The value of your "Eid Mubarak" SMS
by Abdul Mateen • Nov. 8, 2011 •
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I love SMS. So much so that I have a hard time imagining how we lived without it. It is most useful when you want to bypass the formalities (saying salaams followed by a health inquiry and then the extended families' well-being etc.) and all you really need is a quick answer. I do not feel guilty when I send these texts because I am sure that the recipient of the text does not want to get into these formalities either :). After all, we've got busy lives and have little time to chit-chat.
Though I like the brevity of SMS, perhaps this trend of mass texting "Eid Mubarak" (followed by many exclamation marks) is something we can live without. You surely received these non-personal mass SMS texts yesterday. Your friend that sent you this text was likely under busy circumstances when he was typing out the "Eid Mubarak" note followed by quickly selecting all the friends from the contact list on their fancy smart phone :). It is also likely that this was happening while the Imam was demanding their attention and asking everyone to put the cell phone on mute during the Eid Khutbah. As much as I appreciate getting this text, I also cannot help but feel like being a target of a spammer or a telemarketer that calls during dinner time. I feel like I am just another check mark next to the name on the contact list. To my friends that are reading this - fear not, I still appreciated you remembering me.
I am hardly a religious scholar, but sunnah of Eid tells us to go meet or talk to people for re-establishing that lost personal connection. I doubt Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) would have resorted to mass texts or mass emails even if it was available to him. As a matter of fact, he did not ask Bilal (RAH), who had a strong voice, to announce "Eid Mubarak" to the Ansars (the ancient way of communicating impersonally to the masses).
I geniunly enjoy the fact that, at least on Eid day, we get a chance to meet up with our friends. We leave our worries, businesses and other issues aside on this one day, two days a year. The meet-up part of Eid is one of those traditions that I wish never goes out of style in our era of cool and amazing technology.
And BTW, Eid Mubarak :)