February 10, 2003
Purdue Muslims Students' Association to celebrate end of Hajj
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. The Purdue Muslims Students' Association will join Muslims from Greater Lafayette for a celebration of Eid al-Adha (eed-al-ODD'-ha) or "festival of the sacrifice" at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday (2/11) at Burtsfield Elementary School in West Lafayette.
The Muslims will participate in a communal prayer ceremony followed by a breakfast. The holiday celebration commemorates prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command.
The holiday begins at the conclusion of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, by more than 2 million Muslims. Their journey began Sunday (2/9) in Mina, a valley near Mecca (Makkah) in Saudi Arabia. They will travel to Arafat, where prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) delivered his last sermon during the ninth day of the Islamic month of Dhu'l-Hijjah. It is on the 10th day that Eid al-Adha is celebrated throughout the world.
Abdullah Syed, local event organizer, says Muslims look forward to the holiday each year.
"Muslims look forward to the season of celebration and spirituality because prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, had said that 'There are no days that righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these (first) 10 days of the month of Dhu'l-Hijjah,'" Syed says.
Syed says each celebration is uniquely festive.
"Muslims from America and many different countries come to the prayers in colorful dress," Syed says. "The prayers themselves are quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in prayer in unison."
During the holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying "Eid Mubarak" (EED-moo-Bar'-ak) or "Blessed Eid" and by hugging at the conclusion of prayers. They also celebrate by presenting small gifts for children; distributing meat to the needy, neighbors and family; and participating in social gatherings.
Nearly 1,000 Muslims live in Tippecanoe County. Nearly 1.2 billion people worldwide practice the Muslim faith.
CONTACT: Abdullah Syed, (765) 760-2461, email@example.com.
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Reporters and photographers can cover the prayer service and breakfast. Due to the nature of the religious service, members of the media are asked to dress modestly. Female reporters and photographers may be asked to cover their hair with a scarf while in the prayer area.
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org