[Opinion] Eid Mubarak: taking the day to celebrate the end of Ramadan


Courtesy of the Muslim Student Association.

Dania Nasreldeen

The last day of Ramadan this year is May 1, meaning the day right after, May 2, is Eid. Many people always ask, “Do Muslims have holidays?” or “What’s Eid?” 

Besides Ramadan, Eid is the only religious holiday Muslims celebrate, but there’s even debate about whether or not Ramadan is considered a holiday. There are two Eids in a year, each one unique and celebrating something different. The Eid after Ramadan is called Eid Al-Fitr. This Eid celebrates the end of Ramadan. It’s like a celebration, a way of saying, “Yay, we did it!” It’s a reward for fasting and trying to do better in the past month.

It is tradition to wake up early in the morning, get dressed up in fancy clothes, and pray together in a special prayer. To perform the Eid prayer, people recite different things and it lasts a little longer than usual prayers. It’s best to pray together in a big group to get the most good deeds and it’s also a great way to see old friends and bring everyone together. After the special prayer, Muslims can spend the day however they like. Many take their children to the park or go to festivals; others just go see their friends. It’s a day of relaxation and fun. 

The other Eid is called Eid Al-Adha, which celebrates a major act of devotion to Islam. It follows the story of a prophet who dedicated and almost sacrificed everything for God, which in Islam is known as Allah (swt). It shows how he risked everything. Due to this dedication, God showed him much mercy and protected his son, who was about to die, by placing a lamb in the place of his son, so his son would live. 

It’s a very interesting story, but I’ll only give that little synopsis because it would take a while for non-Muslims to understand it without significant cultural context. The point though is that the act of devotion and dedication saved his son but killed a lamb in the process. In honor of this event, it’s traditional to eat lamb or goat on this day, as well as deepen our connection to God and our religion.

Personally on both Eids, my family, my Muslim friends, and I miss school and hang out all day. They’re our only holidays, so I think it’s best we get the day off. Doing the special prayer in the morning is of utmost importance. I’ve had days where I missed the beginning of school and came at the end, but I think it’s best to just miss the whole day and make up the school work later.

Many Muslims usually miss the whole day and essentially miss class. I, for one, find it unfair that Muslims have to skip school to celebrate their religion. Just this school year, Christians and Catholics got a day off for Good Friday. Isn’t it unfair that they get their holidays off, but Muslims don’t? They receive two whole weeks for Christmas and now a day for Good Friday, but we got nothing but an excused absence.

Muslims in this district, or at least this school, have never gotten a day off for Eid. It was fine at first, but what happens when Eid falls on a test day or a final, or just a really important school day? It’s not right to ask people to choose school over their religion, especially if the people are super close to their religion. 

I’m not angry or trying to blame the district, but I think it’s unfair to give some religions days off for their respective holidays, but not all others. Many people get very protective over their religion and that’s understandable, but what’s not understandable is letting that get in the way of other religions. This district is filled with Christians and Catholics, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice if they recognized other religions and days that are meaningful to them as well. I believe it’s better to just give the two days off. I mean, it’s just two days in a whole year, but that’s just my opinion.