Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas, Islamic New Year and a very a sad Eid

It's Christmas today! Around this time of the year I usually wish my friends who observe this feast a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to my American friends whose political correctness has rubbed a little on me because they actually feel uncomfortable when you openly congratulate them on Christmas. But funnily enough if they are Jews then they expect you to acknowledge that – no political correctness there – in fact they would tell me straight – I'm Jewish. Almost making you feel guilty that somehow you offended them. I'm never offended if someone wishes me Merry Christmas or Shana Tova, 99.9% of the time the non-Arabs that I know be it in business or a more friendly settings do never wish me a Eid Mabrouk or even Happy Eid and I don't really take offense but I'm revising my attitude and as I said above; from now on I will only bother about those who have actually at one point or another shown some attention. A few occasions will be coming up and those would be my yardstick – just give the same treatment, no longer trying to be better :).

Well this weekend it's Christmas and last weekend was Hijri New Year, no one brought this up on the Libyan blogosphere except for OTE , I think (thank you), and Happy New Hijri Year to Muslims on a global scale. This New Year dawned on me discreetly again some wondered which day it would be exactly, just like the Eid Adha this year 2009.

Flashback to older posts:" this feast is the most important one in the Islamic world. If they are not performing Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca than the majority of Muslims will sacrifice a sheep on the first day and distribute most of it to the poor people. But the Eid is also very much a family day. Muslims go in the morning to the special Eid prayer and when it ends they return home in processions chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great [.this is the Takbir.] After the prayers, the families who are making a sacrifice in honour of the Jewish Prophet Abraham who was ordered to prove his faith by sacrificing his own son and who was saved from doing this at the last minute by God.[…] However the Eid is only the culmination of the period of the pilgrimage or Hajj".

This year's Eid Adha was like no other, I was in a Mulsim country but could not hear the Takbir. On entering Mecca the Takbir was recited by the Muslims, and when I hear it on the Eid I am so overwhelmed that my skin tingles and my heart squeezes and I feel the faith being renewed in my soul.

I have not recovered since from this melancholic feeling.. I call it the saddest Eid of all and if you want to know why then come back to read me in couple of days…


KhadijaTeri said...

Was Ashura yesterday or today? The whole calendar is a mess... sigh

Happy New Year Highlander... May you have a wonderful year full of peace, happiness and lots of blog posts!

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Highlander,

Looking forward to reading more once you are ready to share.

I do understand what you are saying.

I do not understand the sensitivity some place on hearing someone wish them a Merry Christmas, Eid Mubarak, or any other celebratory expression whether they believe or not in any of these celebrations. I know only those Muslims that know I'm a Muslim wish me Islamic celebratory expressions. While those that don't know, wish me a Merry Christmas or even Happy Hanukah, etc. I take no offense to any of these because honestly, I don’t believe there's any ill intent on the individual wishing or not wishing a greeting to me.

At times I believe "political correctness" has served in part as a purpose for not only a neutral zone, but as a cover up for true feelings too. For certainly, rudeness is rudeness and should never be tolerated, but isn't expressing one's self through the "politically correctness" also a form of rudeness? For it is the insincerity of the words or the lack of true feelings behind the words that make them void all together. So why not speak one's true feelings? Why do we rob ourselves of expressing our true thoughts? Do really honestly believe we have the right to deny someone else of their own true feelings but not sharing our own true feelings? Again through “political correctness” we somehow not only lose our own authenticity but also deny those receiving our thoughts of the same.

I can completely empathize with you on your words “This year's Eid Adha was like no other, I was in a Mulsim country but could not hear the Takbir”. For is it not the loss of something that once was, that is no longer now so apparent? A loss is a loss and the pain is none the less hard, and certainly this would also stand true with respect to the sharing of one’s feelings with another in its purity rather than it’s superficialness known now as “political correctness”.

Rambling I know (sorry), but feel the melancholy in your words and couldn’t help but respond.

Brave Heart said...

Happy new year whether Hjeri or miladi one. Wish new a happy year full with hope and success

Anonymous said...

Insha’Allah all is well.

Happy New Year Highlander.


Highlander said...

Khadijateri, I agree the calendar is a mess now !

Ibeebarbie, thanks your words are absolutely true and this sentence is what I keep telling people "through “political correctness” we somehow not only lose our own authenticity but also deny those receiving our thoughts of the same."

Braveheart, ever the sweet friend THANKS.

and dear 7mada it's nice to know you are always here :)

Thank you all and have a Happy New Year part II of post is coming soon :) ( I gotta finish it before 2010 right ? )

Maya M said...

I am sorry that you have had a sad Eid; I'll stay tuned for the details.
About Jews and Christmass - given the overall impact of Christians on Jews throughout history, I guess that for some Jews, to be greeted for Christmas is roughly the equivalent of some Israeli Arabs to be greated for the day of foundation of Israel (which they would prefer to mark as Nakba). I think that, if the world suddenly becomes perfect, both wounds will need 40-50 years to heal, after which nobody would feel offended. Unfortunately, there is yet no eternal peace at the horizon, so we have no starting point to count from.
Here are some links that may be interesting to you in relation with your post:
How difficult it is to organize an office Christmas party in the era of political correctness:
A Canadian Jewish blogger (whose hobby is bellydancing) writing how she feels at Christmas time:
And how the 6-yr-old son of a German blogger suggested that everybody celebrates the holidays of every religion:

Anonymous said...

Hey Wolfie, Happy New Year, lots of good stuff to you in 2010.

Highlander said...

Maya Happy New Year to you and thanks for the links.

Maya M said...

Thank you, happy New Year to you also!