Friday, October 12, 2007

Last day of Ramadan is today for most mosques in Metro Detroit

Out of 40 mosques in Metro Detroit, 8 of them are observing the Eid holiday today. Thus, today will be the last day of fasting of the majority of Muslims in this locality.

Eid Sa`eed wa kull `aam wa antum bikhayr!

A FEAST OF JOY: Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr at new, bigger Detroit mosque

Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holy day celebrated today and Saturday, marks the joyous end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and abstinence. But for Imam Abdul Latif Azom, and his congregants at the Islamic Center of North Detroit, this year's Eid is even more special.

"To have our first Eid in our new mosque is truly a happy occasion for everyone involved," said Azom, whose congregation moved last month from a former funeral home on McDougall near the Hamtramck line into the former Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church. "Now we have more space and a chance to provide some services and, especially for the young, now we have a gym."

The actual beginning of the feast is sometimes puzzling -- even for Muslims. The moon determines the timing, and when the crescent moon is sighted, the feast begins.

But it all depends on who is doing the sighting.

Some Muslims abide by the determination made in Saudi Arabia, because it contains sites revered in Islam. Others recognize the judgment made in their country of origin. Either way, they generally end up celebrating the feast a day before Muslims who abide by the sighting of the moon in North America...

"We have a saying in our religion that: Man is an enemy to that which he does not know," said Dawud Walid, of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who encouraged members of the new mosque to actively seek out neighbors, explain that they are welcome in the mosque and to offer invitations to social events. "So, some in the old community were a little uptight, at first. But once they got to know the Muslims better and conversed with them, most of the tension has subsided."

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