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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, July 19, 2018

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As holy month of Ramadan ends, Muslims across the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr with prayers for peace

Eid-al-Fitr, or the festival of breaking the fast

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Muslims around the world marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Saturday and started the festival of Eid-al-Fitr offering prayers for peace. > BNN
Eid-al-Fitr, or the festival of breaking the fast was marked across the globe with prayers offered in the morning, followed by family visits and feasts.
The Supreme Court on Saturday announced Sunday as the first day of Eid Al-Fitr in Saudi Arabia after reported sightings of the new moon.
Muslims in Asia were the first to celebrate the religious holiday on Sunday.
In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, that houses the largest number of Muslims, residents said they hoped the spirit of Eid would overcome fears about rising militancy in the country.
On Sunday, a police officer was killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants in the city of Medan.
One the past few years, Islamic State sympathisers have carried out a series of mostly low-level attacks in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, fighting between government forces and Islamist rebels in the southern town of Marawi eased on Sunday, as Muslims attended prayers at a Marawi mosque in an emotional gathering.
The military sought to enforce a temporary truce to mark the Eid holiday but small skirmishes broke out early in the day in parts of Marawi.
Islamic State fighters in the region have clung on to the area for the fifth week and the fighting has displaced some 246,000 people.
Over 350 people have been killed so far, most of them rebels, and about 69 members of the security forces.
Zia Alonto Adiong, a spokesman for the provincial crisis committee said, "This is the most painful, the most sorrowful occasion, Eid al-Fitr, that we have experienced for the last hundreds of years.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman addressed citizens and Muslims across the globe too.
The King’s statement was delivered on Saturday by Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, and highlighted joy and happiness for all after the completion of the month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid holiday.
The King called terrorism, the scourge of this era and said that he pays great attention to bolstering security and stability in the world.
The King is also said to have underlined Saudi efforts to serve pilgrims, the holy places, Islam and Muslims. 
King Salman also sent and received cables of congratulation to leaders of the Islamic countries on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims perform fast, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Food, water and sexual activity are all banned until after sunset.
Ramadan, which takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is marked as it is widely believed that the Quran’s first verse was revealed during the last 10 nights of this month.
The exact date of Eid depends on the lunar cycle, and it is traditionally celebrated for three days.
Reports noted that this year marks the first time since 1996 that the White House will not host a celebratory iftar dinner to commemorate Eid.
The celebratory iftar dinner at the White House, that is usually attended by prominent members of the Muslim community, diplomats and Congress members and was first held in the White House in 1805.
Later, in 1996, Hillary Clinton made the ritual an annual tradition after learning more about it from her daughter Chelsea. 
President Trump, however, broke with nearly two decades of tradition and just issued a statement, greeting Muslims celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
On Saturday evening, the White House statement said, “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life. During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honour these values.”
It ended with the formal wish for the celebration: Eid Mubarak (blessed Eid).

 

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