Muslim sports figures celebrate Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan

Demba Ba plays professionally for Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey) and for the Senegalese national soccer team.

This week marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which means Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr. It is one of two major holidays recognized by Muslims; the other being Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the end of the annual pilgrimage in Mecca.

Eid al-Fitr begins with a morning prayer followed by a khutbah. While many people attend this event at a mosque, others may 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 Easter church service for Christians. Muslims who might only go to their local mosque rarely or not at all will at least show up for Eid service.

Muslim athletes and sports figures recognized this year’s Eid al-Fitr and shared their experiences on social media:

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal (soccer)
Germany

Artur Beterbiev, IBF light-heavyweight champion (boxing)
Russia

Zaakyaa Young, Millennium HS (basketball)
USA

Demba Ba, Istanbul Basaksehir (soccer)
Senegal

Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)
Turkey

Dr. Rimla Akhtar, Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation
United Kingdom

Azhar Mahmood, assistant coach for Pakistan’s national team (cricket)
Pakistan

Belal Muhammad, UFC welterweight (MMA)
USA

Jamal Ben Saddik, GLORY heavyweight (kickboxing)
Morocco

Husain Abdullah, retired NFL player
USA

Yaya Toure, retired soccer player
Ivory Coast

Sonny Bill Williams, pro rugby player and boxer
New Zealand

Adeel Sahibzada, assistant coach at Daytona State College (basketball)
Canada

Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (soccer)
Switzerland

Haroon Mota, distance runner
England

Ryan Harris, retired NFL player
USA

Kal Yafai, WBA super flyweight champion (boxing)
United Kingdom

Paul Pogba, Manchester United (soccer)
France

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem &
Musa Abdul-Aleem, AS Sale (basketball)
USA

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