For Salaheldien Malik, Ramadan is time of self-examination.
It’s not just about denial, it’s about self-control and reflection.
“It’s all about discipline,” says Malik, an imam for the Islamic Society of Ridge Meadows.
“You live it throughout the year.”
For the past five years, Muslims in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have commemorated the annual festival of Eid by celebrating it with the community.
For Malik, the celebration is about bringing people of all cultures and creeds together.
“We want to show other communities the love between all religions,” he says, noting that it’s not just religious folk who attend the event.
“The only thing that matters to God is that you bring him a sound heart.”
Malik cherishes the traditions of Eid from Sudan and tries to share them with his children in Canada. They gets new clothes, visit family and friends and their mom bakes special Sudanese cookies called Khabeez and Kaak.
“It’s a joyous day,” says Malik.
“Food always brings people together.”
Eid fell on Aug. 8 this year, and marks the end of Ramadan, a month-long period of abstinence for Muslims.
Ramadan is a time for spiritual purification achieved through fasting, self-sacrifice and prayers, similar to the Christian tradition of Lent that precedes Easter. Eid-ul-Fitr, which literally means the feast of fast breaking, is a time to give charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends.
It is also a time for truces, when warring nations and tribes have traditionally laid down arms, delivering a month of peace. The Islamic society’s annual celebration will bring together many Muslims who live in Maple Ridge but hail from every corner of the world – Pakistan, India, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, Singapore, Malaysian, Sri Lanka, Kosovo and Russia.
• The Eid celebration takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Maple Ridge Public Library.