Friday, October 12, 2007

Whom Do You Follow?

First, Happy Eid to all Muslims all over the world, and special wishes to our beloved ones in Iraq. May this Eid mark the end of sorrow and pain put upon us and on them and that Iraq and Iraqis regain good and prosper life, forever.

As its always the case on every year, not all Muslim countries announced today as the first day of the Eid. Some countries are celebrating that today, though, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya, and Muslims in non-Arab countries such as those in China, Afghanistan and Philippine followed along. While Egypt, Syria and Oman announced that Saturday is the first day of the Eid! It has been the case for years, and every year I see on TV the endless discussions about how to put an end to such a dilemma. However, there is none and it seems that even if one muslim climb the roof of his house in the middle of the night and see the sign in the sky (a crescent), he will not be able to celebrate the joyful days because the country did not announce through its official religious channels!

The chaotic situation, in my opinion, is when someone like me living in Europe, do I have to celebrate the Eid on the same as in Iraq, because I am an Iraqi? The Sunnis are celebrating today and it looks like the Shiite are going to do that tomorrow! But I don’t believe in this Sunni and Shiite concept! I have no option but to celebrate for four days instead of the three days in this case, but that against the rules, right? A little bit of simple thinking provided me with more than one solution, in fact: we should count the days of the month of Ramadan and accordingly decide which day to start celebrating the Eid. The other solution is to follow suit on a one religious figure in the Netherlands (for sure there is one, or not?) who would watch the sky at night for a clear sigting of the crescent then declare the next day as the first day of the Eid. Simple, especially if we take into the consideration that Ramadan rituals (fasting) is based on the local time in the country where I live i.e. The Netherlands, not local time in Jakarta!

Yet, there are some here who decided to reject such simplcitiy: the mother of a friend of mine met yesterday with her neighbor, and during conversation she asked her about the first day of the Eid. The woman neighbor looked confidence and replied “whom do you follow?” She meant Sunni or Shiite??

4 comments:

Gale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MixMax said...

to put it simply, Eid is a three days celebration marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan where muslims for an entire month are not allowed to eat or drink from dawn to sunset.

Muslims like many other cultures such as Chinese or Buddhists have their own calendar: Lunar calendar. Each month starts when the moon (crescent) becomes visible. The begin of the Eid marks te end of the month Ramadan and start of a new month in Islamic calendar with celebrations for the first three days of the new months.

Rituals during the Eid are many, at least for Iraq, which I can't write them all here (I need a special post on my blog for that lol , but generally it is when relatives and friends gather with each other in big numbers and congratulate each other, have presents for the children, and seek blessings from the old ones. Some organize trips, and some organize parties with singing and group games...etc

Gale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MixMax said...

Hi Gale, welcome back :)
you are right, it is indeed easy to condemn what one does not understand... not only opinion related to religion, but also to many aspects in life and society.