Birmingham’s Muslim community marks end of Ramadan
Birmingham’s Muslim community have begun rejoicing this weekend, following the completion of Ramadan, as they celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid.
Beginning on the evening of Saturday 18th August, the celebration marks the conclusion of a month of fasting, prayer, meditation and self-reflection as the faithful look to take the benefits of the month’s struggle in bettering themselves throughout the coming year.
Birmingham’s Muslim community formally began celebrations on Sunday (19th Aug) morning with open-air services in public parks and within various city mosques. Prior to this, adults ensured they had each made a personal welfare contribution to the poor and needy.
Muslims across the world partake in services and charity as a reminder towards self-reflection and spiritual renewal. In Birmingham, celebrations have adopted a similar theme as families prepare special feasts for friends, relatives and the poor. With the first morning of Eid celebrations having started on Sunday; many began their day congregating with fellow members of the diverse faith community.
Special services were lead by the city’s main Islamic houses of worship Birmingham Central Mosque and Green Lane Masjid. The Central Mosque in Highgate held five separate services in three different languages, to accommodate its vast congregation of between 15,000 and 20,000.
The Green Lane Masjid, situated in Small Heath, opted for a public service in Sara Park located opposite the mosque. The mass service was attended by men, women, youngsters and families.
Earlier in the week, youngsters and staff from the mosque visited Heartland’s Hospital to distribute Eid gifts to young patients in the hospital’s children’s unit.
Christine Morrel, Hospital play specialist, commented on this as being ‘the first visit from a Mosque since the 18 years that she has been serving the hospital’, and welcomed the visit as a “wonderful initiative that brought smiles to the faces of young children”.
A spokesperson from the mosque said, “Since Ramadan is a month of self-purification, reflection, humility as well as acknowledging the less fortunate and supporting them, Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre felt an obligation to reach out to young children who are hospitalised, so that they too can mark the end of the blessed month and part take in celebrating Eid al-Fitr which is an important occasion in the Muslim calendar, bringing people together from all walks of life, for the betterment of our community and to support community cohesion in British society.”
In similar examples of community solidarity, the Saltley Methodist Church in the Washwood Heath ward is once again allowing use of its forecourt for Islamic charities to raise funds for those afflicted by war and poverty across the world; as well as joining celebrations by hosting henna painting and festive activities. Although a one-day festival, Islamic organisations are continuing to mark Eid throughout the week.