Eid Came On The Weekend: Mammoth Eid Congregations In Houston
After a long time, Eid-ul-Fitr came after 30 days of Ramadan on a weekend (Saturday). That meant huge gatherings of Muslims at various congregations like Masjid EL-Farouq, Madrasae-Islamiah Masjid, Jama Masjid, AL-Noor Society Masjid, Islamic Education Center at Voss, Pakistan Center at Bissonnet & South Dairy Ashford, Royal Hall at South Kirkwood and Bissonnet, Fun-Plex at Beechnut and Eldridge.
Despite big gatherings at these other places, the main congregation of over 25,000 Muslims thronged the Reliant Center. Although there was $8 entrance and parking fees imposed by the City Administration to enter the arena, thousands came with their family members. It gave them an opportunity to greet each other â€œEid Mubarakâ€ at one place under one roof. When asked, various senior citizens of the community living in this Greater Houston Region since 1960s said this was the largest gathering ever of Muslims in Houston.
The Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) organizes the Eid prayers every year at a public arena, giving opportunity for the society at-large to view Muslims rejoicing the two blessed occasions of celebrations (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha). Administration and volunteers of ISGH need to be commended for job well-done.
This year the best thing people found was well-timing of proceedings adopted by ISGH, as Takbeerat started at 8:00AM.; then first congregation lead by Sheikh Mustafa at 9:00AM.; followed by speech from ISGH President Sheikh Rodwan Saleh, which was done within fifteen minutes.
Everyone appreciated the short but effective speech of Sheikh Rodwan Saleh.
Everyone appreciated the short but effective speech of Sheikh Rodwan Saleh. He emphasized upon Muslims to implement the lessons of Ramadan of perseverance, sacrifice, righteous clean life and gratitude in their daily lives fro the rest of the year. Muslims need to be visible in community service and vigilantly perform their civic duty to the society. He added we are not living in home away from home: In fact we are living in our home and we need to take care of all the issues of our home USA. Also no one should discriminate Muslims, since we are one of the best communities around, with the least crime rate, high family values, most well educated engineers, doctors, accountants, lawyers, politicians, and so on.
The Cityof Houston Councilman Honorable M. J. Khan conveyed Mayor Bill WhiteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and his own greetings to everyone and lightheartedly said he wishes God will bring Eid on a weekend every time looking at the mammoth gathering. City Council Hopeful Zaf Tahir also spoke asking for all the assistance and votes in the upcoming City Elections.
Two more congregational prayers were organized after these speeches. Several people stayed at the arena till about 11:30AM. exchanging all the good greetings.
Suggestion To ISGH
Many people approached our media after the prayers and said we need to suggest to the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) to offer FREE Membership by organizing a Membership Sign-Up Drive on the occasion of Eid. ISGH can decide that FREE Members will be Non-Voting members, but if people fill out short Membership Forms, it will help enhance the Membership list of ISGH from few thousands to many thousands. With this report, hopefully the suggestion will reach ISGH and then they can devise some easy and useful procedure of FREE Membership Drive in the near future.