Valley Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan with prayers, food, and gifts to the underserved Wednesday morning at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.

“We thank God for the blessing to ourselves, our community, our nation, and the world,” said Reza Nekumanesh, executive director of ICCF.

“Our message is to be an agent of peace. Promote peace in your acts and your words. This is what we like to focus on.” — Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini

During the event, Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini led a prayer for peace.

“We celebrate peace and we ask for peace,” Imam Ghazvini said. “Our message is to be an agent of peace. Promote peace in your acts and your words. This is what we like to focus on.”

Retired Naval Officer Explains Conversion to Islam

Clovis resident Robert Clegg was among those taking part. A health sciences professor, Clegg explained how he became a Muslim after 15 years as a U.S. Navy officer.

“We would meet with the elders and pray with the elders,” Clegg said of his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. “So I gained a real appreciation for Islam during that time.

“After I retired from the military, I came here to ICCF to worship, and I decided that I would convert to Islam.”

Eid al-Fitr Marks the End of Fasting

The Eid al-Fitr feast marks the end of dawn-to-dusk fasting required of able-bodied Muslims.

“Eid Mubarak” is a greeting and phrase used by Muslims during Eid and means “blessed Eid.”

In Muslim majority countries, capital cities commonly are decorated with lights commemorating the end of the holy month.

Children are dressed in new clothes and offered gifts and money to celebrate the occasion.

Five Pillars of Islam

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The pillars are the obligations every Muslim must satisfy to live a good and responsible life, according to Islam. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Holy City.

By fasting over an extended period of time, practicing Muslims aim to foster positive attitudes and values that they cultivate over the course of an entire year. Ramadan is often likened to a spiritual training camp.

The charitable gifts represent the money saved by fasting.

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