Eid al Fitr is coming soon; this is a holiday that Muslims celebrate at the ending of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Eid al Fitr will begin the evening of Saturday, May 23. This date may change, depending on the moon’s crescent. On this day, Muslims will be eating for the first time in a month during the daytime.
Muslims all around the world celebrate this day by waking up early and wearing their traditional clothing, or new clothing that they purchased specifically for this day, and get ready to go to the Masjid.
“Eid is such an important day for all of us Muslims, especially after the month of Ramadan. We celebrate with our families and gather to pray the eid prayer,” said Nuha Abdullah, a local Muslim mother. “I remember always getting new clothes or saving a certain outfit for Eid when I was younger. There were nights where I could not sleep because I was excited to celebrate it the next day with family and friends. However, due to the coronavirus, the experience may be different.”
Normally on Eid al-Fitr Muslims unite together as they go to the masjid (a mosque where Muslims go to worship Allah), and attend a short sermon and prayer. When finishing the prayer, Muslims go around wishing each other Happy Eid.
“Going to the Masjid with my family is one of my favorite parts of Eid,” said Hala Suid, a local Muslim who graduated from UVI with her BS in Biology. “I get to be surrounded in an environment with Muslims who all attain the same beliefs and goals. There is just something so special about being in the house of Allah, seeing all the smiles on the children’s faces, and eating the variety of foods brought in by the Muslims.”
Some Muslims take the day off of work and school to be with their family and friends. Many individuals visit the graveyard to pray for their family and friends that they have lost.
There are many sunnahs (words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.s) that Muslims complete on this day. A couple of example includes eating an odd number of dates before heading out to do their prayers; happily greeting family, friends and even individuals they do not know; takeing a different route home; spraing fragrance; and praying the Eid prayers in congregation.
Lastly, Muslims do “takbeer” before, during, and after their prayers. This is where they repeat the phrase “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi’l hamd,” which translates to “Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no God but Allah, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, all praise belongs to Allah.”
This celebration is similar to Christmas celebrations for Christians. During this time, Muslims give gifts to one another, visit and spend time with family and friends, donate to charity, and feast during daylight.
“Since I was a little kid, Eid had a special place in my heart because of what it means and how I spend the occasion,” said Amal Abdullah, a local Muslim who was born and raised on St.Thomas. “This day is full of traditions for my family and I to mark the end of a beautiful month. We start by going to the Masjid, exchanging gifts at home, making phone calls to family all over the states and back home, Palestine, and ending the day with a dinner at Pizza Hut. This day means spending time with the ones we love, which I always love”
There are many ways to greet a Muslim on this day. One of the popular phrases used is “kul am wa enta(e) bi- khair,” which translate to “may every year find you in good health, or wish you well on this occasion every Eid.” Two other common phrases used are “Eid Mubarak” and “Blessed Eid.” You will see Muslims celebrating, greeting each other with these phrases throughout the day. The word “Eid” itself brings a smile to any Muslim.
Editor’s Note: Nour Z. Suid, PsyD was born and raised in the Virgin Islands. She graduated with a doctorate in clinical psychology and is working on a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. She works locally as a therapist with individuals of all ages to help those with mental illnesses.