The Meaning Of Eid Al-Fitr Through The Perspective Of 5 Muslim Americans
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The Meaning of eid al-fitr through the perspective of 5 muslim americans

"Eid is a day where we are promoted to be the best version of themselves."

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The Meaning of eid al-fitr through the perspective of 5 muslim americans
Safia Ghafoor

Often simply described as the "Christmas for Muslims" by many American Muslims today, Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic holiday that is celebrated worldwide and marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, or the month full of fasting and prayer. Eid is a holiday my family and I have been celebrating for as long as I can remember. From decorating our house with lights, candles and confetti as a child to rejoicing with loved ones over beautiful traditional clothing, food and laughter, Eid al-Fitr has always been a joyous occasion that brought people together regardless of background, ethnicity and even strength of faith. As someone who's struggled with her views on religion and isn't the most practicing, I never felt uncomfortable celebrating Eid as this holiday signifies not how many nights of Taraweeh one has participated in or how many days one has fasted, but the union and warmth of the community around me. Everyone has different perspectives, traditions and personal relationships with the holiday that I wanted to investigate and commemorate within my community as the holiday just passed a few Fridays ago.

"Eid is a home away from home," recent high school graduate Zara Khan describes. "At Eid prayer, the ethnicities and cultures from all around the world come together to pray side to side. That is one of the most wonderful, inclusive parts of Eid. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you've done you are always accepted at Eid prayer, even complimented because Eid is the day that Muslims become your hype men."

"The exotic, colorful foods of street carts echo the love of cooking at every family-filled dawat (or party). After the third brunch, a traditional Eid nap is necessary to energize you for the evening activities of eating more food and mingling with more people. Eid is the day you gain all the weight back that was lost during Ramadan."

"During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to embody kind, forgiving, and patient," says Fatima Farid. "These qualities are embraced on the celebratory day of Eid."

"Eid is all about bringing the Muslim community together starting with the morning Eid prayer, where everyone dresses up in their best clothes from cultures all over the world," claims Izza Qureshy. "We pray together and bond as a community."

"I love Eid because I get to see all my friends and loved ones at Eid prayer, and take cute photos to capture memories that will last a lifetime," says Rana Farawi. "Everyone is dressed so nicely to celebrate. Also, Eid is one of my two main paydays of the year as it is customary for adults to give out Eidi (gifts, which typically involves cash) on this day."

"Eid is a day full of blessings for me," describes Nabiha Khan. "Many people will relate Eid to Christmas so non-Muslims in the United States who are unfamiliar with the culture of Eid can better understand it but I think it correlates more with Thanksgiving. It's a day full of food; my mom only makes a breakfast this big and traditional on Eid mornings. It's a day full of family and friends, and everyone dresses up and takes pictures. We pray and laugh together, and it's a beautiful sight to see. Mostly, it's a day full of love, happiness, and God, where we can come together and celebrate all the blessings given to us after a month of fasting and learning self-restraint. Eid is a day where we give charity and pray to remember everything God has given us while sharing it with those we love and hold dear to us."

Whether one is thankful for the abundance of food served or the memories formed on this holy day, Eid is a holiday anyone from any walk of life can participate in as it is inclusive of anyone regardless of ethnicity or background. Eid al-Fitr celebrates unity, religious endurance, and the appreciation for the lives and communities we have around us.

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