Eid al-Fitr, or the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", is the first of two holidays celebrated each year by Muslims.
Eid is considered the holiest holiday in the Muslim calendar. In commemoration of Abraham’s sacrifice to God, Eid is all about sharing and giving. Every Muslim is encouraged to make a sacrifice in aid of the disadvantaged and families come together to celebrate.
With Eid holding such significance to followers of Islam, we’ve compiled a list of ways that people who aren’t Muslim can join in the celebrations and support Muslims as they celebrate.
Give to the disadvantaged.
In its most traditional form, Eid is about giving to the disadvantaged. Traditionally a family would buy a whole animal, giving a third to close friends, a third to the poor and keeping a third for themselves. Obviously, each of us can’t sacrifice an animal and share it, but perhaps giving food to a local food bank or donating to a homeless charity would be a great way to spread Eid’s message. Each Muslim is supposed to give one meal away, so use that as your guide.
Volunteer your time.
If you aren’t able to give food or money, why not sacrifice your time to benefit someone else? Ask a friend or enquire at your local Mosques to see if there’s any charities they currently work with.
Attend a local celebration.
Up and down the country there are celebrations happening. The public are more than welcome to attend. In Manchester, for example, Eid in the Park will will take place at Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield on 21 and 22 August. This fun-filled family event brings together more than 4,000 people for food and celebration.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you’re interested in any elements of Eid, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Still, make sure you’re aware that not everyone may want to talk about it, and it’s not the responsibility of minorities to educate you. Nevertheless, most people will happily explain more about their faith. Discussing that part of their lives with you may help them feel valued and encourage them to speak out more about in future.
Google is your friend.
Asking questions is great, but researching for yourself is even better. There’s nothing stopping you doing a basic google and learning a few facts. If you have a Muslim co-worker or friend, showing that you’ve used your own initiative before asking some additional questions would likely be appreciated.
Confront intolerance wherever you see it.
Sadly incidents of hate crime are on the rise. With Eid in the headlines and Muslims more visible within communities at this time of year, it’s important that Muslim people feel comfortable to practice their faith without fear. If you see Islamophobia either online or in person, confront it wherever you feel able to. Hate crime is an all-year-round problem, but especially at such a special time it’s important to show support and have zero tolerance for abusive behaviour.
You can contact Tell MAMA to report any hate crime you see committed against Muslim people.