The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association welcomed worshippers to its mosque in Tudor Road, Upton Park, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, in which present-giving and prayers mark an end to an obligatory month of daylight fasting.
Abdul Khan,42, who worships at the mosque, said it was important to join others from his community to remember the example of Muhammad on Thursday (July 7).
“Fasting gives you a sense of sacrifice and you can feel for others who are hungry,” he said. “There are millions of people in this world who don’t have food and water. Ramadan is about encouraging you to sacrifice for others and Eid is a celebration after that month of suffering.”
After a month of not eating or drinking anything during daylight, Abdul said meeting at the mosque offered followers to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in two stages. The first stage centres on religion and prayer, with the second focused on socialising.“You’re expected to meet and socialise with friends and family and exchange gifts,” he said. “Humans are social animals and religion doesn’t teach you to live in isolation. Islam teaches you every aspect of life and it teaches you to mix with other people and to worship with them at the same time.”For most, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of fasting until the next Ramadan.
But for Abdul it was just a pause, as he decided to undertake an additional fast, which is not obligatory.This means adding six extra days of fasting on top of the month he completed, with Abdul saying Islam is all about following in the footsteps of Muhammad, who followers claim to be a prophet.“Fasting is in the tradition of the holy prophet Muhammad,” he said. “Every Muslim who’s fit and well should fast.”