At Eid-al-Adha vacation, N.J. Muslims rejoice with love, sacrifice and such a lot meals

At Eid-al-Adha vacation, N.J. Muslims rejoice with love, sacrifice and such a lot meals

Because the imam spoke of affection and kindness, loads of Muslims sat barefoot on massive Persian rugs, amassed Saturday at Paterson’s Islamic Heart of Passaic County to rejoice Eid al-Adha, probably the most vital vacations at the Muslim calendar.

Arabic for “sacrificial banquet,” Eid al-Adha is well known through virtually two billion Muslims all over the world — a four-day commemoration of when the prophet Abraham was once given a lamb to sacrifice as a substitute of his son.

This is a vacation deeply tethered to my early life, as I grew up in Damascus, Syria. My father would convey me to the mosque, and my pals and I might chase every different barefoot at the huge open house coated with rugs — simply inviting kids to misbehave. We might run and play till the mosque keeper chased us with a transfer, challenging we calm down.

Eid al-Adha could also be a practice of visiting family and greeting one every other with our model of “Merry Christmas”: “Kul am wa antum bekhair” (”Would possibly you be neatly once a year”). For my circle of relatives, the ones visits additionally integrated extravagant, lamb-centric foods the place we ate a few of my mom’s maximum scrumptious vacation specialties: kibbe labanieh (lamb and bulgar combination filled with pomegranate, onions, and pistachios then cooked in yogurt sauce), kibbeh mishwiyyeh (or meswi) (lamb and bulgar combination filled then grilled), lahem meshwi (shish kebab), ma’loobay (rice with lamb and eggplants and toasted almonds), and kabsa (rice with lamb, greens and saffron). Two-thirds of the lamb is given to the deficient and a 3rd is stored through the circle of relatives.

After the primary spherical of meals, whilst the adults drank Arabic espresso and chatted, the entire youngsters would head to the park and journey ponies, play at the swings and devour sweet bars; I would possibly or would possibly not were identified to consume Mars bars through the handful (plus my momma’s atayef, dough filled with dates, pistachios or pecans, then deep fried in candy batter). The day would then finish with a grand circle of relatives dinner — sure, extra consuming! — the place I once more filled myself. After 4 days, my abdomen pain was once tricky to forget about. However who may blame me, the meals was once simply too just right!

Via my years of Eid-al-Adha vacations, I grew as much as understand the most important idea: It doesn’t matter what you imagine in, encompassing celebrations invite us to look at one thing more than religion, meals or circle of relatives – they invite us to honor humanity.


The Islamic prayer is a selection of verses from the Quran and acts of humility.Karim Shamsi-Basha

“We’re all brothers and sisters”

In Paterson, earlier than rankings of households ventured house for his or her scattered celebrations Saturday, Imam Dr. Mahammad Qatanani led the mosque in worship with a sermon about loving one every other and treating all folks with kindness.

“The primary tale of Eid-al-Adha is that we’re all brothers and sisters,” Imam Dr. Qatanani stated. “Eid al-Adha is in the midst of the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which is without doubt one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Should you cross to Mecca lately, you’re going to see hundreds of thousands of folks of all colours and creeds worshiping Allah in combination. You’re going to see humanity’s love for one every other.”

Qatanani immigrated to New Jersey from Jordan in 1996. He’s a founding member of the tri-state space Imams Council and holds appointments as professor of Islamic research on the Islamic American College and Montclair State College.


Imam Dr. Mohammad Qatanani greets pals on the Islamic Heart of Passaic County.Karim Shamsi-Basha


A bunch of younger women collect for a selfie on the Eid-al-Adha birthday party in Paterson.Karim Shamsi-Basha

Qatanani stated he adores his Lawn State house.

“Mashaallah (God has willed), I’ve been on the similar masjid, (mosque) right here for 26 years, and I like New Jersey and Paterson. My six kids and 3 grandchildren are all thriving right here,” Qatanani informed NJ Advance Media. “And to look the entire satisfied faces lately method such a lot to me.”

Like every non secular vacations, Eid al-Adha unites households in birthday party; a couple of generations that go beyond upbringings and language limitations. Within the row at the back of me, a father interpreted the Arabic sermon to his son, who was once born within the U.S. and didn’t discuss Arabic.

“It can be crucial right here to mention this: Muslims imagine all prophets together with Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, Isaac, Jacob and lots of others have the similar message: To worship God and to like your neighbor,” Qatanani stated. “Equality and justice are vital in Islam.”

When requested about Islam’s detrimental recognition incessantly portrayed through positive media shops, Qatanani was once delicate along with his reaction.

“Islam is the faith of peace,” he confident. “Somebody who does unsuitable within the identify of Islam does now not constitute our religion.”

Throughout Saturday’s one-hour lengthy match at ICPC, Muslims coated up subsequent to one another to hope, reverent and humble. The imam recited verses from the Quran and led them in bending and kneeling, appearing largest humility when worshipers knelt and laid their foreheads at the flooring. The motion represents overall give up to God.

Mayoral visit

Paterson Mayor Andre’ Sayegh greeted people all through the Eid-al-Adha birthday party.Karim Shamsi-Basha

After the prayer, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh greeted Qatanani and worshipers, announcing: “This can be a special occasion for all people, and I wish to want you all a cheerful Eid Mubarak. (Blessed vacation).” Sayegh, who was once born within the U.S. to a Syrian father and a Lebanese mom, added along with his thick Arabic accessory, his personal salutation: “Kul am wa antum bekhair.” Everybody chuckled.

For me, a New Jersey novice and a first-time customer to this mosque’s birthday party, it was once a reminder of a few of my fondest early life recollections and a transferring illustration of the state’s various religion teams, all of which seem to proportion the similar core values (in my reports, a minimum of): love and humility above all.

And for Qatanani, Eid al-Adha symbolizes much more than the rituals performed that day.

“These days represents us as a group operating mutually to feed the hungry, to deal with the needy, for the ill, for the aged and for many who can not depart their house. Eid al-Adha is the epitome of humanity,” Imam Dr. Qatanani stated.

Karim Shamsi-Basha could also be reached at [email protected]. Practice him on Twitter @karim_s_basha. In finding on Fb.

Genie Mathena

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