Eid ul-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking coming at the end of Ramadan, is a joyful time of gifts, new clothes and lots of food.

“It’s a day of feast, but it’s also a day of sympathy,” said Altaf Ali, Florida director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Even if you have little, you think of those who have less.”

Indeed, as Muslims share with other South Floridians the pains of recovering from Hurricane Wilma, they are digging deep to send food, clothes, tents, medicines and other supplies to Pakistan.

The three-day Eid celebration began for most area Muslims on Thursday, after the sighting of the crescent of the new moon. It ended Ramadan’s daylight fasting and nightly prayer services.

Ramadan is also customarily when Muslims give an offering of 2.5 percent of their savings to the poor.

CAIR has asked mosques nationwide to give that sum, known as the Zakat, to the relief effort for the Pakistani earthquake victims this year.

“Usually the Zakat is given to people who are suffering in your location,” Ali said. “But it seems that this year, Pakistan is suffering more than anyone else.”


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