The world is becoming polarised – rapidly so.
During our early years, our home – during Eid al-Adha – was packed with both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It was an annual gathering of food, fun and laughter. For a long time, I never really understood the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims. I knew the Lord’s prayer and a couple of hymns as a child and had Christian friends who lived close to mosques and could recite Al-Fatihah and the adhaan.
It was not a big deal at the time.
Imagine my shock when I went to pick my son from school and saw a non-Muslim girl praying with the Muslims.
It is a big deal in these times.
One of my earlier memories of the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims was when my widowed aunt (who was living in our boys’ quarters at the time) declined our parcel of beef during Eid al-Adha because she had been so instructed in church. In our Islamic school, we were only told to avoid the traditional religion worshippers’ rites and practices, and of course, their food. I did not understand why she refused our beef but saw my parents’ smiles of acceptance and accepted it too. I wondered if they took offence but never asked.
These days, I ask before I offer my food. If they decline, I do not take offence but instead appreciate their honesty.
Eid mubarak to every one especially the pilgrims!