Eid in the New Normal
Eid-al-Fitr or more widely known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims to commemorate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Historically, the arrival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and other similar holidays involve the routine of returning to one’s hometown or more affectionately known as ‘balik kampung’.
Unfortunately, with the current travelling restrictions, many Muslim families are expected to celebrate this joyous occasion in the comfort of their own homes and with immediate family members only.
A more intimate Raya celebration does not need to be an uneventful one. Here are 5 ways you can guarantee a fun and memorable Raya as it used to be:
Eid Prayer at Home
Although many Muslims will be missing out on Eid prayer at the mosque this year, it does not mean that it cannot take place altogether. On the morning of the 1st of Syawal, Muslims can pray as a family in their own homes. Perhaps, these circumstances can bring about a more special and meaningful experience for the entire family everyone can pray closely together. This may not always be possible in a mosque setting as typically, many Muslims perform Eid prayers together at the mosque.
Eid prayer comes once a year and is to be performed after Fajr or Subuh prayers, once the sun has completely risen and before Dhuhr or Zohor prayers. It has 2 raka’ah; involves a series of ‘takbir’ and it is also Sunnah for Muslims to adorn their best clothes when performing the prayer. Muslims are highly encouraged to perform this prayer; however, it is not obligatory. For Muslims living on their own, the prayer can still be performed individually in their own homes. For a full guide on how you can perform Eid prayer at home, visit here.
Host a Virtual Gathering
Since travelling in certain areas is restricted during the first week of Raya, Muslims can opt for virtual gatherings through Zoom or WhatsApp. Organise a convenient time for everyone and connect with your loved ones this Raya.
To make the sessions more exciting for the parties involved, organise fun games and activities during the call. There is an array of games that can be downloaded and played remotely, such as Among Us, QuizUp, Psych and Scrabble Go, suitable for all ages. Online Raya calls may also create a more thoughtful conversation with loved ones as the dedicated time allows both parties to properly reconnect with one another.
In the spirit of togetherness that Eid brings, take part in gift-giving this Raya season by delivering Raya treats to relatives near or far. Gifts during this season can be as simple as Raya delicacies such as lemang and ketupat or go for a virtual, yet traditional gift such as e-Duit Raya. Many banks in Malaysia offer the ‘online Duit Raya’ feature during this time of year and you may even use digital payment services to give out ‘duit raya’ this year.
You will not only adhere to the Movement Control Order and curb the spread of the virus but also enliven the Raya celebration for your friends and relatives.
Wear Your Best Clothes
Many of us may have already purchased our Raya garments this year and were looking forward to dressing up and attending social gatherings on the first day of Eid. Although this may not be possible, a celebration at home does not need to be ordinary.
Encourage the entire family to put on their best clothes during the first day to get in the spirit of Eid. After all, it is indeed Sunnah for Muslim men and women to wear their best clothes on this blessed holiday.
Since many Muslims will be turning to social media to stay connected this Raya, we are still able to unveil our Raya finery virtually this year.
Zakat-al-Fitr and giving charity virtually
As one of the five pillars in Islam, Zakat is a religious duty for all Muslims that meet the criteria of wealth. It is an obligation to give charity to those in need and teaches us to empathise with others and to keep those less fortunate in mind.
With more local and international banks adopting the online zakat feature, Muslims can fulfil their Zakat or charity obligations right at home through online banking. Furthermore, each state in Malaysia also has its designated Zakat portal that offers online zakat payment services for its residents.
Muslims can also make payment through online channels such as POS Malaysia Online, MYEG and e-wallets such as Boost for selected states in Malaysia. For the less tech-savvy, there are also options to pay zakat using ATMs and Muslims in ‘safe zones’ may make payment at their local mosques or zakat centre.
An Eid to Remember
Depending on the size of the family at home, the merriment that Eid brings is still attainable this year. The traditions we’ve kept throughout the years can still be upheld in the new normal.
As the practices of Eid prayer, asking forgiveness and festive meals can still be fulfilled during these tough times, may our Eid-al-Fitr be a joyous and memorable occasion.
After all, it is about spending time with those closest to us and reflecting on the blessings we have received from Allah SWT thus far.
Homage wishes you a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin.