Written on 14th September 2010

Before Eid everybody started talking about the Eid “feel”.

“It doesn’t feel like Eid is coming,” one would say.

“Why does it feel like there’s not going to be any festivities soon?” another person would ask.

“I have played raya songs repeatedly but I just can’t feel it,” one more person said.

“All the new dresses done, the cookies bought, but I can’t feel that it’s going to be Eid soon,” another comment that I’ve heard.

Well, personally I think the meaning of Eid is not about new clothes, festive songs, new home decorations or even the cookies and the food.

There’s a reason I usually would want to take leave before rather than after Eid. Or even during the day itself.

A few things would make my Eid more meaningful. And it doesn’t need raya songs to make it joyful for me.

The preparation.

Not exactly the preparation. It’s more of the family ties that bond during the preparation process.

I love it when we all get together in the kitchen, each trying to finish one chore after another.

The sounds of the blender, the heat, the wind blowing through the doors and windows.

The smell of the fried spices and herbs.

The smiles and laughter.

The joy when another relative arrive home.

Pulling each other’s leg.

Sitting together making ketupat and lontong, telling and re-telling funny stories of the past, touching tales of our grandparents’ time, lessons to be learnt.

The Eid morning.

When after Eid prayers, our grandparents and parents all will be waiting in line.

We’d all take turns, giving salam and seek forgiveness.

Looking into each other’s eyes, heart full of honesty, keikhlasan.

Thanking each other for all that’s done.

Exchanging loving embraces, all that would say, “thank you for being there for me”, “I feel for what you’re going through”, and “I will always be there for you”.

Then we would have our second breakfast, and the visits.

The visits.

Uncles, aunts.

Granduncles, grandaunts.

All with their own stories to tell.

Maybe as young people, our lives may not have changed too much from last year.

For them they may have new life-changing occurrences to tell.

Another illness, death of a partner, success of a son or daughter.

Not forgetting the old stories too. Stories with deep meaning and lessons.

When grandpas tell and uncles explain.

Amazing lives of theirs all those decades ago.

Learning about simplicity of life, courtesy and humility.

About wisdom and mindfulness.

New clothes, good food, are all luxuries.

Raya songs are just accessories.

A meaningful Eid means that one becomes a better person.

From his honest amal in Ramadhan; and embracing the true meaning of Eid.

* * *

I guess for me what defines Eid is this takbir.

Allahuakabar Allahuakbar Allahuakbar

Laailaahaillallahu Allahuakbar

Allahuakbar walillahilhamd


Walhamdulillahi kathira


Laailaahaillallahu walaana’budu illaaiyaahu mukhlisinalahuddin

Walau karihal kafirun




Wa-a’azzajundahuwahazamal ahzaabawahdah

Laailaahaillallahu wallahuakbar

Allahuakbar walillahilhamd