Every Eid the rich diversity in my community excites and amazes me. The morning I attend Eid prayers I get to see people from every cultural background possible, including old friends and new acquaintances. The diversity of this culture makes me proud and blessed to be Muslim.
I love spending time with friends and family on Eid, that’s definitely one of the high points of this holiday. But also, every year I get excited to see how my Muslim friends and their families will express themselves in their outfits. Clothes for me, is a way to express myself and my personality. So my outfits change every year. Sometimes I wear traditional Pakistani clothes, the shalvaar camise, other times I wear dresses, and still there are Eids where I have worn pants, or abayas.
I enjoy seeing people’s dresses. Some people wear traditional clothes from their or their family’s cultures, Pakistani, Bengali, Indian, African, Moroccan, Palestinian or Egyptian to name a few. While others wear skirts, pants, or dresses. Each outfit is a way to express their Muslimness in whatever way they choose. Their smiles and hugs express the joy of the spiritual journey of Ramadan and of the celebration of Eid.
Without a doubt there are people within the diaspora who consider Muslims of a different culture not “Muslim enough” or “beneath them” (an unfound belief), but it is on Eid that we gather to pray side by side, eat delicious cultural dishes, and as we celebrate we are reminded of Allah’s words that “We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other.” – Surah Hujurat (49:13). Eid prayer is a reminder that as humans, we truly are created equal.
I feel so blessed to be living in a nation, like the medieval Muslim empire of Haroon Al-Rashid, where diversity is its hallmark. I have never known Eid in Pakistan, so I have nothing to compare it to. But I feel that it is such a rich and inviting experience knowing Muslims from across the globe and many different nations right here in my own country. It is one of the things that truly makes America great, and is also a wonderful experience of being Muslim. Eid is one of those days where I take great pride in being from a culture that accepts all cultures.