Muslim athletes celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking end of Ramadan

Each year, the end of Ramadan — Islam’s holy month of fasting, prayer and charity — is marked by Eid al-Fitr, a celebration that can last up to three days full of feasting, family gatherings and gift-giving.

Eid al-Fitr is one of only two holidays that are celebrated by pretty much every Muslim on the planet. The other is Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the end of the annual period of pilgrimage in Mecca. (This year’s Eid al-Adha will be in early-September.) Other Muslim-majority countries treat the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad as a holiday, but that isn’t a universal practice.

The first and most widely-recognized event for Eid al-Fitr is a morning prayer followed by a khutbah. While many attend this event in a mosque, some communities gather in public parks, community centers and even stadiums for a massive group prayer. A khutbah is like a sermon, and the Eid al-Fitr morning prayer/khutbah is comparable to an Eastern church service for Christians. Muslims who may go to the mosque only rarely or not at all will at least show up for Eid service.

Muslim athletes from a variety of sports around the globe celebrated Eid al-Fitr and shared their experiences and well-wishes on Twitter:

Amir Khan — Boxing — United Kingdom

Bill Hamid — Soccer (Major League Soccer) — United States

Enes Kanter — Basketball (NBA) — Turkey

Hamza Abdullah — Football (NFL; retired) — United States

Husain Abdullah — Football (NFL; retired) — United States

Ibtihaj Muhammad — Fencing — United States

Ilkay Gundogan — Soccer (Premier League in England) — Germany

Karim Benzema — Soccer (La Liga in Spain) — France

Mesut Ozil — Soccer (Premier League) — Germany

Oday Aboushi — Football (NFL) — United States

Paul Pogba — Soccer (Premier League) — France

Ruqsana Begum — Muay Thai Kickboxing — United Kingdom

Ryan Harris — Football (NFL; retired) — United States

Yaya Toure — Soccer (Premier League) — Ivory Coast

Yves Bissouma — Soccer (Ligue 1 in France) — Mali

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