About 200 Muslim students and community members gathered Sunday evening to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, one of the largest Muslim holidays.
Eid Rageous 2006, presented by the Muslim Student Association and the Al-Madinah Cultural Center, filled the Great Hall in Coffman Union for a night of cultural performances, prayer, food and celebration.
Eid-ul-Adha falls on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar, said Muslim Student Association president Mus’ab Husaini.
This is the time when Muslims, if they are able, make the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, he said.
Often, families slaughter animals on this day, Husaini said, to recognize the sacrifice Ibrahim made to Allah by offering to sacrifice his son Isma’il.
Another Eid celebration is held at the end of Ramadan in the fall, but the Eid-ul-Adha is a larger holiday, he said.
Traditional Eid greetings differ among cultures, but often have meanings such as “Happy Eid” or “May your Eid be blessed,” Husaini said.
“Fasting is not compulsory during the month,” he said, “but there are days when it is recommended.”
The ninth day of the month, right before the traditional celebration, is one of these days, Husaini said.
Minneapolis resident Nailah Rodriquez brought her 8-year-old son to the event for his first Eid celebration.
“It brings the community together,” she said. “It’s a chance for us all to be together, eat together, pray together and laugh together.”
At sundown, an Aazan, the Muslim call to prayer, was performed.
The event also featured food from local businesses South Asian Foods and Twins Diamond Deli.
A class of third-graders performed songs in Arabic, and students from different cultural groups gave traditional performances, as well as comedy sketches.
Chemistry senior Mariam Malik said she attended the event to support her friends in Al-Madinah Cultural Center.
“Eids are always fun,” she said. “They bring everyone together.”
During Eid-ul-Adha, “we celebrate our submission to Allah, and how we want to obey him,” she said.
Malik said it is difficult to be away from family during Eid.
“You realize the importance of family in Islam,” she said, of celebrating with other students.
Philosophy junior Fathiya Jeylani said that on Eid-ul-Adha, the Mall of America often seems as though it is being taken over by Muslim families spending the day together.
“(Community) is very important during this holiday,” she said.
Non-Muslim members of the University community also attended the celebration.
Political science and history senior Laura Watkins said she came with some friends from her classes.
“I would love to see more friendships between Christian girls and Muslim girls,” she said.
Watkins said she thought the celebration was a good chance to discuss Muslim-Christian relations among friends, and not as a formal debate.
Faiz Khan of Lakeville said he came to the celebration to be with his daughter, who attends the University.
“I think it’s good for the Muslim kids to get together and celebrate,” he said. “I think it’s nice they can meet people from other parts of the world and celebrate Eid.”