It's mainly because during Raya we would be receiving little guests and the not-so-little yet-to-be-employed guests who have come to collect their little gift-packets of money.
But more importantly we would be welcoming guests who have come to wish us peace and ask forgiveness for past incursions. It is a beautiful thing really, as this act of forgiving is almost always mutually rendered.
So we tidy up the house or even give it a paint job because at least if the house is clean and pretty, we will be actually preventing our guests from committing another wrong: that of their hearts whispering negatives about our house maintenance.
We want to lay out our best tablecloths and china for them and serve them good wholesome Raya dishes too, we honour them so their hearts whisper positives about our hospitality.
This mutual forgiving seems to be the practice at Hari Raya in this part of the world and which can be somewhat cleansing too... spiritually, depending on one's sincerity of course.
Like yesterday, when I was having all the drapes in the living-room laundered, that "heart" of the house (according to Feng Shui) looked so cheery with the sunshine flooding in and the gentle breezes wafting through, I didn't feel like having the curtains hung up again.
And I began to think, that's just how our own hearts are. We clothe our bodies as appropriate, but if we still veil our hearts, Ramadhan "cleansing" becomes superficial, just on the outside, the practices just rituals, maybe we had just chalked up "brownie points" for going through the motions only, for the quantity but not the quality.
Actually I meant "me", not you... because I know most of the time my heart needs to be aired, needs to be de-veiled, needs to be dusted and cleansed.... so that the light may shine through
That light that brightens our hearts, that make us reachable, and teachable, accepting, and forgiving, etc.
The light that cleanses...
That is the question.
Let the sun shine in. De-veil. Or be-deviled.
To all Muslims
Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya, Mohon Maaf Zahir dan Batin