The prayer room of Masjid Nur was filled wall to wall with men and women wearing elaborate, brightly colored clothing. They greeted one another warmly, as they found their way to open spots on the ruby-colored carpet.
They have all come to celebrate the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday.
Shereen Ally's family has been attending Masjid Nur since the 1980s. She said the holiday is celebrated yearly to mark the end of Ramadan.
"(Ramadan) is a period of about a month where we fast from sunrise to sunset," Ally said. "We do this symbollically so that we can try to abstain from the things of the world."
Ally said that after the 30 days of fasting for Ramadan, Muslims celebrate for three days.
Imam Yusuf Memon led the opening prayers for Eid. He has been with the mosque for three years.
#Listen: Muslims at the Masjid Nur Islamic Community of #SWFL of kicked off their annual religious three-day celebration, called #EidAlFitr, on Tuesday. WGCU’s @am_perdomo reports festivities took place after prayers were led by Yusuf Memon, the mosque's imam. pic.twitter.com/TgS4e0soAG
— WGCU Public Media (@wgcu) June 5, 2019
“The first day, we do all the main celebration — like, getting together in our congregation, praying our prayer — and then, the rest of the days are mainly eating and drinking and enjoying your time with your family and friends,” Memon said.
During Eid al-Fitr, extended families get together, neighbors visit and gifts are given to loved ones.
Once prayers were finished, the congregation gathered for a buffet-style breakfast.
Faiza Kedir said she looks forward to this holiday every year. She said she likes to make elaborate dishes from her homeland of Ethiopia to share with her family and neighbors.
“It's like our Christmas for Muslims because it's not only about the material," Kedir said. "It is a family bonding as well as, throughout the day, glorifying our mighty god.”
Masjid Nur has events planned for the remainder of the week.