Eidul Adha Celebrations in Sacramento and Stockton
By Ras H. Siddiqui

Imam Mumtaz Qasmi
Dr. Metwalli Amer

Eid-ul Adha or Bakra Eid was celebrated with great fervor in Sacramento and Stockton on two separate days (either January 10th or 11th ) depending on decisions by respective mosque administrators. This two-day decision was not unusual for this part of California but was the norm throughout the United States, understandable yet unfortunate for those who would like to see greater unity amongst the Muslim community.
This reporter caught the morning prayers on Tuesday, January 10th at the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) at a gathering where diversity certainly ruled once again. SALAM caters to the needs of Muslims from just about every ethnicity and sect and at this prayer was joined by worshippers from Masjid Ibrahim and Masjid As-Sabur in a partial local unity gesture.


Namazis at the Eid prayers

Prominent community members and youngsters at the Eid dinner

The Community Center mainhall was full of worshippers as many had to extend the congregation to the second floor and the adjacent classrooms. Dr. Metwalli Amer led the prayers at this venue. SALAM’s Eid festivities were slated to extend to Sunday, January 15th as a Eid Festival & Celebration complete with balloons, clowns and ethnic foods is scheduled to be held on that day.
On Wednesday, January 11th a large Eid prayer gathering was held at the Sacramento Downtown “V Street” Mosque, the oldest continuous Muslim place of worship in the Western United States.


Cotton Candy Line at SALAM Eid Celebration.


The congregation here was led by Imam Mumtaz Qasmi. The predominantly Pakistani worshippers certainly had the victims of the devastating October 8th Earthquake in mind at this gathering. Sacramento Muslims and Pakistanis can be proud of the support that they have provided towards the earthquake relief cause. Pizza and jalebis were a big hit after prayers in the outside compound (the pizza with the kids and jalebis with the older folks).


Happy Kids at Sacramento SALAM Eid Celebrations


A low key Eid celebration was held on Friday, January 13th in Stockton with an invitation only dinner arranged by the Pakistani Association of San Joaquin. This was a much more festive environment with food from Chutney Restaurant and entertainment provided by a number of local Northern California ghazal and geet singers. Both parents and kids seemed to be having quite a good time here and they certainly deserved it.
There has been some resurgence of interest in Pakistan associations in California’s Central Valley recently and both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Associations are becoming the focus of that interest. The only reason why this dinner was kept low key here was because of the earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir.


Clown & Kids at SALAM Sacramento Eid Mela.


The Northern California Pakistani community’s Pakistan/Kashmir earthquake relief effort will continue with an Earthquake Relief Concert fundraiser led by Pakistani singer Faakhir along with Shakila and Sir Punj on Sunday January 22nd at 6 PM at the La Sierra Community Center (Please call Sohail Shahzad at 916-821-4931 or Nadeem at 916-869-1231 for details) and on Friday January 27th at Mehran Restaurant at 7:30 PM in Newark/Fremont (Please contact Annie at 650-697-4445 or Shahab at 510-366-9447).
In conclusion, EID MUBARAK from Sacramento and Stockton where the Muslim community is expanding and the younger generation is slowly taking over from the pioneers, some of whom can trace their roots to the first Muslims to arrive in this area almost a century ago.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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