Muslim Americans Prepare for Eid-ul-Fitr

October 4, 2006

Author: Lea Terhune

Source: Washington File

When American Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr they observe the same religious traditions familiar to Muslims around the world, but celebrate in a distinctly American way, as people from diverse national and cultural backgrounds come together to share the feast.

Imam Mohamed Magid from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) center in Sterling, Virginia, says that Muslims in America look forward to Eid-ul-Fitr for several reasons. Besides the religious observances, breaking the monthlong Ramadan fast and socializing, Muslims receive special greetings from the president of the United States. “It makes Muslims feel their holiday is part of mainstream American holidays,” the imam told the Washington File.

It has been a tradition to mark the occasion of eid in the White House since George H. W. Bush was president. The Clinton White House continued the observance, as has George W. Bush. In 2001, a U.S. postage stamp was issued commemorating eid.

According to Magid, new technology has made it easier to plan eid celebrations. Now Muslims accurately can calculate when the new moon will signal the beginning of eid in their locality. No longer must they wait for an imam to sight the moon. “They can know far ahead of time when to take off work,” he said.