By Abbas Souleyman
GOMBAK, 8 May 2022: After two years of strict restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Eid Al-Fitr was celebrated with much joy in Malaysia just like the years before the pandemic hit the country.
Maybe this news seems normal to those who are not aware of the situation in Malaysia but for the people in Malaysia, it seems a great news.
To celebrate Eid Al-Fitr in normal way in the last two years would be nearly impossible as people were forced to stay home.
Can you imagine one day that the Muslims are forbidden from praying in the Mosque?
Or can you imagine that they are not allowed to shake hands and hug each other? Or the sad thing is, can you imagine them not visiting and spending time with relatives and friends?
Unfortunately, this is not an imagination but things happened in the last two years due to COVID-19 pandemic. Huge restrictions were imposed due to COVID-19 that forced people to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr badly.
The good news now is most of these struggles and restrictions are over and life is coming back almost to normality. Authorities in the country set to mark the most “normal” Eid since the start of the pandemic in 2020, as new cases continued to decline.
It comes as no surprise this year as people in Malaysia are so excited to see the sunrise of the first day of Eid Al-Fitr. Also known as Hari Raya by Malaysians, the Eid is extremely celebrated with full of joy, happiness, and satisfaction.
Eid in Malaysia
During the Eid, people usually get up early in the morning and prepare themselves, elders take showers first and youngsters are busy with their new outfits. By 8:00 a.m everyone has to be ready.
They have already put on their new exquisite clothes, everyone is smiling, the smell of perfume is everywhere, and the rugs are in their hands heading to the mosque for the congregational prayers.
After the Eid prayer people start greeting each other, they shake hands and hug, children kiss their parents’ hands, girls compliment each other on their new outfits and boys are busy taking memorable pictures.
The most amazing thing about Eid in Malaysia is perhaps family gathering, which was difficult to happen in the last two years.
It was much easier this year. In a typical year, millions would travel to their kampung or hometowns to celebrate the Eid with their families. They meet and have a lovely time together, and special atmosphere in the house is the practice every year. A long table is fully laid with local foods, as they eat together and tell stories.
For foreigners and students who are not with their families, Eid is an opportunity for them to meet with their country-mates and eat traditional foods.
Not to forget duit raya, which is a stipend that family members hand to their children in fresh, crisp notes to spend as they favoured. It’s a cultural thing to give children money, this practice has been going on in almost all Muslim countries. Children are excited to receive eideya from elders, they could save it all or spend it on ice cream and movies, sweets and fireworks.
Indeed, this Eid came after the memorable and beautiful days of Ramadan. The most notable thing was that worshipers prayed shoulder to shoulder foot to foot in taraweeh for the first time after COVID-19 restoration was lifted. When the imam said for the first time “استووا.. اعتدلوا.. تراصوا which means .. Straighten up.. straighten out and unite. The sense cannot be described, it’s an emotional atmosphere full of joy and tears, worshippers felt spiritual and tranquil. Social distances are gone and Muslims can pray next to their brothers. It’s really a great feeling.
After taraweeh, worshipers were welcomed with a small supper called moreh, mainly supported by donors and served by volunteers.
Not only that, the sweets of Ramadan will not be completed if people forget the poor people who have unequal blessed iftar and sahur. Some even cannot break their fast due to low income, therefore free meals were provided every day in almost all of the places around the country.
In any Muslim society Ramadan is practiced beautifully. It could be said that the loveliest month to the heart of the Muslims is Ramadan and the loveliest days are the days of Eid-al-Fitr.
During this Eid, people do not just say Eid Mubarak from a far distance but they check hands and hug each other. Worshipers pray close to each other shoulder to shoulder, no social distance.
Indeed, this year’s Eid has been engaging, cultural, vibrant, amazing and enjoyable. ***
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