(CHICAGO, 11/5/11) – On Sunday, November 6th (TOMORROW), Muslims all over the world and in America will commemorate the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or the Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations. It is one of the most important Islamic holidays of the year.
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, the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview is hosting a prayer at Toyota Park (7000 S Harlem Ave Bridgeview IL). Over 15,000 Muslims are anticipated to come to pray there at 10:30 a.m.
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab will be delivering an Eid sermon at 10:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield in Schaumburg (1800 East Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL. 60173), hosted by the Al-Azhar Islamic Foundation.
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: Sunday, November 6th (Congregational prayers are held in the morning, usually around 9am or 10am. Festivities continue throughout the day).
WHERE: For a list of prayer locations in the Chicago area, visit ciogc.org (Click on the green panel which reads “Eid ul-Adha Prayer Time and Locations”)
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.