Muslims gather in Houston to mark end of Ramadan

August 19, 2012 7:12:34 PM PDT
The Islamic Society of Greater Houston hosted a festival Sunday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The holiday is known as Eid-ul-Fitr, or Eid.

Muslims from all over the greater Houston gathered at Reliant Center for prayer.

With mosques around the country coping with vandalism, and Syria -- a predominantly Muslim nation -- erupting in civil war, 50,000 Houston Muslims and elected officials gathered for a tradition that is a calming force.

"Even if we had no security at all, we would still be here today because we will not allow those of ill will to prevent people of good from coming together and celebrating their religious activities," Congressman Al Green said.

The holy month of Ramadan has come to an end, and with it, fasting from dawn to dusk, which is part of the sacrifice Muslims make. It is something even the youngest children understand.

"All the kids get their presents and stuff, and everybody stops fasting and they can eat every dayevery day," young Faheem Jones said.

Ramadan celebrates the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. For years now, Reliant has opened its doors for the Eid event. It has always had a huge turnout. This year was no exception.

"This is a happy occasion. We meet our friends and families and neighbors. That's the purpose of this celebration," said Dr. Aziz Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.

Younger generations say they feel connected to their faith when they see so many others who share it.

"It feels good. I mean, I know a lot of other Muslims that are around my age or close to my age, and we just, like, hang out together," Abdul Aziz said. "We pray together on a big day. This is basically, like, our celebration. [Eid] is like basically our Christmas."

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