- In pictures: Eid al-Fitr
Millions Celebrate `Eid Tuesday
By IOL Staff
Sun., Oct. 22, 2006
CAIRO Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate
`Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting
month of Ramadan, on Tuesday, October 23, while
millions others will mark the festival a day earlier.
Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa announced late Sunday, October
22, that Monday will be the last day of Ramadan and
that Tuesday will be the first day of `Eid.
Algeria said the crescent of the new hijri month of
Shawwal was not sighted Sunday and Monday will be the
last day of fasting.
In Jordan, chief justice Ahmad Julail announced that
Tuesday will be the first day of Shawwal and `Eid.
Official religious authorities in Oman and Syria said
that `Eid will be celebrated on Tuesday.
In Asia, Malaysia announced that Tuesday will be the
first day of `Eid. The announcement was made by the
Keeper of the Rulers Seal after the moon was not
sighted in any of the 28 selected locations throughout
Indonesia's moon-sighting committee will meet later
Monday to make an official announcement of the start
of `Eid Al-Fitr.
Bangladesh's 18-member National Moon Sighting
Committee led by State Minister for Religious Affairs
Mosharref Hossain Shahjahan sits Monday at Baitul
Mukarram National Mosque to confirm the moon sighting.
If the moon is sighted, `Eid will start Tuesday
otherwise the festival will be celebrated across the
country on Wednesday.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)
announced on its website that the first day of `Eid
Al-Fitr will be on Tuesday.
Muslims in Pakistan will also celebrate `Eid either on
Tuesday or Wednesday.
In India, Muslims will sight the new moon on Monday.
If the sighting is confirmed `Eid will fall on Tuesday
otherwise it will be celebrated on Wednesday.
`Eid Al-Fitr, one of the two most important Islamic
celebrations together with `Eid Al-Adha, will start
Monday in Gulf countries, the United States and some
Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue
among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds
over the issue.
One group says that Muslims everywhere should abide by
the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
A second, however, believes that the authority in
charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a
given country (such as Egypt's Dar al-Iftaa [House of
Fatwa]) announces the sighting of the new moon, then
Muslims in the country should all abide by this.
Muslims pray, focus on family during Eid
Joyful festivities, special meals, gift-giving mark
end of monthlong Ramadan fast.
Mark Hicks / The Detroit News
Monday, October 23, 2006
For the last 30 days, nothing has excited Chloe Karoub
more than anticipating the arrival of Eid al-Fitr.
The 14-year-old ninth-grader at Detroit Country Day
School fasted throughout the holy month of Ramadan and
even balanced the ritual during her many tennis
matches and daily practices.
But what helped Chloe most was thinking ahead to
today's start of Eid, which concludes Ramadan, and the
accompanying festivities: donning a hijab while
praying at the Tawheed Center of Farmington Hills;
exchanging gifts with her parents and three younger
sisters; and eating salmon and kibbeh at her
"I've waited a long time," Chloe said Sunday. "I'm
Joy infuses much of Eid al-Fitr -- one of the most
celebratory periods in the Muslim calendar. The
three-day holiday, which begins today, concludes
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
It also coincides with a new moon and the start of
Shawaal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar.
Since the previous month was devoted to piety and
abstaining from sinful habits, Eid is a festive period
for many of Metro Detroit's estimated 125,000 to
200,000 Muslims -- marked with prayers in mosques,
gift exchanges, special meals and communal gathering
symbolizing unity and brotherhood.
In addition to reawakening joy, the holiday also
acknowledges spiritual advances and blessings.
Having attained through fasting one of the five
pillars of Islam, Muslims continue to contemplate
their spirituality and ties to the world, said Eide
Alawan, a spokesman and interfaith outreach
representative for the Islamic Center of America in
Dearborn, which is believed to be the largest mosque
in the country.
"Individuals recognize the spirit they
have," he said.
"Individuals will be more spiritual in their daily
While the fasting of Ramadan helps remind Muslims of
problems such as hunger, the gathering and gift-giving
of Eid emphasizes peace and fortified familial bonds.
"Our aim is that the kids feel the joy
of the advent of Eid," said Chloe's father, Carl
Karoub, a doctor from Farmington Hills.
"We want them to get pumped up for next year."
You can reach Mark Hicks at (313) 222-2300 or
Joyless `Eid in War-Torn Iraq
BAGHDAD For millions of Iraqis the three-day `Eid
Al-Fitr, which they used to celebrate with family
reunions, the exchange of presents and visits to
amusement parks, has lost all its joy and glamour.
"This `Eid is marred by despair," Ali Ahmed, an Arabic
teacher, told the London-based Al-Quds Press news
agency in a voice filled with grief.
"Every `Eid we expect things to improve but they just
keep going from bad to worse."
Unabating violence and bloodshed set the tone for `Eid
Al-Fitr with mortar and bomb attacks on bustling
Baghdad markets on Sunday, October 22.
Bangladeshis Rush Home for `Eid
CAIRO Every thing in Bangladesh is on the move as
millions are racing against the clock to finish
preparations for `Eid Al-Fitr, packing buses, trains
and ferries to celebrate the good time with their
relatives and loved ones at their native villages.
"Tickets are being sold at fair prices. We used to
sell tickets at Tk 20 less as the demand was low
before," Ticket clerks told Bangladeshi
English-language The Daily Star, Monday, October 23.
The capital's railway stations and bus terminals are
crammed with home going city-dwellers as most of them
ended the last workday before the three-day `Eid
holiday and headed out to celebrate the feast with
their beloved ones.
War Hijacks Lebanese `Eid Joy
SIDDIQIN, Lebanon The 34-day Israeli offensive that
devastated Lebanon has cast a pall over `Eid Al-Fitr
festive mood, which was overtaken by ruins, fears and
unexploded bomblets carpeting the south.
"No one has any work here," Ahmed Azzam, mayor of the
southern village of Siddiqin, sadly told Agence
France-Presse (AFP) Monday, October 22, the first day
of `Eid for Lebanese Shiites.
Israel's bombardment of the village during its
July-August blitz completely destroyed more than 400
homes and severely damaged 700 others, says Azzam.
This year the village, home to 6,200 people, that
usually lives from tobacco and olive cultivation does
not feel much like celebrating, living instead
hand-to-mouth from aid donations.
Happy `Eid for Spanish Muslims
MADRID `Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated here on Monday,
October 23, is a bit different this year for Spanish
Muslims after two years of police arrests, vile media
campaigns and suspicious looks from fellow Spaniards.
The government seems ready to turn a new leaf in its
relations with the Muslim minority, deciding to
allocate cash for the main representative Muslim body
on par with Christians and Jews.
The decision, put on ice since 1992, is expected to
enter into force in 2008, according to ABC newspaper.
Though is it not clear how much the government would
set aside for Muslims, the move is a significant
goodwill gesture towards much stereotyped Islam, the
second religion in Spain after Catholic Christianity.
Spain has a Muslim minority of about 800,000 people
out of a total population of 40 million.
The southern European country has recognized Islam
through the law of religious freedom, issued in July
After Al-Qaeda claimed the terrorist Madrid bombings
in 2002 that killed 190 people, Muslims, Islamic
centers and mosques were the target of mounting
attacks and calls from rightist parties to clamp down
on the Muslim minority.
`Eid Comforts Italian Muslims
MILAN The three-day `Eid Al-Fitr, which starts here
on Monday, October 23, brings a long-lost smile to the
faces of many Italian Muslims who have had a very hard
time with rising Islamophobia in the southern European
"We are resolved to leave beyond continuing media
onslaughts against Islam and enjoy the `Eid," Ali Abu
Oshwaima, the director of the Islamic Center in Milan,
north of Rome, told IslamOnline.net.
"All Muslims in Italy should use `Eid to wash away
The Islamic Center in Milan, a religious reference
authority not only to Muslims in Milan but to almost
all Italian Muslims, has announced Monday as the first
day of `Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of
the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
French Dwarfs Arabic in `Eid Greetings
PARIS "Bonne Fete" [Happy `Eid] has become the
favorite `Eid greeting for the second and third
generations of French Muslims, eclipsing traditional
Arabic ones used by their parents and grandparents.
"It is obvious from the outpour of best wishes I have
received that French greetings like "bonne fete" have
replaced traditional ones like the Algerian 'Sah
`Eidek' [May God bless your `Eid]," Murad Allani, a
Muslim activist, told IslamOnline.net on Monday,
October 23, the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr in France.
He said "bonne fete" marks a tendency to "Frenchize"
Muslim greetings by the second and third generations,
estimated at some two million out of a total Muslim
minority of five million people.
Though the Arabic world 'Eid has entered the French
lexicon and is used by politicians to wish Muslims a
happy feast, "bonne fete" has become the favorite
among the younger generations.
`Eid in Penang
Weeks before `Eid al-Fitr or Hari Raya Aidilfitri as
it is called in Penang, a thorough housecleaning is
carried out, as in many other Muslim communities,
equivalent to the spring cleaning of Europe to welcome
the season of spring. Homes are decorated to be ready
for the first day of `Eid, when open houses are
customarily held throughout Malaysia , across its many
cultures. In Penang , it is customary for the men to
attend `Eid Prayers, after which the whole family goes
to visit the graves of lost ones. Travel becomes
congested as streams of people can be seen traveling
to similar destinations for this momentous occasion of
`Eid. The two-day holiday also presents people the
opportunity to return to hometowns to be with the
family, as is the custom.
An English `Eid
`Eid Al-Fitr is eagerly anticipated around the world
for the release it brings to a community that has been
fasting during daylight hours for a whole month. It is
a day for giving thanks to Allah for all His mercy and
blessings. It is a day when we are happy and concerned
that others are happy too. It is a day for the whole
community to enjoy although our happiness is tempered
by the knowledge that many of our brothers and sisters
in Palestine, Pakistan, and elsewhere around the world
are celebrating `Eid in difficult circumstances.
Do Not Crush the Joy of `Eid
`Eid has a special joy. It is the joy at the bounty of
Allah, His mercy and His great blessings. It is the
joy at His guidance in a time when many people have
strayed from the straight path. In `Eid, Muslims
gather together, sensing the deep belonging to this
Ummah and this religion. They rejoice at the bounty of
Allah Who has guided them when many other peoples
failed to follow the straight path.
[Allah desires ease for you, not your discomfort. He
desires you to fast the whole of the month, and that
you may magnify Him for giving you His guidance, and
that you may give thanks.] (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
What blessing could be better and bigger than being
guided to Islam!
Moreover, `Eid fills us with joy at the bounty of
reaching Ramadan, in contrast to those who died before
it. We enjoy the success we achieved and feel grateful
for the help that Allah granted us by facilitating our
worship in this month. Those days and nights have been
a season overflowing with Allahs mercy and gifts.
Muslim congregations spent the nights glorifying Allah
and reciting the Quran. Many supplications were
uttered; many eyes were filled with tears. Many souls
have been softened as if they were ascending to the
heavens, living with angels, looking at Paradise and
Hell with their very eyes. On these days, Muslims
experienced blessings and joy that no one else could
feel. Such souls deserve to rejoice at being blessed
by Allah with this overwhelming flow. Another source
of joy is fulfillment of the fasting period and
completion of the third pillar of Islam. [Say: In the
bounty of Allah and in His mercy: therein let them
rejoice. It is better than what they hoard] (Yunus
More on Eid
- Malawi `Eid Solaces Underprivileged
Mallick Mnela, IOL Correspondent
Thu., Oct. 26, 2006
BLANTYRE Celebrating the three-day `Eid Al-Fitr,
which marks the end fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims
in the Southern African republic of Malawi did not
forget those who are less fortunate, cheering the
sick, orphans and other needy persons.
"The charity activities are a major part in the
Islamic faith especially during the festive season,"
Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, National Coordinator of the
Islamic Information Bureau, told IslamOnline.net.
"Non-Muslims are really amazed to see people portrayed
as mercenaries in the press being so wonderful. Thats
the first step towards knowing Islam and thats why we
encourage it," he added.
Muslim Students Association at the Islamic Zakaat Fund
(IZF) Business College took time to cheer the sick at
the Mangochi District Hospital.
"This is another way of celebrating `Eid for us,"
Daudi Masapi, the leader of delegation, told IOL.
"We believe that cheering the sick and making them
happy can be a magic prescription for their ailments,"
Blantyre Muslim Women Organization also treated
prisoners at the Chichiri Prison to an `Eid festivity
endowed with special food-stuffs.
"As a matter of fact, we have realized that some of
the best Muslims are formed in prisons," said Asiyatu
"They are sent there to be reformed so if we turn a
blind eye on them we would be doing injustice to them.
They need our love and support," she added.
`Eid Al-Fitr, a festival that comes at the end of
Ramadan, started in Malawi on October 24.
`Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha, the two most important
Islamic celebrations, are regarded as national
holidays in Malawi, where Islam is the second largest
religion after Christianity.
Official figures suggest that Muslims make 12 percent
of the 12 million people, but the umbrella Muslim
Association of Malawi say Muslims constitute more than
Business was brought to almost a standstill in Malawi
during `Eid, with most shops closed in the major
Most wholesale and retail businesses that are always a
bee hive of activity are operated by Muslims of either
British or Asian descent.
Mosques were, meanwhile, filled to the brim, with
Muslims praying for peace.
"This grants the occasion the importance it deserves.
It's not like any other day, and we appreciate that
this is being felt as we are making an effort to
inform people on the beauty of Islam," said Sheikh
Thousands of Muslims were seen in jovial mood across
the streets of the major cities, attending `Eid
Some communities had to perform prayers in the
open-air to accommodate the large congregations.
"We've always encouraged a spirit of brotherhood
thats why we tell people from small local mosques to
come together as a single community so that they
celebrate in a grand style," said a visibly overjoyed
Sheikh Chabulika, while his mobile phone kept on
receiving SMSs from well-wishers.
In some remote areas, families brought food to mosques
or other designated places so that they eat together
in what is locally known as "chidyerano" or communal
"This makes us have more fun," says Ishmael Abdullah
of Blantyre, the commercial capital of Malawi.
Many others decided to throw a party.
"I am just fascinated how Islam preaches unity and
brotherhood," Sraj Suleman, a Blantyre-based Muslim,
"I've enjoyed eating and partying with Muslim family
friends. The most wonderful thing is that they're
Turkish and I'm Malawian, but there was nothing that
Suleman says this enables people of varied backgrounds
to come together, thereby sharing some cultural
aspects that may help develop local Muslims.
Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the former president of Malawi, who
is also a Muslim, called on Muslims to co-exist with
people of other faiths so that they maintain the good
image of Islam.
"It's incumbent upon us as Muslims to guide those who
do not know our religion by maintaining the virtues
and spirit of unity that we ably demonstrated during
the just-ended holy month of Ramadan," reads an `Eid
Al-Fitr from the former leader made available to IOL.
MP Yunus Mussa also commended the Muslims for living
well with their Christian neighbors, which he said has
helped to dispel the misconception that Islam condemns
the existence of people of other faiths.
"In the just-ended month we're told to respond to
those who provoke us: "I'm fasting", why then should
we not carry forward this noble trait. Avoiding those
who provoke us could be a major prescription for
US Muslims One Family in `Eid
By Sahar Kassaimah, IOL Correspondent
Wed., Oct. 25, 2006
WASHINGTON The most important thing for American
Muslims in `Eid Al-Fitr is to demonstrate their unity
and inter-racial harmony with a focus on the younger
generations, who can only recognize one of the biggest
festivals in the Islamic calendar through the
congregational prayers early in the morning and a
"It's extremely important to bring our children to
these events and let them play together," Ghalia
Raheemy, an Afghani mother of four, told
IslamOnline.net Wednesday, October 25, one day after
the start of `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the
holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"Otherwise, they wont get to know what Eid `is," she
added. "Back home, you feel `Eid everywhere you go: at
homes, at work, on the street and in the
She continued: "But here, we have to create or revive
the `Eid feeling in our kids hearts to make it a
different day for them. And getting them with the
Muslim community is the best thing to do to remind
them that today is a special Islamic holiday."
The Maghawri family starts their `Eid morning with
Fajr prayer and `Eid takbirats (saying Allahu Akbr or
God is Great several times) before joining the
community for the rest of the day.
"We only have two holidays," the father Nabil
Maghawri, who owns a CD and DVD manufacturing
"So we try to celebrate them as much as we can to show
our kids the authentic Muslim holiday. There are lots
of Muslims around. We pray here at community centers
to accommodate a larger number of Muslims and that is
how the kids enjoy it."
There are an estimated five to eight million Muslims
currently living in the US, out of a total population
of 300 million.
Many of them were born and raised in the United States
or have been living here for decades.
According to a recent study by US polling firm Zogby
International, only 26% of American Muslims are of
Arab origin, with around 33% coming from South-East
American Muslims agree that it is the `Eid prayers
that make their day, gathering in big mosques and
large indoor and outdoor areas, such as community
centers and football stadiums to perform the prayer.
"It is the `Eid prayer that spreads the real spirit of
`Eid among all of us," said Basima Salman, a mother of
"Every `Eid, we wake up early in the morning and bring
our kids to attend the prayer. Without this prayer and
these takbirats, our kids wont feel the joy of `Eid
and they wont feel any difference between the `Eid
and any other day. When they wake up in the morning to
attend the `Eid prayer, they say, We are going to the
`Eid," Salman said.
"The `Eid here is different from the `Eid back home,"
"We always take our kids to the `Eid prayer to
understand that this is an Islamic occasion. So, we do
all what we can to make it a special day filled with
fun and entertainment."
After the` Eid prayer, Muslims usually visit various
friends, exchange gifts and make phone calls to
distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday.
"We visit each other and exchange presents so our kids
could get as much presents as possible and that is how
they share the joy of `Eid with other Muslim friends,"
`Eid programs vary from community to another. As some
prefer to have open air picnics especially in nice
weathers, others prefer having an open day at one of
the community members houses.
"The community always arranges for special Eid
programs," said Ali.
"Today we have a picnic day in the park. It is a very
nice weather and the kids will enjoy playing together.
We prefer to eat pizzas, sandwiches or to have
barbecue in order to give the mothers a day off from
"We always have a special `Eid program. Sometimes we
go to amusement parks or spend the day at the park,"
Bilal Hailey, owner of a company, had a "wonderful"
"We had a nice breakfast with some Muslim families.
Then we took a break for two hours before we go to the
park and we enjoyed it," he said.
Sonia Hadad, a Tunisian mother of three, said there is
lots of fun stuff that they could do in `Eid.
"Kids would enjoy such as movies, Disney Land and
Universal Studios, but my husband although hes an
American, he always likes them to be around Muslim
kids to feel that it is an Islamic holiday," she said.
Many people also decorate their houses for `Eid.
"That is the only chance the kids will recognize one
of our major holidays," said Maghawri.
New clothes are one of the basics during `Eid like all
"Kids start getting ready for `Eid a night before.
They decorate their rooms; get some gifts to their
friends, wrap gifts together and everyone buys new
clothes," said Maghawri.
Palestinian Samar Muneer wants to give her children
what she missed in the good old days.
"At our kids age, we never celebrated `Eid or bought
new clothes," she said.
"We were never enjoying `Eid because we were living
under the Intifada, so now we try to give our kids
what we couldnt get because of our political
situation. We still feel the pain for our country and
family who suffer there, but it is our kids rights to
enjoy these blessed days," added the mother of two.
By American Muslims are still disappointed at state
refusal to grant them a day off on `Eid day.
"As you know, `Eid here is not an official holiday for
everyone," Muneer said.
"Most of the time, my husband cant spend the `Eid
with us, unless if the `Eid comes in a weekend. But I
always take the kids to the `Eid prayer and we
celebrate it with our community."
For college Students, it is also hard to get a day off
"I am returning back to my college because my class
will start at 1:00 p.m.," said Ayah Sabbah.
Some mothers feel worry on how their kids would feel
when they become teenagers and still dont have a
regular holiday like other Americans.
"I am worry how it becomes for my kids when they
become teenagers and find others having a normal
holidays while they dont," said Hadad.
"We had a stress almost three weeks ahead of `Eid to
plan for our holiday. Even my husband has his own
business, but still he cant leave his work. We feel
very happy when `Eid comes in the weekend," said
Although Muslim kids usually have schools on `Eid
days, most of their parents do not send them to
schools in the first day of `Eid.
"They take a day off after getting an advanced
permission from their schools," said Maghawri.
"Our kids need to feel that the `Eid day is a very
special day for Muslims, especially because they know
that all of their peers attend a regular school day."
Bangladeshis Pray for Peace in `Eid
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
Wed., Oct. 25, 2006
DHAKA Bangladeshis offered their `Eid Al-Fitr
prayers on Wednesday, October 25, for peace and
stability as the world's third-largest Muslim country
prepares for January general polls.
"Almighty Allah bless the country, which is in the
throes of political adversity," an imam told a
50,000-strong congregation at Dhaka's national mosque,
reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"God, let a leader emerge from the bargaining and let
them understand the political situation in order to
hold a peaceful election," the imam said.
`Eid Al-Fitr, one of the biggest festival in the
Islamic calendar marking the end of the fasting month
of Ramadan, was held a day later than many Muslim
countries, as the new crescent moon was not sighted
until Tuesday night, October 24.
The festival was marred by the death of at least 28
people in two separate accidents as they travelled
home to celebrate with their families.
At least 18 people died Monday when an overloaded
ferry hit a goods boat and capsized on the River
Meghna, near Dhaka.
Ten others died and 50 were injured, also Monday, when
two buses collided head-on in the capital's central
Three days before Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum
Khaleda Zia is due to transfer power to an interim
authority, the government and opposition leaders
remain poles apart on reforms to make the next
election free and fair.
Khaleda is due to hand over power to the caretaker
authority on October 27 at the end of her five-year
rule. Opposition parties warn of protests if there is
no smooth transfer of power, Reuters reported.
The main bone of contention is the choice of the head
of the caretaker authority to supervise the election.
Khaleda's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants
former chief justice K.M. Hasan in the post of
caretaker chief, but the opposition Awami League led
by Sheikh Hasina oppose him and say he has past
associations with the ruling party.
The other main dispute is over the opposition's demand
for removal of the chief election commissioner M.A.
Aziz and his deputies, who are accused of pro-BNP
Both sides said on Tuesday, October 24, they had yet
to agree on any of 31 electoral reforms that Hasina
proposed to ensure fair voting in polls due in January
Hopes for a settlement brightened when Awami chief
negotiator Abdul Jalil said he had received a
telephone call from his BNP counterpart Abdul Mannan
Bhuiyan proposing an alternative to Hasan and offering
more talks to resolve the deadlock.
But Hasina, who leads a 14-party opposition alliance,
told reporters on Tuesday that Bhuiyan named Aziz as
caretaker chief, instead of Hasan.
"Aziz is even more controversial and unacceptable to
us," Hasina said, adding that if the disputes are not
resolved by Oct. 27 opposition activists from all over
the country would march to Dhaka and besiege the
"The time is running out fast and an agreement ...
must be reached by Friday," said Suranjit Sen Gupta, a
senior member of the Awami League presidium.
"Otherwise the country will burst into protests from
the moment when Hasan or any other partisan man takes
over (from Khaleda)," he said.
BNP leader Khandaker Musharraf Hossain said the Awami
League was trying to push the country into a "point of
no return" and warned that peace-loving Bangladeshis
would resist them.
- Malaysians Help Flood Victims in `Eid
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
Sun. Dec. 31, 2006
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian Muslims rushed Sunday,
December 31, on the first day of `Eid Al-Adha in the
southeast Asian country to help victims of massive
floods that hit the country.
Apart from performing the `Eid prayers and
slaughtering sheep, cows and goats, they also
sacrificed their time, energy and cash to help fellow
Malaysians hit by the floods, Malaysia's The Star
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
donated 130 head of cattle to 34 mosques, 40 surau
(prayer rooms), government agencies and departments,
as well as non-governmental organizations in Kepala
Batas and Seberang Prai Utara provinces, worst hit by
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib also donated
299 head of cattle to 52 mosques and 124 surau in
For the flood victims, particularly in areas which
took the brunt of the monstrous floods, the Udhiyah
meat brought back smiles to many faces.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or
goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or a
cow as an act of worship during `Eid Al-Adha, one of
the two main festivals in the Islamic calendar.
The tradition marks the memory of Abraham who was
about to sacrifice his son Ismail as requested by God,
when God sent him a sheep to slaughter in the place of
The death toll from Malaysia's disastrous floods has
risen to 12, with another youth missing, but
authorities said fears of another round of flooding
had been averted.
The latest confirmed victim is a five-year-old girl
whose body was found late Saturday, December 30, the
official Bernama news agency said.
She was swept away when the car her family was
traveling in was caught by strong currents.
Her father survived, but her mother and three-year-old
sister also died.
An 18-year-old youth is missing after he was lost in
floodwaters late Friday, Bernama said.
Malaysia's opposition has called for an inquiry into
the floods, the worst in decades, which have forced
nearly 59,0000 people in southern Johor state to flee
their homes and take shelter in relief centers.
However, Johor chief minister Abdul Ghani Othman said
he was confident the situation in the state would be
back to normal within the next few days.
Abdul Ghani said the second wave of rains predicted by
forecasters would not take place as the rain-bearing
clouds had been blown towards Singapore and Sabah
state on Borneo Island.
All in all, the rain-triggered floods and landslides
have killed at least 158 people and displaced at least
half a million in the past week in Malaysia and
Indonesia's Sumatra province.
Another 163 people remain missing and are feared dead
after torrential waters swept away thousands of homes
in the Southeast Asian nations, mostly in Indonesia.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation,
was the worst hit country when a 9.3 magnitude
earthquake sent shockwaves through the Indian Ocean on
December 26, 2004, unleashing tsunami waves that raced
towards the shores of 11 nations.
The giant walls of water wrought devastation as never
before, killing at least 168,000 people in Indonesia
Volunteers Key for American `Eid
By Abderrazak Mrabet
Mon. Jan. 1, 2007
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA Due to the lack of space in
the Islamic centers, many Muslim communities in the US
celebrate `Eid Al-Adha in rented places to accommodate
the large number of Muslims attending the `Eid prayer,
which requires good planning and an army of
"Usually we reserve the place for two days in case the
`Eid falls in one of them, and at least a month before
the `Eid we start contacting volunteers to make sure
that we have enough qualified brothers and sisters to
help us," Emad Ali from the Islam Association of
Raleigh (IAR) told IslamOnline.net.
Some 5,000 Muslims attended `Eid prayer at the Dorton
Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday,
"We expected this big turnout because most people are
off work and kids are still in winter break," said
Ali, adding that everything was in place to ensure
The Fiqh Council of North America, an independent body
of experts in Islamic law who serve the Muslim
community of North America, has announced Sunday,
December 31, as the start of the four-day `Eid Al-Adha
based on astronomical calculations.
But many local Muslim communities across the US,
including IAR, followed Saudi Arabia which celebrated
`Eid Al-Adha, one of the two main religious festivals
in Islam, on Saturday.
Boys and girls of different ages, with a volunteer
sign on their chests, were ready to assist with all
People are met with volunteers even before they park
They help control traffic and parking, direct the
crowd through the gates, make sure that everybody is
seated in straight lines, and handing over drinks and
balloons for kids.
After the `Eid sermon, volunteers double their effort
to keep the place organized with a lot of kids running
around chasing their balloons or enjoying the games
put in place for them.
Refreshments were served for everyone and many people
stayed hours after the prayer and sermon concluded.
For many young American Muslims volunteering to help
others is the best way to celebrate `Eid Al-Adha.
"I volunteer every year," Ahmed, a college student,
"I feel its my duty to do whatever I could to help
Volunteers meet the day preceding the `Eid to discuss
the details and to distribute roles.
"Each of us has a specified task that he or she has to
focus on till everything is over," said Ahmed.
"After everybody goes home safely, we start cleaning
up the place. We are the first to come here and the
last to leave."
Another volunteer, Khaled, said that it doesnt bother
him at all to wake up early in the morning.
"I am glad that they gave me the opportunity to
volunteer and serve the community," he said
Khaled was handing over plastic bags for people to
keep their shoes in.
"As simple as it appears, with a big crowd, every task
counts," he said proudly.
Umm Sophia, a member of the womens committee in the
IAR, is supervising about fifteen volunteers.
She told IOL that many Muslim girls want to volunteer.
"We have no problem finding volunteers, actually we
cant accommodate all the demands we get.
"We choose the well-qualified sisters that are able to
handle all sorts of tasks."
She said most of the volunteers are students, noting
that even adult women are always willing to help.
"Without their assistance, its almost impossible to
handle such an event," asserted IAR's Ali.
"They are mostly youth, between the age of 14 and 21
and they are very enthusiastic about what they are
The volunteering activities did not go un-praised.
"I just love seeing so many young Muslims helping the
community and volunteering," said one Muslim woman.
"The youth are our future and as Muslims we must
encourage our children to be good members of society
and help the community grow with strong Islamic
War Hijacks Somalia `Eid
By Abdel Qadir Mohammad, IOL Correspondent
Sun. Dec. 31, 2006
MOGADISHU The `Eid joy in Somalia has been hijacked
by the ongoing war between Ethiopian-backed government
troops and the fighters of the Islamic Courts with
many residents recalling the good old days.
"Markets were closed before `Eid as the war chaos kept
spreading over," Fatima Mohammed, a housewife, told
IslamOnline.net Sunday, December 31, the second day of
She added there was almost no preparations in the
shops that are usually laden with gift items and new
clothes on `Eid.
"Every one is closely following up the ongoing war and
`Eid shopping is not a priority right now," shop owner
Halima says, her hair tucked into a black headscarf
and her body enveloped in billowing black.
She said that some of the shop owners were among
volunteers who joined the Islamic Courts to fight the
invading Ethiopian troops and many of them were killed
in the bloody battles.
"We miss our dear friends and feel sorry for their
wives and children."
With militias formed, looting reported and people
killed in skirmishes, Somalia is descending into
instability once again as the Ethiopian-backed Somali
troops are moving towards Kismayu, the last stronghold
of the Supreme Islamic Courts of Somalia (SICS).
Hundreds, and possibly thousands, have died on scrubby
battlefields in what aid agencies are calling the
worst fighting for a decade in the war-raven nation.
The beginning of battles o December 20 marked the end
of months of relative stability in the country.
After years of lawlessness and security chaos, Somalis
were finally rejoicing a peaceful life when the SICS
kicked out US-backed warlords from the capital in
Good Old Days
Besides the two holydays of `Eid Al-Adha and `Eid
AlFitr, Somalis used to enjoy multiple celebrations
like the Day of Revolution on October 21 and the
Independence Day celebrations from June 27 to July 1.
But now, people could only look back fondly to `Eids
"`Eid used to be an occasion for family visits,"
Abdullah Balak, editor-in-chief of Al-Ayam newspaper
"These joyful post-dawn visits," recalls Balak, "are
impossible this year amid the spike of violence."
Residents envy children who are still green to
understand what is going on.
"This year's `Eid is not for adults," Halima Ahmed,
bitterly told IOL.
"We try our best to keep our children aloof from the
news of the raging war," she added in grief.
But kids in the Horn of Africa nation are trying to
enjoy themselves amid the beating drums of war, though
colorful masks, fireworks and new clothes are
something of a luxury in a country that has not known
stability since 1991.
The lack of security marred the kids' joy, hindering
them from the usual `Eid rides to cinemas and parks.
"Lucky them! Children don't realize the terrible
situation in the country," said. Abdullah Ibrahim.
Saddam Immortalized by `Eid Hanging
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
Sun. Dec. 31, 2006
CAIRO Images of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein being
led to the gallows on one of Islam's most important
feast days and the sectarian and politicized nature of
the execution have immortalized the late leader and
risks further fueling civil strife in the occupied
country, politicians and experts said on Sunday,
"Executing former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain on
`Eid day has made him a hero from zero," Pakistan
Muslim League President Shujaat Hussain told Pakistan
Tribune Sunday, December 31.
"It is no doubt that Saddam Hussain had committed many
atrocities and was involved in several crimes but
hanging him on the occasion of `Eid Al-Adha has once
again made him a hero."
The ousted strongman was executed in Baghdad at dawn
on Saturday as Muslims began celebrating `Eid al-Adha,
one of the major feasts in the Muslim calendar.
Grainy footage of a grey-bearded and calm-looking
Saddam being prepared for the gallows was aired on
Iraqi state television and re-broadcast across the
Even the West's leading Middle East allies, Egypt and
Saudi Arabia, publicly spoke out against the choice of
the first day of the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice to put
Saddam to death.
The European Union denounced the death sentence as
"barbaric," saying it would turn Saddam into a
"Unfortunately Saddam Hussein risks to appear as a
martyr, and he does not deserve that. He is not a
martyr, he committed the worse things," European
Union's aid and development Commissioner Louis Michel
told Reuters in a phone interview.
"The death penalty is against the values of the
European Union ... we are against by principle,
whatever the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein."
US President George W. Bush termed the execution an
important milestone. Bush carefully measured words in
a written statement from his Texas ranch.
"Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the
violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on
Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern,
sustain, and defend itself," Bush said in his
statement. "Many difficult choices and further
sacrifices lie ahead."
Experts say that the `Eid execution has won Saddam's
sympathy from Arabs and Muslims worldwide whether they
support him or not.
"Saddam was being dragged away like he was the sheep
waiting to be slaughtered," Emad Gad, researcher with
the Cairo-based Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies,
told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Sunday, December 31.
"The main issue here is that the execution took place
on the morning of the `Eid Al-Adha. This will stir
anger and humiliation in people, whether they
supported him or not."
Gad said the hanging images would further alienate
Muslims and Arabs against the United States.
"Generally in the region, people's emotions are
already anti-US, and these images will add to that
feeling," he warned.
The executive editor of the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya
news channel, Nabil Khatib, agreed.
"The pictures will re-create the anger and frustration
among a large part of the Arab masses," Khatib told
"Once more, ordinary Arabs felt that there is a
conspiracy against their symbols."
Prominent Jordanian criminal lawyer Sameeh Khreis
criticized the swift appeal process and execution and
said the hanging's timing disrespected Arabs and
The execution "was very, very fast, and in my mind to
execute him today on the first day of our Eid, the
American policy decided to challenge us and our
feelings as an Arab people and Muslim people," he told
The Associated Press.
Saddam Hussein's execution drew outcries from human
rights activists who condemned the hanging as too
hasty and said they feared the trial may taint the
future of Iraq's justice system.
"The test of a government's commitment to human rights
is measured by the way it treats its worst offenders.
History will judge these actions harshly," Richard
Dicker, director of New York-based group's
International Justice Program, was quoted by The
International Herald Tribune as saying on Sunday.
Saddam's execution came nearly two months after his
November 5 sentencing for his role in the 1982
slayings of 148 Shiite Muslims from a town where
assassins tried to kill him.
Pundits have also warned that sectarianism and
violence would be further fueled in already volatile
"Saddam's death would give rise to sectarianism in
Iraq," Shujaat Hussain, the Pakistani scholar, said.
Though spilling Muslim blood is forbidden during some
Arab months including this Dhul Hiijah, Iraqi Shiites
feted his demise, dancing and cracking off bursts of
Sectarianism was present when Saddam Hussein was sent
to the gallows with a final taunt by hangers, who
chanted the names of two of Shiite leaders while the
noose was readied.
In video footage of the execution, apparently captured
on a mobile phone and spreading across the Internet on
Sunday, December 31, the hangers can be clearly heard
chanting "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada," and "Mohammad
Baqir Al-Sadr," according to Al-Jazeera satellite
Samer Hamzeh, news consultant for state-run Dubai
Media Incorporated which groups Dubai Television and
three other channels, warned that the graphic footage
of Saddam being led to the gallows risked sparking a
violent backlash in Iraq.
"This is not our daily news picture. It is a historic,
very emotional picture ... and the effect of emotional
pictures does not show right away," he said.
Hamzeh said the fact that Saddam looked composed as he
was readied for execution would not diminish the
negative impact of the footage.
"It is not about his behaviour. The normal viewer will
see the picture as humiliating," he argued.
"Humiliation can provoke anger, violence."
On Saturday, soon after Saddam was hanged, at least 77
people were killed in a series of bomb attacks, mostly
against crowded Shiite areas.
A car bomb exploded in a fish market in the Shiite
town of Kufa, and a triple bombing ripped through a
Shiite neighbourhood in Baghdad.
The abyss of civil strife into which Iraq has sunk
since the US-led invasion has cast a shadow over `Eid