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Area Muslims Celebrate Id al-Adha



From left to right are: Vice President Sherif A. Elfass, Trustee Dr. Rafik Beekun, President Mahmoud Hendi, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Imam Abdulrahim Barghouthi, Trustee Anisur Chowdhury, Trustee Ashraf Azim.

Muslims of northern Nevada celebrated Id al-Adha, the biggest of Islamic festivals, as a community in Northern Nevada Muslim Community (NNMC) Center in Sparks on November 20 evening, although the actual date fell on November 16.

Americans of Bangladeshi, Syrian, Somalian, Pakistani, Ethiopian, Jordanian, India, Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian, etc., origins came in their ethnic best dresses to a sumptuous dinner which included various lamb and chicken dishes, biryani and various other rice formations, vegetables and lentils, sweet vermicelli, kheer, puddings, etc., to name a few.

Prayers from Quran (the scripture of Islam) were read before the dinner. NNMC President Mahmoud Hendi read “State of the Community” address and announced that area Muslim community would provide free food on Thanksgiving Day to homeless. A magic show was also organized on the occasion.

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Muslim community welcomed Hindu leader Rajan Zed to Id celebrations. Speaking on the occasion, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that peace and love lied at the heart of all religions and people had more in common than in conflict. Let us learn from one another and live together in harmony, mutual trust and loyalty; as we were headed in the same direction, Zed added.

According to Imam Abdulrahim Barghouthi, there are about 2,000 Muslim families in northern Nevada of about two dozen national origins, with Bangladesh having the highest numbers as compared to other countries. NNMC was launched in 1980.

Id al-Adha, also known as Greater Bayram, is celebrated at the end of Mecca pilgrimage. To commemorate the ram substituted by God when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Ishmael, his son, to test his faith, unblemished animals are sacrificed on this occasion. It also includes visiting/receiving extended families.

Islam is the second most widespread religion in the world after Christianity with more than one billion followers and Muslims constitute majority in about 48 countries and a considerable minority in many others. It is the third largest religion in USA. Word “Islam” means “submission/peace.”

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