By: Hena Zuberi
A woman in her 30s in a headscarf hails the worshipers as they leave Eid salah. Feeling a curious mix of guilt and joy, most don’t hesitate in handing over some money. They have cash in their pockets and purses today, expecting to give it as gifts to the children in their own families.
Some have not paid their Sadaqah Fitr [charity due before Eid salah] and jump at the chance to give it in person. The woman looks like she is in need, she also knows the right things to say.
From New Orleans to London, beggars have become a part of the Eid and often Jumuah prayers. A set of seven or eight were outside a large East Coast masjid, says Sarah S., who was visiting family. Some are visibly Middle Eastern or from the Indian subcontinent, and many are supposedly Romani, often holding index cards asking for money.