CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Coalition service members and civilian contractors came together during an Eid al-Fitr ceremony held aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 28, 2014.
The ceremony marked the end of Ramadan, which is a monthlong holiday that millions of Muslims observe each year by fasting from morning to evening. During the fasting period, they do not eat, drink or smoke anything from dawn to sunset.
Ramadan is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God and self-control for Muslims. During this period, they spend an intense amount of time in prayer and worship, reading the Quran, giving to charity, purifying one’s behavior and doing good deeds.
Eid al-Fitr is a national Islamic holiday that is celebrated for three days following the end of Ramadan.
Atiq Azizi, a linguist with Regional Command (Southwest), led the Eid al-Fitr ceremony for coalition service members and civilian contractors.
The ceremony began with Azizi explaining the holiday’s prayer to everyone in attendance, a prayer that is unique to Eid al-Fitr. Following the explanation, they prayed, and then scripture was read from the Quran. After the prayer and worship period, the attendees enjoyed a light breakfast of fruits and pastries together.
“Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims,” said Azizi. “During this time we support our poor people and charities, and this is to be done before Eid.”
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to practice discipline, repent for their sins from throughout the year, and promise to God they will do their best not to repeat those sins again. Another goal during the holiday of fasting is for Muslims to experience hunger and develop sympathy for the less fortunate, as well as learning to be thankful and to appreciate all God’s blessings and gifts.
“During Eid we have a big prayer together to celebrate the end journey of Ramadan,”said Azizi. “This is a big deal for everyone, and they are happy because they finished their journey of Ramadan.”