May all of our communities observing Eid Al-Adha celebrate with joy and blessings.
This is the time of year when our Muslim neighbors celebrate one of the two major festivals of Islam, Eid Al-Adha. It is the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar (the lunar calendar which this year coincides with the Gregorian calendar on Tuesday, July 20, 2021). Eid is celebrated by nearly two billion Muslims around the world. So, as it approaches, you will see Muslim families in shopping malls buying the best clothes to wear for praying on Eid morning, cookies and candy to share with neighbors, and gifts to exchange with loved ones. It is a moment of joy that every Muslim looks forward to.
As children, we slept with our Eid clothes close to our pillows, sometimes even in bed, with henna painted on our hands and our hair covered with clothes so as not to damage them. Eid for children is even more expected, especially when all the aunts and uncles and parents will be giving children money all day long.
Muslims who are able to do so must slaughter an animal, usually a goat, cow or camel, and then divide it into three portions: one portion for you and your family, one portion for neighbors and friends, and another portion for children. poor. No one should be hungry on this day.
In the days leading up to Eid Day, those of us who have not gone to Hajj fast the first nine voluntary days of Dhul-Hijjah. The Hajj, or pilgrimage, is the fifth pillar of Islam that Muslims must accomplish by visiting Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime, but it is only mandatory for those who can afford it. .
On the ninth day, Muslims at home fast and those in Mecca are held on Arafat Day, known as Waqfat Arafa, which translates to standing on Arafat Mountain in Mecca. This day is especially special for Muslims. In it, the sins of the past year and the following year are forgiven if they are sought by good deeds and supplications. It is the day that the prophet, peace be upon him, delivered his last sermon: the farewell sermon. This is where the last verse of the Quran, chapter 5: 3, was revealed and it is the day that the religion of Islam was perfected. It is the holiest day in the Islamic calendar.
We fast on the morning of Eid until the Eid prayer is performed in congregation, symbolizing oneness with remembering one of the prophet’s last words in his last sermon. He said peace be upon him: “All humans are descended from Adam and Eve, there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness. And during the Eid day prayer, we see people of different backgrounds and colors side by side praying to the same God all over the world.
Then begins four days of celebration, gift exchange, family visits and rewards for children by taking them to playgrounds and events held that day for children and adults. This year, we are having Eid parties in the Twin Cities for families and children to spend their day playing games, participating in tournaments, eating and attending speeches.
If you would like to help us celebrate, we have a free event for sisters only. It will be Saturday, July 24 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on a charter cruise in Minneapolis that includes speeches and “good vibes.” All women, regardless of their religion, are welcome to participate in the cruise event.
The day of Eid and the following days are dedicated to remembering Allah through prayers and supplications, while enjoying the blessed days of Dhul-Hijjah. It would be amazing for Eid to be a national holiday here in the United States, to show unity with American Muslim communities.
Eid Mubarak to all Muslims in our community and those around the world.
May you all have blessed Eid.