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Worcester Muslims celebrate Eid and the end of Ramadan
Members of Worcester’s Al Madina Islamic Centre gather to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at their new centre at the former Great Western Railway Staff Association Social Club in Tolladine Road
CELEBRATIONS were held throughout Worcester as Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr.
The month-long fasting period of Ramadan came to an end at sunset on Wednesday night, marking the start of the first of this year’s Eid celebrations, which sees Muslims around the world give thanks to Allah for the gift of fasting.
About 200 members of Worcester’s Islamic community gathered at the former Great Western Railway Staff Association Social Club in Tolladine Road, which is now owned by the Al Madina Islamic Centre on Middle Street, yesterday (Thursday) morning to celebrate the start of the festival.
Speaking on Thursday morning, chairman of the centre Muhammed Mosnul Haque said it was a day of celebration for Muslims around the world “We would like to give our thanks for the end of the month of fasting and we wish happiness to all the community for the coming year,” he said.
“On behalf of the Al Madina Islamic Centre I would like to wish happiness to our neighbours and call on all other Muslims to celebrate with us.”
Muslims spend the day celebrating with their families and giving gifts to children and charity. Mr Haque said the month-long fast helped them understand the poverty that many feel.
“Ramadan is a month of thanksgiving and the fasting is part of that,” he said “The whole purpose is to understand what it is like for the people in poverty across the world.
“We are very lucky that we live in a prosperous country and this helps us realise what it is like for other people.”
The centre bought the former social club in Tolladine Road in Feburary and Mr Haque said this was the perfect time to hold the first gathering there.
“We are hoping we can raise as many funds as possible for out redevelopment,” he said.
“We are preparing a planning application and until that is complete the centre on Middle Street will remain our mosque.”
The redeveloped building will include a prayer room, offices a funeral parlour and other facilities.
Muslims at the two other mosques in the city - Jamia Masjid Ghousia in Tallow Hill and the Jalalabad Muslim Association in Vincent Road - also held celebrations throughout the day.
RAMADAN AND EID AL-FITR FACT FILE
- Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and includes Laylat al-Qadr - The Night of Power - said to be when the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed.
- The period it takes place during varies with the cycles of the moon.
- From sunrise until sunset Muslims do not eat, drink, smoke or have sex.
- It is common to have one meal - the suhoor - just before sunrise and another - the iftar - directly after sunset.
- Many try to become better Muslims by praying more, giving up bad habits or devoting more time to reading the Qur’an.
- Sick or diabetic Muslims are not required to fast along with women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or those on their periods.
- The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid-ul-Fitr, also known as the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.
- It begins when the new moon is first seen in the sky, meaning it is often not known when it will be until the night before.
- During the day Muslims wear their finest clothes and give gifts to children.
- Special services are held and families come together to enjoy a special daytime meal - the first they will have had in daylight hours in a month.
- Muslims are also required to give a set amount of money to charity to help poor people join in the celebrations.
- There is a second festival called Eid al-Adha - the Feast of the Sacrifice - which lasts four days and marks the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael. This year it will take place on or around October 15.
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