Councilman Yusef Salaam, in middle, Brother Elijah Shabazz, on far left with the Jr. F.O.I. Drill Team of Mosque No. 7 at Eid gathering held April 13.

NEW YORK—It was a time of joy, new beginnings, and peace as Muslims from various communities gathered in Harlem at an extended Eid ul-Fitr celebration at The Dunlevy Milbank Center in April at the conclusion of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The gathering was hosted by New York State Senator Cordell Cleare in collaboration with City Councilman Yusef Salaam and others.

The spirit of one Ummah (community) was felt in Harlem as over 600 people representing over 15 masjids, mosques, and Islamic institutions came together to enjoy the festivities of the Third Annual Eid Celebration, replete with food provided by various Halal restaurants in the area,

Along with the splendor of the delicious cuisine provided by the M.G.T. and G.C.C. (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class, the women of the Nation of Islam) from the historic Muhammad Mosque No. 7.

An array of Muslim men, women, and children from diverse cultural backgrounds from Guinea, Senegal, and other African countries united with their Black and African American Muslim brothers and sisters in faith for collaboration, planning, dialogue, and feasting on a warm Saturday evening on April 13 to unite on “One Ummah and One Harlem.”


“As we mark this joyous occasion, we celebrate the unity and strength found in our diverse community. I am thrilled to co-host this celebration alongside my sister, Senator Cordell Cleare, and my brother, Assembly Member Charles Fall.

The Eid gathering was hosted by New York State Senator Cordell Cleare in collaboration with City Councilman Yusef Salaam and others. Photos: Daleel Jabir Muhammad

This event not only commemorates the significance of Eid for our Muslim brothers and sisters but also underscores the spirit of collaboration and harmony among Muslims here in Harlem,” said Councilman Yusef Salaam.

State Senator Cleare said, “We always look forward to celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan with our Muslim brothers and sisters. I have observed this celebration for over 20 years, but this is my third annual celebration as State Senator for the 30th District in Harlem. She said that this year’s gathering was particularly exciting.

“The opportunity to break bread with our neighbors is always sacred, and to be cherished no matter what faith they belong to, on Saturday we enjoyed the company of our newest New Yorkers [migrants], our Muslim family from Central and West Africa. As always everyone was invited to come and enjoy the delicious food, and great entertainment. It was yet another marvelous One Harlem family and community event,” she said.

Assemblywoman Inez Dickens agreed. “This post-Eid celebration is a wonderful opportunity for our community to gather as One Harlem to celebrate together at the end of Ramadan. I am happy to co-sponsor this great event with my partners in government Senator Cleare, Councilman Salaam, Assemblyman Fall, and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

Muslims from various communities gathered at The Dunlevy Milbank Center in Harlem to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. Student Minister Arthur Muhammad, center in light shirt, was among attendees.

The Harlem community has come out once again to honor each other’s culture and faith in this magnificent way. We give thanks to the masjids, restaurants, and local organizations who have worked so tirelessly to put this event together,” she said.

Assemblyman Fall said, “As we gather for the third annual Eid celebration, I am filled with immense pride to partner with Senator Cleare and Councilman Yusef Salaam. Ramadan, to me, is a time of deep reflection and renewal, giving a profound opportunity to deepen our faith, compassion, and connection to the community. It’s an honor to celebrate its culmination with Eid, sharing this moment of joy and gratitude with all.” 

Student Minister Arthur Muhammad, of Mosque No. 7 applauded Senator Cleare for her commitment to the various facets of Harlem’s Black community.

“When I reflect upon the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the early struggle for acceptance of Islam to be established in New York in the Black community, to now see in 2024 how much it is acknowledged and respected, is very gratifying for our Muslim community,” said Student Min. Arthur Muhammad.

“This Eid took on a special meaning for us in Mosque No. 7, as we were committed to feeding our people, which included the new arrivals, giving them food before we fed ourselves. This Eid event is an extension of the community paying respect to how we celebrate the end of a month of fasting, and also showing how we embrace our new Muslim neighbors from West Africa.”

Delicious food was served at the Eid gathering.

Brother Ismail Sayeed is the communications director of the Black Muslims Now organization. “Our organization started after the murder of George Floyd. We decided to come together as a Black Muslim collective to stand for social justice. As young Black, African American Muslims, we have to take control of our own narrative and tell our own story.

We are trying to come together so we can be respected in our communities. We have to be seen together like here at this Eid celebration, especially our Muslim youth from the different masjids, mosques. Whether we agree or disagree with certain aspects of Islam, we have to come together with those things that we have in common for one united ummah.”

Many of the highlights from the festive celebration included jazz provided by the John Satchmo Manaan Ensemble, Quranic recitation by 15-year-old El-Hadj Abdoulaye Dia from Masjid Khalifah and Quranic recitation by eight-year-old Taliah Muhammad from Mosque No. 7, who recited Surah 93 Al-Duha (The Brightness of the day) in Arabic and in English.

African drummers from Street Corner Resources welcomed all who gathered with traditional African vibes and beats. A very beautiful and modest fashion show was presented by Muslim women from fashions by Fatimah Obsessions. Chess tournaments, board games, book giveaways, Islamic recitation also took place.

The ever-popular M.G.T. Vanguard Drill Team and Jr. F.O.I. Drill Teams captured the crowd’s attention with their military cadences and drill sequences that were marked by precision steps and other movements.

Family members of Black people who died at the hands of law enforcement or White vigilantes were also in attendance. RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Nichols, the parents of Tyree Nichols, George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd and his wife Keeta, Ahmaud Aubrey’s mom, Wonder Cooper, and Pam Dias mother of A.J. Owens were in attendance.