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Thousands gather in Phoenix for a joyous Eid al-Fitr

By Hanna Rahman –

After a month of fasting, thousands of Muslims from the valley celebrated Eid al-Fitr on July 17, 2015. The largest Eid prayer in the valley was held at the Phoenix Convention Center, and was sponsored by the Islamic Community Center of Tempe.

Approximately 8,500 individuals celebrated Eid in radiant cultural clothing including traditional Arabian “thawbs and abbayas,” Pakistani “shalwar kameez,” Somali “guntiinos and dirac” and long Western dresses.

Eid al-Fitr is a day of thanksgiving, celebrated with friends and family. It literally means Festival of the Sacrifice. Before the prayer, a group of volunteers collected Zakaat-ul-Fitr, a small required charitable donation, to distribute to needy people.

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The early morning began with the continuous recitation of the Takbeer as guests arrived. Dr. Shabib Alhadheri, an Imam at the Islamic Community Center, led the khateeb and the prayers. Alhadheri recounted Prophet Muhammad’s practices and reminded attendees of the new beginning brought on by the end of Ramadan.

Renee Islam, 21, of Chandler found particular joy in celebrating Eid and coming to the Phoenix Convention Center. She said it has become “a tradition” as she has been coming for the past several years. She also enjoys seeing all her friends and family at the large gathering. “My favorite part about the prayer has always been all the positive vibes, energy and immense amount of love,” said Islam.

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