Saskatoon Muslim community celebrates end of Ramadan

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Saskatoon Muslim community celebrates end of Ramadan
WATCH: More than 10,000 people gathered at Prairieland Park for Eid on Wednesday. As Global's Nicole Healey reports, it's a time for celebration and community. – Apr 10, 2024

The Islamic Association of Saskatchewan marked the end of Ramadan with an Eid celebration in Saskatoon on Wednesday, closing a month of fasting for the Muslim community.

“It’s a big day for Muslims for the year,” said Aqeel Wahab with the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan. “Lots of eating, celebrations, family and it’s kicked off with communal prayers.”

Over 10,000 people gathered Wednesday morning at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Over 60 ethnicities and cultures were represented according to Wahab.

Ramadan is a month of no food or drink every day from sunrise to sunset. Wahab said the community also tries to refrain from “bad behaviour” like lying. Evenings are filled with prayers, reflection and communal gatherings.

He summed up the month as “fasting, contemplation, and community,” adding gratitude is especially important during Ramadan.

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“When you are fasting, you get to learn about what you don’t have and what you do have. When you don’t have the ability to eat during the day, but you can decide what time you eat at night, that is a huge blessing around the world that people sometimes forget. We remember that today,” Wahab said.

He noted the current conflict in the Middle East and Gaza makes this year’s celebrations more serious for some.

“There are people literally starving to death. There are people in the community today whose families can’t stop fasting, not because it’s the end of Ramadan but because they have no food and there are hundreds of them. We have lost loved ones.”

Sama Abudan said she traveled from Ontario to celebrate the occasion with her friends in Saskatchewan as most of her family are living in Gaza.

She said she has lost 26 cousins to the conflict and said her mother is still stuck there.

“They give us power,” Abudan said. “At the end of the day, they show us how to be strong and always keep that faith in us and have hope.”

Ahmad Al-Dissi, who is also from Gaza, said he isn’t celebrating in his usual way this year.

“How can you celebrate knowing people are being pulled from the rubble,” he said. “We usually bake cookies and sweets and things like that but how can you do that knowing there is a famine, a man-made famine there with supplies not coming in?”

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He said the ending of Ramadan is still a family-oriented event and it still has a special meaning.

Hafsa Jamil attended the event on Wednesday, saying she loves the community aspect of the event.

“We just feel joy and gratitude and thankful for everything that we have,” she said, adding that she celebrates every year. “At the end of the day, we have our family, we have food, we are going to give gifts and donations.”

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