A moment of interfaith solidarity took place on Thursday May 13 as St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church welcomed the Islamic Center of Fullerton to their campus to host in-person Eid-al-Fitr prayers marking the end of Ramadan.
Religious services during the pandemic were put to a halt due to the risks of transmission of the virus in large crowds. This didn’t allow the Islamic Center of Fullerton to have an in-person gathering for Eid last year. The Islamic Center of Fullerton typically operates out of a small office space and were looking for a venue to accommodate their growing congregation for an in-person celebration of Eid this year. But after searching with no success, the Islamic leaders of ICOF approached Father Dennis Kriz, clergy of St. Philip Benizi, who was excited to help.
Hundreds of men, women, and children came onto the St. Philip Benizi campus on Thursday morning to pray and celebrate. Mohammad Raghib, President of the Islamic Center of Fullerton, said that this was a historic moment that reflected the vision of the Prophet Muhammad who welcomed Christians who were visitng Medina into a mosque to pray.
“This feels like the same. Giving back to us in the same way,” Raghib said. “I’m very, very excited and thankful for the community [and] the church that they can give us this opportunity to meet. Last year we were devastated that we didn’t have any place. This year, praise to God that we are able to do it.
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