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Local Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan

Muslims gather to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Muslims gather to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

On Thursday nearly 1,000 Muslims from around the region gathered at the Spokane Islamic Center to celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid prayers.

“Ramadan was a time to boost our batteries, and boost ourselves,” said Imam Yasser Shahin.

For 40 days local Muslims fasted for 18 hours a day — from sunup to sundown — to rid themselves of unholy habits by practicing self-discipline.

Shahin said the 40-day fast is like running a marathon — at the finish line is a prize. That prize, he explained, is peace and Allah’s favor.

Muslims believe if one’s Ramadan prayers were sincere, then their pleas will be fulfilled and previous sins will be forgiven.

Shahin, who took over as imam of the masjid in April, encouraged worshipers to celebrate the end of Ramadan by visiting family, friends, the sick and the elderly.

Muslims from across the region celebrated the end of Ramadan on Thursday.
Muslims from across the region celebrated the end of Ramadan on Thursday.

This year Ramadan began earlier than in recent years, making for exceptionally long and hot days.

Mamdouh El-Aarag, a member of the Islamic Center’s board, said, however, that with Allah’s help the fasting wasn’t too difficult.

“As humans we put limitations on ourselves,” he said. “But God would not ask us to do something we could not do.”

Eid al-Fitr celebrations will continue Sunday with a community gathering at Mirabeau Meadows Park in Spokane Valley from 12-6 p.m.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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