Texas Muslim Community Celebrates 1st Ever "Eid Celebration & Jummah" at the Capitol

Texas Muslim Community Celebrates 1st Ever "Eid Celebration & Jummah" at the Capitol

Last Friday, May 6th 2022, CAIR-Texas Austin & DFW hosted the first annual Eid Celebration at the Texas state capitol in Austin to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. In addition to free international food, art, and community outreach, the event included a historic Jummah (Friday) prayer and khutbah (sermon) held on the capitol's South lawn.

Weather was warm and sunny after several days of rain, and the state capitol was bustling with visitors, tourists, and school groups eager to enjoy the beautiful day. With all this activity, hundreds of interested community members stopped by the celebration to try some delicious international food and to learn more about Ramadan, Eid, and their Muslim neighbors.

"We're proud to start this new Texas tradition," said Faizan Syed Executive Director of CAIR-TX Austin & DFW. "This unqiue event is an opportunity for us to build bridges with people of all faiths and showcase the Texas Muslim community. We're already planning to host this event next year."

This first year of the Austin Eid Celebration was truly a community-driven event, with support from several of the area's largest mosques and community centers. In addition to supplies provided by the Islamic Center of Brushy Creek (ICBC), almost two dozen members of the local Muslim community volunteered to assist in serving the food and managing the celebration's other activities, such as henna art, face painting, and personalized Arabic calligraphy. Students from the University of Texas MSA (Muslim Student Association) also helped manage the event, and engaged in fruitful dialogue with visitors that were attracted to the Islamic informational brochures and translations of the Qur'an available for free at the event's Dawa table.

The Jummah Khutbah (Friday sermon) and prayer were led by Anwer Imam, Director of Religious Affairs at Austin's Nueces Mosque, who spoke about the importance of the month of Ramadan as well as the power of events like the Austin Eid Celebration to bring together members of the community—both Muslim and non-Muslim—for a common cause. Before the khutbah and prayer, a brief talk was given by Aijaz Hassan, president of the North Austin Muslim Community Center (NAMCC), about the amazing work that Austin Muslims are doing to serve refugees and other vulnerable populations right here in our backyard.

Over 400 people registered in advance to attend the event, and more than this number attended over the course of the event's 3.5 hours.

After the success of this year's Eid Celebration, the CAIR-Texas team looks forward to returning to the state capitol in 2023 for an even larger event to mark the end of Ramadan.