Muslims celebrate Eid with family, friends


Humera Lodhi

Photo by Fariha Rashid
For most students at RBHS, Friday, Oct. 26 means nothing but the end of the school week and the start of the weekend. When the sun peeks over the horizon, they will wake up, get dressed and head to school.
For Muslims, however, this day marks the end of the pilgrimage to Makah and a celebratory holiday: Eid-ul-Adha.
Eid-ul-Adha is one of two main Muslim holidays, passed down through the generations. Muslims celebrated Eid in the Islamic Center of Central Missouri this morning. The first prayer took place at 8 a.m. and the second at 9 a.m. More than 100 Muslims attended, and the event ended around 10:45.
“On the morning of Eid,” sophomore Maha Hamed said, “I go around singing and waking everyone in my family up.”
She, like many other Muslim students, wakes up early to celebrate the day. Wearing their best clothes, Muslims attend a special prayer and sermon. This, Hamed says, is her favorite part of the day.
“You meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while,” Hamed said “Everyone is just so happy and there’s a real sense of community.”
Some might believe living in a place where Islam is the minority religion might take away from the celebration. To Hamed, who is part Somali, Sudani and Yemeni, the opposite is true.
“Back home, culture is really integrated in the religion,” Hamed said. “Eid becomes something cultural. In America, though it’s not the same. Since there are so many people of different backgrounds, religion stays the focuses of Eid.”
For Maha, Eid showcases something more than holiday spirit.
“When everyone is getting together and bringing traditions and customs from their native countries, it’s really something special,” Maha said. “It becomes a melting pot; it’s amazing.”
Eid becomes a time of unity, when the ties between the community become strengthened. However, students who attend RBHS still reminisce on the past. Saleh, a high school boy who’ve recently immigrated to America from his home country of Iraq, misses the familial feel of Eid. Though the holiday is still special, unlike Maha, they prefer the Eid celebrations in Iraq.
“Back home,” Saleh said, “everyone celebrates Eid. It feels bigger, more special.”
On this subject, both Saleh and Hisham agree. Eid is a time for whole families to get together, something they are unable to do here. Regardless of where or how they choose to celebrate, Eid is a special time for all. Some attend picnics, visits with friends or eat traditional food.
“It’s just a happy time,” Maha said. “Everyone’s wearing their best clothes, eating a ton of great food. You feel excited. It’s a time when everyone gets together. It’s something I look forward to all year.”
By Humera Lodhi
[nggallery id=185] Photos by Fariha Rashid
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