The 29–30-day long holiday of Ramadan begins on March 22nd. Ramadan is celebrated during the 9th and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims believe that God gave the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammad and instructed him to carry God’s message. Ramadan is a period where Muslims strengthen their relationship with God. Through fasting daily from dawn until sunset, Muslims gain a greater understanding of the lives of people who are disadvantaged.


Muslims have a long history in the United States that dates to the African slave trade. Scholars estimate that around 30% of the Africans brought to the US during the slave trade were Muslim. Black Americans made up most of the Muslim population in the US before the Civil War. Today, Muslim America is one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world. For example, around 30% of Muslim Americans are Asian, 20% are Black, and there is a growing population of Muslims with Latin American heritage. This can be seen through the cuisine during Iftar, breaking fast, that represents the various Muslim communities and cultures in the US. This intersectionality is a beautiful aspect of Muslim America.


However, Islamophobia is increasing in the United States. This acceleration was partially driven by the events of September 11, 2001. We see and hear hateful rhetoric from business and political leaders today. This language only emboldens people to harm the Muslim community and challenge their rights and freedom in the US.

Eid al-Fitr

April 21st, is Eid al-Fitr, a holiday which concludes the holy month of Ramadan. As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, we honor the important contributions of the Muslim community in New York City. This is also a time to remember our blessings as Ramadan is a holiday devoted to charity and generosity. Zakat al-Fitr is a “charity of breaking the fast” – “zakat” is one of the 5 pillars of Islam – that is to enable less fortunate people the ability to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. As Ramadan concludes on Eid al-Fitr, we remember Muslim communities struggling with poverty and enduring conflict around the world.


Islamic Relief USA is an organization that helps Muslim communities in the US and around the world. Zakat on Eid al-Fitr is one of their biggest sources of donations. See here for more information.


Queens Defenders wishes everyone who celebrates a happy and blessed Eid al-Fitr.