Celebrating Eid al-Fitr amidst the coronavirus pandemic actually becomes a momentum for Muslims to show the true character of piety. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash/NOW!JAKARTA

This year, Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr has a deeper meaning because it is carried out in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak. Self-quarantine limits social and physical activities in such a way as to prevent the spread of the outbreak. Muslims are struggling to achieve some form of piety.

Muslims are prescribed by Allah SWT to fast for a whole month of Ramadan to teach the meaning of piety. Therefore, Allah SWT establishes “piety” as the title of victory for Muslims who do fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan until they arrive at the peak of victory on Eid al-Fitr (Al Baqarah:183). Piety here means to guard, protect, be careful, be vigilant, pay attention and stay away. In the Quran piety (taqwa) as obedience, straightness, good behaviour, firmly against evil and fear of God.

The character of social piety is an expression of obedience in carrying out the teachings of Allah SWT about compassion, empathy, and concern for fellow human beings so that Islam and Muslims become a mercy for the universe.

This plague must make Muslims live according to the values and social ethics: helping each other, mutual cooperation, friendship -in the sense of getting to know our brothers' difficulties more closely, as well as mutually reinforcing and supporting each other. The outbreak unveiled how important national security is for a nation. Resilience in various fields: mental, social and spiritual resilience; economic security; food security; etc.

In addition, Eid al-Fitr must be interpreted by returning to the fitrah (nature or purity or innocence). "Eid al-Fitr" consists of two series of words: Id and al-fitr. Id is the days when there is a group of people who are gathered therein. Ibn al-Arabi said: "The holiday is called Id, because it always comes back every year to greet Muslims with joy."

While al-fitr is the creation of human beings in the mother's womb, where humans at that time were still clean from the taints of immorality. The sheets of his life were pure white, not yet tainted by the darkness of disobedience and wrath.

Of the two words id and al-Fitri, then Eid is a day when Muslims have ended the fasting of Ramadan by eating and drinking during the day. Certainly, this is happiness after a month of struggling to resist hunger, thirst and lust, then that is the day we return to nature is also called the day of victory. Then there is the term so that on that day we return to nature.

There is a good tradition when Eid al-Fitr arrives, especially for Indonesian Muslims, which is to forgive one another by visiting between families and relatives. That is a time when everyone was happy to celebrate the day of victory.

Due to this pandemic outbreak, good Muslims  have an obligation to obey the rules so as not to endanger themselves, their families and others. The ban on crowding does make the moment of a visit on holiday may not be done as usual. But, of course there are various ways so that the rituals of forgiveness can still be carried out and also relationship and friendship are maintained properly.

Stating firmly and honestly is the key so that Eid al-Fitr celebrations can be carried out safely and can still maintain health. Or, you can follow these ways:

  • Try contacting family or friends kindly before the day of Eid al-Fitr to say that you have not been able to receive guests, so they can do something else to replace their presence in your home.
  • Take advantage of your smartphone to send messages or photos of you and your family so that communication is more alive and they will know you and family are just fine. Or, you can ask to do a video call to release each other's longing and knowing each other's conditions.
  • Forgiving each other ritual can still be done by still implementing health protocol. For example with neighbours, you can greet them on the terrace or in front of the house, with sincere intentions and a smile you can apologize from a distance without having to shake hands.
  • Send parcels, foods or other items. This is the way for you to politely convey to family or relatives not to visit first on Eid al-Fitr this year. You can send parcels, cakes, food, or other deliveries that may be liked and needed by them. For close neighbors, you can bring it directly to their homes, both before and during Eid al-Fitr.

Every Muslim who graduated from the Ramadan lessons must truly be a clean (holy) and pious person possessing strong faith and personality, clean heart and mind, subtle mind, and a growing concern for others. Every Muslim who achieves victory in Eid al-Fitr is ready to become a new human being, especially during this new normal condition.

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.