The Scene at SALAM on Eid
By Zaki N. Syed

The faithful respectfully listen to the Khutba

The scene at SALAM on Eid day was a familiar one: the parking lot was packed, and from inside SALAM’s hall one could hear the melodious chants of Allah. The hall was filled with whites, blacks, Arabs, Asians, people from every nationality, race, and ethnicity sitting side by side dressed in their best clothes to signify their happiness on the eve of Eid.
Imam Aziz was giving a kutbah on what it means to be a Muslim in America. He also talked about the match of American ideals and Islamic values. “We have a responsibility to protect and to preserve the values of freedom in this country,” said Aziz, “because they are the very values the Qur’an advocates.” Aziz continued to talk about how America has been good to the Muslims by providing them a safe haven, to practice their rights, pursue education, and have the ability to raise their children in security, safety, and happiness. What did Aziz have to say about the erosion of civil liberties of Muslim-Americans?
“We can either pack our suitcases or decide to leave to some other place and leave America in the hands of fear-mongers,” said Aziz. He added, “Or we can decide to stay and fight the legal fight to restore the freedoms that gave this country its uniqueness.”

Jubilant youngsters having fun after the Eid prayers

Speaking of fighting the legal fight, US congressional candidate Bill Durston dropped by on SALAM’S Eid celebration on Sunday October 29, 2006 to congratulate the Muslims on their religious celebration. “I advocate we apply the golden rule to our life and foreign policy, which is do unto others as they do unto to you.” Durston said the torture issue is the most appalling to him as a US congressional candidate. “I am repeatedly asked as a US congressional candidate, what is my position on torture,” says Durston. “I always tell them that I am opposed to torture. Period.” Not only were the Muslims involving themselves politically, but they were also practicing the very American values that Imam Aziz talked about in his Khutbah.
In the parking lot kids of different races gathered to participate in games of football and basketball. Inside, a Muslim rap group known as After Hijrah, was rapping to the youth about Islam and emphasize leading a clean righteous life. The After Hijrah rap group brought energy to the crowd as they rapped and sang encouraging the audience to join in. After their performance was over young kids in the audience surrounded the members of After Hijrah rap group asking for autographs. After Hijrah was as diverse as the audience itself, never once questioning race or color, amazing the young kids, and having a good time because they knew that they were among fellow Muslims. A group of Sacramento State students visiting SALAM commented on the diversity at the Eid celebration. All across SALAM people of different ethnicities were socializing together, relaxing, and just basically having a good time.

Bill Durston with Link’s reporter and others

In one week SALAM accomplished what America has been trying to accomplish for centuries: People of different colors, shapes, and races united for one common purpose. To say goodbye to the glorious month of Ramadan, and celebrate a religious holiday, known as Eid. It has been said by many people that Eid can work miracles, but to Muslims the gathering of different races and ethnicities is nothing new. Since the time of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) people of different races and ethnicities have gathered year after year to make their rounds around the sacred Kabah. With everybody wearing the same white piece of cloth, accepting and greeting neighbors, and knowing that they all have one thing in common: Islam. Islam is all about accepting differences, and SALAM is no exception to this rule.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.