Eid. When I first became Muslim it was about 2 weeks before Ramadan. It was a phenomenal experience being in the masjid filled with community and new friends. My first Quran teacher, my first taraweeh, my first fast, so many great memories that I’ll never forget.
Then came Eid, I was so excited because I had heard how amazing that day would be. There I was, a new Muslim on my first Eid. I had heard it was sunnah to wear new clothing & so I had one of my friends hook me up. I prayed, listened to the Khutbah, then got up and gave salaams to the people around me.
And then it hit me as everyone finished giving their salaams. As everyone started piling into their cars and I was left their standing. I wanted to cry, actually, I’m sure I did cry. I was alone. I had nobody. I wasn’t going home to a family that was going to celebrate Eid with me, in fact they were still livid at my choice at becoming Muslim. I wasn’t going anywhere with friends because they all had their families. I stood there, teary-eyed and alone.
Until a friend said something I will never forget, “A few of us are going over to a family friend and you’re invited if you’d like.” He still doesn’t realize what he did, the joy that overcame me. As I’m writing this I can feel as though it is happening all over again. I spent the entire day with them, and I felt like family.
It’s Eid again, & I’m away from my community & family in my new home. But now I have my own family, a wife and child that I’m able to celebrate with, but many others don’t. This Eid isn’t over yet. If you’re alone this Eid, reach out to a friend, reach out to me. And for the rest of you, do your job. Embody what it means to be an Ummah. Not just for the converts, but for the single mothers, the brothers going through a rough patch, the children, and every Muslim you can find. Bring joy to someone’s life, just like that family did for me years ago. There isn’t a day that I don’t pray for that aunty that made my first Eid meal, and told me I was always welcome back.
This post is dedicated to my favorite Egyptian aunty in Orlando. You know who you are.
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