The Spirit Of Fitr

On the laptop, typing right now, it’s 1 am as text messages are piling up in my e51 beside me, messages of Chaand Raat Mubarak and Eid Mubaraks. Friends telling me that they’re getting henna applied, out for shopping, complimenting the bangles bought- oh and as for the male part, sitting at home and watching TV.

That’s right, that’s exactly how we celebrate the chaand raat right at home, switching channels, the only thing to worry about is that whether we have a new Shalwaar Kameez to wear tomorrow and what’s the time for the Eid Prayers. Okay, maybe there are exceptions, still!

Ramadan, the month of fasting and abstaining. Abstaining from eating, lying, excessive noise, sexual desires and much more, until dusk. Each reason for the better. This is the month when spiritual training takes place. Training that softens hearts of mankind, making them realize the sufferings of the destitute. This ‘training’ lasts for 29 (or when the moon comes late, 30) days. After this comes THE ritual.

The Moon Sighting in Brunei

Moon Sighting.

After the dusk of 29th Ramadan, people everywhere, regardless of gender, rush up to their roofs and try to find the slender crescent, perched on the nightsky. This very crescent marks the festival. It is only after the sighting of the moon, the night is called the Chaand raat and the day that would follow be the Eid ul Fitr. Thus, this can vary each year, giving the month of Ramadan 29 or 30 days on the Calendar, depending not on calculations, but when Allah wants it to be.

“The originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: “Be!”- and it is.”

The Quran [2:117]

I didn’t see the moon, everyone else did. It was cloudy. It always is. I’m sad.

There was a storm here in Karachi today, and forecasts say there would be more to come tomorrow. What joy!  Though quiet and bleak right now, the city would be brimming with smiles, smudged in colors of bangles on wrists, dupattas hanging on the shoulders and especially when everyone, behind the Imam, goes in prostration with such flow that it’s like knocking a haystack of white domino.

Hugging Fellow Brothers

Ahh Eid. The name itself reminds me of all the sweets and colors, the hugs exchanged by your father you might never ave the children filled with energy, running and chasing eachother. The name itself reminds me of.. EIDI!! That’s right! Eidi. It’s the least of what earning adults can do for children like us. Give us eidi! This might just be like Halloween’s Trick or Treat, except the treat comes to us and we don’t need to run door to door for it. What’s eidi? It’s simple, money. But what’s not simple is that this money is special. It’s not just any money you get when you ask your mother for a simple 10 Rupees when you see an ice cream van going by, nor the 500 Rupees you might ask when going out for a dinner with friends. This is.. Eidi. Eidi is full of feelings. Feelings of kindness, tender-heartedness, assurance, care and.. well, feelings. All of this packed by our elders, given to us, though we’re least bothered except to spend it again.

2am, the scent of Sheer Khurmas and Sevaiyas is in the air! (not literally, but I have to prepare my mind for this) Though I don’t really enjoy eating them, but atleast I do love their scents. Better sleep now or I’ll be missing the prayers!

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