SHAFAQNA -Â Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al Adha this year on Sept. 24.Â Muslim Academy students and staff in Gretna enjoy a week off of school in recognition of the holiday.
Eid Al Adha, which is translated as The Feast of Sacrifice, honors the willingness of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of God’s command. Islamic tradition says that God intervened by replacing his son with a lamb through his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted.
Muslim Academy’s elementary level students were excited to celebrate Eid Al Adha. The teachers allow them to dress down and have class parties at which they exchange gifts, play games, and eat delicious treats.
First-grader Sousan MousaÂ said,Â “I am excited about the gifts and shoving my face into cupcakes.”
Miss Eman, the preschool Islamic studies teacher, leads kindergarten and first graders in an annual parade. She teaches them songs that relate to Hajj. Yahya Ayyad, a first-grader, said, “My favorite thing about doing the parade is singing and playing the drums.”
In the month leading up to the Eid Parade, Eman prepares her students by making drums, decorating the classroom and assuring that the students memorize all of their songs. They performed their parade on Friday September 18th for the whole school to enjoy.
The members of the Junior Class decorated the school for the holiday. They stayed after school one day to fill the hallways with lanterns and lights to surprise the students. Amana Hindi says, ” I love to come to school and see the hallways decorated, it gets me in the holiday spirit!”
The 10 days before the Eid Al Adha is known as Dhulhijja. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) states that: “Before Allah, worships performed on the first 10 days of Dhulhijja are superior to the good deeds done in other months.” Fasting, any one of these days is equivalent to fasting a whole year. Because of this, many of the students and faculty are fasting and performing extra good deeds.
The sophomore class created a donation box for students to donate to Syrian refugees. This class also conducted a bake sale to raise money for their cause.
Amneh Attallah, a 10th-grader, said, “We want to help out Syria because we see them struggling and they need aid. Also this the best time to help the needy.”
Hyaa Abdelbaqi said, “It is beautiful when a community comes together to donate for a good cause.”
This is the last month of the Islamic calendar, which is when many Muslims go to Hajj. Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is mandatory for all Muslims to go at least once in their lifetime if they are financially and physically capable.
The gathering during Hajj is the largest gathering of people in the world. Â A Muslim Academy teacher, Niran Mousa, had the chance to go to Hajj this year. The school community wishes her a safe trip.