Making amends as obedience to the one God
Last updated 6/12/2019 at Noon
Eid al Fitr is the three-day celebration, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, important to Muslims as Christmas or Hanukkah is to others of the Abrahamic faiths.
Eid al Fitr is one of two equally major holidays for Muslims around the world, the other being Eid al Adha, the celebration that marks the completion of the annual Hajj in Mecca.
With the sighting of the new moon in the western sky just after sunset one-night last week, Ramadan ended and Eid began.
During Eid, Muslims not only celebrated the end of fasting, but we thanked God for the help and strength he gave us throughout the previous month to practice self-control as a form of worship.
Payment of Zakat al Fitr a charity for the poor, which is a pillar of Islam, is required of every Muslim before Eid prayer. The head of the house must pay for the immediate members of the family, and this money is usually given a week or two before the end of Ramadan so it can be distributed to any needy folks, as a part of our faith.
The majority of Mukilteo Muslims attended a one-hour, area-wide service around 9 a.m. at Edmonds Center for the Arts. We and many others brought our own prayer rugs and wore ethnic clothing, which reflects the cosmopolitan mosaic of our Muslim community locally. The Islamic Center of Mukilteo (ICOM) hopes to have our own Mosque built soon on Harbour Pointe Boulevard Southwest, where we can eventually do this and contribute to our local community.
For me, the best part of the day comes just after the Eid sermon, when each person stands up and hugs the person next to him or her, and then hugs another, and then others still even people we may not know personally, but recognize as our brethren in faith, embracing them and wishing them a blessing of "God be with you."
For me, this is the real spirit, the essence of Eid rich or poor, black, white or brown; we have all fasted together, prayed together, and finally shown our love for each other, strictly for the pleasure of God.
After the prayers, everyone returned home to celebrate the holiday. Our houses were decorated the night before, and everyone was still wearing their Eid attire.
It isn't common for children to receive gifts on Eid, but rather gifts of money called "Eidii," usually in the form of a brand-new banknote.
The amount is small, but when collected all day from mom and dad, uncles and aunts, friends and neighbors, it amounts to plenty.
This year after prayers, we prepared all kinds of ethnic foods, inviting all my relatives for a feast that lasted all day. Our children played and were entertained, as relatives sat around our house, eating and exchanging wonderful and relaxing conversation all day and into the evening.
Eid al Fitr is that opportunity to share the joy of having endured a month of hunger and self-control, of having practiced good manners, good speech and forgiveness, and of making amends as obedience to the one God.