55,000 Muslims have gathered in the center of Moscow around the Cathedral Mosque to celebrate the greatest day for Muslims – Eid ul-Fitr, known in Russia as Uraza bayram.
So many were eager to join in the morning prayer that they not only filled up the mosque, but also covered all neighboring streets and roads.
A special sermon, read for several hours by Russia’s Head Mufti, was amplified so that people outside the Mosque could hear it, too.
In his speech, the spiritual leader of Russian Muslims mentioned recent hardships the global Muslim community has gone through – violent clashes in Kyrgyzstan, deadly floods in Pakistan and abnormal heat in Russia.
He said that smoke is considered, in the Koran, as God’s punishment to humans for their sins and recalled that the heat and fires decreased in the first days of August when the Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan began.
Eid ul-Fitr, or Uraza bayram, as it called in Russia, marks the end of a month-long fast when, for more than 30 days, all faithful Muslims cannot eat any food while the sun shines.