Early on the morning of Eid al-Fitr, the celebration marking the end of the month of Ramadan, I was awakened by the increase in light emanating from outside my bedroom window. It took a few minutes for me to realize that the power, which had been knocked out by the heavy winds and rain of Hurricane Irene had been restored.
Deprivation and loss brings about a new sense of humility and thankfulness. The electricity restoration was one of the best Eid gifts I’ve ever received. I’m thankful first and foremost to God and then also to Pepco, our utility company.
I arrived early to the Eid prayer but was a little disappointed that on such a beautiful day, we would be praying inside on an indoor track at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex rather than on the grass next to FedEx Field. I suppose plannng considerations around Hurricane Irene may have forced a change of venue.
The indoor track before the crowds arrived
One of the things I love about Eid prayer and the month of Ramadan is getting to see so many Muslims in one spot. It’s a good time to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances that I don’t get to see or hang out with as often as I’d like to.
After prayer, a friend and I picked up some pizza, one was cheese-less but actually pretty good. We made a quick stop at Wegmans for cold drinks, and then were off to Lake Artemesia in Greenbelt, where we met up with another friend, and went for a stroll around the lake.
After dinner, we went bowling and were surprised to find several other Muslim families already there. We ended up in a lane with a Muslim family to our left and some young college students to our right. We bowled two games and I had a healthy dose of strikes and spares but was never able to fully capitalize on them.
To wrap up the night we decided to check out the brand new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in D.C. On our way there we also passed the Washington Monument, Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR Memorials.
I agree that the controversial paraphrased “drum major” quote doesn’t seem appropriate on the side of the memorial but there are more than a dozen other quotes, which make up for it.
When we returned home, it was around midnight, exhausted but happy with another memorable Eid day spent with friends. I know Eid can sometimes be a lonely time for converts and I’ve had my own fair share of Eids spent alone. And while, yes, our communities could possibly do more, I’m also a big believer in being proactive and making Eid fun in your own way.