Did you know? Today is Eid al-Fitr, a day celebrated by Muslims and non-Muslims across the globe. The word “Eid” means festival or feast. For the 1.9+ billion people who celebrate, Eid represents a mixture of both! Many Muslims translate this to the festival of breaking fast, as this day marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid al-Fitr is one of the two Eids, also known as the Small Eid, which normally lasts three days.
Both Eids start with a special morning prayer that happens a few hours after Fajr, the sunrise prayer. After the prayers, there is a sermon, followed by greetings where individuals hug each other and exchange greetings of Eid Mubarak, which means “Blessed Eid.”
Every Eid, Muslim families come together to enjoy sweet dishes, which are tirelessly prepared at home with feasts for visitors. Gifts are exchanged, including Eidi, envelopes of money for children. Muslims across the globe are encouraged to continue their practices they formed during Ramadan and forgive and seek forgiveness during this time.
For Fraz Shaikh, Rise Against Hunger’s Development Manager of Faith-Based Global Partnerships, Eid starts with a meal called Haleem. Fraz shared, “I could eat it every day!”
Fraz explains, “Each Eid starts by taking part of Eid Prayer (known as Salat al-Eid), which is prayed differently and collection of Zakat-al-Fitr (donation). After the prayer, a sermon is given which highlights Ramadan and encourages people to continue the same level of worship and maintain their habits. In my family, we are internationally connected with roots around the world. From India and Pakistan, I savor Gulab Jamun, which is a syrupy sweet. In Nairobi, Kenya, Tajean is a favorite paired with seasonal produce. My distant family members in Oman always share the best secret spiced Kebaab dishes. Our roots are also tied to Ireland, where we have a secret trifle recipe that only comes out during Ramadan.”
Haleem, Fraz’s favorite Eid dish, is full of flavor and easy to prepare. By combining lentils, rice and whole spices, anyone can create this authentic dish in about 2 hours with a slow cooker! The recipe by Izzah Cheema and full list of ingredients can be found on her blog, Tea for Tumeric.
Thank you, Fraz, for sharing about this special dish and special day! At Rise Against Hunger, we know that the journey out of hunger often starts with a single meal. Does your favorite holiday start with a meal? Is there a recipe that always brings your family joy? Share your favorite dish on social media using #ItStartsWithaMeal, and your MealPower story could be featured on our It Starts With a Meal page!