Social World of Mosques
CELEBRATION AND COMMEMORATION.
The Muslim calendar is filled with days of celebration, fasting, mourning, and pilgrimage. The major Islamic holidays are Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fastbreaking), which marks the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), which commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismael. On these holidays, Detroit’s mosques are abuzz with activity.
People attend early-morning prayer services and meals, lavishing each other with holiday greetings. Dressed in their best clothes, pockets bulging with treats for children, the crowds that gather for the major feast days routinely overflow their prayer spaces, filling sidewalks and parking lots with worshippers. In much of the Detroit area, public schools are closed during the observance of these holidays.
In the Muslim enclaves of Dearborn and Hamtramck, holiday decorations adorn business districts, and hajj banners are hung on the front porches of Muslims who have returned from their pilgrimage to Mecca. Other occasions, such as `Ashura, a period of mourning for the martyred Imam Husayn, are somber, with Shi`a Muslims gathering to remember sacrifices made for them in the past and to renew their commitment to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and his family.