As Muslims in the United States and around the world complete the month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, Michelle and I would like to extend our personal greetings on this joyous occasion. Eid is a time to celebrate the completion of 30 days and nights of devotion. But even on this festive occasion, Muslims remember those less fortunate, including those impacted by poverty, hunger, conflict, and disease. Throughout the month, Muslim communities collect and distribute zakat-ul-fitr so that all Muslims are able to participate in this day of celebration. As I said in Cairo, my Administration is working to ensure that Muslims are able to fulfill their charitable obligations not just during Ramadan, but throughout the year. On behalf of the American people, we congratulate Muslims in the United States and around the world on this blessed day. Eid Mubarak.
The appearance of a new moon, expected tonight, signals the end of Ramadan and the beginning of a new month on the Islamic calendar, Eid-al-Fitr is a holiday of joy and thanksgiving, an occasion when Muslims are encouraged to look, wear and smell their best, according to Aziz Siddiqi, President of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.
Dressed in their finest outfits Muslims spend Eid morning praying and giving thanks, and the rest of the day, feasting and visiting with family and friends.
Ramadan is almost at an end!
President Barack Obama highlighted the contributions made by Muslims to American culture and the “dynamism and diversity” of the Islamic community.
“Islam, as we know, is part of America,” Obama said at a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. “Together we have a responsibility to foster engagement grounded in mutual interest and mutual respect.”
“That’s one of my fundamental commitments as president both at home and abroad,” Obama said. “That is central to the new beginning that I’ve sought between the United States and Muslims around the world and that is a commitment that we can renew once again during this holy season.”
The dinner, held in the State Dining Room, brought together members of Congress, Cabinet members, diplomatic officials and community leaders from a spectrum of countries and religions. Representatives of Saudi Arabia, Israel, France, Germany and the Palestine Liberation Organization dined on dates, a traditional feature at the Iftar dinner, as well as salad with spiced almonds and chicken with a potato and leek puree.
Seated next to Obama was Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, a devout Muslim who, as a high-school basketball player in Massachusetts, scored more than 3,000 points, breaking the state record.
Thanks again, President Obama.
Thank you, President Obama.
American Muslims face an August Ramadan for the first time in 33 years, meaning the days of the holy month are going to be longer and hotter than many can remember.
Religious leaders see the seasonal shift as an opportunity for increased faithfulness, but worry participation by the young and some programming and social events could suffer. That's because many activities will have to be pushed back later into the night after a later sunset.
They also say the fast could be more meaningful because it will be harder to complete.
The fast includes abstention from food, drink, smoking and sex during a time that commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
Fasting hours here are about 4:30 am to 8 pm. Fun!
Ramadan starts Saturday morning.