With all the hustle and bustle of Eid or commonly known as Hari Raya in Singapore– buying kuihs(cookies), new furniture, Eid clothes & prepping for the joyous occasion, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has family members or close friends to celebrate Eid with.
Fortunately, Elegance – a Muslim e-magazine focused on empowering women by Juzaila, Hanisah & Indah together with Noor Mastura, founder of Interfaith Youth Circle – is running a pilot project: SG Muslims for Eid. SG Muslims for Eid is a spin-off from HONY for the Holidays. The goal is to ensure as few Muslims as possible are alone this Eid. Or better yet – none.
“My Eid last year switched from being lonely to being the best example of sisterly love just by experiencing the welcome at my friend’s home with her family’ wrote Meryem Chin, a newly converted sister. “It really means a lot to us- especially new converts celebrating their first Eid without having anyone to celebrate it with.”
Indeed, all that one has to do to participate is to click on this link www.bit.ly/SGMuslimsForEid. You will then fill up a short form indicating your interest to participate as a HOST or a GUEST. Hosts can also indicate the number of guests they can accommodate. Both parties will need to write a little about themselves (age,interests etc). The team then screens the forms carefully and matches the guests and hosts with each other. “Our job is to screen the forms thoroughly and make sure that everyone is well acquainted before they meet so there will be no surprises on the actual day,”says Hanisah from Elegance.
Since the call to participate, SG Muslims for Eid has already received a steady flow of participants. The team is confident it will kick off and snowball in size each year. According to Noor Mastura, “We are definitely looking at this long term. This year, we are particularly focused on converts who spend Eid alone, but there are many other Muslims who live in Singapore who are not necessarily converts but are either working or studying here and end up spending Eid alone and away from their loved ones. We definitely want to include them as well. As this is also an interfaith effort, I am also looking forward to having guests from other faiths and beliefs signing up to share this blessed day together.”
As beautifully summed up by Juzaila from Elegance, “Every Eid, my parents invite Muslim foreign workers at our place for breakfast. I am really excited to host an additional convert or 2 this year. Most Muslims are so used to our routine and culture forgetting the actual meaning of celebrating Eid in Islam. I feel this project is a brilliant start to the right direction. Opening our hearts and spreading good cheer and happiness to people is the foundation of Islam- what more for the most joyous day of the year?”
This effort is a reminder that although Eid can be a lonely one for many Singaporean Muslims, it certainly doesn’t have to be.
So please, if you can spare an extra spot(or more) where you are celebrating Eid or if you are looking for a place to go this Eid – click on the link already!!! Besides, as Juzaila said, opening our homes and hearts sure seems like the epitome of Eid’Al Fitri.