Despite schedule conflicts with work and classes, around 750 Muslims from MU and the Columbia community attended Eid prayers Tuesday morning at Brewer Field House in the Hearnes Center.
Eid al-Adha, which lasts four days, is the second of two annual Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate, following Eid ul-Fitr, which is a three-day celebration that ends the month of Ramadan.
The Muslim Student Organization and the Islamic Center of Central Missouri are working together to offer Eid festivities for both Muslim students on campus and Muslims in the Columbia community.
MSO Spokesman Mahir Khan said the latter Eid festival is a commemoration of the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to obey God.
“Muslims celebrate the sacrifice that the prophet Abraham made when he’s commanded by God to sacrifice his own son Isaac and at the very last minute God changed it to a ram,” Khan said. “Muslims celebrate his willingness to obey God in such a situation.”
Eid al-Adha falls at the end of the Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are required to take at least once in their lives.
MSO President Arwa Mohammad said Eid allows for Muslims who can’t participate in the Hajj to still celebrate with prayers and other celebrations.
“What we’ll do just like our previous Eid is we’ll have a prayer in the morning,” Mohammad said. “It’s a short prayer and then it’s followed by a sermon, and then afterward there’s a visitation where people will go to different families’ homes in Columbia to visit and catch up with old friends.”
MSO Treasurer Safwan Hyder said Eid’s scheduling this year made it more difficult for students to attend Eid prayer.
“Usually when Eid falls on a weekday you see some of your friends have to go to class and some of them get to take the day off depending on their schedules,” Hyder said. “Some people couldn’t go because they had class and some people took off their classes so there was a wide range.”
Eid festivities will also include an Eid dinner over the weekend and social activities for the Brothers and Sisters within MSO, Mohammad said.
“On Thursday, we’re going to be going out to dinner, just the girls in MSO,” Mohammad said. “I think there’s an Eid dinner this weekend for the ICCM so we’ll let the students know about that as well and there’s usually a carnival at the mosque for the younger kids. That’s not really for our demographic but I’m sure we’ll be there and having fun too. “
Mohammad said Eid festivities hosted by MSO and ICCM give students on campus the opportunity to celebrate Eid even while away from friends and family.
“For MSO what we try to do is have a way for students who are here in Columbia without their family to feel the celebration because it’s hard that they’re not home,” Mohammad said. “They’re not with their closest friends, so what we try to do is provide a way for them to experience some of that celebration.”