Muslims across the world are celebrating Eid-al- Fitr on Wednesday. The day marks the end of the month of Ramadan, a sacred period of fasting in the Muslim calendar. Eid- al-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. In Islam, Shawwal kicks off a month-long pilgrimage.
It also marks the end of Ramadan, a time of introspection, prayer and sacrifice for Muslims. At the Muir Street Mosque in District Six, the faithful have come together in supplication and thanksgiving. The sermon brings a message of peaceful co-existence and respect.
“It is important that we recognise those differences and that we live in harmony with one another in a peaceful manner that we do not condemn one another because they are different to us and I think that is the important message you learn throughout the month of fasting. The month of Ramadan, no matter of your colour, your creed, wherever you come from there is no geography boundaries where we are concerned,” says Sheigh Moegamad Moerat who is the Imam of Zeenatul Islam Mosque.
Eid is usually marked with early morning prayers, before families spend time together.
“For us as Muslims today it is both a day of joy but also a day of sadness because when we look across the world from being a child to where I am today and my brother can bear that out. We as Muslims have never suffered as much as we are suffering today, all over the world Muslims are dying. Ramadan is a period of time where the Almighty gives us the opportunity to conquer those aspects of the human condition that are in control of human beings. Our lust for our food, or our desire for physical intimacy, two of the most powerful precipitants to human behaviour. During Ramadan we get the opportunity to take control of that rather than be controlled by those lusts,” says worshipper Nazeem Ebrahim.
Traditionally, Muslim families also visit the graves of loved ones on this day. Offering prayers for mercy for those that have passed on but also encouraging the living to conduct themselves in a manner that will be worthy of heaven. Some families have, however, experienced a difficult end to the month of Ramadan. In Manenberg on the Cape Flats, heavy rainfall overnight caused flash floods, affecting a number of homes.
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