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From the Archives: Celebrating Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan

Eid Mubarak from the Muslims in Canada Archives!

Muslims around the world look forward to Eid al-Fitr, an occasion of peace, joy and festivity, that is marked by special prayers and the extension of forgiveness and generosity. Eid al-Fitr is an Arabic term which means the ‘festival of breaking (the fast).’ The festival is the culmination of the month of Ramadān, during which Muslims turn inwards through fasting and spiritual devotion; and outwards through acts of kindness and compassion. 

Islam Canada (1975), Vol. 1 No. 1, Courtesy of Muinuddin Family fonds.

Historically, Muslims have celebrated Eid al-Fitr since the time of the respected Prophet Muhammad, emphasizing Muslim values of spiritual upliftment and generosity towards those facing difficulty and hardship. 

Islam Canada (1975), Vol. 1 No. 1, Courtesy of Muinuddin Family fonds.

In Canada, Muslims have reflected on and memorialized Ramadān and Eid al-Fitr in our community publications for decades. The Archives invites you to look at just a few newly digitized examples from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Consider how your family and community celebrate Eid al-Fitr? How has it been documented over the years? 

Islam Canada (1977), Vol. 5 No. 5, Courtesy of Muinuddin Family fonds.

Practicing Ramadān in Canada

From community iftārs to bustling prayer congregations, Ramadān plays a significant role in bringing Muslim communities together. It’s also a critical time to reflect upon and act towards justice for all oppressed peoples. Excerpts and snippets from the April 1988 Ramadān issue of An-Nur, a monthly magazine produced by Jami’ Mosque highlight some of these practices. This volume included questions and answers about fasting, local events, and submissions by children!

Image credit: An-Nur, Vol. 3 No. 8, courtesy of Naseer (Irfan) Syed fonds.

The publication offered readers verses from the Qur'an to ground and guide their fasts. Likewise, Reader's Corner called upon readers to contemplate witnessing & practicing the night of Qadr, offering guidance on how could one seek this night. The night of Qadr or Laylat al-Qadr is the night on which God first revealed the Qurān to Prophet Muhammad through angel Jibrīl.

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

At the time of Eid, masjids, community centres, and homes across Canada were opened up to Muslim people for prayer and celebration. The November 1975 edition of Islam Canada, a publication of the Council of Muslim Communities of Canada, documents the diverse ways Eid al-Fitr was celebrated and in diverse place from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON to the local YMCA in Brantford, ON and beyond!

Islam Canada (1975), Vol. 1 No. 1, Courtesy of Muinuddin Family fonds.

As we reflect on celebrations and practices of previous decades, we invite you to consider your activities and stories in relationship to the living history of Muslim communities across the country.


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