Muslim sports figures celebrate Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan

Demba Ba plays professionally for Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey) and for the Senegalese national soccer team.

This week marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which means Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr. It is one of two major holidays recognized by Muslims; the other being Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the end of the annual pilgrimage in Mecca.

Eid al-Fitr begins with a morning prayer followed by a khutbah. While many people attend this event at a mosque, others may gather in public parks, community centers and even stadiums for a massive group prayer. A khutbah is like a sermon, and the Eid al-Fitr morning prayer/khutbah is comparable to an Easter church service for Christians. Muslims who might only go to their local mosque rarely or not at all will at least show up for Eid service.

Muslim athletes and sports figures recognized this year’s Eid al-Fitr and shared their experiences on social media:

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal (soccer)

Artur Beterbiev, IBF light-heavyweight champion (boxing)

Zaakyaa Young, Millennium HS (basketball)

Demba Ba, Istanbul Basaksehir (soccer)

Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)

Dr. Rimla Akhtar, Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation
United Kingdom

Azhar Mahmood, assistant coach for Pakistan’s national team (cricket)

Belal Muhammad, UFC welterweight (MMA)

Jamal Ben Saddik, GLORY heavyweight (kickboxing)

Husain Abdullah, retired NFL player

Yaya Toure, retired soccer player
Ivory Coast

Sonny Bill Williams, pro rugby player and boxer
New Zealand

Adeel Sahibzada, assistant coach at Daytona State College (basketball)

Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (soccer)

Haroon Mota, distance runner

Ryan Harris, retired NFL player

Kal Yafai, WBA super flyweight champion (boxing)
United Kingdom

Paul Pogba, Manchester United (soccer)

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem &
Musa Abdul-Aleem, AS Sale (basketball)

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