Eid in 2023 | A Season of Gratitude
A Season of Gratitude: Eid in 2023 and Why Earth Day Is Important
Author: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin
Thanks to God, I have made it to another Ramadan – one that is quite unique.
Let me explain why.
The Muslim calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and consists of 12 months and is approximately 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar. The month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Fitr, also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is a major Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
This year, 2023 on the Gregorian calendar and 1444 on the Muslim or Hijri calendar is at a curious intersection where Eid in 2023 and Earth Day happen to fall on the same day.
As we wind down the holy month of Ramadan and approach Earth Day and Eid in 2023, I want to reflect on the importance of gratitude. In Islam, gratitude is highly valued and is considered one of the most important qualities a Muslim can possess.
I am deeply grateful that my two eldest sons are choosing to fast. Influential yogi Sadghuru reminds us that food will become us, and he asks us to consider what we eat the same way we consider who we will marry. I take that level of care and consideration as I prepare food for my young sons, and I am deeply grateful I have the means and the opportunity to do so.
I am thankful that Adnan Durrani, the founder of Saffron Road, asked me to write this reflection. Back when Saffron Road was getting started I interviewed him and included his thoughts in my book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.
He was ahead of his time then and right on time now.
I am thankful that I have recently come to know a whole new generation of what farmer Leah Peniman calls earth listeners – those who listen to what the natural world is saying and amplifying that message so that others, who are not as tuned in, can know that we need to renegotiate our relationship with the earth. People like NYC Council Member Shahana Hanif and Indigenous writer and poetess Kaitlin B. Curtice.
I am most grateful for that special time in the early morning hours. Just after the fajr prayer when most of the world is still asleep and the thin white line in the sky is opening like the lens of a camera slowly revealing the brightness of day and I sit cross legged with a soft dim light at my back and the Quran nestled in my hands as I recite until the fullness of day has arrived. This ‘sweet of the morning’ where the birds are also reciting their sacred verses outside and the new morning light bathes the world in its glow – this is my Ramadan. This is where I find the most solace in the universe. I am filled with gratitude that the Creator has allowed me to experience this sweetness another year and I pray that I get many more.
Ramadan is a month of fasting and reflection, where Muslims abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. This act of self-discipline encourages us to appreciate the value of resources and to reduce waste. Similarly, Earth Day promotes environmental awareness and encourages people to take action to preserve the planet’s resources, which is precisely why Earth Day is important.
By observing both Earth Day and Eid in 2023, Muslims can reflect; if the way we treat the planet reflects the way we treat our own selves, how can we use this moment to be better at both?
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is a Senior Fellow with Interfaith America and New Yorkers for Clean Power. He is on the NYS Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land and the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.