On Saturday past, the Muslim community in Barbados celebrated Eid ul Fitr, and as with all Muslim communities, started the day with communal Eid salaah – the special two rakaah congregational prayers with additional takbeers and a khutbah. Some perform the Eid salaah outdoors, others indoors. In Barbados, there were three Eid gaahs – three outdoor congregations assembling for the performance of the Eid ul Fitr salaah. BH, BD, Youngest and I attended the one held at the Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary. It was indeed a sanctuary of serenity. We prayed on the Lakeside Lawn surrounded by the greatest landscaper and outdoor designer there is – Allah, swt, whose greenery cocooned us on all sides save the lake, shaded by clumps of bamboo and mangrove, soundproofed by shrubbery. Post-salaah, we lingered, shared, lingered some more. These are some of the photos taken, and I hope you sense at least a scintilla of the serenity which we experienced and which preceded a peaceful and very enjoyable Eid weekend.
The Graeme Hall Sanctuary is a Wetland. See the following article: Thoughts on Graeme Hall Wetland for a better description of what it was and what it is.
This is a sampling of others’ sweet treats, with the exception of the cones, which was all ours! Enjoy the eye-candy without the calories!
Unfortunately, the phone pix of the box cards was sucky, so here is the text only of what was in the boxes:
cream soda toffee cupcake
marshmallow peppermint cupcake
carrot cake cupcake
orange soda & chocolate cupcake
ganache filled mud volcano cupcake
The majority of the visible muslim community in Barbados have one culture in common, and it translates to dress and culinary arts. At Eid time, sweetmeat plates abound, and are shared, in all colours, flavours, seeming intricacies, the jealously guarded recipes.
You all know that BD loves baking. Last year, she joined the bandwagon in her own inimitable style (with lots of kitchen & packing assistance from Number One Son and me). This year, she went all cupcakes. With no kitchen assistance, and only some packing assistance (especially as Number One Son was out of island).
I was supposed to post on Friday, but was caught up in all of the last minute (thank God that there was one more day before Eid) hoorah. So, as a teaser, here are the ingredients of one of the cupcakes. Can you guess what it became?
As Ramadan comes to a close Muslims will intensify their efforts to gain as much as possible by way of blessings during the remaining days. As they look forward eagerly to the day of Eid-ul-Fitr they will reflect upon the past weeks and pray earnestly that their fasts, prayers, charitable acts and good deeds will find favor with the Almighty. In addition to fasting being a shield, fasting can be a source of salvation on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”
He also said:
“The fast and the Qur’an will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say: ‘My Lord, I restricted him from food and drink, so allow me to intercede for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night, so allow me to intercede for him.’ So they will be allowed to intercede.”
Attended a wedding on Saturday with BH (NO!, not a Muslim wedding during the month of Ramadan). A very classically simple elegant ceremony – a song, a scripture reading, an exchange of vows, a blessing and exchange of rings, an all inclusive prayer that invited the congregants to ask that the groom and bride be imbued with attributes in their marriage that others would wish to emulate and a specific prayer rebuking Satan from interfering, a song again and voila, a married couple of different genders as the priest emphasised was as was ordained and not man-made.
“O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you.”
“And mankind is naught but a single nation.”
References to mankind in the Qur’an means that the Almighty is addressing all of humanity, and not only Muslims. As Muslims we are taught that we are one brotherhood, which is part of a larger brotherhood of humanity. Islam with its universal concept of this brotherhood rejects all artificial marks of distinction. God created us from one man and one woman meaning then that we are all the same, created through the same process. We must understand that God is the One who made human beings into different groups and people. These differences are a sign from God.
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for those who know.”
Qur’an 30:22. No one can claim any superiority over the other based on race, colour, language or wealth and this is emphasized in the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showing high regard of humanity irrespective of colour or race when he iterated:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a red has no superiority over a black nor does a black have any superiority over a red except by piety and good action.”
We are reminded that the command to fast during the month of Ramadan was so that we could attain piety. We fast whether we are black, white, yellow, brown, or red, whether we are poor or rich, regardless or our nationality or ethnicity.