Beginning in the evening of May 23 and often continuing for several days, Ontario’s Muslims will mark the joyous festival of Eid al-Fitr which means “festival of the breaking of the fast,” because it celebrates the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting.
Eid al-Fitr is an important holiday for Muslims. Like Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr features a concern for the poor, such that a gift of money – called “zakat” – is made to those in need before performing a special Eid prayer, which takes place in a mosque or outdoors.
This year, of course, COVID-19 will dictate certain precautions for Ontario’s Muslim communities. The Eid prayer cannot be offered in mosques, and family gatherings may need to be limited. But while the pandemic may try to cast a shadow on celebrations, it can’t block out feelings of devotion and appreciation in the hearts of those celebrating this joyous day.
We recognize our Muslim frontline members who have been fasting from food and drink from dawn to dusk while juggling stressful and gruelling shifts, household duties and their children’s homeschooling. Your commitment to faith and family is inspiring.
As we all eagerly look forward to the brighter days to come, we wish everyone Eid Mubarak – a very happy Eid!
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer