With the sighting of the new crescent on the horizon, heralding the new lunar month of Shawwal and signalling the departure of the fasting month of Ramadan, the Muslims who comprise nearly one-fourth of the world’s population, have begun the celebrations of an important day in the Islamic calendar — Eid ul-Fitr, the festival of charity.
But, it is also the time for a Muslim to sit back and reflect on his or her performance during the holy month, to which he/she has now bid adieu. As a child, I was always attracted towards the fasting and sacrifice rituals performed during Eid. It has always left a big impact on me, a non-Muslim. Here’s why-
You will fall for their devotion
In my college, one of my BFF was Muslim. Eid and its celebration were alien to me and it won’t be wrong to say, it was like a second-hand culture, which I was unaware about. When my friend, Rufi, would join us at our lunch table, but never used to eat. She skipped basketball practice too because she could not drink even a drop of water. Though, we were unremittingly cruel to her cultural differences — as college people tend to be — I admired her dedication towards the traditions she was born into, even though, she never uttered any personal love of Islam.
There are reason why I adore the holy month of Ramadan
This holy month always remains close to my heart, not because many of my friends are Muslims because I have high respect for their commitment. Perhaps, there is a feeling of harmony, but also, I see it as a way to experience what a significant population of the world experience every year.
Ramadan is not only about fasting; it’s about giving to the needy and showing your care
Ramadan is a time that asks you not just to be on fast, but to give to the poor and always be respectful towards everyone. During Iftaar, thousand of devotees distribute food to the people daily. Muslims around the world — for centuries — had been treated to two similar sides of the day, joined by food, community and ritual.
Eid is an act of joining the world by empathy
I am swayed, by the idea that the world will be a better place, if only we practice the various forms of compassion, and Eid is one of them. This requires us to take it upon ourselves, to explore and learn about habits and viewpoints that are practiced and yet foreign to us. It asks us to see the world through others’ eyes, from time to time. And like travel, perhaps, experiencing Ramadan as a non-Muslim is also rewarding.
Image Credit: Sameer Mushtaq