Thursday, November 18, 2010

(delayed) !عيد مبارك

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

I hope you all had a splendidly awesome Eid-ul-Adha. Eid in South Africa was celebrated on Wednesday (17th November). Mine was spent here in Bloem but I don’t think it really brings out the actual SA style of Eid-ul-Adha so I won’t say much about ‘SA style Eid’. As I mentioned to someone just the other day – “In Bloem we have loads of animals, just not enough Muslims!” lolTongue out

The Bloemfontein Muslim community, in an attempt of spending Eid together, organised a braai for the entire Muslim community. The food was great, but actually the best part for me was that Muslims from different racial groups spent the afternoon together – I love seeing this! I met a number of interesting people too. It was definitely a new experience for me – first time I ever spent my Eid with total strangers! Pity that there was no Qurbaani atmosphere though.

I had to unfortunately attend a lecture yesterday, it wasn’t all that bad since it was only 2 ½ hours long. However, one the lecturers had me frustrated. Her lecturing style includes much humour and her presentations are always filled with funny pictures to help us remember stuff. Enjoyable, no doubt. However, her one acronym read “HAMMAS” and she had a picture of a bearded skeleton entitled “Achmed the Terrorist”. She made mention of a group somewhere in the Middle East that wore baklavas and used guns. The class laughed at the idea; and while I fully well understand that she mentioned it only in jest (& to help us remember) – I was irritated with this perpetuation of negative stereotypes already formed by the media. Now most of the class would associate “Hamas” and “terrorism”. I didn’t find it particularly funny.

On a more pleasant note, I had the beautiful (and sometimes difficult) opportunity of explaining our celebrations to my not-so-well informed friends. [Through my limited experience I have realized that explaining Islam adequately in English can be quite a trying and difficult experience, for instance, in English there is one word - prayer - but in Arabic we have 'Du'aa', 'Salaah', 'Zikr', 'Qur'an recitation' etc.  and after all my explanations, I often receive a 'blank look' or an 'Oh' suggesting that my audience didn't actually understand. I recall my one classmate asking me "What do you do when you'r home, I mean your exact routine?" She almost didn't believe my response and smirked " that means you pray all the time???" What is seen as the absolute minimum in the life of an average Muslim was considered to be overtly religious!] Anyway, I think practice makes one better at correctly explaining Islam, this time wasn't bad at all because my friends related to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) and I seemed to sense a bit of amazement that we actually commemorate this occasion.       

Sjoe! I've no idea why I discussed all of the above in a post titled "Eid Mubarak".
How did you spend your Eid?

Ps – the picture is not mine, I got it from a brother’s blog a long time ago but can’t seem to find the link right now so I can’t acknowledge it. 

Smileمع السلامة و في رعاية الله

**this ought to have been posted yesterday but remained as a draft due to exhaustion, sleep deprivation and exams. Sorry**


MuslimFirst said...


I also try to explain to my friends, about E'id - most are Christian. My two best friends are of African descent (Nigeria and Angola) - both girls. The Nigerian has Muslims in her extended family though and for the last few years, she lived with a British Iraqi sister (she is British herself), so she's learned over time, how to wish us or to greet us, etc. The Angolan, I think, is not as informed, but I mentioned to her in an SMS what E'id was in general (a commemoration Hz. Ibrahim's (AS) Test of sacrificing Isma'il), so yeah, I also sense a bit of amazement or surprise. Most of my other classmates are atheists (from Norway) so I just say "Do you know that Bible story . . ?" as that is a bit more familiar to them or they at least have a vague idea. They know about Ramadan though (I told one friend that I was dressed up for a religious holiday and she said, "Is it Ramadan?" :-)

Anyways, take care for now!
Br. MF

Anonymous said...

Generally, the more dense the muslim population is, the better the Eid atmosphere will be.. that, or its just coz we not trying hard enough.

Unfortunately, noone can be told what the Eid spirit is... you will have to experience it for yourself.. - Morpheus, well not exactly, Adapted Morpheus

Blue Pearl said...

Nice - I wait for the day when the SA government will give muslims Eid as a public holiday so we can celebrate our democracy too!

Bint Mahmood said...

JazakAllah khair to all for commenting! (keep them coming:p)

@MF: Eid Mubarak 2u2:)
I agree - it seems like Ramadhaan is well known to everyone, I too get the question:"Is it Ramad-dan?"

@anonymous: I agree with your very valid point, though I don't understand the Morpheus part **embarrassed**
On reading my post again, I apologize if I came across as being ungrateful for the awesum braai - nay!I loved it & it couldn't have been better! That was not my intention.
For the record: my mention of "SA style Eid" and lack of "Qurbani atmosphere" was reference to my own activities on Eid day and my own reminiscing of childhood Eid celebrations. And you will agree, that any celebration is most enjoyed when spent with those you love most (i.e one's family). In other words - other Bloem Muslims may have had a full-spirited-Eid day, I just didn't experience it:)

@Blue Pearl: awww, I wish the same too :):)