While the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr at individual homes this weekend as mosques of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA remain open for essential services only, such as food donations.
During Ramadan, which started the evening of April 23 and ends the evening of May 23, members strengthened their relationship with God through service. Self-sacrifice, the core teaching embodied by fasting in this Holy Month, propelled members to serve their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic through blood drives, food drives and delivery of hygiene kits to needy.
In addition, the community held virtual interfaith iftars to draw people together of different spiritual backgrounds.
"Despite not being able to gather in our mosques," saidMubarak Bashir, president of the Rochester Chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. "this year, we were able to stay connected virtually as a communityand work towards growing closer to our creator by increasing our focus on prayers and charity, which is the essence of Ramadan."
To support Eid services around the country, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA has providedits members with guidance on how to conduct and lead an Eid service from their homes.
Read more about the holy festival: When is Eid al-Fitr? Muslims to celebrate one of the biggest holy festivals amid coronavirus
According to the Pew Research Center, the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims are united in their belief in God and the Prophet Muhammad and are bound together by religious practices such as fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and almsgiving to assist people in need. But they have widely differing views about many other aspects of their faith.
The Rochester chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, located on East Main Street, has 130 to 140 members and is one of 70 in the country. The community was establishedin India in 1889 and has a motto of'Love for all, hatred for none.'
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA continues to offer essential services through its aid organization, Humanity First USA atusa.humanityfirst.org.
Though the community is unable to open its mosques for Eid prayer, its members will reflect with gratitude on all that was learned during this Ramadan through service to humanity.
More: When will churches, temples and other houses of worship open in New York? What they're planning
Eid al-Fitr is Arabic for "festival of the breaking of the fast," and this year's celebrations, which beginthe evening of May 23, will likely look a lot different due to the pandemic.The festival marks the end of the Muslim holiday ofRamadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset during Ramadan, which is a time forspiritual reflection, fulfillment and reaffirming of faith. Source: USA Today