It's the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Utah’s Islamic congregations are celebrating the happiest holiday of the year.
After a month of fasting from dawn until dusk, the appearance of the crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of a festival called Eid al-Fitr. More and more Utahns are marking the occasion – the number of mosques in Utah has grown from three a few years ago to nine, and there are other groups that meet outside of a formal mosque.
Imam Shuaib Din, who leads the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy, says the congregations are becoming more diverse, with immigrants from across the world and many Americans joining as well.
Some are less strict in their observance, but Din says his congregation tries to welcome everyone.
Din tells KUER, “We pride ourselves on inclusiveness and being transparent and being progressive, so we would welcome people of all backgrounds. At the same time, we try our best to observe, y’know, the laws.”
Din says the conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslim groups in Middle Eastern countries are based more on politics than true religious differences, and they’re much less important for Americans.
So many people show up for morning prayers on the holiday that they can’t meet in their regular space. Din says about six hundred people gathered at the Classic Fun Center Monday morning. After prayers, attendees celebrated with skating and other activities for kids.