Celebrating Eid Al Adha at NYIT

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The Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha took place on November 6, 2011 with many of the NYIT student celebrating with family and friends.

The holiday commemorates the actions of Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. In Muslim tradition, when Ishmael was being sacrificed, he was replaced by a gat by God in reward for Abraham’s faith. During the holiday, Muslims sacrifice an animal as homage to the sacrifice made by Abraham. The sacrifice is a symbol of Abraham’s complete devotion to God, called Allah in Islam.

During the day of Eid, Muslims gather to pray in the morning and then they sacrifice cattle at the butcher’s and take it home. The animal is actually physically slaughtered by a man and then taken home after it is cleaned. The meat is then split into three portions: one for the poor, one for friends and family, and one for your own household. Even here, in New York, people donate their portion for the needy to several local charities. In a way, the holiday resembles Thanksgiving, with lavish meals and many donations to express gratitude for everything that we have.

Since Eid is one of two Muslim holidays, the other one being after the month of fasting called Ramadan, celebrations are very festive. Muslims, on Eid day, spend time with their family and friends eating lots of sweets and meat dishes, much like people on any normal holiday would. Sadia Khan, a junior BS/DO student, says, “Eid is amazing because it is the only chance families, friends, and loved ones are able to get together and celebrate. It is a day we take out of our busy lives to have fun and be happy. The joy includes wearing the best clothes you own, putting on henna, and eating meat!” The reason meat is so abundantly eaten is because it had just been freshly slaughtered, so it only makes sense to make lots of meaty dishes to enjoy.

At NYIT, the holiday was celebrated by the Muslim Student Association (MSA), at an Eid banquet on November 9. Everyone, Muslim and non-Muslims, was invited to dress up and play games in belated festivities for the holiday. Elsaid Salem, a speaker at the banquet, says, “Eid is a time for everyone to be happy. It’s a celebration; we visit neighbors and family; we share gifts, love, and fun.” Almost 50 people attended the event in David G. Salten Hall to enjoy and commemorate-and for the non-Muslims in attendance- to learn more about the holiday. 
Those wishing to learn more about Eid, or even Islam, can attend an MSA meeting, which occurs every Thursday during free hour in room 312. MSA meetings consist of games and interactive lectures about Islam. To learn more, email the MSA at nyitmsa@gmail.com or visit the NYIT MSA facebook page.

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