Muslims to Honor Hajj Pilgrimage with Prayer and Celebration
(CHICAGO, 11/15/10) – On Tuesday, November 16th, Muslims all over the world and in America will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations.
Each year, some two million Muslims, including thousands of American Muslims, go for the Hajj pilgrimage.
Hundreds of thousands of Chicago area Muslims will be honoring the occasion and praying in large congregations. For example, at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview (7360 W. 93rd St), thousands of Muslims are anticipated to come for prayer at 8:30a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m. The Downtown Islamic Center (231 S State Street, Chicago, IL) will also host a large prayer at 8:30a.m.
This Islamic holiday is called Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), or “festival of the sacrifice” and it commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s faithfulness in willing to sacrifice his son (who was then spared) at God’s command, an important historical event in Christianity and Judaism as well.
Eid ul-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon. The holiday is celebrated with a distribution of food to the needy, the giving of gifts, and social gatherings. Chicago Muslim charities will be distributing meat to needy families in and around the city.
During the celebration, Muslims exchange the greeting “Eid Mubarak” or “Blessed Eid.”
WHEN: Tuesday, November 16th – many will also celebrate it on Wednesday, November 17th (Congregational prayers are held in the morning. Festivities continue throughout the day).
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Each year Muslims from America and many different countries come to prayer in colorful dress. The prayers themselves are quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in unison. Participants exchange embraces at the conclusion of the prayers.
NOTE: Because this is a religious service, reporters and photographers of both genders are advised to dress modestly. Photographers should arrive early to get into position for the best shots. Photographers are also advised not to step directly in front of worshipers and to seek permission for close-up shots.
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CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR-Chicago, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Amina Sharif, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, 630-935-5562 or 312-212-1520, E-Mail: email@example.com