Eid in Kerala became an occasion for Muslim unity

By Abdul Basith MA, TwoCircles.net,

For the first time in Kerala the attempts to have a combined Eid found success as the Mujahid Madavoor, Mujahid AP and JIH fractions decided to hold joint Eid prayers at Kozhikode, Changaramkulam, Ponnani and a few other parts of the state. Prior to this, the Imam for each such joint venue was selected through lot, and at Kozhikode beach this time the opportunity was for JIH Kerala Ameer T Arifali. Similarly at Changaramkulam the opportunity was for Mujahid Madavoor fraction’s Sulaiman Baqavi, who led the prayer at MVM school ground and at Ponnani, Hussain Madavoor led the prayers. It is expected that the opportunity to lead the prayers and deliver sermon will be taken up by these factions alternately in the future Eid-ul-Azha’s and Eid-ul-Fitr’s on each such venues. Joint committees with representatives from each group have been formed to organise such joint Eid prayers in future.

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Assam relief fund collections made in front of the Mosque on Eid day [Courtesy, Jamshad Muhammed]

Mujahid and JIH fractions had organised to collect Fitra & Zakat at masjid and distributed it through the committees to those deserving, prior to the Eid day itself. Both Sunni fractions too had taken optimum care to bring awareness among the Muslims on the importance of Fitra & Zakat, and most Sunni households by themselves distributed it among the needy neighbourhood houses and relatives as soon as the Shawwal hilal was traced by faithful sources from Kozhikode and the Kozhikode Valiya Khazi announced Eid, which was then accepted as trustworthy by the Hilal Committee and other district Khazis.

The Sunni Masjid’s in rural areas were capable of withstanding the mass attending the Eid prayers whereas in towns the rows extended to the courtyards and even roads. Eid as always was capable of deriving good charity from the public especially for maintenance works of masjid’s and madrasas and for extending financial assistance to poor and needy within the Mahal locality. Special relief collections were undertaken by Muslim Service Society, PFI and JIH for the riot victims in Assam. IUML workers undertook charity collection for extending medical assistance to the poor and needy through a scheme named after their late leader CH Muhammed Koya.

Hussain Madavoor addressing joint Eid – Gah held at Ponnani, Malappuram district [Courtsey: Majeed Maliyekkal]

The Masjid’s as well as Eidgahs started the Eid prayer by around nine in the morning. Prior to the Eid prayer, most Sunni Masjid Khateeb’s spoke to the congregation in Malayalam asking them to maintain the spiritual quality attained through the 30 days fast all throughout the year, as the later Eid sermon was to be delivered only in Arabic. The Eid Khutuba at Eidgah’s, as it was in the native language Malayalam covered such aspects in the Khutuba itself. Every Masjid and Eidgah imams took care to pray for the Muslim Ummah worldwide, seeking almighty’s help to overcome the agendas and aggression of the enemies of Islam.

Most didn’t specifically mention Burma or Assam, as the Dua’s were a bit generalized for Muslim victims’ worldwide. The prayers didn’t specifically mention the plight of the Muslims tortured through fabricated cases all throughout the country and there was no special mention about Abdul Nasar Madani a religious scholar, who is about to complete his twelve years as a prisoner under trial. The Dua’s thus had a generalised feel mostly in the Sunni Masjids and Mujahid Eidgahs as they didn’t specifically attend the current topics of relevance.

People attending Eid Khutuba at Muttichur Juma masjid, Thrissur.

T Arifali’s Eid sermon at Kozhikode referred to a few conspiracies against Muslim community in Kerala, whereby a few vested interests and Hindu communal organisations were seemed spreading rumours like Muslims are attaining the ‘undeserved’ through their political influence in the govt through Muslim League. The sermon underlined the fact that it is political interests like ministerial berth that is being achieved and those can’t be counted as undeserved benefits to the Muslim community and so his speech sought to discourage all attempts to create communal tensions in the Kerala society. He said that Eid-ul-Fitr should stay an inspiration for a good tomorrow.

Palayam Imam Jamaludhin Mangada’s Eid sermon at Chandrashakaharan Nair stadium was a strong message against killings and quotation crimes as he said the Quran when sent into the barbaric lives of the Arabs was capable of making them civilised by emphasising on the need for peace. ‘Quran can fulfil the same purpose in the Kerala public sphere too as it is quite capable of putting an end to the politics of revenge’ the sermon was specifically addressing the context of a few recent political quotation killings in Kerala. AP Mujahid leader Mujahid Balusseri led the prayers at the Tiruvananthapuram central stadium.

Having Paayasam [Kerala sweet porridge] prepared in the mosque for those attending the Eid prayer [Courtsey: Sahad k]

Sunni eminent leaders and scholars took care to lead Eid prayers at Juma Masjids at important towns all throughout Kerala and such Masjid’s weren’t quite capable of holding the whole mass within its four walls. Samastha leader and IUML chairman Hyder Ali Shihab Thangals Eid message emphasised on the need to maintain the spirituality attained through Ramadan all throughout the year. He said that Eid-ul-Fitr is an occasion to thank Allah for all his blessings. It is an occasion to swear regarding your efforts to work for a poverty free society and to create awareness regarding human rights. AP Sunni factions Ma’din Chairman Ibraheem Khaleelul Bukhari too asked the Muslim community to set their journey forward through the good deeds of Ramadan.

People who attended Sunni Masjids, as usual, soon after the Eid Khutuba headed towards Muslim grave yards of the locality along with the Imam whereby they recited Surah Yaseen and prayed for a blessed Akhira [hereafter life] of their late dear and near ones.

Believers gathering in the Muslim graveyard of Manichira, Sultan Bathery soon after the Eid Qutuba, whereby they recited Soorah: Yaseen and prayed for a blessed here after life of their late dear ones under the leadership of Khazi.

Then it was time to leave and they all hugged each other wishing ‘Eid Mubarak’ to one another. All dressed up either white or in attractive colours, young and old greeting each other was a treat to watch and to be proud of for the community which always promoted brotherhood and love in between. Most Masjid’s and Eid-Gah’s had prepared a sweet Kerala porridge named Paayasam, made of vermicelli, dry fruits and milk to be distributed to the masses on departure after the Eid prayers.

From there they took care to visit their neighbourhoods, relatives and was busy tasting a bit of the Eid dish prepared at each neighbourhood households, the kids seemed so happy exhibiting their Eid dress and most unlike earlier days seemed brand conscious in their costumes, small kids were not indifferent too.

Women attending Eid sermon at Anthikkad, Trissur

The night prior to Eid, women in most households were busy setting the masala and ingredients for the Eid dish – mostly ‘the Malabar or Thalasseri style Biriyani’; while the fathers/husbands were busy wandering for the best meat available in the locality. The boys were entitled with the duty of distributing Fitra & Zakat, arranging their homes, Eidgahs and masjids and girls decorating their hands with Mehndi, helping out their mothers in kitchen and ironing the entire family’s Eid costumes. The masjid’s until late night and from the very early morning of Eid day were seen offering melodious ‘Takbeers’ thus creating a unique atmosphere of Eid.

Young and old took care to wake up at Fajr for their bath, dressed themselves and left to Masjids/Eidgah’s soon. The ladies and mature girls in the Sunni households could dress them up in their Eid costumes only after they could finish of their Eid day preparations, just before the guests started arriving to their households after the Eid prayer. The Salafi/JIH male members took their women to the Eidgah’s along with them and the women somehow adjusted their timings to prepare the Eid dish a bit earlier/later.

Most families in the Malabar region soon after their visit to their neighbourhood had plans to visit their far away relatives/excursion trips to the hilly district Wayanad, historical city Mysore [Karanataka] or the landscapes of Ooty [Tamil Nadu]. The teenagers or those in their twenties too find it an occasion to plan trips to these areas in their two wheelers and roads often witness heavy traffic. Accident tolls – both roads as well as being drowned in rivers and waterfalls reach its threshold during these days. Now with the govt announcing Monday as holiday for Eid, the celebrations are still on and the far away relatives who met their dear ones at their ancestral homes are so happy that they could all together celebrate a day more of – ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ on Monday.

But it is to be told that there are a few urban areas, secluded as nuclear families and not caring much for the neighbourhood are missing out on these flavours of Eid, where they after having the Eid dish delivered by the catering companies gets confined to channel programmes, an evening movie along with the family in the city’s most elite multiplexes and the youth just to find ecstasy in their celebrations are found moving on to pubs and beverages. Ramadan was the month were the liquor, brandy sales were the most hit in the Malabar region [especially Malappuram] and so now they find it apt to turn the Eid eve and the money meant for celebrating Eid to be spent on such things. It is to be noted that beverages brings in most money to the revenue income of Kerala govt and was the worst hit in Ramadan as the Muslims youth were forced to refrain from those during the blessed days of Ramadan.