As I sat by myself on the last Sallah day, I cast my mind back to the past Eids I had celebrated and I couldn’t help but say Alhamdulilah. Right from when I was a little child, Sallah was a time to look forward to. We enjoyed taking the rams out to eat and fight with other rams on a daily basis before Eid. There was also the new clothes bought for us to wear to the Eid [prayer ground] and the goodies bought for us on the praying ground.
We also loved watching the rams being killed and prepared; young as we were, it never occurred to us that but for Allaah’s mercy, we may have been put in the place of the sacrificial rams! It was always fun to help distribute the ram meat and delicious Jollof-rice to neighbour’s and it was always with pure joy that we counted the money given to us as gifts by the appreciative neighbour’s! We felt glad to receive guests and share the attention of our parents who indulged us with pleasure during the festive season.
Any minor offence was overlooked with a sermon that always ended with Just thank God that today is Sallah if not you would have been sorry! As we grew older, things changed a bit. Some members of the family would be away either at school or at work and we would wish they were home with us. We began to face the fact that as we became more mature we would leave home in search of greener pastures. It was hard to imagine how we would cope without each other.
Then came one Eid when my family was thrown into grief and mourning; the pillar of the family - my father died during that year and virtually everything we did reminded us of him. It was so hard to bear the fact that just the last year, he was alive and well; celebrating with us. Of course life moved on. As the years came and went, some of us got married and left home while others left to take advantage of better opportunities. We have survived by Allaah’s grace to see this year Eid.
The dead have gone but are not forgotten; we the living are hoping for more of Allaah’s mercies. I’m sure that just like me, everyone has a tale to tell bitter or sweet. But, are we truly grateful to Allaah? Within the past year, so many children have been born and so many people have died. We have lost relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours or at least heard of deaths of people we do not know; yet, here we are! We have moved from one class to another, one area or house to another, made more friends and travelled to different places just to mention a few. Allaah has protected us and kept us alive to this day.
Things may not always have been rosy or smooth but against all odds we have survived. Our parents might or might not have been able to afford new clothes and shoes for us this Eid; they might not even have bought a ram but we should still be very grateful to Allaah for giving us the most important gifts of all: life our deen and good health. Let us remember that so many of those who were alive last year are dead today; and there are some who were healthy last year who had become so sick now that they cannot move about on their own. As we look back over the years to all the past Eids we have celebrated; no matter what may have happened, let us give thanks to Allaah, the Owner of our souls. Let us pray that He keeps us alive to witness many more Eids in good health and on His straight path. After all, the dead cannot give thanks!
Which of the favours of your Lord do you deny? Soorah 55 (Ar-Rahman)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited