Niles West’s Muslims Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr

By Hafsa Wahid

Sophomore Hafsa Wahid shares why Ramadan is her favorite month.

Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim holiday, is celebrated after 29 or 30 days of Ramadan. Eid-ul-Fitr might be on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. The controversy of when Eid actually occurs will always remain there because of the different opinions about when the moon was sighted.

In Ramadan, Muslims fast from dusk to dawn because we believe that the Qur’an, our holy book, was revealed during this month. The Qur’an is a guidance for all Muslims. It clearly lays out the way we should live to earn salvation and is certainly a blessing for all Muslims.

Ramadan is also celebrated so that we may learn to be patient. It is a way to step into the shoes of some unfortunate people and see how they must feel when food is extremely scarce to them.

This holy month is not just a month for hunger and thirst. It is also a time where all Muslims are asked to critically evaluate themselves. They are to change their bad habits and refrain from them also. As I like to think of it, Ramadan is a training camp, where we learn how we should act for our entire lives in 29 to 30 days.

In Ramadan we also pray a special prayer called taraweeh. Some people visit the mosque to complete this prayer, while some stay at home. This year, I went to the mosque, and the recitation of the Qur’an was incredible. Even if I was bothered about something, I would forget all of it during those prayers.

Although some non-Muslims may not understand why, I love this month. It is a month where I feel as if everything is peaceful and calm. Nothing goes awry. It’s a fantastic experience. Fasting in the summer is not the easiest, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes over you at dusk, the time to open your fast, is incomparable.

As this blessed month approaches its end, I can’t help but feel sorrow wash over me. This month was amazing. I got time to bond with my family and learn much more about Islam.

But like it or not Eid is almost here. Eid is celebrated after 29 or 30 days of fasting. In order to celebrate Eid the moon must be sighted, since Muslims use an Islamic lunar calendar. I wonder if the moon will be sighted today!

Eid during school days is usually pretty hectic for me and probably for most Muslim students who do their homework on time. Tonight, since I am unsure of when Eid is, I will complete both today’s homework and also that of tomorrow. So much work!

After I finish that, I will have to wait for news about the moon. Usually there are long meetings between mosque committees before the announcement of the moon is made. I am hoping this year the announcement will me made earlier! Then I will apply henna designs on all four sides of my hands because it is a yearly ritual I do not want to break.

Afterwards, I shall drift off to bed because I will have to wake up early in the morning to go to Holiday Inn, which will be holding Eid prayers in the morning. The prayers will end shortly with an Islamic speech at the end. This speech concludes with everyone standing up and congratulating each other for completing the month of Ramadan with patience.

When this hugging and kissing session will be completed, I will return home to a deliciously prepared breakfast. The rest of the day proceeds with meeting family members and usually going out somewhere at night.

I can’t wait till Eid. But when I think of Eid I think of the big loads of homework I will have to do. It will be a load of work to do covering two days of school. I deeply feel sorry for all Muslim students.

But although we all complain that we should get a day off from school for Eid, it’s impossible for our board. They have to have the holidays and breaks in the middle of school decided before school starts. I know some groups of Muslims do decide the day of Eid beforehand but most Muslims don’t. I believe that the moon should be sighted on the day before. This difference of opinion amongst Muslims causes some confusion and makes it impossible to declare a day off.

There’s a huge amount of Muslim students at Niles West. Some like me will not attend school on Eid. The school will probably seem empty on the day of Eid.

“ I am not going to school on Eid,” said freshman Saba Ali.

Some students are also deciding to go to school on Eid because of the work they cannot miss.

Freshman Wardah Arifi says, “ I might go to school on Eid for the first time because of all the work I cannot miss.”

It’s hard but what we have learned from Ramadan is to be patient and calm. We should put that into effect and we’ll be fine.

I do not know, at this point and time, when Eid is but I would like to say Happy Eid or if you prefer Eid Mubarak, to all of you in advance.

Eid Mubarak Niles West!