Bengaluru, June 5 : Thousands of devout Muslims, including women and children celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr with religious fervour, gaiety and piety across Karnataka on Wednesday, the first day of the 10th Islamic month of Shawwal, 1440 Hijri.

"As the Shawwal crescent moon was sighted over India on Tuesday night, we have declared Eid (festival) for Wednesday, marking the end of month-long Ramadhan fasting with prayers, distribution of alms and feasting," Ruwiyath-e-Hilal Committee member Shaikh Aijaz Nadvi told IANS here.

The fasting, which began on May 6 in the holy ninth month of the Islamic calendar, ended with the faithfuls offering prayers (namaz), listening to sermons (khutba) and offerings (nazrana) to the poor and needy.

In Bengaluru, the largest gathering of about 10,000 was at Idgah maidan in the southwest suburb of Chamrajpet, followed by assembling of the devout at Silver Jubilee Park mosque and other shrines.

State Congress minister Zameer Ahmed, party leaders Roshan Baig, Rizwan Arshad, C.M. Ibrahim and former Rajya Sabha member Rehman Khan were among the prominent members of the community who participated in the prayer meeting at the sprawling Idgah grounds and exchanged greetings with others.

Ruling Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders, including Siddaramaiah, state chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and deputy chief minister G. Parameshwara also participated in the prayers and greeted their Muslim brothern Eid mubarak! BJP's state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa and party's city legislators R Ashoka and Suresh Kumar also wished the devout on the occasion.

The annual fest was celebrated by thousands of devout at Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubbli, Belagavi, Ballari, Bidar, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur and Yadgir among the cities and towns across the southern state.

Dressed in new attire and sporting skull caps mostly white, young and old thronged open grounds, mosques and community halls for prayers and reciting the first sermons (Quranic verses) as revealed by Angel Gabriel to Prophet Mohammed over 14th centuries ago.

Women devout also prayed at homes in zanana (private portions), exchanged greetings with relatives and neighbours and joined family members for feasting.

State Governor Vajubhai Vala also greeted the Muslim brethren for the festival.

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