With Allah’s name The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Mayor of Topeka Attend Eid Celebration

By Madinah Hazim

Looking upon the crowd of people this past Saturday night, it was evident that people from all races, religions and walks of life had come together for one reason – to celebrate Id al-Adha. Known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, Id al-Adha is the annual Islamic festival that commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, and Ishmael’s willingness to be sacrificed for the sake of God. Id al-Adha is the Islamic annual holiday and feast celebrated worldwide after the completion of the fifth pillar of the Islamic faith, the Hajj or Pilgrimage.

On Jan. 29, the Islamic Center of Topeka was host of an Id al-Adha program at the Washburn University Memorial Union. The event attracted a crowd of about 300 people. Special guests were Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Topeka Mayor James McClinton. Both the governor and mayor expressed their appreciation for the Islamic community.

In appreciation for their leadership, Imam Omar Hazim of the Islamic Center of Topeka presented both with a plaque and a copy of The Holy Quran. Prophet Abraham is a figure revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. Governor Sebelius commented on the similarities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. She said that all people need to value and respect each other’s faiths and traditions. Sebelius also said that she was grateful for the opportunity to join the Islamic Center for the Id celebration.

According to the Bible and the Holy Quran, while Prophet Abraham was in the act of sacrificing his son, God replaced his son with a ram or a goat. After sacrificing the ram or goat, Prophet Abraham was told to share the meat with family, neighbors, and the needy. Imam Hazim said that sharing the food with the community represents community consciousness and service. Prophet Abraham not sacrificing his son emphasizes the sanctity and value of human life, Hazim said. Sacrifices for the greater good of humanity advances the moral and spiritual excellence in those who make sacrifices. Hazim quoted Surah 22 verse 37 of the Quran in stating that “It is not the meat nor the blood that reaches God, but it is your piety that reaches Him.”

After the celebration, Hazim had this to say.

“Imam W. Deen Mohammed has led the way for interfaith dialogue and understanding,” Hazim said. “We are grateful to be associated with his leadership.”