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Eid prayer unites people from all walks of life at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Eid prayer unites people from all walks of life at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
11 Apr 2024 09:34

MAYS IBRAHIM (ABU DHABI)

In a captivating tableau of unity, diversity, and spiritual devotion, people from all walks of life gathered for Eid Al Fitr prayer at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on Wednesday morning.

Eid Al Fitr or “the feast of breaking the fast” is an Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. It’s a time of celebration, prayer, and gratitude, where Muslims gather with family and friends to enjoy special meals, exchange gifts, and give to charity.

The diverse assembly of locals, expatriates, and tourists at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi mirrored the multicultural fabric of the UAE, underscoring the inclusive spirit of Eid festivities.

Before the scheduled prayer, devout worshippers arrived as early as 4am, filling the mosque’s halls and courtyards to perform the Fajr prayer, also known as the dawn prayer, the first of the five daily prayers in Islam.

By 5:30am, roads leading to the mosque were bustling with thousands eager to partake in this sacred tradition. Among them were an expatriate Indonesian family who embrace Abu Dhabi as their “second home”, moved by the inclusive atmosphere of the occasion.

“It’s heartwarming; you look around and see people from so many different backgrounds and cultures gathered for Eid prayer. It brings tears to my eyes,” said Ahmad, the father of Aisha and Nur, who recently moved with his family from Indonesia to the UAE capital.

After performing the Eid prayer, the family’s plan for the day involves visiting their friends in the UAE and later on exploring the festivities held in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the occasion, marking the end of a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

As the sun rose over the elegant domes and minarets of the mosque, the courtyard of the mosque became a mosaic of colours, as men, women, and children dressed in their finest attire gathered in anticipation of the sacred ritual.

Echoing throughout the mosque were the sounds of Takbir, an expression of gratitude and devotion recited by Muslims in unison to celebrate the occasion.

Sheikha, an Emirati grandmother, was setting in the courtyard of the mosque, reciting Takbir ahead of the Eid prayer.

“That’s what Eid is all about,” she told Aletihad, pointing to her three grandchildren, Shama, Sara, and Hamad, running around in their new Eid clothes with their laughs echoing in the air.

Eight-year-old Shama said that she looks forward to Eid for three main reasons: the vibrant fireworks, her new dress, and the Eidiya, a tradition that involves elder family members gifting cash to children.

Sheikha noted that Eid prayer marks the biggening of family gatherings, where gifts are exchanged and traditional meals are shared, while outdoor activities are enjoyed at various sites in the evening.

At 6:22am, the imam led rows of worshippers, standing shoulder to shoulder in perfect symmetry to perform the Eid prayer against the backdrop of the mosque’s magnificent architecture. The tranquil melody of Quranic recitations resonated, accompanied by the rhythmic movements of prostration and bowing.

Dr. Omar Habtoor Al Darei, Director General of the UAE Council for Fatwa, delivered the Eid sermon, highlighting the importance of familial bonds and offering prayers for the nation’s continued stability and prosperity.

In this momentous gathering, unity, faith, and cultural diversity converged, underscoring the spirit of Eid Al Fitr and the enduring values of the UAE.

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