Mayor Joe Petty Celebrates Eid-ul-Adha with Muslims of Worcester
By Tahir Ali

Worcester: Close to an estimated 5000+ Muslims from the Greater Worcester area flocked to the Islamic center in Worcester (WIC) located on East Mountain Street to observe prayers and to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, the major festival of Islam that marks the end of the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca.

This year, the Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and his Chief of Staff Daniel Racicot were also celebrating with the Muslims. Yasser Najjar, President of WIC introduced the Mayor to the Muslim Community. The Mayor opened his remarks with ‘Eid Mubarak’ and thanked the Muslim Community for inviting him to be part of the celebration.

The Mayor remained on his feet out of respect as the Muslims completed the prayer. He was evidently very much in awe and visibly impressed by the presence of thousands of Muslim families in their traditional dresses, all gathered in one place for one purpose only. The sermon delivered by the Imam resonated well in the wake of atrocities carried out in the name of Islam: “Do not let the evil of a few put doubt in your heart. They do not speak for us.” He cited examples of Prophet Mohammad(saw): “The Prophet made more peace than war. He made many peace treaties. He did not seek revenge, rather he decided to forgive. He was a peace monger.” The Imam offered good advice: ”Do not lose heart or self-esteem in your faith. We do not follow ISIS – they do not follow Islam.”

The Mayor and his Chief of Staff spent three hours with the Muslim Community. They enjoyed meeting with people of various cultures, enjoyed the traditional cuisine and were apparently delighted to see so many cultures in their traditional garbs. He offered to fill an open ‘Heath Director’ position from the Muslim Community.

Khalid Sadozai, President of ISGW on Laurel Street, told the Mayor, “When we were building this center, we were wondering why we need such a big place. The overflow of today’s event observe the holiday at the other original Islamic center.”

Muslims from all over the world go to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam: To Perform Hajj. The Hajj commemorates the tradition of Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ishmael who build the Ka’aba - the House of Allah in Mecca. Since then millions of Muslims go around (tawaf) the Ka’aba 7 times as part of the rituals of Hajj. An animal is sacrificed in the name of Allah as part of the rituals.

The meat is distributed among the poor and needy families in Mecca. However, at the same time Muslims worldwide perform similar sacrifices and distribute 1/3rd of the meat to the poor and needy.

Allah says ( of the sacrifice ) in the Qur'an: "It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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