Venkat Raman –
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims celebrated Eid Al Fitr in New Zealand on July 18, 2015, marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Following the Eid prayers at Mosques, men, women and children, donning new clothes, greeted each other and exchanged gifts and sweets.
It was also a day for offering food, clothing and alms to the poor as per the teachings and traditions of Islam.
The spirit of oneness and solidarity was evident as Non-Muslims joined in the celebrations, greetings their Muslim brothers and sisters.
According to the Holy Quran, a month of fasting from dawn to dusk and total abstinence from worldly pleasures purifies the body and soul.
It may have been a cold and overcast day in some parts of New Zealand but the depressing weather did not dampen the spirit of Eid Al Fitr.
“Let there be peace and May God keep you and your family happy and prosperous,” were the words that emanated from all of them, as if on a cue.
But then, such is the spirit of Islam that fraternal feelings transcend religious beliefs and vicissitudes. Social status and income levels hardly enter the equation and the mood is one of gaiety and fun.
As usual, family lunches and dinners were among the activities that characterised the First Day of Eid. It is a matter of gratification that the growing Muslim population in New Zealand has adhered to the traditional values of Islam.