A Sufi Night celebration to mark Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan is taking place at the "An der Eech" cultural centre in Leudelange on Saturday 13 April 2024 at 18:00.

Organised in collaboration with the Indian Association Luxembourg (IAL), this catered event (buffet) features a Qawwali troop performance. Everyone is welcome. Tickets cost €55 or €30 for children aged six to eleven; free entry for under-6s. For bookings, contact the organisers via tel.: Fareeha: 661-180398; Farzana: 621-265955; Sahil: 661-554859. Further details: https://ial.lu/event/sufi-night-2/

Ahead of this festive event, Chronicle.lu had the opportunity to speak with Zia Amanullah and his daughter Fareeha Amanullah, who is lead organiser of the event. Their family have been organising Eid festivities for several years, with the support of their friends. What began as an “intimate gathering” at their home for 30 to 40 friends grew to more than 100 guests as the Indian Subcontinental diaspora grew in Luxembourg. The event eventually took on a one-dish party format in community halls. This year, however, the organisers saw "a need for a larger gathering with entertainment". As such, this Saturday’s celebration features a multi-course buffet and a live Qawwali performance of Sufi inspired music on stage as the main attraction. The organisers also welcomed the "collaboration and support" of IAL this year.

"Our friends, guests and attendees have always reflected the rich fabric of multicultural Luxembourg, our home of choice since 1986," father and daughter shared. "The festivities are open to ALL with absolutely no religious, ethnic, racial or gender bias. So, we have a true kaleidoscope which perfectly reflects the ethos of the significance of Eid and the welcoming nature of our wonderful country, Luxembourg."

Reflecting on the significance of Ramadan, Zia and Fareeha noted that this is "arguably the best known month globally from amongst the twelve which comprise the Islamic Hijri Lunar calendar". Ramadan (the ninth month) lasts 29 to 30 days, its start and end dates depending on the first sighting of the new crescent moon. "It is the month during which the Muslim sacred book, the Qur'an, was revealed, in Arabic, to the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him. Muslims observe the significance of this revelation through piety and charity throughout the month," father and daughter added. In Luxembourg, charitable actions include providing meals to those in need at shelters, for example.

They described Ramadan as "a period of deep introspection and reflection", as well as gratitude, for most observant believers: "They are grateful for what they've been provided and appreciate the Almighty's benevolence. Perhaps more so than ever this year, with the human tragedy unfolding in the Middle East." Ramadan typically includes "fasting from dawn to dusk, prayer, reciting the Qur'an, seeking forgiveness for past sins and errors and request protection against Satan's temptation to sin and evil in the future," they said, adding that mosques typically offer free "Iftars" (fast-breaking evening meals) to all during Ramadan. Zia and Fareeha added that Ramadan is "physically and mentally demanding" but also "spiritually uplifting".

Eid-ul-Fitr ("Festival of Ending the Fast") marks the end of Ramadan. "New clothes, great food, good cheer, bonhomie, camaraderie, forgiveness and inclusiveness are its hallmarks. There are special congregational prayers offered by the faithful for occasion. This is in addition to the normal five mandatory daily prayers," the organisers explained. They added that, in keeping with the charitable spirit of the occasion, "every Muslim is required to pay Fitrana [a donation], at the latest before the special Eid-ul-Fitr congregational prayer. This amount is set locally and is equal to providing ingredients for a meal for one needy person on the day. Without this contribution, the Eid prayer is not considered complete." In Luxembourg, the amount agreed by the Shoura Council for 2024 is €10 per person.

Regarding their expectations for the upcoming event in Leudelange, Zia and Fareeha said they hoped it would "showcase the similarities and common goodness of our humanity". They noted that the response so far had been "overwhelmingly positive and multicultural", adding that support from the municipality, their team and participants has been "a very humbling experience for which we're very grateful".

In terms of attendance, there is an approved capacity of 300 and the organisers are "expecting to achieve that figure". A few spaces are still available. The organisers stressed that this is neither a commercial nor religious or political venture: "It's a thank you for the blessings we enjoy, an opportunity to break bread together, listen to soulful music and celebrating all that is good and decent in our human family."