The month of Ramadan is coming to an end, a time in which most people embark upon their personal spiritual journey in order to better themselves and strengthen their faith. Just as any other worldly achievement deserves a reward at the end, almost everyone is preparing to celebrate the accomplishment of Ramadan with the big day of Eid-ul-fitr!
It is the most-celebrated festival in the Islamic lunar calendar in which Muslims all around the world come together and rejoice the fulfillment of the obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Although we celebrate the day of Eid every year, the routine can sometimes seem fairly repetitive. Spending time with family members and cooking amazing food is one of the most typical responses to Eid in a Muslim household. This begs the question ‘there must be more to it?’. After all, Allah has prescribed this day as a gift for us and expressing joy on Eid is one of the symbols of Islam. Here are five ways in which you can make this blessed day of Eid more meaningful and a remarkable experience:
1. Spend time with family and friends:
Whilst this may seem the most obvious piece of advice, the occasion of Eid is often a time when only close family get together and spend the day together. However, visiting close family does not necessarily equate to having a ‘special eid’ until there is something extraordinary about the visit. Take it upon yourself this Eid to make the visit to your close family’s house a memorable one, by taking gifts for every member of the family and spending time with each individual, including the children and the elderly. It is important to involve children in the preparation of Eid so that they understand the religious significance of the day.
Eid provides a great opportunity to reunite with relatives and friends who you do not meet so often and it is even the perfect time to reconcile with those family members that may not have such good terms with you. Showing mercy and compassion towards others is a great way of proving how Ramadan has had a positive impact on you and your way of life. It may even encourage other family members to reunite with their close ones which means you also receive the blessings for their actions too.
Never forget to include your non-muslim friends and neighbours in the celebration of Eid. It is a great opportunity to share your beliefs and culture with those belonging to other faiths. In this way, they are able to learn more about the Islamic faith and remove any pre-existing misconceptions about Islam or Muslims. It is especially important to promote integration during an era in which the faith of Islam is not portrayed in the best of light in the mainstream media. Also, one of the most left out groups during Eid are new muslim reverts who have non-muslim friends and family. Making them a part of your Eid celebration will not only make it special for them but also make them feel a sense of belonging in the Muslim community. This is the perfect time to spread love and positivity like it is confetti.
2. Visit the local mosque:
Whether you visit the mosque regularly or once in a blue moon, make it a habit to make a visit on the day of Eid-ul-fitr. The attendance of women in mosques during Eid prayer is especially very low. Although, it may not be compulsory for women to attend, making the effort to pray Eid Salah at the mosque will only allow you to feel the spirit of Eid and be part of a wider community, rather than alone at home. Often after Ramadan, all we need is a chance to re-evaluate and regain motivation to continue practicing the good habits we instilled during the 30 days. The Eid-ul-fitr khutbah (sermon) can set out a clear direction and new perspective for you to take forward and benefit you for the rest of the year.
Attending the prayer in the mosque will also provide you the opportunity to meet new people and rejoice with them. There are higher chances for you to meet long lost friends and acquaintances in the mosque than any other time in the year. Perhaps attend a mosque that you and your family don’t regularly attend. This allows you to get to know other members of the community and meet new people in order to share the positive vibe with them as well.
3. Give back to the community:
The blessings can also be spread through the simple act of giving. Donating to charity could never be made easier than it is on the day of Eid. Leave the house with the intention to make even a small contribution to the charity funds that will be collected in the mosque. Volunteering to help any local community cause on the day can also give you a sense of fulfillment as well as increase your reward. This can include; providing food and clothing at a homeless shelter, visiting the sick or elderly or even collecting funds for a good cause.
It is important to remember that while we have family and friends to share our happiness and joy with, there are many of those who are less fortunate or even those that are going through tough times. Keeping such people in mind and making a conscious effort to help them will only add to your sense of feeling complete on the day. Take the time out to visit friends and relatives that have been inflicted with recent tragedy, such as the loss of someone dear to their heart. Simple acts of kindness may seem minor to you but could potentially brighten up someone’s entire day.
4. Review your goals:
Just as Ramadan ends, people often fail to plan ahead, and as a result, they end up reverting back to their pre-Ramadan lifestyle and all of the new habits that were practiced during the entire month, go straight out the door on Eid day. Chances are this has happened to you year in, year out. It is important to consider making a resolution to drive you towards success until the next Ramadan. Otherwise, if you fail to do so, you will only find yourself in the same position every single year which means neither will you improve as a person, nor will you grow in your spiritual journey. Making others a part of your plans can be a good idea as it will allow them to support you in achieving your goals. It can also encourage them to embark upon their own journey and make a positive change in their own lives as well. Also, when we share our goals with others, we are highly likely to achieve the desired results, due to the fact that failing to do so will mean sheer embarrassment. Most importantly, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.
5. Get yourself outdoors:
Chances are during Ramadan you probably spent most of your time indoors, in order to preserve your energy levels and focus on your spirituality. On Eid day, people tend to stay in doors and spend the entire day at home. One of the best ways to celebrate the day can be by embarking upon an exciting trip or adventure with our close ones. Not only will it become a memorable day for you and your family, it can refresh your mind and body and allow you to relieve your exhaustion from the past four weeks.
Celebrating Eid is wajib upon any muslim, therefore, if you are able to take the day off from work, it is highly recommended to do so. It is important to make the day special for the children, by taking them to their favourite places or places they would like to visit. This will allow them to understand the significance and importance of this festival. Across the UK, mostly in places highly populated with Muslims, there are huge outdoor Eid festivals that are organised to entertain everyone with funfairs, shopping stalls, food, live performances, competitions, henna tattoo artists and much more fun for the whole family!
Whatever you do this Eid, make it a meaningful experience. Make sure your whole neighbourhood is a part of the celebration! The day should be filled with gratitude, and the intention to consolidate the habits that are practiced during Ramadan should be made. We would like to wish you a sincere Eid Mubarak! May your your day be filled with sweets, smiles and scents of blessings. Keep us in your prayers and enjoy the day to the fullest.