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Ramadan winds down on Wednesday

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Imam Farooq Abo Elzahab leads a prayer services at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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Ramadan 2013 is set to end Wednesday at sundown. The Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr is the celebration of the end of the holy month. Most Islamic people have fasted during the daylight hours and otherwise provided for purification and reflection in their behavior and religious practices during Ramadan.

At the third annual Iftar, or breaking of the fast, dinner sponsored by the United Muslims Association of Toledo, held at the Reynolds Garden Cafe, 1220 S. Reynolds Rd., on July 31, Imam Farooq Abo Elzahab, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, spoke about his mosque's plans for the Eid, or holiday.

“Usually the whole day starts with prayer in the morning, 10 o'clock, and a short speech because it is mainly family and a community event, so we do not really take a long time. The whole service will only be one hour because we need time for visitation, food, charity giving, gift exchange, and all of that.

"We leave the family event to run for the rest of the day to visit relatives because visitation on that day, especially those we live with, the families here, it is highly recommended to enjoy the relatives, to finish any misunderstanding, and to start a new chapter in their lives.

As far as time for the mosque, prayer is followed by breakfast. Luckily the serving hall will be ready for the breakfast; we never used it [after the the mosque burned in September 2012] until this holiday. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative because we need that, really, for kids and to be able to mix with relatives, to spend some time outside together."

The Islamic Center, 25877 Scheider Rd., Perrysburg, burned September 30, 2012, after a fire was intentionally set and, as Imam Farooq said, it is still coming back into use. The Islamic Center will host its annual International Festival, which is open to the public, Sept. 14 and 15. Eid on Thursday is also a public event; call to prayer is at 9:30 a.m. and the Eid prayer and celebration starts at 10 a.m.

Contact TK Barger @ tkbarger@theblade.com, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.

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