That’s what Eid is made of. Family and food. A celebration of coming together, feasting after a month of abstinence. I have never seen an eid table groaning under the weight of sweet treats, that did not contain a custard biscuit, ends dipped in chocolate, that you would scoop up first when visiting so you could chomp off the chocolate ends first. Cousins dressed to the nines, chatter, selfies and catch-ups for a few minutes before moving on to the next house, and the next and the next… it’s fun, but can be exhausting.
Aren’t you relieved at having to spend Eid at home this year? Even just a little bit? No need to be shopping up a storm braving the likes of Gatesville in Cape Town or Fordsburg in Jozi for all the pre-eid necessities, or baking towers of eid goodies for all the visitors you’re expecting. No need to get all coifed up in expensive threads or to squeeze your toes into those 6-inch stilettos. It’s a different Eid under lockdown. And can be a good one.
Now now… I know you won’t get to see your friends and family, those of you who aren’t breaking the lockdown rules of course. But let’s examine the upside. We have an opportunity for the whole family, men and women to make Eid salaah together. For the home to be our mosque as has been the case throughout this unprecedented time. What a blessing it has been to pray together. For many, lockdown has made it possible to increase our ibadat even before Ramadaan.
For us, Eid breakfast has always been a mad rush as we would dash off straight after to great my inlaws, then to my mother and then to meet my cousins who congregate at my aunt’s house all before lunch. Now, breakfast will be a leisurely affair without the pressure of watching the clock.
And then there is not having to stay in your eid clothes after lunch. Cos you know how you usually feel after Eid lunch right. You can enjoy lunch in the comfort of your tracksuit if you want and there’s no risk of popping a button on your brand new Levi’s.
If you’ve ever been dragged along to visit at family’s homes where you only see each other once a year, and you usually don’t have much to talk about, so you sit on the sofa nursing your eid biscuit and cooldrink till you can make a polite exit then you’ll be glad for Eid visits by Zoom. Zoom parties will be how we will connect with our nearest that we would normally visit in person. But what’s also great is being able to connect with people far away that we would not normally see.
When it comes to our obligations to our community, we have likely done more over this Ramadaan in charity than in previous years simply to help relieve the increased burden of need produced by this disease. It has been so uplifting to see social media accounts drive these efforts and mobilise our ummah to feel more and give more. And give they did. Feeding schemes were well supported and the needy assisted even from a distance through organisations that were allowed to do distributions.
Somehow, Covid-19 which requires us to stay apart has made the world smaller and brought us closer.
This Eid, we are apart but we are together. Alhamdulillah.
May your eid be a slower one this year. A unique one that you’ll tell your grandchildren about in the future. May you have ease in your longing to be with those whom you miss. May there be creativity in the memories you make. And may there be a custard biscuit or two in the midst.