Shillong, July 18 (IANS) Eid-ul-Fitr was on Saturday celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across Meghalaya, a predominantly Christian state.
Thousands of men and children clad in new clothes and wearing skull caps offered prayers in Eidgahs or open grounds and mosques in Shillong, Dawki, Nongpoh, Lad Rymbai, Byrnihat and in the Garo Hills region.
The biggest congregation was at the Eidgah of India’s first glass mosque, the Madina Masjid in Shillong, where over 8,000 people offered prayers. Moulana Ghulam Rabbani led the prayers.
Every Muslim family gave to charity — fixed at Rs.60 this year — as per Islamic rules, so that the poor can also celebrate the festival.
After the prayers, Muslims visited the houses of relatives and friends to greet them. Guests were treated to “sheer khorma” (sweet made of vermicelli, milk and dry fruits) and other delicacies.
Governor V. Shanmuganathan and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma greeted the people on the occasion.
Shanmuganathan hoped “this joyous festival which celebrated the end of Ramadan will spread the message of brotherhood and compassion in our society”.
Sangma said Eid-ul-Fitr “celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligation that people of all faiths have to each other. May this occasion bring abundant joy and prosperity amidst peace, love and hope”.
Muslims constitute four percent of the nearly three million people of Meghalaya.