Tuesday, June 27, 2017

USA: Zion Ahmadiyya Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan


A certain amount of money is donated in name of each family member, and the collection goes to those in the community who are facing financial need.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Chicago Tribune
By Yadira Sanchez Olson | June 26, 2017

Dressed in their finest clothing, the men and women of the Zion-based Ahmadiyya Muslim community hugged one another in celebration of Eid al-Fitr at the Milan banquet hall in Waukegan Monday.

The day is one of the most important Muslim holidays marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and with the hugs came an "Eid Mubarak" greeting, which Bushra Latif, president of the Women's Auxiliary, said translates into "blessed celebration."

On Monday, more than 100 worshipers listened to a sermon that highlighted the personal achievements made during the month of fasting. It was followed by silent prayers that gave the men and women time to reflect on what they learned from their sacrifice.

Latif said over the years, she's discovered her strong inner will through the practice.

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"If you can avoid the things that are permissible, like food and water, then you surely can avoid the things that are not," she said.

Tahir Ahmed of Grayslake said charity is another aspect of the celebration.

Ahmed said a certain amount of money is donated in name of each family member, and the collection goes to those in the community who are facing financial need.

"Each area group does the collection, and an executive board selects the families," Ahmed said.

Since the holiday is one of joy and fellowship, soon after prayers the men and women mingled and shared a meal in their designated rooms, while children played and ate candy.

Latif said often sweets and money are given to the kids as a gift. Other small presents are also exchanged between friends and family.

On Monday, while adults were busy in conversation, the little ones made full use of the hall's dance floor and ran, skipped and twirled on it.

Some of the kids flashed the dollar bills they had just received before putting them in their pocket and grabbing a balloon or a piece of candy.

Some of the discussions were of excitement for future plans for the Ahmadiyya Muslim group.

Plans for the opening in Zion of a bigger mosque in 2020 are currently being worked.

"We're very excited we'll have more space and a place where guests can also feel welcome to visit us," said Tayyib Rashid, adding that they've seen more attendance at their "Coffee, Cake and True Islam" talks hosted at the mosque on 2105 Gabriel Avenue.

After the prayers and the fellowship, families departed to do leisurely activities.

"This day, like other festive holidays, is a focus on God and spirituality," Latif said."Everything we do as a community and individuals is a commitment to God and mankind."

Yadira Sanchez Olson is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun


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