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