‘A Time for Family, Community, for Giving’: Local Muslims Mark Beginning of Eid al-Adha

MCCLELLAN PARK -- Four-thousand Sacramento-area Muslims prayed at McClellan Park Monday to kick off Eid al-Adha.

It is a four-day holiday, known as the "Festival of Sacrifice."

"It's just really a time for family, community, for giving," Muzhda Ferouz said.

She and her husband brought their two little girls to experience the celebration with thousands of followers.

The holiday honors the Prophet Abraham for his willingness to sacrifice his son on God's Command.

Some even make their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.

"This is kind of like their Christmas, there's gift giving, the big dinners, and love," Ferouz said.

"The feast of sacrifice teaches us that the world will bring trials and tribulations upon you, and you need to be strong," Imam Azeez, Director of the Tarbiya Institute said.

Many said this celebration comes at a very difficult time for the Muslim community.

"As Muslims and as Americans, the memory of 9/11 is extremely painful. And we have been the victim of Islamophobia and a lot of hate. But in the spirit of sacrifice, we need to absorb the blow for the sake of our country, and for the sake of the community, and work really hard despite the negativity, to make things better," Azeez said.

Nabil Majid feels the same, especially for his home country of Syria.
The sunset in Syria Monday, marked the start of a temporary ceasefire in the war-torn country.

"The situation in Syria is sad, unfortunately," Majid said. "No better time like holidays like Eid, Christmas, and Hanukkah, so people can enjoy these festive times. It's not time for war. It's time for peace."

Peace., at least, on the holiest days of the year. Eid Al-Adha ends after sundown on September 15, 2016.