Muslim Americans in Chicago area continue to fast, give back to communities before Ramadan ends

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Muslim Americans in Chicago area help others as Ramadan ends
Muslim Americans in the Chicago area have continued to fast and give back to their communities before the end of Ramadan 2023.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Muslim Americans will be flooding into mosques for prayer on Friday in Chicago and its suburbs for the celebration of Eid.

It's the end of Ramadan. As many people are pushing through the final hours of fasting, they are still finding ways to give back today in honor of the holy month.

The month of selflessness and reliance on faith is coming to a close for thousands of Muslim Americans across Illinois.

"Praise to God. It went by so fast, a lot of work. Every day, there's something to do, something different, new challenges, new rewards, but it's been going well," said Asma Jarad.

The challenge to be a better person for yourself, and for others, is exactly what Ramadan is all about. For the last 30 days, Muslims have fasted from dawn to dusk and kept up with daily prayer while also trying to help others.

Volunteers at ICNA Relief have been determined to make this month easier for the less fortunate.

SEE ALSO | Ramadan 2023: Chicago area Muslims begin holy month observance with acts of charity

"One of the pillars of Ramadan is also to be selfless and to give. The ones who need it, or the ones who just get out and be selfless, to give," said Faten Salameh, the ICNA case manager.

For weeks now, ICNA volunteers have hosted all sorts of giveaways in honor of Ramadan, such as feeding others with iftar dinners. And, just last weekend, thousands of children in Irving Park got free new toys for Friday's Eid holiday.

Even more of that charity continued on Thursday, giving women some new clothes on ladies' day.

"These are mainly traditional clothes. Pakistanis and Indians wear these are fancy, formal outfits, particularly for Eid," said Sarwat Khawri, an ICNA volunteer.

On Friday, all of that hard work will be celebrated on Eid for the volunteers and the thousands of others who were on a mission of faith for the last month.

"It's part of our faith. We have to do this, same thing as fasting in Ramadan. We also have to increase our charity, increase our good work," Jarad said.

Prayers are set to begin as early as 6 a.m. in parts of the suburbs and city, with similar crowds expected in Bridge View and other areas as seen in recent years.