TORONTO – Canadian Muslims celebrated `Eid al-Fitr on Friday, June 17 with large `Eid prayer services in convention centers as well as at many outdoor facilities, given the beautiful summer weather across the country.
Following the `Eid prayers, there were festivals that included children carnivals, bazaars and food fests.
In Toronto, thousands of Muslims gathered at the Enercare Convention Centre for the `Eid prayers that were followed with a day filled with festivities.
“MAC `Eid Fest attracts over 10,000 people every year and has become the GTA’s signature event,” said the organizers, Muslim Association of Canada.
“This is the largest `Eid gathering and carnival in the Greater Toronto Area.”
“The Muslim Association of Canada’s `Eid prayers are among the longest established Muslim Community events in Toronto and Canada,” added the organizers.
“The first one was held in Toronto in 1975 at the Queen Elizabeth Building in the CNE grounds.”
“This year, we want to give our `Eid a special taste, bringing together the best foods in Toronto in one place.”
Islamic scholar Dr. Jasser Auda, a Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and a founding member of International Union of Muslim Scholars, conducted the prayer services and delivered the ‘Eid sermon at the MAC `Eid Fest.
“We should cherish our achievements as a Muslim community in Canada and our contribution to society, especially professional work and charity work,” Dr. Auda told the gathering in his Khutba.
“We should also recognize and work to resolve our problems, especially our internal divisions, and the status of women in our mosques and community centers.”
“We will know whether Allah accepted our fasting by checking how much we changed for the better, as individuals and as a community.”
Mayor Attends Celebration
Toronto’s Mayor John Tory joined the Muslim community for the `Eid prayers and celebrations at the Enercare Centre and he commended the community for their generosity and contributions to the city.
“I was fortunate to take part in many iftar dinners across the city,” said Mayor Tory. “From raising funds for charitable organizations to volunteering their time to help prepare and deliver food to the homeless, I witnessed the generosity and selflessness of this city’s Muslim community.”
“So as you join with your friends and family, I wish you all the best on this joyous occasion. `Eid Mubarak!”
The Muslim Association of Canada also aims to help disadvantaged Muslims celebrate a joyous ‘Eid by sponsoring needy families to attend the festival.
“We strive to make `Eid very special and memorable for everyone – especially the children,” said MAC `Eid Fest organizers. “MAC coordinates a sponsorship program to help members of our community facing economic hardship and new refugee families celebrate `Eid.”
There were also many outdoor prayers and festivities across the Greater Toronto Area and Muslims came out in the thousands to attend these services on a beautiful, summer day in the city.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.
After special prayers to mark the day, festivities and merriment start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.