Sacramento & Yuba City Celebrate Birth of the Prophet (PBUH)
By Ras H. Siddiqui
Qaris at the Yuba City Mosque
Qari Bashir Sialvi and others at the State Capitol

Nestled amongst the rolling orchards off Tierra Buena Road, with a backdrop of a California Geologic anomaly called the Sutter Buttes, the Yuba City Mosque/Islamic Center cuts quite an impressive postcard-like picture. There are close to 1000 Muslims, mainly of Pakistani origin in the Yuba City, California area and this large structure seems to have the capacity to hold almost all of them. Except when they are celebrating the birthday of The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) as was the case on Saturday, April 15, 2006.

Muslims at the California State Capitol
Abdul Bath and Bob Kent at the Yuba celebration

The Mosque and the Parking lot were full on this day as “Eid Milad-un-Nabi” or the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday was observed in a befitting manner with prayers in Arabic and expression of praise in Urdu and Punjabi (and English). Local community leader Abdul Bath and former Congressional candidate Bob Kent, along with his hijab clad daughter spoke to Pakistan Link and expressed satisfaction at this opportunity for so many people to participate. Local realtor Sarwar Bath showed me around the mosque complex and introduced me to the volunteers who had worked very hard to prepare the food for all the attendees.

Milad participants at the State Capitol Building
Minaret and dome of the Yuba City Mosque

The following day, April 16th was more unique because of its higher visibility. The rain was coming down hard at times but the spirits of close to 200 people were not dampened as the local Jamaat-e-Ahle-Sunnat led by Qari Bashir Ahmad Sialvi held a colorful remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad on the steps of the California State Capitol Building. One has to give this group credit for their enthusiasm but in the process we cannot forget about the California State and the USA as a whole here since this was Easter too, and a nearby Catholic church was holding Sunday Mass. Tolerance has been one of the foundations of this country and a source for its continued strength. And in spite of 9/11 that feature of our American lives remains. It is great that moderate Muslims can participate in a Milad in the heart of California without fear. We only wish that the same was true of Karachi where a huge event at Nishtar Park recently was attacked and over 50 people were killed by what has been reported to be a suicide bomber. Pakistanis could learn a great deal from California about religious tolerance.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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