Monday, 26 June 2017

Eid-al-Fitr 2017

BBC Radio Scotland
Thought for the Day
Monday 26th June 2017
Dr. Amanullah De Sondy
Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam
University College Cork, Ireland

Eid celebrations have swept the world near and far. Muslims have ended their thirty days of fasting with religious events, food, greetings and, of course, new clothes.  I’ve been following a number of Eid fashion blogs as I was preparing for Eid.  It comes amidst horrific events during the month of Ramadhan here in the UK from Manchester and London, to yesterday’s devastating fuel tanker inferno in Pakistan’s Ahmedpur East which killed 150 people. Shopping and wearing clothes on Eid is one small pleasure that many seek. But I’m also conscious that there are many Muslims in the world who don’t have this privilege.  I laughed thinking about that time when I was about ten or so and my Mum, a talented seamtress, created a purple velvet outfit for me. I can’t quite remember which shoes I wore but let’s just say I do remember shining out at the Mosque.

Fashion at Eid has certainly picked up in the last few years. The colours and designs are fascinating.  The Pakistani blogs showcasing designs seem to infuse a mixture of western and eastern detail. Pakistani men’s clothes in the past were quite plain but today their colours are vibrant and bright.

I’ve come to appreciate that no two countries, Muslim or otherwise, are alike when it comes to types of clothing.  And this becomes all the more clear when I visit the Mosque on Eid day where Muslims display their roots colourfully.  We all wear clothes for different occasions, for different reasons. I think there are also cultures where they wear none at all. Some religions make mention of the link between clothing and piety, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  I’ve always found discussions in Islamic traditions about inner and outer garments humbling.  Faith is understood as a matter of the heart that should effect the morals and manners acted out in life and society. Here’s to more colours in this fabulously diverse world that surrounds us.  Eid Mubarak.