Sometimes I use these blogs as an opportunity to have a serious look at local, national or even global events. Sometimes I use these blogs to be frivolous and even foolish. Today I feel it is absolutely appropriate to recognise that many of our friends and colleagues will be celebrating Eid ul-Fitr. To all of our Muslim friends, pupils, students, parents and to the wider Islamic community: Eid Mubarak.
The celebration of Eid, quite literally meaning feast, comes at the end of a month of significant self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and even empathy for those who are less fortunate, observed through fasting and prayer; the holy month of Ramadan.
For the past month it’s a significant proportion of our school, college and wider community have observed one of the five key pillars of Islam. It’s a time for self-reflection, self-improvement and a heightened devotion and worship. Let’s be quite frank about it, observing Ramadan is tough, and that’s how it should be. The period of fasting, prayer and self-control brings with it a heightened sense of self-awareness.
Many of the global religions have some concept of fasting as a key tenet. The need to evidence self-control, the need to reflect upon wider humanity and even our own mortality is something which is observed all around the world. I admire anyone who can show such self-discipline.
And at the end of the Islamic holy month, Muslims around the world are then set to celebrate Eid- ul-Fitr. The festival literally means the feast of the breaking of the fast. Importantly, for Muslims it’s also an opportunity to offer something more widely to their community and many Muslims, at the time of Eid, offer up (another pillar of the faith) Zakat; quite literally, to do charity.
As individuals we may or may not have participated in Ramadan, we may or may not have celebrated Eid but we can, surely, offer our deepest respect and admiration at this time. It could and should be a time for people of faith or not to offer the warm hand of friendship and understanding. It’ll be a better, calmer, more harmonious community for that.
‘Good actions are a guard against the blows of adversity.’ Abu Bakr