Eid Mubarak

»  mark    8 Oct 2008 @ 23:20    

The end of Ramadan came and went with the annual festival Eid al-Fitr or literally, celebration of the breaking of the fast. Happy Breakfast!

The Eid festival is a national holiday in nations with large Muslim populations and sometimes it is celebrated for three days. It is a joyful time, as people visit neighbors and relatives, gather for big feasts, and give thanks to God for sustenance through the previous 30 days.

I was really looking forward to this day, not as the end of “suffering”, but as a celebration of accomplishment. Since I do not live in a predominantly Muslim country, I had to settle for a festival at the main branch of our Public Library.

Maya and I braved the crowds (probably at least 150-200 people) to participate in some of the children’s crafts and games. Maya made a bead bracelet and had her hand painted with henna.

In addition to the crafts, there were people writing sayings in Arabic calligraphy. Maya asked for her name to be written; I requested “Eid Mubarak”. What a fun event! You could really feel the excitement and celebration in the crowd.

This past month will stay with me for many years to come. With great support from my family, friends, coworkers, and my God, I achieved many of my original goals. I finished the Book of Mormon audio, donated to organizations battling global hunger, and learned a lot about a religion that I was painfully unaware.

Ramadan is a humbling event, pushing yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually to overcome weakness while forgiving others’. On the other hand, there is something so empowering to join millions of people united in a good cause. The unity and brotherhood of Islam are admirable, something Christians of every sect and denomination would do well to emulate.

Would I consider observing Ramadan again? Absolutely. Next year? Ask me again in 10 1/2 months.

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