• Muslims around world celebrating Eid ul-Adha

    By BILL SHERMAN Faith and Values Writer for the TULSA WORLD

    Tulsa Muslims are joining Muslims around the world this week in the Eid ul-Adha celebration, the Festival of the Sacrifice.

    The three- to four-day celebration follows the Day of Arafat on Wednesday and is associated with the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. One of the five pillars of Islam is making the pilgrimage at least once.

    Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said about 50 to 100 Oklahoma Muslims attend the Hajj each year.

    He said he has not heard that any Oklahomans were involved in the stampede that killed more than 700 pilgrims at the Hajj this week.

    Sheryl Siddiqui with the Islamic Council of Oklahoma said in a press release that Oklahoma’s 35,000 Muslims who are not on their pilgrimage traditionally fast in solidarity with the 3 million Muslim pilgrims in Mecca.

    During the 10 days leading up to Eid, Muslims around the world spend more time reading scripture, in prayer, fasting and doing good deeds, she said. Most will monitor the Hajj through Skype, Instagram, Facebook and other social media.

    Thursday through Sunday, Muslims are performing religious rituals and festivities and sharing gifts of food and hospitality, she said.

  • Oklahoma Muslims observe Eid ul-Adha today

    Many observant Oklahoma Muslims are celebrating Eid ul-Adha today, Thursday, Sept. 24.
    It is the Festival of the Sacrifice, a celebration that often spans between three and four days.

    According to a news release from the Islamic Council of Oklahoma,  the Saudi government announced that the “Hajjis” (Muslim pilgrims in Mecca) observed the Day of Arafat on Wednesday , Sept. 23, the most imporant day of the Hajj.  Eid ul- Adha is the celebration that follows the Day of Arafat.

    “Oklahoma’s 35,000 Muslims who are not on their pilgrimage traditionally fast in solidarity with three million Hajjis, while the Hajjis spend the Day of Arafat in devout worship. During the 10 days leading up to Eid, Muslims around the world will spend more time reading scripture, in prayer, fasting and doing good deeds for people near and far. Most will monitor the Hajj through Skype, Instagram, Facebook, C-Span,”  Sheryl Siddiqui, spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, said in a news release.

    Siddiqui, in her news release, said today is that day that many Oklahoma Muslims will likely be absent from school and work. She said holiday congregational services will be held in the morning to remind them of Prophet Abraham’s steadfast obedience to God, even when God called upon him to sacrifice that which was most dear to him- his son.

    ” When the Prophet made preparations to comply, God demonstrated His Grace by sparing Abraham’s son’s life. God reminded Abraham and all of us that life is precious and that we should be thankful,” Siddiqui said in the prepared statement.

    She said today through Sunday will be days of performing religious rituals and festivities, sharing blessings through gifts of food and hospitality. The traditional Eid greeting is “Eid Mubarak!” (eed moo-bar’-uk) which means, “May you have a blessed holiday!”

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) is a council of Oklahoma mosques and Islamic schools, serving more than 35,000 Muslims in Oklahoma. The council works to promote improved communication, cooperation and best practices among Islamic organizations to improve the everyday lives of Muslims and all Oklahomans.

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    The Oklahoman is checking with the local Muslim community about the safety of any Oklahomans who made the Hajj pilgrimage this year. 

    CNN and other news outlets have reported that a stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season —   the annual pilgrimage to Mecca — has killed hundreds of people and injured 800 others in Saudi Arabia.

    The stampede occurred this morning during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina, about 2 miles from Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, according to CNN reports.

    Posted by Carla Hinton

    Religion Editor