Celebration, Prayer, Knowledge: Eid-ul-Fitr Festivities at Local Mosque
It is 10:00 on a bustling Saturday morning at Bait-ul-Ata mosque, a local chapter of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Bangles rustle as gleaming faces greet each other with the words “Asalamo-Alaikum,” meaning “May peace be with you.” After settling down, the attendants of the mosque prepare for prayer and a sermon to follow. But this is not an ordinary prayer on an average day for these Muslims. It is Eid-ul-Fitr.
Eid-ul-Fitr is a holiday celebrated by the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world once a year. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim lunar calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, refraining from food and drink.
This month, however, is about more than just not eating. Regarding the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide head of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said in a sermon delivered on July 10, “During this time one should seek power to do good and seek light from God's light so that one does not turn to darkness again.”
A local leader at Bait-ul-Ata mosque in Norcross, Mr. Mahmood Ahmad, delivered the sermon on Eid Day. He also elaborated upon the purpose of fasting, saying, “This one month refresher course provides an opportunity for the betterment of body and soul, and to safeguard against moral and spiritual ills. Also, Muslims are reminded to excel in charity work during this month to help the less fortunate around the world.” He also mentioned that we should keep the family members of the victims of the Chattanooga shooting in our prayers, saying, “May God grant peace and comfort to the bereaved loved ones.” The session was concluded with a silent prayer.
After the prayers and the sermon, the calm atmosphere started bubbling once again into celebration. Gifts were exchanged along with the joyous message “Eid Mubarak,” meaning “Happy Eid.” As Maria Tahir, a high school student at the mosque said, “I think it’s such a wonderful celebration after all the hard work we put into spiritual rejuvenation during Ramadan!”
Soon after, smiles were shared and brotherhood strengthened over lunch, and the subsequent noon prayer. Standing shoulder to shoulder, the rows of worshippers gathered together to finish their day with a humble reminder of their purpose, and of their Creator.
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