NEW YORK: Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that ends the holy month of Ramadan, was celebrated by Muslims throughout the world.
From India to the Middle East, Europe to the U.S., thousands waited to get a glimpse of the moon on the eve of the festival.
In Ridgefield Park, a section of Overpeck Park in Bergen County, New Jersey, approximately 30 people gathered to await the crescent shaped moon of Eid.
This is a tradition that goes back almost 1,400 years and is known as an Islamic tradition called moon sighting.
According to NorthJersey.com, the method of moon sighting goes back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad; however, the ritual of determining the date of this holiday differs among mosques and countries.
Since Muslims follow a lunar calendar, Eid falls on a different day each year and if the moon is not spotted on the eve of Eid, then the month of fasting is extended by one day.
Luckily, a moon sighting was reported in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 9:15 p.m. and the Eid Committee of New Jersey alerted the community that Eid would take place on Sunday, June 25, this year.
The Eid Committee used what is called a “local” method to detect when Eid would occur by using moon sightings across the U.S. and other parts of the Western Hemisphere, in contrary to other mosques who use a “global” method using moon sighting from around the world to determine the day of Eid and others who use a “scientific” method that relies on astronomical data to set the date in advance.
North Bergen itself celebrated Eid on the morning of the 25th at Braddock Park where community members decided to pray outside in the nice weather rather than inside a mosque, where prayers are usually held.
According to the Islamic tradition called Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, if weather permits then Eid celebrations and congregational prayers must be held outside in the open sky and not inside a mosque.
The Muslim Community of Jackson Heights celebrated Eid On Sunday, June 25 and this particular event called Eidgah was organized by the Muhammadi Center in Jackson Heights which was established in 2005.
Citizens from all five boroughs were present along with Imam Qazi Qayyoom who led the prayers with other Imams of the community and leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Hindu communities.
The Al-Wali Mosque is Edison also saw a huge turnout on Sunday morning when more than 2,000 devotees came for Eid prayers at 8 a.m. and again at 9:30 a.m.
In Brooklyn, Huda Quhshi, who owns a salon and boutique that caters to mainly Muslim women, serviced at least 48 customers this Eid.
She just opened an all women’s salon and boutique called Le’Jemalik Salon and Boutique in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn in January.
“The beginning of Ramadan was really quiet. It was so slow. It was to the point that I thought of closing for Ramadan,” Quhshi said to Reuters. “Then, all of a sudden, we got so many bookings that we have had to turn people away.”
At her salon, Muslim women feel comfortable as they are styled by Quhshi and her staff of six in a private area.
“Here we feel comfortable. We’re not paranoid of someone walking in,” said 19-year-old Nevien Shehadeh, a Palestinian-American who went to the salon with her sisters, Shireen and Nisrien and aunt Najah, to get ready for Eid.
“We’re here to get pampered for the holiday, even though we don’t show our hair, it feels good to do it for yourself, ” Shehadeh said.