillah, MashAllah! 🙂
    P.S. If you lived in NYC I would have told you about an Islamic School that first began to teach new Muslims. They did an Eid dinner this year for those who wanted to attend! InshAllah next year you celebrate with more brothers and sisters! 🙂

    • Wow. Why do you think that is? And do you still enjoy the Islamic holidays? Have you found a way to make them your own? I do feel overwhelmed by it all sometimes.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  5. Salam and happy Ramadan!
    I was looking for a place to celebrate Eid in CA when I saw jour post. Thank you for this testimony. It makes me realise that even if I will not celebrate eid with my family (my husband and I are travelling throughout the Americas and we will be somewhere in CA for that special day), I will be with my husband and Allah to guide US in this adventure!
    May Allah bless US all and accept our Ramadan fast wherever we are!

    PS: hope though you’re not alone this year!

  6. Pingback: Ramadan Reflections 2015 « californiahijab

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