Eid Al Fitr signals time for celebration

After the trials of Ramadan for Muslim New Zealanders from across the continents of the Earth, Eid Al Fitr is a grand celebration of faith and identity.

Whether from the date-palm sands of Arabia to the rain forested shores of the Indonesian archipelago, Eid festivals will be flourishing around the Islamic world and joined in equal measures in New Zealand suburbs, towns and cities where families and communities will gather together in joy.

The time of Eid is a celebration for many reasons, from the ending of the fast, to the heralding of a new time of the year, we see in Eid a spirit of identity for all New Zealanders to build on as part of our multicultural nation. Our social connectivity through celebrations like the Eid festival grow our economic and national prowess just as formidably as trade deals and commercial endeavours. Our multi-faith and multi-ethnic society must be a priority as we look towards New Zealand’s future as a leading global economy and as a prosperous country.

I want to acknowledge the amazing sacrifices and services our Muslim friends have made in New Zealand. The time of Ramadan is a time for charity and giving alongside faith and contemplation. They have strived for pastoral care and community support of our most vulnerable and all New Zealanders, regardless of their background, can acknowledge this excellent effort and contribution made since Covid-19 began. The celebration of Eid is also a celebration of the core aspects of Muslim values, values at the heart of Islam being compassionate humanity and generosity and reaching out in the spirit of friendship to one another.

Muslim communities in New Zealand came to our shores from everywhere and their generations have grown immense value to our national identity. Muslim New Zealanders have been celebrating Eid here long before our country took its first steps into the modern world. From records of an Indian Family in Christchurch in the 1850s to Hui Chinese Gold diggers in Otago in the 1860s, New Zealand’s foundations are built on diversity, freedom of religion and value for one another. New Zealand’s Muslim community, like that of our Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and many other faiths, are a part of our national fabric, integral to our identity.

With the borders slowly re-opening and plans to travel across our country and the world resuming I hope you all are able to enjoy this Eid and come together in celebration for your communities and for New Zealand.

Eid Mubarak!

Note: This article originally ran in Indian Newslink in May 2022