Festive spirit brings joy and fraternal bond

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Venkat Raman

Venkat Raman

Auckland, May 14, 2021

Festive spirit brings joy and fraternal bond

Jacinda Ardern: Eid Mubarak to the Muslim communities

 

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims will celebrate Eid Al Fitr in New Zealand on May 13, 2021 marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Following the Eid prayers at Mosques, men, women and children, donning new clothes, will greet each other and exchanged gifts and sweets. It will also be a day for offering food, clothing and alms to the poor as per the teachings and traditions of Islam.

Prime Minister greets Muslims

In her message to the Muslim community, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said that her thoughts are with the Muslim whanau as they celebrate Eid Al Fitr.

“I wish you happiness and peace as you gather with family and friends. I would like to thank our Muslim communities for the role that they have played in helping us keep Covid at bay. The past year has not been easy, but as a country, we have come together with empathy. These values are also at the heart of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr- a reminder that no matter what our background, New Zealanders share a common ground. I wish you all the very best as you celebrate Eid Al Fitr.

File Photo of Eid Al Fitr Celebrations in Hamilton Gardens

Body and soul purification

The spirit of oneness and solidarity will be evident as Non-Muslims join 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 be a cold and overcast day in some parts of New Zealand on the three days of Eid Al Fitr celebrations but the depressing weather will not dampen the spirit of our people.

Let there be peace and May God keep you and your family happy and prosperous.

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.

Universal significance

As usual, family lunches and dinners will be among the activities that will characterise 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.

Eid-Al-Fitr may seem on the surface to be of religious significance to Muslims only but the Festival offers opportunities for people of different backgrounds to come together.

It symbolises understanding, tolerance and togetherness which are catalysts for peace and harmony.

The importance of Eid Al Fitr is underscored by the fact that it is celebrated in New Zealand’s Parliament, indicating the growing respect of politicians for interfaith. In the US, UK, Canada, Europe and several parts of Asia, where Muslims are in minority, the respective Presidents or Prime Ministers mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan with their Muslim colleagues and members of the community.

File Photo of Eid Al Fitr Celebrations in Christchurch

Great combination

Muslims have a rich history of celebrating festivals, each of which is a combination of religious and social factors and on such a score, Eid Al Fitr will mark a special occasion in the Islamic calendar.

Special prayers, decoration of homes and offices with colourful lights, distribution of special food and sweets will mark the three-day festivities in the Arab world. The celebrations will include recitation of the Holy Quran and poetry in the praise of Allah and Prophet Mohammed.

Since Muslims make up a rich tapestry of many nations and languages, these are recited in the local language besides the traditional Arabic for Quranic recitations.

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