EXPERIENCE IS THE TEACHER OF ALL THINGS
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Diary of Eid ul Fitr

Eid ul Fitr is the day marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan where Muslims celebrate the victory of fulfilling a month of fasting. After abstaining from eating, drinking and avoiding what Allah prevent from doing, eid is the day presented by Allah the Almighty for being loyal and obey what is prohibited. It is also compulsory for Muslims to give the alm (fitrah) to the needy. The amount is 1 Baghdad Gantang of the grain of one's staple food. In our case it is rice. However since Islam suits all era, nowadays the practice of giving the alm in the form of rice is not much practiced and being replaced by cash equivalent to 1 gantang of rice.
This year I paid my alm in Kuala Lumpur at RM 4.70 per head. On the Eid it is a sin for Muslim to fast. After a month of fasting, Muslims can continue with another 6 days of fasting during the month of Syawal beginning a day after the 1st Syawal. One who fast for 6 days during the month of Syawal will be considered by Allah as fasting through out the year.

As usual this year I celebrate the Eid in my hometown Alor Setar. The Eid start with the Aidil Fitri prayer where Muslims congregate mosques to perform the Eid prayer. On this occasion Muslims will put on their best dress and it is usually the new dress. Myself too don a new Baju Melayu and a new sampin. The sampin I bought in Brunei two months ago. It was a Terengganu product and sometimes I laugh at myself when realising why do I have to buy a Malaysian product in a foreign land. The sampin costs B$35.00 and when I went shopping at Mesjid Jamek, I found out the price range from RM25.00 to RM 45.00. So, I must have bought something more expensive in a foreign land.

I did something that I had never done before when performing the Eid prayer. This time I sat in the front most row of the first row. After prayer, family members gather and sessions of asking for forgiveness for wrongdoing were carried out. Kids were the most happy group because they will be given the duit raya (Angpow in the Chinese Culture). It is very unique these days where inter cultural practice is happening in Malaysia. Today duit raya is filled in the angpow, which is the Chinese culture. However the colour of the angpow (small envelope) id usually red for the Chinese but for Muslim it is usually green or other colour with decoration to signify Islam.

Eid is also the day for Muslims to visit cemeteries to offer prayer to the dead because after a month of "rest" from being "tortured" (seksa kubur) for their wrongdoing in earth, it will continue. The prayer offering will lessen their burden of being "tortured".

To be Continued.............




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