A formal prayer was held at Hager Hall on Dual Highway to accommodate a gathering of about 700 people, said Dr. Shahab Siddiqui, who represents the Islamic Society of Western Maryland. People came from as far away as Warfordsburg, Pa.; Romney, W.Va.; and Cumberland, Md., he said.
Afterward, about 400 people attended a social event at the mosque, on Day Road, that included food and fun activities for children, he said.
Eid ul-Adha is one of two major festivals for Muslims.
The holiday commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at Allah’s command, a story outlined in the Quran. When Abraham proved his commitment, Allah let him substitute an animal for his son.
One of the five basic pillars of worship is for Muslims to, at least once in their lives, go on a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for Eid ul-Adha, Siddiqui said.
Those who are unable to go on the pilgrimage gather to pray and celebrate together at events like the one held Sunday, he said.
The festival of sacrifice calls for those to make the pilgrimage to perform the Hajj, a three-day process of activities, Siddiqui said.
They include tracking the steps of Abraham’s second wife, Hagar. Alone with her infant son, Ishmael, Hagar went from one mountain to another in search of food, water and help, Siddiqui said. It was Ishmael whom Abraham was ready to sacrifice by the order of Allah.
The pilgrimage and festival are about sacrifice and commitment to the will of Allah, Siddiqui said.
— Julie E. Greene