At the Heart of Eid

Azrah Jasmin Villegas Mehdi

The month of fasting, Ramzan, culminates with Muslim families the world over celebrating Eid ul-Fitr with great fervour and enthusiasm. It’s celebrated when the moon is sighted, and marks the end of the period of fasting and prayer.
 
Men begin the day by offering prayers at mosque, while the women prepare the house for the day ahead, including whipping up delicacies that will be shared with friends and family. Dressed in new clothes, families visit and greet their loved ones, exchanging gifts and good wishes while the elders give the kids money as a blessing for the coming year. Another important practice that many Muslims hold dear is Zakat, the Islamic tenet of giving charitable assistance to those less fortunate.
 
Eid ul-Fitr is synonymous with joy and thanksgiving, and is celebrated with great revelry not just in India, but around the world. These celebrations are said to reaffirm the ideals of piety, empathy, charity and solidarity. On the occasion of Ramzan and with Eid almost upon us, You & I took a look at how a few Muslim families in the city celebrate Eid.                                  ..... Niharika
 
Sai Krupa
Having been born and raised here, I feel Hyderabadi in the truest sense. And like all Hyderabadis, I enjoy the festivities during Ramzan: shopping, delicious food, and the beautifully lit Charminar and other heritage sites in the Old City.
 
Eid is one of the most prominent festivals on the city’s calendar, and though I’m not Muslim, I love the festivities it brings. Since I work in the film industry, I have several Muslim friends who celebrate the festival to the fullest. With them, I get a closer look at these celebrations.
 
Hyderabad is culturally a very rich city, and people from several backgrounds await Ramzan and Eid. I usually go to the Old City for shopping, and though I’m a vegetarian, I do enjoy the food that’s on offer. Biryani and sheer khorma are my favourites!
 
Azrah Jasmin Villegas Mehdi
It is a time to focus on God, family and oneself. We step away from our daily routines of work, friends and other aspects of our busy lives to fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramzan. This is said to purify one’s heart and keep the focus on God throughout the day, with the ultimate objective of purification and self-restraint.
 
Ramzan lets us step away from the rat race, and focus on Allah and our faith. The sense of achievement one gets after completing a month of fasting and praying is really wonderful. My family and I usually make it point to head to the Old City at least once or twice during the month. The food, energy and activity there are amazing!
 
Because Eid follows a month of fasting, it naturally revolves around delicious food. Preparations and plans start a few days before the festival, when people go shopping for new clothes and to buy things for the less fortunate.
 
Ali Faraaz
There is always an air of excitement right before Eid. Everyone’s shopping for crisp Pathani suits, and the girls stock up on the latest ethnic fashions. The traditional silver paandan is laid out with betel nut and fennel, and as soon as the sun sets we all anticipate the sighting of the moon.
 
As it is for many Muslim families, Eid is the most important festival of the year for us. A day that’s always spent with family, Eid is observed with great enthusiasm after a month of fasting. The day starts with Eid namaz followed by a traditional Hyderabadi breakfast with family. This is also when we visit family and friends to wish them. The day is spent relishing delicious sheer khorma and other mouth-watering delicacies. When I was younger, my favourite part was collecting Eidi from the elders!
 
Ramzan teaches you abstinence and self-control, and it culminates with Eid. As it is every year amidst the festivities, you feel you have grown spiritually. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and every earning and able-bodied Muslim is compelled to pay a due amount. The term means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’; our possessions are purified by setting aside a portion for those in need. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.