As the moon was sighted and the faint sound of fireworks was heard, Eid was confirmed for us while we wrapped away the iftaar dishes for the last time this year. My phone started ringing with notifications of Eid greetings and calls from friends near and far – one of the most blessed moments that makes you feel grateful to be a part of this Ummah. Alhamdulillah!
So I hastily finished off my work and logged in to twitter to reply to all the messages. But my smile soon faded away as I spotted a tweet from a Syrian brother: “Heard two blasts few kilometers away. This Eid is gonna be different.”
I paused as I let those words sink in. For several minutes, I was left staring at the screen, unable to regain the euphoric state that I was in just moments ago. Eid, the celebration, was for every Muslim around the world, and while I had plans stretched out from mehndi to desserts, there were my brothers in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rohingya, Indonesia, Somalia and my own country, Pakistan – probably worried about more important things, such as saving their two year old’s life.
And I recalled witnessing the Imam who led the Taraveeh prayers on the last night of Ramadan at the Holy Ka’abah, raising his hands in supplication and praying for 40 minutes. He included every Muslim country that he could remember, and prayed for the brothers facing endless turmoil there.
The spirit and joy of Eid is only possible when the heart is at peace, but witnessing traumatic NEWS related to our Muslim brethren around the world only deflates our hopes and plans of celebration. And so, I can only write a simple reminder.
Children in Afghanistan and Iraq are now born with medical abnormalities, and those living are fighting terminal diseases as a result of the invasion and the nonsensical war on terror that has only left a good majority without limbs. We have not forgotten the painful moments and the heart piercing screams of our mothers when they were dragged out of their homes and their sons were shot in front of their eyes. The world may watch like a silent spectator and shrug it off, but we are Muslims, and our connection to one another is more powerful than any other blood relation.
Abu Musa (Radhi-Allahu ‘anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) as saying:
“A believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other.”
[Sahih Muslim – Book 032: Hadith 6257]
So the whole point of this festivity is to rejoice the fact that we are one Ummah, and to celebrate the peace and blessings gained in the past month of Ramadan.
But the story is slightly different for some Muslims, as dire times envelop them, where families have been slaughtered from 25 year old young men to five month old babies in Syria, or still struggling to survive with less than a plate of food for a family of six in Somalia, to the sons in Palestine who have not seen their parents since eight months – the last time Israeli warplanes attacked, to the little girl who lost her eyesight and her hearing to the drone that fell on her school in Waziristan, Pakistan.
As I merely type away, my words seems fragile and impotent when they fail to convey the grief that I feel as a Muslim – as another brick of the wall that holds up to 2 billion bricks now, yet flagging and weak as our priorities have found new directions.
Malls are flooded with countless piffle and people continue to squander money regardless of the brothers in dire need within their reach.