assistant news editor
Muslims all around the world will join together to celebrate the second Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, Friday. Muslim students at Gannon University are no exception.
The Muslim Student Association is hosting an Eid feast at 7 p.m. Friday on the third floor of the Palumbo Academic Center for the first time on campus.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims each year. The two Eids are the only official celebrations in Islam.
Eid al-Adha begins on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar and ends on the 12th. It honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail in obedience to God and also corresponds with the Muslims’ pilgrimage to Mecca.
During the first day of Eid, Muslims attend the morning Eid prayer – which is structurally different from the obligated daily prayers – and proceed to give alms to the poor. Many Muslims also choose to sacrifice sheep in commemoration of Abraham’s sacrifice during the first day of Eid. Muslims distribute part of the meat to the poor and their relatives and eat the rest.
According to Abrar Rahman, a sophomore pre-med major and president of the MSA, the event will offer Middle Eastern food and music, henna tattooing and an informational presentation about Islam.
“It’s a chance for everyone to mingle based on interfaith,”
In addition, several members will talk about the role faith plays in shaping their lives and their experience of practicing it on campus and away from home.
“Every year I celebrated Eid with my parents when I was growing up,” Rahman said. “This is the first time in which I could not go home for Eid so I figured I’d just bring Eid to Gannon.”
The event is also a chance for non-Muslims to get to know the Islamic faith and learn more about its similarities and differences with the Christian faith.
Michael Pouch, a sophomore secondary education/social studies major, said he was encouraged by his Muslim friends to be the MSA’s non-Muslim ambassador on campus.
“My interaction and involvement with the MSA changed my perspective on Islam,” Pouch said.
“I learned more about it and cleared some misconceptions.
“Although Eid is not my holiday, I am excited to celebrate it with my friends.”
Campus ministry will offer a prayer at the event. According to Rahman, the ministry has been substantial in supporting this faith-based event on campus, which corresponds with Gannon’s mission of globalization.
The Rev. Michael Kesicki said the ministry was excited and happy to be a guest in this event.
“We have a great interest in promoting and affirming the spiritual development of our students,” Kesicki said. “That means assisting them and providing for their spiritual needs.
“We want to encourage students to come and celebrate what’s important to them, especially in the life of faith.”
According to Zeinab Altaher, a freshman pre-med student, the tradition of Eid compares to what Catholics and Christians have when they celebrate Christmas.
“I am very excited to be part of this event on Friday,” Altaher said. “It celebrates the importance of family and friends and allows you to see the joys of life.”