Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Well, it’s about 2 pm on the first day of Eid. Children have been dressed, hustled into their carseats, unloaded, shepherded to the Eid hall, given candy, shushed, given more candy, chased around the hall, had pictures taken, been told “mashaAllah” a hundred times, loaded back into the van, driven home, fed a huge pancake and french toast breakfast, changed into play clothes, and given their Eid loot. Things are quiet at the moment. The kids are playing quietly or watching TV. My husband is on the phone with his sister. I am enjoying a bit of downtime while the baby drags a blanket across the floor. I pretend he’s dusting. Soon inshaAllah we will set off again, to take the kids to the park for an afternoon of play before dinner. So far it has been a very nice Eid.
I was prepared this time. I bought outfits, including an adorable cream and red dress for my daughter, a few days in advance. Laundry was miraculously clean and put away, so I did not have to scramble to find socks and underwear at the last moment. All I had to do was wake the kids, get them to brush their teeth, and then help them into their clothes. The baby even obliged by not pooping his diaper five minutes before we were scheduled to leave. Halfway through the first day of Eid, and I don’t even have a migraine. Truly this is an Eid for the ages.
There’s another reason this Eid is special. I was actually able to hear the khutbah. Shocking as that may seem, the ladies kept their visiting down to a dull roar so I was able to sit with my children and listen to a very good, very serious khutbah. Imaam Sa’eed, a Moroccan brother, spoke to us about the basics of our deen – prayer, avoiding interest, honoring parents, raising our children the right way. The basics that sometimes get lost in the hustle of making a buck. Alhamdulillah, I heard every word. I was happy that my kids were well behaved, happy that everyone else’s kids were also well behaved, and I left feeling like I had actually attended the prayer, instead of just being a nanny who happened to show up at the hall.
It’s very important to attend the prayer and try to have the proper mindset. I didn’t focus on the women who wore jeans and t shirts (yes, there were a few), the men arguing over which version of the takbiraat to make, long version or short, and focused instead on greeting all the women, friend or stranger, who came to the prayer. I met a new revert, renewed some old friendships, chucked a cute baby under the chin, and didn’t get upset when my baby left a sticky caramel handprint on my new abaya.
Half the day to go. We’ll pray the asr and then get underway. I’m praying that the day ends as well as it began and we all come away feeling like it was a very good day, a good holiday, and a good Holy Day most of all.
May Allah bless you on this day of Eid and throughout the year, accept your prayers, and bless you in this world and the next. Eid Mubarak.