It was the first week of Ramadan; I was trying to find a place to eat for iftar. The white noise of other people in the shopping mall was very comforting. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in fasting until I heard a familiar jingle. An Eid celebration song was playing loudly at a supermarket, and it was still the first week of Ramadan.
As Ramadan reached towards its final ten days, a new wave of advertisements came to play. Gone were promotions for iftar buffets or specials; here were upcoming sales of modest, fashionable clothing from designers who were diligently targeting Muslims in need of new Eid outfits, and anyone else that were inclined towards adding a new set of clothes to their wardrobes.
Frankly, I think it’s perfectly fine for Muslims to spend for Eid, especially for clothes. It has also been indicated by sunnah. According to a hadith narrated by Al-Bukhaari (948) and Muslim (2068):
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Umar found a suit of istabraq (a type of silk) being offered for sale in the market, so he took it and brought it to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for ‘Eid and for the delegations. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “This is only a garment for the one who has no share in the Hereafter.” The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not object to adorning oneself for Eid; rather he told him that wearing this suit was haraam, because it was made of silk.
So, why do I worry of losing touch with the real meaning of Eid? As we were reaching towards the end of Ramadan, it was only natural for everyone to prepare for Eid-al-Fitr. It was easier for everyone to know where to spend with all the promotions and advertisements.
But, I was worried, because during the last 10 days of Ramadan, we had spent too much time preparing for Eid-al-Fitr forgetting that we could chase Laylat al-Qadr. Unfortunately, I am one of those forgetful people. We had chased the shops so eagerly for their promotions, that we had forgotten about chasing a night worth 1000 months of blessings.
Eid-al-Fitr is when we celebrate for successfully fasting during the whole month of Ramadan. We do that by getting together with families, relatives, and friends. We attend open houses after open houses. So, I had wanted to redeem myself by celebrating Eid-al-Fitr the most I can.
I tried visiting my old friends that I haven’t seen for years. But one stood out the most. His house was as cozy as it could get, with no flashy lights outside, but just enough to show any kind of celebration. He had greeted me with a sincere smile as well as introduced me to his wife and children. I apologised for missing his wedding. We caught up with our current affairs like work and news, as well as reminiscing the good old days.
After spending hours of laughter and eating good food at his house, I decided that it was time for me to go. As we shook hands, one of his children nudged me, handing out an Eid packet containing money – usually given to children. I laughed as I tried to hand it back to my friend thinking it was just an innocent mistake. He then told me that it was okay, because “everyone who celebrates Eid-al-Fitr deserves a packet.” That’s when I realised, maybe the true meaning of celebrating Eid was not lost after all.