CHICAGO (CBS) — The Muslim celebration of Eid is just days away.

It represents not only the breaking of the fast of Ramadan – but for some, a return to worshiping in person. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas showed us Monday how one downtown mosque will welcome hundreds of congregants.

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McNicholas visited the Downtown Islamic Center, 231 S. State St., during Friday prayer.

Before they begin prayer, congregants get their temperature checked. They also need to check in with their phones to show they signed up beforehand.

“It’s completely full,” said Salman Azam of the Downtown Islamic Center.

If visitors did not pre-register, they were told to return for a prayer later in the day when room is available.

It is the Islamic Center’s way of making sure their crowds don’t exceed their COVID-19 capacity limits. Attendance for the socially-distanced Friday prayers has grown as more congregants like Amzah Latif get vaccinated.

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“Compared to this last year, being able to come out on Fridays seems like a such a privilege,” Latif said, “and to even be discussing congregation Eid prayer is literally a dream come true at this point.”

This week, the center will apply those same rules for the celebration of Eid.

They plan to welcome more than 300 congregants – spread out across five floors of their downtown building, including some floors that previously were not used for prayer.

“This celebration, which I think they deserve, is going to be the first opportunity for many of them to come back to the mosque,” Azam said.

If you’re not comfortable returning yet, people can pray at home and then watch the sermon on the Downtown Islamic Center’s Facebook or YouTube pages.

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The center said it they plan to have one Eid prayer – a big celebration. But if they get too many reservations, they will add a second prayer.

Tim McNicholas