About 700 Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan with prayers and a community day on the Racecourse in Northampton today.
There are an estimated 12,000 Muslims in the Northampton area and they celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, or Feast of the Fastbreaking.
Two prayer sessions were held at the mosque in St George’s Street this morning to accommodate the large numbers attending.
Afiz Ali, chairman of Northampton Central Mosque said: “Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from break of dawn to sunset. “Ramadan is also the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God’s commandments.
“Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the “five pillars” of Islam.
“Muslims are most generous in giving during this month and pay special attention to reading the Quran and contemplating its meaning.
“As more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan by fasting and appreciating the blessings given to us, Muslims in Northampton take this opportunity to share with fellow Northamptonians the spirit of peace and community care that Ramadan brings every year.”
The date of Eid changes each year and Muslims only know the precise day the evening beforehand.
It is based on the sighting of the beginning of a crescent moon, usually declared in the Middle East.
Alaa Abouzanad, of the Association of Northamptonshire Supplementary Schools and one of the organisers, said: “We like to be out in the open because it shows people what Muslims do. Many people are probably curious what goes on inside mosques and this helps promote understanding.”