January 18, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha to be celebrated

Muslim students, staff, and community members will observe Eid-ul-Adha, the "Feast of the Sacrifice" or "Feast of the Slaughter," the morning of Friday, January 21, in Ida Noyes Hall. One of two holidays in the Islamic faith, Muslims celebrate this day in commemoration of what they believe was Abraham's obedience to sacrifice his son Ismail for God. Muslims believe that before Abraham could complete the sacrifice, God replaced his son with an animal to be sacrificed instead.

In the Islamic calendar, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, coinciding with the end of Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims consider much of the Hajj to be a commemoration of events in the life of Abraham and his family.

"The sacrifice is very symbolic," explained Omar Mozaffar, Muslim Students Association president, Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and adjunct professor at St. Xavier University. "It's a test of faith. It's a test of how we balance our love for God with our love for what he has put in our lives."

Mozaffar, who will be speaking on Friday, said he would be discussing events in Abraham's life to highlight the foundational components of spirituality and social justice in Islam. "As a Muslim, you cannot have one without the other," he said.

Eid-ul-Adha prayers will be conducted on the third floor of Ida Noyes Hall on Friday, January 21, at 9:45 a.m.

—Usman Ahmed