Eid al-Fitr is the annual celebration marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. As a convert to Islam who grew up in the U.S., I would compare the atmosphere of Eid al-Fitr to that of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with a Thanksgiving feast thrown on top.
Although this year’s Eid was met with its usual excitement and optimism for the year ahead until the next Ramadan, there were also heavy hearts around the Muslim world.
As Ramadan came to a close this week, suicide bombers carried out attacks near Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia — also known as the Prophet’s Mosque because it was built by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Not including the perpetrators, four people were killed. And earlier this week in Baghdad, Iraq, another bomb struck a predominantly Muslim city as innocent civilians prepared for Eid. The death toll in the Baghdad attack stands at 250.
In the wake of these tragedies, Muslim athletes from a variety of sports and countries shared prayers and well-wishes for the ummah during the holiday:
Amna Al Haddad — Weightlifting — United Arab Emirates
Aly Ghazal — Soccer (Portugal’s Primeira Liga) — Egypt
Kurt Zouma — Soccer (England’s Premier League) — France
Abdul-Malik Abu — Basketball (NCAA, North Carolina State) — USA
Mo Farah — Track & Field — Great Britain
Arda Turan — Soccer (Spain’s La Liga) — Turkey
Ruqsana Begum — Kickboxing, Muay Thai — Great Britain
Amir Khan — Boxing — Great Britain
Andre Ayew — Soccer (England’s Premier League) — Ghana
Edin Dzeko — Soccer (Italy’s Serie A) — Bosnia & Herzegovina
Fatau Dauda — Soccer (Ghana’s Premier League) — Ghana
Felix Sturm — Boxing — Germany
Hajra Khan — Soccer (Maldives’ Dhivehi League) — Pakistan
Ahmed Hassan Kouka — Soccer (Portugal’s Primeira Liga) — Egypt
Hedo Turkoglu — Basketball (retired NBA) — Turkey
Husain Abdullah — Football (retired NFL) — USA
Karim Benzema — Soccer (Spain’s La Liga) — France
Karl Dargan — Boxing — USA
Marco Huck — Boxing — Germany
Mehmet Okur — Basketball (retired NBA) — Turkey
Mesut Ozil — Soccer (England’s Premier League) — Germany
Khabib Nurmagomedov — Mixed Martial Arts — Russia
Moeen Ali — Cricket — England
Mohamed Elneny — Soccer (England’s Premier League) — Egypt
Mohamed Salah — Soccer (Italy’s Serie A) — Egypt
Muhammad Wilkerson — Football (NFL) — USA
Mohamed Sanu — Football (NFL) — USA
Nour El Sherbini — Squash — Egypt
Razak Brimah — Soccer (Spain’s La Liga 2) — Ghana
Ryan Harris — Football (NFL) — USA
Sonny Bill Williams — Rugby, Boxing — New Zealand
Wakaso Mubarak — Soccer (Russia’s Premier League) — Ghana
Yaya Toure — Soccer (England’s Premier League) — Ivory Coast
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Eid al-Fitr — A Muslim holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan.
Ramadan — the holy month of prescribed fasting for Muslims. It was during this month that the Quranic revelations began. Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of Islam’s five pillars.
Eid Mubarak — “Blessed Eid”
Ummah — Arabic for “community.” The global Muslim community is often referred to as the Muslim ummah, or the ummah of Islam.