The Glorious and Not-So-Glorious Sounds Of Eid-ul-Adha

Continuing our tradition of sharing reflections on Eid (see our posts from Eid-ul-Adha last year, in two parts, and from Eid-ul-Fitr this year), today we’ll be posting four reflections from Eid last week, written by Eren, Izzie, Krista, and Shireen.

This Eid-ul-Adha was the first one I have not attended salah. Due to recent knee surgery, attending the huge gathering in a sports complex didn’t seem like a smart move.  Thousands of people were being ushered in and out quickly, to accommodate the next group of worshippers.

I couldn’t imagine Eid without the craziness in my house to stay up after Fajr salah and make sure everyone’s shalwar has an elastic, is ironed and we all have matching socks while my youngest sings “Labbayk” so loud we all have to yell over his voice. What was Eid without the sounds of hustling, bustling and warm greetings?

My family has often rushed in traffic to make it on time to our salah as we chant Takbeerat with the kids or just put on Dawud Wharnsby Ali’s highly useful and pleasant tribute to Eid ul Adha.

Seeing all the happy, joyous community gathered together excitedly in their moonsighting-best is a treat: gem-studded hijabs, shiny silks, wide-legged pants, starched kurtas, bejewelled abayas and whatever the latest fashions dictate.

I love the traditional chaos of women talking to other women during the khutbah that is being projected on a huge-screen TV The sargeant aunties troll the periphery and shush the chatty women. The many women take endless selfies and post them to whichever social media site with fun hashtags. I have no idea what the men are doing because we are separated by a huge divider (the ones that divide regulation size soccer fields into smaller fields).

The excited children are all dressed in scratchy outfits as their Moms try so desperately to tame their precious hairdos. Then there’s my favourite part: the eager and overreaching local politician who comes to wish us “Happy Eid Mubarak!”

The helpful young girls who circulate with plastic bags requesting donations for a multi million dollar expansion project for which a decade of fundraising isn’t enough. I even almost missed comments about how women should be properly covered for salah and sheer sleeves are not permissible. (I can’t lie. I actually didn’t miss that part.)

This year, my husband decided it would be too arduous to manage the kids alone and I didn’t blame him. A few years ago, one of our sons knocked down the barriers between the men and the women and they came tumbling down like dominos. Sounds of bewildered panic. Sounds of terrified and confused children.

We can laugh about it now. It wasn’t so funny then as we scrambled to try to move children and people away from the falling barriers. Still, I enjoy the predictable series and sounds of events.

While my husband was gone, I decided to find some music and recitations to put myself into the Eid mood.

I found a veritable smorgasbord of lovely odes to Eid.

There is the traditional Bollywood song “Qurbani” that I remember as a child.

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It was often played at community Eid parties and then some senior Uncle would switch it off the tape player in a huff because music is, you know, haraam. According to someone, somewhere…

I found a far less “haraam” Eid song, the video of which I am sure my kids would enjoy. A song sung by children about receiving Edhi while they fight for a free Palestine.

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Of course, there’s always a benign Salman Khan (Bollywood heartthrob to some) dancing around greeting us with lovely “Eid Mubarak!” as dancers match his stellar choreography step for step.

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I found a melodious Sami Yusuf rejoicing about The Day of Eid and added it to my playlist.

I also came across this heartwarming and cutesy video, an Eid song in Malay sung by an adorable and endlessly grinning little girl:

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However, the highlight of my Eid music search was this gem, which amazed me by making one of Lady Gaga’s songs even worse. Who would have thought it possible?

By the time my husband got back from salah I had heard enough “sounds” of Eid. Fun experiment but I was a bit tired.

I was ready to start on another sense…the taste of zibah-ed animals.

Eid mubarak!


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