Richland celebrates Eid Festival

Like many faiths, Islam has multiple religious holidays. On Wednesday, Richland hosted an observance of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. It was an opportunity for Muslim students to celebrate the holiday and non-Muslims to learn about it.  

The Office of Student Life and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted the event. There were tables of information about different aspects of Islam. One table featured information about the Quran recital and included audio tracks so students could listen to the verses. There was a table that explained the religion and Muslim students taught the basics of the Arabic language. The students from the MSA showed women how to wear the hijab. There was a table where students got henna tattoos and another serving Mediterranean treats including hummus and baklava. The Eid celebration on campus was a good opportunity for students to learn about Islam and what the holiday represents. 

Eid al-Adha is the second holiday of the Muslim calendar year. The first is Eid al-Fitar, which comes right after Ramadan. Eid al-Adha is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe the event. This year, the official date of the holiday was Sept. 12. 

Eid al-Adha is also known as the “Festival of Sacrafice,” where every Muslim is called upon to sacrifice a sheep, cow, goat or camel. The meat of the sacrifice is donated to charity. 

As a Muslim, Eid al-Adha is a very important holiday to me. Even though I celebrated it away from my home country, the Eid spirit never left. I enjoy celebrating the holiday here in Dallas.

The day before Eid all Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. On that day, my mom cooked many delicious foods. Although I was hungry and tired, I was excited about the holiday. 

On Sept. 12, I woke up early and had breakfast with my family. After that, we went to perform the Eid prayers, my favorite part. It feels amazing to see so many people from different cultures gathering in the mosque and performing the prayers all together. 

Fall 2015 was the first time I celebrated Eid in the United States. It was a special day I will never forget. My mother woke us up early in the morning to perform the Eid prayers. We got dressed up and were ready to leave the house. 

My brother and I planned to take the train so we could see how many Muslims came to the mosque by train, and indeed the train was full of Muslims from many cultures. It was amazing to see all of the people going to worship on this religious holiday. 

When we arrived at the mosque, it was crowded. Everyone was giving gifts and greeting each other by saying, “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Happy Eid.” 

The mosque looked beautiful and I met new people from many different cultures. Everyone was wearing their traditional clothes. I really enjoyed the celebration. It was my first time to see how many people from different cultures wake up early in the morning to perform the prayers.