Eid part of US tapestry of traditions: Obama


Published — Saturday 10 August 2013

Last update 18 August 2013 12:49 pm

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OHIO: Muslims across the US celebrated Eid on the same day to everyone’s joy and relief. Mosques overflowed with happy worshippers who stood as one ummah in prayer and thanksgiving, enjoying the mild weather, treats and spiritually motivating sermons of the day.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle also sent their warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid Al-Fitr around the world, calling it "part of a great tapestry of America's many traditions."
"Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid-Al-Fitr in the United States and around the world," Obama said in his message.
"For millions of Americans, Eid is part of a great tapestry of America's many traditions, and I wish all Muslims a blessed and joyful celebration. Eid Mubarak," Obama said.
There was some difference of opinion the night before on the sighting of the Shawwal moon. Many mosques in Maryland, Ohio, and other states, announced that the moon had been sighted in Chile therefore Eid would be celebrated on Thursday. Organizations like Chicago Hilal rejected Chile as not fulfilling their criteria and said that Eid would be on Friday. Late reports of moon sightings in Arizona and California settled the score.
Delivering the second khutbah on the topic of ‘Future Muslim’ at Masjid Noor, which was being telecast live on the internet and Guide us TV, Sheikh Yusuf Estes shared some interesting facts. He said that of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world only 12 percent were Arabs. He emphasized therefore importance of learning Arabic so the future Muslims would understand the Qur'an and follow it.
He said a lot of the young children had beautiful recitation but they did not know what they were reading. Referring to a recent recitation competition, Sheikh Estes said only one child knew the translation of what he was reciting. Islam he said was the fastest growing religion in the West but the future Muslims needed to learn it so they could practice it and be good ambassadors for it.
Talking about the word Shariah (which is highly misunderstood and often misquoted by Islam phobes) Sheikh Yusuf Estes shared an anecdote related to a seminar that he had attended in California. The audience was asked if Shariah was something good or bad. Everyone, including some Muslims, thought Shariah was bad. When asked the same thing about the Torah, everyone said Torah was something good. Nobody knew both words meant the same thing, ‘the law of God.’
Ray, a newly reverted Muslim, was overwhelmed with happiness as he celebrated his first Eid. “I can’t believe how full the mosques are and how the families are close to one another and everyone is so welcoming and kind.” Ray said that since he had become a Muslim he had been exposed to many plates of biryani and had fallen in love with it and was going to have it again for Eid.
Afshan who was offering Eid prayers for the first time in a mosque said she missed her family in Multan very much but she enjoyed the diversity that Eid offered in the US.
“Can you imagine I even met a Saraiki speaking person. It was such a joy to hear the sweet Saraiki words after such a long time," she said.
Many Muslims were seen buying cakes and sweets at grocery stores. One confectioner asked this reporter if 'EID' was an abbreviation for something. She said she had received several cake orders with requests to inscribe, ‘Happy Eid.’

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