EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Today marks the end of Ramadan for more than one billion muslims around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic still prevents many from gathering in groups.
After 30 days of fasting, praying and abiding by certain rules during Ramadan, members of the Islamic Center of East Lansing were ready to celebrate.
“Eid al-Fitr is the end of our 30-day fasting period. It’s a day of celebration,” says Adam al-Ansari, president of the Islamic Center. “It literally means “A celebration of feasting,” so we’re encouraged to eat, be lively, reach out to people, greet them, exchange gifts, stuff of that nature.”
The pandemic forced Muslims to adjust during and after the holy month.
“We were trying to accommodate with all the rules that we are not familiar with,” says Ahmed Mady, “and having all the, this crisis going on around us in the world.”
Leaders at the center held a virtual service for Eid al-Fitr and gave hundreds the chance to come together and reflect on their faith. And instead of a traditional iftar gathering with meals, games and gifts, the center held a drive-thru celebration for hundreds of families. Volunteers at the Islamic Center prepared roughly 1000 gift bags with toys and candy for children.
“Seeing our leadership, the imam, here, seeing our people here, that they are here for us,” Mady says, “we feel like it’s really a very nice thing. We’re so supported.”
The families won’t gather in person during the pandemic, but they say they will continue to find ways to build community until it’s safe again.