Can Pakistanis celebrate Eid without breaking SOPs? As Pakistan gears up for yet another Eid at home, here are little things to make your celebration as ‘celebratory’ as one can manage with a dearth of both money and social gatherings
What You Need To Know
The escalating violence in Jerusalem and Gaza has left 200 Palestinians injured and 53 dead till date.
The death toll of the 8th May attack on a girls school in Kabul is around 100, and included mostly little school girls.
China continues to ethinically cleanse the Muslim Uighur population on Xinjiang province as world silently watches.
Being born in Yemen now is considered a death sentence as the world’s worst famine in 100 years ravages across the poorest middle eastern country.
An oxygen cylinder exploded killing 82 in a Baghdad hospital two weeks ago.
The Muslim refugees of Syria and Myanmar survived the entire month of Ramzan on morsels – homeless and stateless.
Pakistan’s COVID death toll has surpassed 19,000. Practically everyone now knows someone who has perished in the pandemic so far.
You may not want to celebrate Eid ul Fitr in such dire circumstances, or you are someone who just generally doesn’t get the forced or planned ‘fun’ aspect of Eid day. Either way, we get you and so we present five atomic things that you must do this Eid to observe this day as it should be observed with solemn festivities as the sunnah has prescribed to us.
1- Don’t Sleep Through The Eid Morning
We get it. You are exhausted after all those sleepless Qadr nights; why wake up when you FINALLY don’t have to go to work? But here is why you mustn’t miss the Eid morning. Even if there aren’t any Eid prayers scheduled in your local mosque this year because of the pandemic, you will still be living the best part of Eid day by waking early. Shake up the whole household if you have too and wish each other Eid Mubarak.
2- Dress Up !!!
It may sound obvious but you have no idea how many people just don’t bother dressing up if they have nowhere to go (which is most people this year I am guessing). But trust me when I say this, following this sunnah of taking a bath and putting on a nice (not necessarily new) set of clothing can really create a festive feel in the house.
Moms are generally the most stubborn when it comes to changing into fancy clothes (‘I have to work in the kitchen..’), but make sure you iron their clothes and make them wear something nice for the day. This Eid, #cancelPjs.
3- Enter The Kitchen
I stand with all women who refuse to enter the kitchen on Eid day. They have sweated out all month trying to feed the herd whilst fasting themselves and if Eid is their day off, then let it be. You must take the baton or at least lend her a helping hand to cook something for the day, ideally a dessert (those are easiest, trust me).
Order lunch and dinner since you can’t dine out but if you plan to cook, make sure to involve everyone in the endeavour (yes that little good for nothing brother too). As they say, a family that cooks together, stays together.
4- Watch A Movie And Not On Your Own
Huddling in your room and watching a movie alone is a NO NO on Eid day. We know family movies can be terribly cheesy at times and the experience awkward but let this year change all that. This ritual of having a movie night with your family can bring back those blissfully ignorant childhood memories when you all watched Bollywood movies on VHS tapes with your parents and would squeeze your eyes shut when romantic scenes would churn up (who remembers watching Kya Kehna with eyes shut the whole time?).
Well, this year you won’t get a Salman Khan Eid release in Pakistan (No Radhe in the house!!), so recommend Bajrangi Bhaijan (2015) instead-a wholesome family entertainer without even a cheek kiss, a perfect PG-13 film to watch with your mom and dad.
5- Reflect On The World With Hope
We know the beginning of this article was a downer but let this Eid day be of hope, of light in these dark dismal times when our Muslim brothers and sisters are suffering so much.
The devastation gives us a sense of our place in a larger order. Let this Eid be a vacuum that balances beauty and brutality. This Eid was sent to us as a gift, a relief from the hardships of Ramzan. As we emerge from a scale of loss unknown for generations, along with the dead, let this Eid reflect our relationship to the planet-in mourning and remaking; in shattering and healing.
Happy blessed Eid ul Fitr everyone !!!
Side note: Think twice before you contemplate breaking those SOPs
Maleeha is based in Lahore and pursuing a bachelor’s degree. She snacks on books, films, cookies and anything artistic under the Lahori hot sun. Her ultimate goal is to get a room of her own and a fixed annual income in her name (as per Virginia Wolf’s recommendation) to write forever, without falling prey to capitalist trappings. You can follow more of her ramblings on Instagram and twitter