Prayers, bonhomie on Eid in Delhi

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) With the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims across the national capital celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr with religious zeal on Saturday.

All male members of the community and children offered morning prayers at nearby mosques and idgahs, after which they embraced each other and exchanged greetings.

“On this day (which comes after a month of fasting) we pay obeisance to the almighty and thank him for his blessings. People come together and celebrate the festival with love and unity,” Shahi Imam of the 17th-century Fatehpuri mosque, Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, told IANS.

On this occasion, Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit also offered prayers at the mosque.

“He came around 7.30 a.m. to offer prayers and remained in the mosque till 9.30 a.m. On behalf of the people of Pakistan, he greeted ‘Eid Mubarak’ to India,” the Shahi Imam added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also greeted the people on the occasion and said the festival epitomised brotherhood in society.

“May this festival strengthen bonds of unity and peace in our nation and may everyone be blessed with prosperity and good health,” he added.

“After the prayers, it is a social occasion where you spend time with your family. Also, as per tradition, the head of the family gives alms to the poor,” said Faraz Ahmad, a resident of south Delhi’s Gulmohar Park area.

“The festival continues for around three days. We meet all our relatives and friends and also exchange sweets, especially seviyan (sweet vermicelli) and kheer (sweet rice pudding),” said Danish Aslam, a resident of Daryaganj.

Aslam added that non-vegetarian food like kebabs, biryani and korma is also prepared.

Muslims account for over 11 percent of the nearly 17 million population of Delhi.

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