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Selma Cook

 
 

One week after the official `Eid celebrations were held in the UK, the festive spirit continues, with a very special event that took place on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Trafalgar Square.

 

One week after the official `Eid celebrations were held in the UK, the festive spirit continues, with a very special event that took place on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Trafalgar Square.

 

‘`Eid in the Square’ was attended by more than 20,000 people in the heart of London. People from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, many wearing Islamic clothing in a variety of styles thronged around center stage enjoying the performers and the energy that filled the air. A strong, loud voice echoed out across the square, his voice booming, “Happy `Eid! Wishing you a truly great and good time! What time is it today?” The crowd shouted back, “`Eid!” The host called out, “When I say `Eid, you say Mubarak!” Cheers again. “`Eid!” he called out with his arms raised high. “Mubarak!” answered the crowd. As far as the eye could see, the faces of the people were radiant and smiling. Some waved flags saying ‘help Gaza’.

 

Then the co-host, a woman wearing a long dress and hijab, mentioned some of the sponsors of the event, “Thanks to Muslim Youth Hotline! Islam Channel! Muslim Aid!” After mentioning each organization, the crowd cheered. These are well-known organizations in the Muslim community in London, and well respected. “Don’t forget to visit the stalls!” Again, more cheers.

 

One week after the official `Eid celebrations were held in the UK, the festive spirit continues, with a very special event that took place on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Trafalgar Square.

The attending Muslims are well-aware of how much work goes into organizing such an event. Many people have friends or relatives who are either directly or indirectly involved in the planning and running of the celebration. The first on stage was the mayor of London, Boris Johnson. His speech was short but positive and to the point. He welcomed the people and greeted them by saying ‘Salam Alaikum’ and the crowd replied, “Wa alaikum salam.” He wished everyone a happy `Eid and handed the microphone back to the host amidst loud applause.

 

One week after the official `Eid celebrations were held in the UK, the festive spirit continues, with a very special event that took place on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Trafalgar Square.

Before introducing the next act, the host said again, “Welcome! Welcome to Trafalgar square!” There was a fantastic response by the crowd. Then, the host introduced ‘Yusuf’ previously known as ‘Chico’ who had previously appeared on The X Factor (British equivalent of American Idol), and with a more serious tone mentioned his involvement in a charity for needy young children called ‘Rainbow Charity Foundation’ where he helped them build an orphanage in Cambodia. Yusuf began by reciting Surat Fatihah in a beautiful melodious voice. Then, he said, “I’m honored to be here. I can’t tell you what a glorious day it is.” The crowd roared. Wearing a long robe and turban, he appeared quite different from the time he appeared on The X Factor and he went on to explain how someone had asked him how he felt after he was voted off the show. He replied, “You can feel like God’s gift to man, or that you have a gift that you have to give back to mankind.” He also mentioned how his teacher, Sheikh Nazem, had told him to serve Allah through His love; through charity. He remarked to the crowd, “There are so many beautiful faces out there today! Each one of you is a part of this rainbow – all the colors of mankind; all the colors of the Ummah of Muhammad! And, at the end of every rainbow is a treasure and that treasure is giving back to the world.” The crowd loved him. He went on to sing about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); a song called ‘Maulana’.  After this moving song he told the crowd about the message his sheikh wanted him to give that day; he said, “Let consciousness be your God, let love be your religion, let every breath be a prayer, let truth be your guide, let humility be your garment, let compassion be your nature, let nature be your friend, let hate be your enemy, let humanity be your family, and let action speak for eternity. We love you!” Cheers galore!

 

Another notable act was The Pearls of Islam, two Jamaican sisters who recited poetry to music; guitar and a drum, and sang. They sang about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), about love, and about brotherhood and sisterhood.

Before their closing song, in a rich and moving voice, one of the women said, “Sing …salam alaikum… and feel that peace…” The crowd obeyed and sang along with her “Salam Alaikum”. You could definitely feel the peace!

 

The entire square was filled with people. The message of the day was peace and love for humanity.

 

Muslim Youth Helpline has helped many Muslims throughout the UK. It is a well-known and well-respected organization that also sponsored this event.

 

Different artists from many parts of the world took part in the event.



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