On Wednesday, Christchurch Park was filled with people from all communities and faiths for the town’s first ever Eid Al Fitr.

Around 500 people came to the park to take part in the prayers, with men, women and children laying down their prayer mats and praying as one in the brilliant sunshine and gentle breeze – a huge relief, after the wind and rain of the previous day.

Eid Al Fitr Salaah is the congregational prayer that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, and lasts for three days.


The Eid in the Park Select Committee has been working tirelessly to make Wednesday's prayers and celebrations happen, having approached Ipswich Borough Councillor Ruman Muhith, the town’s first ever Bangladeshi councillor, with the idea last year.

 The event has enormous cultural significance for Ipswich’s Muslim community, for performing in open spaces makes the prayer align with the Sunnah, emphasising communal worship and connection with nature.

The prayers were led by Shaykh Masum Shaheed, who praised the fact that so many people had joined the celebrations.

“We gather here to reflect on the importance of unity within the Muslim ummah,” he said. The word ‘ummah’ is Arabic and means ‘nation’, referring to all Muslims.

“Unity is crucial for us to thrive together as one cohesive unit,” Shaykh Masum Shaheed continued.

“But let us also remember our wider community in Ipswich and Suffolk, including people of all backgrounds and faiths, who contribute to the richness of our shared lives.

“So, let us explore unity in diversity. What is it?

“Imagine that Ummah is like a beautiful painting, with various colours and strokes, representing diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. This diversity enriches us and makes us stronger.”

Prayers were read in Kurdish by Imam Abdullah.

As proceedings began, Mayor of Ipswich Lynne Mortimer said that she was honoured to have been invited to share in the happiness and joy of the occasion.

“As the mayor of Ipswich, I know how inclusive, warm and generous our many communities are, embracing those who may not share their faiths and beliefs and wanting to reach out in a spirit of inclusivity, love and friendship,” she said.

More to follow.