وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعۡلَمَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنكُمۡ شُهَدَآءَۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
… And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe… Qur’an 3 Verse 140
Eid as a child
From the days leading up to the Eid, there would be so much excitement and euphoria in the air. Getting all the fineries and adornments ready, even the car was not left out. We had special car seat covers used only on Eid days.
From piling into the car on the morning of the Eid, to reciting the takbeerat aloud to setting out early to get a good parking spot, the adrenaline kept flowing. There was only one Eid ground in Ibadan aptly named Yidi (Al-Eid) and you had to arrive early to get in.
Arriving at Yidi and seeing the swarms of worshipers, the vendors with all manners of wares for sale, the masaakin and the fuqaraa expectant of Allaah’s bounties, only heightened the joy and euphoria of Eid. The climax would be the blaring of sirens signaling the arrival of the Muslim governor and the prayer would start shortly after.
Eid as a bride
I remember my first Eid as a bride with my new family in a new town. Everything felt so quiet, the rush of adrenaline was missing. Theirs was a much smaller family and though my bff, Shariifah, had come round to help prep for Eid, it didn’t quite feel the same.
The biggest shock however was arriving at the Eid ground and realizing it was just a tiny school compound and the sermon was in a language I did not even understand – Hausa.
Eid as a migrant
New destination, new culture. Eid prayer was offered immediately after Ishraaq here, could be as early as 5:40am depending on the season. You snooze and you miss it.
As we hurry to the musalla, the sound of the takbeerat from every high and low place filled your heart with joy. But after the prayer, you’d find yourself surrounded by generations of families – grandmas, aunts, daughters, sisters, nieces – hugging and exchanging greetings and pleasantries and suddenly you find your eyes filling with tears, missing your own extended family back home.
Eid in times of fitnah
And then they were only two! No crowds, no fanfare, no rush of adrenaline as you hurry to the Eid ground, no khutbah said, no sadaqah handed out afterwards, no pleasantries exchanged, nothing. Just us, in our courtyard, observing the two rakaats.
Eid in the future?
Will we be back at the Eid grounds? Or will be staying safe in our homes? Or will we be frail and ill in the hospital? Or will the certainty have come to us?
وَٱعۡبُدۡ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِيَكَ ٱلۡيَقِينُ
And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death). Qur’an 15 Verse 99.