It was a beautiful Eid morning here in Karachi, Alhamdulillah. Of course, Eid is always something special but this year, I was blessed with so many more reasons to enjoy not only my Ramadan but also Eid, Alhamdulillah. I’d never gone for Eid prayers in my life, not even when we were in Saudi Arabia all those years and ever since I’d learned how important they were, I really wanted to attend them. Year after year, something would come up, one reason or the other and I couldn’t go.
In our extended family, it’s quite unheard of for ladies to go for prayer to masajid anyway, let alone offering the Eid prayer. Cultural traditions always took precedence over the Sunnah (people don’t know much about the Sunnah way to spend Eid anyway [see end of post for references]) so that the womenfolk believed staying home and laying out the breakfast was the only thing they were supposed to do, until the gents and young boys come home to greet them.
Of course, Allah’s Messenger (saw) was sent to show us the most excellent way to go about out daily lives and how could he not tell us about our Eid? He explicitly stated that all Muslims must come out to the Eid gathering so that they may witness the joyful meeting of Muslims. Even woman who were not able to pray (due to menses) were to come and take part, except that they wouldn’t stand for the actual prayer.
A day or two before Eid, I launched phase one of the Eid prayer project: Drop hints!
“Hey, I was wondering if we could maybe, perhaps, possibly venture out for Eid prayers this time?”
“Y’know, if we iron our clothes at night, we could actually be dressed and ready to perhaps join Abba (father) for Eid prayers!”
“A lot of ladies go to Eid prayer, it’s highly, highly recommended!”
And of course, asking Allah(swt) to be able to go was of absolute importance.
From my family, the reaction was mixed. My mother was non-committing, my sisters not very enthusiastic. As for my father, I knew he’d say ‘yes’ the moment I even hinted at going so that wasn’t a problem thankfully!
Phase two, marked by active campaigning to the point of being somewhat of a nuisance (that was a risk I was willing to take, having garnered some hope from phase one), was launched on the night of Eid after the moon was sighted. My parents were busy somewhere that night and couldn’t come home until around past 12 am. Although I kept telling my sisters we’d go for Eid prayers and that they should be ready, I was giving up hope, believing my mother would definitely tip towards ‘no way’ if she didn’t get to sleep enough… and the preparations that needed to be done! Well, I grabbed hold of some kitchen work that Amma needed to do when she got home and was finishing up just as she arrived. Yaaaay! Not only did it cut down her work substantially, she became so happy with it that I pushed my ‘Eid prayer’ case even further.
Well, the signs were really positive now, Alhumdolillah! I shifted gears and went a little giddy with excitement, egged on by a sister’s grumblings about how I was acting all ‘goody goody and sickly sweet’ but hey, that’s me! So there we went, ironing like crazy… another sister even ironed my mother’s clothes quickly(making her even happier!)… starched and ironed my father’s kurta and we all shot off to bed. Three-and-a-half hours later, we were up and bathing, dressing for the Eid prayer!
It was so exciting, I can hardly describe the feeling. After quickly having something sweet, as is the Sunnah way, we drove to a masjid that’s part of a Qur’an learning and propagating institution. Well, of course it was a beautiful morning, Alhumdolillah! It was an experience itself to see people going off to different prayer areas, mostly men and boys of all ages, dressed in starched kurtas of different colors and wearing white prayer caps too.
In the masjid, few ladies had arrived in the ladies area at that time, as we were early. We came across a cleaning lady vacuuming a carpet and I was glad to see she was wearing lovely new clothes too. There was a waaz (sermon) before the Eid prayer and when it began, I knew for sure there’s no better way to spend Eid morning than in that setting, listening to the Ayaat (verses) of Allah and the relevant Hadith, filling up with gratitude to Allah(swt), praising Him and seeking His forgiveness for ourselves. The Imam has been blessed with Hikmah, Mashaa’Allah, because he was considerate and understanding regarding the length of his sermon and very concise in his speech. He revised the method of Eid prayer for the congregation until it was clear to everyone. He also spent a few minutes making sure all the prayer rows were in order, all the while mentioning why it was necessary that some time be spent on this important aspect of congregational prayer.
We then offered the Eid prayer behind the Imam – I couldn’t believe I was actually getting the opportunity and really it was a station of humility for me just then… when Allah(swt) accepts His slave’s dua, it shows how His slaves are really at His Mercy and in need of all that He bestows upon them. Also, we are not such that we deserve even an iota of what Allah(swt) grants us, so whatever comes our way, even after we ask for it, is a great, great honour and not “what I should have been granted long ago!” or “it’s about time now!”. SubhanAllah!
After the Eid prayer, there was the traditional Eid khutbah (address) where the Imam generally touched on similar points as in the waaz earlier. The khutbah was in Arabic exclusively, as is the prescribed way but, Alhumdolillah, with all the experience from Towards The Light , I can now understand enough Arabic to be able to follow short talks like the khutbah quite easily all the way to the end. That’s another great blessing to be thankful for.
The Imam made a long prayer, praising Allah(swt), asking for His forgiveness for mistakes and sins as well praying for the betterment of the Muslims’ situation worldwide. It was like in Hajj… being united with the Muslims all over the world, each praying for his fellow-Muslim, wherever he may be.
After the khutbah, people started exiting the masjid and I got the chance to see the vast assembly that had come in. Cute little girls and boys, dressed in brightly colored clothes, even babies, all there with their families. It was heartwarming, really. We met up with some relatives outside too, men only of course, who must have been surprised to see us girls, heheh! 🙂 The sun was shining bright but there was a light breeze too… perfectly in tune with how I felt… excited yet calm and happy altogether! Alhumdolillah. I think my family enjoyed it a lot too though, especially after my maternal uncle invited us for a quick breakfast at his home nearby.
There was such a lot of goodwill and joy in the air. I mean, where was I all this while, missing such joy and exhilaration on Eid mornings? We’d just sleepily dress and set the table, waiting for our father to come home and then, after breakfast, watch some TV or something. No way! Not anymore InshAllah! I’ve dropped hints for next Eid already… why settle for a crumb when you can have a great big chunk of the cake?
Eid prayer for women
Is it better for woman to go out to the Eid prayers or to stay at home?