Eid is upon us, fellow Muslim brethren! A joyous occasion celebrating the fasts, the prayers, the many times you repeated to yourself through gritted teeth and clenched fists, “I’m fasting” when you tried to calm your road rage. The morning of Eid is an especially unique moment.
When else during the year do you iron your shalwar kameez at 6:30 in the morning or do relatives 7 hours ahead of you call at the break of dawn to say hello? Only on Eid morning of course!
Despite having to be up by 6:15, you can’t sleep. Are you that excited for Eid?! Or has your sleep schedule completely been thrown into a blackhole of chaos that is a summer Ramadan and you’ve gotten accustomed to sleeping so early the next morning?
Serious existential questions begin to enter your mind. Did I do everything I could to be a better Muslim this Ramadan? Did I put enough lemon juice on my henna to get ultimate, long-lasting, bold results?
Your cutesie “EID <3 :)” alarm label is futile against your right thumb that hits SNOOZE.
The battle between the alarm and your right thumb continues. Your thumb wins. For now.
Your brother knocks on your door and tells you it’s to get up. “And oh yeah, Eid Mubarak.”
All the showers are occupied. You use this time to groggily iron your Eid outfit which seems to be completely made of chiffon, sequin, cashmere, rose petals, silk worms (not silk, silkworms).
Once in the bathroom, you wash your face to reduce puffiness. It is still puffy. When your face is all clean, you start putting on your mascara and try to think of the last time you put on a full face of makeup at 7 in the morning. You remember. It was last Eid.
Dressed and phone in hand already buzzing with “Eid Mubarak” texts, you go to the kitchen and your mom has laid out pastries on a fancy tray. You approach the cookies but hesitate. Then you remember that food actually isn’t haram (forbidden) and that it’s all okay now. You grab a powdered sugar cookie and allow the sugar to melt in your mouth.
You cherish this moment. It feels so wrong. But so right. Meanwhile, Baba is on his 3rd cup of coffee this morning.
You are on your way to Eid prayer and there is traffic. Baba makes a dad joke: “I guess everyone’s on their way to Eid prayer!” Your family laughs at the ridiculousness of the notion that all of LA is on their way to celebrate Eid. Then you all silently contemplate how cool that would be. Then you think about Creeping Shariah and smirk to yourselves.
Your father’s plans for arriving at the early Eid prayer are foiled (as they are every year), and your optimistic mother says, just like every year, “It’s okay, we’ll make the 9 am prayer. Relax, it’s Eid!”
You’re finally at the convention center with thousands of other Muslims here to pray the Eid prayer. You put your shoes in a plastic bag provided so intuitively by the facility, sit down next to your mom, and begin saying the takbir chants. You realize you never really learned the takbir. You just know it from the Eid prayers you’ve attended since you were born. You begin saying it louder.
Eid prayer starts. Little kids in tutus, bow ties, headbands, mini kaftans run through rows of people praying. Today, you are okay with the children being unruly because it looks like a Gymboree catalog came to life.
Eid prayer ends. You hug and kiss the people you know around you. And the ones who look familiar but you’re not sure if you met them before but it’s probably better to say hello just for good measure.
Exit prayer area, head for donut table. Eat celebratory Eid donut and relish in the fact that it’s broad daylight and you’re eating.
After much picture taking, people meeting, Eid-money receiving, and donut eating, it’s time for the traditional Eid nap. Go ahead, you need this. You have a long day of celebration ahead.