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‘Eid Mubarak’: Thousands gather for Muslim holiday prayers in US state of Maryland

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MARYLAND, UNITED STATES - Muslims attend prayer at US Diyanet Mosque during the Laylat al-Qadr, one of the Muslims' holiest nights, in Maryland, United States on April 27, 2022. ( Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency )
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May 03, 2022 - 04:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Thousands of Muslims gathered on Monday morning for Eid al-Fitr holiday prayers at the Diyanet Center of America mosque in the US state of Maryland marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The mosque, which offers religious services for Muslims in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia area, is located in Lanham, Maryland, just outside the US capital.

The Eid holiday marks the end of the fasting month, during which most able-bodied Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex from sunrise to sunset.

Worshippers bowed their heads in the Eid prayer slated for 8 am local time (1300GMT), and a second prayer was offered at 9.30 am (1430GMT). Following the prayers, they wished one another “Eid Mubarak” (blessed holiday) and had breakfast in the Islamic center’s complex.

For Muslims worldwide, the first day of the holiday includes feasts and celebrations among families and friends.

Usman Haseb, 25, said he was “excited to come” to the mosque to spend the day with his fellow Muslims celebrating the special day, which he called “truly a blessing.”

“It is a beautiful atmosphere, honestly. It’s all about brotherhood and sisterhood really coming together as a community,” said Haseb, an Indian-American from Chicago, Illinois.

Fatih Gurevin, a Virginia resident, said he was happy to celebrate Eid with people from different ethnicities in the region.

“Thanks to all who contributed to the building of the Diyanet Center, and it is truly a blessing to have a perfect Ramadan,” he added.

The center hosted some 25,000 people during Ramadan for iftar (fast-breaking) meals, and Monday’s prayers drew over 3,000 worshippers, according to Bilal Kuspinar, head of the Diyanet Center of America.

The center is a project of the Turkish American Community Center, founded in 1993, and gets major support from the Turkish state’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).

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