Ramadan can cause a lot of confusion throughout this country. For the past 30 days, Americans have been wondering why their Muslim counterparts have been running out of energy after 3 pm.
Well, Ramadan is finally over. And now we have completed Eid Al-Fitr, the three day long festivity that marks the end of the holy month. This celebration is filled with feasts and gatherings. It is a culmination of a month of fasting, reflection, and prayer. It also means that Muslims can re-join society in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as opposed to dinner, late dinner, and really early breakfast.
But the end of Ramadan is not only a time of celebration for Muslims. Non-Muslims should be celebrating too. Anyone who has a Muslim roommate no longer has to worry about sounds in the middle of the night from someone waking up at 4 AM to make an omelette. Cafes across this land can welcome back their Muslim customers stopping in for their morning lattes. And yes, to all you bar and nightclub owners, get ready for an influx of hairy men (and some women) re-entering your establishments. Tell the DJ to break out the techno once again.
The Islamic year, as you might well know, runs on the lunar calendar. Islam uses the phases of the moon to determine the start of each month. That means that while Muslims have a rough idea of what days their holidays fall on, they never know for sure until it’s right around the corner. As a result, last week, the following conversation took place in thousands of workplaces across America:
Ahmed: “Hey boss, I’m gonna need a day off work next week.”
Ahmed: “It’s a Muslim holiday.”
Boss: “OK, what day?”
Ahmed: “Either Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Boss: “Wait… What?”
Ahmed: “I’ll let you know Monday.”
Boss: “Why is that?
Ahmed: “Well, I have to wait for a guy in Saudi Arabia to stand on a hill and tell us what the moon looks like… Then he posts it on Facebook.”
Confused non-Muslim supervisors have no choice but to give in. Some Muslims took off Tuesday, some took off Wednesday, and some just took off the whole week to be sure.
But like I said, Ramadan is now over. Muslims can move forward with a sense of deep appreciation and achievement, and non-Muslims can regain their Muslim buddies. I feel bad for those who have been so generous as to befriend a Muslim. Ramadan is hard on them too. There’s no lunch dates, no smoke breaks, and no sneaking off for a little drink every now and then. White mistresses have been left in the cold for a whole month. Denny’s, on the other hand, will miss Ramadan. There’s nothing like that 4 AM rush of Muslims every day for a month to boost the bottom line. 24-hour restaurants everywhere saw sales of all of their items double during this past month, except of course for bacon.
So Happy Eid to everyone, and I mean everyone!
Now, while Eid al-Fitr is a festive time, it is actually the lesser of the two major Muslim holidays. It is followed by Eid al-Adha, the holiday in the last month of the lunar year commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to God before God intervenes and allows him to sacrifice a ram instead. Islam, being a religion of charity and sharing, denotes that during Eid al-Adha, after the meat is slaughtered and cooked, one-third is kept for the family, one-third goes to relatives and friends, and another third to the poor and needy.
So to you non-Muslims out there, if you want a really good meal, and some free meat, make sure to find your Muslim friends on Eid al-Adha. It’s right around the corner, on November 5th… or 6th… maybe the 7th.