Eid Mubarak!


Dianne Barahona Bonilla, Reporter

On Monday, May 2, 2022, several public schools across Virginia closed in honor of Eid al-Fitr. Students from all over the country celebrated the end of Ramadan, a month during which Muslims practice self-discipline, self-control, and empathy for the less-fortunate. Eid al-Fitr is a time of remembrance and celebration for Muslims worldwide.

Because Islam has its own calendar, the day of Eid changes every year. Each Islamic month begins with the sighting of a new crescent moon, determined by religious scholars. Eid al-Fitr falls on the 10th Islamic month, also known as Shawwal. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad is said to have received the first Islamic revelation. He later instituted Eid al-Fitr as a way to pay respects to Allah (or God) for providing strength and endurance during the month-long fast. 

The holiday begins with a series of prayers followed by a sermon delivered after the break of dawn. Families and friends gather together and visit mosques to engage in intense prayer under a clear and open sky. Although it is not obligatory, Muslims usually dress up in new, traditional clothing as well as decorate their homes for the event. Gifts and loving words are exchanged all day long; charity donations are also quite common.  Because Eid celebrates the end of fasting, the day is packed with mouth-watering meals. Some popular dishes include chicken tikka, beef bhuna, potato curry, and a worldwide favorite, flatbread.

Eid places great emphasis on good deeds as Islam states good efforts will be repaid tenfold, similar to Karma.  It is not uncommon to see Muslims hugging each other in celebration as well as greeting with the phrase Eid Mubarak meaning “blessed feast” or “blessed festival.” It is a festive term exchanged between communities to express gratitude. Depending on the region, variations of the phrase may be swapped. Malaysians, for example, use “Selamat Hari Raya” while Russians use “Id Mubarak.”

Maryam Jawadd, a sophomore at Briar Woods, recently shared the festive day with her friends and family saying, “It was a little bittersweet . . . ending Ramadan with the first prayer of Eid, but I loved every second of it.” She emphasized how Eid is a time of “love and giving and it feels most rewarding giving back to [her] community.”

Now that Eid al-Fitr is over, some may have heard of another upcoming holiday: Eid al-Adha, known as the feast of sacrifice. This year, Eid al-Adha will begin on July 9th and end on July 10th. According to the Qur’an, the date commemorates when Allah ordered the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. However, Allah seemingly replaced his son with a ram as the order was a test of his faith. The festivities and customs are comparable to those of Eid al-Fitr but are celebrated for entirely different reasons. 

In Islam, both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are especially holy days. While the events provide a much-needed time off from school, it is important to learn the traditions and customs surrounding the holiday. Remember to wish your fellow peers a happy Eid Mubarak!