Ok, what’s so great about Eid other than you get to eat during daylight hours and more importantly DRINK COFFEE?!  Last year I offered Plaid Ladies a short discourse on Ramadan so must follow up this time with a primer on Eid.

Eid (Eed) basically means festival. This particular one following the month of Ramadan is technically called Eid Al Fitr – Feast of the Fast Breaking (and yes it is just that!). After  29 – 30 days  of going without liquids, food and some other stuff like intimate physical relations from sunrise to sunset, we are now all deliriously happy to be ‘normal’ again! After early morning prayers, where hundreds to thousands gather at masaajid (mosques) all over town, everyone heads out for breakfast or joins other families at home to chow down and celebrate!

It is part and parcel of Eid, that everyone should attend morning prayers, dressed in their finest and preferably new clothes. After a short prayer and sermon, hugs, kisses (now this is confusing just HOW many kisses per check – it varies depending on region and of course love!), greetings of “Eid Mubarak” (Congratulations on the Eid) and if Arabic speaking, “Kul ‘am wa entum bikhair” (May every year find you in a state of goodness!) fill the air. Such a vibrant collage of color and sound!

As happy as we are to finally finish the fast, especially in the heat and long June days of Dallas, we are all a bit at a loss for our dearly departed Ramadan. It’s such an awesome time of personal reflection, change and growth. Although the day can be long and lack of sleep is a serious issue (this year I felt I had sand bags in both eyes), it is  spiritually uplifting to read so much Qur’an daily, and attend prayers at the masjid where 1/30 of the Holy Qur’an is recited each night.  And in Dallas we are incredibly blessed with the most gifted of reciters, no matter where you choose to pray! I move around so as to grab the maximum benefit. It’s wonderful to see our friends each night and to share meals. For the kids it’s particularly great. Depending on their age, they practice fast or go the whole nine yards. They are delighted to see their friends each night as Ramadan now falls in the summer months and they can sleep late into the afternoon after staying up all night. Not so mom and dad. I don’t know how those who work 9 – 5 or worse yet,  8 -5 do it. Thank God I am semi-retired and can go back to sleep in the mornings after the morning prayer or take a much needed nap! Yet I still get those sand bags.

I have to admit to feeling a bit adrift in the evenings though. Although during the first week of Ramadan I was nearly face down asleep in my plate when we broke our fast at 8:45 pm, I soon recovered, staying up til midnight and beyond with the best of them. It will take some adjustment to allow myself to sleep early again. And I will so miss those prayers and the connection I felt with the Almighty.

The ultimate purpose of Ramadan is to keep that connection going long after the month ends.

O you who have believed, fasting is decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become ever conscious, ever aware of God. 2:183

Wishing all my dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam a most joyous Eid Mubarak, a forgiveness for past misdeeds, and the answer to all supplications. May the coming year bring us more khair, more good, and an end to the turmoil that so besets our global community. Ameen!