Embracing the Covid-19 infused Eid-ul-fitr
22 May 2020| 28 Ramadaan 1441| Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed
Will Eid morning this year feel the same for you?
“I won’t be able to carry my musallah to the grounds to perform Eid salaah. It is sad becauseI won’t hear the echoing of takbeers by brothers from all walks of life that makes me feel so grateful to have completed another beautiful ramadaan.”
“I will not be able to visit my parents at the Kabrastaan as we traditionally do on the day of Eid.”
“Eid breakfast won’t feel the same. My house is usually busy in the morning with members of the community coming in greeting and having a cup of Eid milk. They all say the same thing that Ramadaan went by too quickly. I will miss that”
“I have noticed a sadness in my mothers’ eyes as my siblings stay away from home and won’t be with us this Eid. She has even prepared less treats this year as compared to the other years because we won’t be able to share it with our neighbours.”
Eid-ul-fitr 2020 already has us feeling despondent and heartbroken at what would usually be a day of celebration with loved ones to now a day of reminiscing. Covid-19 has changed the way we exist. From not having salaah in our masjids for so many weeks, to a Ramadaan without Taraweeh and listening to the quraan being recited by our gifted hufaaz to even an Eid with no Eid Gah, this virus has brought with it a lockdown that has shown us that as Muslim we are blessed with so many unspoken treasures that if taken away leaves a longing.
The lockdown has unmasked a new side to life, a side where our homes are now our masjids, our children and family members our jamaat. It has thought us how important it is to reconnect with ourselves and confined us with our loved ones provoking conversation and encouraging a new family order.
And yes, we can’t deny that Eid will not feel the same.
But did we not feel the same way about Ramadaan?
Alhamdulilah with the mercy of Allah (SWT) we have been able to complete this beautiful month in a way that we once thought will not be possible.
Likewise, a Covid-19 infused Eid is possible. Do not allow the joy of Eid to escape you by feeling unenthusiastic and irritated that you won’t be able to celebrate as you usually would. You can still have a celebration.
We are living in a time that sees technology at its peak with almost all of our family members possessing smart phones and devices. We can use Whatsapp video call, Skype or even Zoom with our families and friends. If Nanny and Nana do not have the latest technology, well, then we will have to use the normal call. But you have to do this. Keep your phone close to you the entire day.
Video call your brother or sister when you are having lunch. Let them join you at your table virtually.
When you bite into your burfee share the experience with your cousin who also tried this new recipe you found on a halaal food group. This way you won’t feel like you are missing out.
The other very big concern our little ones might have is the Eidee for the year. This is the one time of the year our kids are most excited to collect Eidee from family members as a gesture of a reward for fasting in the month of Ramadaan. Perhaps we could cheer them up by letting family members who usually would reward them to speak to them expressing how proud they are and if possible, pledge their reward which will be given once they are able to see them again.
I can still hear you saying “Ya, but it’s not the same”
I live away from my parents as well. Eid hasn’t been the same for many years. What I miss the most is baking with my mother. And Alhamdulillah thanks to technology I have been able to virtually be in the kitchen while she is baking via video call. Yes, there is a downside. I don’t get the smell of her butter biscuits or get to lick the bowl of melted chocolate after decorating the biscuits. But what I do get is another chance to be like a fly on the wall in my mothers’ home even after marriage. (I don’t want to be a fly but you get where I am going with this)
Again, this is not the same as physically being there. I know that.
But would you rather risk breaking the lockdown regulations by going to see your loved ones putting them at risk or accept that we can plan and plan but ultimately only Allah (SWT) is the best of planners.
Being away from family on a day like Eid is going to be a test. But what this does show us is that we should visit our loved ones more regularly (after the lockdown ofcourse). Have more of the family getting together and gatherings to make up for the time lost from not seeing them during the lockdown.
Let’s not wait for only a special occasion like Eid to have lunch together. Try and make it a regular thing. If it’s not physically possible, then let us try to make it more virtually possible.
We can’t promise that this article will fill that void you have in your heart or have the answer to how to make Eid awesome, but we can encourage is optimism.
We have to remember that faith is all we have right now and if we complain on social media and rant about how the lockdown is ruining Eid what example is that of Islam. We believe everything comes from Allah (SWT), and this too shall pass!
Have a blessed Eid-ul-fitr and eat as much burfee as you can, after all you have earned it!