#EidWithMe: How Different Muslims Celebrate Eid
Eid ul-Fitr, or more commonly known in Singapore as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, is an occasion celebrated by Muslims all over the world, regardless of their backgrounds or geographical locations. As Singaporean Muslims, we might be familiar with the usual routine of Eid: the festive clothes, endless spread of food, house-to-house visiting.
However, it’s interesting to note that what we may find commonplace as practices are not in fact wajib or obligatory in celebrating Eid. In reality, Eid is simply the commemoration of the end of what actually is wajib for all Muslims: fasting during the month of Ramadan. It is a day in which fasting is prohibited, a festival for breaking our fast.
In fact, according to a hadith, Eid can be seen as a form of reward for our ibadah:
Allah SWT says, “My angels, my male and female servants have fulfilled what I have made obligatory for them, and then have come out raising their voices in supplication. By my might, glory, honour, high dignity, and exalted station, I will certainly answer them.” Then He says, “Return, for I have forgiven you and changed your evil deeds into good deeds.”
(Mishkat al-Masabih, Book 7, Hadith 137)
Now we know that celebrating Eid is a sunnah (albeit a highly encouraged sunnah or sunnah muakkadah!), let’s explore through this series, how different Muslims in Singapore and around the world celebrate Eid. How does Eid vary amongst the diverse Muslim landscape in Singapore, amongst our various races and backgrounds? How does it vary in other countries?
What makes Eid, Eid?
#EidWithMe: How an Indian Muslim in SG Celebrates Eid (Part 1)
For today’s piece, we talk to Farid, a third-year student from NTU’s School of Biological Sciences to find out more about how he celebrates Eid as an Indian Muslim in Singapore.
1st Syawal walk-through:
I wake up early, pray Subuh, nap (if I can), we take turns showering, get ready and try to catch the first Eid prayer at Masjid Al-Muttaqin at around 7.15 - 7.20 a.m. I also try to have some cookies before we go for prayers as a family and I come back to a delicious breakfast usually prepared in advance by my Mom. Throughout the day, we call up and talk to relatives to catch up with each other. We also try to take turns at home to take some #ootd’s of each other!
We also usually eat a lot of meat during Eid. So I like eating prata with mutton curry after returning from prayers and sometimes we also eat jalar appam. And my family tends to like vattalappam too! Since we have such a heavy breakfast, we tend to have a later lunch too. For lunch, we have mutton biryani! Whatever it is, gotta have that mutton.
Favourite Eid Cookie/Kuih?
Almond Kuih! (We usually buy it!) My mom also usually makes a layered cake that’s very colourful. It’s pretty similar to kek lapis and it’s a recipe that was taught to her by her mom and her grandmother.
What’s your usual Eid-fit of the day?
Usually, I wear a jubah. I think it depends on what we feel like wearing for that particular year. I’ve also worn a shirt and pants or even baju melayu for certain years.
What do you love most about how your family celebrates Eid?
I think I like how it gives me a lot of time to myself. I don’t need to go around visiting and we just Skype or Whatsapp call. We don’t have to travel far and once the call is done, we’re free. So it’s a very chill and restful Hari Raya.
I also really enjoy the trip down for prayers. I’ve been living in Ang Mo Kio my whole life so I get to meet my primary school friends, secondary school friends and a lot of familiar faces when I go to the mosque.
What did you miss most about Eid during Circuit Breaker last year?
To me, the main difference was praying at home. After that prayer, it didn’t feel like Eid anymore. Praying at home means you don’t have any fixed timing for the Eid prayer because you don’t have the push factor of leaving for the mosque.
Finally, what’s on your Eid radio/screen?
Well, it’s more so for Eid ul-Adha but we do play the takbir. We tend to remember it more for Eid ul-Adha because we can play it for a longer period of time but sometimes we just play the 5-hour video of takbir for the day of Eid ul-Fitr too!